Payment Process

To assure compliance with Massachusetts Independent Contract law the University has implemented the following process. In most cases there are 4 documents that are required.

  1. Certification Form
  2. Purchase Order
  3. W-9
  4. Contract (If payment amount is >= $10,000)

NOTE: If payment for the whole project is under $1,000 use a Direct Pay form and submit to Accounts Payable. A W9 will be required in all instances.

The following are the guidelines a Unit/Department must follow:

  1. Unit/department head completes the Employee/Independent Contractor Certification Form for all payment instances.If the Certification Form establishes that the individual satisfies the requirements for an independent contractor, then follow from step 2 forward. If the Certification Form results indicate that the individual does not qualify as an Independent Contractor then please see the Other Options Section.
  2. If the payment amount is >= $10,000, then the unit/department prepares a Contract/Professional Services Agreement to govern the relationship. A template and contract procedures can be viewed on Legal Counsels website or by clicking here (Contracts and Transactions tab). If the payment amount is under $10,000, then no contract is required please skip to step 4, creating a requisition. (Note: If the individual service provider has been paid or will be paid in excess of $10,000 within one fiscal year, then a contract should be created.)
  3. If agreement is under $10,000, then please submit the completed Employee/Independent Contractor Certification Form and Professional Services Agreement to Procurement Services.
  4. Submit a purchase requisition in Banner to Procurement Services. A purchase order will be issued upon confirmation that step 3 has been completed. Unit/Department needs to send all required documents to Procurement Services including certification form, Professional Service Agreement and W-9 (new vendors only).  If the payment amount is under $10,000 Unit/Department needs to include a detailed scope of work in the purchase requisition description as well as send to Procurement Service the certification form and W-9 (new vendors only).  For payments amounts under $10,000 the purchase order will be sent to the payee with the University Terms and Conditions. All others will not receive a university purchase order. In both instances the Unit/Department needs to send the consultants invoice to Accounts Payable with the Purchase Order number on the invoice.
  5. An alternative to the Professional Services Agreement is to "payroll" the independent service provider with Northeastern University's temporary help agency. Another option is Temporary Non-Student Employee status (a solution for certain short-term assignments). Call Laura Brock in Human Resources for details on either option.

The required forms can be found in the forms section of this website.