How do I get a document notarized? Does your office have any notary
A. If you have a University business documents
that requires a notary signature or have questions regarding notarization,
contact 206-281-2518 and make an appointment. Notarizations will need to take place prior to 2 pm on the day of your appointment. The notary assistance is not for personal
documents, only for items pertaining to the University.
Do contracts have to be approved by the Finance Office?
A. All University contracts are required to be
approved by the Finance Office prior to finalizing. If you have
contracts that need to be reviewed or approved, please forward them
to Jordana Ross in the Finance Office on the third floor of Weter
Hall. For departmental approval, department representatives should
sign the contract and have Craig Kispert initial it. For University
approval, please ensure the typed name for the University approval
reads: Craig G. Kispert, Associate Vice President of Business and Finance.
All contracts involving the University need to be approved by Craig
Kispert unless another process has been established in advance.
If you have any completed contracts that have not been reviewed
by Craig Kispert, please send them to Jordana Ross. If you have
questions regarding contract approval, please contact Jordana Ross
do I get information about University liability insurance?
A. All University liability insurance questions
should be directed to Jordana Ross in the Finance Office at 206-281-2461.
Please contact Jordana if you need to get information about coverage,
order a certificate of insurance, file a claim that involves a University
vehicle, or ask a general liability question. All reports of incidents
(accidents, injuries, etc.) involving University owned vehicles
or occurring on University owned property should be directed first
to the Office of Safety and Security at 206-281-2922.
do I get a Procurement Card?
A. Contact the payments
lead in the Payments Department to request an application
for a Procurement Card. Once she receives your completed application,
she submits a request for a card. Then, when she has received your
card, she will contact you about the next Procurement Card training
session. At the training session you will receive your card to use.
are the Procurement Card training sessions?
A. There is one Procurement Card training session
each month, and it is usually scheduled toward the beginning of
the month. Once your card is received in the Payments Department,
you will be notified so that you may plan to attend the next training
can I get a copy of my Procurement Card statement?
A. The Payments Department does not receive copies
of Procurement Card statements. In order to receive a copy of your
statement, you must call Bank of America Customer Service at 1-888-449-2273.
They will be able to send you a new statement.
should I contact regarding bid information?
A. Contact the payments
lead in the Payments Department. She can help you find vendors
to include on your bid list, as well as help you create bid letters.
is the current state and local sales tax rate?
A. Seattle sales tax rate is 9.5%
we pay tax on online subscriptions and/or services?
A. No, not at this time, but it’s being reviewed
by the State of Washington.
Business Expense & Reimbursement Questions:
is a business expense?
A. Any expense that is directly related or associated
with the active conduct of University business. This is a simple
definition that fits most categories of expenses except entertainment,
which requires greater scrutiny.
is a business entertainment expense?
A. According to the IRS, for entertainment to be
directly related to the active conduct of a business there must
be a general expectation of deriving a business benefit. That means
that the active conduct of business is the primary purpose of the
activity. An example would be an area planning meeting that is held
over lunch; staff working through dinner to complete a project within
deadlines, and dinner is provided; prospective donors being entertained;
or a University function where refreshments are served.
is not a business entertainment expense?
A. An activity where business is a secondary aspect
of the activity. An example would be a lunch where a business topic
was discussed for only five minutes of the time. The objective was
lunch not business. Remember that one of the criteria for keeping
the reimbursed amount nontaxable to the employee is a description
of the business purpose of entertainment.
entertainment expenses for spouses reimbursable?
A. Generally no. The IRS considers the presence
of spouses to diminish the business nature of the entertainment
expense; in fact it may jeopardize the purpose altogether, except
when the employee can prove there is a clear business purpose for
the event. Example: a visiting faculty from out of town, traveling
with spouse, where business is conducted over dinner.
is the current mileage rate?
A. 56.5 cents per mile.
commuting miles reimbursable?
A. No. Travel from home to work is never reimbursable.
if I travel from home to a remote job site and then to SPU?
A. The IRS wants to make sure that commute miles
are not included, so they have set up a formula for this situation.
Calculate the mileage from home to site to SPU. Then calculate the
mileage from SPU to site to SPU. The lower mileage calculation is
the amount to be claimed as reimbursable.
if I travel from home to a remote job site then back home?
A. If your home is your primary place of business
then you can report mileage from home to site to home. If not, you
must follow the same steps as in the above example. Calculate the
mileage from home to site to home and compare the mileage from SPU
to site to SPU. Whichever is smaller is the amount to be reimbursed.
I bring a family member along on a business trip?
A. The employee is responsible for excess expenses
incurred due to the addition of a family member: additional room
charges, airline tickets and all meals. The employee is responsible
for excess expenses incurred by traveling as a family.
Is childcare a business expense?
A. Generally no—except when childcare is
offered to all participants at a specific event, such as the faculty
retreat. But if childcare is provided on an ongoing basis at less
than market cost, it becomes a taxable fringe benefit.
gifts to employees a business expense?
A. No. Gifts are considered fringe benefits and
are taxable unless they are deminimus (under $25 per year). In addition,
the University policy on gifts prohibits gifts to employees, unless
given through an established reward and recognition program.
if I exceed the amount per meal limits?
A. There may be some situations that warrant exceeding
the meal limits. The process is to document the situation and seek
your VP’s approval. The limits were established by surveying
local restaurants, classifying them into low, medium and high-end
price ranges. At that point it was discussed what environments are
most appropriate for business entertainment and into what price
range those restaurants fell. Under no circumstances are meal limits
to be exceeded where only SPU employees are present.
is the advantage of using the per diem method?
A. The per diem allowance can be used when traveling
away from home and allows the traveler freedom from collecting receipts.
The employee receives $30 per day (SPU rate) to use on food and
miscellaneous incidentals and only records the date of travel, business
purpose and employees who are traveling. If the employee expects
to spend more than the per diem amount on these items, it is to
their advantage to keep receipts and be reimbursed for actual expenses.
is the difference between the SPU and IRS per diem rates?<
A. The amount of money you would receive and the
amount of time it takes to fill out the Request for Reimbursement.
The SPU per diem rate of $30 per day is the lowest of the IRS rates
but can be used without taking the time to look up the exact location
and rate allowed by the IRS. It takes less time and it may be the
lesser money choice. The IRS per diem is determined by city and
state and may go as high as $50 per day. This takes more work and
it may be the greater money option.
I go to a conference where some, but not all, of the meals are provided,
can I use the per diem option?
A. To use the per diem option, the per diem amount
would have to be prorated for the portion of the day not covered
by the conference. This becomes complicated and reduces an already
low amount. It may be easier in those cases to request reimbursement
on actual expenditures.
are so many signatures required on Requests for Reimbursement?
A. The employee signature attests to the accuracy
of the reimbursement. The supervisor signature attests to the appropriateness
of the expenses to the program and budget. The controller signs
because this is a major area of scrutiny by the IRS. In order to
protect staff from being taxed on the reimbursements, greater scrutiny
do I have to attach receipts?
A. The University requirement of original receipts
is similar to our requirement of original invoices. This eliminates
the chance of a payment duplication error and ensures that we only
pay once for any expense. In addition, the presence of original
receipts shows the IRS that the University is meeting its obligation
to reduce the likelihood of an employee seeking reimbursement twice.
(This protects our employees by removing IRS suspicion.)
do I do if I am unsure of the correct account code to use?
A. Call the PD for assistance and an explanation
of how the account codes are organized. You can also access the
online Chart of Accounts. The Ctrl+F feature allows you to search
the accounts by description.
do I do if I have lost/misplaced my receipts or invoice?
A. Vendors can send a copy of the invoice upon
request. It should be documented that the original invoice has been
lost/misplaced. With requests for reimbursement, it is difficult
to document expenditures without the receipts. If you know what
was spent and the amounts were under $50, the PD can process the
request for reimbursement. If the amounts are over $50, a memo to
the area VP is required, explaining the loss and requesting reimbursement.
The area VP must approve this before the PD can begin processing
When are timesheets due?
A. You can access the Staff Payroll Schedule online
or pick up a copy of the schedule from the Finance Office on the
third floor of Weter.
Where can I find my leave balance or latest pay stub information?
A. Log into the Banner Information System. From
the Main Menu, click on the Employee Menu. Here you can access a
variety of Payroll options, including “Benefit Information,”
“Pay Information” and “Time Off Information.”
Where can I get a blank timesheet?
A. Staff timesheets are available for pickup either from the payroll counter or from the "forms" rack located just outside the Finance Office entrance.
What if I don't have access to a timesheet?
A. Please make sure you have completed the Work
Referral and the
I-9 Employment Verification Form.
What if I can’t submit my timesheet?
A. Make sure the Tuesday deadline of 12:00 noon has not
passed. If it has, you will need to contact your supervisor to submit
the timesheet for you and to make any necessary changes before approving it.
If it is before the deadline, please make sure you have selected
the appropriate pay period by going back to the “Position
Selection” page. If you do not see the correct pay period
dates, use the arrow at the end of the “timesheet period" box
to access the drop-down list of dates to choose from.
What if I can’t enter hours on my timesheet?
A. Look at the bottom/left of your timesheet page. If
"Submitted for Approval By" has a name next to it, your timesheet has already been submitted. Contact
your supervisor and request that they use the “Return for Correction ” option to allow you to complete your timesheet. You will need to resubmit your timesheet once all your hours have been recorded.
Student Supervisor Questions:
What if I don’t see all my students listed?
A. Change the “transaction status”
field and see if you find who you are looking for. Transaction status
- Not Started – The student did not start the timesheet.
- In Progress – The student did not submit the timesheet prior to 12:00 noon deadline (please submit it to yourself).
- Pending – The timesheet is ready to approve.
- Approved – The timesheet has been approved.
- Completed – Payroll has processed the timesheet.
- Error – The timesheet has an error. If the timesheet is correct, please submit it as is. If you have problems, please call Payroll.
- Return for Corrections – The timesheet was returned to the student by a supervisor or possibly Payroll
- All (except Not Started) – This does not include timesheets in error or returned for correction.
Q. What if I can’t approve my student’s timesheet?
A. Make sure the timesheet has been submitted.
Q. What if I don’t see the option to submit the timesheet to myself?
A. The submit options is not available until after the Tuesday 12:00 noon student deadline.