AU Vendor Center
Auburn University's Registered Vendor Program
Background image of campus skyline

Frequently Asked Questions


Q:   What is the AU Vendor Center?
A:   The AU Vendor Center is an online information portal designed to reduce paperwork, eliminate manual procedures and streamline the procurement and payment process, making Doing Business at Auburn easier than ever.

Q:   What if I am not really a vendor and am only receiving payment for participating in a University function?
A:   "Vendor" is a generic term for those companies and individuals (who are NOT AU students or employees) expecting payment from Auburn University. If you are an individual receiving a one-time payment from Auburn, simply register, complete the payment verification and complete the required online tax form.

Q:   Who can I contact with questions about the AU Vendor Center or the status of my Vendor Center account?
A:   Call us at (334)844-7771 or send us your question using the request form on the Support page.

Q:   How do I find out my AU Vendor Number?
A:   After all paperwork has been reviewed and your payment information has been verified, we will assign your business an AU Vendor Number. This number can be found at the top of your Profile page. For expedited service, please include this number on all invoices, bids, and other correspondence.

Getting Started

Q:   The "User Name" has me confused. What kind of a name should it be?
A:   The User Name must be at least two and no more than eight characters. It should be something easily remembered and made up of numbers and letters; the characters - (minus), (plus), =(equal) and _(underscore); and contain no spaces. The User Name is case-sensitive and must be typed the same way each time it is entered. "JIM, " "jim," and "Jim" do not match.

Q:   Well, what about the "Password"? What should it be?
A:   The Password, which must be at least six and no more than 16 characters, must conform to the same rules as the User Name and is case-sensitive. Select a password that you can remember, others can't guess, and cannot be found in any dictionary. Use a mix of UPPER and lower-case letters, number and other allowable characters, but remember, it also must be typed the same way each time it is entered.

Q:   Who is the "vendor"?
A:   If you expect to receive payments from Auburn University and are not an employee or student, you are considered a vendor. This includes providers of goods and services, membership organizations, publishers and others expecting payments from Auburn. If you work through AU Temporary Employment Services (TES), you are not considered a vendor.

Q:   Who is the "Payee"?
A:   The payee should be the "Pay to the Order of" name if receiving payment by check, or the account-holder name if you are paid by direct deposit.

Q:   I am trying to put our remittance address in for check by mail but it will only let me do the actual business address. Our payments are sent to a P.O. Box address. What do I need to do?
A:   In the Paperwork box on the page displayed when you login, select the Address Verification form. You may add additional business addresses with this form by selecting the ADD NEW ADDRESS link.

Q:   You require an EIN # ... how do I know what that is?
A:   Under law, each U.S. person or business expecting payments from Auburn University must supply a tax ID number (TIN) obtained from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual or sole owner of a small business, this is usually your Social Security Number. Other businesses and foreign concerns operating in the U.S. should have an Employer ID Number (EIN). If you are unsure which number to supply, contact your business manager or tax advisor.

Q:   OK, I've registered. Am I finished?
A:   After you have completed the initial registration, you will be prompted to:

  • Enter the information requested as Basic Data--press enter when entry is complete. (If you started the process then left the system, please return to the Vendor Center via then log in using the user name and password you entered.)
  • Continue to the IRS Form W-9 (foreign vendors will select the W-8 form)--complete data on it (don't forget to "sign" it at bottom of page by typing in your name)--press enter when complete.
  • Complete the required "Payment Verification" screen--if you prefer to have a check mailed to you click on Check by Mail and choose the correct address from the address box provided.
  • Businesses and other organizations must complete the "Supplier Information" form.
  • Be sure to verify the information contained on the "Address Verification" and the "User Profile" Update screens
  • Businesses and other organizations may add others in their organization to "Contact Directory" form.
  • Your part in the online registration process is finished when the above has been completed.

Logging In

Q:   I can't log on and it says my password/user name is invalid. What should I do?
A:   Make sure your user name and password are being entered the same way each time. Both entries are case-sensitive. If you still cannot login, try resetting your password. You should receive email within a few minutes. If you do not, make sure your email service is set up to receive email from the AU Vendor Center. If you have previously been able to login and submit paperwork, contact our office so that we can retrieve your information.

Making Changes

Q:   How do I edit contact information? When I setup our account, I was automatically entered as the contact for billing. I added our billing contact but need to change my contact information to reflect "sales" and "service", but not "billing". What is the easiest method to do this?
A:   From the Fast Paperwork Management box select Contact Directory. You may add additional contacts for your organization. To edit any entry select the EDIT link associated with the entry you want to change.

Q:   Can you correct our email address? I noticed an error when I entered it in the registration screen.
A:   You may change or correct your email address by updating your Profile. Change the contact addresses for individuals in your organization using the Contact Directory form.

Q:   Once we've registered, requesting checks by mail; can we change to direct deposit? If so, how do we do this?
A:   Simply revisit the Payment Verification form and change your payment option. You will need to complete the Vendor Center Authorization form and return a voided check to complete the approval process.

Q:   Can I change from direct deposit to checks by mail?
A:   Because of an administrative mandate to reduce costs by moving to all-electronic financial transactions, that function is not available. However, you may request a change to check-by-mail service prior to receiving your first payment using the form below.


Q:   Why would I want to get payments from AU via EFT rather than by check?
A:   Receiving payments electronically saves time and money! Using information provided by the vendor, payments are electronically deposited into the vendor's bank account. Thus the vendor receives their money more quickly and doesn't have to make a trip to the bank to deposit it!

Q:   Once registered, how will I know payments have been posted to my bank account?
A:   The AU Vendor Center will automatically generate an e-mail and send it to your designated contact every time a payment is made to your company. Then if needed, you can review all the detail associated with a particular payment through the Vendor Center web site.

Q:   Why don't I receive notifications by email?
A:   Sometimes email programs and web mail sites incorrectly think that an email message is SPAM. These errors can sometimes prevent important messages from being received. Such mistakes can cause delays or failures in the delivery of payment notices or other vital communication from the Auburn University Vendor Center. We have provided instruction that will help you make sure that you are able to receive all the important information about your account.

  • Yahoo!
    To ensure that Vendor Center notifications are delivered to your Yahoo Inbox (not the Bulk Mail folder), you can instruct Yahoo to filter it to your Inbox. Here's how:
    • Open your Yahoo mailbox.
    • Select "Settings" from Mail Options icon.
    • Click Filters.
    • Next, click Add.
    • In the top row, labeled Sender, make sure contains is selected in the pull-down menu.
    • Click in the text box next to that pull-down menu, then enter
    • At the bottom, where it says Move the message to:, select Inbox from the pull-down menu.
    • Click the Save button.
  • Gmail
    If you are using Gmail, you can ensure that your order information is delivered to your Inbox by adding our "From" address to your Contacts. Here's how:
    • Open Gmail.
    • Click Contacts (A link located on the right side of the page)
    • Click Add to ".
    • Enter the "From" email address in the box then you're done.
  • Hotmail
    If you are using Hotmail, you can ensure that your order information is delivered to your Inbox by adding our "From" address to your Safe List. Here's how:
    • Open hotmail.
    • Click on Options (A link located on the right side of the page)
    • Click Mail from the choices.
    • Click Junk E-Mail Protection.
    • Click Safe List.
    • If you see the address you entered in the Safe List box then you're done.
  • AOL
    If you're using AOL, you can ensure that your order information is delivered to your Inbox by setting your Mail Controls. Here's how:
    • Go to Keyword Mail Controls.
    • Select the correct screen name (the one you are using with
    • Click Customize Mail Controls For This Screen Name.
    • For AOL version 7.0: In the section for "exclusion and inclusion parameters", include our domain:
    • Click Next until the Save button shows up at the bottom.
    • Click Save.
  • Earthlink/Mindspring
    While viewing a message in the "suspect email" folder, click the button to allow future messages from to pass directly to your inbox. Auburn University will not respond to automated messages requesting to be added to your list of authorized senders.
  • Outlook and Outlook Express
    If you are using Outlook or Outlook express please add us as a contact in your address book. If you have any trouble receiving order confirmations or other email from us, then please contact the Customer Service Representatives at your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or email service provider. Explain to them that order confirmations from are not being delivered properly. Ask them if they can white-list They'll probably ask you for some information about us. Here's what to tell them:
    • Sending Address:
    • Domain:
  • Q:   Can payment be made to a savings account with a printed deposit slip with name, and numbers?
    A:   Currently only Check-By-Mail and Direct Deposit to a demand deposit (checking) account are supported. Contact your bank to learn if they will accept ACH transfers for savings accounts.

    Q:   Do I still need to mail in a voided check and the agreement for automatic deposit if we choose to have payment by mail?
    A:   No.

    Q:   Where do I send my bills?
    A:   If you normally bill for your services, invoice the department for which you did the work.

    Q:   What do I do if have not been paid?
    A:   Contact the department for which you did the work directly.


    Q:   I did not find our product in the "supplier information". We sell widgets and gadgets.
    A:   If your product or service is not listed, please contact our office so that we may assist you in selecting the best category or define a new category, if necessary.

    Tax Forms

    Q:   I did not see a form for the W-9 (W-8 for foreign vendors). Can I mail you one along with the signed authorization agreement?
    A:   No, all vendors must complete online all required information prior to receiving payment. You must complete the Basic Information form before the tax form option will be displayed.

    Q:   As a freelance artist, I have never signed a W-9 form. Do I need to complete a W-9 form?
    A:   If you are classified as an independent contractor, you must complete the online W-9 to receive payment from Auburn University.

    Foreign Vendors

    Q:   I am not a US Citizen or permanent resident of the USA for federal tax purposes, how do I know if I need to complete a W-9 or a W-8?
    A:   W-9 forms are to be completed by US Citizens, permanent residents and resident aliens for federal tax purposes.

    W-8 forms are to be completed by non-resident aliens for federal tax purposes.

    Q:   How do I know if I am a resident alien or a non-resident alien for federal tax purposes?
    A:   Federal tax status is determined by performing the substantial presence test. It is not based on your current address or if you have a US SSN or ITIN. If you are not sure of your federal tax status, please contact for assistance.

    Q:   Which version of form W-8 do I need to complete?
    A:   W-8 BEN is used only for individuals.

    W-8 BEN-E is for all other entities, unless form

    W-8 ECI, W-8 EXP or W8-IMY are appropriate.

    W-8 ECI is used when an entity has a US branch (not a subsidiary) and is engaged in a US trade or business thru a permanent establishment. The entity files a US tax return. To be valid the form should contain a foreign address, US address and US EIN.

    If the US organization is a subsidiary, it is a US person for federal tax purposes and should complete a W-9.

    W-8 EXP is used when the foreign entity is a governmental entity or not-for-profit organization claiming exemption from Chapter 3 withholding tax under a specific IRC provision.

    W-8 IMY is used when the foreign entity is either an intermediary not acting for its own account or is a fiscally transparent entity—either for U.S. income tax purposes or for income tax purposes in its resident country, such as a foreign trust or foreign partnership. Additional forms are required for each beneficial owner based on their tax status.

    Q:   I already have an AU Vendor number, why am I being asked to complete a new W-8?
    A:   Unlike W-9 forms which do not expire, W-8 forms do. In general, W-8 forms are valid from the date signed until the last day of the third succeeding calendar year.

    Q:   If I provide all the services outside the USA do I still need to complete a W-8 form?
    A:   Yes, the W-8 form is used to claim foreign status. If all compensated services are being performed outside the USA, please indicate this during registration and complete the foreign source certification.

    Q:   What is Chapter 4 status (FACTA status) on the W-8 BEN-E?
    A:   FACTA status distinguishes foreign recipients between foreign financial institutions' (FFI's) and all other foreign entities, Non-financial foreign institutions (NFFE's).

    For definitions of all FACTA status types, see

    Most common Non-Financial Foreign Entity Structures:

    An active NFFE (non-financial foreign entity) is a foreign entity that is not a financial institution whose gross income comes more than 50 percent from non-passive sources and more than 50 percent of its assets are held for the production of non-passive income. This will be the most common choice, i.e., a normal nonfinancial foreign operating company.

    A publically traded NFFE is an NFFE that is traded on one or more established securities markets.

    An excepted territory NFFE is an NFFE organized in a possession of the U.S.

    A passive NFFE is a foreign entity that does not have substantial U.S. owners or has provided the names of the owners and does not meet any of the other NFFE categories.


    Q:   Is my personal and financial information secure?
    A:   Your privacy and the security of your data is very important to us. Confidential information is transmitted using strong (256-bit) SSL encryption. You should see "https://" in the web address and the locked padlock symbol at the bottom of the web page's browser window when entering passwords or confidential data. Choose a secure password and do not share your access with others. Always begin at the Vendor Center home page, log out and exit your browser when you have completed your access to the site.

    Still have a question?

    Ask on the Support page.