703 - Policy on Advance Payments for Vendors


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Finance Policy 703 - Policy on Advance Payments for Vendors



The University is required by the State of North Carolina to maintain due diligence in the safeguarding of the University's assets. Making payments prior to receipt of goods and services violates good internal control and places the University's assets at risk.


Policy Statement

Goods and services purchased by the University must be received before payment can be made.


Prepayments increase the risk to the University of loss due to the potential for non-fulfillment or non-performance under the contract. However, prepayment can be allowed under the following conditions:

  1. The vendor will not ship the merchandise until payment is received; i.e. a new subscription to a publication, ordering items from an agency that does not permit billing, the service will not be performed without a deposit.
  2. An item is being custom manufactured for the department and the vendor is the sole supplier of the item. A quote and statement of work must accompany the requisition in addition to the sole source letter.
  3. The vendor requires a deposit for a catering order.

Subscription and membership renewals are advance payments to vendors however they may be submitted on a Campus Voucher if accompanied by either an invoice or renewal notice from the vendor.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My department needs to order 200 pamphlets for my class and the vendor will not ship them without a check. How do I get a check to accompany the order?
A: Create an ePro requisition as a "check with order," and attach a PDF of your order form to the purchase order. Once the check prints, it will be mailed to the vendor along with a copy of the purchase order and your order form.

Q: I need to renew the membership in a professional organization for my dean. Does he need to pay it first and be reimbursed to be in compliance?
A: No, the membership should be paid with the department's P-card. Using the P-card ensures that the membership payment is credited to the correct membership account.

Q: The dean is planning a catered reception for a new faculty member in our department. The caterer requires a deposit and then will bill us after the event for the balance due. How do we obtain a check for the deposit?
A: You must submit an ePro Requisition requesting the amount of the deposit on line 1. Line 2 of the requisition should reflect the estimated balance to be paid after the event. A PDF of the quote/estimate from the vendor showing the details of the order must be attached to the Requisition. If the event is under $5,000 and does not require a contract with signature or a deposit, the department may use their P-card to pay the caterer.

Related Requirements

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures


Contact Information

Policy Contact
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Advance Payments Accounts Payable and Vendor Services 919-843-5098 919-962-2356 accountspayable@unc.edu
Risk Assessment Risk Management Services 919-962-6681 919-962-0227 risk@unc.edu
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Article ID: 131534
Thu 4/8/21 9:11 PM
Mon 1/24/22 1:14 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director, Accounts Payable and Vendor Services
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
09/15/2023 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
09/15/2023 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
11/05/2019 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
09/15/2023 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
04/01/2000 12:00 AM