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Purchasing Tools:

  • Purchasing Card
  • Check Request (request for payment)
  • Expense Advance (use of funds reported via request for reimbursement)
  • Personal Funds (use of funds reported via request for reimbursement)

Signature Authority (See Signature Authority Thresholds)

Purchases Utilizing the Purchasing Card

  1. Department orders goods and authorizes payment to vendor using purchasing card.
  2. Vendor ships/delivers the goods to the department along with the sales receipt.
  3. Department cardholder files original, itemized sales receipt in provided envelope and records purchase information (date, vendor information, business purpose, sales tax, etc.) on the front of form.
  4. Cardholder receives monthly purchasing card statement and reconciles statement to purchases made during the month (as detailed on envelope form).
  5. Department files completed form with the PD within 15 days of receipt of statement for review and data entry.

The University’s purchasing cards are provided to departments to assist in purchasing goods and arranging travel. These cards are identical to a regular MasterCard in all aspects, except they allow the University to “personalize” each card to meet a predetermined user profile. These cards are designed to take the place of the request for payment process of paying for goods (supplies, materials, subscriptions, etc.). The purchasing card is not designed for purchases of services (consulting, maintenance and repair, etc.) or for large dollar purchases. There are specific tax reporting issues involved with payments related to services, and therefore these items must continue to follow the request for payment process. The University strongly encourages departments to utilize these cards for the majority of applicable purchases, since it significantly decreases the paperwork effort for both the department and the PD. These cards are issued and monitored by the PD. Individuals using these cards must complete a training session prior to being issued a card and are required to submit monthly reports to the PD, detailing card usage. The PD has developed an envelope-style form for use in this reporting.

Note: As mentioned earlier, the PD provides detailed training to individuals utilizing the purchasing card prior to issuing the cards. This training includes further explanation of the reclass and documentation process described above. Any employee who has been given signature authority (spending authority) on a University budget can receive a purchasing card with the approval of the department budget manager (dean or director).

Check Request (initiates a check payment through the PD)

  1. Department orders goods/services. Vendor ships/delivers the goods/services.
  2. Vendor forwards invoice to the PD department for processing.
  3. PD checks the invoice and forwards to originating department for payment approval.
  4. Department completes request for payment form, attaches the original invoice and forwards to the PD.
  5. PD verifies signature authority.
  6. PD issues payment to vendor.

Request for Reimbursement (purchases using expense advance funds or personal funds)

  1. Individual purchases goods, pays with personal funds (expense advance funds) and obtains a sales receipt.
  2. Individual completes a request for reimbursement form, records purchase information (date, business purpose, sales tax, etc.) and attaches the original, itemized receipt.
  3. Individual submits request for reimbursement to immediate supervisor for approval and signature.
  4. Request for reimbursement is forwarded to the PD to produce a check to the individual or reclassification of expense advance funds.

Note: While the University allows for this type of reimbursement, it encourages individuals to utilize the other tools available for payment and only use the reimbursement path as a last resort.



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Finance Office, Weter Hall
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Seattle, Washington 98119-1922

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