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Policies and Procedures

Policies
Code of Ethics
  • To give first consideration to the objectives and policies of the University of Richmond.
  • To strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure.
  • To decline personal gifts or gratuities.
  • To grant all competitive suppliers equal consideration insofar as institutional policy permits.
  • To conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of good faith, devoid of intentional misrepresentation.
  • To demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of the product.
  • To receive consent of the originator of proprietary ideas and designs before using them for competitive purposes.
  • To make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement of any controversy with a supplier.
  • To accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions.
  • To cooperate with trade, industrial, and professional associations, and with governmental and private agencies for the purposes of promoting and developing sound business methods.
  • To foster fair, ethical, and legal trade practices.
  • To counsel and cooperate with National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) members and promote a spirit of unity and a keen interest in professional growth among them.
Conflicts of Interest

No University employee shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract or transaction if a real or apparent conflict of interest is involved. Such conflict is present when an employee, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her domestic partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated above, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for the award.

Every University employee must report to his or her supervisor any real or potential conflict of interest between his or her personal and professional relationships. This includes any relationship with only the appearance of a conflict. Such conflicts may arise when an individual could receive personal benefits (financial or otherwise) as a result of his/her position at the University.

Each employee is expected to follow the University Conflict of Interest Policy.

Disbursement Guidelines

The University has four types of forms used for disbursement:

  • Petty cash form
  • Check request form
  • Travel and entertainment expense form
  • Advance request form

Guidelines are provided to expedite the disbursement process and aid in preparation of these forms. Although several different offices may review documents, it is ultimately the originating department's responsibility to ensure these documents are completed in accordance with University guidelines.

Reimbursements will not be processed for receipts that are older than 90 days. The supervisor must notify the appropriate office (i.e., accounts payable or cashier's office) if he/she is designating someone else to approve reimbursements, in his/her absence.

Petty Cash Form

A petty cash form should be used for reimbursements of $50 or less. If the reimbursement is more $50, then a check request form must be completed and submitted to accounts payable for processing.

Petty cash reimbursements are not allowed for receipts more than 30 days old; ATM fees; mileage and gas receipts; cash advance fees; and gift cards or gift certificates.

Submit completed and approved petty cash forms to the Cashier's Office in Sarah Brunet Hall.

Check Request Form

Use the check request form for reimbursement of an individual's University-related expenditures (not travel-related) that total more than $50, and payment of services for individuals not employed by the University.

Check requests cannot be processed without supporting documentation; this includes requests for refunds. Proper supporting documentation may include, but is not limited to invoices, receipts, e-mail, contract letters, and copies of University announcements or pamphlets. Vendor quotes are not considered proper documentation. If providing a copy of a canceled check or a credit card statement as proof of payment for receiving a reimbursement, proof of the expense must also be provided. For example, a copy of the registration form, or subscription form, that shows the vendor’s name and the cost of the good or service, would be acceptable.

If payments are being made to an individual for the first time, the department must also complete an independent contractor checklist and forward it, along with the check request, to human resources for approval to pay.

Submit the completed and approved Check Request form to Accounts Payable in Maryland Hall.

Travel and Entertainment Expense Form

The University will bear all reasonable and necessary business-related expenses that are incurred by authorized travelers. The travel and entertainment expense reimbursement system, available on BannerWeb, should be used for trips that are 14 days or less. More information on completing this form is available in the travel and expense report instructions. The travel and entertainment report paper form should be used for trips that exceed 14 days.

Please adhere to the following guidelines when using either form. The University wishes its employees to travel in reasonable comfort, but expects employees to exercise prudent business judgment. Upon completion of travel, the form is intended to be a summary of all travel costs, including those previously reimbursed, or paid directly by the University. There is a section on the form to list and deduct previously reimbursed, or paid, items.

Travel reimbursement requests should be completed within 30 days of the completion of the trip, but not more than 90 days after the trip.

Submit completed and approved travel and entertainment expense reimbursement forms to Accounts Payable in Maryland Hall.

Advance Request Form

Cash advances are allowed only in limited situations, such as student group travel; international travel for University-related business; payments to research subject participants; and travel for the occasional, one-time traveler. In all other situations, the individual must either charge the expense on a personal credit card and request reimbursement, or charge the expense to a University travel card or purchasing card for non-travel-related expenses, only.

The advance request form may be used to request either a travel advance or an expense advance. The employee or student must indicate which type of advance is requested by completing the appropriate section on the form. Advances that are not substantiated within a reasonable period of time—as detailed on the advance request form—will either be deducted from the individual's paycheck or added to the individual's W2. Student advances not substantiated within a reasonable time—as detailed on the advance request form—will have a financial hold placed on their student records.

Completed and approved advance request forms must be submitted to Accounts Payable at least five business days before the trip or event. However, the form must not be submitted more than two weeks prior to the event or trip.

Attaching Receipts

Guidelines for attaching receipts to any of the disbursement forms:

  • Original receipts must be less than 90 days old and attached on a separate sheet
  • If smaller than 5"x7" must be taped or glued to a separate 8-½"x11" sheet of paper; never stapled
  • If receipt does not have vendor's name or item description, the requester must write the vendor's name and item description on the receipt
  • If original receipt is not provided with request, then a written explanation as to why a copy is being used must be provided. Please write original on the copy.
  • If no receipt is available and amount is for less than $25, payee must indicate receipt not available.
  • If no receipt is available and amount is for $25 or more, payee must complete the missing receipt form and attach to the check request form.
  • Please place receipts in date order
Purchasing Card

The departmental purchasing card should be used for office-related expenses whenever possible.

Tax-Exempt Status

The University is exempt from Virginia state sales tax. Please inform the vendor of our tax-exempt status when making University purchases. If a copy of the tax-exempt certificate is required, contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing.

Gifts and Gratuities

University employees should not accept or solicit, directly or indirectly, anything of economic value as a gift, gratuity, favor, or entertainment which is, or may appear to be, designed to influence official conduct in any manner, particularly from a person who is seeking to obtain business or financial arrangements with the University.

University employees may accept unsolicited gifts valued under $25 that are tokens of appreciation and not related to a particular transaction. Always inform your supervisor of any gifts or gratuities you have accepted, for example, a box of candy, a bag of bagels or promotional materials such as pens or calendars.

Also see the University's tax reporting guidelines for gifts, awards, and prizes.

Grant-funded Purchasing

All federal, state, and private grant proposals are processed through the Office of Foundations, Corporate and Government Relations.

For special needs such as utilities/ modifications (plumbing, electricity, etc.) please contact University Facilities.

If you need a Purchasing Card for your grant, contact the Purchasing Card staff.

If you plan to request the purchase of equipment, furnishings or major supplies when applying for a grant, please contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing (PSS). This should be done as part of the application stage.

When equipment or other goods and services are requested on grant proposals, all University procurement guidelines must be followed in specification, price solicitation, vendor selection, and procurement. In addition, the federal government mandates that we follow the Procurement Standards in OMB Circular A‐110 for goods and services purchased with federal funds: whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a110/. See sections 40 - 48.

The University will be taking a one year delay, 12/26/2014 thru 12/25/2015, on implementing the 2CFR 200 federal procurement guidelines. During this time, we will continue to follow the University’s procurement guidelines.

  • Note that purchases of single items costing $5,000- $24,999 require three quotes or a Sole Source Provider justification document approved by PSS. Single items costing $25,000 or more must have at least three bids or an approved sole source document.
  • For grant equipment purchases of $5,000 and above, the sole source justification form (if used) and the requisition form must be signed by the grant P.I. and the Grants Accounting Manager before submitting them to Strategic Sourcing and Payments to process a purchase order.
Green Purchasing

In 2007, University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, affirming the University's longstanding history of innovative sustainability efforts and the commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. Green purchasing is one way each of us in the University community can support this commitment and become better environmental stewards.

Green Purchasing is defined as buying goods and services that are Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP).

EPPs are products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. EPPs take into consideration:

  • Performance
  • Durability
  • The ability to be repaired
  • Natural resource use and waste reduction
  • Recyclability and recycled content, biodegradability
  • Toxicity
  • Labels and instructions for use

Our goal is to follow the Cradle to Cradle concept of buying products that are sustainably produced and can be easily recycled, reused and re-purposed. Cradle to Cradle Certification provides a company with a means to tangibly, credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design, and helps customers purchase and specify products that are pursuing a broader definition of quality. This means:

  • Using environmentally safe and healthy materials
  • Using design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting;
  • The use of renewable energy and energy efficiency;
  • Efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production;
  • Instituting strategies for social responsibility.

If a candidate product achieves the necessary criteria, it is certified as a silver, gold or platinum product or as a technical/biological nutrient (available for homogeneous materials or less complex products), and can be branded as Cradle to Cradle.

Sustainability Certifications

The University of Richmond is committed to purchasing products that have earned industry approved sustainability certifications.

Examples of such programs and applicable products include but are not limited to:

Independent Contractors

Accounts Payable is primarily responsible for payments to non-employees. If the individual is considered to be an independent contractor, Human Resources will notify the hiring department to prepare a check requisition and forward it to Accounts Payable. The hiring department will include a copy of the classification checklist, contract/agreement, and any other supporting documentation. See the independent contractor policy for more information.

Personal and Professional Services

When specialized skills, knowledge, resources, and experience that cannot be provided reasonably by existing staff or University service departments are needed, such services may be obtained from firms or individuals outside the University on a fee-for-service or personal/professional services contract. Selections must be based on impartiality, competitiveness, and ability to fulfill needs. Contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing for assistance with the formulation of RFB's or RFP's for these services.

Contracts must be reviewed by the University's general counsel and signed by the vice president for business and finance.

Examples of Personal/Professional Services Contracts include:

  • Appraisals
  • Architectural and engineering services
  • Auditing, accounting, and financial services
  • Consulting Services
  • Research
  • Surveys and studies
Purchasing Card

The following guidelines should be observed regarding proper use of the purchasing card in conjunction with the University's procurement policies and procedures:

Purchasing Guidelines

Additional competition is not required for purchasing goods or services on existing contracts (including consortium or state), regardless of price range, since vendor selection for contracts is based on appropriate competition at the time the contract is awarded.

All capital equipment ($5,000 threshold) requests are processed on a purchase order through Procurement and Strategic Sourcing unless there is a contract in place.  Capital equipment can be identified, as follows: “Capital equipment is tangible equipment that is used within the university’s operations. Capitalized equipment will have an initial useful life greater than one year.”   

Listed below is a sample listing of capital equipment:

  • Vehicles (Automobiles, Golf Carts)
  • Furniture & Furnishings
  • Fume Hoods
  • Servers
  • Food Service Equipment
  • Laboratory Equipment

Purchases may be made on the University Purchasing Card (P-Card) if the total is less than $5,000 individually or in aggregate, if the purchase meets the ‘exception’ criteria identified in the procurement policy, the purchase is made against a contract, or if Procurement determines competition is impractical. Examples of commodities that may not require competition include travel expenses, memberships, periodical subscriptions, utilities.

The following guidelines refer to non-contract purchases of goods and services:

Dollar Amounts $0 to $4,999.99
  • Goods and services that total less than $5000, individually or in aggregate, that are not restricted from departmental purchase, and that are not considered capital equipment, may be purchased directly by departments without competition. 
  • When there are certified SWaM vendors which offer the commodity and are capable of meeting the requirement of the purchase, departments are encouraged to purchase from these vendors. 
Dollar Amounts $5,000 to $24,999
  • The competition requirement is met by soliciting a minimum of three quotations in writing.
  • A minimum of one of the quotes must be from a certified SWaM vendor (when available).
  • The end user may solicit quotes or Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will solicit the quotes.
Dollar Amounts $25,000 and up

Procurement and Strategic Sourcing solicits a minimum of three potential sources in writing, through the most practical procurement method including IFB (Invitations for Bid), RFP (Requests for Proposal), or RFQ (Requests for Quote).

  • A minimum of one of the quotes must be from a certified SWaM vendor (when available).
  • Completion time for IFBs and RFPs varies based on the complexity of the goods or services. 
  • Procurement and Strategic Sourcing buyers generally consult with representatives from the requesting department and selected experts in both the formulation of the IFB or RFP and in the evaluation of vendor bids or proposals.
  • Procurement and Strategic Sourcing reserve the right to determine if a transaction is a one-time spot purchase where the formal RFP/RFI Process is impractical.

Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will review the Athletics Sponsor listing to determine if there are vendors that support the Richmond Spiders that would be eligible to participate in the bid process.

Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will review the listing of current University of Richmond Trustees’ businesses to ensure there are no conflicts of interest.  If there is a potential conflict, Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will consult with the Trustee Audit and Compliance Committee for guidance.

    Exceptions

    Books, Periodicals, and Sundries
    University libraries and the University bookstore have unique requirements that dictate special procedures regarding order forms, receipts of merchandise, and payments to suppliers. They procure these products directly while adhering to competitive pricing guidelines.

    Dining Services
    Dining Services has unique requirements that dictate special procedures regarding receipt of perishable products, and other foodstuffs, and procure these products directly while adhering to competitive pricing guidelines.

    Emergency Purchases
    Emergency purchases are those required to protect life and/or property or to prevent substantial economic loss or the interruption of service. Formal procedures are waived, but competition is used where possible. Document all decisions and retain all documentation in case of a future audit.

    Exclusive Contracts 
    Exclusive contracts preclude the purchase of competitor goods or services with University funds. Examples of University exclusive contracts include: Coca Cola for beverages, JPMorgan Chase for corporate card services, and Commemorative Brands, Inc. for school rings.

    Furniture
    Campus furniture must meet commercial fire codes, durability, and ergonomic standards.  Regardless of dollar value, all furniture must be specified by Facilities and Interior Design.

    Professional Design and/or Construction Services
    Professional design and/or construction services for University projects are selected on an impartial, fair, and consistent basis by University Facilities.

    Sole Source Purchases
    Sole Source procurements can be made when only one firm can satisfy the requirement. Price is not the determining factor in sole source vendor selection. Sole source requests with a value of $5,000 or more must be processed on a purchase order through Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. A written quotation and sole source justification form must be included with the purchase requisition.

    Technology and Peripherals
    All purchase requests for desktop computer hardware, software, peripherals, and printers must be initiated through Information Services.

    Travel and Entertainment Expenses

    Departments may procure individual business travel and entertainment expenses directly with vendors; however, departments may not sign contracts or agreements with vendors without going through the contract management review process. Departments should contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing for guidance if the purchase is for $25,000 or more.

    Record Retention

    The University Record Retention Policy specifies University documents that must be maintained for specific time periods. This includes purchasing records. Procurement and Strategic Sourcing maintains all pertinent records associated with purchase orders. Accounts Payable maintains records of invoices and credit memos. All departments who order and receive goods by means other than purchase orders are responsible for maintaining the corresponding purchasing documents for the required retention period.                                                      

    Purchasing Records
    • Invoices: 5 years
    • Packing slips: 5 years or product warranty period, whichever is longer
    • Purchasing agreements: term or delivery date plus 5 years
    • Purchase orders: 5 years
    • Purchase requisitions: 5 years
    • Receiving report: 5 years
    Purchasing Report
    • Returned Goods Credit: 5 Years
    • Sales Tax: 6 Years After End of Tax Year
    Sales Tax Exemption

    Sales to the University are normally exempt from state sales taxes. The University's sales and use tax exemption registration number is SE540505965F12222021. State sales and use tax certificate of exemption form ST-12 will be issued upon request.

    All tax exempt purchases must be made with a University check, purchase order, or P-Card. Purchases made with cash or personal credit cards are not eligible for tax exempt status.

    The sales and use tax certificate of exemption for the University reads as follows:

    University of Richmond may purchase tangible personal property for its use or consumption as a college or other institution of learning. This exemption also applies to food purchased for free distribution at the facilities of the college or other institution of learning. The exemption does not apply to sales, unless such sales are within the occasional sale exemption. Likewise, the exemption is not applicable to the purchase of taxable services, such as lodging or meals that are consumed or distributed outside the facilities of the college or institution of learning.

    Tangible personal property is defined as durable goods such as furniture, office supplies or unprepared food items like canned soda. Service items include prepared foods, such as deli trays and lodging. The University is exempt from lodging tax in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland and the City of New York (not New York State). 

    Contact Jerry Robinson if you need a tax-exempt form for University business travel.

    Procurement Procedures
    Purchase Orders

    A purchase order (PO) is a written agreement between the University and a vendor for goods or services. Purchase orders are assigned a specific number to assist in tracking the order throughout the transaction process. A PO encumbers funds in the Banner index and account code assigned to the purchase order. The encumbrance is liquidated when the invoice is paid, and the payment is then reflected in the Banner index and account code.

    Blanket Purchase Orders

    A Blanket Purchase Order (BPO)  is processed for multiple purchases from one vendor within a certain time frame, usually within one fiscal year. Examples of goods purchased on BPO(s) include: fuel oil, gasoline, or theatre supplies. Funds are not encumbered within Banner when a BPO is issued. Funds will be paid out each time an order is placed against a BPO and when the corresponding invoice is paid by Accounts Payable. The payment is then reflected in the designated Banner index and account code.

    Distribution

    Each purchase order has three copies that will be distributed as follows:

    • The Vendor copy is forwarded to the vendor.
    • The Receiving copy is forwarded to the person or department receiving the order. When the order is delivered, the receiver verifies that the order has been received by signing and dating the receiving copy and forwarding the receiving copy to the payment approver. (The payment approver is noted on the PO header. Example: Information Services/Jane Smith).
    • The Payment copy is forwarded to the person funding the order. When the signed receiving copy is received, the payment authorizer signs and dates the payment copy and forwards the payment copy to Accounts Payable.
    Purchase Requisitions

    A purchase requisition is a form used to request the purchase of goods and services through Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. Complete the Purchase Requisition; print and fax to Procurement and Strategic Sourcing at 289-8809. Banner users should complete the online Banner requisition, which will be forwarded to Procurement and Strategic Sourcing.

    Small, Women- and Minority-Owned (SWaM) Vendors

    The University community is encouraged to consider using these vendors when placing orders:

    If you need assistance in locating vendors that provide specific products or services, contact Jerry Robinson.

    Surplus Property

    University property considered surplus, excess, or unwanted is disposed of in the following order.

    Repurposed or Reused

    Good, reusable products are repurposed on campus as possible.

    • Furniture – If you have surplus furniture, please complete a Facilities work order to have the item(s) removed. Facilities and Support Services personnel will evaluate the furniture and determine whether it can be repurposed on campus. If it cannot be they will contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing to coordinate the disposal.
    • Office supplies – The University's sustainability office hosts the University of Richmond Office Supply Exchange program. If you have surplus office supplies, please contact Rob Andrejewski for drop-off hours. 
    • Computer equipment – All surplus computer equipment is managed through the Information Services department.
    Sold or Donated

    Reusable property that does not meet campus standards may be sold or donated to charities, local school districts, and non-profit organizations. Please contact Jerry Robinson in the Procurement and Strategic Sourcing Office to coordinate a pickup.

    Recycled

    Property that has reached the lifecycle end will be recycled.

    All electronic equipment is disposed of through Information Services. Please contact the help desk at x6400 to organize a pickup.

    Landfill Disposal

    As the last resort, unrecyclable product is sent to the landfill.

    Vehicle Purchasing

    All Vehicle purchases are made solely through the office of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. Please contact Jerry Robinson to pursue your purchase.

    The University is committed to achieving climate neutrality per the Climate Action Plan. Please review your needs carefully to determine if a replacement or additional vehicle is necessary. If you decide a vehicle must be replaced or added, and the department head approves, the requesting department representative should consult with Procurement and Strategic Sourcing  and the fleet manager  to investigate alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles that would meet the specific needs of the department. If these options are unavailable, the most efficient conventional vehicle available will be specified that meets the specific service needs.

    Unregistered vehicles (golf carts, Segways, etc.) must be purchased through Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. University Facilities is responsible for maintaining all UR vehicles and operates the largest number of service vehicles on campus. Using the fleet manager's experience with various cart and vehicles alternatives, he and Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will collaborate with the requesting department to specify the vehicle best suited for the specific tasks, being mindful of efficiency, durability, and sustainability.