Accounts Payable processes payments for vendors, faculty, staff, and students. The Accounts Payable office is responsible for ensuring that disbursements comply with internal and external regulations and actively seeks to provide courteous, timely, and professional service.

Accounts Payable Contact Information:

Melissa Smith
Accounts Payable Specialist

New Vendor Set-Up

Accounts Payable sets up new vendors through a series of OnBase supported workflows that facilitate secure delivery of vendor documents.

A vendor (payee) is a supplier of goods or services. Before initiating payment with a new vendor, follow these steps:

  1. Search the Approved Vendors List to determine whether a vendor exists within our financial system. If a vendor is not on the list, or has outdated payee information, then continue to next steps for vendor set-up.
  2. If you are hiring for services through an Independent Contractor/Consultant, the Independent Contractor Evaluation Form and related contract must be submitted to Human Resources prior to services being rendered. If the vendor has not provided a contract, utilize one of the available Contract Templates to establish the terms of work. Email questions regarding contract terms to Randie Johnson,
  3. Carleton requires all new vendors have an IRS W-9 on file with the College. Use the W-9 Request Form to initiate a request for the Vendor tax form through the secure portal. After the W-9 Form has been received, vendors will be invited to register for direct deposit through the same secure portal.  Note: A W-9 is not required for current students, employees, and prospective students.
  4. To request payment for received goods or services, submit an approved Payment Request Form  or invoice including the account number to charge, to for review/payment processing.

Payment Requests

The Business Office processes payments each week on Thursday. Please submit completed forms & documentation to and allow 7 -10 business days for processing. The deadline to submit requests is 12:00pm Thursday to be included in the following Thursday’s check run. Employee expense reimbursements submitted to Accounts Payable will take up to 30 days for processing from the date the form is received. Payment will be delayed if Accounts Payable is required to seek additional information or returns a request which does not have adequate support or proper approval.

Payment Request Forms

  • Payment Request Forms marked “dept. pick-up” are available for pick-up after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Business Office. If a check has not been picked up within one week, the check will be mailed directly to the payee/vendor.
  • Payment Request Forms marked “E-Check” will be reimbursed through electronic deposit, Direct Deposit Bank Account (Non-Payroll), to the account on record.
  • Payment Request Forms marked “US Mail” will be mailed directly to payee/vendor.

Budget Authorizations

Supervisor or Division Head authorization is required for payment requests reimbursed through department funds. The Budget Authorization Grid provides guidance on budget authorizations for cash disbursements and purchase order requests.  Accounts Payable will review payment requests to ensure that the appropriate budget authorizations are in place before invoices are paid 

Payments & Reimbursements

Submit itemized original invoices and/or receipts to Accounts Payable for payment.

  • Invoices and/or receipts received for payment must include proper authorization, a valid Carleton general ledger account number, including an expense code.
  • Employee reimbursement requests, not utilizing Faculty PDA funds, require Supervisor or Division Head approval.
  • If the business purpose of the transaction is not clearly evident, please include a brief explanation.

Faculty Entertaining Student Program

The Faculty Entertaining Student Program is a special allocation of funds to subsidize faculty-student interaction outside the classroom. To request reimbursement, please attach original itemized receipts, the departmental charge number and a secondary approval signature on a Payment Request Form and submit to Accounts Payable for processing. You may also use the Carleton VISA Purchasing Card to charge expenses and account for them as you normally would in CCER.

Survey Participant Payments

All human subject research conducted at Carleton must follow the Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidelines. De minimus remuneration may be disbursed to survey participants. 

The following remuneration options are available in order of preference:

  • Tangible items of small value (i.e. t-shirts, pens, coffee mugs, key chains etc.).
  • Direct payment to non-profit organization associated with the underlying research activity
  • Payments through third party providers such as Qualtrics, Mechanical Turk, Gorilla etc.
  • Amazon e-gift certificate purchased through the Carleton Amazon Prime account
  • Cash advance to Carleton faculty member supporting underlying research (including comps). Participant payments are limited to $25/participant and total cash advance MUST be requested from the Business Office TWO WEEKS in advance. The Business Office will order supporting cash denominations (i.e. $200 in $5’s) from the bank for pick up at the Business Office. Full accounting for all cash distributions is required within 60 days of each cash advance.

Supporting documentation must include business purpose and evidence of participant receipt.

Other Gifts & Prizes

Gifts on Behalf of the College

Departments may use departmental funds for a modest reception to recognize an employee who is retiring or leaving the College.  Gifts are considered a personal expense.

Length of service gifts and awards are centrally coordinated by Human Resources and College Relations.

Gift Certificates and Gift Cards no matter how small their value are considered income by the IRS, and should be avoided.

A Prize recognizes performance as part of a judged competition, e.g. best design, highest score, academic achievement, etc. or winnings from a raffle or drawing.  Prizes are taxable (IRS Form 1099-MISC).

Sales Tax

Carleton College is a non-profit educational institution exempt from Minnesota sales tax on the purchase of goods and services in Minnesota.  However, the College is not exempt from sales taxes on hotel or restaurant purchases.  The College will not reimburse departments or individuals for sales tax paid on the purchase of goods or services.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has assigned a new Minnesota Tax Identification Number 9008717 to Carleton College for use when making exempt purchases. Carleton is exempt from sales tax on purchases pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 297A.70, Subdivision 2.  

MN Certificate of Exemption Form ST3

Honorarium & Prizes 

Departments may request an honorarium payment for a guest speaker or presenter supporting an educational program, project or event.  Honorarium payments are subject to tax and reported to a domestic recipient on IRS Form 1099-MISC.  Honorariums paid to an International Visitor may be subject to mandatory tax withholding. Departments requesting payment to an international visitor should contact the Business Office in advance of the event to ensure the necessary tax documentation has been received.

 Periodically a speaker who has been extended an honorarium will request that we direct the payment to another charity. Redirecting their honorarium must be elected in advance of services with agreement to waive compensation. This arrangement will avoid tax reporting, and relinquish their rights to a charitable tax deduction.  Use the Waiver of Payment Form to coordinate the request for donation

 To facilitate an Honorarium payment for a new payee, please complete the New Vendor Set-Up Forms.

Payment for Services of an Independent Contractor or Consultant

Periodically services are required for a limited or intermittent period of time through an independent contractor/consultant (any person invited by Carleton to teach, perform, provide a lecture or other service). It is critical that employees consult with Human Resources prior to engaging an individual for services using the Independent Contractor evaluation form. The IC Evaluation Form is an important step in correctly classifying workers and how they should be paid (through Accounts Payable or Payroll). This review is a means to ensure that we have the proper documentation supporting the classification decision. If an independent contractor does not meet specific qualifications, they may need to be hired as an employee.  Please refer to Contracts on the Purchasing website for sample templates to use in arranging services.

If you are hiring a current Carleton employee for additional work, please contact Human Resources to facilitate payment through Payroll.  

All payments for services to independent contractors/consultants must be made directly from Carleton College to ensure compliance with all IRS withholding and reporting requirements. The Independent Contractor Evaluation Form should be submitted to Human Resources before the Payment Request Form and W-9 Forms are sent to Accounts Payable. 

If you have questions about this form consult the Human Resources Department, x7471. The IRS also provides guidance on their web-site: IRS IC/Self Employed Information.

Payment for Services to Foreign Vendors Outside of the United States:

To request a foreign wire payment to a non-U.S. citizen for services performed outside of the United States:

  1. Enter the vendor name and email address on the Vendor Electronic Payment Authorization Request Form to request bank details for wire transfer.
  2. Obtain a completed Foreign Source Statement Form from the vendor indicating services will be performed outside of the United States.
  3. Complete the Foreign Wire Transfer Request Form (be sure to enter the currency amount and type – US, CAD, etc. – in the provided field). 
  4. Email the Foreign Wire Transfer Request Form, corresponding payment documentation, and Foreign Source Statement Form to for review/processing.

For payments to non-U.S. citizens for services performed within the United States, contact Shari Mayer at to review foreign vendor payments before initiating payment. See Foreign National Payments for further information.     

Recruiting & Candidate Visit Expenses

Candidate expenses shall be consistent with employee reimbursement guidelines for transportation, meals, and lodging. Original itemized receipts are required for substantiation and must include names of attendees, relationship to the College, and the business purpose of the meal.

Moving Expenses

Moving Expense Reimbursement

Eligibility for moving expense support is confirmed in a letter of employment. Changes in the Internal Revenue Code, effective January 1, 2018, made all employer-paid and employer-reimbursed relocation expenses taxable as income and subject to federal, state, and FICA tax withholding. Payments for eligible moving expenses will be added to the payroll cycle following approval of submitted receipts. 

Centralized Purchasing


In order to secure and standardize computer hardware and peripherals, Carleton College requires all computer equipment purchases to be coordinated with Information Technologies Services.


In order to ensure building furnishings across campus are consistent in quality and the ambiance of the building is maintained, carpeting, furniture, and wall coverings are purchased through the Facilities Department.  Please reference the Facilities Work Order and/or Facility Change Request.

Fellowships, Scholarships & Travel Grants

Fellowships, scholarships, and awards are generally not reportable under the IRS guidelines, but are considered taxable income.  U.S. Citizens or resident aliens of the United States must report the fellowship as income in the year it is received.  The College will not withhold any amount towards payment of federal, state or local income taxes and will not send a Form 1099 or Form W-2 to you.  It is your responsibility to report the payment on your federal, state or local income tax return and pay all applicable taxes.   Please refer to IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education” for more information. 

Non-Residents (for U.S. tax purposes) will be subject to withholding taxes on payments received.  Non-Resident payments are reported annually to both the individual and the IRS on form 1042-S.  Please contact Shari Mayer at or ext. 4022.

Foreign National Payments

An honorarium may be paid to a foreign national for “usual academic activity or activities.”  These activities include lecturing, teaching, and sharing of knowledge or performance.  An honorarium paid to a foreign national is subject to 30% withholding, unless the person can claim a tax treaty benefit, and the required forms and identification are submitted to the Business Office.  This withholding also applies to a nonresident alien entity.  Travel reimbursements are not subject to withholding.  Please contact Shari Mayer at for assistance.

Political Contribution and/or Lobbying

Carleton College is a 501 (c)(3) corporation.  No political contributions to a political campaign or candidate can be made by a 501 (c)(3) corporation.