Track a Payment
Columbia Uses a Decentralized Process
Invoices and requests for payments are received at the school, department, or other business units that received the goods and/or services. That school/department then approves the invoice for payment and enters it into the University’s finance system (ARC).
Most vouchers next route to central Accounts Payable where the request for payment is audited. Once a voucher passes the audit and is approved, it is processed for payment via check or direct deposit.
An Approved Vendor/Payee Profile Must Exist in ARC
An approved vendor/payee profile must exist in the finance system in order to process a payment. If a vendor/payee is getting paid for the first time by the University, a school/dept must request the creation of a profile in the University finance System (ARC).
For more detailed information about how to set up a vendor or how to revise information for an existing vendor, refer to job aids – Initiating a Vendor/Payee Profile Request or Modifying Vendor/Payee Profiles.
To assist vendors and payees in determining the status of a payment, the University has developed a web-based, self-service tool that can provide a basic status on a payment request.
Select the following link to get started: Payment Status Lookup.
To obtain a payment status, a vendor/payee must enter their Finance system ID (called the ARC Supplier Number. A lookup tool is provided on the page) and an invoice number (if a payment request did not have an invoice number, the Finance Service Center can assist in the lookup.)
Once the vendor and invoice number is entered, one of the following statuses will be provided:
- Not Found
- Voucher has not been entered into the system yet by the department.
- Next Steps
- Call or email department contact to confirm that the invoice has been received.
- Pending Dept Action
- Voucher entered, but awaiting dept approval or the resolution of audit item
- Next Steps
- Call or email department contact if the invoice is experiencing significant delays.
- Pending Central AP Action
- Voucher is awaiting or in the midst of the audit process by AP
- Next Steps
- To see the date of vouchers that Accounts Payable is currently auditing for payment, please refer to the "Now Auditing" section on the Accounts Payable business unit page.
- Voucher has been approved and processed for payment.
- Next Steps
- Refer to the AP Remittance Tool for additional details.
If a vendor/payee payment is not outstanding, but there are questions about payment details, what invoices to apply the payment, or confirmation of a payment that has been generated but not received, use the AP Payment Status & Remittance Tool.
Select the following link to get started: Remittance Lookup.
Using the tool:
- Select the "Remittance Information" tab at the top of the tool.
- Dates: The date of payment is the date the payment process was run by Accounts Payable. Checks are mailed out the following day through the US Postal Service and, depending on the address, can take several days to arrive. Depending on the recipient bank account, ACH/direct deposit payments can take several days to be recorded in a vendor/payee bank account.
- ACH format: Vendors with company bank accounts are eligible to receive the information on their ACH payment in a CTX format. This format provides additional detail on the ACH transmission. The bank that manages the account should be able to provide details. Please note: the CTX format is not available for personal accounts.
Things to Pay Attention To
Tips to Ensure the Timely Processing of Your Invoice
- Make Sure that Columbia's Billing Address is Clear, Correct and Complete
- For invoices associated with a purchase order, please confirm that you have used the "Bill To" and not the "Ship To" address (if they are different);
- For invoices not associated with a purchase order, please include a department name, contact name, building name, floor number, street address, and zip code.
- Make Sure You Have a Contact Name, Phone Number, and Email Address
- If you need to follow up on an invoice, the first point of contact should be the person at the school/dept to whom you sent the invoice. The Finance Service Center can also assist with follow-up on a payment, but they will need to know who the contact at the school/dept is and that person’s contact information.
Payments Generated but not Received
Tips for Resolving Payments Generated by University But Not Received By Vendor/Payee
If a payment has been generated by the University finance system (ARC) but has not been received or cashed by the vendor/payee, there are several recommended steps to follow:
- Confirm the Timing of Payment
- Be sure to allow sufficient time for a payment to be received. The date of payment is the date the payment process was run by Accounts Payable. It may also take several days for the check to arrive.
- Stop Payment and Reissue
- If a check payment has been generated but not received, a vendor/payee should reach out to the school/dept contact and alert that person to request a stop payment. It is important to confirm the "Remit To Address" to ensure that the payment is being mailed to the correct address, or to determine if a modification to the address is required. If the address is correct, the department can also request that the check be reissued, or request the check be reissued once an address has been updated.
- A vendor/payee may be contacted if Accounts Payable receives an ACH return for a payment that was sent via ACH/direct deposit
- AP will need to confirm the bank account and routing information and/or have the vendor/payee initiate a disbursement modification process if the information needs to be updated or modified.
How to Escalate Your Request
In addition to the Accounts Payable Status Tool and information available on this web site, see below for ways to resolve outstanding payments:
- School/Dept Contact
- If a check payment has been confirmed to be generated but not received, a vendor/payee should reach out to the school/dept contact and alert that person so the school/dept contact can request a stop payment. It is important to confirm the "Remit To" address to ensure that the payment is being mailed to the correct address, or to ascertain if an address update or modification is required. If the address is correct, the department can also request that a check be reissued, or request that a check be reissued once an address update is completed.
- ARC Vendor/Payee Request Web Form
- If a vendor/payee determines that it is necessary to update a profile to resolve a payment issue, then they are able to initiate that process via the web form. Note that for disbursement modifications (e.g., a change in bank account information) additional authentication and validation steps between the vendor and the central Vendor Management unit are required.
- Finance Service Center
- The Finance Service Center can assist if a vendor/payee is not able to reach a department, has not heard back from a school/dept after reasonable outreach, or for some reason is not able to access the AP Remittance Tool. The Service Center Staff will need to know the department name, contact name, and outreach details in order for the Service Center to assist with resolution.
AP Payment Status & Remittance
For viewing the current status of an invoice, or select viewing remittance information for a specific check and/or ACH/Wire transfer, visit the AP Payment Status & Remittance Tool.
ARC Vendor/Payee Requests
For requesting the setup of new suppliers or payees, or request modifications to existing vendors, visit the ARC Vendor/Payee Request Web Form.