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Northern Illinois University
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Accounts Payable
Payment Procedures - General Information
Procedure No. 4-11
Issued 7/2001

The payment procedure is the final step in the procurement process which begins in the Department of Procurement Services. The basic steps in ordering and subsequently paying for merchandise or services are as follows:

  1. A purchase requisition is prepared by the department to order merchandise or services.
  2. The requisition is forwarded to the Accounting Office for availability of funds and to check the appropriate chartfields.
  3. Procurement Services obtains prices by means of quotes either formally or by phone depending upon amount of order, urgency or delivery, etc.
  4. A purchase order is written and the firm obligation is recorded and reverses the requisition obligation if appropriate.
  5. When a vendor invoice has been received by the Accounting Office on orders of $5,000 or less, receiving information is checked in the receiving system. If there is a receiver on a one-time purchase order, the invoice will be entered into the system for payment within the terms of the invoice. A copy of the purchase order is delivered to the department with the goods when goods are received by Central Receiving. If there is a valid reason for withholding payment, the department should notify Accounting before the specified payment date.
  6. If there is no receiver or when the payment is over $5,000, a copy of the invoice will be sent to the department to be approved and returned to Accounting as soon as possible. Accounting and Procurement should be notified immediately when a problem with the order exists.

    When payment is made against an open order, the Payment Authorization stamp should be used by the department and sent to the Accounting Office as authorization to pay.

    When there are damaged goods or merchandise which does not meet specifications, see the procedure for making returns (Procedure 9-10).

  7. Accounting matches the paperwork and either prepares a check locally or submits an invoice-voucher to the State Comptroller.

    Checks will normally be written within the payment terms of the invoice. Checks are mailed directly from the Accounting Office to the payee.


Warrants written by the State Comptrollerís Office will take at least an additional seven working days. Payments over $1,000 from General Revenue funds are paid by state warrant.