Carnegie Mellon University
January 24, 2023

Accounts Payable Department Spotlight

What are the key functions and services of the Accounts Payable department? 

Accounts Payable (AP) processes vendor invoices and university PayDocs, payments to vendors, expense reports for faculty, staff and students as well as creates and maintains the university’s supplier database.  AP strives to provide excellent customer service through collaborating with campus partners while ensuring compliance with the policies and procedures of the university.

What are some ways that Accounts Payable contributes to the success of your campus partners/customers? 

The AP staff processes university invoices on average within 7 days of receipt and in accordance with university policies and procedures. In addition, we process payments multiple times a week to ensure timely payment to university vendors and faculty, staff and students receiving expense reports. In fiscal year 2022, the AP staff processed over 110,000 documents, which includes invoices, non-employee expense reports (NEX), payforms, self-service expense reports and PCards.  AP updated and/or created over 11,500 supplier records and over 6,800 NEX suppliers. AP also processed over 900 Accounts Payable Redistributions.

How does Accounts Payable interact, collaborate, and engage with other departments across campus? 

The AP team interacts with campus via email using the AP Help inbox (, telephone calls, and Zoom meetings. We collaborate and engage with stakeholders across the university through in person meetings that include question/answer sessions, and the Automation Allies group meetings. 

What is one thing you wish people knew about Accounts Payable that they may not know? 

We are responsible for the Accounts Payable function for the entire university, including all domestic and international campuses.

Which Finance Division values does Accounts Payable most exemplify and how?

  1. Collaborative Innovation: With the implementation of Enterprise Content management (ECM) project, we collaborate with campus partners to ensure that we are considering implementing changes based upon their feedback to ensure an efficient and effective process.  We are continuously looking for ways to make the AP process more user-friendly.  We are proud of our continued engagement with the Automation Allies as this is a collaborative group where the AP team is able to discuss best practices and opportunities for process improvement. 
  2. Strength in Execution: The AP team works in conjunction with campus to understand their needs and when something out of the ordinary happens, we do our best to ensure that the needs of the campus community are met.  

What is Accounts Payable most proud of accomplishing in the last few years? 

With the pandemic causing the entire university to work remotely, the AP team was able to quickly adjust to a remote working environment and met all required deadlines and processed payments.