Systems and Procedures
A Division of The Corporate Controller's Office
Last Revision: 07/01/2020


When an INDIVIDUAL will be providing services to the University, the following decision points regarding how to handle payment for services should be followed:

NOTE: On-line course instructors must be hired as an employee of The Pennsylvania State University. They may no longer be considered Independent Contractors. See Policy HR06 Types of Appointments and The Graduate School Policy GCAC 101 Graduate Faculty Membership for appointment types or contact the Business Area Human Resources Representative.

NOTE: The tax office must be contacted prior to processing a non-US resident as an employee where all services will be performed outside the United States.
  1. Will the services being provided make the individual an employee?

    • YES - Use the employment process (academic or hourly appointment through Workday).
    • NO - The person will be considered an independent contractor. Continue to question 2.

  2. Will the individual be providing consulting services?

  3. Will the individual be providing course development or instructional design services?
    • YES - An agreement or memorandum of understanding should be completed to clearly delineate the individual's responsibilities, including deliverables, time-frames and ownership of the course. This would be required to be included as part of the payment back-up for Non-PO Invoice paying the individual. Use general ledger account 52600500 - Services External - Communication & Publication Related Services - Allowable F&A or 52600501 - Services External - Communication & Publication Related Services - Unallowable F&A
    • NO - continue to question 4.

  4. Will the individual be providing any of the services listed below?
    • YES - Follow instructions and guidelines provided for each service. Agreement and/or invoice is the back-up for the payment by Non-PO Invoice to the individual. Use the appropriate general ledger account or subgroup for Event Expenses depending on the audience.
    • NO - continue to question 5.

  5. Will the individual be a guest speaker, guest lecturer or guest presenter?
    • YES - University Guest Presenter Agreement must be used (unless exceptions below apply) and payment should be made by Non-PO Invoice with executed agreement as back-up documentation. Use either general ledger account 52601400 - Services External - Training Services - Allowable F&A or 52600500 - Services External - Communication & Publication Related Services - Allowable F&A or 52600501 - Services External - Communication & Publication Related Services - Unallowable F&A.
      • Exceptions:
        • The individual is only being reimbursed for travel expenses - No agreement is necessary. Travel reimbursement should be made through SAP Concur per University policy.
        • The individual will be paid $1,000 or less - No agreement is necessary and honorarium payment may be made with no back-up required. Use general ledger account 52600901 - Honoraria Non-Employee Awards.
          NOTE: If recording or broadcasting of the presentation will occur, or if the individual wishes to sell merchandise, the University Guest Presenter Agreement is REQUIRED, even if there will be no payment of compensation or reimbursement of travel.
        • The individual requires use of their own agreement (Use of Penn State agreement preferred) - Agreement must be sent to Risk Management for negotiation and approval.
        • The speaker is being engaged through Student Affairs - There is a Speaker Agreement that is part of the University Standardized Entertainment Agreement templates, which is much more detailed and generally used for extracurricular speaking engagements arranged through Student Affairs. This agreement should still be used for Student Affairs events, or events sponsored by registered student organizations, per FNG02 - Limited Delegation of Contract Approvals.
    • NO- continue to question 6.

  6. Will the individual be providing photographic services?

All Other Services:

All other services provided by individuals should be paid by Non-PO Invoice.

Services provided by individuals but paid to a company:

Individuals being engaged for services may have an associated business/company that is to be paid rather than the individual. If the payment is under $10,000 process a Non-PO Invoice.

Payments of $10,000 and over MUST be procured through Purchasing with the exception of companies representing speakers or artists. In these cases, the contracts/agreements must be sent to Risk Management prior to services being performed.

Registering in the Supplier Self Registration Portal:

In order for payments to be process, the individual or company must register in the Supplier Self Registration Portal.

Effective 7/1/2020