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 35 days and all payments will be made in accordance with this policy. Payments to individuals (reimbursements and students) are paid upon receipt.

Payments will be processed directly from Accounts Payable and checks will be mailed to the remit to address indicated on the request; no checks will be sent via interoffice mail. Checks will no longer be available for pickup in the Accounts Payable Office without prior approval from the Accounts Payable Manager. Requests for special checks will be approved only in extenuating or emergency situations, please plan in advance and ensure requests are completed and submitted in a timely manner. Please note, out of date forms or forms with errors or missing documentation will be returned to the requestor for correction before processing can occur, resulting in payment being delayed.

For vendor payments Accounts Payable will only pay from an invoice that is on company letterhead, properly dated and includes a unique invoice number. Statements are not acceptable. Reimbursements and student payments do not require an invoice.


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.