Accounts Payable

West Vandenberg Hall, Room 121
502 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)

Frequently Asked Questions

Vendor Invoicing Instructions

As noted in OU's PO Terms and Conditions, invoices are to be sent directly to the department they are selling items to or servicing, not to Accounts Payable. These directions apply to all vendor invoices both PO and non-PO related.

Purchase Card Questions

Who determines if I should have a Purchasing Card (P-Card)?
The need for a card is based on a person’s job function. Deans, Assistant Deans, Managers and Unit Business Managers determine who has the need for a Card within their organizations and the number of cards that can be effectively managed. Not everyone who travels or purchases will receive a card.

How do I get a Card?
Complete the Purchasing Card Application found on the Accounts Payable website (choose Forms, then choose Purchasing Card Forms). Have your supervisor sign the completed application and then forward to Accounts Payable. Allow two weeks for processing by OU Accounts Payable and Fifth Third Bank.

What purchases are to be made with the card?
The P-Card is used to make purchases of goods, repairs and maintenance, overnight shipping services, conference registrations, purchases from most of our preferred vendors (see below for exceptions), and travel related expenses (excluding food, incidental expenses, and fuel for your personal vehicle). Please see OU AP&P #1020 for more information.

What purchases are excluded and/or prohibited?

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bus transportation for groups (see Preferred Vendors section of Purchasing website)
  • Cash advances
  • Firearms
  • Floral gift tributes (See OU AP&P #455 Death of Faculty, Staff and Retiree and Floral Tributes)
  • Payments to individuals (any payment on a P-Card must be to a company)
  • Insurance (Exception: freight or trip cancellation insurance)
  • Gift Cards or Gift Certificates
  • Food, meals and entertainment including travel related meals
  • Fuel for your personal vehicle (you will receive mileage reimbursement)
  • Incidental travel expenses as defined in OU AP&P #1200 Travel
  • Non-faculty employment advertising (Exception: Academic and University Human Resource departments)
  • Office Supplies (purchase from Detroit Pencil)
  • Printing and Photocopying (Except as authorized by University Printing Services)
  • Controlled Substances such as radioactive materials and narcotics
  • Tickets for entertainment-type events
  • Sponsorships and donations
  • Leases and rental agreements > $1,000 Per Annum or if Board of Trustees approval is required
  • Lab Animals (Exception: Biomedical Research Support Facility)
  • Purchases already authorized by a PO or SOP
  • Software is generally prohibited unless UTS specifically indicates that a PCard may be used

What are the card limits?
Individual purchases (single transaction) must not exceed $5,000. Card monthly cycle limits will not exceed $10,000. If you have a single transaction limit of $5,000, please note that use of the P-Card does not give departments exemption from the competitive pricing requirement for purchases between $2,500 and $5,000. Refer to OU AP&P #1000 Procurement for more information on this requirement. Retain all competitive pricing documentation and attach to the monthly P-Card statement.

How does my bill get paid?
Our card is administered by Fifth Third Bank. On the fourth business day of each month, Fifth Third automatically withdraws the total amount due from the prior month. Cardholders never process a payment request for the purchasing card charges.

When will I get a statement?
You will receive a statement from Fifth Third Bank around the seventh day of the month if you have made purchases in the prior month. For example, if you make any purchases in June, you will receive a statement in the mail about July 7th. You will not receive a statement if you did not have any transactions. If you do not receive a statement when expected, please contact Accounts Payable to determine if the correct address is in the Fifth Third system.

What are the cardholder responsibilities?
Cardholders must keep the card in a secure location, never share the card, and monitor all activity on the card. The cardholder must never use the card to make personal purchases.  Additionally, purchases must support the mission of the department and comply with all OU policies, state, and federal laws. If the cardholder notices fraudulent activity, the cardholder must call the 800 number on the back of the card and work with Fifth Third’s fraud department to clear the charges. Each month when the statement arrives to the department address, the cardholder must review the charges on the statement and attach all original invoices, receipts, packing slips, etc. to the statement. The cardholder then signs the LAST page of the statement and forwards the complete package to the supervisor for approval. It is highly recommended that the cardholder makes a copy of the entire package before sending it on. Finally, the cardholder, or a designee, must utilize SDG2 or submit a Journal Voucher to ensure that the expenses are allocated to the proper expense account codes. Please see below for more information on SDG2.

What are the cardholder supervisor’s responsibilities?
The supervisor must review the statement and receipts, then sign the LAST page of the statement to verify that the purchases are in compliance with OU policy. The completed package is forwarded to Accounts Payable no later than one month past the statement date.

What happens when a cardholder changes departments?
When a cardholder transfers between departments at the University, he/she must notify the Accounts Payable Department before the transfer occurs. If the transfer occurs mid-way through a calendar month, the transactions that post for that month must be reviewed and properly redistributed.

Why do we have to sign the LAST page of the statement?
The last page of the statement contains the total spend for the month. By both individuals signing the last page, we have an acknowledgment on record that both parties agree to the total spend for the month.

What is the difference between the statement address, the billing address, and the shipping address?
Statement Address:
The statement address for the P-Card should be the user department, and must include the user department’s name and address including the building and room number, city and zip code. The financial institution will mail the P-Card statement to the cardholder on the last day of each month. If the cardholder does not receive a monthly Card statement from the financial institution, he/she should contact the Accounts Payable Department. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to notify Accounts Payable Department of any changes in address. 

Billing Address: The address and phone number used for address verification when completing a transaction is: 121 Vandenberg Hall West, Rochester, MI 48309 (248) 370-4395. Using a different billing address may cause the card to decline.

Shipping Address: Use the department address and contact person for the shipping address.  The Receiving Department cannot deliver the packages addressed to Oakland University, Receiving Department, or Accounts Payable Department.

SmartData Generation 2 ("SDG2") Questions

What is SDG2?
SDG2 allows cardholders, or designees to allocate their P-Card expenses online in lieu of a Journal Voucher. SDG2 may be utilized throughout the month as the transactions hit the P-Card so you do not have to wait to receive the monthly statement to complete your expense allocations. 

How do I get set up with access to SDG2 for my P-Card?
Your P-card will automatically be established in the SDG2 systems. If you received a new “first time” card you will also receive an email to establish your SDG2 account password. If you already have a card or have not used SDG2 recently, your password can be reset by contacting Accounts Payable. 

I allocate the transactions for several cardholders each month, how can I do this through SDG2?
When requesting access, indicate the cardholders in which you need access. Advise the P-Card Specialist or the Accounts Payable Manager whenever you need to remove or add cardholders from your access.  

How does my supervisor approve the transactions I process in SDG2?
Your supervisor can request access to your account in SDG2 but their approval is not required. Their approval is only required on the actual statement itself each month. A best practice we suggest is to allocate your transactions in SDG2, then print out the Accounting Code Detail report through SDG2 and attach it to your statement each month for your supervisor's review.  

What if I need to modify any of the allocations I previously entered in SDG2?
If it is BEFORE the 15th of the month following the statement end date, you can modify as much as necessary. AFTER the 15th, you will need to submit a Journal Voucher to the Accounting department to process the change. Please note that SDG2 will allow you to make changes after the 15th, however, they will NOT be processed and uploaded to Banner.

What if I do not want to use SDG2?
While the use of SDG2 to allocate your P-Card transactions is strongly encouraged due to the general efficiency of the process for all departments involved, it is not currently required. If you do not use SDG2 to allocate your transactions, you must submit an Interdepartmental Journal Voucher form to the Accounting department by the 30th of the month following the statement end date.

Miscellaneous Questions

Computer Purchases

The following is being provided to clarify the requirements for the purchase of desktop and laptop computers.

  • The Purchasing website provides a list of OU Preferred Vendors. Departments should use these providers along with their OU Pcard to make purchases of computer equipment. You will need to advise the vendor at the time of order that you intend to make payment with your Pcard. If your area does not have a P-card available and the order is urgent, you can defer to having the purchase invoiced to OU. If using an OU Preferred Vendor a purchase order is not required. To request a Pcard complete the application available on the A/P website.
  • If the type of device you are seeking is not available within the time frame needed from one of the noted preferred providers and the purchase is under $5,000 you can still use your OU P-card to make the purchase but in accordance with Policy 1000 purchases greater than $2,500 require pricing from at least two sources to ensure that it is making sound, economical purchases. If the amount is over $5,000 and not from a preferred provider you must submit a Requisition for a Purchase Order to be issued. Please contact the Purchasing Office directly for additional questions.
  • Departments should not make direct purchases of computers/laptops from retailers with personal credit cards. Policy 870 requires that payment be made directly from a University payment source in order for OU to own the license entitlement. Without the ownership of the license the software embedded on these devices like the operating system, etc. cannot be upgraded to the MS Campus License or use any other OU client installed software.  

Can I purchase non-Pepsi brand beverages? Does it matter if I buy it myself and request reimbursement? And can you tell me what beverage brands are owned by Pepsi?
Pepsi is the exclusive beverage supplier for Oakland University.

According to OU's agreement with Pepsi, products manufactured by Pepsi are to be the only beverage products of their respective types sold, distributed, advertised, displayed, sampled, or otherwise made available on OU's campus. This means that even when it comes to reimbursements, you must purchase Pepsi products either directly from Pepsi or from a vendor who sells Pepsi products.

Aquafina is Pepsi's bottled water brand. For a comprehensive look at all of Pepsi's beverage brands, please visit their website here.

How do I get set up for direct deposit for my business expense reimbursements?
Login to SAIL. Click on Employee Services, then click on Direct Deposit - Accounts Payable. You should see your Grizzly ID and your name followed by a note telling you that you are not currently set up for direct deposit for non-payroll reimbursements. Click on the link directly below that to enter your bank information. Follow the instructions on the next page (you will only need your routing and account numbers) and you will be set up in minutes.

How do I change the bank I have set up for my business expense reimbursements?
Login to SAIL. Click on Employee Services, then click on Direct Deposit - Accounts Payable. The screen should indicate your current bank information on file and ask you to verify it or if you want to update it. Click on update and your information will be updated in minutes.

Does a student have to be set up for Accounts Payable direct deposit to receive a reimbursement?
No. The direct deposit initiative is currently limited to employees.

I want to recognize my staff with gift cards as a special reward. How do I pay for that from my university budget?
You don't. The Internal Revenue Service considers gift cards the same as cash and any cash award would have to be added to an employee's payroll records for FICA withholding and reported as income.

I am the recipient of an REU stipend/scholarship - is this taxable and will I receive a 1099-MISC at year-end?
REU – Research Experiences for Undergraduates program is designed to promote and advance scientific and engineering progress in the United States and is federally funded by the National Science Foundation. This program provides awards to thousands of undergraduate students who participate in the research experience.

REU stipends, or scholarships, received by participants who are degree seeking students are NOT reportable to the IRS by Oakland University based on the following:

  1. IRS Form 1099-MISC - The instructions and corresponding regulations allow for these type of items to be classified as scholarships which are NOT required to be reported on 1099-MISC
  2. IRS Notice 87-31 - All amounts paid to U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens in the form of scholarships, fellowships, grants, and financial aid are NOT required to be reported to the IRS by the payors.

That does not mean the award is non-taxable, some may have to pay taxes on a portion of their stipends, however, the recipient is responsible for reporting.

The IRS Publication 970 has more information