Updates for Electronic Submissions and Approvals for Check Requests and Travel Vouchers

Finance and Treasury has adjusted its current processes to assist departments and support the campus working remotely. Accounts Payable Services has enabled electronic submissions and approval of the Check Request form and the Travel Voucher. Please review the new processes below for the electronic approvals and submissions and contact AccountsPayableSrvs@niu.edu or call 815-753-1514 with any questions.


  • Complete the form in Excel (see links above for current versions of the two forms).
  • Attach the completed form and copies of all supporting documentation, such as invoices and receipts, to the email.
    • Please remember to keep original forms and supporting documentation in the department.
  • Send to approver: Cost Center Managers or other authorized signers may continue to approve the forms. However, college or divisional leadership such as dean, vice president, associate dean, associate vice president or business manager may also serve as ultimate approvers.
  • Email subject line: Please begin the email subject line with “Check Request” or “Travel Voucher” depending on the form submitted, along with vendor or traveler name, to assist with timely APS workflow routing and payment.


  • Review the documentation and approve the forms by indicating such in the email. The approver may simply state, “This Travel Voucher (or Check Request) is approved for payment.”
  • Forms and corresponding documentation are then ready to be sent to Accounts Payable Services at AccountsPayableSrvs@niu.edu (See below for Fund 04 or 44 additional approvals).

Additional Approvals Required

To expedite payment processing, approvals for 04 and 44 funding should be obtained prior to sending to APS. Otherwise, APS will work with the additional approvers as forms are received which may delay payment.
  • Fund 04 (classroom and materials): All Fund 04 approvals were previously directed to Tim Condon. These approvals should now be directed to the department or unit’s Business Manager
  • Fund 44 (Sponsored Programs): Sponsored Program Administration (SPA) approval is still required for grant funded travel and can be emailed to the Grants and Contracts Associate or grantsfiscal@niu.edu.

APS Follow-up Requests

If additional documentation or information is needed regarding a payment request, please reply to the APS email by attaching the original supporting documentation and any new documents/clarification needed to process the payment.

Tracking COVID-19 Expenses

For any COVID-19 related expenses:

  • Use “COVID” as the Program Code on the check request and travel voucher forms.
  • Provide an explanation in the description section of the forms, indicating how the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the incurred expense.
  • For COVID-19 related purchases that are processed on a Purchase Order, with invoices routed through OnBase, please state “COVID-19” in the comment section of the Payment Authorization Form in OnBase as well as a brief explanation.
  • See the Travel Frequently Asked Questions for information related to travel impacted by COVID-19.

Check and ACH Processing Frequency

  • Check processing frequency has been reduced to two days per week. Checks will tentatively be processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Payroll checks will continue to be processed in accordance with University pay deadlines.
  • ACH processing frequency has been reduced to two days per week. ACHs will be processed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Accommodations will also be made, as needed and when possible, for emergency ACH payment requests.


  • Controller’s Office staff, including those in Accounts Payable Services, are working remotely. APS front office (Lowden Hall 208) will be onsite from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Wednesday and Friday.
    • Lowden Hall access remains limited – for APS pickup or drop off during business hours, please call 815-753-1514 to be let into the building.
  • General Ledger, financial reporting, and tax functions will continue remotely with minimal impact to departments.
  • Departments can continue to contact the Controller’s Office staff via email at controlleroffice@niu.edu. Staff will also be checking voicemails regularly and can be reached through Microsoft Teams chat or call.

As processes are adjusted to accommodate the current needs of the university, processing times may increase. We will work as quickly and efficiently as possible but ask for your patience during this unprecedented time.  Please visit this site regularly for additional updates or changes.    

Frequently Asked Questions

What about invoices that are sent directly to our office that need input to OnBase? Can those also be sent in email?

Yes – please write the PO Number on the invoice and send it via email to AccountsPayableSrvs@niu.edu. It will then be uploaded to OnBase and sent to the department for payment authorization. Please remember to keep the original invoice in the department for audit purposes.

If we don't have scanners for receipts, will you accept the requests without documentation? Or pictures of docs taken on our phone be acceptable?

Documentation is required in order to substantiate the expense. However, pictures can be taken using your cellphone and attached to the email. There are also smartphone scanning applications that can be used to convert the pictures into more legible PDFs, using this method may result in quicker processing times.

How soon can these changes be implemented in our departments?

The changes are effective immediately.

Will electronic signatures be accepted on all these forms?

Yes, digital signatures that are accompanied by a digital certificate will be accepted on the Check Request and Travel Voucher. Emails from the requesters and approvers containing explicit authorization/approval will be accepted.

Contact Us

Accounts Payable Services
Lowden Hall 208
815-753-2007 (fax)

Campus Hours

8 a.m. - 1 p.m.