Board of Trustees Approval Threshold Change Reminders

At the June 06 – 07, 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting, several expenditure thresholds requiring Board of Trustees approval were revised. See summary of revisions below:

  • The purchase or lease of equipment threshold increased from $500,000 to $750,000.
  • Technology acquisitions threshold, not included in the annual technology plans, increased from $500,000 to $750,000. The revised rule also clarifies technology as inclusive of all aspects – hardware, software, associated services, upgrades and expansions.
  • Previously, all consulting and professional service agreements over $250,000 and goods and services over $1,000,000 if not competitively bid were subject to the System Office Heightened Review process. Now, those same thresholds are subject to Board of Trustees approval, further clarified as follows: Goods over $1,000,000 unless competitively bid; Consulting and professional services over $250,000 regardless of whether the contracts result from a competitive process.
  • Capital projects that involve construction, demolition, or renovation of University facilities threshold increased from $750,000 to $1,000,000.

The above threshold changes became effective immediately upon approval at the June meetings.  The System Office is in the process of updating the Board Manual which can be referred to for full context once updates are complete.

What is the role of Procurement Services in these changes?

Procurement is the conduit for all purchases/contracts.  By starting with Procurement, we can help navigate the process.

What do the submission requirements include?

  • Complete the Contract Summary Term Sheet, which will be provided by Contract Management. The Contract Summary Sheet will request information such as:
    • What is the rationale for not bidding this agreement?
    • Justification/How does this Contract promote the Campus Strategic Plan & UA System’s Core Principles?
    • Contractor Selection Process/Explain how the offered price was determined to be a reasonable one?
    • Please list other higher education clients, if any, the vendor had contract(s) with during the past five years.
    • Please list other organizations in the State of Alabama the vendor had contract(s) with during the past five years.

What are the deadlines for items to be submitted for upcoming Board Meetings?

  • February 6-7, 2020 Meeting
    • must be submitted to Procurement by November 22, 2019.
  • April 9-10, 2020 Meeting
    • must be submitted to Procurement by February 7, 2020.
  • June 4-5, 2020 Meeting
    • must be submitted to Procurement by April 3, 2020.

Fiscal Year-End 2019

With FY19 ending in a few short weeks, it is important to note the below dates to ensure that Procurement Services can process all orders and post all transactions to Banner within the Financial Accounting deadlines:

  • buyBAMA Purchase Orders must be created and approved by Monday, September 23, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • buyBAMA Receiving must be completed by Monday, September 30, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • Concur Invoices must be submitted, approved by all approvers, and to Accounts Payable for processing by Monday, October 7, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • Concur Expense Reports must be submitted, approved by all approvers, and to Accounts Payable and P-Card for processing by Monday, October 7, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • Banner Encumbrances will roll forward on Friday, October 18, 2019

Property and Inventory Management: Account Code Reminders for Property Subject to Inventory Control

Account code range 791XXX should be used for purchases of equipment that are moveable (not permanently affixed to a building or structure) with a life expectancy of more than one (1) year and have an acquisition value of $5,000 or greater that are subject to inventory control. Examples typically include office equipment, lab equipment, scientific equipment, tools and machinery, recreation equipment, kitchen equipment, maintenance/janitorial equipment, vehicles, and other general equipment. Do not use 791XXX account codes for purchases that are not subject to inventory. Please see the Property and Inventory Management Policy for additional information.

Please contact Tracy Cameron for questions about Property subject to inventory control.

Financial Accounting and Reporting: Account Code Reminders for DTAs and Journal Entries

Credits:

  • Departments providing a good or service should credit Cost Recovery (780111) or a revenue account code with the ‘INTERNAL’ designation in the 506XXX and 508XXX account codes unless the transaction is between UA and one of the foundations, in which case, a revenue account code may be used.
  • If the transaction is a reimbursement, the department receiving the reimbursement should credit Cost Recovery (780111) or the account code where the reimbursable expense was originally charged.
  • Revenue account codes in the 507XXX range should only be used by Auxiliary Funds (18XXX)

Debits:

  • Account code 700001 is not valid for DTAs or journal entries. This account code is used for budget purposes only.
  • Student scholarship activity should be expensed to 7812XX account codes.
  • Account codes in the 795XXX range should only be used in construction project funds.
  • Cost Recovery (780111) is only used as a debit when correcting an error.

Please contact Candace Holliday for questions about DTAs and Journal Entries.

Why Use Your P-Card for Purchases?

Campus partners are encouraged to use their P-Card whenever accepted by vendors for all allowable purchases in compliance with Procurement Services policies.  Please note that P-Cards should not be used for payment of professional services.  See common questions / comments below related to using P-Cards and clarifications from Procurement for each.

  1. I prefer to issue a PO, it’s easier for me.
  • While it may seem easier for you, it is a much more time-consuming process for the University as a whole. Per National Association of Purchasing Card Professionals research, when the payment method is switched from the traditional process (e.g. purchase order) to a P-Card process, efficiency savings range from 55% to 80% of the traditional process cost.  The primary efficiency is time saved – It takes far less time to make a P-Card payment, reconcile the transaction and audit the transaction than the purchase order issuance, receipt, payment and closeout process.
  1. The charge exceeds my single purchase limit.
  • Temporary increases to the single purchase limit outside of the University’s e-procurement system, may be granted on a case by case basis. The Supervisory or Budgetary Approver may request a temporary increase by emailing P-Card Services with an explanation of the circumstances and a copy of the itemized invoice/quote.
  1. The charge will push me over my monthly P-Card limit.
  • Monthly limits are based on department need and set by the Budgetary Approvers when the initial request for a p-card is made, but these limits can be increased on a temporary or permanent basis. All that is needed to process a monthly limit increase is the amount to increase to, the length of the increase if temporary and approval from the Supervisory or Budgetary Approver.
  1. The charge is for property costing $5,000 or more which requires tagging by Property Management.
  • P-Card can be used for the purchase of property that requires tagging by Property Management. Property Management receives reports that provide all information needed from all payment method types (p-card, purchase orders and Concur Invoice).  See Equipment Purchases and Your Departmental Responsibilities for associated information.

So, maybe the real question should be – Why Not Use Your P-Card for Purchases?

Please contact Purchasing with any questions regarding the appropriate method of payment at 348-5230 or uapurchasing@fa.ua.edu, or P-Card Services at pcard@fa.ua.edu to discuss monthly and single purchase limits.

Board of Trustees Approval Threshold Changes

At the June 06 – 07, 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting, several expenditure thresholds requiring Board of Trustees approval were revised. See summary of revisions below:

  • Purchase or lease of equipment threshold increased from $500,000 to $750,000.
  • Technology acquisitions threshold, not included in the annual technology plans, increased from $500,000 to $750,000. The revised rule also clarifies technology as inclusive of all aspects – hardware, software, associated services, upgrades and expansions.
  • Previously, all consulting and professional service agreements over $250,000 and goods over $1,000,000 if not competitively bid were subject to the System Office Heightened Review process. Now, those same thresholds are subject to Board of Trustees approval, further clarified as follows: Goods over $1,000,000 unless competitively bid; Consulting and professional services over $250,000 regardless of whether the contracts result from a competitive process.
  • Capital projects that involve construction, demolition, or renovation of University facilities threshold increased from $750,000 to $1,000,000.

The above threshold changes became effective immediately upon approval at the June meetings.  The System Office is in the process of updating the Board Manual which can be referred to for full context once updates are complete.

The Concur P-Card User Access Form is ready!

The Concur P-Card User Access Form is ready!  The new Concur-P-Card User Access Request Form should be used to request (1) access to Concur, (2) a UA P-Card, and/or (3) a Concur Supervisor update.  The form can be completed by any UA employee or a delegate.  A delegate will need the individual’s CWID.  Once completed and submitted, the form will be routed to the org approver associated with the UA employee’s home org in Banner.  The form will then follow a predefined workflow in Procurement Services, and the employee and delegate will receive email updates along the way.  We are very excited to streamline the process for user access, p-card applications, and Concur supervisor updates!  For more information on completing the form and/or approving the form, please see the  User Access Form page on the UA Concur website.

PaymentWorks – Coming Soon!

We are excited to share that Accounts Payable is working to configure and implement a new supplier information system, PaymentWorks, which will automate the vendor onboarding and update process.  Using the system, vendors can submit and update their business information as necessary and also view the status of payments.  Our planned GoLive with the PaymentWorks system is late summer 2019.  As part of the implementation, several users on campus acted as “initiators” last week and invited new test vendors to register using the system.  Through this testing, we received positive feedback regarding the ease of use and the features that will be available to campus users.  Please stay tuned as we will be providing training on use of the system as part of the GoLive phase.  The video below provides more information about the PaymentWorks system.

PaymentWorks Youtube Video

University Services Campus

Furnishings and Design and Contract Administration will be the final divisions of Procurement Services moving to the University Services Campus in early June. Both departments will occupy Building 1021 at 405 Cahaba Circle, formerly Cottage 3 on the USC campus. See the map below for the exact location.

It will be the first time for Furnishings and Design that the entire business and design teams, Upholstery Shop, and Chair Lab will be housed under the same roof. To allow time to move the Upholstery equipment, the shop will be down from May 31-June 11. The employees will physically move to the new space June 6, 7, 10 and 11. Please contact them via email during this time. They will do their best to respond in a timely manner.

Contract Administration employees will move on June 7 and begin holding bid openings and other meetings in the new location later in the month. If you plan to attend any bid openings or prebid meetings, please confirm the location prior to the meeting. You can do so by checking the bid documents, contacting your Construction Administration project manager, or emailing Dan Rodgers at drodgers@fa.ua.edu or Leigh Ann Huguley at lhuguley@fa.ua.edu.

Please join us in welcoming Furnishings and Design and Contract Administration to the University Services Campus.

University Services Campus Map

What exactly is Contract Administration?

Of all the branches of Procurement, Contract Administration is probably the least well-known among UA Faculty and Staff. This is because Contract Administration has a very specific mission – compliance with state and federal law for construction projects.

The Alabama Public Works law, found in Title 39 of the Code of Alabama, governs what we commonly refer to as “construction.” The Public Works law is distinct from the Alabama bid law, found in Title 41, which governs the purchase of other goods and services.

Contract Administration’s task is to see that the advertising, bidding, and award of construction contracts complies with Title 39. We strive to promote free and open competition so that public funds are used efficiently, and UA gets a quality end product.

In addition to construction contracts, we also administer contracts for professional service providers such as architects and engineers. Contract Administration is also responsible for compliance with any federal requirements when UA receives a grant for construction.