Miscellaneous Payment FAQs

Over the past several months, the Controller’s Office and the Workday Program@Brown have collaborated to streamline the process for payments based on departmental feedback. In support of that effort, the miscellaneous payments process will be deployed beginning September 18 to support departments in processing payments to individuals for honoraria/guest speaker payments, visitor travel reimbursements, and more. Below are frequently asked questions: 

Miscellaneous Payment FAQs

1: What is a miscellaneous payee?

A miscellaneous payee is an individual requiring payment from Brown University who does not meet the requirements to become a supplier. 

Miscellaneous payees are typically individuals who are not providing goods or services to the university. Some examples of miscellaneous payees: visiting researcher/scholar, guest speakers, an individual who receives an honorarium, or an individual who receives reimbursement for visitor travel. Students receiving prizes, fellowships, or award payments would also be considered miscellaneous payees. All miscellaneous payees would usually be engaged with Brown University for limited durations.

Suppliers are typically businesses or individuals registered to do business with the university by providing goods or services, and they often require a purchase order if their payments exceed the threshold of $3,000.

2. What is the miscellaneous payment process?

The miscellaneous payment process is a streamlined business process used to pay miscellaneous payees/individuals who are not suppliers. The process routes through all of Brown’s required approvals and is visible in University reporting.

3. Who can request a miscellaneous payment on behalf of my department?

Financial coordinators can initiate a miscellaneous payment on behalf of their department for a miscellaneous payee. Please use “Find Miscellaneous Payee” in Workday to confirm the payee is available for payment. 

4. What if the individual is not yet set up as a miscellaneous payee?

Financial Coordinators may set up a miscellaneous payee by completing the Supplier /Miscellaneous Payee Request process in Workday. The Supplier Management team will review the request and then send registration information to the individual to become a miscellaneous payee. The Financial Coordinator will be notified when the payee has been sent the registration information.

Please review “Find Miscellaneous Payee” to confirm the individual has completed the registration process to initiate payment.

5. What kind of payments would be made through a miscellaneous payment process versus a supplier invoice payment?

The miscellaneous payment is used to issue prizes or awards to students or individuals, reimburse a visitor for travel expenditures or issue an honoraria or guest speaker payment. If you are unsure of what process to use to issue a payment, please click here to view the payment tree.

You can also register for training on Brown University’s payment process here.

6. Will suppliers continue to be paid through supplier invoices?

Yes, if a payment is required for a current or new supplier, the supplier invoice process should be used. 

7. What if the individual I am trying to pay meets the criteria to be a miscellaneous payee but they are already registered as a supplier at Brown or if they meet the criteria of both a miscellaneous payee and a supplier?

Please contact [email protected] for guidance on how to proceed. 

8. Will this process be used to pay Brown’s students their wages?

No, all wage payments will continue to be paid through jobs for students or positions for staff, faculty, and postdocs at the university. 

9. What if an honorarium being paid is to an individual’s company, such as Jane Smith LLC; how should I process the payment? 

If the requested payment is to be issued to a company, such as an LLC,  and not an individual, it should be processed as a supplier invoice payment and the company should provide an invoice. 

10. Should we ask guest speakers if they want to receive payment as a business or individual when determining whether to  use the supplier registration or miscellaneous payments process?

Yes, in order to proceed with the accurate payment process.

11. We have an individual on a PSA. Would we transition them to a miscellaneous payee?

No. A PSA represents a contract between the individual and/or company and Brown University. If a contract (i.e. PSA, contract or purchase order) is required, the individual will be paid as a supplier.

12. Is it possible for an individual to be both a supplier and miscellaneous payee at the same time?

While we are transitioning to the miscellaneous payment process, it is possible for an individual who may have been classified as a supplier in the past to now be a miscellaneous payee. Also, it is possible for someone to be paid as a supplier now and then come back as a miscellaneous payee in the future and vice versa. That's why it is important to understand the type of payment to ensure you use the proper payment process. Since the process is new, there will be a transition period and times where we will need to come together to discuss where the payment belongs. Please contact [email protected] for guidance on how to proceed. 

13. Do the number of payments or total amount paid factor into why someone would be paid as a miscellaneous payee versus supplier? 

If the total amount to be paid (over $3,000) reaches the criteria to require a purchase order, this should be considered in how the payee should be set up. Total number of payments is not a determining factor; however, if Brown University engages the individual in an ongoing project, the engagement should be reviewed to determine payment according to the university's policies. 

14. What if the individual to be paid is located in a foreign country?

Many factors should be considered when issuing payment outside of the US. Please contact [email protected] for guidance. 

15. Why are we doing this? Who benefits from this change?

Everyone benefits because this change will streamline the process for miscellaneous payees. The current Supplier Invoice process is lengthy in order to comply with Brown University policies for paying suppliers. Until now, Brown did not have an option for paying individuals who are not considered suppliers outside of the supplier registration and invoice process. 

The streamlined miscellaneous payee process does not require as much information from the payee and the turnaround time will be limited. This process will also allow for payments to be provided to the payee more quickly.