Expenditures and Purchasing

The most important rule for using university or grant funding is to obtain documented PREAPPROVAL before making any purchases in which you expect to use University funds.

Key points in the Purchasing Guidelines:

  1. Due to the availability of several university methods for processing purchase requests, reimbursements to employees for purchases should not occur on a frequent basis. Any payments made with personal funds will not be eligible for reimbursement of sales tax unless there is a legitimate reason for not utilizing a university method of payment.
  2. We are required to use university key contracted vendors, such as Staples for office supplies, Coca-Cola for beverages, and UPS for outbound shipping. Use of a non-contract vendor in lieu of the contracted vendor is a policy exception and requires college-level approval. If a valid business purpose/rationale is not given for the exception, the transaction may be denied and payback of funds to the university will be required.
  3. It is preferred, but not required, that we utilize Preferred and Strategic vendors listed in the Find a Supplier search engine. If using a non-contract vendor, an explanation must be documented in the requisition. To purchase off contract, if the desired vendor is not in the University Vendor file, no new profile will be created and inactive vendors will not be reactivated for the purpose of creating a PO, making the PCard the preferred method of procurement.

Key points in the University Expenditure Policy:

University Expenditures Policy (Updated 01/07/2021) [PDF]

  1. Every expenditure transaction must be supported by a documented business purpose, which states why university funds should be utilized for the transaction. A thorough business purpose answers the “who, why, what, when, and where” (as needed) details of the transaction.
  2. Original, itemized receipts showing proof of payment are required for all purchases – PCard or reimbursements.
  3. Professional membership dues and subscriptions may be purchased with available university research funds (not OSP grant funds) provided they are appropriate for the individual’s position and duties and benefits the university. Membership and subscriptions are limited to one year, even if multiple year options are less expensive.
  4. The university is exempt from sales tax when purchases are made utilizing a purchasing method above. The Ohio State University Sales Tax Exemption Form [OSU Login Required] can be provided to any vendor who questions our tax exempt status. Crediting sales tax is often much more difficult than ensuring sales tax is not charged on the initial transaction.