Accounts Payable

Accounts Payable, a department within Procurement Services, strives to provide professional, courteous service to the campus community and college vendors to ensure the timely and accurate processing of payments in compliance with RISD policies, state and federal regulations.

Payment Request

Please complete the Payment Request form and obtain appropriate approvals before submitting to Accounts Payable for processing. If this is a new payee, please attach a completed W-9 to this request. Allow 3-5 days for processing before the expense will appear on your budget.

RISD vendor payment terms are net 30 days and all payments will be made in accordance with this policy. Exceptions can be made for pre-negotiated payment discount programs. Payments to individuals (reimbursements and students) are paid upon receipt.

Accounts Payable processes all payments for the college. Employees and students who have signed up for direct deposit will have reimbursements promptly deposited into the appropriate bank account as set-up by the recipient. Checks will be mailed to the remit-to address indicated on the payment request, and checks will NOT be sent through interoffice mail. Checks picked up in Accounts Payable by a RISD employee should be limited to those circumstances when a check must be hand delivered.
Please note: Forms with errors and/or missing documentation will be delayed while required IRS documentation is requested.
Please note: All wire requests are processed by the Controller’s Office.

Accounts Payable will only issue payments when a payment request form is submitted along with a dated, uniquely numbered, invoice on company letterhead, and when an active W-9 is already on file or is supplied with the payment request. Statements are not acceptable as they are not the equivalent of an invoice.

Reimbursements and student payments do not require a formal invoice. Please see the travel and expense form for applicable reimbursement submission. Student refunds or payments must have, at minimum, a printout of the program description substantiating the payment. Only one description document is required, even if multiple students are being paid under the same program. For any specific assistance, please contact Accounts Payable at


RISD follows the Internal Revenue Service’s definition to determine when an individual is qualified to receive a payment as an honorarium.

Definition: An honorarium is typically a small payment made on a special or non-routine basis to an individual who is not an employee of RISD, to recognize or acknowledge the contribution of gratuitous services to RISD. The payment, if necessary, should be recognized, not as an equivalent value to a professional charge, but as a token of appreciation, and a nominal value assigned to it.

Examples would be a nominal payment to a guest speaker or lecturer as a “thank you” and as a gesture of good will and appreciation, or a token payment for other unique, incidental and infrequent services not traditionally required on an on-going bases.

  • A special lecture
  • Serving as guest speaker at an educational event or other similar function
  • Participating as a guest speaker at outreach events
  • Assistance for set-up or supporting activities at special events

An honorarium differs from a stipend, which is a fixed sum of money paid periodically for services. Reoccurring events that have individuals expecting payment for services would receive a stipend, not an honorarium.

Honorarium payments are made payable to the individual who provided the gratuitous service. RISD does not make charitable contributions to organizations in lieu of an honorarium payment.

An honorarium cannot be used to pay independent contractors, consultants or RISD employees or students.

Honoraria Payment Process

  1. A domestic guest/visiting artist/designer/scholar/performer completes W9.
  2. Department submits Honorarium Payment Form and W9 to Accounts Payable and certifies that performance of services fall within the above definition of an honoraria.

Performer and Speaker Payment Process

For speakers, musicians, singers, dancers, etc. contracts are required for performers in this category. For more information, contact Procurement.