Accounts Payable Procedures


  • Each payment request must be approved and coded.  Every non-invoice must be accompanied by a payment request form and all applicable fields must be populated. 

  • Only electronic submissions will be accepted.  It is expected that original documentation is used to create the electronic version and should be kept for no less than 18 months. 

  • Invoices are to be billed to Southern Methodist University; third party invoices will not be paid with University funds.

  • Appropriate approvals must be present for any and all requests for payment.  DocuSign is now an acceptable way to electronically approve a request. 

  • Signatures must be accompanied by a legibly printed name to be processed.

  • Payment requests must have back up documentation that confirms the requested payment is a liability of the University.

  • The Payment Request form is used only when an invoice is not available. This includes registration fees, order forms, honorariums, subscriptions, reimbursements, student stipends, etc. Proper documentation must be attached.

  • Payments will not be made from statements that list past due invoices; invoices are required.

  • Payment of the full approved invoice amount will be made.  Short payments are not permitted.  A credit memo or rebill will be required to pay an amount other than the invoice amount.


  • All contracts must be approved by an individual who has been granted signature authority.  All contracts should also be authorized and stored by our Contract Administration department.

  • Any purchase over $5000 must be covered by a properly executed contract and/or purchase order.

  • The President must approve all donations.

  • Gifts to friends of the University must be approved by the President, Vice President, Dean or Athletic Director and reviewed by the Tax Department to ensure appropriate tax treatment.

  • All capital acquisitions and charges to account number 82XX must be approved by Asset Management.

  • All charges to a "G" project number must have Grants and Contracts approval before payment can be made.

  • The Tax Department must approve all payments for relocation.

  • The President, Vice President, Dean, or Athletic Director must approve floral arrangements and sympathy cards.

  • Payments or reimbursement of memberships and dues must be approved by the President, Vice President, Dean, or Athletic Director.   Social memberships require review by the Tax Department.

  • The Risk Management Department must approve the use of all transportation companies prior to use and payment.

Tax Considerations:

  • Southern Methodist University is a Non-Profit Educational Institution and exempt from Texas Sales and Use Tax for supply purchases pursuant to the exempt purpose of the University.

  • Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificates should be completed and submitted for in-state hotel accommodations.

  • All entertainment expense including business meals must have a detailed receipt showing date of purchase, a list of attendees, and the business purpose for the entertainment purchase must be documented.

  • First time payment requests must have an IRS form number W-9 attached in order to setup the payee in our financial system.

  • The Payroll/Tax Department is responsible for all payments to international persons and foreign entities, ensuring the University is in compliance with tax requirements. For additional information on payments to foreign individuals and entities, refer to the Non-Payroll Payments Flowchart and Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Extra compensation to employees is to be paid by the Payroll Department.

  • Payments to individuals are to be made payable to the legal name, not to a nickname or alias. 

  • Stipend payments are considered financial aid to currently enrolled SMU students, there is no work requirement.

Travel Policies and Procedures:

Please visit the SMU Travel site for more information.  

Moving Expenses:

Please refer to SMU Tax Policy 3.6 regarding payment and tax reporting of relocation expenses.

For procedures regarding household goods moves, please review the Household Goods Moving Services tab found on the SMU Purchasing Questions and Instructions webpage.