FAQs

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Please see below for frequently asked questions about fiscal, HR and procurement items/procedures.

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Fiscal

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Alcohol

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The short answer is always. If a department wishes to serve alcohol at a university event in a non-permanently licensed campus site (such as a holiday party or reception in an atrium or conference room), prior university approval must be obtained. The requirement to gain this permission does not apply to events held at on-campus licensed facilities, such as the Blackwell or the Faculty Club. For more information, see the Office of Legal Affairs web information on Alcohol on Campus.

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Pre-approval is not necessary to purchase alcohol at licensed facilities, such as off-campus restaurants. Approval may occur either before or after the event. However, ALL ALCOHOL purchase must receive College approval before the payment may be processed.

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The amount of alcohol purchased may not exceed $25 per person in attendance.

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If the PCard was used for the purchase, the cardholder who authorized the purchase will reimburse the college for the overage amount. If the purchaser is seeking reimbursement, the reimbursable amount will not exceed $25 per person in attendance.

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Alcohol may never be charged to general funds or sponsored research projects. Alcohol purchases must be charged to discretionary funds and must have documented approval (e.g. signature or direct e-mail) of appropriate college level approver. This approval also certifies that the fund used is a discretionary account or an eligible conference (earnings) fund.

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PCard

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Anyone in the Department can initiate the eRequest.

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Yes. Find a PCard tracking log form here.

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The initiator may or may not know the card number initially, but when the manager gives them the card they can add that field on the manager panels.

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Yes. All Purchasing/Travel/GET card transactions need to go through the pre-approval process in eRequest.

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Once the requester/initiator puts in the eRequest it will go through electronic pre-approval through the level one and level two approvals set up by the department.

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The initiator may know the chartfield when they request the card, but if they do not the level one approver will fill in that information. If the chartfield has changed after the transaction is made that can be updated in the comments box.

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​​​​Once all documentation has been included on the PR#, please mark the box “PCard documentation complete” and save.

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The PR# should be audit ready with a paid receipt and necessary backup documentation (attendees, additional College approvals) prior to the managers fields being completed.  If the amount is over $75, a packing slip or receipt acknowledgement should be attached but can be reconciled without.  The transaction will NOT be approved until a packing slip or receipt acknowledgement is attached for transactions over $75.

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No. Once that button has been clicked that indicated that the transaction is complete on the Department end. The only thing that can happen at that point is additional documentation being attached to the PR# and comments can be added to the PR#.

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No edits can be made to the amounts or chartfield. However, you can attach supplemental documentation and make additional comments.

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This would be a transaction that did not go through the pre-approval process generating a PR#. This type of transaction should occur rarely, and cannot be helped. An example would be someone who needs the card at the very last minute right at closing hours and approvals would be impossible to get.

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As long as the "what" that is being purchased did not change, simply make a comment indicating a vendor change. Example: "The hinges we needed were not available at Lowe's so we had to go to Home Depot."

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If the amount is more due to shipping costs, just making a comment indicating the increase of the amount due to shipping is acceptable. If the items ordered less shipping costs are more than 20% of the approved amount, additional approval is required.

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Yes. You can list each vendor with an estimate.

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Yes.

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No. Please go to the existing PR# that was completed where the original charge was made and attach the credit documentation. Send an e-mail notification to your BSC Fiscal Associate alerting them that there is a new charge on the PCard for reallocation.

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No. You can only reallocate with OSP funding and GET card.

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If there is an existing PR# where the transaction was never completed, no receipt uploaded, Manager's fields not filled out, and the transaction was not reallocated by the University deadline, the Department is required to upload the receipt, fill in the Manager's fields and attach a journal entry showing that they transferred the funds from the 61206 account to the proper account. Once the BSC sees that the transaction was completed we will "Complete" the PR# eRequest.

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​​​​No. Only one PCard can be used in a PR#.

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Travel

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Mileage only and associated miscellaneous transportation expenses such as parking do not require pre-approval.

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All Ohio State employees are required to purchase airfare with the CTP travel agency either through Concur or working with a service agent. Rental cars must be procured via the OSU contracted agencies Enterprise, National or Hertz. Group travel (10 or more individuals sharing the exact same itinerary) must be arranged with STA travel. To ensure the rental car contract pricing and included required insurance they can be reserved in Concur as well. Please refer to the Travel FAQ for details and links.

Student employees traveling for academic reasons not related to their employment are exempt from the initiative, however it is strongly encouraged for duty of care purposes to use CTP.

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Travel exceptions are but not limited to: lack of pre-approval for travel (After the fact travel approval/ATF), non-contract rental car procured, lack of rental car insurance purchased, cash advance not reconciled within 30 days of return from trip, reimbursement not submitted by the traveler within 90 days of the return of the trip, non-commercial housing was not pre-approved.

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​​​​​​All ASC cash advance reconciliations (UNIV&OSP) must be submitted within 30 days of the return of the trip. If money needs to be returned to OSU, the reconciliation needs to be submitted ASAP to verify the amount to be returned to ensure completion by the 30 days per policy.  

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If the contracted agencies are NOT available, or vehicles available do not meet business needs at the time of booking, screen shots need to be pulled at the time of booking and provided to avoid an exception.

If rental car is for domestic travel and is not rented under the contracted agencies, LDW/CDW PLUS liability need to be purchased.

International rental cars rented on contract do NOT include the necessary insurance.  Insurance options need to be explored prior to the trip and vetted through Risk Management to ensure coverage is enough to meet Ohio State University guidelines.

International rental cars rented outside of the contract need to have insurance options vetted through Risk Management.

Learn more about rental car discounts.

 

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Vouchers

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The BSC needs a packing list, P.O. number and voucher ID if available.

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Per University policy, the department will continue to send the invoice to Accounts Payable; this will not affect the BSC workflow.

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Yes, it is a University form.

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Yes, it is a University form.

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Yes, because approvals are still required.

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Procurement

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eRequest: Standard Purchasing Request

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We currently enter initiator’s name, email and telephone number in PO comments for department contact — it's automatically provided to us in each PR on top of the page. If you would like to provide us with the same information for the Requestor in "Additional Information" box, we can then transfer that to comments.  

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Business purpose should be written so an individual, unfamiliar to the organization’s operation can understand why the transaction occurred and how it benefits the mission of the University.

Using words such as “for,” “on behalf of,” “at the request of,” etc. help the reader to understand the justification of the transaction or expenditure.

Examples of Poorly Written Business Purposes

  • Purchased 50 boxes of granola bars
  • Lunch with donor
  • Attend ASEE
  • Gift card for research participants
  • Airfare
  • Research collaboration

Examples of Properly Written Business Purposes

  • Purchase of granola bars to feed monkeys used in cancer research
  • Lunch with donor, Joe Smith, to discuss giving opportunities to the college in support of the building campaign
  • Attend American Society of Engineering Educators seminar to present paper on student retention
  • Gift cards given to research participants according to protocol
  • Invited to University of China to collaborate on chemical refinement processes on behalf of OSU
  • Various trips throughout South America to research rural irrigation systems to provide data for journal publication titled “Improving Rural Irrigation Systems”

*Standard office supplies is an acceptable business purpose for typical office supply purchases(i.e. pens, paper, notebooks). However, you do need a specific business purpose for unique office supplies that are not purchased regularly(i.e. DVD player).

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Only approvers can change the status from Routine to Critical or Emergency. Orders are delegated to buyers based on departmental approval time stamp unless it is marked Critical of Emergency. But we at the BSC also appreciate an email or a phone call letting us know of this urgency even if your approver forgot to change the priority. 

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Please provide item/catalog numbers along with your item description. 

Important: Please provide quote # in the Quote ID box along with an attachment. If you do not have a quote number but an email from vendor then attach that to your PR. If verbal or web pricing then mention that in Additional Information. 

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It is the responsibility of the department to complete vendor maintenance for individuals (SSN) on UNIV funds, vendor maintenance for businesses with Fed Tax ID is processed by the BSC. All OSP vendor maintenance is done at OSP Purchasing. The BSC can assist with any questions or concerns. Please mention in “Additional Information” or the “Comment” section of your PR if you already started the Vendor Maintenance process, or contact the BSC with any questions or concerns.

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No. One eRequest PR# per one vendor.  

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Full vendor name and address is a must. Also a vendor ID number and FAX number if you have it.

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The “Ship To” section in eRequest implies the final location of the order and does not indicate direct shipping. In order to provide receipt verification and accountability for products purchased on behalf of the University, it is a good business practice to have suppliers direct shipments to Central Receiving. *If you still choose to have your orders shipped directly to the department and bypass central receiving, please state that in the Ship To box with “Direct Ship”.

In accordance with the Controller’s Office, Asset Management Policy #4.21, all purchase orders for capitalized assets must be routed directly to Central Receiving, if the purchase meets the parameters for central receipt. If capitalized equipment is sensitive or does not meet parameters of central receiving, then please note that exception in “additional information." http://busfin.osu.edu/FileStore/PDFs/421_AssetManagement.pdf (pg 6)

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BSC buyers copy your information from eRequest “Ship To” into the Requisition/PO comments. Please adjust your preferences to mirror this example:


*Direct ship (if you must bypass Central Receiving)

123-456 (Building# & Room#)
Attn: John Doe   
123 ASC Hall
456 Main St 
Columbus, OH 43210
 

eSTORES: unavoidably all pushed eSTORES orders will have the buyer’s name will appear on the shipping label.  It's an issue with the Prodigo program and how vendors receive eSTORES order information.  We have asked the CIO’s office for a solution.  

External vendors: usually the vendor makes an effort to look at the PO comments for "SHIP ATTN:" instructions.

Additional Information

Please add any information pertaining to your order in this area.

Examples:  Note to approver to mark PR critical, due date or request expedited shipping from vendor. Also a great place to note Fabricated equipment Tag number or a note to Central Receiving to call before delivery. 

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If a project number is only entered in the chartfield line and not in the “Research Project Number” box, then it will not be searchable by that number. Same for org. We have asked the CIO’s office for a solution. 

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Attachments of up to 10MB each. PDF • Excel • Word • Image files (JPEG, GIF, etc.) • Text and rich-text files

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BSC buyers attach copies of the Purchase Order to each PR (excluding pushed eStores orders).   Also, this is used to add any supporting documentation for a chartfield change request from approvers, forms such as waivers, after the fact (ATF) justifications, etc. 

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Tracks BSC activity and internal communication. This is also very useful for anyone wanting to check the status of a request. 

  • Time & date stamp when req/po was entered into PeopleSoft
  • When it is approved or reason for denial by BSC approver and any correction notes from buyer
  • PO dispatch detail 

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Whenever entering comments, please be sure to hit the “Add Comments” button and also “Save Changes” at the bottom of your PR. Even though it looks like comments were added, the system will not actually save any changes until the PR is saved.

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At this time the only way to see the true activity status of your PR would be to open your request by clicking on “View Request”. 

  • In Process: Generally means your order has been approved by your department and is pending entry into PeopleSoft
  • Approved, ready for dispatch: Your PO was approved at the BSC and is pending dispatch from a BSC buyer.
  • Pending Univ Purch/OSP approval: Your order was entered as a requisition and requires further processing from UNIV/OSP purchasing department before dispatching a PO. For questions concerning orders pending further processing form UNIV or OSP Purchasing, please contact the following departments:
  • OSP Purchasing 614-292-6871 (FAX 614-292-6870)
  • UNIV Purchasing 614-292-2694 (FAX 614-292-6913)
  • Vendor Setup Initiated: Either department or Buyer has initiated vendor setup for your PR. 
  • Additional Information Needed: BSC buyer has contacted the department initiator for more information.
  • Do Not Fulfill: Order was canceled per request of initiator.
  • Pending Completion: Automatic status change when BSC buyer marks "receipts attached" for purchases made on the BSC Pcard.
  • Dispatched: BSC dispatched your PO but has not received the fax confirmation message to update your order to Complete.
  • Complete: Order has been dispatched by the BSC buyer or UNIV/OSP Purchasing departments. Complete indicates no further activity from the BSC.
  • Pending SFO Approval: Your order requires SFO approval.
  • SC PCard purchase made: Your order was placed using the BSC PCard.
  • Reallocated: used by the BSC buyer when reallocating BSC PCard charges.
  • Pending sales tax credit: as stated.
  • Pending packing slip: BSC buyer has contacted the department and requested a packing slip or a comment confirming receipt of goods/services.