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Documentation Requirements

The preferred methods for purchasing at Vanderbilt are payments directly to the vendor using Pcard, eProcurement, Requisition or Check Request.  However, when non travel related business expenses are incurred by an individual requests for refunds and/or reimbursement can be submitted to the Disbursement Office via a check request.

Business Purpose

The "business purpose" is the way in which a particular good or service supports the university's mission of education, research, and public service.  This explanation is an essential component of expenditure documentation.  Please do not use acronyms in a business purpose.  The business purpose of your transaction should be provided on the check request form in terms that would be clear to an external reviewer. 

Supporting Documentation – Vendor Payments for Goods/Services

Requests for payments to vendors for goods and/or services via check request should have the original vendor invoice attached.  Faxes and other copies of invoices should not be submitted.  Each vendor invoice requires its own check request form.  Multiple invoices cannot be processed on one form.  Payments to individuals require a complete social security number be provided on the form.  First time payments to vendors should include a completed W-9 or W-8 (if international). 

Vendor invoices should include the following information:
  • Full Legal Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Tax ID Number
  • Invoice Number
  • Invoice Date
  • Detailed description of services/goods
  • Amount Due
  • Currency
  • Method desired for payment (banking information if applicable)

Additional Information Required for Specific Types of Payments to Individuals

  • Honorarium
    • Documentation showing payee’s name, date, event, and business topic such as:
      • a printed program, poster, flyer, or invitation
      • the VU speaker’s agreement (requires signature approval from Purchasing Services)
      • written communications between Vanderbilt and the third party discussing the event
  • Prizes/Awards
    • The recipient’s award letter should be included as support for the payment.
  • Subject Participation
    • The name and description of the study/project 
    • Location – Did this take place here on campus, in Nashville, online, out of the country?
    • Dates of participation  Please be as specific as possible

Supporting Documentation – Reimbursements or Refunds for Business Expenses

Check requests should have original complete back-up documentation attached. The receipt should be an itemized receipt that includes method of payment.  Vanderbilt will reimburse for business expenses purchased with cash, personal credit card, or personal check.  Vanderbilt does not reimburse for purchases made with merchant credits/rewards such as frequent flyer miles or credit vouchers.

If a receipt is lost, contact the provider of the services. Most vendors will be happy to provide a copy of the receipt. Copies of supporting documentation will not be accepted unless the original documentation cannot be obtained. 

Required Information:

  • Reimbursement of a Non travel related Business Expense – Goods only
    • Original cash register or credit card receipts for any expense over $75.00
  • Business Meal/Entertainment
    • Date
    • Place
    • Full names of the persons who took part
    • Nature and duration of the business discussion or activity (if not otherwise apparent)
    • Business purpose for the expense or the business benefit gained or expected to be gained.
    • Itemized receipt for all meals greater than $75

**If alcohol is included it must be charged to an “Entertainment” GL account number.

  • Undergraduate Stipends (Post Doc/Graduate Stipends processed by HR/Payroll)
    • Award letter to student receiving stipend
  • Subject Participation (processed as reimbursement for cash or gift cards already distributed) 
    This information is needed for each recipient:
    • Full legal name
    • Social Security Number
    • Address
    • Citizenship
    • Description/Explanation for payment, gift, award
    • Amount of payment received
    • The name and description of the study/project 
    • Location – Did this take place here on campus, in Nashville, online, out of the country?
    • Dates of participation  Please be as specific as possible
  • Gifts, Awards, Prizes(processed as reimbursement for cash or gift cards already distributed) 
    This information is needed for each recipient:
    • Full Legal Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Address
    • Citizenship
    • Description/Explanation for payment, gift, award
    • Amount of Award/Prize/Gift

For non-cash prizes to Vanderbilt employees, a taxable fringe reporting form (link to form on HR website) must be completed for each recipient and attached to the check request form.

Please visit http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/toolbox/TaxableGifts.php for complete reporting information.