Financial Services Manual (FIN)

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Effective: 03/01/2003

Revised: 11/1/2012

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FIN 421–03: Participant Payments

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To permit payments made to or on behalf of non-ASU employees who are participating in a sponsored project-funded workshop, conference, seminar, symposia, or other short-term training or information-sharing activity

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University policy

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Participant expenses must be specifically approved in the sponsored budget and relate specifically to costs associated with attendance at a sponsored workshop, conference, seminar, symposia, or other short-term training or information-sharing activity.

Participants do not provide services but rather engage in a sponsored activity whose goals can only be met by such participation. Small stipends may be paid, but these should be relatively modest amounts, in the $100 range. Larger stipends indicate a “quid pro quo” or an equal exchange of money for effort.

Although participant costs must be approved by the sponsor, sponsor classification of certain costs as participant costs does not always mean ASU can treat those costs as participant costs. Participants who are ASU employees, including student employees, must receive their income stipends through Payroll using Supplemental Pay.

Participants who are not ASU employees may be paid their income stipends directly. Individuals whose participation is limited to speaking or presenting at the event do not qualify for participant support, and must be paid and/or reimbursed as independent contractors or guest lecturers, and not as participants. (See FIN 421–01, “Guest Lecturers, Consultants, and Other Independent Contractors” for more information.)

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A payment request to a participant must include the participant’s name and home mailing address, and must be accompanied by a completed Participant Certification form. Payment requests must also be accompanied by documentation of the sponsored event justifying the expense (such as a brochure describing the event, flyer, Web page, conference agenda, or other document describing the event) and an attendance list or other project-specific documentation that adequately explains the allowability of the payment to that person.

Participant expenses may be paid directly or by a reimbursement made to the individual. Participant travel expenses will be paid using the participant expenditure codes as indicated in the Participant Expenses Code Names, Code Numbers, and Definitions table.

Prepaid Airline Tickets

Participants may make their own airline reservations, pay for their tickets, and then request reimbursement from the university. Departments may also use one of the university’s contracted travel agencies for prepaid travel of participants and other university guests. (See the Financial Services Travel Page for a listing of contracted travel agencies.) To purchase a prepaid airline ticket, the university department must process an internal purchase order (PO), using object code 7400 05, participant travel. Before the airline ticket can be issued, a screen print of the PO, along with a completed Prepaid Airfare for Non-ASU Travelers form, must be faxed or delivered to the contracted travel agency. The dollar amount of the prepaid airline ticket should not be included on the participant’s expense reimbursement claim. If the participant fails to attend the event, it is the department’s responsibility to make sure that the prepaid ticket is canceled and the money refunded.

Direct Payment of Hotel/Motel

Instead of the participant paying hotel charges personally, a department may request that the university pay the hotel directly for the participant’s stay. The department should request that the hotel bill ASU. When the invoice is received, the department should process a payment voucher (PV) to pay the hotel. The department is required to keep the hotel invoice on file and available for review for five years after the end date of the sponsored project account. The PV document number and the sponsored project account number should be listed on the participant’s expense summary. The dollar amount of hotel/motel charges is not, however, to be included on the participant’s expense reimbursement claim.

Reimbursement Payments

Reimbursement checks normally will be mailed to the participant’s home address after the participant has visited the campus.

Coding of Meal Reimbursement

The participant’s expense object codes are to be used only for the participant’s meals. Expenses incurred by ASU faculty and staff to host a participant are coded to the food object code, 7390 06. (See FIN 420–02, “Business Meals, Food, and Related Expenses,” for more information.)

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