Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable is responsible for processing payment of the College's bills and expenses. The office works within College policies and federal guidelines.

Accounts Payable reviews all invoices from vendors as well as internal payments to students, faculty, and staff to ensure that each payment is authorized, accompanied by a detailed itemization (invoice), and is paid in a timely manner.

Contact John Merron, 607-431-4301 or

Accounts Payable Policy

College policy allows payment or reimbursement for business related expenses. The College qualifies as a not-for-profit entity under Section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS guidelines and therefore must ensure expenses qualify as a business expense. Federal and private grants require specific payment and reimbursement terms. The IRS also has strict guidelines for employee reimbursement requirements that the College follows.

Departments needing payments for honoraria, invoices without related purchase orders, or non-travel related reimbursement should complete a Check Request, attach supporting documentation (contract, invoice, or original acceptable receipts/proof of payment), have the request approved by the appropriate vice president or department head, and submit it to the Accounts Payable department in Financial Services, Bresee Hall. The business office requires original signatures for auditing purposes. Please note, you cannot approve reimbursement to yourself or your immediate family.

Departments or individuals needing travel advances should submit a Travel Advance Request at least five business days prior to needing the funds, have the request approved by the appropriate vice president and submit it to Accounts Payable. Travel advance requests are not to be used as reimbursement requests and should not be used to fund purchases that could otherwise be paid directly by the college such as airline tickets or hotels. Within fifteen days of completion of travel, a completed Travel Expense Report along with original receipts and any unused funds should be returned to the Cashier. If a balance is owed to the requester the form and receipts should be returned to Accounts Payable.

All other goods or services purchased for the College require a Purchase Order. Submit a Material Requisition Form with appropriate documentation.

Cardholder Eligibility
Employees who travel frequently on Hartwick College (College) business can request a College credit card (Card). The request for a Card, approved by his/her supervisor, and respective Vice President, should be submitted to the College’s Controller. Each individual Cardholder must sign this Cardholder agreement which will be retained in the Finance Office.

Cardholder Responsibilities

1. The Card is to be used for College travel related business only.

2. All detailed sales slips must be submitted to Accounts Payable with the approved College’s Expense Report within two weeks from the day the traveler returned or if advance travel plans are made, two weeks from the date the charges were made.

3. Cardholders are responsible to verify the accuracy of their statement when it arrives and to assure that all charges have been included on expense reports and submitted to Accounts Payable. Statements do not need to be forwarded to Accounts Payable.

4. Attempt to resolve disputes or billing errors directly with the vendor and notify the Financial Services Office if a dispute or billing error has not been satisfactorily resolved.

5. Ensure that an appropriate credit for the reported disputed items or billing error appears on a subsequent billing statement.

6. Accepting cash in lieu of a credit to the Card account is not permitted.

7. Other individuals are not allowed to use the Card. The Card should remain in the Cardholders possession and be kept secure.

8. Immediately report a lost or stolen card to the Financial Services Office.

9. Return the Card to the Financial Services Office upon terminating employment or if the Card is no longer needed for the employee’s position.

Payment Procedures
Payment will be made directly to the credit card company by the Finance Office each month.

Card Termination
A credit card account will be closed if a Cardholder:
1. Moves to a new job not requiring travel or no longer needs a Card in their current position. (i.e. after completion of J Term programs)
2. Terminates College employment
3. Fails to produce receipts or documentation in a timely manner (within two weeks, as stated above) or responds to requests to produce receipts or documentation
4. Knowingly uses the credit card for personal purchases.

Credit Card Policy Agreement

Petty Cash can be administered as per the following guidelines; however, reimbursement of expenses is preferred over petty cash. Whenever possible, please complete transactions and request reimbursements.

Limit = $75.00 per day per department

Petty Cash Request forms must be complete, with full GL number, and approved/signed by department heads and faculty chairs.

Receipts and remaining cash are due back to the cashier by the end of the next business day. The college does not reimburse for sales tax if the purchase is over $10.00. Individual should request a tax exempt form if purchasing items subject to sales tax.

No further advances will be disbursed until previous receipts have been collected.

Accounts Payable Procedure

It is the responsibility of the department initiating the purchase of the product or service to follow the procedure below:

– Check the goods or services to verify all items have been received and note any discrepancies on the green copy of the purchase order. Make sure the costs are correct. Clearly mark any errors.

– Have an authorized individual in the department sign and date the Purchase order green copy.

– If a partial order is received, copy the PO and mark the received items only. Have an authorized individual sign and date the copy. Repeat this procedure as other items are received. When last item/s is/are received send down the green copy of the purchase order noting the items received and the date received.

– Forward the approved Purchase Order to AP immediately, allowing AP enough time to process the invoice to take advantage of any offered discounts or to meet the minimum terms.

– The College mails AP checks to vendors from the Financial Services office. This policy is to satisfy internal control requirements.

– If any paperwork needs to be mailed with the AP check, clearly mark this on the Check Request. The department forwarding the requests to AP needs to send the original and a copy of the document that must accompany payment. The original invoice must remain in AP. All invoices should be sent directly to AP by vendors not to the departments.

– Any payments made to an independent contractor or an unincorporated vendor for services require the College to prepare and mail an IRS Form 1099-MISC for individuals and vendors earning $600 or more at the College during the calendar year. Social Security numbers or tax ID numbers are required for all payments to individuals not on the college payroll and to qualifying vendors. Request for Taxpayer ID-Federal form W-9 can be obtained from the Administrative Assistant in Financial Services.

The College as a not-for-profit corporation is exempt from sales tax in New York State. This exemption applies to hotels, meals, rental cars, and business purchases.

Please request the tax exemption number from the Administrative Assistant in Financial Services, when conducting any business on behalf of the College.

Accounts Payable mails checks to the vendors with sufficient time to either take advantage of discounts to comply with the terms noted on the invoice. The AP department schedules payment based on discount opportunity, balance due dates, and fundamental cash management principles.

Per office policy, checks are printed each Tuesday and Friday during a standard week. The check run schedule is modified when necessary for holidays.

The deadline for receipt in our office for eligibility in Tuesday’s check run is the preceding Friday at 4:00 p.m.

The deadline for receipt in our office for eligibility in Friday’s check run is the preceding Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

The current mileage reimbursement rate is 58.5 cents per mile as of January 1, 2021.

Paying students, faculty or staff for work performed must be processed through Payroll.

All new vendors should complete an IRS Form W-9.

Reimbursements for travel and entertainment expenses follow the same general guidelines noted above for payments to vendors. Complete the Travel Expense Report and list purpose of trip. In the case of reimbursement for meals, record list of individuals covered with the Expense Voucher. Generally, meals for partners, spouses, or other guests not affiliated with the College are not allowable requests for reimbursement unless incurred for a valid business purpose. Hartwick College does not reimburse for parking tickets or moving violations. Individuals may not make personal purchases through the college. Reimbursement requests should include detail explaining the total expense incurred. For example, the reimbursement for meals should contain the receipt from the restaurant detailing the items ordered, if at all possible.

Hartwick’s Purchase Order forms are four-part forms. The copies are distributed as follows:
– White -Vendor
– Yellow -Department (file copy)
– Green – Receiving (to be signed, dated and sent to Accounts Payable when items have been received or service has been completed)
– Pink – Financial Services/Accounts Payable

This procedure is subject to periodic review or modification based on changing business issues and external guideline or regulations. Any changes to the procedure will be made directly within this online document.


The College will pay reasonable travel expenses directly related to the completion of official College business. Reimbursement is on the basis of actual and reasonable expenses incurred for transportation, local travel, meals, lodging, and other necessary business expenses. These expenses must be supported by original itemized receipts. The responsibility to observe the guidelines rests both with the traveler and the chairperson or supervisor who approves the expenditure(s).

The Vehicle Use Policy sets guidelines in the use of College owned, personal and rented vehicles. This policy applies to Hartwick College employees, students, and volunteers in all departments, programs and activities.

A travel advance form must be submitted at least five business days prior to the day that the advance is needed. Travel advances will not be released more than five days before the travel will begin. Upon completion of travel, travel expense reports must be submitted within 15 days of return from a trip. No new advances will be issued prior to the settlement of a current outstanding advance.

Reimbursable Expenses Policy – Travel costs covered by the College

Non-Reimbursable Expenses Policy – Travel costs not covered by the College

Itemized original receipts are to be submitted with all travel expense reports. Date and purpose of the trip should be noted in the appropriate place on the travel expense report. When an employee is claiming reimbursement for meals purchased for others, the reimbursement request must provide the names of the other diners, the location and date of the meal, and the specific business purpose for hosting the meal. This substantiation is necessary for the auditors and to adhere to IRS regulations. Each expense report should have the appropriate account number and approvals before submission for payment.

The College has a specific form it requires staff, faculty, students, individuals, and vendors to complete for travel expenses and to document Hartwick College Credit or Debit card expenses. Travel expense reports must be submitted with all original receipts to document expenses.

The Check Request Form should be used to request non-travel related reimbursement and Honorariums. All request must include proper supporting documentation as outlined in the Accounts Payable Policy including original receipts or contracts. The College does not reimburse for sales tax. You may download the necessary form from the link on the left.

EMPLOYEE MEALS, ENTERTAINMENT, Gifts & Occasional Functions

Reasonable meal expenses when interacting with external constituencies (trustees, donors, alumni, parents, vendors, job candidates, professional guests, etc.) conducting the business of the Colleges are reimbursed. Interactions among faculty/staff/students are not reimbursed. Entertainment and alcohol for employees is not reimbursable.

Entertainment of individual students is not reimbursed.

Institutional funds should not be used to pay for employee meals for regularly scheduled departmental or committee meetings or department social activities such as celebrating holidays, birthdays and showers. The exception is when meetings cannot be scheduled other than over a meal period. Occasions such as parties to celebrate births, marriages, etc. or small in-office functions with purchased food or beverages must be paid for personally by the employees involved. In addition, departmental parties for holidays and similar occasions, not scheduled by and for the institution as a whole, are considered the personal responsibility of those individuals involved in the function. Holiday and year-end gifts for faculty, staff and students are not reimbursable by the College.

IRS regulations do not allow for the reimbursement of meal charges incurred by employees who are not traveling away from home (i.e., their travel does not require an overnight stay) unless the following criteria are met and there is a clear benefit to the College on a college-wide basis:

  1. 1. The primary purpose of the meeting is at the request of the College and has a clearly defined benefit to the mission of College, and;
  2. 2. There is a clear and compelling reason to meet outside the office over a meal.

Employee gifts are not a reimbursable expense. Examples include (but are not limited to) employee thank-you gifts, birthday or holiday celebrations/gifts, Administrative Professional Day gifts/meals, gifts for retiring or departing employees, flowers or plants given in acknowledgement of the death or illness of an employee or employee’s family member, and mileage to attend a funeral or visit an ill employee. Employees should use personal funds for non-business matters. Exceptional circumstances should be discussed with the supervisor or department head in advance.

A reasonable gift may be authorized by the area’s vice president for the departure or retirement of an employee. Contact Human Resources for the guidelines for such gifts.

Gift cards are not a reimbursable expense, unless they are to be given as part of a random drawing.

Occasional functions for employees are considered reimbursable business expenses when the expenditure is intended to recognize individual or group achievements and are open to a large segment of the campus community

Annual administrative retreats that are for the purpose of staff development should be pre-approved by the reporting level directly supervising the area.

Year-end picnics by academic departments for students should be pre-approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. Detail of those attending and their relationship to the College should be available upon request.