University Policies

Disbursements - Non-Payroll

Administration and Finance
Administration and FInance

Disbursements must be properly authorized for goods or services; properly received and properly invoiced and in compliance with all applicable policies, rules, regulations and laws of the College, the state and the federal government. The same standards shall apply to disbursements, from state or non-state accounts.

 The purposes of this manual are to:

1. Define the requirements for disbursing College funds or causing state funds to be disbursed.
2. Establish the procedures and documentation required for the properly authorized disbursement of state or non-state fund.


1. When the College purchases goods or services, expenditure is recorded and a liability is incurred. This liability is recorded as a voucher payable and covers the following items:

a. Supplies purchase
b. Equipment purchase
c. Employee service (payroll)
d. Non-employee services
e. Student over-payments

2. To clear the liability, cash disbursement is issued via checks:

a. To vendors--goods and services
b. To employees--payroll
c. To students--refund checks

The following section describes how these transactions are processed


The Purchasing Clerks work closely with the Accounts Payable Clerk in the Business Office in processing invoices for payment. The A/P Clerk strives to adhere to the Prompt Payment Legislation requiring all invoices (regardless of funding) to be paid within 28 days of receipt of invoice.
The College expects vendors to send all invoices complete with our Purchase Order Number to the Business Office. In blanket purchase orders where signatures must be obtained prior to the payment of an invoice, the person responsible for authorization is required to comply within one week of the request for signature.
Individual department verifies information between a purchase order and packing slip prior to accepting the goods or services in the PORC screen of Colleague.


Upon notification of an accepted PO from Colleague, and/or authorized signature on an invoice against a blanket PO, the vouchering process may begin. Business Office staff verifies mathematical accuracy and that all necessary approvals are present on Check Request Forms; the entire package is then given to the A/P Clerk for voucher processing. Within the A/P system all vendors are assigned a vendor number, and their Federal Employer Identification Number or Social Security number is entered into the system. All unincorporated businesses receive 1099s at year-end, if applicable.

In order to create a voucher within the A/P module of the Colleague system, the A/P Clerk begins by entering a PO number for all payments referenced by a PO or Blanket number. This brings forward the appropriate information previously entered into the Requisition/Purchasing module. Vendor name and address, account number to be charged as well as description and amount of purchase is automatically backfilled. Any changes to this information are then made and the Voucher is created. The Voucher number automatically assigned by the system is then noted on the supporting documentation.

When the A/P Clerk reviews a payment request for which a purchase order has not been generated or is not required, the A/P Clerk overrides the purchase order requirement and creates a voucher. The vendor number must be entered as well as the necessary detail from the invoice; the account number to be charged is also entered. The system will not allow an expense to be processed above a budgeted limit without override authorization. This authorization is obtained from the AP/Purchasing Manager or CFO. Again, proper approval must still be received from the Purchasing Department indicating a review of departmental authorization and funds availability prior to the A/P Clerk processing any invoices without a purchase order.

Checks are prepared based on the data included in accounts payable twice a week, or on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The process consists of printing an Outstanding Voucher Register for each classification of expenses and ensuring that this amount agrees to the invoices total. These lists are then presented to the Accounts Payable/Purchasing Manager for approval. The next step consists of generating a Cash Disbursement Journal and then printing the checks. The checks are printed on the laser printer through approval of the Accounting Manager via a password in the check printing program. After the checks print satisfactorily, the check register is printed and post to the GL the next time the GL is posted. The Accounts Payable clerk then files the Outstanding Voucher Register, Cash Disbursement Journal and the Check Register in the Business Office. A copy of each check remittance stub is attached to the supporting documentation and is filed alphabetically by fiscal year. The actual checks for vendors are mailed or are available to be picked up at the Business Office. Checks for student refunds are given to the Bursar’s Office for distribution.

All expenditures for grant accounts should be reviewed by the Assistant Comptroller prior to voucher processing.


The procedure for payment of purchases through appropriated funds consists of the following:

3. Individual departments with identified State funds send to the Business Office authorized signatures on invoices acknowledging goods/services received where upon they are stamped with a receipt date. Actual receipt of good and services, packing slips and other correspondence to be attached.

4. Accounts Payable will attach invoices and supporting documentation (packing slips, correspondence, etc.) with identified source of funds. Business Office staff will verify and/or enter on Payment Voucher: Vendor Invoice Number, Vendor Code Appropriations, Subsidiary, Organization and Object Code.

5. The completed Payment Vouchers are then entered into the MMARS system. It is at this time that the Document I.D. number and payment schedule date are assigned for each Payment Voucher. When all of the Payment Vouchers have been properly coded and entered, a Batch Transmittal Form is prepared. A maximum of twenty-five Payment Vouchers are batched and listed by Subsidiary Account starting with the lowest and ending at the highest. Vendor Invoice and sent to Accounting Manager for approval;

6. It is the policy of the Commonwealth that all invoices will be paid in 28 calendar days after:

a.) date services were rendered, goods received or
b.) receipt of invoice, whichever is later.

Invoices should only be paid in less time if there is a financial incentive to do so, (i.e. cash discount). All invoices must be time stamped as soon as they arrive on Commonwealth property and forwarded to the Business Office. It is the stamped date that is used as the invoice date when processing payment. Invoices that are not acceptable must be returned within 15 days from the receipt of the original invoice to the vendor with written reason(s) why an invoice has been rejected and requirements to cure the deficiency. Incorrect invoices should never be held and then negotiated with the vendor. The payment day count will begin again from the beginning when a corrected invoice is received by the department.

7. The copy of Payment Voucher and Vendor invoice are filed in the Business Office until the end of current fiscal year.

When Accounts Payable enters batch into Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS), the system updates data on a daily basis. Each user has direct access to the status of these accounts and can be provided with a current history.

8. In order to ensure the timelines of voucher payments, the Commonwealth’s Bill Paying Policy should be periodically monitored for compliance.


All grant funded expenditures must be processed in accordance with the grant guidelines as outlined in the grants policies and procedures manual on file in the office of the Director of Grants. The Assistant Comptroller will act as fiscal coordinator for all grants funded expenditures. All grant expenditures must therefore be approved by the Assistant Comptroller prior to processing. This will ensure accurate financial reporting. Individual Grant Managers are responsible for expending funds within grant guidelines and for all grant reporting.


A number of different events could occur which result in the Business Office to void a check. The following steps must be completed depending on the circumstances.

Current year - Voiding and reissuing check: Void check as of current date; leave voucher intact EXCEPT if changing address on voucher for replacement check. New check will be reissued on next check run.

Not reissuing check: Void check as of current date; void voucher as of current date.

Prior year closed - Voiding and reissuing check:
Void check as of current date; leave voucher intact, EXCEPT if changing address on voucher for replacement check. New check will be reissued on next check run.

Not reissuing check: Void check as of current date; call computer center and give them voucher # of check that was voided. They will change name of payee on voucher to Worcester State College and call accounts payable to reissue check as of current date to Worcester State College. This relieves accounts payable and outstanding voucher when check is issued.

Bursar’s office enters reissued check as prior year refund.

Prior year--not closed--July, August September
Voiding and not reissuing check:
Before final 901 reporting: Void check and voucher as of June 30th of prior year as year is not officially closed and voucher was posted to prior year A/P.
After final 901 reporting: Void check as of current date; call computer center and they will change name of payee on voucher of voided check to Worcester State College; accounts payable will reissue check as of current date to WSC; Bursar’s office will enter check as a prior year refund. .
Voiding and reissuing check:
Void check as of current date; leave voucher intact EXCEPT if changing address.
New check will be reissued on next check run.
Checks Over One Year Old:

  1. Run list of outstanding checks over one year old twice yearly--December and June. Include Accounts Payable, Student Refund and Payroll Checks in procedure.
  2. Letter is sent to vendor (payee) of checks over one year old and over $10.00.
  3. Appropriate clerk voids checks first as of current date.
  4. Check is reissued to vendor as of current date if appropriate response to letter is received; leave voucher alone EXCEPT if changing address on voucher for replacement check.
  5. Letters that do not receive a response--call computer center and give them voucher numbers of checks to reissued to Commonwealth of Mass; they will change name of payee on voucher to Commonwealth of Mass and call A/P Clerk to reissue checks as of current date to Commonwealth of Mass.