My funding was approved, now what?

Now that your Student Activity Fee or Diversity and Collaboration funding has been approved, you’re probably wondering how to pay your event expenses. We’ll begin with three important rules:

  • Your allocated funds will not be transferred to an SBAC, Agency fund or any other account. Instead, payments will be made directly to vendors, suppliers, speakers/performers or other service providers, using a variety of different methods, detailed below.
  • Students are not permitted to sign contracts with performers, sound/light companies, photographers, DJs, speakers or any other provider. Please be aware that even verbal agreements can often be binding. Instead, your advisor should handle these types of agreements and sign any contracts on behalf of your group and the university. Contract assistance is available through the Office of Student Engagement.
  • No matter what payment method you use, expense payments take time. A frequent mistake made by student event planners is leaving the matter of paying vendors until the week before the event. Don’t make this mistake! You never know what types of additional documentation may be required or you may need to complete Declining Balance Card Training in order to use a purchasing card for supplies. Always determine your payment strategies and begin the process of collecting invoices and associated documents ASAP.

Be sure to ask questions if you’re confused about what type of payment arrangements to make with a vendor.

Consult with your advisor or contact us at

Making payments isn't always a straightforward process. Start making arrangements ASAP!

Methods of Paying Expenses

The Declining Balance Card Program

The easiest and quickest method of paying event expenses is the Declining Balance Card (DB card). We ask that students use this method to make payments whenever possible.

To become a user of the DB Card program, students must complete a 20-30 minute online training and assessment. For more information about DB card training, contact

Once trained, students are able to submit a funding request related to their SAF or DCF allocation.

The advantages of using the DB card include:

  • Easy payment process at local retailers
  • Ability to purchase supplies and make payments online
  • Decreased paperwork related to making payments
  • No use of students personal funds for event expenses

For more information about the DB card, contact

Paying by Invoice

Many vendors provide an invoice as a means of requesting payment. The administrative office for SAF/DCF will take responsibility for paying any invoices associated with your SAF/DCF funding. Prepare the invoice for payment by writing a complete business purpose, including the event name, on the document (as shown in the example to the right), then turn it in by bringing it to the reception desk in the Office of the Dean of Students, Benson 139.

Payees who have never been paid by WFU or who haven’t been paid in the past year will probably need to submit a W-9 form along with the invoice. You can learn more about W-9 forms in the green sidebar to the right.

Please note that it can take over 45 days for payment of an invoice after we’ve sent it to WFU Financial Services; therefore invoices should be turned in for payment as soon as possible after you receive them.

Elements of an Acceptable Invoice

An acceptable invoice must display the word “INVOICE” somewhere on the document.

In addition, an invoice will typically include elements such as:

  • Business name and address
  • Invoice date
  • Invoice number
  • Details about the service provided or items purchased
  • Service dates
  • Amounts charged for sales tax or other fees, such as shipping
  • Total amount due
  • Payment terms

View a larger example

Should my vendor submit a W-9?
Vendors, performers, or other service providers who have never been paid by WFU, or haven’t been paid in more than a year, may need to complete a federal form known as a W-9. This form is a non-negotiable requirement for a payee to be included in the university’s payment system. It collects information such as:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Business classification for tax purposes
  • Citizenship status of the proprietor
  • Social Security or Employer Identification number of the business or proprietor
If you’re not sure if your vendor needs to complete this form, it’s a good idea to submit one with your check request or invoices. Not doing so could delay your payment. Most vendors are used to providing this information and will quickly comply with your request. In the event the vendor does not, however, you can contact to determine the W-9 status of the vendor.

Requesting Payment by Check

To request payment by check for performers and speakers; vendors providing a written agreement instead of an invoice; or a student or staff member in need of reimbursement, please submit an Expenditure Voucher Form (example and instructions pictured to the right) with appropriate backup documentation, which could include one or more of the following:

  • Contract or other written agreement
  • Email confirmation detailing terms of engagement
  • W-9 form, if needed
  • For reimbursements, original, detailed receipts

Prepare your Expenditure voucher (check request) for payment by filling in all the payment details in the pictured example, including a complete business purpose, then turn it in at the reception desk in the Office of the Dean of Students, Benson 139.

Common questions about using the Expenditure Voucher Form:

Who can be paid through this form?
WFU employees, students and external payees that do not have a standard invoice, such as one-time speakers.

When should I use this form?

  • To request reimbursement for non-travel related expenses, such as event supplies.
  • To submit a request for payment to an outside entity when there is no invoice available, such as speaker fees, performers, contract and honorarium payments.

What should NOT go on this form?

  • Travel and entertainment expense reimbursements
  • Payment requests for which we have an invoice

My event has multiple funding sources, and I’d like to split an expense between several departments. Is it possible to accomplish that using this form?
Yes, the amount can be split between multiple departments by entering budget information for each department on a separate line, indicating the amount to be paid from that budget. Be advised that in this case the form would have to be signed by an approver for each budget listed.

What if my vendor agreement includes delivering a check in person at the time services are rendered?
In this case you’ll need to check “Hold for Pickup” on the Expenditure Voucher. Also include a name and email address for the person who should be contacted when the check is ready. If all required documentation has been provided, AP staff will make the check available by the service date specified in your contract. Checks can be picked up at the Cashier’s Window in Reynolda Hall 107.

How soon should a “hold for pickup” request be submitted?
To pick up a check, you must submit your request, along with W-9 and other documentation, to our office at least 2 weeks prior to your event.

View a larger example

Download an Expenditure Voucher (check request/reimbursement request form) XLS
Download a W-9 (statement of business payment info and tax ID) PDF
Visit the Financial Services website for access to other forms
Payment Documentation Checklist
  • Invoice or Expenditure Voucher Form
  • Business purpose recorded on invoice or Expenditure Voucher, including SAF-funded event name
  • Instructions included for AP staff: Gross up? Hold for pickup? If so, who is the contact?
  • W-9 Form, if needed
  • If Expenditure Voucher, documentation such as signed contract, email detailing terms of agreement, or email confirmation
  • If reimbursement, original receipts, email confirmation, or other proof of payment.


Reimbursements for amounts under $50 are not paid by check. Instead, drop by our office in Benson 139 between 4-5 PM Monday-Thursday to receive budget codes and an approval signature on your Expenditure Voucher. You can then visit the Cashier’s Window in Reynolda Hall 107 to receive a cash reimbursement.

Paying University Groups and Departments

Some groups will need to make event-related payments to university groups and departments such as:

  • University Police
  • Wait Chapel/Brendle Recital Hall
  • Facilities & Campus Services
  • Wake Radio
  • Campus Programs & Services (Barn and Benson)

To charge these these types of expenses to your SAF or DCF funding, the appropriate budget code must be provided to the department when you submit your work orders or reservation requests. Work order assistance is provided by the Office of Student Engagement during your event planning meeting. If your event will need services from the departments and organizations listed above, be sure to include the information on your event registration form and/or discuss with event planning staff so appropriate payment arrangements can be made.

The Benson Copy Center is a special category of on-campus service provider. Groups needing to pay for Copy Center services or materials should do so by using the Declining Balance card. For more information about becoming a trained DB card user, contact

What is “Grossing Up” a payment?

Are you making a payment to an out-of-state performer, DJ, speaker or other entertainment company, such as those providing games and inflatables? The North Carolina Department of Revenue levies a 4% tax on certain types of payments to nonresidents. WFU Financial Services is required to deduct this tax whenever these criteria are met:

  • The vendor has an out of state business address.
  • The single payment amount is over $1500, or a total of $1500 or more will be paid over the course of the year.

Some contracts stipulate that state and local taxes should not be deducted from the payment. If so, we will need to ask Financial Services to “gross up” your payment by increasing the total paid to cover the 4% deduction; however our policy only allows this practice when the vendor’s contract requires it.

Please be aware that additional amounts added to “gross up” your payment will be deducted from your event’s SAF funding. If you’re unsure about the contract wording after you and your advisor have reviewed the terms, it may be advisable to clarify the matter with your payee and/or their agent before requesting a check.

Learn More about the NC 4% Tax