J. PURCHASING & PROCUREMENT
Goods & Services Requiring a Purchase Order and How to get a PO
The following types of goods and service providers require a Purchase Order prior to commencing work: graphic designers, video editors, photographers, leasing/rentals, software/licensing, translators and interpreters on campus, catering on campus, business and strategic consultants, general research, printing over $2,500 by vendors other than CU Print Services, and promotional merchandise. Departments must use Columbia promotional vendors which are licensed to use Columbia trademarks in the manufacture of emblematic products. Please reference Promotional Purchase for more information.
Please note that Purchasing can and has in the past rejected Purchase Order requests for work already completed. It is very important that work not commence until after the Purchase Order has been approved by Purchasing for this reason. Also, please be mindful that consultants must include their travel expenses on the invoice as it is work-related and therefore taxable to them.
Request a Purchase Order
Submit a request to email@example.com with the Subject: Purchase Order - Vendor Name and include all appropriate information, and attach all required documents for a requisition to be initiated.
- Required information:
- Vendor Name
- Purchase Order Amount
- Start & End Dates
- Speedchart/Speedchart Description the Purchase Order should be charged to
- Goods/services the Purchase Order is for
- Documents to attach:
- Quote(s) – please be advised that Purchase Orders over $10,000 require a minimum of two bids
- Client List – list of current customers
- Resume or Company Brochure
- Service Provider Agreement (if applicable)
- Photography Rider (if applicable)
- Scope of Work (SoW)
- Independent Contractor Certification (ICC) – required each time they are engaged. All Sole Proprietors or individual contractors require an Independent Contractor Certificate.
- Certificate of Insurance (COI) – if vendor is providing service on-campus. View sample of a Certificate of Insurance
On Site work including repairs, consultancy, catering, wait staff, moving services etc. requires a COI and a NYS Liquor Permit if alcohol is served. “The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York” must be listed as the Certificate Holder and under Description of Operations it should read "The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, its trustees, officers, agents and employees as additional insured."
Please be advised that additional information and documents such as bids may be requested depending on the amount and the type of goods and services. For a list of documents required by goods/service provider type, please reference "The Unabridged, Comprehensive Catalogue of Goods & Services requiring a PO" above.
Policy on entertainment expenses for virtual meetings:
Reimbursement of meals for virtual meetings, including employee engagement and team building events, is not allowed under the University's policy. The Law School will not reimburse employees for these costs.
Policy on commuting or parking costs:
Commuting or parking costs from home to place of work/business are taxable to a University employee. The University does not reimburse for these costs. Reference the Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program for alternative options.
Guidance on the procurement of equipment and supplies for remote workspaces:
All at-home furniture must be purchased directly by the Law School to be considered a valid business expense. At-home furniture purchases are not eligible for reimbursement. All furniture purchased by the Law School is the property of the Law School and must be returned by the employee in the event of an employment separation.
At-home furniture requests fall within two categories: workplace accommodations and workplace productivity.
- If a member of your team has a documented medical need that requires a temporary or permanent workplace accommodation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and our HR team will work directly with the staff member to provide a reasonable at-home accommodation.
- If a member of your team is without a task chair or work surface in their remote work environment please follow the steps below.
- Step 1: Supervisor coordinates with the employee and the Staples Advantage department account holder to identify furniture item(s) that meet the needs of the employee. Note: all workplace productivity requests will be fulfilled through Staples Advantage and will be recorded against the department's operating budget.
- Step 2: Supervisor sends a request to email@example.com specifying the name of the employee, the furniture item(s) needed, and the business justification.
- Step 3: Business Office reviews the request. All requests exceeding $300.00 will require CFO approval. If approved, the Business Office will send the pre-approval to the supervisor and the Staples Advantage department account holder.
- Step 4: Business Office coordinates with the employee to identify the shipping address.
- Step 5: Staples Advantage department account holder places the order and the order routes to the Business Office for final approval.
Technology (computers, monitors, printers, scanners)
All at-home technology must be purchased directly by the Law School to be considered a valid business expense. At-home technology purchases are not eligible for reimbursement. All technology purchased by the Law School is the property of the Law School and must be returned by the employee in the event of an employment separation. To purchase technology (for use on-campus or remotely), supervisors, or their designees, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Law School now permits the relocation of office computers and monitors to remote workplaces by Law IT professionals. To facilitate an orderly process, Sarah Lis is coordinating with departmental liaisons designated by senior management. Together, they will identify employees who require office technology relocations. Technology equipment may be shipped directly to remote workspaces at no cost to the department operating budget. Sarah Lis and/or your department liaison will be in contact with all Law School departments by Friday, September 11. Supervisors should first consider relocating existing office equipment to remote workspaces before acquiring new equipment.
Printers and scanners will not be relocated off campus. If your department has operational needs that require remote printing and scanning, please contact email@example.com and a member of the senior management team will review available options with you.
Supervisors are advised to coordinate within their administrative teams to identify and bundle requests for office supplies. Once needs are identified, the supervisor will work with the Staples Advantage department account holder to place the order and provide delivery addresses to the Business Office. Please direct all office supply inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A P-Card is a procurement card used to purchase goods and limited services authorized by the University. The most common items approved for purchase using the P-Card are:
- Conference fees
- Membership costs
- Media storage
- Office supplies - not available at Staples
- Supplies and materials - not available at Staples
- Promotional items - strictly from Columbia approved vendors
- Food delivery on campus - strictly food delivered and consumed on campus
Cardholders have a monthly credit limit set and based on normal expenditures, as well as a single transaction limit that cannot exceed $2,500 per purchase. Splitting the purchase into multiple transactions to circumvent the single transaction limit is strictly prohibited. The following items are strictly prohibited and cannot be paid using the P-Card:
- Fruit baskets
- Gifts (ex. gift baskets, gift cards)
- Edible arrangements
- Food off campus
- Auctions (ex. ebay)
- Foreign fees (ex. visa fees)
- Purchases using a Paypal account
- Promotional items (not purchased from our exclusive vendors)
Cardholders are encouraged to work with the vendor to resolve any issue related to their purchases. To dispute an unfamiliar charge, the cardholder must file the dispute within 60 days of the transaction date. All disputed transactions must be reconciled by adding a comment explaining the transaction is in dispute with the bank, changed to "verified" status, and approved before the hardclose deadline.
To report a lost or stolen P-Card, immediately call Bank of America Customer Service at (888) 449-2273. To request a replacement of a damaged P-Card, notify the P-Card Team at email@example.com
Cardholders are encouraged to reconcile their purchases as soon as the transaction has posted; prior to internal deadlines and in advance of hardclose. Here are the steps to guide you through the process from start to finish:
Step 1: Cardholder determines items to be purchased are approved to be paid using the P-Card.
Step 2: Cardholder informs the vendor the University is tax exempt (if applicable) and makes the purchase.
Step 3: Vendor charges the P-Card and provides cardholder with an itemized receipt showing confirmation of payment. Cardholder is responsible to obtain a valid receipt for reconciling purposes which must be filed according to record retention policy.
Step 4: Cardholder determines the receipt is itemized and shows confirmation of payment. Cardholder saves receipt in PDF format with the proper naming convention:
- Hotel transactions: uni-cardholder_billcycle_vendor_guest_$amount
- All other transactions: uni-cardholder_billcycle_vendor_$amount
Step 5: Cardholder reconciles purchase:
- Allocates “Staged” transaction to the proper speedchart and 5-digit account.
- Add the standard description and upload the receipt with the proper naming convention.
- Validate budget to ensure budget status is valid.
- Set transaction to “Verified” status and save.
Step 6: Verified transaction will route for review and approval. Approver will notify the cardholder if correction is deemed necessary. Once the transaction is approved, it will appear under statement status "Closed."
Swag with Columbia Logo
The following vendors are in compliance with Columbia's Code of Workplace Conduct and are licensed to use Columbia trademarks for promotional giveaway items. Departments interested in purchasing promotional items must use these exclusive vendors to protect and ensure proper use of Columbia University trademarks. Orders from these vendors for under $2,500 can be paid with the P-Card. Orders from these vendors for over $2,500 require a Purchase Order.
- AAA American Flag Decorating Co.
- Ade Lang
- Associated Premium Corp.
- Axis Promotions
- Balady Promotions
- Brancaster Marketing
- CS Designworks
- EcoPlum Business Gifts
- Geiger Collegiate Promotions
- Graphically Speaking
- Grossman Marketing
- Halo Branded Solutions
- Howard Roe Gift Solutions
- Karen Condron Spirit Center
- Kotis Design
- Larick Associates
- Logo Concepts
- LR Paris
- Manhattan Concepts
- Max Merchandising
- MRP Lawrence
- RJS Promo Group
- To The Market
Columbia Athletic Equipment & Apparel Suppliers: Ahead LLC; Boathouse Sports; JL Racing; Parkview Sports; Ping Golf; Rhino Rugby; Sneakers Plus (Chris Gacos Assoc.); Starlight Apparel; Varsity Spirit Fashions.