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Payments to individuals

Payments to individuals (PIRs) are used to pay speakers, honorariums, officials, awards or contest winners, research stipends, and non-U.S. resident payments. PIRs are used to pay individuals less than $5,000. ASSAs are used to pay when the amount is $5,000 or greater.

Types of Individuals

Any speaker that is not on a contract with the UW system may be paid via a PIR


This is a lump sum payment to an individual for a service (speaking, workshop, advising, etc.). Honorarium may also include travel, food, or supplies expenses. *note this entire amount is taxable to the individual so we recommend doing a TER for the food/travel/supplies reimbursement*


Officials, referees, judges, etc. hired for sports contests may be paid this route, however, if they will be paid more than 5 times in a calendar year they should be set up on payroll

Awards/Contest winners
  • We do not typically pay students. However, students may be paid in a one-time payment up to $100 under certain circumstances.
  • If students are on payroll, payments must go through Human Resources
UW System Employees
  • Must be paid through Human Resources typically via an Inter Institutional Agreement (IIA).
  • May only be paid via the PIR when involving research stipends such as the McNair grant
Research Stipends

Research Stipends may be paid via PIR ASA lump sum payment or two-payment installments with 2 PIRs with the grant accountant and controller's approval. 

Non-U.S. Residents

There are many rules and regulations around the ability to pay non-U.S. residents. Contact the Assistant Controller prior to inviting an international guest you would like to pay to campus to affirm it’s allowable based on each scenario individually.

Department’s responsibility/process


1. Department requests W9 from individual
  • A W9 is needed for every individual paid. If paying an individual who’s been paid in the past and a W9 is already on file, verify their address hasn’t changed.
  • An address update form is needed if the address has changed.  Please request the form direct from Accounts Payable.
  • The W9 must include their social security number even if the individual is a former employee – Accounts Payable cannot modify the form.
  • Please send W9 and the individual's email to Accounts Payable
2. Fill out PIR form in ShopUW+

Required information by eForm section:

  • General Information
    • Individual’s name
    • Student/Employee Status
    • Address under "US Resident" for individuals with US Residency or "Legal Residence of:" for non-resident payments (Visa and Passport will be required for non-residents)
    • Payment method handling preference
  • Attach Forms [Button]
    • Attach any necessary forms - do NOT attach W9 into the PIR form on ShopUW+
  • Instructions for ShopUW+ PIR's
  • Service date(s)
      • **note: payment won’t be processed and mailed (or sent via ACH) until the service date to ensure service is completed. Checks for pickup by the department can be processed before this date


3. Payment is $500 or greater 
  • Employee vs Independent Contractor Questionnaire:
    • Select the most accurate description of the category their service would fall into
    • Answer the question workflow until it is determined whether this service is ok to pay via PIR (they are an independent contractor) or whether their service classifies them as an employee and they need to be paid via Human Resources on payroll.
      • If an employee needs to be paid, please fill out the BP Logix PIR eForm as this will then be routed to the Human Resources department for them to issue payment.
  • Purchase Request
    • Only individual’s should be paid on this PIR form.  If the partnership or corporation check boxes are selected on the W9, then a PIR cannot be filled out - please pay as a Direct Pay or request a Purchase Order
4. Submit all forms to Accounts Payable as soon as possible

Please submit all forms via ShopUW+ PIR Form.  W9s contain sensitive information and cannot be attached to the form

Things to Consider/Common Q’s
  • If a vendor's address has changed – new Address update form must be submitted and a W9 dated within the last 2 years must also be on file.
  • Anyone active on UW system payroll must go through HR (Employees, student workers, etc.)
  • Travel/food reimbursement may be included in the lump sum payment, but please note this will be taxable to the individual.  An e-reimbursement form (TER) can be filled out instead for the travel/food portion and will not be taxable to the individual. 
  • If a vendor is going to be on campus, the check can be picked up. Please indicate in the purpose of payment box (still include payment description) and the date check should be ready for pick up.
  • Accounts Payable needs to notify the bank if the check will be cashed same day as it is issued. Please let us know if this is going to happen.
  • If vendors will be paid 5 times or more during the year, please set up with payroll.
  • Before agreeing or offering to pay a non-US resident, contact the Assistant Controller to make sure it is possible first.  Be prepared to provide the person’s VISA status at this time.  There are many stipulations on whether a foreign individual can be paid and how much.
  • ShopUW+ Payment to Individual Request form
  • Requisition for Personal Services Form
  • W-9 Form (only need page 1 returned)
  • Address/Name update form available upon request
  • ACH update form available upon request

Margie Thornton
(715) 836-4554

Amanda Brummond (for non U.S. residents)
(715) 836-4529

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