Accounts Payable processes a large volume of personal and employee reimbursements, about 1,700 transactions per month or an average of about 77 per day. This does not include travel reimbursements. Reimbursements present many issues and challenges for the University including:
- The process is paper intensive for both campus departments and central administration and often requires excessive data entry for central administration.
- Often results in a paper check, which adds steps and additional cost related to check production and routing.
- Presents a financial burden to the individual while they wait for their reimbursement to be processed.
- The nature of reimbursements and of their processing limits available data for further analytics.
- The University can’t take advantage of negotiated State of Utah or University contracted pricing when an individual is making the purchase.
- Direct waste of University funds paying State of Utah sales tax, which is nearly always present on these transactions.
With regard to sales tax, remember, it’s a violation of Utah state law for sales tax to be waived at the time of purchase when the payment is not being made using University funds directly.
Moreover, the median amount for these reimbursements in 2013 was $115, meaning that all of these inefficiencies, issues, and challenges are encountered for relatively small dollar amounts. We understand that, in some situations, reimbursements are unavoidable, but a majority of the reimbursements are excellent candidates for payment by PCard or some other direct payment method.
A little over a year ago, Policy 3-010, and the associated Rule R3-010A, were published to address these issues. We encourage you and your department to familiarize yourself with these regulations. Working together and approaching purchases proactively through the preferred methods will go a long way in helping us all be more efficient and compliant in our jobs.