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Purchasing and non-travel reimbursements


Determine purchase method and process

When purchasing goods and services to support research or teaching, please use the following methods:

Order Method Qualifier Examples Process
1) Ariba Catalog Order
  • Vendor is registered with UW
  • Goods/services are available through catalog
  • Fisher Scientific
  • VWR
  • Keeney’s Office Supply
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Equipment (see Purchasing Equipment below)
For purchasing via Ariba, you may submit the request yourself, or follow these step-by-step instructions for the fiscal office to assist.
2) Ariba Non-Catalog Purchase Order
  • Vendor is registered with UW
  • Goods/services are not available through catalog.
  • Quote received from vendor
3) Ariba Non-PO Invoice
  • Vendor is registered with UW
  • Order placed and received from vendor
  • Invoice received from vendor
  • Page charges with journals
  • Catering
  • Scientific illustrations
For processing non-PO invoices, follow these step-by-step instructions for the fiscal office to process on your behalf.
4) Procard

(Also see Reconciling ProCard in PaymentNet and/or Submitting ProCard Receipts via PurchasePath)
  • Vendor is not registered with UW, and not required or feasible (infrequent purchases)
  • Available only to faculty and staff
  • Only an option when #1-3 not available
  • Purchase is under $3,500
  • Amazon purchases
  • Conference registration
  • Field supplies
  • Equipment (see Purchasing Equipment below)
To submit receipts/documentation for ProCard purchases via PurchasePath, follow these step-by-step instructions.
5) Reimbursement
  • Out-of-pocket purchase by an individual, made on behalf of the university.

    Note: Reimbursements are for rare occasions when other procurement methods are not an option. This should be considered as a LAST RESORT.
  • Last minute purchase
  • Items purchased in the field
To request a non-travel reimbursement, follow these step-by-step instructions .

All purchasing and non-travel reimbursement requests are submitted via PurchasePath. Please email for access.

Purchasing equipment

Due to compliance regulations, equipment should only be purchased through Ariba. Items should not be purchased using a ProCard. This includes Machinery and Equipment (M&E) Tax exempt items.

Ariba purchasing process

  1. Receive a detailed quote from the supplier. If the supplier is not a registered vendor in Ariba, contact the CEE Fiscal Office for assistance.
  2. Submit an order in Ariba for approval(s) and order placement.

Equipment inventory

In order to comply with federal and state laws and regulations, UW is required to tag and inventory all capitalized equipment. The capitalization threshold increased to $5,000, effective July 1, 2016. This threshold applies to both purchases and fabricated equipment. See the department’s policy on equipment inventory.

Direct buy limit

The direct buy limit is set at $10,000 excluding sales tax, effective January 1, 2013. This is the dollar limitation set by state law where purchases may be made without securing competitive pricing. Departments may place orders with suppliers of choice within the direct buy limit without prior approval.

A sole source justification is required for every purchase over the direct buy limit ($10,000), unless:

  1. The purchase is being made from an existing contract
  2. The supplier is specifically named in the grant
  3. The purchase is being competitively solicited

Amazon Mechanical Turk guidance

If you have Amazon Mechanical Turk expenses, please review UW’s policy. Please note, Amazon Mechanical Turk expenses are never allowed to be reimbursed.

Packing slips and receipt information

Per Washington State law, every order must be accompanied by a detailed receipt and proof of delivery (packing slip).

On your packing slip, notate “received,” the date received, and sign and submit to the Fiscal Office.

If you did not receive a packing slip, notate on your receipt or order confirmation as if it were a packing slip. An order confirmation or invoice is not sufficient as a receipt unless it specifies “PAID” (past tense) or amount due is $0.

For ProCard purchases, if the packing slip is received after the ProCard reconciliation deadline, notate that it is a ProCard purchase and include the PaymentNet Transaction ID number on the packing slip.