T.2a Purchasing Policy

This document establishes policies governing the purchasing of business expenses incurred on behalf of the University. It is the Organization’s policy to reimburse employees for ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses when directly related to the transaction of University business.

Directly related expenses
are those in which there is the expectation of deriving some current or future benefit for the University, the employee is actively engaged in a business meeting or activity necessary to the performance of the employee’s job duties, or in the case of entertainment, there is a clear business purpose.

Employees are expected to exercise prudent business judgement regarding expenses covered by this Policy.

Reimbursement for expenses, that are not in compliance with this Policy requires the prior written approval of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Employees with a CBU purchasing card will not be reimbursed for expenses made using a personal card or cash.

University employees are responsible for complying with this Policy. Employees submitting expenses that are not in compliance with this policy risk forfeiting reimbursement.

If questions arise, please refer to the Purchasing page of the CBU Intranet for specific vendor information.

All technology purchases are to be coordinated through the IT Department.

All marketing/branding/printing must be approved by the Communications & Marketing Department.

Before any purchase of $750 or higher is made, an approved purchase order must be obtained through BannerWeb. This includes purchases made with purchasing cards and expense reimbursements. In the event multiple transactions are presented over a period of time in order to stay below the $750 threshold and avoid obtaining approvals, individuals may be subject to disciplinary action.

Acceptable Expenses in the Purchasing Policy
The following are examples of acceptable expenses, as long as they are in compliance with the applicable provisions of this Policy, and are for business purposes:

  • Hotel charges and related tips
  • Airfare, train fare, bus fare, taxi cabs, rideshare and related tips
  • Charges for internet connectivity at the hotel
  • Car rental expenses
  • Personal mileage, if using own vehicle
  • Toll and parking charges, with receipt
  • Conference and convention fees
  • Business center cost (i.e., copying faxing, etc.)
  • Reasonable business entertainment expenses
  • Other reasonable and necessary business expenses not specifically excluded below

The follow expenses are not allowable in the Purchasing Policy:

  • Airline club dues
  • First class airfare or seat upgrades
  • In-flight movies/refreshments
  • Hotel room movies and other forms of personal entertainment
  • Traffic violations and fines
  • Individual AAA dues or memberships
  • Rentals of Premium, luxury, or four-wheel drive vehicles
  • Tips in excess of 20% and/or tips in addition to pre-applied gratuity
  • Luggage overage charges
  • Alcohol, unless consumed during legitimate business-related entertainment activities
  • Meals including only company employees, unless travelling on company business or approved in advance by the CFO
  • Meals purchased when departing on or arriving from CBU travel assignments
  • Reimbursement for personal miles in excess of the cost of airfare to the same destination
  • Gift cards
  • Gifts to individuals or charitable gifts
  • Parties and gifts for University employees
  • Office supplies or items that are to be ordered through CBUs preferred vendors
  • Amazon, Costco, Sam’s, or other shopping club dues
  • Any item deemed to be for personal use or for personal benefit
  • Payment to an independent contractor, speaker fees, honorarium fees paid by employee
  • Items over $750 without an approved purchase order
  • Tennessee Sales Tax- please contact the Director of Procurement for tax exemption form and other details regarding processes for exempt sales tax purchases.

No policy can anticipate every situation that might give rise to legitimate business expenses. Reasonable and necessary expenses, which are not listed above, may be incurred. Each employee and supervisor must use his/her best professional judgment determining if an unlisted expense is reimbursable under this Policy.

Purchasing Policy Exceptions
Generally, any exception to this policy must have the prior written approval of the employee’s supervisor and the CFO. Request for exception should document extenuating circumstances or proposed overall savings to the University

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