Finance and Research Administration

Important Financial Information

MIT G/L Accounts
Sales Tax
Sensitive/Restricted Items

Making Purchases at MIT

Purchase Order
Procurement Card

MIT Reimbursement Forms

MIT Travel Reimbursement



Important Financial Information

The fiscal year for MIT and HMS starts July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.
Access to most financial sites requires both an MIT Certificate and a Personal Certificate.
Whenever financial transactions are carried out on behalf of IMES or HST, it is important that all individuals involved ensure that the expenditures incurred comply with Institute and Division policies, are incurred in appropriate cost centers (Accounts or Cost Objects), and charged to appropriate general ledger accounts (Object Codes).

MIT G/L (General Ledger) Accounts or Cost Elements:

Formerly know as “object codes”, MIT G/L accounts are expense classifications which are commonly used when conducting financial transactions.

Sales Tax:

Under no circumstances will MIT reimburse for sales tax. Whenever making purchases on behalf of the Institute, always present the MIT tax exemption number or forms (ST-2 and ST-5) to the vendor, and ensure that no tax is charged. Copies of the forms are available for download here (MIT Certificate required).

Sensitive/Restricted Items:

Please see these examples of items that require special review and items that cannot be purchased under Institute Policy.

Making Purchases at MIT

Purchases of goods/services can be made via:
  • ECAT
  • Purchase Order (Atlas)
  • Internal Requisition (Atlas)
  • MIT Credit Card
For more details, please visit the Procurement General Purchasing Info website or see below:


ECAT is an electronic ordering system that allows for convenient purchasing from MIT Partners at MIT preferred pricing. Each vendor has established a special website that allows a purchase order to be issued when the order is placed via the website. Some current MIT vendor partners include: Staples, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, GovConnection, Ambit Press/Minuteman Press, FedEx, Airgas, Grainger, SciQuest, VWR International, and many more.

Purchase Order

A Purchase order is an important component of the purchasing process and is required as it:

  1. Clearly states price, quantity, and description of items purchased
  2. Commits funds from an MIT account
  3. Guarantees payment to vendor
  4. Facilitates the issuing of checks to vendor from MIT
To obtain a purchase order, requisitions through Atlas should be completed prior to contacting a vendor or ordering goods and services (remember a Purchase Order must be obtained to facilitate payment of an invoice). The requisition is routed to Procurement electronically via Atlas for review and then a Purchase Order will be generated.


Atlas (formerly known as SAP) allows one to:

  1. Create & Display electronic requisitions for both external vendors such as Airgas, Ambit Press/Minuteman Press, Apple Computer, Staples, etc as well as MIT Internal Providers (A/V, Catering, CopyTech, Mail Services, Faculty Club, Facilities, Endicott House, Information Systems)
  2. Display generated Purchase Orders
  3. Transfer funds between MIT accounts (Journal Vouchers)
  4. Approve ProCard (credit card) Transactions

Procurement Card

All purchases made with the MIT Procurement Card create a financial obligation for which the Institute is responsible. Cardholders must abide by both MIT and IMES/HST policy surrounding the use of the cards. All cardholders must fill out the IMES Credit Card Purchase Form (see below) for each purchase and submit the form and accompanying documentation (receipts) to your verifier.
Read the MIT Procurement Card Policies and Procedures
Download the IMES Credit Card Purchase Form

MIT Reimbursement Forms

Request for Payment (RFP)

All reimbursements to be processed for any MIT employee or student, can be processed by submitting an RFP. All RFPs are processed via Atlas, including:

  • Staff who process RFPs on behalf of departments, labs, and centers (DLCs)
  • Individual members who wish to submit RFPs for their own out-of-pocket expenses
Please note that a purchase order is required for most payments to vendors and reimbursements for over $500. However, an RFP can be used to issue a check for subscriptions, memberships & dues, registration fees, and honoraria (considered taxable income and therefore requires a social security number).
Information regarding when to use a RFP can be found on the VPF Accounts Payable website.

MIT Travel Reimbursement

In January 2011, MIT introduced the Concur system for online booking and expense reporting for travel.

To access the system, please visit

See the MIT Travel website for more information or visit the MIT Concur training page for steps on booking travel and/or reporting expenses after travel.


The IMES and HST Finance Office works with IMES and HST faculty and staff in preparing, reviewing, and approving grant proposals and applications. Assistance is provided on budgeting, interpretation of award terms and conditions and account set-up, management, and closing. These staff proactively partner with faculty and staff to solve research finance-related matters that may arise.


If you have questions about anything that is related to finances, please contact any of the following staff members:

Senior Financial Officer: Irene Huang

Financial Officer: Phoebe Biagiotti