Policies

The university's Central Policy Website contains numerous university policies as well as guides and manuals. These documents provide guidance for specific transactions and activities that you may undertake on behalf of the university. Those specific to the function of Accounts Payable include the following:

  • Accounts Payable Payment Method Policy (PDF)
  • Cashier’s Check Approval
    • An authorized individual must sign the Payment Request Form in the “Approved For Payment” section and type/print their name and email address below the signature.
    • The general rule is that the person who has budgetary responsibility (or their designee) is the authorized signer. Cashier’s checks that will be charged against account strings that include an “E” fund must be countersigned by the Associate Vice President of Financial Operations. The person authorizing the transaction should not be the same as the requestor.
    • The authorizing signature is attesting that: 1) The tax ID is correct; 2) The payee name and address are correct; 3) The approving individual is empowered to approve the Payment Request Form; 4) The obligation is legitimate, and has been incurred in accordance with university policy; 5) The payment amount is accurate; 6) The accounting code combination is accurate; and 7) the person or entity to be paid, if overseas, does not appear on any U.S. Government lists barring transactions with such persons or entities.*
    • *For questions, please contact the Office of the Senior Vice President and General Counsel and refer to A Brief Primer on Doing Business Abroad: U.S. Laws that Affect GW’s International Activities, the Export Control Policy, and the policy regarding Compliance with U.S. Laws When Conducting University Activities Overseas.
  • Procedures
    • The following procedures have been established to ensure accurate and timely payment of a properly authorized and documented cashier’s check that complies with U.S. immigration and tax regulations. Documentation not meeting the procedures outlined will be returned for corrective action before the request is processed.
    • The department requesting payment by cashier’s check must forward a Payment Request Form along with the appropriate supporting documentation to Accounts Payable. The Payment Request Form must include the following information: 1) The full name and mailing address of the vendor to be paid; 2) U.S. taxpayer identification number (if payment is U.S.-based); 3) the EXACT amount of the payment; and 4) the alias and account information.
    • The supporting documentation must include sufficient information to substantiate the amount of the payment as well as the business purpose, the payee's name, address, and the date and nature of the transaction. Examples of acceptable supporting documentation include an approved invoice or a signed contract. The documentation needs to support the exact amount of the cashier’s check request. Create a spreadsheet if necessary to show how the support adds to the requested amount of the check. An authorized signer must approve the supporting documentation.
    • Accounts Payable will review the request and supporting documentation for appropriate tax documentation. If the payment is made to a non-U.S. citizen or foreign company, the Tax Department will review the payment request to determine the tax withholding and reporting requirements.
  • Worker Classification Policy (PDF)
  • 1099 Tax Reporting and Withholding Policy (PDF)
  • Commercial Invoice Processing Policy (PDF)
  • Check Replacement and Cancellation Policy (PDF)  
    • The university will replace a lost or stolen check after the university has placed a stop payment and receives confirmation from its bank that the original check has not cleared the bank. A check is considered lost or stolen when the payee has not received the check within ten (10) business days from mailing or if the payee has misplaced the check and has not been able to locate the check after a reasonable effort.
    • The university will replace a damaged or stale dated check (except those that have been escheated) once the check has been returned to the university. A check will be considered damaged if the condition of the check has deteriorated to the extent that will preclude a bank from honoring it. A check is considered stale dated if it is over 90 days old.
    • Replacement checks are issued to replace lost or stolen checks after the university has placed a stop payment and receives an electronic confirmation from its bank that the original check has not cleared the bank. In the event that the original check has cleared the university’s bank account, and the payee still disputes receiving the payment, the payee must file the notarized affidavit disputing the receipt of payment.
    • When such disputes arise, the payee should contact the responsible department ( Accounts Payable, if non-employee related, and Payroll, if employee related). The responsible department will contact Treasury Management who will begin the process of obtaining the required affidavit form from the bank and providing it to the payee. The payee is required to complete the form and return per the instructions provided by the bank. Once the bank has credited the university’s account, a replacement check will be issued.
    • Disputes involving a notarized affidavit may involve endorsement issues or counterfeit checks. Endorsement issues it can be honored within three years of the date the check was negotiated, while counterfeit checks issues can be honored for 1 year from the check date.

International Payment Policies

It is important to take time to familiarize yourself with these resources, and incorporate them into your daily activities on behalf of the university. Additional questions may be directed to the Accounts Payable staff or the university's Compliance & Privacy Office (202-994-3386 or comply@gwu.edu). There is also a Regulatory Compliance Help & Referral Line (1-888-508-5275) that can be utilized. This is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week method for reporting suspected violations of laws, regulations, or university policies or for asking questions about the "right thing to do." You may remain anonymous if you wish.