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Procurement

Revised: July 1, 2010

Also refer to Signature Authority Policy.  All Procurement policies and procedures are governed by the Signature Authority Policy as well.

Table of Contents

Procurement Policy
Purchase Order Defined
Purchasing Authority Limits
When to Use a Purchase Order
When Not to Use a Purchase Order
Purchase Order Procedure
Change Order Defined
Authorization for Payment Defined
When to Use an Authorization for Payment
When Not to Use an Authorization for Payment
Processing Time Guidelines
Manual Checks Defined
Contributions Guidelines
Political Contributions Prohibited
Authorization for Payment Procedure
Procard Defined
When to Use a Procard
When Not to Use a Procard
Obtaining a Procard
Petty Cash Defined
Minor Business Expense Defined
When to Use Petty Cash
When Not to Use Petty Cash
Establishing a Petty Cash Fund Procedure
Reconciling and Replenishing Petty Cash Fund Procedure
Absence of Petty Cash Custodian Procedure
Closing Petty Cash Fund Procedure
Office Depot
Costco
Related Policies
Information Available on the Internet
Additional Information


Procurement policy

The University purchases goods and services for business purposes in furtherance of its mission. There are several acceptable procurement methods:

  • purchase order,
  • Authorization for Payment,
  • Procard,
  • petty cash,
  • Costco, and
  • Office Depot.

Purchase order defined

A purchase order represents a commitment of University funds. It is a contract between the University and a vendor for the sale and purchase of goods or services.

Note: Vendor must be established in Banner before purchase order can be issued. Contact the Purchasing Department.

Purchasing authority limits

All purchasing authority is governed by the University's Signature Authority Policy. See General Procurement.

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When to use a purchase order

Purchase orders must be used for the following types of purchases:

  • contracts (see Signature Authority Policy),
  • construction, repairs and maintenance (see Renovations to Facilities Policy),
  • furniture, fixtures or equipment (including software) ≥ $5,000,
  • radioactive materials purchases.

Note: Any changes to purchase orders must be processed through local campus Purchasing Department (see below).

When not to use a purchase order

Purchase orders may not be used for:

  • contributions to civic or non-profit causes (see below for guidelines),
  • entertainment expenses,
  • independent contractors (i.e., 1099 vendors),
  • interest charges,
  • moving expenses,
  • personal expenses,
  • petty cash (to establish or replenish),
  • salary expenses, payroll advances, personal loans,
  • traffic citations or other fines for University or personal vehicles (these are personal expenses),
  • University parking permits (these are personal expenses).

Purchase order procedure

Follow the procedure below to issue a purchase order:

Step Action
1 Ensure that sufficient funds are in the budget (both index and account pool) for the desired item(s).
 
2 Ensure that you have express (verbal or written) approval by department head before entering requisition.
 
3 Obtain quotes or bids from qualified suppliers as follows:
  If... Then...
  Purchases $15,000 - $24,999 Three verbal quotes/bids
  Purchases > $25,000 Three written quotes/bids
  Note: The Purchasing Department will obtain quotes/bids on the University's behalf upon request and will provide assistance with evaluating quote/bids. Sole and single source purchases ≥$25,000 or deviation from quote/bid requirements must be supported by written justification signed by department head.
 
4 Department enters requisition in Banner utilizing Banner requisition data entry procedures. Forward quote/bid information to Purchasing Department.
  Note: The University understands that the vendor submitting the lowest quote/bid may not be selected. In the event the lowest quote/bid is not selected, written justification signed by the department head must be submitted.
 
5 Respective campus Purchasing Department processes requisition and issues purchase order to vendor.
  Note: Additional information may be required before the purchase order is processed.
 
6 When goods are received, department completes receiving report and submits to Accounts Payable (Business Office at Sacramento and San Francisco campuses) for payment.
  Note: Vendors must submit original invoices directly to Accounts Payable rather than to University schools or departments. However, if schools or departments receive original invoices from vendors, immediately forward these to Accounts Payable.

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Change order defined

A change order is any change made to an existing purchase order. Change orders are used in the following circumstances:

  • The price charged is different (10% or > $50 excluding tax or freight) from the amount on the original purchase order.
  • Departments add additional items to the original purchase order.
  • Departments delete items from the original purchase order.
  • Departments substitute items on the original purchase order.
  • Departments change index, account or both on the original purchase order.

Note: Departments must not issue additional purchase orders for these types of changes. Contact your respective campus Purchasing Department to process a change order.

Authorization for Payment defined

Payment for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred by the individual in the conduct of official University activities. An Authorization for Payment form (commonly referred to as a "Check Request") is the form used.

Note: Vendor must be established in Banner before payment can be issued. Contact the Purchasing Department. Controller's Office Faculty/Staff Index Signature Authorization form must be on file in Accounts Payable (Business Offices at remote campuses).
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When to use an Authorization for Payment

The Authorization for Payment form is used for the following types of purchases:

  • advances for travel expenses (including traveler's checks),
  • contributions to civic or non-profit causes (see below for guidelines),
  • employee morale - reasonable expenses for improvement of working conditions, employer-employee relations, and employee performance (i.e., in-house publications, holiday party, summer picnic, anniversary lunch, retirement reception),
  • entertainment expenses (see Entertainment Policy),
  • independent contractors (i.e., 1099 vendors - Independent Contractor Agreement required),
  • moving expenses for faculty and staff,
  • petty cash,
  • retail purchases of supplies, books and other low-cost items (less than $5,000 each inclusive of tax and shipping),
  • travel expenses and expenses associated with professional meetings.

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When not to use an Authorization for Payment

The Authorization for Payment form must not be used for:

  • construction, repairs and maintenance to facilities including window treatments (see Renovations to Facilities Policy),
  • interest charges,
  • Internet auctions,
  • payments to other University departments or campuses,
  • personal expenses (see Travel Policy),
  • personal gifts, including birthday cakes etc. (see Gifts, Awards, Prizes Policy),
  • purchases prohibited by University policy, grant or research contracts, or which violate the University's tax exempt status (i.e., political lobbying or political action committees),
  • purchases required to be made on a purchase order (see above),
  • radioactive materials purchases,
  • salary expenses, payroll advances or personal loans,
  • traffic citations or other fines for University or personal vehicles (these are personal expenses),
  • University parking permits (these are personal expenses).

Processing time guidelines

Please allow ten business days from the date received in Accounts Payable for processing. Generally the University issues checks twice per week.

Manual checks defined

Checks issued by Accounts Payable separately rather than as part of normal check run.

Note: Manual checks are discouraged. However, the Associate Controller at his/her discretion may approve the processing of a manual check on a rush basis. A $20 fee will be charged for this service.

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Contributions guidelines

Expenditures for contributions to other non-profit organizations may be made on an Authorization for Payment form. The cognizant Dean or Vice President must approve the Authorization for Payment form.

Political contributions prohibited

Political contributions (including political action committees often included with membership dues invoices) are forbidden and violate the University's tax-exempt status. Any questions regarding what constitutes a political contribution must be directed to the University's Controller.

Authorization for Payment procedure

Follow the procedure below to complete an Authorization for Payment form:

Step Action
1 Ensure sufficient funds are in the budget (both index and account pool) for the desired item(s).
 
2 Gather original receipts and/or invoices and attach to 8-1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. Receipts that will be charged to the same index and account number may be batched together. Include Excel schedule summarizing receipts to support the total and facilitate review.
 
3 Complete Authorization for Payment form charging the appropriate index code and account number for each business-related expense. Attach the original receipts, Excel schedule and Independent Contractor Agreement if 1099 vendor (contact Human Resources for further information regarding independent contractors).
 
4 Have the responsible department head approve and sign the Authorization for Payment form.
  Note: Individuals may not approve their own advances, expense reimbursement, or payments to vendors for travel on their own behalf (i.e., hotels, airfare, or travel agencies, etc.). Expense reimbursements must be approved by the immediate supervisor. Immediate supervisor is the individual who evaluates the employee's performance, recommends salary adjustments, and is hiring authority for the position.
 
5 Submit the completed Authorization for Payment form including receipts, Excel schedule and Independent Contractor Agreement (if 1099 vendor) to Accounts Payable (Business Office at Sacramento and San Francisco campuses).

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Procard defined

A credit card issued to an individual for the purpose of making authorized purchases (including travel) on the University's behalf. The University will issue payment for charges made with the Procard.

When to use a Procard

The Procard may be used for purchases < $5,000 that are not required to be processed on a purchase order and for approved travel on official University business.

When not to use a Procard

The Procard may not be used for:

  • capital equipment,
  • cash advances, 
  • contracts (including leases),
  • contributions to civic or non-profit causes (see guidelines above),
  • construction, repairs and maintenance to facilities including window treatments (see Renovations to Facilities Policy),
  • entertainment expenses except those permitted by the Entertainment Policy,
  • personal gifts (see Gifts, Awards and Prizes Policy).
  • independent contractors (i.e., 1099 vendors),
  • interest charges,
  • Internet auctions,
  • payments to other University departments or campuses,
  • personal expenses (see Travel Policy),
  • purchases > $4,999,
  • purchases prohibited by University policy, grant or research contract, or which violate the University's tax-exempt status (i.e., political lobbying or political action committees),
  • purchases required to be made on a purchase order,
  • salary expenses, payroll advances, personal loans,
  • traffic citations or other fines for University or personal vehicles (these are personal expenses),
  • radioactive materials purchases,
  • University parking permits (these are personal expenses).

Obtaining a Procard

Contact the Purchasing Department to obtain a Procard.

Petty cash defined

Petty cash consists of cash funds (generally $100 to $200) managed by a custodian that are used for minor business expenses (< $100). Petty cash funds are replenished as they become depleted, at least monthly and on the last business day in June. Petty cash funds are reviewed by the Controller's Office on an ongoing basis to determine:

  • whether a petty cash fund is warranted for the department,
  • whether the balance is appropriate, and
  • whether procedures are being followed.

Minor business expense defined

A minor business expense is a qualified business expense less than $100 and not otherwise limited or prohibited by University policy.

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When to use petty cash

Petty cash may be used for:

  • local retail purchases,
  • local transportation (i.e., parking, tolls, bus/train fare),
  • meal expenses up to $35,
  • minor meeting expenses (i.e., monthly luncheon meetings),
  • photocopy services, and
  • postage and mailing expenses.

When not to use petty cash

Petty cash may not be used for:

  • as a check cashing service,
  • business meal expenses > $35,
  • cell phones,
  • contributions to civic or non-profit causes (see guidelines above),
  • entertainment expenses except those permitted by the entertainment policy (see Entertainment Policy),
  • personal gifts, including birthday cakes etc. (see Gifts, Awards, Prizes Policy),
  • interest charges,
  • payment for services,
  • personal expenses (see Travel Policy),
  • radioactive materials purchases,
  • salary expenses, payroll advances, personal loans,
  • single purchases > $100,
  • traffic citations or other fines for University or personal vehicles (these are personal expenses),
  • University parking permits (these are personal expenses).

Establishing a petty cash fund procedure

Follow the procedure below to establish a petty cash fund:

Step Action
1 Department head appoints a petty cash custodian and notifies Financial Reporting in writing (Stockton campus) or respective Business Office (Sacramento and San Francisco campuses). Purpose of petty cash fund must be noted in communication.
Note: A department may have only one petty cash fund. Controller's Office Faculty/Staff Signature Authority form must be on file.
   
2 Petty cash custodian completes an Authorization for Payment form to initially establish fund charging account 1210 (Stockton campus), 1220 (San Francisco campus), 1230 (Sacramento campus).
   
3 Accounts Payable issues check to custodian. Only the petty cash custodian may pick up the check.
Exception: Security personnel at McGeorge School of Law receive and cash check, returning proceeds to custodian.
   
4 Custodian cashes check and keeps funds in a locked box in desk or cabinet that is secured at all times.
   
5 Custodian reimburses individuals for approved expenses (see above) when original receipt is presented to custodian.
Note: Custodian keeps original receipt with petty cash funds to be used as documentation for replenishment of fund (see procedure below).

Note: Financial Reporting and/or remote campus Business Office reserves the right to refuse a request to establish a petty cash fund.

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Reconciling and replenishing petty cash fund procedure

Follow the procedure below to reconcile and replenish petty cash:

Step Action
1 On at least a monthly basis and on the last June business day, custodian counts petty cash funds and prepares Petty Cash Reconciliation form (available on Controller's Office website).
 
2 Custodian verifies that the amount of funds remaining and the expenses claimed on the Petty Cash Reconciliation form total equal the original amount of the fund.
 
3 Custodian prepares Authorization for Payment form that equals the amount of the receipt(s), charges the expenses to the appropriate index code and account.
4 Custodian submits Authorization for Payment form, Petty Cash Reconciliation form and original receipts to Accounts Payable.
5 Accounts Payable issues check to custodian.
Note: Only the petty cash custodian may pick up the check. Security personnel at McGeorge School of Law pick up and cash check, returning proceeds to custodian.
 
6 Custodian cashes check and secures funds.

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Absence of petty cash custodian procedure

Follow the procedure below in the absence of a petty cash custodian:

Step Action
1 Department head appoints temporary cash custodian and notifies Financial Reporting (Stockton campus) or Business Office (Sacramento and San Francisco campuses) in writing (email acceptable).
 
2 Custodian and temporary custodian count petty cash fund and prepare a listing of outstanding receipts and reimbursement requests in process. The total must equal the value of the petty cash fund. Alternatively the department head may count the petty cash fund in the absence of the custodian.
 
3 Both the custodian and temporary custodian sign the listing and the custodian retains a copy until his/her return and the fund reverts back to his/her control
 
4 To replenish the fund in the custodian's absence, the temporary custodian follows the procedures to reconcile/replenish petty cash.

Closing petty cash fund procedure

Follow the procedure below to close a petty cash fund:

Step Action
1 Custodian counts remaining petty cash and prepares a deposit slip to deposit the funds to account 1210, 1220, or 1230 (Stockton, San Francisco, or Sacramento respectively). Department head signs deposit slip.
2 Custodian deposits remaining funds with the cashiers to account 1210, 1220, or 1230 (Stockton, San Francisco, or Sacramento respectively).
3 Custodian submits deposit slip, outstanding receipts and Petty Cash Reconciliation form to Accounts Payable. Expenses charged to the appropriate budget.

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Office Depot

The University has made arrangements with Office Depot to order supplies over the Internet. Contact the Purchasing Department for details.

Costco

The University has made arrangements with Costco for individuals to make University-related business purchases at Costco utilizing the University's Costco membership number. Contact the Purchasing Department for further details.

Related policies

Signature Authority Policy; Entertainment Policy; Expenditure Authorization Policy; Gifts, Awards, Prizes Policy; Procard Policies & Procedures (available on Controller's Office Forms, Policies, and Procedures website); Renovations to Facilities Policy; and Travel Policy.

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Information available on the Internet

The following information is available on the Internet at http://web.pacific.edu/x8084.xml:

  • Procard Procedures
  • Purchase Order Terms & Conditions
  • Petty Cash Reconciliation form

Additional information

Contact the following departments for additional information:

Procurement Methods Department
Petty Cash Financial Reporting
Authorization for Payment Accounts Payable
Purchase Order Purchasing Department
Procard Purchasing Department
Costco Purchasing Department
Office Depot Purchasing Department