Frequently Asked Questions


What is the current business mileage rate?      

The business mileage reimbursement rate effective December 20, 2020 is 56 cents per mile to align with the IRS rate. Mileage can be paid a rate lower than the IRS rate, but cannot be prepaid.

Can I request reimbursement for business mileage at less than the current rate?

Yes, you may request reimbursement at any rate up to the current rate. Mileage cannot be prepaid.

Do you take credit cards?

Credit and debit cards may be used to pay student account balances online only, subject to a convenience fee. We are sorry, but are unable to accept credit cards for payments on student accounts in the Business Office. Please refer to the Student Account website for more information.

Is direct deposit faster than a paper check?

AP (reimbursements, travel advances, vendor payments) payments can take a week to process and are paid each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Paper checks are typically available after 3 pm on day they are printed. The College uses “positive pay” which is an electronic file sent to out bank listing all our checks. This file can take 3-5 hours to process through our bank. If a paper check is taken the day it was printed and presented to our bank, PNC, they might not cash it if the electronic file showing it to be a valid check hasn’t uploaded. Since most people deposit checks or cash them somewhere else the timing is rarely an issue. Checks less than $200 can be cashed at the College Bookstore.

Direct deposit (ACH) are sent to our bank electronically with a pay date of the following business day. The funds will appear in the payees bank either same day or 1-2 days later. Large national banks process ACH payments faster than Credit Unions which are often slower. For example, if a payment is made by the College on a Friday, the ACH file is dated for Monday (the next business day). The payee will receive the funds on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesdays, depending on their bank or credit union.

I just found some receipts from last year. Can I still get reimbursed?

Unfortunately, no. Please submit receipts within 90 days of the expenditure or prior to the July cut off date for fiscal year end for reimbursement.

Form W-9 From Everyone: Necessity or Overkill?

This is an excerpt from e-AP News, September 29, 2009, distributed by Mary Schaeffer, a national expert if Accounts Payable best practices and internal controls:

W-9s From Everyone: Necessity or Overkill?

A reader wrote yesterday to ask what I thought about getting a W-9 from every new vendor. His organization was converting to a new system and he thought it would be a good idea to start getting W-9s. You will not be surprised to learn there was some pushback.

If it were up to me, I’d insist on getting one before any POs were issued. Here are just a few of the reasons it is considered a best practice to get a W-9 from every vendor.

1) To ensure what they told you is accurate. Don’t assume that an Inc. after the name means they are incorporated. Usually it does. But is that the legal name? If they should have gotten a 1099 and didn’t because you made an incorrect assessment of their status and it turns out you should have withheld taxes and didn’t, your organization would have to pay a penalty and the taxes that should have been withheld. If you can prove to the IRS that you were doing what you were supposed to do, you would be off the hook— but if you never got a W-9, you might be in a rough spot.

2) Getting a W-9 and running them through the IRS TIN Matching Program will help you uncover errors early and identify fraudulent vendors.

3) Most experts believe corporate reporting is just around the corner. Then you’ll need a W-9 from every vendor—so why not get ahead of the game instead of dealing with an administrative nightmare when it happens.

How long will it take to get my accounts payable check?

Please allow at least one week processing time for check requests and invoices for current vendors. New vendors require additional time to obtain Form W-9 prior to payment. Incomplete account numbers, missing documentation or missing signatures can further delay processing.

Can I be paid a per diem for meals while I’m traveling for College business?

In general the College only reimburses actual expenses (receipts are required) for meals while traveling on College business. Travel funded by the Faculty Development Committee has a separate policy that includes a per diem for meals. Details on this policy are provided by the Provost’s Office.

I didn’t get a copy of my credit card statement in the mail?

College credit card statements are not mailed to the cardholder. Cardholders must go to the PVS Net website, review the transactions, assign the appropriate account numbers, and print the statement to forward to the Business Office.

Do I need to keep all the receipts for my College credit card purchases?

Yes–all original receipts for all purchases made with the College credit card must be submitted with the signed statement monthly.

Can I use my frequent flyer miles for travel on College business and turn in an expense reimbursement for what the College would have paid for a comparable flight?

No. IRS regulations require that we reimburse only actual costs to the traveler. Otherwise, the expense reimbursement would be taxable income to the recipient.

Can you accept copies of receipts for reimbursement? I’d like to keep the originals for my records.

We cannot accept copies of receipts unless original receipts are not available and cannot be obtained. Providing original receipts helps us ensure that reimbursement requests are not submitted multiple times.

Can I just write the social security number on the check request instead of getting a Form W-9?

No. The College is obligated to protect social security numbers and writing these numbers on check requests is not secure. Furthermore, IRS regulations require the College to have a Form W-9 on file for all vendors.

I have a check from a donor. Can you tell me what account to deposit it into? Can you create an account to deposit the check into to benefit my department/project?

All gifts and documentation should be routed to the Development Office. The processing of gifts by Development ensures that the gifts are deposited into the applicable accounts and that the gifts are acknowledged appropriately.

How can I pay charges on my account?

You may pay in person in the Business Office between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

You may also send a check to Business Office, 1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo, MI  49006.

We are sorry, but we do not accept credit cards.