Accounts Payable

The University primarily makes payments against approved and encumbered Purchase Orders (POs) within established time limits. The Direct Payment voucher form is another means of payment processing that can be used only when certain conditions are met.

Our AP Team focuses on the timely audit and processing of all invoices in compliance with appropriate rules and regulations. Manual checks and Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT/ACH) to suppliers/payees are disbursed several times per week by the University Treasurer's Office.

  • Payment of an invoice for goods and services requires a purchase order unless the payment is on the list of acceptable transactions that allow direct payment to the vendor with no purchase order (see Direct Payment section below).
  • Invoices for items purchased through BuyWays are typically received from participating vendors electronically through the University’s e-procurement portal and transmitted in a batch for payment processing. These electronic invoices are subject to the same payment processing rules as non-electronic invoices.
  • If you receive an original invoice directly:
    • Scan it and forward it immediately as a PDF file via email to along with appropriate signature approval certifying goods or services that have been received as ordered and that the invoice is accurate. The original invoice should be kept within the department to avoid duplicate payments.
    • A clear reference to the appropriate Purchase Order number is required. In the instance that no Purchase Order exists, please forward the original invoice with the appropriate speed type or chart field string noted clearly on the invoice, with a signature indicating approval for payment. UPST will review the invoice to determine the PO requirements.
  • All invoices must include the name of the vendor, the payment remit address of the vendor, and a valid purchase order number.

Wire Payments Guidelines

  • UPST does not store any wire payment information. When payments are to be made via wire transfer, please ensure that the invoice contains the wire payment information.

Please review the approved categories for the use of the Direct Payment Form: Direct Payment Categories

  • A Direct Payment is an unencumbered payment.
  • Direct Payment cannot be used to circumvent the procurement of goods or services that should have been ordered in BuyWays using a Purchase Order.
  • Since the Direct Payment is not encumbered, the responsibility is placed upon the department placing the order to ensure sufficient budget monies are available for the payment of the invoice.
  • The Direct Payment form uses the same rules for workflow as a requisition.
  • When the Direct Payment form is fully approved, it creates a Purchase Order that automatically “flips” to become an invoice.
  • The Direct Payment Form can only be used to pay one invoice. Multiple invoices cannot be listed on the same form. However, there can be multiple lines listed for the same invoice.

View the AP Pay Cycle Calendar

The University Treasurer’s Office is responsible for a variety of functions associated with payment processing to vendors, students, and employees. Payments are processed according to the AP Pay Cycle Criteria and Calendar. The payment methods include:

  • Check
  • ACH (Paymode-X) 
  • VISA credit card (ePayables).

All funds, regardless of the source or the manner in which they are acquired, are considered to be University Funds. All University employees should exercise their fiduciary responsibility in a manner consistent with the confidence and trust granted to them by the Board of Trustees in the disbursement of these funds. The President and Chancellors are responsible for the overall fiscal integrity of the University. Fund expenditures must meet University and campus guidelines and criteria in accordance with the University policy for management of University funds.

The University Procurement Policy governs the procurement of all goods, materials, commodities, and services by the University. Purchasing and Procurement policies vary by campus.

As a general rule, UMass does not pay late fees and Accounts Payable will not process one. However, per the State Comptroller if the vendor wants late fee payment they must compute the late fee based on Mass General Law - M.G.L. c.29, s.29...C815 CMR 4.00.

Job Aids & Resources

Direct Payment Categories

A list of categories/items that can be submitted through a direct payment form. 

Direct Payment Process

Demonstrates how to submit a direct payment form in BuyWays.

Invoice Processing Reference Guide

Answers commonly asked questions regarding invoicing, receipts, and match exception.

Job Aid/ResourcePurpose
Change Request ProcessDemonstrates how to create a change request on your purchase order (PO) in BuyWays. 

Zelle Payments for Domestic Individual Suppliers

Zelle Payment Method Job AidZelle Payment Method VideoShows how to add Zelle as a payment method for domestic individual suppliers
Zelle Frequently Asked Questions Frequently asked questions related to Zelle process.

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