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Financial FAQs

Advance FAQs

American Express Corporate Card FAQs

Excavations and International Projects FAQs

General Financial FAQs for Admins

Independent Contractor & Business FAQs

Research Account FAQs

ADVANCE FAQs

Please note that these policies apply to ISAW employees only.  For additional policy information see the NYU's Expense Reimbursement Policy

Click on question to be routed to the answer or scroll down….

What is a travel advance?
What is a cash advance?
What expenses can I include in an advance request?
Can I request a meal per diem in advance of my trip?
Can I request an advance to my American Express Corporate Card (AMEX)?
How do I request an advance?
How early can I request an advance prior to travel?
How long will it take before I receive my advance payments?
What do I need to do after I return from a trip in which I received an advance?
I spent more than the advance I requested. Can I be reimbursed for the extra expenses?
I spent less than the advance I requested. What do I do with the extra funds?

What is a travel advance?
A travel advance is requested funds given to an employee prior to business travel to cover their own individual expenses. You can request an advance in cash payable to you in a check or ACH transfer into your bank account and/or your NYU issued American Express Card for travel associated expenses such as pre-paid flights, pre-paid hotels, pre-paid conference fees & expected meals/meal per diems (See meal per diems based on state or country visited, be sure to print and submit with your request). It is recommended that you request a travel advance at least 10 days prior to traveling; this will ensure you receive your advance before travel begins. For examples, click here.

What is a cash advance?
A cash advance is requested funds given to an employee for business related purposes to cover their own individual expenses. You can request an advance in cash payable to you in a check or ACH transfer into your bank account. Cash advances can be used for expenses not payable with your NYU issued American Express Card such as meals/meal per diems, taxis/car services, museum entry fees, etc… It is recommended that you request a cash advance at least 10 days prior to traveling; this will ensure you receive your advance before travel begins. For examples, click here.

Frequent travelers issued an NYU American Express Corporate Card can use them to withdraw cash using their pin number (atm fees incurred can be reimbursed after the conclusion of your trip). This option can come in handy when you don’t have enough time to request a travel advance prior to your trip. This is also a great option when you're in a country that doesn’t accept American Express as payment and you need cash in a hurry.

Note: To employees with Amex Card: Cash advances may not be used for transportation, lodging, conference fees, or other substantial costs that can be paid using the American Express Corporate Card, or can be "prepaid" and invoiced through Accounts Payable. Because of tax implications, cash advances may not be used for service payments of any kind ; this includes honorariums, gifts, prizes, or awards.

What expenses can I include in an advance request?
NYU advances payment for individual expenses including (1) prepaid transportation (flights, trains or bus expenses), (2) lodging and conference fees, (3) expected meals/meal & incidental per diem (See meal per diems based on state or country visited, be sure to print and submit with your request), and  (4) cash advance for unspecified expenses. It is recommended that you request a travel advance at least 10 days prior to traveling; this will ensure you receive your advance before travel begins.

Can I request a meal per diem in advance of my trip?
Yes, a meal & incidental per diem (M&IE) can be requested in advance or after you return from your business trip. To locate the M&IE per diem for the state or country you intend to visit see meal per diems, a printout from the applicable website is required to support using the “per diem” rate.

Note: NYU doesn't allow per diems for lodging (Maximum Lodging Rate) in advance or after travel. You must have receipts for all lodging expenses to be reimbursed.

Can I request an advance to my American Express Corporate Card (AMEX)?
Yes, advances for prepaid transportation (flights, trains or bus expenses), pre-paid lodging expenses, pre-paid conference fees and/or any other travel related expenses purchased using your AMEX can be directly paid  to your AMEX account.  For examples, click here.

How do I request an advance?
To request an advance see the Advances & Reimbursement Guide.

Note: You may only request one (1) advance per trip. All expenses requested in the advance must be requested in the same request.

How early can I request an advance prior to travel?
Cash advances and meal per diem requests should be submitted as far in advance as possible. It is recommended that you request a cash advance at least 10 days prior to traveling; this will ensure you receive your advance before travel begins. Requests received less than 10 days before a trip run the risk of not being approved before travel begins.  

Note: NYU will issue a cash advance or direct deposit no sooner than 10 days prior to your travel departure date regardless of how far in advance you make the request.

How long will it take before I receive my advance payments?
If requesting travel advance for prepaid expenses, either to AMEX or an expense that was paid with a personal credit card or alternate form of payment, NYU will promptly pay the amount. When requesting a cash advance, NYU will pay the amount no earlier than 10 days in advance of the first day of travel.

<p >These rules also apply when the total advance amount requested includes both prepaid travel expenses and cash advances. Each separate category of funds will be disbursed following their own timeline rules.

What do I need to do after I return from a trip in which I received an advance?
Advances must be reconciled within 30 days of the trip's conclusion. For help reconciling an advance, see Requesting Advances & Reimbursements.

I spent more than the advance I requested. Can I be reimbursed for the extra expenses?
Yes, provided you have research funds or budget approval for funds spent you can be reimbursed as long as the expenses are permissible under NYU and ISAW guidelines. For help reconciling an advance, see Requesting Advances & Reimbursements.

Note: All expenses from the same trip should be submitted together – you may not submit the advance reconciliation documents and submit additional expenses from that trip in a later request.

I spent less than the advance I requested. What do I do with the extra funds?
The funds must be returned even if you used your research account and will take another business trip shortly, no exceptions. You will be required to make a check payable to “New York University”. Please note your request number from your reimbursement on the check. Check should be given to Tiffany Wall, Senior Budget Manager in Room 509. For help reconciling an advance see Requesting Advances & Reimbursements.

If you don’t find the answer to your question here, find more information in Requesting Advances & Reimbursements.

Please email the with additional questions.

American Express Corporate Card FAQs

I used my AmEx to pay for a meal that’s being covered by a conference budget. What do I do?
I’m going to be out of town when the AmEx bill is due.  What should I do?
I need to make a non-travel purchase that is business related. Can I use my AmEx?
I purchased a personal item on my AmEx card.  Is that okay?
I need to buy travel for a collaborator on a project.  Can I use my AmEx for that?
I'm traveling with two ISAW employees, three guests and five students and I would prefer we were all booked together on the same flight, can I use my AmEx?

I used my AmEx to pay for a meal that’s being covered by a conference budget. What do I do?
Submit the bill (or print out a record of the charge) and the receipts as you would any other reimbursement, being sure to note the name of the event and use the chartfield corresponding to the budget to which it should be applied.

I’m going to be out of town when the AmEx bill is due. What should I do?
You do not have to wait for the billing period to close in order to pay your account – from your online account, you can print out the charges and submit the receipts at any time.  If you are planning a long vacation or research trip, it is a good idea to submit all current AmEx charges for payment so you do not miss a deadline. Additionally, your AmEx account is now available online (see http://www.nyu.edu/purchasing.services/pdf/AMEXapplication.pdf to register your account). Once you have set up your account online, you can access it and pay the bill from any Internet connection. Note: ISAW administrators do not have direct access to another individual's online account - only the cardholder may access their own account.

AmEx charges a $39 late fee for payments more than 45 days overdue.  Please note that NYU will not reimburse late fees incurred due to cardholder tardiness in submitting receipts.

I need to make a non-travel purchase that is business related. Can I use my AmEx?
Faculty with research accounts should use their AmEx for business expenses whenever possible.  ISAW administrators with AmEx cards should direct purchases of supplies and equipment through the NYU i-Buy system whenever possible.  (If you are an ISAW administrator or staff member and find that your job duties require you to make a number of office supply or equipment purchases that can't be made through i-Buy, speak to the Senior Budget Manager about the possibility of getting a Purchasing Card, which is intended for that purpose.)

Note that payment for professional services (such as editing or drafting services) should be paid directly by ISAW through Accounts Payable. See Paying Independent Contractors & Businesses. Further NYU guidelines on purchasing goods and services may be found here.

I purchased a personal item on my AmEx card. Is that okay?
Yes. However, if such an expense is incurred, you should pay that amount yourself through your online account. If a spouse or non-business travel companion accompanies you on a trip, please make sure you separate out the portion of their expenses (including meals) and pay that amount directly to AmEx.

I need to buy travel for a collaborator on a project. Can I use my AmEx for that?
The corporate AmEx is intended for your individual business expenses.  Collaborator travel should be booked via ISAW’s CTA, which is exclusively for guest travel.  For academic related projects within ISAW see the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs for assistance. For grant, excavation and/or international conferences/meetings, see the Grants and Excavation Logistics Manager for assistance.

If a collaborator can not book their travel through ISAW, reimbursement can be made after the trip by having the collaborator submit an invoice including travel expenses and appropriate documentation.

Can I book travel for a group all at one time on my AmEx?
The AmEx is set up to cover only the cardholder's expenses. However, when traveling with a group the CTA can be used to purchase tickets. Email the Grants and Excavation Logistics Manager for assistance.

If you don’t find the information you need here contact the Senior Budget Manager directly for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Excavations and International Projects

Do I need to use NYU Traveler to book my flight for my excavation/international fieldwork?
Who is Global Support and How Can They Help?
When Should I Contact Global Support?

Do I need to use NYU Traveler to book my flight for my excavation/international fieldwork?
NYU Traveler was created to provide the NYU community with tools and services for their travel needs and to help keep them safer. By booking through Egencia, an NYU preferred agency, your travel plans will be automatically registered with the NYU Traveler trip registration tool, which NYU has created to provide you with up-to-the-minute information of potential threats to your safety during your travels, and to enable NYU to get in touch with you to render aid in the event of an emergency.

Per ISAW policy, although it is not required to book with NYU's preferred agency, it is required that travelers register their travel for international fieldwork and excavations through NYU Traveler. One can do so from the NYU Traveler website.

Who is Global Support and How Can They Help?
Global Support assists the NYU Community organize and undertake activities outside of New York by providing a centralized location for administrative resources and a single point of contact for addressing related questions.

NYU Global Support will help you identify important issues relating to your activity, obtain information about these issues, engage the appropriate University administrative departments and functional experts, and address these issues to insure your activity can be carried out in line with your expectations and academic mission.

The University maintains functional experts in a range of administrative areas to provide you with technical advice and guidance. Because there are often changes to local country rules and regulations, these University experts, have relationships with third party local country experts, who they at times seek for advice and guidance. Allowing the University functional experts to remain current on the best local country experts ensures you and the University get the best advice at the best price.

When Should I Contact Global Support?
Conducting a University activity outside of New York, whether it is research, short trips (J-term or spring break), exchange programs or study-away programs, may present obstacles as a result of U.S. or local business practices and/or legal requirements. Countries and local jurisdictions each have their own set of rules and regulations, and it can be challenging, if not impossible, to be knowledgeable and current on the rules and regulations of the many countries and jurisdictions where the University operates.

NYU’s Office of Global Support can be contacted by email or phone at 212-992-5650.

General Financial FAQs For Administrators

What are business expenses?
Where do I find NYU Financial Policies & Procedures?
What are account codes and chartfields?
What are the ISAW Chartfields?
How do I charge expenses to a Federally Sponsored Project?
When does the NYU Fiscal year begin/end?
What are the Quarters in the Fiscal Year?

What are business expenses?
Business expenses are those costs that are incurred for activities that benefit the University and advance its missions of education, research, and public service. Business expenses may take the form of direct payment to individuals or agencies that provide the University with goods or services, or reimbursement to University employees for costs they incur on behalf of the University. Please refer to the NYU Business Expense policy for further information.

Where do I find all NYU Financial Forms?
A comprehensive list of all NYU/IRS forms used by the Controller’s Division may be found here.

Forms commonly used at ISAW, as well as ISAW specific reimbursement, advance, and funding request forms may be found on the Guides and Examples page.

Where do I find NYU Financial Policies & Procedures?
NYU financial policies and guidelines are available for further clarification on all business expenses. Please be advised that these items are updated to comply with various laws and NYU policies. In certain areas ISAW policy may be more restrictive than the general NYU policy. The ISAW community must comply with any current NYU policy.

What are account codes and chartfields?
NYU uses "chartfields" to designate individual accounts and budgets.  Chartfields consist of the following elements:

Account Code (5 numbers) - designates the type of expense. These are consistent across the university.

Fund (2 numbers) - designates the rules under which a budget operates. Most of ISAW’s budgets are 20 or 22 funds; sponsored projects and grants generally have 24 or 25 funds.

Organization (5 numbers) - designates the department or school. ISAW's organization number is 78000 for most accounts, with 78010 used for external grants.

Program/Project (5 letters/numbers each) -- programs and projects designate money for a specific purpose (for example, all faculty research accounts are on project M9438 but each faculty member has their own program number). A chartfield does not have to have a program or project number to be valid – an empty field is indicated by  “WSQPG/WSQPJ” or “XXXXX” or a blank space.

What are the ISAW Chartfields?
Lists of current ISAW chartfields, including all sponsored project accounts and individual faculty research accounts, may be found in Other Resources page.

Note : If you are unsure where an expense should be charged please email the for assistance.

How do I charge expenses to a Federally Sponsored Project?
Business expenses charged to sponsored projects are subject to the terms of that particular grant or contract. To ensure that an unallowable cost is not inadvertently charged directly or indirectly to sponsored funds, consult the terms of the grant or contract before incurring any expense. All expenditures under grants must be authorized by the Project Director or Principal Investigator in advance. Find the policies specific to sponsored programs here.

When does the NYU Fiscal year begin/end?
NYU’s Fiscal Year usually referred to as FY runs from September 1 to August 31.

What are the Quarters in the Fiscal Year?
There are four quarters in every fiscal year. The first quarter (Q1) is 9/1-11/30. The second quarter (Q2) is 12/1-2/28. The third quarter (Q3) is 3/1-5/31. The fourth and final quarter  (Q4) is 6/1-8/31.

Independent Contractor & Business FAQs

How do I request payment to an Independent Contractor?
How do I request payment to a Business?
What constitutes an acceptable invoice?
Are foreign currencies acceptable on invoices?
The invoice requests payment by bank transfer. Is this possible?
Will I have to show proof of receiving the goods/services for the supplier invoice to be paid?
How long will it take a vendor to receive payment?

How do I request payment to an Independent Contractor?
Independent Contractors are defined as individuals who are not employed by NYU, but who will be paid for services provided to NYU. All independent contractors will follow the process of supplier payment through the i-Buy NYU system.

Travel or supply reimbursements should be included on the quote/invoice along with original receipts. Expenses must adhere to NYU financial policies and guidelines, and Federal and/or other sponsor requirements as appropriate. Note: the Missing/Inadequate Documentation Report can only be used by NYU employees.

Before engaging in any business with the supplier, the request must be submitted to the i-Buy NYU system as a requisition.

When submitting a requisition for work to be performed by an Independent Contractor:

  1. Collect consultant’s full contact information and invite them to register as an i-Buy NYU Supplier (if not already registered in the i-BUY system)
  2. Have contractor complete NYU Consultant Agreement and Project Manager (ISAW individual requesting the work) review and approve
  3. Bring the Consultant Agreement to be signed by an ISAW representative per Signature DOA (Delegation of Authority) Policy.
  4. Submit documentation to i-Buy NYU to create a requisition EITHER

 By submitting a Non-Catalog Purchase Order request, attaching the consultant agreement.

OR

 If independent contractor is performing a one-time service only:

Completing Honorarium /Limited Engagement Agreement form and submitting a Honorarium /Limited Engagement payment request form.

For a sample contractor invoice, click here.

How do I request payment to a Business?
All supplier payments that are not made through a purchasing card are submitted and processed through iBuy NYU. Tips and instructions on using the iBuy NYU system can be found on the i-Buy NYU Resource Portal.

When submitting a requisition for work to be performed by a Business:

  1.  Collect business’s full contact information and invite them to register as an i-Buy NYU Supplier (if not already registered in the i-BUY system.
  2. Business provides their own contract outlining the work to be completed

OR

Business completes NYU Consultant Agreement and Project Manager (ISAW individual requesting the work) reviews and approves

  1. Bring the Consultant Agreement / contract to be signed by an ISAW representative per Signature DOA (Delegation of Authority) Policy.
  2. Submit documentation to i-Buy NYU to create a requisition by submitting a Non-Catalog Purchase Order request, attaching the consultant agreement or contract.

What constitutes an acceptable invoice?
Vendor invoices should include:

  • Business Name
  • PO# - If no PO# is listed on the invoice it will not be entered in the system for payment.
  • Mailing Address
  • Federal ID number (US businesses only)
  • The notation “Invoice” (“Pro forma invoice” will not be accepted)
  • Invoice date (note: Accounts Payable will hold any post-dated invoices until the actual invoice date arrives)
  • Due date or the notation “pay on receipt”
  • Itemized list of goods or services provided
  • Total amount requested

No sales tax should be charged. NYU is tax exempt as an educational institution. If sales tax is charged on the invoice, please contact the vendor and ask how to receive tax-exempt status.

For a sample vendor invoice, click here.

Are foreign currencies acceptable on invoices?
Yes. Accounts Payable will convert the total to US dollars when the funds are charged to your account. The vendor will be paid in the currency of the invoice as long as their vendor profile within the iBuy NYU system is set up to receive that currency. Please see the iBuy NYU tip sheet "Requesting Foreign Currency" for more information.

The invoice requests payment by bank transfer. Is this possible?
NYU policy is to pay only international invoices by bank transfer. Please make sure the vendor understands they will only  be paid by bank transfer if their I-Buy NYU supplier profile has that payment preference established before payment is initiated. NYU will cover processing fees charged by a vendor if they are included on the invoice.

Will I have to show proof of receiving the goods/services for the supplier invoice to be paid?
Receipts provide an acknowledgement in i-Buy NYU that the goods/services ordered have been received. A Receipt is required for all purchases exceeding $2,500, and must be made in the iBuy NYU system to the corresponding purchase order. Note: Receipts can be entered at the time that goods or services are received OR after an invoice has been received. i-Buy NYU has been configured to alert the Requestor (via email and system notification) when a Receipt is required. This notification can also be forwarded to a Shopper who can then acknowledge receipt.

See the iBuy NYU tip sheet "Receiving Goods and Services" for instructions and more information.

How long will it take a vendor to receive payment?
NYU pays all invoices based on the terms that have been established contractually with Suppliers.

NYU will issue payment to Independent Contractors (i.e. individuals operating under a Social Security Number) 5 days from the invoice date.

Employee reimbursements and payment to students are issued immediately upon completion of AP review and approval of supporting documentation. The following payment terms apply to all other suppliers:

Wire Transfer: If a Supplier requests payment via wire, NYU will issue payment 5 days from the invoice date.

Credit Card: If a Supplier requests payment via credit card (i.e. ePayables), NYU will issue payment 15 days from the invoice date.

ACH: If a Supplier requests payment via electronic payment method, NYU will issue payment 30 days from the invoice date.

Check: If a Supplier requests payment via a check, NYU will issue payment 60 days from the invoice date.

*To expedite payment to your Suppliers, please encourage the use of ACH. Both new and existing Suppliers can select ACH as a payment method via the i-Buy NYU Supplier Portal.

If the vendor has not received payment after the set payment terms have elapsed, you may email the Administrative Coordinator to check the status of the payment.

Additional resources and helpful links can be found at NYU Financial Resources.

External resources for buying and paying suppliers through NYU can be found on the NYU FinanceLink website here.

If you don't find the information you need here, email the directly for assistance.

Research Account FAQs

What happens to any of my unspent funds?
How do I find out what my balance is?
Can I use my research funds for expenses that I incurred before my appointment began or after it has ended?
Can I be reimbursed for paying my book’s proofreader?

What happens to any of my unspent funds?
Any funds that remain unspent after and funds close for the year (see “When is the last day that a Visiting Research Scholar can use research funds?”) will either be forfeited or rollover depending on your appointment. Scholars who either have a one-year appointment or are in their last year will forfeit any funds that are not spent by the deadline. Scholars who have at least one year remaining in their appointment will have the remainder of the prior year’s research funds roll over to the next year, starting September 1.

How do I find out my balance?
You may request a balance check by emailing the Grants and Excavation Logistics Manager. Scholars and faculty with research funds are strongly encouraged to track their own research expenses in case of discrepancies.

Can I use my research funds for expenses that I incurred before my appointment began or after it has ended?
Research funds can only be used for expenses incurred during your employment at ISAW. If your appointment begins on September 1, you can’t request reimbursement for books purchased prior to September 1. This also applies to the end of your employment; if your employment end date is August 31, you can’t request reimbursement for a trip in September, even if it is for travel related to your research.

Employment end date is defined as your final date in residence at ISAW or the end date in your appointment letter, whichever comes first.

Can I be reimbursed for paying my book’s proofreader?
No. You can only be reimbursed for your individual expenses. If you wish to pay an individual or business for work performed of any kind relating to your research, contact the Grants and Excavation Logistics Manager. NYU will make these payments directly.

Additional resources and helpful links can be found at Websites, Links & Resources and Guides, Examples & Forms.

If you don't find the answer to your question here email the Senior Budget Manager directly for assistance.