International Finance & Procurement

Want to talk to us?

Need to talk to someone about your international finance and procurement questions? Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu.

Finance FAQs

How can I receive payment from an organization outside the US?

If this is not a frequent vendor/collaborator, please direct your request to UMB Accounts Receivable and the globalhub@umaryland.edu. Our Finance team will be able to collaborate with the appropriate internal partners within UMB to ensure payment is received.

If this is a frequent vendor/collaborator, we recommend you maintain and track the credit with the international organization.

How do I pay a person or entity outside the US for services and other work provided?

Does UMB/MGIC already have an engagement with this person or entity outside the US?

If yes, the UMB department or administrative unit with the engagement must process the payment.

If no, reach out to globalhub@umaryland.edu to discuss the use of the MGIC mechanism.

Whenever possible:

  • Payments should be made to an entity, rather than an individual.
  • Payments should not be made in cash to persons or entities outside the US, especially when the financial consideration exceeds US$200 or the equivalent in foreign currency. See the next question below on honorarium payments for guidance.

For international consultants, see "How do I hire an international consultant" below the honorarium payment FAQ.

Can I pay an honorarium to a person outside the US? How?

First Question: Does your payment represent a one-time payment to an individual for a service, such as a speech, lecture, or demonstration? If not, it likely should be treated as a procurement rather than an honorarium. See above "How do I pay a person or entity outside the US for services and other work provided?"

See also Honorariums and Stipends: Definitions and Examples for guidance or contact UMB Accounts Payable at AP_FINSVC@umaryland.edu. Note that an honorarium can include consideration for certain travel expenses and meals, but not all.

Second Question: Can UMB/MGIC make the payment to the institution or organization rather than the individual? We prefer to pay the institution or organization.

If the payment counts as an honorarium, we recommend completing the transaction as follows:

  • Option 1 (first preference): Request an honorarium payment through the usual UMB process by completing and submitting an Honorarium Recipient Form.
  • Option 2 (second preference): Submit a request to globalhub@umaryland.edu asking if International Operations can send the person a wire transfer using UMB's MGIC mechanism.
  • Option 3 (last preference): Pay out of pocket and provide the required supporting documentation. Warning! Paying a cash honorarium to a foreign person may be an unallowable expense. As with all expenses for which reimbursement is sought, the expenses must be reasonable, necessary, allowable, and incurred to fulfill a bona fide business purpose of UMB.

Supporting documentation required for payment:

  • If making a payment to a US Citizen or US Permanent Resident, complete and submit the Honorarium Recipient Form.
  • If making a payment to a foreign person, submit:
    • Payee name and address
    • National Identification Number or passport number, including the country
    • Payment amount
    • Description of services provided to UMB
    • Date of services provided

Already made the payment in cash while traveling? When you return from your travels, promptly submit for reimbursement, providing the above-listed documentation.

How do I hire an international consultant?

The following guidance is for hiring a consultant or consulting firm based outside the US to perform a scope of work outside the US.

Have you clearly defined the scope of work? If not, please do so prior to contacting SSAS or International Operations.

Once you have a clearly defined scope of work, submit your international procurement requisition to SSAS following the usual procedure. For information on what happens after that, see the Procurement FAQ below "Can I ask MGIC to handle my international procurement needs?"

Have you already identified an individual or consulting firm to serve as the consultant? Keep in mind that UMB requires a competitive procurement or sole-source justification for contracts with a value of US$25,000 and above, and MGIC requires a competitive procurement or sole-source justification for contracts with a value of US$3,500 and above.

How can I open a bank account outside the US?

Due to state law, this can only be done by and through the Maryland Global Initiatives Corporation (MGIC), a nonprofit affiliate of UMB formed to support the implementation of UMB's international programs.

Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu for assistance.

Procurement FAQs

Can I ask MGIC to handle my international procurement needs?

Yes, if the procurement is for an MGIC country office. If not, the short answer is "no," as the decision is made between UMB Strategic Sourcing and Acquisition Services (SSAS) and International Operations, not by the unit or department requesting the procurement.

Steps:

1. Please submit your international procurement requisition to SSAS following the usual procedure.

2. SSAS will reach out to International Operations regarding tapping the MGIC mechanism.

3. MGIC may only get involved under certain circumstances. As noted in the Considerations for Purchases using MGIC flowchart, those circumstances are:

  • If the client is UMB, and if goods or services will be delivered primarily outside the US, then the MGIC mechanism may be used.
  • If the action/transaction poses a threat of potential or actual liability of UMB or the State of Maryland outside the US, then the MGIC mechanism may be used to protect UMB from the liability.
  • If there are other major risks or costs that make it unwise for UMB to take an action, then MGIC may be used.

Examples of situations in which UMB may prefer that MGIC make a procurement of goods and services on UMB's behalf are:

  • Urgent situation - for rapid facilitation of an international procurement
  • Engaging foreign vendors for supply of goods or services outside the US

Note: If MGIC does make the procurement in lieu of UMB, MGIC will send your department or unit an invoice. You'll be instructed to make the payment to UMB, which in turn will transfer the funds to MGIC.

What should I include in the procurement package? What do I need to do?

First, follow the steps outlined under "Can I ask MGIC to handle my international procurement needs?"

Once SSAS and IO have determined which mechanism will be used:

When is a competitive procurement required?

Work with SSAS and IO to determine which mechanism will be used - UMB or MGIC.

  • For UMB procurement, competitive procurement is required for purchases of $25,000 and above.
  • For MGIC procurement, competitive procurement is required for purchases of $3,500 and above.

What are UMB's and MGIC's procurement dollar thresholds and limits?

For UMB procurements, see the Quick Reference Guides for Purchases and Payments webpage or go directly to the UMB Procurement Dollar Thresholds and Limits Guide.

For MGIC procurements, see the MGIC Procurement Thresholds & Requirements.

Of note:

  • Procurement levels or thresholds apply to the total value of all the requirements for a specific procurement. Taxes, shipping and delivery costs, the value of any warranty, operating system software, and other associated costs must be included when calculating the total value of the procurement of goods.
  • Running out of time? UMB's procurement requirements still apply. (You already knew that!)

What if my contract or invoice is not in English?

You are responsible for providing an English translation or explanation for any procurement document written in a foreign language.

For receipts, the translation/explanation should provide:

  • an identification of the type of expenditure (e.g., lodging, transportation)
  • a general description of the item(s) included on the receipt (e.g., taxi)
  • the name of the vendor and address
  • the date and time
  • the amount converted to US dollars

 Need help finding translation services? Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu for help.

If I've lost the receipt, can I still get reimbursed?

Yes, probably.

First, try to obtain a duplicate receipt.

If unsuccessful, complete a Missing Receipt Certification Form. Attach proof of payment (required) and any other supporting documentation.

Financial Services will review the circumstances to determine whether the form is sufficient documentation to support the expense.

My PCard is too limited – what can I do?

It can be difficult to use PCards for transactions outside the US, and we can help you find another way if need be. Contact us at globalhub@umaryland.edu to be connected to one of our international procurement specialists.

Your PCard may not work because of State of Maryland limitations on what you may charge to it, or because the amount of your proposed procurement exceeds the PCard transaction cap. Even if you can use the PCard for the procurement, you may encounter delays when foreign banks flag the transaction for possible fraud or other reasons.

Common Procurements

Legal Services (lawyers)

Need legal advice about general operations, taxes, visas? We strongly recommend seeking the services of an in-country legal firm. Ask International Operations at globalhub@umaryland.edu about a list of preferred and recommended firms across the globe.

Project-Based Medical Equipment

Does your sponsor or project require the purchase of medical/laboratory/health equipment from an international vendor and delivery to an international destination? Are you unsure about your award's guidelines? Ask us about preferred vendors, exports, and customs guidance at globalhub@umaryland.edu.

Employer of Record

Has your unit identified talent outside the US that will improve and support UMB's mission? An international Employer of Record may help you formally engage that talent. Contact International Operations at globalhub@umaryland.edu.

Translation Services

Do you need to prepare an official document to use outside the US? You may be required to notarize, authenticate, and translate the document. Ask about our notaries, authentication services, and translations in and outside of the US at globalhub@umaryland.edu.