NOTICE: The Finance Policies and Procedures Manual, along with the previous manual, is undergoing changes. These sites are continually updated to reflect changes in business processes. If you cannot find the information you are seeking in these policies, email financecomm@unc.edu for more information.
Policies and Procedures

Policy 704 – Distribution of Checks for Goods and Services

Effective
March 1, 1998
Last Updated
September 1, 2016
Last Reviewed
September 1, 2016
Responsible University Officer
Director of Systems and Operations
Responsible Unit
Systems and Operations

Policy Statement

University checks are mailed via US Mail to the Payee at the address indicated on the voucher request. All checks are released the next business day from the date printed.

Reason for Policy

As the University generates a large volume of checks, proper review of information is necessary to safeguard against potential check fraud. This policy is established to allow for review of information. Suspicious checks will be scrutinized and decisions rendering a "pay" or "no-pay". The process requires an overnight update to the outstanding check file, thus the next day distribution.

Checks are managed via US Mail, as another method of reducing the potential for check fraud.

Exclusions

Checks for stipends, emergency student loans, awards, legal fees, cash advances, petty cash, insurance premiums, utilities, rent, postage, H1B visas, performances/speakers and lecturers may be requested to be held for pick up, by the Department.

Special Situations

If a check has been issued and no payment is due to the Payee, checks may be returned to Disbursement Services. The check will be voided and the funds returned to the account. A check issued but never delivered to the Payee will fall under the State policy for Escheat. After a prescribed amount of time has elapsed, these funds will not be returned to the account but sent to the Office of the State Treasurer, where the Payee may claim such payment (www.nctreasurer.com).

Procedures

  • 704.1 – Distributing Checks

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I discover a check was mailed to an incorrect address?
A: Contact Disbursement Services via email. Checks marked ‘undeliverable’ are returned by the US Postal Service and logged. Disbursement Services will contact the document creator to confirm the address, request a correct address to forward or hold for pick up by the Department, if requested.

Q: Whom do I contact if a vendor wants to know if a check has cleared?
A: Contact Accounting Services. If a Department advises that a check has not been received, the next process is a Stop Payment/Reissue. Those requests may also directed to Accounting Services, 10 business days from the payment date. Disbursement Services will then be notified to reissue.

Q: What information appears on the check to help the vendor/payee identify the purpose of the payment?
A: The vendor invoice number and date appear on the check stub. Payments to an individual include the payment voucher number beginning with a 5, and a brief description of the payment. Travel reimbursements will include the T# and trip date in the invoice number field.

Q: Wouldn’t it save the University money if all checks were returned via campus mail to the department instead of mailing them via US Mail?
A: Returning checks to a department is considered an audit risk and a violation of established internal control procedures. Checks requested to be sent back to a department will have the option to hold for pick up, request of Disbursement Services to mail with the supporting documentation or simply send via US Mail. The cost of mailing checks is nominal compared to the costs/delays incurred to stop payment on lost checks and reissue them.

Q: Can I receive a Cash Advance or Petty Cash as a direct deposit?

A: Cash Advances must be paid to a Payee’s residence unless that individual is not home and/or out of the Country. A Cash Advance may not be paid to a Campus Box location either. A Petty Cash reimbursement can be addressed to the payee’s home or held for pickup.

Q: Can we send checks to Foreign Vendors?

A: Foreign Vendors must be paid via Wire Transfers to mitigate the potential for lost checks and check fraud. If a Vendor has an established domestic bank account, payment may also be rendered as an ACH. Checks paid to foreign vendors will require the document creator to pick up the check and to take responsibility to ensure proper delivery.

Q: Why did the vendor receive two separate checks for one invoice?
A: The department which incurred the expense split-funded (used both a State-appropriated account and a non-State account) the payment. The University has funds on deposit with the State Treasurer of North Carolina (appropriated by the General Assembly) and the Bank of America (non-State funds). Because each has a separate bank account number separate checks are generated.

Related Data

NC Department of State Treasurer Positive Pay Program
NC Department of the State Treasurer Unclaimed Property

Contacts

SUBJECT CONTACT TELEPHONE FAX E-MAIL
Check Distribution Systems and Operations 919-843-5098 919-962-2356 disbursements_team@unc.edu

History

Revised:
September 1, 2016: Overall update
October 1, 2014: Updated information about campus vouchers and check information in the FAQ section.
June 24, 2010
July 27, 2007
December 28, 2004