Finance Frequently Asked Questions

Payroll

  1. What paperwork is required to enter new hires into the payroll system (PennWorks)?

    Required paperwork for "US Citizen" new hires includes the signed offer/appointment letter, W-4, I-9 (TALX) and associated documentation, Employee Information Form and Voluntary Self-Identification Form.

    Information on required paperwork for "Foreign National" new hires can be found via the Comptroller's Tax Office website:  http://www.finance.upenn.edu/comptroller/tax/foreignforms.shtml  Please include the signed offer/appointment letter with the packet of forms and associated documentation.

    Visit the SAS Finance Payroll website for information on I-9 (TALX), the forms library and routing of forms. 

  2. What paperwork is required to enter work study/student workers into the payroll system (PennWorks)?

    Required paperwork for students who are "US Citizens" and qualify for Work-Study includes the Student Employment Management System (SEMS) Job Appointment Form, W-4, I-9 (TALX) and associated documentation, Employee Information Form and Voluntary Self-Identification Form.

    Information on required paperwork for students who are "Foreign National" and qualify for Work-Study can be found via the Comptroller's Tax Office website:  http://www.finance.upenn.edu/comptroller/tax/foreignforms.shtml  Please include the SEMS Job Appointment Form with the packet of forms and associated documentation.

    Student workers who do not qualify for work study are to complete the same forms as Work-Study; however, their forms/documentation packet should include a signed offer/appointment letter from their supervisor instead of the SEMS Job Appointment Form.

    Visit the SAS Finance Payroll website for information on I-9 (TALX), the forms library and routing of forms.

    A STUDENT CANNOT BEGIN WORKING UNTIL ALL REQUIRED PAPERWORK IS COMPLETED AND A PAYROLL RECORD HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED IN THE PAYROLL SYSTEM (PENNWORKS).

    For more information on student employment, visit the SEMS website:   http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/seo/?page=home 

  3. What is the policy for employing SAS graduate students?

    The policy for employing SAS graduate students is established by the Associate Dean of the SAS Graduate Division.  Refer to the policy by clicking on the following link:    https://oni.sas.upenn.edu/fas-test/sites/oni.sas.upenn.edu.fas-test/files/SAS%20Graduate%20Student%20Employment%20Policy%2012-14-09.pdf

  4. Where do I find the payroll deadlines for weekly and monthly employees?

    Payroll deadlines for weekly and monthly employees are located on the Comptroller's Payroll Calendar website:  http://www.finance.upenn.edu/comptroller/accounting/closingsch/payroll/

  5. How do I apply for direct deposit?

    All employees should enroll for direct deposit via the on-line direct deposit feature now available at the U@Penn portal http://medley.isc-seo.upenn.edu/penn_portal/u@penn.php. Go to the Payroll and Tax section, click on Update Direct Deposit, enter your PennKey and password and enter your routing and account information as listed on your check or savings slip. Direct Deposit is more convenient to the employee (there is no need to be at work on payday to receive pay; it eliminates multiple trips to the department Business Office because the person distributing checks is unavailable; it eliminates the possibility of having the check lost, stolen or damaged; it will also eliminate additional fees charged due to lost or stale dated checks). Allow for 2-3 weeks for new accounts or new banks to take effect.  Employees should always stop Direct Deposit BEFORE closing an account at the bank!

  6. To which office should new hire documentation forms be delivered once information is entered into the payroll system (PennWorks)?

    Payroll forms and documentation for both US Citizen AND Foreign/National hires are to be hand-carried to HR Records for processing.  HR Records is located in 527A, 3401 Walnut Street.

  7. When are completed weekly time reporting forms due to the Regional Business Office for payroll processing?

    Completed weekly time reporting forms are due to the Regional Business Office no later than Thursday at 5pm to ensure that the University deadline is met.  Please refer to the SAS Weekly Time Reporting Standards for additional information (also found on the SAS Finance Payroll website):    https://oni.sas.upenn.edu/fas-test/sites/oni.sas.upenn.edu.fas-test/files/SAS%20Weekly%20Time%20Reporting%20Standards%20%209-15-10.pdf

Travel & Entertainment

  1. Under what circumstances is Higher Level Approval (HLA) necessary?

    Answer.

  2. Why is there a 182-day deadline for travel reimbursement submissions?

    Answer

  3. Is it acceptable for spouse/significant other/partner to accompany University employee (faculty, staff) on trips associated with University business?

    Answer

  4. What are the per diem rates and when should they be used?

    Answer

  5. What are the requirements to be reimbursed for foreign travel?

    Answer

  6. Are we required to use AMEX Travel, Premier Travel and Marathon Travel Agencies?

    Answer

  7. What forms are required for a student to be reimbursed for travel expenses?

    Answer

  8. Why must I submit original receipts? What do I do if an original receipt is missing?

    Answer

  9. What forms are necessary to pay an honorarium or travel reimbursement to a foreign-national visitor?

    Answer

Procurement

  1. For what purchases may I use my Purchasing Card?

     

     Please refer to the following link for a comprehensive list of permissible purchasing card purchases:

    http://www.purchasing.upenn.edu/buyinfo/commodity-matrix.php

     

  2. Why must I use Penn-approved vendors to receive reimbursement for supplies?

    For information on Penn's suppliers please see:   http://www.purchasing.upenn.edu/buyinfo/suppliers/.

     

    For a list of approved suppliers please peruse: http://www.purchasing.upenn.edu/buyinfo/suppliers/ben_suppliers.php

  3. Is there a special procedure for purchasing an iphone?

    Answer

  4. What is the proper procedure for purchasing alcohol for an event?

     

    • Alcoholic beverages are unallowable for indirect cost allocation purposes. For all University sponsored events at which alcohol is served, e.g. meetings, conferences, receptions, parties, retirements, fund raisers, etc, the alcohol costs must be considered entertainment and charged to object code 5214.
      • If alcohol is being served at a University sponsored meeting, the alcohol must be charged to entertainment (5214), but the meeting expenses can be charged to University sponsored meetings and conferences (5211).

     

  5. What is the policy for serving alcohol at an event where undergraduate students are present?

     

    Details on serving alcohol at any University event can be found on the following website:

    http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/alcohol/alcoholevent/events.htm

     

     

  6. What is the SAS policy for purchasing furniture?

    Answer

  7. How do I avoid paying out of pocket if I am hosting a department event?

    Answer

  8. What are the responsibilities of a Purchasing Card holder?
    Use the card you have been assigned securely and responsibly for legitimate business requirements with reputable suppliers. Keep your card number safe and process online orders only on secure web sites (preceded with https) to minimize the risks to the University and/or your School/Center. http://www.upenn.edu/computing/security/footprints/index.html#browsing.
      
    • Adhere to Purchasing card policies and procedures (policy 2303)
    • Purchase item in accordance with proper method of payment as indicated in the Commodity Matrix
    • Attend refresher training classes every two years
    • Read and sign the Purchasing Card Agreement every two years
    • Purchasing cards can only be used by the person to whom the card is assigned
    • Obtain detailed receipts for each purchase
    • The cardholder is responsible for resolving any transaction disputes with vendor
    • Cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol, purchase services or for personal purchases.
    • Transaction costs cannot be split to avoid transaction limit
     Procedures
    • Obtain detailed receipt for each transaction
    • Each Friday complete the ‘transaction notes’ section in PaymentNet System; indicate the business purpose for the purchase - detailed explanation of the “why and what’ of the purchase and the COA to which the costs should be charged.
    • By the 15th of each month, print the Statement of Accounts and the Payment Net transaction report from prior month, attach receipts attached, sign and date the report and submit to your transaction approver. Your signature indicates you agree with the charges and transaction.
    • Maintain a copy for your records
     
     

Other

  1. Why can’t I use my faculty research funds as I see fit?

    Answer

  2. What constitutes an Independent Contractor? What are the exceptions, if any?

    Answer

  3. How do I get a Penn Card?

    Answer