A&S Procurement and Travel
In a Nutshell: Guidance on Self-Procurement and Self-Arranged Travel
Bobcat Buy: Your carts will now automatically route to the CAS Compliance Team for approval. Shoppers no longer need to assign carts to Wayne Chiasson or Wendy Kaaz. Use preferred suppliers when possible; using non-preferred suppliers still requires justification.
PCard purchases that do not require pre-approval include:
- Goods not available in Bobcat Buy (check Bobcat Buy before the purchase, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance)
- Books (there is no preferred supplier for books)
- Emergency purchases from local vendors (justification is still required) or necessary while doing field research
Shipping to off-campus locations: University guidelines still require CFAO pre-approval for all shipments to off-campus locations, which must be attached to Concur reports. Yes, we generally approve off-campus shipments to faculty and students on field research. Bobcat Buy does not allow for shipping to off-campus locations.
Allowable Expenses: See the University_Spending_Guidelines [pdf] for guidance on allowable and unallowable expenses related to Food, Alcohol, Entertainment, Gifts, and Other Administrative Expenditures. Direct all questions to Wayne Chiasson and Wendy Kaaz.
Air and hotel accommodations must still be made through CBT. Use the CTA card for airfare and rental cars. However, conference hotels may be booked as part of a conference registration or directly through the conference hotel, using either your PCard or a personal card (with reimbursement after travel).
Travel PCards cover the most commonly incurred costs associated with travel, including lodging, transportation, conference registration, and memberships. Meals while traveling and fuel for privately owned vehicles are covered through per diem (that is, no individual receipts for meals and fuel for privately owned-cars). Fuel for rental cars CAN be purchased with a PCard.
Department-funded travel requires an email from your chair/director, attached to the Concur report, indicating who was approved, the amount approved, and any additional necessary information.
Graduate students may either be reimbursed or apply for a travel-only/a declining balance card.
A Travel Assistance Form is available to gather and document the necessary information when a procurement specialist is helping with your Concur reports.
College of Arts & Sciences
This page describes new guidance, tips, and resources for purchasing and travel that the College of Arts & Sciences has adopted.
We have abolished most pre-approval requirements for purchases and travel arrangements. We expect the new processes to be much more flexible. However, the new processes require purchasers and travelers to monitor their accounts and be aware of university rules and the College of Arts & Sciences processes.
The college will continue to offer centralized assistance with purchasing, travel arrangements, and financial services. Nothing has changed with the services we offer. You may continue to use those services to assist you with any of your purchasing and travel needs:
- Contact email@example.com for assistance with purchasing, travel, and submitting reports.
- Contact your Finance Contact for assistance with account balances, honorariums, internal billings, service agreements, travel advances, research advances, and other financial questions.
Self-Procurement and Self-Travel
Pre-approval for making purchases and travel arrangements is no longer required. This means forms are no longer required.
When making purchases and travel arrangements, you are responsible for:
- Ensuring that funding is available in your account or for securing a funding commitment from the account holder or your department chair/director.
- Ensuring that you are using the correct account number.
- Following University policies and procedures.
Carts submitted through Bobcat Buy automatically route to the college Compliance Team for college approval (that is, you no longer need to assign carts to Wayne Chiasson or Wendy Kaaz). You must still use Preferred Suppliers when possible, and using Non-Preferred Suppliers still requires justification.
Always check to see if items are available in Bobcat Buy before using a PCard, and do not use your PCard to circumvent Bobcat Buy.
Acceptable purchases on your PCard are those business expenditures allowable under University purchasing policies. You need to make sure that your purchase is allowable before you use your PCard. (That’s why the University requires completion of the training before you can pick up your PCard.) Our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org can help with questions.
Appropriate uses for PCard Purchases that do not require pre-approval from the college include:
- Purchase of goods not available in Bobcat Buy (Check Bobcat Buy before the purchase or contact email@example.com for assistance.)
- Purchase of books (There is no preferred supplier for books.)
- Necessary (Pre-plan purchases when possible.) or emergency purchases at local vendors (Justification for using local vendors is still required.)
- Emergency purchases necessary while doing field research
When a specialized good or service requirement cannot be met by a Preferred Supplier, contact Wayne Chiasson or Wendy Kaaz for an exception. Exception reasons include sole source, compatibility with existing equipment, emergency, material price difference, and unique situations.
Unallowable PCard purchases include:
- Items available from a preferred supplier in Bobcat Buy
- Fuel for privately-owned vehicles (Reimbursement for fuel for privately owned vehicles is based on federal per diem rates.) Note that fuel for rental vehicles CAN be purchased with a PCard.
- Meals while traveling (Reimbursement for meals while traveling is based on federal per diem rates.)
- Controlled substances requiring a DEA license
- Donations to others (Donations in lieu of flowers are the only allowable donations.)
- Employee relocation and relocation-related expenses
- Live animals
- Contracted or personal service providers or payments to individuals
- Long term rentals (1 year or longer) whether for equipment or facilities
- Modifications to building structures
- Personal items
- Radioactive materials
- Weapons or ammunition
All shipments to off-campus locations still require CFAO pre-approval (contact April Howard), which must be attached to your Concur report. Yes, we generally approve off-campus shipments to faculty and students on field research. Bobcat Buy does not allow for shipping to off-campus locations.
All purchasers (faculty, staff, students) must adhere to policies, procedures, the Purchasing Guide, and University Guidelines for Spending.
Air and hotel accommodations must still be made through CBT. Use the CTA card for airfare and rental cars. Conference hotels may be booked as part of a conference registration or directly through the conference hotel, using either your PCard or a personal credit card (with later reimbursement). Travelers must ensure the availability of funds in their accounts or through account holders who have authorized travel.
Travel cards cover the most commonly incurred costs associated with travel and include:
- Transportation (rail, buses, limos, taxis, parking, tolls, fuel for university-owned vehicles). Fuel for privately owned vehicles is covered through per-diem rates.
- Conference Registration & Memberships
Purchasing Cards also cover costs associated with travel. Note that
- CAS-Authorized Travel Funds for faculty and graduate students is tracked centrally.
- Department Authorized Travel requires an email, attached to the Concur report, from your chair/director, indicating who is traveling, the amount approved, and any additional necessary information.
- A Travel Assistance Form is available to gather and document necessary information when a Procurement Specialist is helping you with your Concur reports.
- Graduate Students may either be reimbursed or apply for a travel only card/a declining balance card (training is required).
All travelers (faculty, staff, students) must adhere to policies, procedures, the Purchasing Guide, and University Guidelines for Spending.
Any time internal charges occur on department operating funds, the person initiating the transaction must include the department Finance Contact in emails regarding the charge. Examples include Bobcat Depot, facilities charges, postage, printing, and vehicle charges.
University Guidelines for Spending on Food, Alcohol, Entertainment, Gifts, and Other Administrative Expenditures. See the University_Spending_Guidelines.pdf (ohio.edu) for guidance on allowable and unallowable expenses related to food, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, and other administrative expenditures. Direct all questions to Wayne Chiasson and Wendy Kaaz.
Account holders are responsible for monitoring their accounts to ensure availability of funds for purchases and travel and to ensure that transactions have been approved and are appropriate. University policy requires that any error be corrected within 60 days. Reach out to your Finance Contact for assistance.
Tips and Resources
Account Holders may make or authorize others to make purchases on their accounts. This includes HTC, Research Incentive, Start Up, grants, various award, etc. When authorizing funding for travel, an account holder should provide an email indicating the funding commitment made to the traveler.
All Account Holders, Chairs, and Directors are responsible for reviewing their accounts and transactions monthly to ensure transactions are theirs and charged to the proper account. University policy requires that any error be corrected within 60 days.
When attending business meetings, attach agendas to your Concur reports specifying when, where, and why you incurred expenses.
All purchases and travel require a well-documented business purpose. Business purposes should be documented in a manner that is clear to someone outside of your area. When defining a business purpose, the five “Ws” (Who, What, Where, When, Why) can help you create a well-documented business purpose:
- Who: The documentation must note specifically who the expense is for or who was at the event funded by the University.
- What: Indicate what type of event or activity occurred, or what was purchased. All receipts or invoices should be itemized.
- Where: Document where the business activity took place.
- When: Document when an event occurred.
- Why: Most importantly, substantiate why the expenses are reasonable and appropriate for the University. The “Why” should include the primary reason for the expense.
Spending on a department operating account requires Chair or Director approval. Chairs and Directors may give blanket approval for frequent purchases.
PCard purchases must be supported by itemized receipts, which list the items purchased, the dollar amount of each item, and the total amount of each transaction. Internet orders require a copy of the order that itemizes all costs.
An itemized receipt is defined as an invoice, cash register receipt, sales slip, or packing slip which contains the following information:
- Business/Vendor Name and Location
- Date of Purchase
- Description of items purchased
- Price of each item purchased
- Total amount of purchase
- Method of payment (sometimes included, but not always)
- Attach the packing slip (if available)
Electronic copies of receipts are acceptable. Handwritten receipts must be signed by an employee of the supplier. If the cash register tape does not itemize what was purchased, then itemize the purchase legibly on the tape to provide an adequate description for what was purchased. If you have a packing slip, attach it as backup to the purchase.
Properly documented business and travel expenses may be reimbursed through Concur. All travel arrangements (air, rail, car, and hotels, with the exception of conference hotels) must be booked through CBT. Conference hotels may be booked as part of a conference registration or directly through the conference hotel, using your PCard.
Please keep in mind that you can only be reimbursed for expenses that you incur.
General. Payment Card Program | Ohio University See information, policy, and procedures for travel.
Applying/Activating. Applying for and Activating a Payment Card | Ohio University See information on how to apply for and activate a PCard. Please forward applications to your Finance Contact. This link also contains information on training requirements and how to pick up your PCard.
Card Management. Global Card Access (GCA) | Ohio University Manage alerts and PCard PINs.
Disputed and Fraudulent Transactions. Disputed and Fraudulent Transactions | Ohio University See information on disputed and fraudulent transactions. You may also reach out to your Finance contact for guidance and assistance.
Insurance. Payment Card Insurance | Ohio University See information regarding insurance provided.
Procedures. Payment Card Procedures (ohio.edu) See the document that contains the procedures that govern the operation of the University PCard program.
Policy. 55.074 | Ohio University See the PCard Policy that governs the PCard.
Purchasing Guide. Purchasing Guide | Ohio University See the Purchasing Guide. This table shows allowable methods of purchasing items.
Sales Tax Exemption. Tax Exempt Purchases | Ohio University Avoid paying sales tax, when possible, by providing the appropriate Sale Tax Exemption Certificate.
Substantiating Transactions. Substantiating Transactions | Ohio University See information on substantiating transactions. Cardholders have 28 calendar days to reconcile transactions and submit reports. Per university policy, failure to do so will result in an infraction. All purchases must be supported by an itemized receipt and a clearly documented business purpose.
Temporary Maximum Spending Increase. Please reach out to your Finance contact to obtain a temporary maximum spending increase to your card. They will obtain the necessary information and work with the college CFAO for approval of a temporary increase.
Sales Tax. Ohio University is exempt from paying sales tax in Ohio and many other states. Visit Tax Exempt Purchases | Ohio University to determine if we are exempt in a state where you are traveling and to obtain tax exemption certificate if needed.
Shipping to Non-University Addresses. Any situation that requires a shipment to a non-University address requires justification and CFAO approval. Please note that Bobcat Buy does not allow shipment to non-University addresses.
General. OHIO Travel | Ohio University See information, policy, and procedures for travel.
Airfare. Airfare | Ohio University
Airfare must be booked through CBT or in Concur for Faculty, Staff, and Guests.
Using a personal credit card for airfare is not permitted, unless Finance Customer Care has given approval.
Airline tickets must be paid for on a University card, unless a prior exception has been approved. The Central Travel Card (CTA) is available in CBT for all employees to utilize when booking air travel for themselves, other employees, students, and guests. This card provides life insurance for all travelers. A PCard should be used only when booking airfare for the cardholder, who is the only individual who will be covered under the life insurance policy.
Upgraded airfare for business travel is allowed only for flights that are 5 hours or longer, regardless of being domestic or international. Otherwise, flights cannot be upgraded without documented accommodation approved by the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. Without approval, any upgrades must be paid for with a personal card and are not reimbursable.
CBT. Christopherson Business Travel | Ohio University CBT is the preferred travel management company for Ohio University. CBT provides services for booking air, rail, car, and hotels via Concur or CBT. Contact information and fees can be found at this link.
Documenting Travel Expenses. Documenting Travel Expenses | Ohio University See how to document travel expenses. All employee travel expenses are documented through Concur. This link provides information for general substantiation requirements, quick reference guides, and receipts.
Ground Transportation. Ground Transportation | Ohio University The University has contracts for rental cars through Hertz and Enterprise/National Rental Cars. See how to book through these companies and for information on insurance coverage.
Uber, Lyft, and traditional taxi services are approved for transportation needs. Uber and Lyft will need to be paid for personally and reimbursed later. PCards may not be used to pay for Uber or Lyft because these companies store card information.
Group Travel/Events. Group Travel and Events Procedures | Ohio University See Group Travel/Events for the procedures to follow and reach out to Jen Campbell for assistance.
Group travel is defined as any travel with 10 airline tickets or 10 hotel rooms on the same itinerary. The expectation is that there will be a single source of payment for the entire group.
An Event is defined as a planned business occurrence happening at a determinable time and place that requires any combination of hotel rooms, transportation, catering, conference rooms, equipment and/or venues.
Lodging. Lodging | Ohio University
Non-Conference hotels must be booked through CBT or in Concur for Faculty/Staff and Guests.
Conference hotels can be booked directly using either a PCard or a personal card (with reimbursement after travel).
University dorms, Airbnb, and Vrbo can be booked outside of CBT using a PCard or personal card (with reimbursement after travel).
Hostels, field stations, and campgrounds can be booked outside of CBT using a PCard or a personal card (with reimbursement after travel). Those require pre-approval through the planning unit CFAO using the Lodging Safety Questionnaire. Lodging Safety Questionnaire
Avoid sales tax when possible, by providing the appropriate Sale Tax Exemption Certificate. Tax Exempt Purchases | Ohio University
Your business address should be on the hotel folio when paying with your PCard.
Paying for Travel. Paying for Travel | Ohio University See information on how to pay for travel. This includes per diem, same day travel, advances, tipping, and international travel. This link also includes a table that indicates what expenses are allowable on a PCard, CTA card, and personal card.
Personal/Spousal Travel. Personal and Family Travel | Ohio University See information on spousal, family, and personal travel associated with business travel.
Travel Policy. 41.121 | Ohio University The travel policy includes additional information on spousal travel, the “drive vs fly” rule, standard distances between travel points, same day travel, overnight travel, mixed business and personal travel, and the basic travel rules.