1.3.2 Special Payment Authorization, (SPA) 10-102A


  1. SPA does not represent a legal obligation of the university to pay a vendor.

  2. Non-recurring goods and services purchases are permitted by use of the SPA with a limit of $200.00.

  3. The Purchasing Department is not responsible for processing SPA's for payment to the vendor. The responsibility for initiating and processing prompt payment is strictly that of the department initiating the SPA transaction. The department should send the original vendor invoice or other required documents with the properly authorized copies of the SPA to Disbursements for payment.

  4. The SPA vendor should never be told that the SPA number is the university purchase order number because this may cause the vendor to contact the Purchasing Department for payment follow-up.

  5. Description of the purchase item(s) or service(s) in the description block of the SPA should be clear and complete enough so that auditors may readily ascertain that payment constitutes university expense rather than personal expense.

  6. The university is exempt from federal excise tax and Michigan sales tax. If the invoice includes such tax, credit should be shown by deduction.


Postage Replenishment

Payment to replace postage stamps or replenish a postage meter.

Telephone Bill

Payment for telephone services.

Utility Bill

Payment for utility services.

Entertainment and Business Expenses

Expenses incurred by an employee which are considered essential for the furtherance of an established university program.


Payment for professional services rendered for which fees are not legally or traditionally required, such as a guest speaker. Such payments cannot be made to either University employees or students, cannot be a stipend (see APPM section 1.3.4, Fellowship (Stipend) Payments), and cannot be a personal service contract (see APPM section 2.5, Personal Service Contract). The professional services must be provided in a period not to exceed five days. Supplemental Data Required of All Individuals to be Paid for an Honorarium, 10-186B, must be completed for each payment request.

Prize or Award

A reward to an individual for an exceptional achievement or winning a contest. There are no services required of the recipient.


Payment for use of copyrighted or patented materials.

Salary Advance

Payment to an employee for services rendered prior to being placed on the payroll after missing one regularly scheduled pay check.


Payment of an outright grant administered through Scholarships and Financial Aid to a student who is enrolled in formal course work. No services are required for this grant.

Student Loan

Money loaned to a student for a period of time before repayment is required.

Administrative Fees

Payment of a fee for providing an administrative function.

Audit Fees

Payment for professional services rendered in conducting an audit.

Legal Fees

Payment for legal services.

Debt Service

Payment of principal and interest to retire/reduce the University's outstanding obligation.

Employee Benefits

The remittance of premiums for various employee fringe benefit programs.

Employee Bond Refund

Refund to an employee for a bond deduction made against the individual's paycheck but subsequently canceled.

Reissue Unclaimed or Canceled Checks

To replace a check which was not cashed or for which a stop payment has been requested.

Refund to Government Agencies

A return of funds to the originating governmental agency.


Payment for use of property owned by another.

Taxable Payable

Remittance of taxes levied on payments to employees or levied against personal property of the university.

Union Dues

Payment of amounts due to Union which has been levied on its membership in accordance with contract provisions.

Agency Fund Withdrawal

To make a withdrawal of funds held in trust by the university.

Membership Dues

Payment for membership in a professional organization which is considered essential for the furtherance of an established university program.

Refund to Trusteeship

Return of unused funds to the original provider.


Payment for publications or periodicals.






  1. Complete a Special Payment Authorization (SPA), 10-102A, according to the instructions on the back of the form after goods or services have been received.

  2. Attach to the SPA the original invoice or other supporting documentation.

    1. A payment request for scholarships, prizes and awards requires Supplemental Data Required for All Individuals Being Paid a Scholarship, Prize or Award, 10-186A.

    2. A payment request for an honorarium requires a 10-186B.

    3. A payment request for a subscription requires an order form.

    4. Prepayment of conference or registration fees requires a registration form and AAR (see APPM section 7.1, Travel Expense Policies and Procedures).

  3. Emboss the account authorization card on the SPA and sign. For multiple accounts, type the account numbers and respective dollar amount in the description section and emboss a card for each account.

  4. If department has a CRT, verify budget balance available. If balance is available, enter the encumbrance into FAS and indicate on the SPA when, where and by whom entered. If balance is not available, the payment is not permitted.


  1. Approve SPA by embossing the Dean/Director's authorization card and signing.

  2. If not encumbered by department and Dean/Director has CRT, enter the encumbrance into FAS and indicate on the Special Payment Authorization (SPA), 10-102A when, where and by whom entered. If balance is not available, return SPA to department.

  3. If balance is available, forward to Disbursements.

  4. If no CRT is available, and encumbrance is desired, forward to Accounting Services with request to encumber.


  1. Encumber SPA into FAS and indicate on form when, where and by whom entered.

  2. Forward to Disbursements.


  1. Audit SPA for accuracy and propriety and process for payment.