GAP 200.136, Accounts Payable Check Request

  1. General
  2. Items to Acquire/Services to pay for, using the Accounts Payable Check Request
  3. Completing the Accounts Payable Check Request
  4. Approval Process
  5. Payment Terms
  6. Disbursement of Checks
  7. Embargoed and Sanctioned Countries


The Accounts Payable Check Request is used to make many types of payments for services. As detailed in GAP 200.135, Acquisition of Goods and Services Overview, you should first determine the appropriate method to make the payment. If your acquisition does not fit those criteria, then you should review the items below that can be paid using an Accounts Payable Check Request. If the specific item that you are acquiring does not fall within this list, then you must make the acquisition by submitting a Purchase Requisition or Buy@Duke cart to Procurement Services.


The following items can be paid for by submitting an Accounts Payable Check Request:

  • Architects
  • Attorneys
  • Auditors
  • Awards
  • Catering Services
  • Conference Participants
  • Contributions
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Florist
  • Gifts
  • Guest Speakers/Lecturers
  • Honoraria
    • Charitable contribution in lieu of an honorarium payment is not permitted
  • Hotels (group travel only – see GAP 200.027 for required documentation)
  • Insurance
  • Licenses/Certificates for the Corporation
  • Musical or Theater Production Groups
  • Musicians
  • Non-Employee Reimbursement
  • Payments to PDC
  • Performing Artist
  • Petty Cash/Change Fund/Research Fund
  • Play Production Design
  • Postage U.S. Postmaster
  • Referees
  • Royalties
  • Settlement Payments
  • Services provided outside the US where the total cost of the engagement is $10,000 or less
    • Except for services that include patient care or access to patient information
    • Except for services that include access to student information
    • Except for Sponsored agreements that include explicit compliance requirements (reviewed by Sponsored Programs)
    • Federal Contracts (reviewed by Sponsored Programs)
  • Sponsored Programs Sub-Recipient Payments
  • Subscription Renewals
  • Taxes
  • Tuition Assistance/Grant
  • Umpires
  • All other payments for services where the total cost of the engagement is less than $2,500 unless payment is for services involving patient care, access to patient information, printing and design, a temporary staffing agency, a travel agency, or construction.

    Payments to consultants (other than the consultants specifically listed above) where the total project cost is in excess of $2500 must go through the Purchase Order process.

Many of the listed items have links to specific GAPs that detail procedures that must be followed in order to pay for this type of service or product. If paying an individual and the category is not linked to a specific GAP, review GAP 200.134, All Other Payments to Individuals for Services, to ensure that the request is properly processed. If the required paperwork is not submitted with the check request, the payment process will be hindered and it may result in a delay in the issuance of a check.

If it is appropriate to submit an Accounts Payable Check Request, access the electronic version of the check request via the Duke@Work portal, complete and submit electronically.   DUHS has special approval requirements; these are issued by the Health System. Accounts Payable will not process the request without the appropriate approvals.

Tuition payments [outside of the approved tuition plan] issued on behalf of Duke University / Duke University Health System employees are not allowed on Accounts Payable check requests. These payments are processed through Corporate Payroll Services; the payment is issued directly to the employee and the employee can make the payment directly to the institution.


Instructions on completing an electronic check request can be viewed via the Procurement training webpage. These procedures will focus on the areas of the form that need particular attention.

Is the Payee a Duke employee?

  • If yes, the AP check request cannot be used to process the payment.

Special Request for Wire:

  • This box should be selected if the payment is being sent via a wire. If selected, a link to the wire form appears. The wire form should be completed and attached to the request as a sensitive document.

 Business Purpose for Payment:

  • Select the business purposes that best describe the payment. If “other” is selected, a box will appear and a description is required. Attach the appropriate documentation. This may include; a vendor invoice, a copy of a contract, an ICC, and/or other documentation.   All supporting documents attached during workflow will be based on two different document types:  (1) General which is viewable by all and (2) Sensitive with is viewable by a limited number of users.  

Payment Reference Supplied to Payee:

  • This text will be included in the reference line of the check. This field is limited to 23 characters (letters, numbers and spaces).

Line item text for accounting document:

  • This text is visible on the line item report. This field is limited to 50 characters and will populate when the request is saved but can be overwritten by the submitter.

Special Instructions:

  • Include any special instructions for Accounts Payable or for Treasury (e.g. special disbursement (see Section VI for guidelines), request that the check be printed separately and not batched with other invoices).
  • Accounts Payable checks are mailed directly from Wells Fargo. If there is a need to have the check returned for pick-up, selection the business need from the drop down options; the e-mail address of the submitter with auto populate.    

Funding Source:

  • Provide the funding source information for the payment.  
  • The company code must be entered as four digits and select “Enter” to populate the source description.  
  • Use only one type of cost objective per line.
  • Payments can be split funded.


Approvals are tied to the organizational unit of the AP request submitted or the “on-behalf-of” individual if that field is used.

Approvers can see the same view of the request as the submitter.

Approvers cannot change any information. Approvers can:

  • Add comments.
  • Return the AP request to the submitter with questions.
  • Reject the AP request which terminates the workflow.

Approvers will receive e-mail notification to process workflow approval. Emails will be sent from WF-Admin with the name of the vendor included in the subject line and indicate the status of approval. This e-mail is received by approvers at each step for the workflow process. Approvers see an overview of the information contained in the request and a link for accessing their UWL to address the AP request.

In addition:

The University has the following approval requirements:

  • Less than $50,000
    • approval by the local budgetary authority or designee
  • between $50,000 and $249,999
    • approval by local budgetary authority or designee
    • and the University Controller
  • between $250,000 and $999,999
    • approval by local budgetary authority or designee
    • and the University Controller
    • and the Vice President for Finance
  • more than $1,000,000
    • approval by local budgetary authority
    • and the University Controller
    • and the Vice President for Finance
    • and the Executive Vice President

DUHS has special approval requirements; these are issued by DUHS Corporate Finance and Entity Finance Offices.

All gifts must be approved by a Dean, Director or Department Head.

All Contributions over $25 in value must be approved by a Dean or Administrative Officer.

An individual receiving an honorarium cannot direct the payment to another entity as a Charitable Contribution.

All Length of Service awards (retirement gifts) must be approved by a Dean, Director or Department Head. Awards in excess of $400.00 require submission of a Length of Service Award Form for proper tax reporting purposes.

All payments for memberships and dues must be approved by a Dean, Director or Senior Department Administrator.

Ad-hoc approvers can be added into the approval process by pre-defined workflow approvers.


In the normal course of business Duke pays its vendors using net 30 terms. A vendor is defined as an individual or company engaged in a trade or business. This means payment to a vendor will be mailed 30 days from the date of the vendor invoice.

It is recognized that there are times when terms should be different, it may be to Duke's benefit or for another valid business reason. Below we have detailed some types of payments that warrant different terms.

Types of payments that would likely warrant Net 00 terms (pay immediately):

  • Catering
  • Conference Registration
  • Gifts
  • Guest Speakers / Lecturers
  • Honoraria
  • Insurance Payments
  • Musicians
  • Payments with terms defined legally
  • Performing Artists
  • Petty Cash / Change Fund / Research Fund
  • Postage
  • Referees
  • Reimbursement
  • Tuition Grants
  • Umpires


Accounts Payable checks are printed and mailed directly from Wells Fargo. Requests for a different handling must be indicated in the Special Handling section of the Accounts Payable Check Request. The requestor identified on the check request will be notified via e-mail when the check is ready for pickup. Checks are picked up at the American Tobacco Campus (ATC) in Bay 8.  

Special handling of the disbursement will be considered for the following situations:

  • Check must be mailed with supporting documentation (e.g. applications, tax returns, registration, or other required paperwork).
  • Check is to be delivered at the time the service is provided.
  • COD payment.


The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) bans or restricts financial transactions with certain countries. Prior to engaging in any financial transactions with these countries please contact Duke’s Office of Export Controls to determine if the transaction is allowed. Please see their website for a list of the countries.

Duke’s Corporate Accounts Payable Department reviews all payment request to these countries with the Office of Export Controls.