Finance & Administration: Policies and Procedures

The following standard fiscal and administrative policies and procedures are intended to serve as a business practice guide for all Provost units in conducting their financial, administrative, and personnel activities. Many of these activities require the use of standardized forms that can be found in standard forms. Text in blue below link to documents and web pages pertinent to each topic.

Subjects covered below include:

Purchasing: Buying and Paying for Supplies and Services

Unit administrative staff with responsibility for purchasing services, supplies, and other items needed to conduct UW business have several options for making those purchases. The UW Procurement Guide to Goods and Services is an excellent reference to use when determining how to go about purchasing a particular type of service or item. General guidelines follow:

In Brief:

  • Procurement Card (ProCard) – PREFERRED for most purchases up to $3,500
  • Central Travel Account (CTA) – PREFERRED for airline tickets or non-UW lodging only
  • eProcurement – PREFERRED for purchases from UW-approved/authorized vendors for office supplies, computer aequipment and other supplies/services
  • eReimbursement – to reimburse individuals employed by the UW for expenses incurred on behalf of UW business up to $3,500
  • Non-PO Invoicingfor expedited payment of registered vendors when a PO is not required
  • Purchase Requisition/Purchase Order – for all other purchases/payments
  • eTravel – for reimbursement of pre-paid travel expenses
  • Expedited/Overnight Shipping – use of UPS or other courier style service when expedited shipping is required
  • FS Works – UW internal building related services through Facilities Services
  • Check Requests – To make honorarium related payments to individuals up to $5,000

1.  Procurement Card (ProCard)

  • For use in purchasing most small-dollar amount (e.g., less than $3,500) services and supplies for UW business that are not available through eProcurement.
  • All purchases must be in accordance with UW Procurement Card guidelines (i.e., transaction limits, restricted items, NO TRAVEL EXPENSES, no personal purchases).
  • Each cardholder must complete a monthly ProCard transaction log at the end of each month, attach all original receipts, and forward it to Provost F&A for ProCard reconciling.  A business purpose must be provided for each transaction sufficient to answer the following questions:  WHO made the purchase; WHAT was purchased; WHERE (from which vendor) was the purchase made; WHEN was the purchase made; and WHY was the purchase made.
  • Requests for new ProCards must be approved by Kim Dinh prior to submitting a card application to Procurement Card Services.

2.  Central Travel Account (CTA)

  • Restricted to use by Provost unit administrative staff in purchasing airline tickets or non-UW lodging for UW business only.
  • All purchases must be in accordance with UW Central Travel Account guidelines (e.g., use state-approved travel vendors).
  • Use of the Provost CTA is administered and must be approved by Kim Dinh.
  • Administrative staff given access to use the Provost CTA must forward all receipts and itineraries to Provost F&A once the transaction is completed (do not wait for the end of the month).
  • For each transaction a business purpose must be provided that answers the following questions:  WHO made the purchase; WHAT was purchased; WHERE (from which vendor) was the purchase made; WHEN was the purchase made; and WHY was the purchase made.

3.  eProcurement

  • UW Purchasing maintains a web-based system for purchases from UW-approved/authorized vendors for office supplies (e.g., Office Depot), computer equipment (e.g., CDW/Hewlett-Packard) and other supplies and services.
  • There are no dollar-limit restrictions for purchasing via eProcurement.
  • All purchases must conform to eProcurement policies and procedures.
  • You must be authorized to use eProcurement.  To request access to eProcurement, Provost unit administrative staff should contact Kim Dinh.
  • Anyone with a UW NetID can browse the various eProcurement catalogs for UW contract pricing.

4.  eReimbursement

  • The eReimbursement system may be used to pay reimburse a UW employee of an out-of-pocket expense they incurred on behalf of the UW up to $3,500.
  • All purchases must conform to eProcurement policies and procedures.
  • You must be authorized to use eReimbursement.  To request access to eReimbursement, Provost unit administrative staff should contact Kim Dinh.
  • Original receipts must be provided for charges that will be reimbursed.
  • A business purpose must be provided for each transaction sufficient to answer the following questions:  WHO made the purchase; WHAT was purchased; WHERE (from which vendor) was the purchase made; WHEN was the purchase made; and WHY was the purchase made.

5.  Non-PO Invoicing

  • Payments to vendors under $10,000 that do not require a purchase order should be completed via Non-PO Invoicing.
  • Vendors that are paid via Non-PO Invoicing must be set up in both PAS and the eProcurement system before payment can be processed.
  • All purchases must conform to eProcurement policies and procedures.
  • You must be authorized to use eReimbursement.  To request access to eReimbursement, Provost unit administrative staff should contact Kim Dinh.
  • A copy of the invoice must be provided as an attachment for charges that will be paid via Non-PO Invoicing.
  • A business purpose should be provided for each transaction sufficient to answer the following questions:  WHO made the purchase; WHAT was purchased; WHERE (from which vendor) was the purchase made; WHEN was the purchase made; and WHY was the purchase made.

6.  Purchase Requisition/Purchase Order

  • Any other purchase/payment that cannot be made with the above methods and all purchases exceeding $10,000 require a requisition/purchase order from UW Purchasing  before a payment can be made.
  • The Purchasing and Accounts Payable Online System (PAS) is used by authorized staff to create requisitions.
  • Requisitions are submitted to UW Purchasing electronically which results in the issuance of a UW Purchase Order (“PO”).  The PO authorizes the purchase and payment for the item or service described in the PO.
  • An Invoice Voucher  must be prepared and forwarded along with the original invoice to Accounts Payable for payment.
  • You must be authorized to use PAS.  To request access to PAS, Provost unit administrative staff should contact Kim Dinh.

7.  eTravel

  • The eTravel system is used to reimburse individuals that have travelled on behalf of the UW for business or educational purposes.
  • All purchases must conform to eTravel policies and procedures.
  • You must be authorized to use eTravel.  To request access to eTravel, Provost unit administrative staff should contact Kim Dinh.
  • Original receipts for any transaction $75 or more must be included in any travel reimbursement request.  Receipts for items less than $75 are preferred whenever possible.
  • A copy of the flight itinerary and a conference itinerary should also be included with the receipts when applicable.
  • A business purpose should be provided for each trip sufficient to answer the following questions:  WHO made the purchase; WHAT was purchased; WHERE (from which vendor) was the purchase made; WHEN was the purchase made; and WHY was the purchase made.

8.  Expedited/Overnight Shipping

  • The Provost Office maintains accounts with UPS for use when overnight shipping is necessary for Provost Office business.  These accounts enable us to order shipments online via the UPS website (
  • Online shipping allows for shipping fees to be charged directly to a UW ProCard, thereby eliminating paper billing and time-consuming payment processing.  In addition, online shipping provides clearer, more accurate documentation of our shipping expenses for monthly reconciliation purposes.
  • If you are a ProCard holder, you may set up an account with UPS using your ProCard number.  If you are not a ProCard holder and would like to ship an item via UPS, please contact Provost F&A.

9.  FS Works

  • UW Facilities Services provides building maintenance and custodial services for all UW units.
  • Anyone with a UW NetID can use the FS Works system.
  • Please complete the online FS Works form to request services.  For all building repairs and needs, you can ignore the budget section.  Changes that are desired but not necessary to building integrity should provide a budget to charge.
  • Additional questions about building repairs and other needs can be directed to Provost F&A or Matt Orefice (building coordinator).

10.  Check Request Form

Travel: Reporting Foreign Travel Plans, Making Travel Arrangements, and Processing Travel Reimbursements

  • Reporting Foreign Travel Plans: The UW Office of Risk Management is required to report updated information annually regarding UW employees working or traveling abroad on UW business. This requirement is for the UW Travel Assistance program and the Foreign Liability policy which provides Workers’ Compensation benefits for UW employees stationed abroad. The UW Employee Abroad Reporting Form is to be used by employees who are planning to work or travel abroad on UW business between 8/1/2014 – 7/31/2015. It is the responsibility of each individual to complete this form for his/her own UW business travel, but may be delegated to the traveler’s administrative assistant. The form is intended to provide an up-to-date reporting of all employees abroad at any given time and should be submitted well in advance of the departure date. If travel dates or locations change, a new form will need to be submitted to ensure the most accurate information is on file. One form should be submitted per trip by the individual traveler to the UW Office of Risk Management.
  • All policies and procedures related to travel by UW employees and guests of the University can be found on the UW Travel Office website.
  • All out-of-state travel must be approved in writing by your unit head prior to incurring travel-related costs (please take note of any UW travel freezes in effect).
  • The use of state contracts are no longer required but the Provost Office prefers working with STA Travel to obtain good rates and service.  The person responsible for administering the CTA will need to give the travel vendor authorization to use the CTA.
  • Lodging and meal expenses of al UW employees in travel status and guests of the University must adhere to UW-approved per diem rates.
  • Travel related expenses must NOT be charged to a UW ProCard.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed to the traveler via the UW Travel Office’s online eTravel tool (please note:  paper Travel Expense Vouchers are no longer accepted).
  • The traveler must submit all original receipts for individual expenses of $75 or more, airline itineraries, conference schedules/proceedings, and any other pertinent documentation of trip expenses, together with a detailed business purposes for the trip to Provost F&A.  The F&A staff will prepare the eTravel expense report based on the information submitted by the traveler and then submit the expense report for the required approvals.  Once all required approvals are obtained, the expense report is processed by the Travel Office and a reimbursement is issued, generally within 1-2 days.  Funds are deposited electronically to the user’s account for UW employees.
  • For foreign currency exchange on international business travel, the UW Travel Office recommends the use of OANDA’s FX Converter.

Budgets: Monthly Tracking/Reconciling of Expenses

  • Provost units are responsible for tracking and reconciling all expenses charged to their UW budgets on a monthly basis. Guidelines for budget tracking and reconciling can be found on the Grant & Contract Accounting website.
  • MyFinancialDesktop (MyFD) is the UW web interface tool used to view budget activity, reconcile transactions each month and transfer expenses.
  • You must be authorized to use the MyFD web-based application; to request access to MyFD, please contact Kim Dinh.
  • The reconciler must match each non-salary/benefits charge with original documentation of that charge (e.g., receipt, invoice, packing slip, UW cost transfer invoice (CTI) or other paper documentation of the charge).  Charges that cannot be reconciled due to insufficient supporting documentation require follow-up action.
  • All documentation for reconciled charges is kept in paper form in budget files maintained locally or in Provost F&A.
  • Many UW internal service provider charges (CTIs and ISDs) are available online for reconciliation purposes, including UWIT/Nebula, Libraries and Facilities Services.  ProCard, CTA and eProcurement documentation can also be found online in the MyFD system.  Because this information is maintained online, there is no need to print it.

Personnel: Hiring and Appointing Staff

Requests from Provost units for F&A assistance with non-academic personnel actions are initiated by completing a Personnel Action Request Form.  This form gathers basic information from the unit hiring manager on the desired personnel action for use by Provost F&A in initiating the particular action.  Please note that all academic personnel actions are handled by the Office of Academic Human Resources.

1. Hiring Staff

  • Non-academic staff hiring encompasses permanent and temporary, salaried or hourly positions in the Professional, Classified and Student Assistant categories of employment.
  • All hiring plans must take into account any current restrictions/freezes on creating new positions or replacing staff.  Therefore, Provost units should discuss their current and future staffing needs with Kim Dinh before proceeding.
  • The hiring manager (person in the unit who is responsible for hiring) completes the pertinent sections of the Personnel Action Request Form and forwards it along with a position description to Kim Dinh.  If additional information is needed, the hiring manager will be contacted.
  • If necessary, F&A creates a requisition for the position in the UWHIRES system and works with UW Human Resources in posting the position.
  • The hiring manager is responsible for applicant vetting/interviewing and candidate selection.
  • F&A will create a UW appointment for the selected candidate in OPUS (UW’s online payroll system).

2.  Terminating Staff

  • Any plan to terminate a staff member with a permanent appointment or end the appointment of a temporary staff member earlier than the appointment end date should be discussed with Kim Dinh prior to any action being taken.

3.  Temporary Appointments:  Extending or Ending

  • Hiring managers or supervisors may request an extension of a temporary appointment (those with a specific end date) by submitting a Personnel Action Request Form to Provost F&A at least 30 days prior to the end of the appointment.
  • In cases where a temporary appointment will not be extended, the hiring manager or supervisor should notify Provost F&A of this by email or phone at least one week prior to the end of the appointment. Provost F&A will then end the appointment in OPUS and handle and separation payments (e.g., accrued leave) due to the departing staff member.

Payroll and Work-Leave Reporting

Payroll procedures differ between staff with hourly-paid appointments and those with monthly salaried appointments as described below.  UW employees are paid twice per month.  The first pay period covers the 1st through the 15th of the month, while the second pay period covers the 16th through the end of the month.  Pay dates are on the 10th and 25th of each month.  Work-leave reporting is separate from time reporting for payroll purposes.

1.  Payroll for Hourly Staff (Temporary Employees or Students)

  • Hourly staff typically include temporary employees and UW student workers.
  • Hourly staff must report hours worked each pay period in order to be paid.  This is known as “Positive Time Reporting (PTR)” in the UW payroll system.
  • UW work study students report time to and are paid by the UW Work Study Office.  Apart from creating the initial appointment on OPUS, F&A is not involved in payroll/time reporting for UW work study students.
  • All other hourly staff should use the UW Timesheet online application for reporting hours worked.  When the initial hourly appointment is created, F&A will set up the hourly employee to use UW Timesheet.  The employee reports their time via Employee Self Service on the UW website.  Time should be reported the day worked for accuracy and audit purposes.
  • The employee’s supervisor will be given access to the application to approve the hourly employee’s time for each bi-monthly pay period.  F&A can print the timesheet for time reporting for any hourly employee that uses UW Timesheet as soon as it is approved internally.  Hourly employees that do not use UW Timesheet must submit their written timesheets to Provost F&A before the bi-weekly deadline for processing.  Provost F&A must manually enter all earned hours into the payroll system as UW Timesheet does not do this automatically.
  • Payroll deadlines are critical.  If time is not approved or submitted to Provost F&A for entering into the payroll system by the pay period deadline, the hours will be entered and paid in the next bi-monthly pay period.

2.  Payroll for Monthly Salaried Staff (Classified and Professional)

  • Staff with salaried appointments are not required to report hours worked in order to be paid on their regular salary each pay period.  The UW payroll system assumes that each salaried staff member has worked their regular hours and will be paid for those hours unless there is an adjustment (see below) to those hours that requires an increase or decrease in pay for a particular pay period.  This is known as “Exception Time Reporting (ETR)” in the UW payroll system.
  • Common adjustments (exceptions) include a reduction in hours resulting from an employee taking leave without pay or the inclusion of overtime hours worked and to be paid for salaried staff who are overtime-eligible.
  • A unit’s payroll coordinator must report any adjustments/exception time for salaried staff in their unit by the deadline indicated in Provost F&A’s bi-monthly pay period reminder email.  Exception time must be report in writing and may be submitted by either email or fax.

Equipment Inventory

  • A Property Activity Request Form 1024 is required to document any tagged equipment that is being transferred to another department, surplused through UW Surplus Property or disposed through any other allowed method.  For Provost units residing in Gerberding Hall, this process is handled by the Provost F&A.  Any such department planning to surplus or transfer inventory should contact Provost F&A.
  • New purchases valued at $2,000 or more (including tax and ancillary costs) must be tagged and reported immediately upon receipt per UW and State regulations.  Contact Provost F&A to complete this process.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Regardless of where a unit resides, any equipment purchases of $2,000 or more are considered state assets and are tagged and tracked centrally by the Provost F&A team.  Please notify the F&A team when purchasing equipment above the $2,000 threshold.
  • All units may refer to the Equipment Inventory Office’s website for information on managing equipment inventory.

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