Payment & Procurement Authorization Policy
1.0 Policy & Purpose
This policy applies to all purchase orders and check requests for goods, supplies, equipment and services for the University. It does not refer to Employee Travel or Expense reimbursement, payroll or personnel changes.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and establish a procedure for those individuals procuring goods and services on behalf of Suffolk University and its facilities.
2.1 Approver Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the approvers to verify:
- The contract or transaction complies with all university (and grant when applicable) policies and regulations
- Correct general ledger account(s) are charged (Level I approver only)
- Availability of funds in related general ledger account(s) (Level I approver only)
- Obtain legal review and approval when required
- No conflict of interest exists or has been resolved
- The requester and approver must not be the same person.
The approver of purchases plays a critical role in assuring compliance with federal regulations, Suffolk University policies and guidelines, and supporting good stewardship of Suffolk University funds.
2.2 Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest is any relationship or connection between an individual’s private interests and his or her employment obligations to the university such that an independent observer may reasonably question whether the individual’s actions or decisions are influenced or determined by considerations other than the best interest of the university. For this reason, if the approver of a contract, purchase order, etc. has even a perceived conflict of interest, the task of review and approval must be executed by another authorized approver.
3.0 Approval Levels
Below are the minimum approval levels. Other approvals may be also required. These are listed in section 4.0
3.1 Level I
All purchases orders, check requests and wire requests must have a minimum of a Requestor and a Department Head. If the goods or services are being requested by a Department Head, an additional level of approval is required regardless of amount.
3.2 Level II
In addition to the Level I requirements, purchases over $10,000 require approval of the Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost (this position has authority for calendar year 2016) or the President.
3.3 Level III
In addition to Level I, II and any additional required approvals (noted in section 4.0), all purchase orders must be approved by the Purchasing Manager.
4.0 Additional Required Approvals
All Independent Contractor services require a contract. Distinguished visiting scholars require an appointment letter.
All University contracts must be submitted to the Office of the General Counsel for review and further approval by either the Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost (this position has authority for calendar year 2016) or the President.
Refer to separate Policy on Independent Contractors & Contracts.
Any purchases charged to the following funds (first two digits of the budget number) must also be approved by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs:
- 15 Sponsored Programs
Any purchases charged to the following funds must also be approved by the Accounting Manager or Controller or Assistant Controller:
- 22 Non Endowed – for funds availability only
- 23 Endowed Funds – for funds availability only
- 24 True Temp Restricted – for funds availability only
Any purchases charged to the following funds must also be approved by the Senior Accountant:
- 16 Bond Fund
- 17 PP&E-prior years (20 Somerset)
- 18 PP&E-current year
- All fund 18 purchases excluding those from Campus Planning & Facilities, ITS, and Library Services must be approved by the Associate Director of Academic Financial Planning prior to being submitted to the Senior Accountant
4.3 Information Technology (ITS)
Any purchases for goods or services relating to systems, technology, hardware, software, peripherals (including but not limited to printers, external drives, etc) must also be approved by the Associate Chief Information Officer.
All purchase orders and check requests $5,000 and over for the Schools are also to be approved by the academic Dean or designee (a position authorized by the Dean to sign on his/her behalf).
4.5 Employee Reimbursements
Refer to the University Travel and General Expense Reimbursement Policy.
System generated checks from Accounts Payable and Student Accounts may have a facsimile signature up to, but not including $15,000.
Checks written for $15,000, and up to but not including $50,000, must have the manual signature of either the Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost (this position has authority for calendar year 2016) or the President.
Checks $50,000 and over require two manual signatures. These signatures can be any two of the following three positions: the Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost (this position has authority for calendar year 2016) or the President.
5.2 Wire Payments
Approval of invoices and purchase orders follow the same levels of approval authority as section 3.0 regardless of method of payment. Examples of support for wires may include:
- Properly approved Purchase Order with direction of payment
- Properly approved invoice
- Properly approved contract with direction of payment (example: monthly rent may be absence of an invoice)
Wire requests of $15,000 and above require additional approvals in accordance with the thresholds outlined in section in 5.1 above. Refer to the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Policy for further requirements.
6.0 Policy Exceptions
None at this time.