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.
Back To Top
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can Be Purchased
Authorization for Payment
Petty Cash (Business Expense Limits
defined in Petty Cash Section)
Advances for travel expenses
*/**Construction, repairs and maintenance (must go
through Support Services) (see Renovations
Policy and Capital Assets Management Policy)
*/**/*** Contracts (see Signature
Contributions to civic or non-profit causes (see Contributions
to Non-Employees Policy)
Employee morale- reasonable and occasional expenses for
improvement of working conditions, employer-employee relations,
Entertainment (business guests)
*/**Furniture, fixtures or equipment (see
Assets Management Policy)
Independent contractors (see Standard Services Agreement and
*Meal expenses (local)
Yes (up to $35)
Moving expenses (faculty and staff)
Petty cash (to establish or replenish)
*Retail purchases (necessary and reasonable) of
supplies, books and other low-cost items
*Travel expenses and expenses associated with
* Dependent on dollar amount
** See Purchase Order Procedure for bid thresholds*** Same payment method required for all payments in duration of contract
• 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.
Please click the following link to review the Procard Policies and Procedures.
Procard Policies and Procedures
Authorization for Payment Procedure
Follow the procedure below to complete an Authorization for Payment form:
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
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.
Submit 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.
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
Purchase Order ProcedureFollow the procedure below to complete the purchase order cycle:
Ensure that sufficient funds are in the budget (both
index and account pool) for the desired item(s).
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.
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.
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:
Note: Departments must not issue additional purchase orders for these types of changes. Contact your respective campus Purchasing Department to process a change order.
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.
Petty 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
times, but is accompanied by a Public Safety Officer when funds need to be
Custodian cashes check and keeps funds in a locked
box in desk or cabinet that is secured at all times.
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 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:
On 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).
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.
Custodian prepares Authorization for Payment form that equals the amount of the receipt(s), charges the expenses to the appropriate index code and account.
Custodian 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.
Custodian 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:
Department 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.
custodian and temporary custodian sign the listing
and the custodian retains a copy until
his/her return and
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:
Custodian counts remaining petty cash and prepares a Cashier Deposit Form to deposit the funds to account 1210. Department head signs Cashier Deposit Form.
Custodian 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.
Back To Top
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
• 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
Contact the following departments for additional information:
Signature Authority Policy
Expenditure Authorization Policy
Gifts, Awards, Prizes Policy
Procard Policies and Procedures
Renovations to Facilities Policy