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 and state and federal regulations.

Note: Pick-up check service has been halted; all checks will be mailed by bank until further notice. Email if you need to request an exception to this policy or in the event of other urgent issues.

Processing payments

Accounts Payable processes all payments for the college.

All invoices referencing an approved purchase order (PO) should be emailed to for processing.

To request payment of an invoice that does not have a PO number, complete the Create Supplier Invoice Request task in Workday. The request will be reviewed by Accounts Payable and routed for all necessary approvals before processing for payment.

If you need to request a new payee/supplier, complete the Create Supplier Request task in Workday.

Employee reimbursements for out of pocket expenses are processed via the Create Expense Report task in Workday. Employees can have reimbursements paid via direct deposit into their bank account. Please review this overview of pay management options for directions on how to set up direct deposit for reimbursements in Workday.

If you need to request a refund, reimbursement, award or prize payment for a student, you may do so by using the Create Miscellaneous Payment Request task in Workday. Students signed up for direct deposit in Workday are eligible to have reimbursements promptly deposited into the appropriate bank account as established by the recipient.

The Create Miscellaneous Payment Request functionality also enables one-time, non-reportable payments (refunds or reimbursements) to business entities or individuals who are not RISD employees.

Checks are mailed to the remit-to address on the supplier file. Pick-up check service is not available; all checks are mailed directly from the bank.

Allow 5–7 days for payment processing. Please note that wire requests are processed by the Controller’s Office.

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

Accounts Payable will only issue payments when a Workday request is submitted along with a dated and 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.


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 a one‐time nominal payment made to an individual (not a corporation, business or partnership), who is not an employee, student employee, or a student of the College, for a special and non‐recurring activity or event with a short duration for which a fee is not legally or customarily required and which fixed business price has not been set. The payment 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 ongoing basis.

  • A special lecture
  • Serving as guest speaker at an educational event or other similar function
  • Participating as a guest speaker at outreach events

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.

Please inquire with Director of Academic Administration Peggy Lewis before committing to compensate a non-US citizen payee, in order to ensure that disbursements meet proper requirements.

Honoraria payment process

Upon identifying the honorarium recipient, confirm in Workday that they are set up as a supplier. If the individual to be paid is not in the supplier database, you can add them via the Create a Supplier Request task in Workday. After entering the required information, the request will route to Accounts Payable for approval and completion. The supplier request must be accompanied by an email address so that Accounts Payable can contact the payee and securely obtain the individual’s W-9.

Once the payee is set up as a supplier, the requester submits a Supplier Invoice Request in Workday. An honorarium invoice must be attached to the SIR request.

Independent contractor process

The classification of an individual worker as either an independent contractor or an employee is not a matter of choice; rather, it is determined by a set of legal criteria applied to the specific facts of the relationship between the worker and the employer. Under the law, workers who provide services generally are presumed to be employees, unless clearly established criteria are met.

The consequences of misclassifying an individual worker as an independent contractor when the individual should legally be classified as an employee can be severe, including significant financial damages and penalties, harm to RISD's reputation, and possible individual liability. Likewise, misclassification may preclude the individual from protections and benefits (e.g. Worker’s Compensation) afforded by employment and may subject the individual to additional financial responsibilities.

When engaging the services of an individual worker, the following three principal criteria must all be present to classify the individual as an independent contractor:

  • Freedom from control: in general, the individual worker, and not the employer, determines the means and methods of achieving the desired result, and often the timing and location of the performance of the work, and provides and uses his or her own tools and materials
  • Work outside the usual scope of the employer's business:in general, the nature of the work performed is not something usually performed by the employer’s regular employees
  • Independent trade, occupation, or business:in general, the individual worker has an established business, offers his or her services to the general public, and has multiple client

Independent contractor: Determining payment process

To assure compliance, RISD has implemented the following process for determining whether it is appropriate to retain and pay an individual worker as an independent contractor rather than as an employee, using the following forms. The full process must be completed before the individual is formally retained and begins to perform services.

1. Submit the Checklist for Determination of Independent Contractor Status to Procurement Completed by the Hiring Department or Division
2. Independent Contractor Form filled out for review by Procurement Completed by the Proposed Contractor
3. Formalize the terms using the Independent Contractor Agreement
Issued by the end user to the Contractor, after approval by Procurement
4. End user requests IRS form W-9
Completed by the Contractor for Accounts Payable
5. RI Notice of Designation as an Independent Contractor may be required
RISD end-users must communicate this state requirement to all contractors
  • The hiring manager/department sends the individual providing services the Independent Contractor Form to complete. Concurrently, the hiring manager/department completes the Checklist for Determination of Independent Contractor Status.
  • The hiring manager/department sends the completed checklist and completed Independent Contractor form, including a description of the services that will be performed, to Procurement Services.
  • Procurement Services completes Part III, Section II of the Independent Contractor form, consulting with the hiring manager/department for additional information as needed, and evaluates status as employee.
  • Procurement Services may:
    • Engage Human Resources for a second opinion
    • Confirm independent contractor status, sign form, and work with end user to create an independent contractor agreement. This will define the scope of work and terms.
    • Determine employee status – Procurement Services will work with HR as appropriate
    Individual workers who meet the designation of Independent Contractor are responsible for completing the RI Notice of Designation as Independent Contractor form when payment will exceed $5,000 and the length of service will be 30 continuous days or more.

Independent contractor exceptions

Even when an individual does not pass the test, there are still a few exceptions where the individual may be an Independent Contractor; the following are noted exceptions when they are used on a limited basis:

When hiring:

  • Speakers for a fee
  • Honoraria
  • Musicians, singers, dancers, DJ’s comedians, clowns and other similar entertainment
  • Current employees
  • Current students on RISD payroll

Performer and speaker payment process

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