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Frequently Asked Questions

General   |    Campus including Purchasing Card   |    Students   |    Vendor

General Questions

Where is the Procurement and Payment Services office?
Procurement and Payment Services is located at 311 Ingram Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849 (on the 3rd floor), across the street from Samford and Langdon Halls. Office hours are 7:45 m. - 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on University Holidays. Parking is limited. See a vicinity map, a campus map or get driving directions. Ingram Hall is near the intersection of North College Street and Magnolia Avenue (Toomer's Corner).

What services does Procurement and Payment Services provide?
PPS provides value added services associated with the acquisition of and payments for the goods and services AU departments need to fulfill their missions. Services provided by PPS staff include but are not limited to:
  • vendor enrollment
  • processing purchase requisitions
  • issuing requests for bid/proposal/quote and awarding resultant POs/Contracts
  • review and approval of all contracts and Professional Services Contracts
  • audit and approval of payment vouchers/requests
  • records management
  • corporate American Express program
  • corporate Visa Purchasing Card program
  • issuing payments to vendors
  • processing unclaimed property.

Campus Questions

I am due a reimbursement for my travel expenses? Can these funds be directly deposited to my account?
Yes. Travel reimbursements to AU employees are made exclusively by direct deposit.

Can I use my AU Purchasing Card to pay for cell phone service?
Yes. The Purchasing Card should be used to pay for business-use cell phone/wireless services.

Who approves PSCs (Professional Services Contract)?
Debby Miller in Procurement and Payment Services approves Professional Services Contracts.

What is Delegated Purchasing Authority?
AU functions in a decentralized environment in which AU departments/employees are given certain levels of delegated purchasing authority. Under that authority, departments are allowed to make purchases, $2500 without going through a bid/PO process. Such purchases should be made via the Visa Purchasing Card as long as the type of expenditure is within the published Procard guidelines. In cases where the supplier/vendor does not accept Visa or the purchase isn't allowable within the Purchasing Card policy, the AU department can have the vendor bill the department directly.

Bids/Contracts

How do I determine what items are on contract?
Visit our Contracts web page or call Procurement and Payment Services at 844-7771. The Contracts page is frequently updated.

When do I have to bid an item?
Alabama laws states that bids are required for purchases of like items of $15,000, or more, campus wide during a twelve-month period. If any department/unit knows it will purchase like items in excess of $15,000 during the fiscal year, the purchase must be bid. It further states no purchase or contract involving an amount of $15,000 or more shall be divided into parts involving amounts of less than $15,000 for the purpose of avoiding the requirements of the competitive bid law.

My department has already gotten quotes. Does Procurement and Payment Services still need to send out for a quote?
Issuing bids and quotations is a function of PPS. Quotations received by departments from suppliers will be considered a resource for the PPS Buyers but is not legally binding. Procurement and Payment Services will communicate with suppliers using the appropriate mechanism (RFB, RFP, quote) and the correct terms and conditions.

How do you arrive at a bid due date (for formal sealed bids)?
The following factors are considered:
  • Location of bidders
  • Complexity of the specifications
  • Time factors (if expressed in the requisition)
  • The projected date bidders will receive bids in the mail

How do I determine if AU has a contract for a specific commodity?
Either call Procurement and Payment Services at 844-7771 or visit our Contracts web page.

May I share bid/quote information with the vendors?
Bids/quotes must not be shared until after an award, and then only by the Procurement and Payment Services Department.

Purchase Requisitions

Where can I learn all about Purchasing Requisitions?
Read details in the Spending Policies.

Is a Purchase Requisition the same thing as a Purchase Order? Which one can be sent to the vendor?
Requisitions are internal forms while Purchase Orders constitute a legally binding contract with the vendor. Only Procurement and Payment Services has the authority to issue Purchase Orders.

How can I access the On-Line Purchase Requisition (PR) Form?
The Purchase Requisition form can be accessed in either Banner Admin (FPAREQN) or Purchase Requisition in Self Service Banner. Detailed instructions for both methods can be found on the Banner Finance Resource web site.

How do I find a vendor number?
Using Banner Admin, perform a vendor search on either FTMVEND or FTIIDEN. Using Self Service Banner, search on the Purchase Requisition page using the Code Lookup feature for vendors. Detailed instructions for using these forms can be found on the Banner Finance Resource web site.

What date do you need in the "date required" block?
We want you to place a realistic date in which you desire (need) the material or services on campus. This date is what Procurement and Payment Services uses to establish delivery dates and often, decide whether or not to accept an offer from a vendor if the cannot meet this required date. Avoid "ASAP" as it has little use in determining the urgency of your need.

Where do I find a list of account codes?
Access the account hierarchy report (FGRACTH) via E-Print.

Where do I find a list of unit of measure codes?
A unit of measure listing is shown below.
ACR - Acre
BAG - Bag
BDF - Board Feet
BDL - Bundle
BL - Bale
BTL - Bottle
BXS - Boxes
BU - Bushel
C - Hundred
CAN - Can
CI - Curie
CM - Centimeter
CS - Case
CTN - Carton
CUF - Cubic Feet
CUY - Cubic Yard
CWT - Hundred Weight
CYL - Cylinder
DIS - Lump Sum Discount
DOZ - Dozen
DRM - Drum
DYS - Days
EA - Each
FRT - Freight
FT - Feet
GAL - Gallon
GM - Gram
GR - Gross
GRA - Grain
HR - Hour
HRS - Hours
IN - Inch
INS - Insurance
JAR - Jar
KEG - Kegs
KG - Kilogram
KIT - Kit
LBS - Pounds
LNG - Length
LOT - Lot
LTR - Liter
M - Thousand
MG - Milligram
ML - Milliliter
MO - Month
OTH - Other
OZ - Ounce
PC - Piece
PK - Pack
PKG - Package
PKT - Packet
PL - Pail
PR - Pair
PT - Pint
QTR - Quarter
QT - Quart
RM - Ream
RLS - Rolls
ROD - Rod
SET - Set
SHT - Sheet
SKD - Skid
SQF - Square Feet
SQY - Square Yard
TAX - Tax
TN - Ton
TRD - Trade-In
TUB - Tube
UNT - Unit
VLS - Vials
VOL - Volume
WKS - Weeks
YDS - Yards
YRS - Years

Who has the authority to procure (purchase) goods and services?
The President of the University is authorized by the Board of Trustees to execute the contracts and other written instruments on behalf of the Board. In addition, the President is authorized to delegate signature authority to other members of the University staff for limited purposes.

Specifically, the Executive Director of Procurement and Payment Services has the sole responsibility for the procurement of goods and services for the University. The Associate Director, Procurement Services Manager, and Buyers have been delegated procurement authority by the Executive Director of Procurement and Payment Services. Contracts and agreement for goods/services must be sent to Procurement and Payment Services for review and signature.

When is a Purchase Order required?
By University Policy some acquisitions do not require a Purchase Order. These are stated in the Financial Policies and Procedures as published. Examples include institutional memberships, insurance premiums, postage and post office box rentals and maps or photographs from a Federal agency.

When is "sole source" appropriate? Who applies for the "sole source" quotes or bids?
"Sole source" status can only be argued if an item is available from only one source. When a sole source can be justified, Procurement and Payment Services will send the "sole source" supplier a request for bid to establish the cost, delivery time, f.o.b. point, payment terms needed to prepare the Purchase Order.

Is a purchase order required for maintenance contracts?
If the annual cost of the maintenance contract is less than $2,500, no purchase order is needed for payment. If the annual amount exceeds $2,500 then a purchase order is required.

Purchasing Card

Where can I get complete information about the Purchasing Card program?
You can read AU's policies in in the Purchasing Card Program Policy Manual and then Purchasing Card FAQ.

What are the procedures for getting a Purchasing Card?
First obtain a Purchasing Card Cardholder Information Form - BO 99-10 and have it properly approved through your department. Second, submit it to Procurement and Payment Services. It normally takes two weeks to receive your card. NOTE: Before issuing the card you will have to complete a Purchasing Cardholder Training Session (approximately 1 1/2 hours)

Is it true departmental administrators and authorized signers on accounts have the authority to procure (purchase) goods and services?
The President is authorized to delegate procurement authority to University personnel for limited purposes. These individuals have delegated authority up to $2500 per transaction. Only the Executive Director has been delegated signature authority for procurement related documents. Within PPS, that authority has been delegated to the Associate Director, Procurement Services Manager, and Buyers (limited).

Why are certain items such as services not allowed on the AU Purchasing Card?
Federal reporting requirements must be met relating to certain services. A 1099 form must be prepared and submitted to IRS; therefore, services are excluded.

Miscellaneous

How do I cancel a purchase order (P.O.)?
Send your request via fax (844-4306), email, or campus mail to Procurement and Payment Services, 311 Ingram Hall using a Purchase Change Order Request Form - BO 50-07.

Where can I get a tax-exempt certificate?
Procurement and Payment Services will supply a letter to the requesting party. Forward your request to Susan Salheiser at salhesu@auburn.edu.

How can I see if an invoice has been paid?
Access Banner Admin form FAIVNDH (vendor history) and search for the invoice number. Detailed instruction for the use of this form can be found on the Banner Finance Resource web site. Contact Procurement and Payment Services at 844-7771 for additional information.

Will my department be responsible for late charges connected to contract and leases entered into through proper channels?
If the contract as approved by PPS states late charges will be assessed and the University agrees to it, yes. It is important for your department to process billing (invoices) in a timely manner to Procurement and Payment Services.

Student Questions

I'm a student and I'm due a refund. Can I have it directly deposited to my bank account?
Yes. Student Financial Services requires that student refunds be remitted by direct deposit. Contact Student Financial Services for more information.

Vendor Questions

What information must vendors disclose?
Alabama State Law Act 2001-955, Section 4(a)(1), (2) and (3), Auburn University require the disclosure of certain information regarding vendors and their relationships with AU.
More...

How do I register to become eligible to bid on Auburn University contracts?
Visit our vendor registration web page, which has all the information you need to become a registered vendor.

May I accept any Auburn employee's signature on a contract I offer them for goods or services as a binding contract?
No. Specifically, the Executive Director of Procurement and Payment Services has the sole responsibility for the procurement of goods and services for the University. The Associate Director, Procurement Services Manager, and Buyers (limited) have been delegated procurement authority by the Executive Director of Procurement and Payment Services. The Executive Director of Procurement and Payment Services has been delegated this signature authority by the President of the University.

How can I get information about current bids?
We post bid requests on a bulletin board in our office. You may also call our office at 334-844-7771.

How do you arrive at a bid due date (for formal sealed bids)?
Bid due dates are arrived at by considering the
  1. time needs of the University
  2. location of vendors
  3. complexity of specifications
  4. the projected date the bidders will receive the Invitation to Bid.
We have found that two weeks is a good standard, but it can and does vary.

Can you explain Auburn University's tax-exempt status?
By State Law, Auburn University is exempt from the payment of Alabama Sales Tax (Section 40-230(15) Code of Alabama, 1975 and further explained in the Department of Revenue Rule G27-0513. Send all inquiries to Procurement and Payment Services. Our Sales Tax Account Number (41506) is printed on all Purchase Orders.

Are Invitations to Bid available on Procurement and Payment Services's web site?
We are currently working towards the posting of bids on our website. We do mail Invitations to Bid to registered vendors - per the commodity class codes the vendor indicates on their vendor registration form. Also, bids are posted (at the same time they are mailed out) on a bulletin board located in our office hallway.

How do I find out if my Vendor registration was accepted or rejected? Will I receive an acceptance notification?
We do not mail out acceptance notifications. You can contact Vicky Smith at 334-844-7771 and about the status of your registration.

I am a registered vendor with Auburn University, how can I get my company's web site listed on Procurement and Payment Services's web page for advertising purposes?
We currently are not authorized to allow vendors to 'advertise' on our site, but links to your company may be considered should you be awarded a major contract that is to be used by all Auburn University personnel.

Can you tell me who to contact in the Alabama State government concerning the sale of machinery or equipment the State no longer needs?
Contact the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). They handle surplus property. ADECA's phone number is: 334-242-5525.

Also, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety dispose of their own property now. Contact: Department of Transportation at 334-242-6063 and Department of Public Safety at 334-242-4137.

For University surplus property and open sales of this property, contact our Surplus Property Department at 334-844-4984.

 


Procurement and Payment Services · 311 Ingram Hall
Auburn University · Alabama 36849-5101 USA
334-844-7771