FAQ- Consultants & Independent Contractors Process

March 15, 2017

Hiring consultants or Independent contractors involves a four step process.

Before you begin, if you are to pay the individual with an OSP Project. Please stop here and follow these instructions instead: http://osp.osu.edu/administration/procurement/consultant-agreement-procedure/

For payments to individuals using UNIV funding:

1. Talk to HR ….2. Create a Scope of Work …. 3. Create the vendor… 4. Create a purchase order

1.     Talk to HR: IRS regulations require that employers be extremely careful when determining whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor.  

·      First, Review the IRS guidelines for determing whether the individual providing services are Employees or Independent Contractors.

·      Second, talk with your Human Resources representative about your needs and the questions you have after reviewing the IRS guidelines. If you need additional assistance you may contact the Office of Human Resources directly hr-employmentservices@osu.edu


2.     Create a Scope of Work: If Human Resources helps you determine that the individual does not need to be an employee then you need to create a Scope of Work.

The unit monitors the consultant’s work and verifies that the work is being performed according to the requirements of the scope of work. The scope of work lists and describes all essential and technical requirements for the effort to be performed, including the items listed below as appropriate:

·      objective or purpose

·      period of performance

·      consultant responsibilities, tasks, and expected results

  • description of deliverables (describe any reports to be submitted by the consultant to show progress and the final report)

·      performance, quality, and timeliness requirements (include required or acceptable levels of performance on each specific task measured in terms of accuracy, response time, and speed)

·      workload requirements (describe levels or size of contractual effort)

Description and estimated costs of any reimbursable expenses

·      personnel requirements (minimum qualifications or skill level of the consultant)

·      operating expenses (ex. Travel, supplies)


3.     Create the vendor:

a.     Complete page one of the Vendor Setup Form and save the PDF. go.osu.edu/VSF

b.     Next, send the following to your venor:

                i.     Instructions for them to review the scope of work

ii.     Instructions for them to complete pages 2 and 3 of the Vendor Setup Form and return to you via mail or fax (not email!)

iii.     Instructions to them that they are not to begin work until you have a completed Purchase Order Number in place

! This is extremely important ! There are circumstances where the individual you select cannot be hired and OSU may be unable to pay them for services that they have completed. If you permit them to start work without a purchase order you may be personnaly liable to pay them for their work.


4.     Create the Purchase Order: Once you have the completed information from your vendor follow these steps to create a Purchase Order.

a.     https://erequest.osu.edu – Create a new request, Standard Purchasing Request. Complete the request as you would with any other request including Business Purpose, Item Description, Vendor Name and Address, and Chartfield.

b.     Attach the scope of work you created in step 2.

c.      Submit the eRequest for approval.

d.     Write the eRequest number on the vendor setup form and fax the form to your Finance Representative - Columbus: 614-688-0529 Wooster: 330-263-3713. Please do not email or attach the form to an eRequest if it has a social security number!

e.     Put a note on your calendar to check back on the eRequest in four weeks.

Next Steps:

·      Allow four weeks for the Purchase Order to be established (one week for your approver, one week for the vendor setup and two weeks for the PO to be created).

·      This is longer than normal timing standards because certain consulting requests must be routed for additional approvals at the university.

·      Once you see the PO number on the eRequest (either in the Transaction ID field OR the Quote ID field) then you can alert your consultant to begin work.

·      Invoices should reference the Purchase Order Number and be emailed to cfaesbusiness@osu.edu.


Resources: For information on other Payments to People; General Information on Purchase Orders

Questions: cfaesbusiness@osu.edu