Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take for an invoice/request for payment to be paid?

Accounts Payable makes every attempt to pay invoices and requests for payment within three to five business days after the invoice/request has been received. If an invoice/request needs to be paid sooner, Accounts Payable needs to be informed of the date when the payment is needed to ensure the payment will be ready.

I want to charge an invoice/request to a cost object that has ended or expired, can I do this?

If the goods were received or the reimbursement was for a purchase made BEFORE the cost object terminated or expired, the invoice/request will go through the SAP system. If the goods or reimbursement were procured AFTER the termination (term code 3) or expired date, a different cost object must be provided.

While reconciling my detail transaction report, I noticed a charge that wasn’t mine. Do I have to do a journal voucher?

In the event an incorrect charge is made against your cost object, contact Accounts Payable, 617-253-2750, or send an email providing the cost object that was charged in error, the amount and the month the charge appeared on your statement. We will review the charge in question and if a mistake was made in charging your cost object we will remove or correct the charge to the appropriate cost object .

What information is needed on a request for payment for reimbursement?

When submitting a request for payment, we will need the cost object, the general ledger account, the name of the person/vendor to be reimbursed, the original receipts as backup, an explanation of the purchase and an authorized approval signature for the cost object being charged (needs to be in Roles Database). Note that MIT does not reimburse for sales tax since we are tax exempt. Accounts Payable will deduct sales tax from reimbursements. We strongly recommend using our Procurement card as a mechanism of payment to vendors to avoid filling out and processing requests for payment. This saves time and effort.

Learn more through these online training courses:

Electronic Request for Payments (eRFP) >>

Introduction to Accounts Payable Training >>

Can I approve for my own reimbursement?

No. Someone other than the individual getting reimbursed must approve reimbursements. The electronic RFP system automatically checks for invoice approval.

What about reimbursements for dinner/lunch meetings?

Departments are required to substantiate the business purpose of a dinner/lunch meeting expense. VPF requires you to provide us with the following:

  • The purpose of the meeting (i.e., content of discussion);
  • A list of attendees (names or group association);
  • Itemized receipts with requests for payments;
  • The date and location of the meeting, if not self-evident.

If this information is on the request for payment, it speeds up the process and will reduce the need for calls to the departments. Refer to the General Ledger Operations & Reporting Meeting Expense website for further explanation.

What about employee recognition or celebrations?

Employee recognition should be processed under Human Resources “Rewards & Recognition Program.” For further information, please refer to the MIT Rewards & Recognition website. Celebrations such as birthday parties and wedding/baby showers are considered personal and should be funded by contributions from coworkers.

My Administrative Assistant just had a baby, can I send congratulatory flowers?

A department is allowed to use $15 per employee, per year, of general funds for expenses relating to employee morale. Expenses include holiday parties, flowers for sickness or bereavement, equipment or supplies for office sporting or picnic events and other similar items (please use G/L 420318).

I received a parking ticket and my car was towed while I was on MIT business. Can I be reimbursed?

Parking tickets and tow charges are an individual’s responsibility. If you are using your vehicle on MIT business, you are expected to park where you will not incur tickets or tow charges.

I need to find out if a payment has been completed or put a stop payment on an outstanding payment. Who do I call?

Contact Janet Mulstay in the Accounts Payable department, 617-253-1349. If she is unavailable, call the Accounts Payable main number, 617-253-2750, and someone will be able to assist you.

I no longer need a check I requested, should I throw it away?

No. Checks that are no longer needed and have to be voided should be sent to Janet Mulstay in Accounts Payable, which is in NE49-4064. She will credit your cost object once the check has been voided. Since MIT’s check is only valid for 6 months, stale dated checks should also be sent to Janet Mulstay for reissuing. Do not ask for a stop payment on a check that you’ve requested to be voided.

I need a payment today, is this possible?

“Fast checks" are available on an emergency basis only. Whenever possible, you should try to plan ahead to ensure a payment will be issued by the day you need it. An advance call to the Accounts Payable office is appreciated before coming over for a fast check.

I need to wire funds, is this possible?

Yes. Although MIT’s preferred method of paying vendors is with a check, we can wire funds. Questions regarding wires can be directed to Janet Mulstay, 617-253-1349. We also offer vendors in the U.S. the option of receiving invoice payments through Bank of America Paymode , which electronically deposits payments the next day. This process is initiated every business day in Accounts Payable. To sign up for electronic payments through Bank of America Paymode, vendors should visit the PayMode website and go to “Enroll Today.”

Does MIT reimburse for sales tax?

Generally, no. Be sure to bring MIT's sales tax form to the vendor.

A week ago I sent in an invoice. I see that it is in the system but there is no check number. When will this invoice be paid?

The item is in queue waiting for the payment date. Typically, the payment is released 30 days after the date of service/receipt of goods.

I sent a wire transfer to a vendor to pay for a product. When will I receive the product?

Please contact the vendor (or manufacturer) directly for their estimated date of delivery.

What does the "check" number represent in the detail transaction report (DTR)?

Check numbers, found in the right-hand column of the DTR, provide a tracking number for VPF and the bank.

The first digit of the check number represents the method of payment for each individual transaction.

Check Number/Payment Method:
9 = Paymode (Direct Deposit for vendors within the United States)
8 = ePayables (credit card)
4 = Direct Deposit (Students and Staff only)
3 = Paper Check
1 = Paper Check (fast check)

For specific questions regarding detail transaction reports, please contact accounts-payable@mit.edu or call 617-253-2750.