Purchasing and Payment
Employees purchasing goods and services for the College should do so in a manner that obtains the maximum value per dollar spent in terms of price, quality, service and delivery. Department Budget Managers may spend up to the amount authorized in their budgets and may delegate purchasing duties, but are ultimately responsible for monitoring their budgets and ensuring that all purchases are reasonable, authorized business purchases.
Employees should use the following guidelines when making purchasing decisions:
- Departments are encouraged to seek information on products and services from local suppliers and those included in consortium agreements. One such consortium is E&I (Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing) which enables the College to get special discounts from suppliers such as Office Max, Fed Ex and others (for additional information, please contact the Business Office).
- Contact more than one vendor for pricing information. Seek a competitive discount whenever possible. Comparison shopping may result in reduced costs.
- Provide the same information to each vendor allowing equal opportunity. Do not disclose information or prices from competing vendors.
- Consider every aspect of your purchase including the cost of accessories, supplies, maintenance and repairs.
- Strive to maintain good relationships with vendors of proven ability and service. Our purchasing activities should be conducted so vendors value our business and make every effort to meet our requirements for quality, service and price.
Payment for Purchases:
Purchase Cards: Employees with College credit cards are expected to use their P-cards for college business whenever possible (except for purchases on-campus). For further details, refer to the P-card policy.
Direct Billing and Establishing Credit Relationships with Vendors: For those cases where the use of a College P-card is not feasible, the College may establish and maintain charge accounts, charge cards and membership arrangements with select vendors in very limited situations.
If a Budget Manager would like to establish a business relationship with a vendor that includes membership, charge cards or charge accounts, the Budget Manager must contact the Business Office before initiating the relationship. Specific information will need to be provided to the Business Office and requests will be considered on a case by case basis.
All memberships for retail outlets must originate in the College Business Office. Memberships must be business memberships used for College purposes only, and departments are limited to one membership for similar retail outlets. Personal membership fees will not be reimbursed by the College.
Please keep in mind that "No individual has the authority to enter into contracts for the purchase of goods or services, or to otherwise obligate Concordia College in any way for financial indebtedness unless specifically authorized to do so by the Treasurer and Vice President for Finance".
Once a credit relationship with a vendor has been established, employees should indicate their name and department and instruct vendors to send invoices directly to their attention to expedite approval and payment. Invoices should then be approved by the Department Budget Manager, coded with the correct budget number (FOAP) and submitted to Accounts Payable in a timely manner (preferably upon receipt, but no later than 30 days from the date of invoice) making every effort to avoid late fees or finance charges. For new vendors, completion of an IRS Form W-9 is also required.
Personal Funds: It is acceptable for purchases to be made with personal funds and then submitted for reimbursement, but this is discouraged for several reasons: (1) individuals are not able to avoid paying sales tax while Concordia is exempt from sales tax; (2) there may be discounts available to the College that are not available to individuals; (3) reimbursements, if not properly documented and submitted within 30 days, may be considered taxable compensation by the IRS.
Please note that employees who have been issued a Concordia P-card are expected to use their P-cards in lieu of personal credit cards for college purchases. Personal purchases and college purchases should be kept separate.
College funds or college credit cards should NEVER be used for personal items.
- Computers – All computer hardware and software should be requested through Information Technology Services.
- Paper – Copy paper can be ordered from the Print Shop at a competitive price.
- Stationery and Business Cards – Stationery and business cards should be ordered through the Office of Communications in order to standardize these items.
- Telephones – Telephones and related accessories can be acquired and installed by contacting Facilities Management. Any telephone requests must be approved by the Department Budget Manager as there may be related monthly charges.
All employees who make purchases for Concordia must adhere to the following standards: (1) always act in the best interest of the College in all transactions; (2) conduct business without bias, seeking to obtain the maximum overall value per dollar in purchasing and bidding transactions; (3) maintain confidentiality of pricing and other sensitive information; (4) never accept gratuities, gifts or entertainment where the purpose or outcome is to bias the purchasing process--any items received as a result of college purchases are the property of the College.
All legal contracts, leases and agreements that obligate the College must be approved and signed by the Vice President for Finance/Treasurer and, if necessary, one other corporate officer as specified in Concordia's corporate resolution.
All contracts should be thoroughly reviewed for appropriate content and terms by the department prior to submitting to the Treasurer for review and signature.
Sales Tax Exemption:
Concordia College is tax exempt (this exemption does not apply to purchases of prepared meals or lodging). If businesses request Concordia's tax exempt ID numbers, they are as follows:
- Minnesota – ES 20743
- North Dakota – E-5479
Tax exemption guidelines are:
- Items purchased in or delivered to Minnesota are exempt.
- Items purchased in another state and not delivered to Minnesota are taxable.
- Meals and lodging are taxable.
- Sales tax exemption does not apply to other excise taxes, such as airline taxes.
Concordia also has sales tax exemption in Florida. Contact Accounts Payable at 218-299-3322 for that certificate if you will be making purchases or traveling in Florida.
Invoices and payment requests which include the proper budget number (FOAP), documentation and signatures will be processed approximately 5-10 business days after submittal.
Please submit invoices on a daily basis if possible; at a minimum, invoices should be submitted weekly. Each department is expected to submit invoices in a timely manner to facilitate positive vendor relationships, and College policy requires that invoices be submitted for payment within 30 days of the invoice date (departments will need to provide written justification for invoices submitted after 30 days).
Forms are available on the Business Office website.
W-9 Policy for New Vendors:
In order to make payment to new vendors, an IRS Form W-9 is required (existing vendors can be confirmed by using the Vendor Search function on the Business Office website). Departments should request a completed W-9 from new vendors and attach to invoice or payment request. For more information, see W-9 policy.
Invoices and Direct Payment Voucher Requests:
When submitting an original invoice for payment, please indicate the appropriate budget number (FOAP) on the invoice and obtain the signature/approval of the responsible department head (to conserve paper, direct payment voucher requests are not necessary if submitting an original invoice). Any items that should be mailed with the check should be paper-clipped behind the invoice, including letters, envelopes, remittance slips, etc.
For payment requests without an invoice, complete a Direct Payment Voucher Request including the correct budget number (FOAP), payment and address information, and the authorized signature. Copies should be made of any order forms, subscription renewals, conference registrations, or other documentation and stapled to the Direct Payment Voucher Request (the Business Office needs a copy for audit purposes). Any items that should be mailed with the check (original order forms, etc.) should be paper-clipped behind the request.
If a check should be returned to the requesting department before mailing, paperclip a self-addressed envelope behind the payment request. The department then becomes responsible for mailing the check to the vendor.
To request an advance, please complete an Advance Request form. Advances will only be issued to employees traveling with student groups (any exceptions must be approved in writing by the division vice president). All advance requests must include an itemized estimate of expenses and signatures of both the employee and Department Budget Manager. Separate advance requests should be submitted for each trip (do not combine multiple trips/events on one advance form).
Purchase cards should be used instead of cash whenever possible (except for purchases on campus). Any cash received from your credit card will automatically be treated as a cash advance.
To ensure compliance with IRS regulations, College policy requires that employees adequately account for advances within 30 days of the date of the advance. Any advances not accounted for within 60 days of when they were issued will result in forfeiture of the employee's ability to receive future advances and be reported as taxable income on the employee's W-2 as per IRS requirements.
To repay advances, complete a Reimbursement Report form—listing all expenses and the original amount of the advance. Attach mileage logs and original itemized receipts for all expenses. If you owe money from the advance, write the amount repaid on the form and attach the payment. Sign the form, obtain the signature of the Department Budget Manager and submit to Accounts Payable no later than 30 days after the date of the advance.
To ensure compliance with IRS guidelines, College policy requires that all reimbursement requests be submitted within 30 days of the expense date. Please use a Reimbursement Report form for this purpose (requests submitted on a Direct Payment Voucher will be returned for proper documentation). Refer to the "Business and Travel Expense Policy" for information on what constitutes a reimbursable expense.
All Reimbursement Reports must be signed by the person receiving payment, in addition to the authorized approver of the budget expense. Attach mileage logs and original itemized receipts for all expenditures. Copies of receipts, bank statements, or credit card statements are not acceptable. Receipts must list every item purchased and show "proof of payment" indicating the amount paid, payment method, and any tax paid. Requests that are returned due to errors or missing information must be resubmitted within 30 days of the receipt date. Reimbursement requests submitted later than 30 days after the expense date will NOT be eligible for reimbursement.
The IRS requires itemized billings for all hotel charges. If you did not receive an itemized billing from your hotel (listing room rate, tax, phone charges, meals, etc.), please contact the hotel and request an itemized statement.
For reimbursement of receipts for business purposes (including meals, etc.), you must document "who, what, why, when and where" to comply with IRS regulations. Concordia College does not reimburse for alcoholic beverages.
If you are submitting a reimbursement for mileage, you must attach a mileage log (form available on the Business Office website) documenting the date, starting and ending odometer number, starting and ending location, and business purpose. The mileage reimbursement rate for personal vehicle use is 33 cents per mile.
Payment/Reimbursement for Services Rendered:
Payments for services rendered to an individual or to a company that is not incorporated (including faculty, staff and students) need to be paid directly from the Business Office. This is for tax purposes—any reimbursement to you for a payment you make to an individual or to a company that is not incorporated is taxable to you, not the person you are paying.
Since some of these services may result in a transaction being processed through Payroll instead of Accounts Payable, please contact the Office of Human Resources before engaging individuals.
Gifts, Awards and Prizes:
Gifts, awards and prizes are generally considered taxable income by the IRS. In particular gift cards, gift certificates, cash or cash equivalents (items which are easily convertible to cash) regardless of the amount are considered taxable income and must be reported on an employee's W-2 form (or Form 1099M for non-employees if cumulative amounts reach IRS thresholds).
Departments should carefully consider the possible tax consequences for recipients when making decisions to give out gift items. For example, an occasional tangible gift item (such as a sweatshirt, flowers, etc.) costing less than $60 may not be taxable; however a $5.00 gift card would be taxable income to employees (including student employees).
Whenever a payment or reimbursement request for a gift, award or prize is submitted, a Gift/Award/Prize Form must also be completed and included with the payment request (this applies to both employee and non-employee recipients).
For Accounts Payable questions, contact the Business Office at:
- Phone 218-299-3322
- Fax 218-299-4357 (Attn: Accounts Payable)
For questions on student activity accounts—including procedures, policies, documentation and budget numbers—please contact one of the following:
- The treasurer of the student activity account
- The Student Business Office Treasurer at email@example.com or 218-299-3084
- Student Leadership and Service at 218-299-4267
For information on purchase card guidelines, reconciliation and payment, tax exempt status and frequently asked questions, refer to the P-card policy.