FAQs – Independent Contractor (IC) Process


PROCUREMENT

In what scenarios is a purchase order (PO) or contract utilized?
Typically, a PO is used for services rendered under $15,000. For additional scenarios, please see PO vs. Contracts. If you have any questions, please contact: purchasing@austin.utexas.edu

Can a PO be done for individuals?
Yes as long as they are not classified as an employee on the EICCC. The university’s standard terms and conditions will apply.

How do you handle work crossing fiscal years?
Business contracts can cross fiscal years but purchase orders cannot. Depending upon the circumstances, a new purchase order may need to be created each fiscal year. Please contact your assigned buyer team in Purchasing Office for assistance.

Can a PO be used for 26-accounts?
Yes. A purchase order can be created using 26-accounts and the purchase order will electronically route to SPAA in OSP for review and approval.

How do I handle travel on a PO?
Add a line to the purchase order for travel being reimbursed and encumber an estimated amount for travel. If the fee includes travel and no receipts are required, then you may include the entire amount on one line.

What information do I need to include on a PO?
A purchase order is a type of contract and should contain all information defining the parameters of the scope of work. PO should contain items such as detailed description of services, length of services, expected delivery date, and costs (include travel, if applicable), etc.

Where can I get training on creating a PO?
A training video may be viewed here: http://help.financials.utexas.edu/video/purchase_request/purchase_request.html

What is the maximum amount I can put on a PO for a stipend? Does that amount include travel?
There is not a maximum amount on a purchase order and reimbursement of travel expenses can be included as a line item on the purchase order. Information about requisition types and purchasing requirements can be found on the Purchasing Office’s website.

Can the PO be modified?
Yes, purchase orders are modified with a change order. For assistance, refer to HBP 7.10.1, HBP 7.10.2, HBP 7.10.3 or HBP 7.10.4

Can I have multiple POs for the same person?
No. Unless the services are totally unrelated, there should not be an instance where multiple POs are issued for the same person.

It would be very helpful to have the correct commodity codes to use for our writers, photographers, etc. as we start preparing POs for FY 18/19.
The committee has begun to address many commonly used services and these may be found in the PO vs. Contracts Matrix.

I can’t tell if I need a Purchase Order (PO) or a contract. Who can help me decide?
Please follow the guidance provided in PO vs. Contracts Matrix on the Purchasing Office’s website.

My grant account is not yet established/or is not yet funded. How can I issue a PO without an account number/or without funds in the account?
A PO cannot be created without a funded account. Once the account is funded, a purchase order can be issued and then work can commence. Any questions should be directed to Office of Sponsored Projects.

My professor just stopped by my desk and asked me to pay a speaker. The speech occurred last week. What do I do?
Request an exception approval to process payment from AVP of Purchasing. Seek approval from your CSU’s Business Officer prior to requesting an exception approval from AVP of Purchasing. If exception is approved, prepare an EICCC for the speaker. If the EICCC result is “Independent Contractor”, then prepare a VP2 for the payment. For supporting documentation for the VP2 payment, image the exception approval from AVP of Purchasing (email is ok) and the EICCC.

How do I pay a non-employee external reviewer for work done a month ago?
If no purchase order or contract processed, then need to request an exception approval to process payment from AVP of Purchasing. Seek approval from your CSU’s Business Officer prior to requesting an exception approval from AVP of Purchasing.

When do I use a business contract for a speaker?
Most speakers can be handled through the purchase order process. The PO vs. Contracts Matrix offers guidance, certain speakers will require business contract such as:

  • The vendor is requiring us to sign their contract.
  • The speaker will be recorded
  • Special travel arrangements are needed that cannot meet UT Austin Travel Accountable Plan rules or reimbursement limits.

I have a photographer/videographer whose services I am currently using under a Master Contract. Do I need to switch to a purchase order to authorize these services?
No. You can use the master contract as authorization to pay the named individual throughout the contract term.

I have 10 non-employees receiving a stipend for attending a conference. Do I have to do 10 different POs?
No. Please complete the Exempt Services Authorization Form.

Some departments hold events on campus and have multiple entertainers, balloon artists, face painters, etc. working at the event. Can these items be authorized on the Exempt Services form?
No. The Exempt Services Authorization form is limited to those types of services that are NOT subject to Purchasing Policies and Restrictions. Because none of these types of services are exempt services, you must prepare either a PO (or a contract) for each individual worker.
 

EMPLOYEE/INDIVIDUAL CONTRACTOR CLASSIFICATION CHECKLIST (EICCC)

When do I need an Employee/Independent Contractor Classification Checklist (EICCC)? For instance, does an EICCC need to be done before a PO?
An EICCC will determine if the individual providing services will be classified and paid as an employee or as an independent contractor. Therefore, the EICCC must be prepared before a purchase order is issued and before the work begins.

Is an employee ever classified as an independent contractor?
Yes. Two exceptions allow an employee, who is either a U.S. citizen or U.S. Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder), a payment classified as an independent contractor. The first exception is allowed for a musical performance. The second exception is allowed for a part-time student employee providing services as a participant in a research study.

It has occurred to one of our centers that there may be people who will be completing the EICCC but who will not have access to Workday. There will need to be some type of tool to allow purchasers and others to identify whether a person was employed in the last 12 months. Ideally, this would be a self-service tool so that purchasers would not have to contact HR/Payroll.
It will automatically be checked on Web-based EICCC – do not have to go to Workday.

Why is the completion of the EICCC required first (before the work begins)?
The EICCC will determine how the payment is classified, as an employee payment or as an independent contractor payment. An employee result/determination/classification requires a payment through payroll and cannot be authorized by a purchase order or contract. An independent contractor result can be authorized by a purchase order, contract, or Exempt Services form. The determination from the EICCC is necessary before the work authorization occurs, so the type of authorization form can be chosen.

Is an EICCC required for each individual authorized for a fee payment on an Exempt Services form?
Yes. All payments to individuals for services must begin with the EICCC, so the classification of the worker, and the type of payment (payroll or AP), can be determined. This includes any worker authorized to receive a payment for services on an Exempt Services Authorization form.

If a person is an ex-UT employee and worked within the last 12 months, do I have to pay the worker as an employee?
The EICCC will direct you to the Result of “Independent Contractor” or “Employee”. There are some exceptions available if the individual is:

  • Not retired under the TRS system AND
  • Has not received a paycheck in the current calendar year AND
  • Is performing work that the ex-employee did not previously do as one of their employee duties.

I am curious about consultants on research projects (26 accounts) that are pre-selected at proposal submission. These consultants can be up to $25K, but it isn’t a bid process so I am not sure if the PO situation will work. Research relationships are based on expertise not a bidding process. How will that person be compensated? 
Only items designated in a grant as a sub award are exempt from normal procurement process and should be handled through OSP.
 

TRAVEL

How do I handle BOTH travel and honorarium for a non-employee speaker on a PO?
If travel expense is being reimbursed, create a line item for the fee and a line item for realistic estimate of travel costs on the PO. If travel is direct bill, then use the PO for the fee and Non-Employee Travel Authorization form for the travel portion.

I want to confirm regarding a process that we do in the Butler School of Music; bringing in dozens of Musician Scholars each month to present special master classes. My understanding from the Q&A in the meeting was that we should process these as contracts. How about for travel for these individuals? We currently pay them via a PBS, and separately create a VE5 and direct bill through Anthony Travel, plus pay them per diem on a VP5.
A PO may be issued; if reimbursement, add a separate line item. If travel is central billed, use an RTA or the Non-Employee Travel Authorization.

What do I need to provide the UT contracted travel agency for central billing of airfare?
Independent Contractors:

Prospective Employee’s spouse/family or vendor travel:

NOTE: Independent Contractor Purchase Order cannot be used for Central billing of airfare or rental car.

Do I need an LTR form (letter form) for ALL direct billed travel, including hotel, rental car, airfare, etc.?
No, either use RTA# or Non-Employee Travel Authorization.

Can I use an RTA to authorize reimbursed travel expenses only for a non-employee?
Yes.

Will Direct Billed Travel, authorized on an LTR, be encumbered?
The LTR form has been replaced with the Non-Employee Travel Authorization. No funds are not encumbered. The funds will be charged to your departmental account when the payment is made to the Direct Bill Travel Provider.

If I have both reimbursed travel expenses (authorized by an RTA, PO, Contract or Exempt Services form) AND direct billed travel expenses, will I need two authorization forms for travel?
Yes, except RTAs. Direct-billed travel expenses should be processed on the Non-Employee Travel Authorization  or RTA#

Occasionally, our department uses the paper APS form to authorize travel and book flights for speakers who will not be reimbursed (University pays certain travel costs directly). This has proven useful when the speaker does not wish to share their SSN. Will this be possible in another way once the APS is eliminated?
Yes. Complete the Non-Employee Travel Authorization for direct billing.
 

PAYMENTS

Are invoices required before a payment for services provided by an individual can be made if the services were authorized by a PO?
Yes. However, an email from the individual providing the services, stating the services are completed, stating the dates worked, stating the payment amount CAN be SUBSTITUTED for an invoice.

I am about to process a Purchase Order to contract with a vendor to do work for a total of $12,000. We have used this vendor before and processed through Business Contracts, and he has always requested a Wire Transfer for payment. I am expecting he will request a Wire Transfer for payment on this next project, but I am wondering how we should navigate this since it will be on a PO this time and thus a Wire Transfer will not disencumber the PO for us?
Wire transfer process includes disencumbering of funds.
 

OTHER QUESTIONS

I tried to create a purchase order in Point Plus and received the following error message:
Email Independent Contractor and Tax Services team at oa.ic@austin.utexas.edu to review this foreign individual's work and current immigration status for a vendor record upgrade.

Why am I receiving this error message?
Two conditions may exist that would prevent a purchase order to be issued to a person who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder):

  1. The vendor record contains a U.S. tax number, but the Independent Contractor and Tax Services section (IC/Tax) has not analyzed the work location and duration. Email the vendor EID, type of work to be performed by the contractor, location of work, and duration of work to oa.ic@austin.utexas.edu for an analysis, to determine if this work is possible under U.S. immigration law restrictions. After the IC/Tax review confirms this work is possible, and after confirming the individual has a U.S. tax number, the IC/Tax staff will upgrade the vendor record to allow issuance of a purchase order.
  2. The vendor record does not contain a U.S. tax number. Email the vendor EID, type of work to be performed by the contractor, location of work, and duration of work to oa.ic@austin.utexas.edu for an analysis, to determine if this work is possible under U.S. immigration law restrictions. After the IC/Tax review confirms this work is possible, and after IC/Tax confirms the individual DOES NOT have a U.S. tax number, the IC/Tax staff will upgrade the vendor record to allow issuance of a Business Contract, because a Purchase Order cannot be issued to an individual who does not have a U.S. tax number.

How can I determine if an individual (a vendor) has a U.S. tax number?
An individual without a U.S. tax number will have a “Type 3” or “Type 4” vendor record. The vendor “Type” can be seen in the column headed “T” in the GG4 screen, with the EID of the vendor in the MISC field, as shown below:

 

After Sept. 1, 2018, do we use PBX forms (change order) for a PBS document?
Yes, until 10/31/18.

We have a question about the AIS (Authorization for Individual Services) route, which we’ve used before to engage short-term help from non-employees – will that still be an option, or will that also be phased out as part of the discontinuation of the APS/PBS process? 
AIS is same as APS and PBS, which all are being discontinued. A PO may be issued for short-term help.

Are fully executed agreements for services that will occur post 9/1/2018 still valid?
Yes.

I have an existing APS/PBS in place for services for September and October 2018. Can I pay with this existing authorization?
Yes. If the APS/PBS was approved before Sept. 1, 2018, you can pay for independent contractor services dates through Oct. 31, 2018, and you can pay for employee service dates through Oct. 24, 2018 (Workday ‘s 2018 implementation cutoff date). Employee payments are made via an OV7 document and departments will be able to pay their employees through midnight on Oct. 31, 2018. Payroll will close the command to CSUs at that time. Note: The Oct. 24, 2018, is the correct deadline for payments made via HRMS.

Will these new forms be “DocuSign Power Forms”?
No, not initially. We do plan this enhancement for these forms at a later date.

The authorization from the Agency Head of a State of Texas Agency employee or President of another UT System Campus employee was on the APS form. Where is this authorization now?
Due to the changes to Regents rule 30104, the Provost’s Office will no longer obtain this approval. Instead this will be part of the web-based interactive EICCC form, which will generate the statements for signature when needed.

Provide all State of Texas Agency employee forms to the individual providing services to your department. Ask the individual to obtain the approval signature from their Agency Head and return this form to you.

The signed approval form must be approved and provided as part of the imaged documentation for the payment voucher.