Accounts Payable

Harvard Central Accounts Payable (AP) in the Office of the Controller is responsible for processing of invoices for goods and services for all Harvard University vendors, new vendor set up and maintenance, and payment processes and guidelines. This office acts as a central point of contact for AP related questions.

AP Payment Terms and Methods


Review University Standard Payment Terms on the Accounts Payable website and find answers to specific payment processing questions in the Supplier Payment section of the B2P FAQs.

  • Accounts Payable no longer cuts physical checks; this work is done by a third party vendor. Visit the B2P Blog post on Check Printing Changes.  Where possible, electronic payment methods are preferred over payment by check. 
  • Checks are cut by a third party vendor. You must allow 3 business days from payment date for checks to arrive on campus. Same day checks are no longer available.
  • Physical pickup of checks is strongly discouraged and subject to approval by Accounts Payable
  • Checks are cut on Mondays and Wednesdays based on vendor payment terms (typically Net 30 - 30 days after the invoice date).
    • Payments to individuals always have payment terms set to immediate.  
  • Checks that require enclosures: If a department wants to send additional documentation with a payment, use the Special Handling menu options in Buy2Pay to send the check to the department. The department is then responsible for sending the check with the enclosures to the vendor themselves. 
  • If you need to stop payment, void, reissue, or request a copy of a check, please use the Check Inquiry Form to request these services.
  • Harvard University's Accounts Payable department utilizes the Paymode-X®service offered by Bank of America Merrill Lynch to replace paper checks and other traditional electronic payments
  • It is the vendor’s responsibility to provide and maintain their banking information with Paymode, not AP
  • Vendors who have signed up to receive electronic payment via Paymode have their vendor sites programmed to default to electronic payment
  • Paymode payments are processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays based on vendor payment terms (typically Net 30 - 30 days after the invoice date)
  • Instructions on how to process a wire transfer in Buy2Pay can be found in the Requesting a Wire quick start guide. For more information on wire transfers, please visit the Cash Management Office website.
  • Our wires generate from Western Union (foreign Currency). Please follow these formatting guidelines when filling out the wire form.
  • When processing our Foreign Currency wires, at times, there tends to be a lag when the HOLD  is released although the funds have already been sent out
  • Foreign Wires are processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Payments are made on immediate payment terms, no non-standard check processing forms are necessary
  • To request a foreign wire fill out the Wire Transfer Authorization Form and turn in original documents with signature (no copies) to the AP address on the form
    • Make sure the form is the cover page to your invoice payment
    • The forms and invoices must contain the PR or PO number for payment
    • The PO/PR must have a 10% increase to allow for foreign currency fluctuations. Only actual rates at the time of the wire will be charged.  The remaining amount may appear on the Committed Funds Report but can be closed by sending a request to AP_Customerservice@harvard.edu.
  • Foreign Drafts are processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Payments are made on immediate payment terms, no non-standard check processing forms are necessary
  • Data entered into Buy2Pay such as the business purpose does not get fed into the wire information sent to the bank
  • To request a draft - use the Draft Authorization Form and turn in original documents with signature (no copies) to the AP address on the form
    • Make sure the form is the cover page to your invoice payment
    • The forms and invoices must contain the PR or PO number for payment
    • The PO/PR must have a 10% increase to allow for foreign currency fluctuations. Only actual rates at the time of the wire will be charged.  The remaining amount may appear on the Committed Funds Report but can be closed by sending a request to AP_Customerservice@harvard.edu.

Zelle Electronic Payments for US Individuals

Zelle is an electronic payment method for individuals with a U.S. based bank account. Individuals with a Zelle account with their bank can choose Zelle as their preferred payment method in their Buy2Pay Supplier Portal profile. Zelle direct deposits to individuals are processed on MondaysWednesdays, and Fridays.

Please note: departments cannot specify Zelle on behalf of an individual during the supplier portal registration process. This step must be done by the supplier.

Individuals without a U.S. based bank account are not eligible for Zelle, and should be paid by check. Companies are not eligible for Zelle, but Harvard University offers Paymode-X for electronic payments to companies.

 

B2P specific forms can be found in the B2P AP Forms Library. General AP forms and links can be found on the Financial Administration Office of Treasury Management Links page.

Processing Wire Payments


The Cash Management Office in the Office of Treasury Management is responsible the acceptance of funds via ACH/wire and the initiation of foreign exchange wire or draft payments through B2P.

Wire payments are only made to foreign entities. Wires are not available for payments to domestic suppliers or individuals.
 
Instructions for requesting a foreign currency or US currency wire in B2P, including all wire authorization forms can be found in the Requesting a Wire B2P quick reference guide. Note: you must contact Cash Management with a completed wire request form before completing your wire transaction in B2P. Contact cash_management@harvard.edu for support with initiating a wire request.

Processing payments to international individuals


Buy2Pay accommodates payments to non-residents and is integrated with Harvard’s non-resident tax compliance system, GLACIER. GLACIER is an online tax compliance system, to which foreign nationals receiving payment from Harvard will be given access to and must complete to determine appropriate tax withholding and possible tax treaty eligibility (if applicable).

For more information about processing a payment to a foreign national, please visit the Non-Resident Tax Office.