Accounts Payable

Cupola atop a building on the Molloy University campus

Accounts Payable Policy

Policy Statement:

The University and its Board of Trustees (“Board”) are committed to supporting members of the local community and vendors conducting business with the University. Accounts payable is a type of short-term debt, typically the amount owed by an organization to its suppliers or vendors for goods and services provided, for which payment is not made in advance. The University incurs obligations to suppliers and vendors for the purchase of goods and services used in the ordinary course of business. This policy pertains to payments to vendors only.

The Accounts Payable Department is responsible for the auditing and processing of invoices and payments for the University. The Accounts Payable Department performs the following duties associated with this objective:

  • Invoice receipt - It is the responsibility of each department to submit invoices and payment authorizations in a timely manner so that the University can pay within terms.
  • Ensuring proper approvals and budget availability.
  • Processing payments – check runs are processed weekly.
  • Monitoring vendor credits and outstanding invoices.
  • Managing payment inquiries from vendors and the Molloy community.
  • Document matching and archiving
  • Maintaining master vendor file

The finance office is responsible for implementing the policy.

Who is Affected by this Policy:

This policy affects all employees, student clubs, and independent contractors purchasing goods or services for non-compensation business expenses. It also affects every employee or individual who reviews, approves, or records financial transactions on behalf of the University.


The Molloy University Accounts Payable policy defines an allowable business expense as a necessary, reasonable, and appropriate non-compensation expense incurred for a valid business purpose to fulfill the mission of the University. The policy provides criteria for determining an allowable or unallowable expense and provides examples of common expenses.

This policy also lists substantiation and original receipt elements required to pay allowable business expenses. In general, this policy ensures appropriate use of University funds in support of its mission, follows Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and complies with federal, state, local rules, and regulations.

The University recognizes the necessity and proper role of reasonable and appropriate expenses incurred for business meals, business meetings and business-related travel, to conduct University operations. The University believes and expects that faculty and staff will exercise prudence and good judgment when incurring expenses on the University’s behalf for business activities.

Criteria for determining an allowable expense:

For an invoice to be paid directly by the University or reimbursed to an individual, a business expense must be:

  • Necessary to perform a valid business purpose fulfilling the mission of the University; and
  • Reasonable in that the expense is not extreme or excessive, and reflects a prudent decision to incur the expense; and
  • Appropriate in that the expense is suitable and fitting in the context of the valid business purpose

An expense is necessary if there is a valid business purpose required to fulfill the mission of the University. The primary benefit of a necessary business expense is the University, not the individual. A necessary expense is a minimum purchase or service required to achieve a valid business objective.


Reasonable means the amount that normally would be spent in a specific situation. An expense is considered reasonable if it is not extreme or excessive and reflects a prudent decision and action to incur the expense. The Business Expense Policy does not define precise dollar amounts for what constitutes reasonable, because the reasonableness of an expense depends upon many relevant factors including the business purpose, the context, the source of funds, and the circumstances surrounding the expenditure.


Costs are appropriate if they are suitable or fitting for a particular business purpose. For a cost to be appropriate it is also presumed that there is a valid business purpose, which is normally the responsibility of the department or program to determine.

The following questions should be considered when determining the appropriateness of costs:

  • Could the cost be comfortably defended under public scrutiny?
  • Would you be confident if the expense was selected for audit?
  • Would you be comfortable reading about it in the newspaper?
  • Would you be comfortable explaining to a donor/grantor that their funds were used this way?
  • Has it been adequately documented?
Substantiation and receipts:

“Substantiation” describes the set of written documents that support an incurred business expense. Substantiation consists of the original itemized receipt, notation of business purpose, names of persons in attendance (when applicable), and expense report for the incurred cost. Allowable business expenses must be properly and adequately substantiated to be paid or reimbursed.

Allowable & Unallowable Expenses

  • Allowable Expenses

    Accounts Payable and Purchasing continue to work diligently with our vendors to build working relationships to provide goods and services at negotiated prices with payment terms. Please contact Accounts payable to find an established vendor to meet your needs.

    The list below highlights commonly allowable expenses, but is not intended to identify every allowable business expenses:

    1. Employment Opportunity Posting:

    Position must be budgeted for and approved by Human Resources. The placement of advertising relevant to job opportunities is the responsibility of Human Resources. Human Resources has identified the appropriate media channels to be used for the recruitment of new employees.

    2. Employee Recruitment expenses:

    Meals and other reasonable expenses incurred during the employee recruitment process.

    3. Marketing:

    University branding – work with Public Relations team. The University has a centralized function to maximize efficiency of our marketing budget. Any marketing decisions and expenditures, including print and digital advertising, are to be made by the Public Relations office. 

    Printing and copying – all in house printing orders should be approved by Public Relations and submitted to (  attachment: memo on design printing

    4. Awards:

    Employee participation and/or achievement: It is occasionally permitted to provide modest awards (e.g., shirts, cups, caps) to members of the University in recognition of a service or achievement.

    *Cash or cash equivalent for employees are not permitted under any circumstances to be used for recognition.

    Cash equivalent awards up to and including $75.00 are allowable, only under certain circumstances.

    5. Contributions to outside organizations:

    These are allowable only if they further the mission of the University and must be approved by the Office of Mission.  This includes external recognition of University employees.

    6. Memberships and Licenses:

    Memberships and certain licenses for business purposes may be allowed if they are necessary to fulfill a job description.  Individual’s professional licenses that are required upon hire are not an allowable expense.  University and individual memberships and/or licenses need to be pre-approved by the departmental vice president.

    7. Services purchased and consultant costs:

    Payments may be made to outside individuals for services secured on a contract basis. If the provider is not a member of a firm or otherwise incorporated as a business, refer to the Independent Contractor Policy. An independent contractor is an individual who provides a service to the University under specified terms in a contract and the University pays them directly for their service. Examples include speakers, interpreters, photographers, and performers.

    8. Contracted Services

    A contract is an agreement between parties, creating mutual obligations that are enforceable by law. The basic elements required for the agreement to be a legally enforceable contract are: mutual assent, expressed by a valid offer and acceptance; adequate consideration; capacity; and legality.

    All contracts should be ported through Concord and are required to be reviewed and signed by the Vice President for Finance. There is no dollar threshold for contracts, all contracts must be signed by the VP for Finance.

    9. Subscriptions:

    Corporate AMEX cards can be used for recurring subscription charges. Appropriate publications and journals related to the department and intended to increase business or educational knowledge are appropriate, as are a reasonable number of general interest publications for use in departmental reception areas. The University’s Library has a robust set of subscriptions and should be consulted with prior to entering into a new subscription agreement.

    10. Relocation/Moving Expenses:

    Will be paid directly to the moving company. It is the responsibility of the Human Resources department to coordinate with the new employee to obtain documentation and submit payment authorizations.

  • Unallowable Expenses

    The listing of unallowable business expenses is not intended to be all inclusive, but rather reflects examples of unallowable expenses where University funds are not appropriate. Molloy University is a tax exempt organization and as such should not pay sales tax. Please contact Accounts Payable if you need a tax exempt form:

    1. Gifts to employees and nonemployees:

    Gifts are not allowable except in the cases specifically identified in the Allowable list above. Gifts given on a holiday or other basis to employees, or others are prohibited. Gifts to vendors are prohibited. Gifts to employees from other departments for performance of routine support activities are prohibited.
    • All gifts or flowers sent on behalf of the University for get well wishes, condolences, congratulations, or recognition should be sent from Human Resources for administrative and staff, the Office of Academic Affairs for faculty, the Office of Advancement for donor relations, the Office of Student Affairs for students, and the Office of the President for vice president and Board related affairs.
    • Individual departments may take up a collection of personal funds to send on behalf of their home departments if desired.
    • Gift cards to employees are not allowable. Please refer to IRS guidelines regarding any, and all payments to individuals.

    2. Goods for personal/employee department use:

    These would include such items as individual coffee makers, small appliances, candles, candy, snacks, coffee, and other similar items for employees. Offices that service students and/or donors may have certain needs, however, exceptions must be pre-approved by academic deans, if applicable and departmental vice president.

    3. Social events:

    Cost of office/departmental parties and celebrations for birthdays, engagements, and baby showers are not allowable business expenses. Costs of costumes, props, or favors for University events (ie. President’s BBQ) are not allowable.

    4. Late payment penalties or interest charges:

    Late charges or interest on personal credit cards that have been used to pay University related expenses are not reimbursable.

    5. Parking tickets or traffic violations:

    These are not allowable, even if incurred while conducting University business or while using a university vehicle.

    6. Sales tax:

    The University reserves the right not to reimburse sales tax for a transaction that would have qualified for a sales tax exemption if it had been properly processed through the appropriate University channels.

Accounts Payable Contacts

Donna Ferrara

Accounts Payable Specialist
1100 N. Broadway, Amityville

Patricia Brodersen

Accounts Payable Clerk
Kellenberg Hall, Room 114