Aside from regularly-scheduled payments such as rent, utilities, car loans, etc., there are three methods by which purchases may be made or funds expensed, as follows:
1. Program Petty Cash
Advanced Funds/Petty Cash
2. Agency Charge Accounts/Purchase Orders
3. Check Requests
GENERAL NOTE: ServiceNet is a Tax-Exempt Corporation -- we should never pay sales tax on any purchases. The vendors we deal with regularly are aware of this, and information related to our tax-exempt status is printed on our purchase orders. If you are dealing with a new vendor, they may ask you for an "ST-5 Form" to document our sales tax exemption status. Copies of this form are available in the Fiscal Department.
I. CHARGE ACCOUNTS/PURCHASE ORDERS
In order to facilitate regular purchasing of items such as food and household supplies, ServiceNet has charge accounts established at many local grocery, department, and hardware stores. (See list at the end of this section.) The process for using agency charge accounts is as follows:
A. The Program Director should obtain a pre-numbered purchase order book from the fiscal department. Purchase Orders must be used for all charges to agency accounts. The Program Director will be required to sign out the purchase order book, so that the Fiscal Department knows who has which books. Purchase Order books should be kept locked up to prevent unauthorized use.
B. When it is necessary for shopping to be done accessing a store charge account, the Program Director should complete one of the three-part purchase orders in the book, as follows:
Enter the Date when the P.O. will be used.
In the "TO" section enter the Store Name.
In the "SHIP TO" section, enter the Program Name.
In the "Description" section, enter the type of merchandise to be purchased, and a dollar limit (e.g. "Not to exceed $50.00). Note that the purchase orders themselves have a pre-printed dollar limit (either $100 or $500). You should use the P.O.'s with the $500 limit only when necessary for large orders.
Sign the Purchase Order on the line that says "Authorized By". Please note that only management staff (Program Directors, Assistant P.D.'s and Division Managers) are authorized to sign Purchase Orders, unless specific written permission has been obtained from the Division Manager and CFO for delegated authority.
Be sure that all these items are filled out completely and legibly, since all this information is needed by Fiscal.
See a sample of a completed purchase order below.
C. When the P.O. is filled out, give the original and one copy to the staff person who will be doing the shopping. The third copy stays in the P.O. book.
D. When the shopping is done the original P.O. is given to the store. The copy must be submitted to the Fiscal Department with the store's cash register receipt stapled to it. Be sure the documents are clearly labeled with program name and type of items purchased. The Fiscal Department uses this to match up to the bills received by the store, and to charge the costs to the appropriate programs.
E. When all of the Purchase Orders in a book have been used, the book (with all of the third copies) should be turned into the Fiscal Department, at which time a new one will be issued.
F. All used P.O.'s and the accompanying store receipts should be turned in as soon as possible after their use, but no later than a week after the purchasing occurred.
W.B. Mason - Office Supplies
See Supply Order Requisition
Programs should directly order office supplies from W.B. Mason, and receive ServiceNet's discount, using the Standard Supply Requisition form (sample follows). The most commonly-used items are pre-printed on the form, but other items may be ordered by referring to the W.B. Masons (contact the Purchasing Manager if your program does not have a catalog). We receive discounts averaging 55% off list price from W.B. Mason, although discounts on individual items range from nearly 90% (on common items such as paper clips and standard staples) down to 10% (on items with low turnover such as first aid kits). In most cases W.B. Mason will directly deliver orders to the program site, unless it is a site that is not always staffed. In most cases, deliveries will be made within a day of the order date.
II. CHECK REQUESTS
Occasionally, a check will be required to pay for services or goods from a vendor with whom we do not have a charge account. This happens, for example, with checks for security deposits on new sites, training conference fees, and purchases from one-time vendors. Check Requests should be completed as follows:
A. In the top section of the form (see example following), enter Vendor Name and Address (i.e. person or organization to whom check will be written), your Program Name, and Amount of Check, and a Description of what is being paid for.
B. Under "SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS" indicate when you need the check, what you want done with the check (i.e. returned to you or mailed to vendor), and any other instructions to Accounts Payable for handling the check. Special instructions might include something you want sent with the check, or an account number or other information you want printed on the check or the check stub.
C. "Requested By" should be signed by the person requesting the check. "Approved By" must be signed by the employee with budgetary authority (i.e. a Program Director or Division Manager) over the budget to be charged with the expense. If the Program Director is the person both requesting and approving the expense, only the "Approved By" line needs to be signed.
D. Attach any back-up you have (i.e. copy of an order or registration form, etc.) to the Check Request. If you do not have back-up documentation at the time the check is requested, you must obtain a receipt from the vendor and submit it to the Fiscal Office as soon as possible after using the check.
If you want something submitted to the vendor with the check (e.g. a conference registration form), make a copy of that document to staple to the Check Request as back-up, and paper clip the original document to the Check Request.
E. PLEASE NOTE: There is a check run produced once a week, on Friday. The deadline for check requests to be processed is noon on the previous Friday. i.e. if you need a check on or after Friday, December 20th, the check request must be submitted by noon on Friday, December 13th. Off-cycle, manually-produced checks will only be issued in emergencies, so please plan accordingly.
See a sample of Check Request.
III. Purchasing Assistance
The Business Manager is available to assist in purchasing and/or locating the best source for large, uncommon or infrequently-purchased items (such as TTY machines and sound conditioners), and to make recommendations about reliable brands or models. S/he has a library of Consumer Reports and buying guides as well as numerous vendor catalogs. You should contact her/him directly if you need this type of assistance. S/he should always be consulted for major furniture purchases, and purchases of vehicles, copiers and fax machines.