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Interim Procurement Policy

Table of Contents

Authorization for Payment
Purchase Order
Petty Cash


Purchasing decisions are business decisions made on behalf of the University and therefore should be made with the utmost consideration for what is in the best interest of the University, including appropriate stewardship of University assets, integrity when acquiring goods and services, and accountability to funding sources and stakeholders. This ensures competitive purchasing requirements and a fair and ethical process across the University's purchasing process.

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Acceptable Procurement Methods and Definitions
The University purchases goods and services for business purposes in furtherance of its mission. These expenses should be reasonable and necessary to conduct University business. There are several acceptable procurement methods:


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.
Note: To obtain a Procard, contact the Purchasing Department.

Authorization for Payment

An Authorization for Payment form (commonly referred to as a "Check Request") is the form used to pay for expenses incurred by the individual in the conduct of official University activities.
Note: Vendor must be established in Banner Finance before payment can be issued. Contact the Purchasing Department.

Purchase Order

A purchase order represents a commitment of University funds. It is a contract between the University and a vendor for the purchase and sale of goods or services.
Note: Vendor must be established in Banner Finance before purchase order can be issued. Contact the Purchasing Department.

Petty Cash

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/University Cashiers 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, including monthly account reconciliations.

Purchasing Authority Limits

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

Note: Controller's Office Faculty/Staff Index Signature Authority form must be on file in the Controller's Office.

Sales Tax

The University is required to pay sales and use tax on all taxable purchases.

Note: Stockton Accounts Payable Department maintains all sales tax rates within Banner Finance.

Authorized Expenses and All Appropriate Means

See chart below to determine type of transaction and appropriate payment method(s). Please note, transactions are not limited to the following list. These are the most common type of transactions.

Note: If there are multiple payment method options and Procard is one, Procard is preferred.



Type of Transaction

Can Be Purchased Using...
ProcardAuthorization for PaymentPurchase OrderPetty Cash (Business Expense Limits defined in Petty Cash Section)
Advances for travel expenses Yes
*/**Construction, repairs and maintenance (must go through Support Services(see Renovations Policy and Capital Assets Management Policy )YesYesYes
*/**/*** Contracts (see Signature Authority Policy)YesYesYes
Contributions to civic or non-profit causes (see Contributions to Non-Employees Policy)YesYes  
Employee morale- reasonable and occasional expenses for improvement of working conditions, employer-employee relations, performanceYesYes
Entertainment (business guests)YesYes
*/**Furniture, fixtures or equipment (see Capital Assets Management Policy)YesYesYes
Independent contractors (see Standard Services Agreement and Independent Contractor Checklist)YesYesYes
Maintenance contractsYesYesYes
*Meal expenses (local)YesYes (up to $35)
Moving expenses (faculty and staff)Yes
Petty cash (to establish or replenish)Yes
Radioactive materialsYes
*Retail purchases (necessary and reasonable) of supplies, books and other low-cost itemsYesYesYes
*Travel expenses and expenses associated with professional meetingsYesYesYes

* Dependent on dollar amount

** See Purchase Order Procedure for bid thresholds
*** Same payment method required for all payments in duration of contract

Unauthorized Expenses

The following list of expenses are deemed personal and are NOT authorized for payment with University funds:
• Interest charges
• Internet auctions
• Payroll advances
• Personal gifts (birthday cakes, cards, etc.)
• Personal loans
• Purchases prohibited by University policy, grant research contracts, or which violate the University's tax exempt status (i.e. political lobbying)
• Salary expenses
• Traffic citations or other fines for University or personal vehicles
• University parking permits

Note: This is not an all-inclusive list.

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Please click the following link to review the Procard Policies and Procedures.

Procard Policies and Procedures

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Authorization for Payment

Authorization for Payment Procedure

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

1Ensure sufficient funds are in the budget (both index and account pool) for the desired item(s).
2Gather 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.

Complete Authorization for Payment form charging the appropriate index code and account number for each business-related expense. Attach the following:

Note: Refer to Controller's website for forms and more information.


Have the responsible department head approve and sign the Authorization for Payment form in accordance with the University Signature Authority Policy.

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 the hiring authority for the position.

5Submit the completed Authorization for Payment form including receipts, Excel schedule, and Independent Contractor Checklist (if 1099 vendor) to respective Accounts Payable/Business Office.

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 Accounts Payable Manager, 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 to the index making the request.

Contributions Guidelines

Expenditures for contributions to other non-profit organizations may be made on an Authorization for Payment form charging account 7015. The cognizant Dean or Vice President must approve the Authorization for Payment form. (Contributions to Non-Employees Policy under review).

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.


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Purchase Order

Purchase Order Procedure
Follow the procedure below to complete the purchase order cycle: 

1Ensure that sufficient funds are in the budget (both index and account pool) for the desired item(s).
2Ensure that you have express (verbal or written) approval by department head, as per the Signature Authority Policy, before entering requisition.

Obtain quotes or bids from qualified suppliers as follows:

If University Funds..Then ...
Purchases $0 - $14,999Three verbal quotes/bids encouraged
Purchases $15,000 - $24,999Three verbal quotes/bids required
Purchases ≥ $25,000Three written quotes/bids required
If Grant Funds…Then…
Purchasing $0-$10,000Three verbal quotes/bids encouraged
Purchasing $10,001-$24,999Three verbal quotes/bids required
Purchasing $25,000-$250,000Three written quotes/bids required
Purchases>$250,000Formal solicitation required

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 using the Single/Sole Source Justification Form.

4Department enters requisition in Banner Finance utilizing Banner Finance requisition data entry procedures. Forward quote/bid information to respective 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.
5Respective campus Purchasing Department processes requisition and issues purchase order to vendor.

Note: Additional information may be required before the purchase order is processed.

When goods are received, department authorizes payment by submitting either 1.) a packing slip with signature and date of goods received or 2.) an email with the same information to the respective Accounts Payable/Business Office for payment.

Note: Vendors must submit original invoices directly to Accounts Payable/Business Office rather than to University schools or departments. However, if schools or departments receive original invoices from vendors, immediately forward these to Accounts Payable/Business Office.

Change Order Defined

Any change to an existing purchase order. They 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.

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Petty Cash

Minor Business Expense

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

Establishing a Petty Cash Fund Procedure

Follow the procedure below to establish a petty cash fund:


Department head appoints a petty cash custodian and notifies Controller's/University Cashier's Office in writing (Stockton campus) or respective Business Office (Sacramento and San Francisco campuses). Purpose of petty cash fund must be noted in communication before entering requisition. 

Note: A department may have only one petty cash fund. Controller's Office Faculty/Staff Index Signature Authorization form must be on file.

2Petty cash custodian completes an Authorization for Payment form to initially establish fund charging account 1210.

Accounts Payable issues check to custodian. Only the petty cash custodian may pick up the check.

Note: At McGeorge School of Law, the custodian is responsible for the check at all times, but is accompanied by a Public Safety Officer when funds need to be replenished.

4Custodian cashes check and keeps funds in a locked box in desk or cabinet that is secured at all times.
5Custodian 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 Reconciling & Replenishing Petty Cash Fund Procedure below).

Note: Controller's Office/University Cashier's and/or Sacramento and San Francisco Business Offices reserve the right to refuse a request to establish a petty cash fund and the right to perform random cash counts.

Reconciling & Replenishing Petty Cash Fund Procedure

Follow the procedure below to reconcile and replenish petty cash:

1On at least a monthly basis and on the last June business day, custodian counts petty cash fund and prepares Petty Cash Reconciliation form (available on Controller's Office website).
2Custodian 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.
3Custodian prepares Authorization for Payment form that equals the amount of the receipt(s), charges the expenses to the appropriate index code and account.
4Custodian submits Authorization for Payment form, Petty Cash Reconciliation form  and original receipts to Accounts Payable and scans the Petty Cash form to Financial Reporting.

Upon review and approval of Authorization for Payment form, Accounts Payable issues check to custodian or to the index.

Note: Only the petty cash custodian may pick up the check. At McGeorge School of Law, the custodian is responsible for the check at all times, but is accompanied by a Public Safety Officer when funds need to be replenished.

6Custodian cashes check and secures funds.


Absence of Petty Cash Custodian Procedure

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

1Department head appoints temporary cash custodian and notifies Controller's Office/University Cashier's (Stockton campus) or Business Office (Sacramento and San Francisco campuses) in writing (email acceptable).
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.
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.
To replenish the fund in the custodian's absence, the temporary custodian follows the procedures above to Reconcile/Replenish petty cash.


Closing Petty Cash Fund Procedure

Follow the procedure below to close a petty cash fund:

1Custodian counts remaining petty cash and prepares a Cashier Deposit Form to deposit the funds to account 1210. Department head signs Cashier Deposit Form.
2Custodian deposits remaining funds with the Cashiers/Business Office to account 1210.
Custodian submits Cashier Deposit Form, outstanding receipts and Petty Cash Reconciliation form  to Accounts Payable or Business Office. Expenses are charged to the appropriate budget.

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Related Policies and Forms

• 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

Travel Policy (currently under review and being modified)

Additional Information

Contact the following departments for additional information:

Procurement MethodsDepartment
ProcardProcurement Services
Authorization for PaymentAccounts Payable
Purchase OrderProcurement Services
Petty CashUniversity Cashier's
About This Policy
Last Updated
Original Issue Date

Responsible Department
Finance Operations