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.

Quick Reference Guide: Invoice Processing Reference Guide

Invoice Processing Guidelines

  • 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.

UPST has been focused on making information more accessible to our users in easy-to-consume formats. Please click the link below to access a quick reference guide developed by process owners.

Invoice Processing Reference Guide

Wire Payments Guidelines

  • When payments are to be made via wire transfer, ensure that the invoice contains the wire payment information when submitting for processing. This is because UPST does not store any wire payment information.
  • 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 created a PO 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.

Direct Payments should be limited to the categories listed below:

  • Agency fund payment
  • Annuity payments
  • Art models
  • Athletic game personnel services - immediate need (ball attendants, timekeepers, etc.)
  • Collection agencies
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Conference registrations (only when a Bank Card with Travel enabled  is not available)
  • Federal, state, and local governments
  • Foreign governments and foreign-controlled agencies, institutions, etc.  
  • Group insurance payments
  • Health & Welfare, Mass Public Employee Fund, MTA Health & Welfare Fund
  • Human subjects (includes research subjects and survey respondents) – paid only after pre-approval through the Office of Institutional Compliance
  • Individual performers*
  • Legal settlements
  • Non-employee compensation (honoraria, royalties, prizes and awards, travel & per diem)
  • Pension payments
  • Postage meter (Pitney Bowes, Postmaster)
  • Refunds
  • Royalty payments, employee
  • Single payment voucher
  • Stipends
  • Student payment for services
  • Travel reimbursements for job candidates
  • UMass Foundation

*Special withholding rules may apply

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), and VISA credit card (ePayables).

AP Pay Cycle Calendar

Management of University Funds

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Knowledge Base has answers to the most frequently asked questions that asked by our constituents.

Accounts Payable FAQs