Western Nevada CollegeWestern Nevada College Policies

Policy 7-3-1: Purchasing Procedures

WNC Policy 7-3-1
Procedure: Purchasing Procedures
Policy No.: 7-3-1
Department: Finance & Administrative Services
Contact: Controller

This policy sets forth guidelines for purchasing at Western Nevada College. As a part of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), WNC is required to follow the Purchasing and Inventory Procedures established by the Business Center North Purchasing Department. The purpose of this policy is to ensure proper procedures are followed.

  • Section 1: Purchasing Policy
    • A. As part of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), Western Nevada College is required to follow the Purchasing and Inventory Procedures established by Business Center North Purchasing Department. The complete BCN Purchasing Manual is available on-line at http://www.bcn-nshe.org/downloads/purchasing/BCNPurchasingGuidelinesRevOct2016.pdf.
    • B. To purchase materials, supplies, or services on behalf of WNC, the cooperation of the requestor, Business office-purchasing agent, and vendor is paramount. This cooperation includes a series of events that must occur in a specific sequence. Any variation from this sequence may result in Improper Purchasing Procedures, thus voiding the purchasing process. Detailed purchasing procedures can be found at https://intranet.wnc.edu/departments/business/.
    • C. Whenever possible, purchases of materials and supplies that total less than $5,000 should be purchased using a WNC Purchasing Card.
  • Section 2: Improper Purchasing Procedures (IPP)
    • A. Invoices and requests for payment or reimbursement which do not reference a valid purchasing document, or are found to be in violation of WNC and NSHE purchasing policies and procedures, are considered to be an Improper Purchasing Procedure. If, for any reason, you violate purchasing procedures, submit the invoice along with your written explanation as to why proper purchasing procedures were not followed to the Business Office. The division chair/director and/or appropriate dean and the vice president must approve the improper expenditure before payment can be made; more than one violation may require presidential sign-off. If approval is not obtained from the division chair/director and/or appropriate dean and the vice president, the purchasing procedure violator could be held personally liable for this expense.
    • B. The Business Office maintains a log of all Improper Purchasing Procedures and the violators. Those who are repeat offenders could be subject to personal liability.
  • Section 3: Accounts Payable Department
    • A. The Accounts Payable department is responsible for accurate payment of all invoices received at Western Nevada College.
  • Section 4: Purchasing Card Program
    • A. Western Nevada College’s Purchasing Card Program is designed to implement a more efficient, cost-effective method of purchasing and paying for transactions within established usage limits. The purchasing card may be used at any merchant or service provider that accepts the card.
    • B. The purchasing card is NOT intended:
      • to avoid or bypass appropriate purchasing or payment procedures; rather it complements the existing processes available;
      • for personal use.
    • C. The purchasing card can be used for both in-store purchases as well as mail, phone, Internet or fax orders.
    • D. All cards are issued for the use of a specific individual and card usage may be audited, and/or rescinded at any time.
    • E. The purchasing card is to be used for any purchase under $5,000 when possible.
    • F. A manual is provided to each cardholder and includes the guidelines under which the purchasing card may be used. Please read it carefully. A signature on the Western Nevada College Purchasing Cardholder Agreement indicates that the employee understands the intent of the program and agrees to adhere to the guidelines established for the program. Employees will be issued a purchasing card when the Cardholder Agreement is signed. The card may be used immediately upon issuance. Contact the designated purchasing card administrator in the Business office if there are any questions about card usage.
    • G. Recordkeeping is essential to ensure the success of the program. As with any credit/charge card, you must retain sales slips, cash register receipts, invoices, order forms and receiving reports for your protection.
    • H. The card holder is responsible for the security of the purchasing card and the transactions made against the card. The purchasing card is issued in an employee’s name, and any purchases made against the card are the employee’s responsibility. Use of the card not in accordance with the guidelines established for the program may result in personal liability.
    • I. Merchants are paid within three days of a business transaction.
    • J. Western Nevada College, as an agency of the State of Nevada is exempt from payment of State of Nevada sales or use tax on its purchases as provided by NRS 372.325, NRS 374.330 and NRS 377, when applicable. When using your card in person, before leaving the vendor’s establishment, check the receipt for sales tax. Have it corrected at that time. The card is issued in the employee’s name and all activity is the employee’s responsibility.
    • K. Finally, remember college funds are committed each time the purchasing card is used. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly!
    • L. Purchasing Card Financial Policy:
      • 1. All cardholders must sign and accept the terms and conditions of the Western Nevada College purchasing card cardholder agreement.
      • 2. All purchase transactions processed against a purchasing card must be made by the individual to whom the card is issued.
      • 3. The purchasing card cannot be used for the following transactions:
        • a. Alcoholic beverages
        • b. Automotive fuel
        • c. Cash advances
        • d. Construction and renovations
        • e. Consulting services/Independent contractor services
        • f. Firearms/Weapons/Pyrotechnics
        • g. Host/Entertainment related expenses
        • h. Equipment that is to be inventoried
        • i. Items of a recurring nature that should be requisitioned in large quantities through a Blanket Purchase Order
        • j. Participant support expense
        • k. Personal Items
        • l. Radioactive and hazardous materials
        • m. Restaurants
        • n. Service/Maintenance agreements valued over $5,000
        • o. Sub-agreements/Subcontracts
        • p. Travel and travel related expenses (excluding conference fees)
        • q. Tuition fees/Scholarships
        • r. Sensitive equipment (Policy 7-3-3)
      • 4. Purchase transactions cannot exceed $5,000.00 (including all delivery, shipping and/or special handling charges) per transaction limit. A transaction is defined as one telephone call or visit to a vendor per day. Per Purchasing Policies, transactions over $5,000.00 may NOT be broken into smaller amounts to circumvent this restriction.
      • 5. Purchases must be for the use and benefit of the College. No personal purchases are allowed.
      • 6. It is the cardholder's responsibility to maintain the documentation for all transactions in accordance with the college requirements.
      • 7. It is the cardholder's responsibility to report immediately the loss of the card to the issuing bank and the college designated purchasing card administrator.
      • 8. It is the cardholder's responsibility as an agent of the college to ensure that State of Nevada sales tax is not charged. State of Nevada Sales Tax Exemption letters are available from the Business office website.
      • 9. The cardholder is responsible for ensuring that the proper college account is charged for the purchase and that sufficient funds are available in the account.
      • 10. It is the cardholder's responsibility to attempt to resolve a dispute with the vendor within fifteen (15) days of receipt of a disputed purchase. If a resolution is not possible, the cardholder should contact the bank's customer service department. All disputes must be reported to the bank within 60 days of the last cycle in which the item was purchased.
      • 11. It is the cardholder's responsibility to assure that the purchasing card is secured at all times.
      • 12. Purchasing cards must be returned to the designated college purchasing card administrator upon a cardholder’s termination of employment.
      • 13. Violation of these policies may result in revocation of the purchasing card.
      • 14. Fraudulent use of the purchasing card may result in disciplinary action and personal liability of the cardholder.
    • M. We require card holders to exercise good judgment and act responsibly when using a purchasing card. Maintain the purchasing card transaction log and always retain the original receipts!
    • N. In addition, card activity and receipts/sales slips will be audited for correctness and appropriateness. Consequences, ranging from suspension of the card to appropriate disciplinary action may result from improper use of the purchasing card.
    • O. The program is designed to be simple and easy to use, providing you with the goods needed to perform your job more quickly and with fewer steps to accomplish the task. However, we need to maintain appropriate controls to insure the ongoing success of the Program.
    • P. If there are any questions about the program or additional information is needed, contact the purchasing card administrator in the Business office.
  • Section 5: Host Expenditures
    • A. Host expenditures are governed under the Board of Regents Handbook and the NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual.
    • B. Guiding Principle: The use of the host account must provide a benefit to the college through the establishment of goodwill, promotion of programs, or creation of opportunities for meetings in which the mission of the college may be advanced.
    • C. Guidelines for Use of Host Account:
      • 1. Special functions such as receptions, table purchases, workshops, large groups of visitors, etc., must have prior approval. If hosting a lunch or dinner for a few people, no prior approval is necessary. The intent of prior approval is for special functions.
      • 2. Personnel external to WNC must be involved in the hosting of a meal or special function (exception: annual welcome back BBQ, holiday potluck, etc.). Meetings for employees may be hosted if they are infrequent in nature, there is an agenda and minutes are kept, or if the meeting extends through a mealtime.
      • 3. When hosting meals, personnel external to WNC such as advisory boards, legislators, businesspersons, etc. must attend, and the WNC employee-to-guest ratio should not exceed 3-to-1 without written justification.
      • 4. The expenses of a spouse or guest of an employee of WNC will normally not be reimbursed. Exception may be made in specific situations (e.g., meals for a candidate for a position at WNC where the candidate’s spouse or guest is included).
      • 5. The designated Signature Authority must approve the host expense prior to payment by Accounts Payable.
      • 6. Cost guidelines for meals should not exceed the maximums currently established by the GSA standards.
      • 7. Alcoholic Beverage Policy: The purchase of alcoholic beverages for use at Nevada System of Higher Education functions shall be permitted for the following functions or pursuant to the following conditions:
        • a. Conferences and institutes where a part of the fee collected are for a cocktail party.
        • b. Host account expenditures for liquor with dinner and for large receptions.
        • c. Student governments must have the institutional President's prior approval and the institutional President is to be the only person authorized to approve payment of the purchase of alcoholic beverages from student government funds. The institutional President will only grant this authorization upon being satisfied that proper supervision is provided in the dispensing of alcoholic beverages.
    • D. Host forms are available at: https://intranet.wnc.edu/departments/business/.
  • Section 6: Petty Cash Accounts
    • A. The Controller may establish a working petty cash/change fund as requested by departmental needs. The requesting party must designate a fund custodian and provide adequate justification for the fund. The custodian will be the authorized signer on the account and will be held responsible for the accountability of the fund. The petty cash fund will be maintained on an imprest basis; that is, a fund balance must be maintained at all times and any surplus or deficit must be recorded on the college books and the fund rebalanced to the original authorized balance amount. The petty cash funds may be used for a variety of purchases including postage, PO Box rental, miscellaneous supplies, services or repairs, city/county dumping fees, etc. Petty cash funds may not be used for cashing personal checks, host expenses or reimbursements, short-term loans, purchase of equipment or radioactive material, or travel claims or advances. Use of petty cash funds is limited to $50.00 per purchase.
    • B. Departments should submit requests for reimbursement of petty cash funds in accordance with the Purchasing Procedures. Be sure to attach the original receipts or invoices to the paper copy of the Purchase Transaction Request and forward this to the Business office for processing.
    • C. The funds must be reconciled monthly by department personnel, by signing a reconciliation form. Any overage and/or shortage in the fund must be recorded on a monthly basis and a copy of the reconciliation form(s) for the month must be submitted to the Business Office.
    • D. The petty cash/change fund is subject to surprise audits and reconciliations by the Business Office and will be audited at least annually. Failure to properly safeguard and reconcile petty cash funds will result in the loss of access to petty cash.
Date Adopted and Dates Revised
Date Adopted June 25, 1986 Dates Revised March 4, 2016; May 14, 2013; September 2, 2008; May 11, 2004
NSHE and NRS Codes
NSHE Code Reference NSHE Board of Regents Handbook

WNC Memo from Dane Apalategui, Controller: 6-25-86

Please direct comments about this page to the Assistant to the President
URL: https://www.wnc.edu/policymanual/7-3-1.php
Date Printed: September 21, 2019