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Policies and Procedures

Policy 1218 – Purchasing Method

January 26, 2012
Last Updated
April 6, 2015
Last Reviewed
December 16, 2014
Responsible University Officer
Director of Purchasing Services
Responsible Unit
Purchasing Services

Policy Statement

All goods and services are to be procured using the University’s procurement systems – eProcurement; University Storeroom; or directly from the vendor using a Campus Voucher, Purchasing Card or a Requisition.

Reason for Policy

Efficient and effective financial controls are an important tool for the University in safeguarding its resources and avoiding unnecessary costs. Proper control over procurements and disbursements is essential for any organization. The University’s sales tax exemption is only valid for purchases made through the University’s procurement systems. Selecting the appropriate method to procure goods and services saves time and keeps expenses to a minimum. Listed below are the various purchasing method guidelines:


Purchasing Method
Dollar Value P-Card Campus Vouchers
Vendor Catalog Requisition
Purchase Requisition University Storerooms
Less than $5,000 Recommended Required for Account Ranges 53XXXX and 5241XX – 5242XX. Recommended Optional Recommended for Account Range 53XXXX
Less than $5,000 Vendor Catalog Not available Not available Required Not available Not applicable
Greater than $5,000 Not available Not available Not available Required Not applicable


University travel and business entertainment expenses are excluded.

Special Situations



1218.1 – Determining Vendor Documentation Guidelines

1226.1- Creating a Purchase Order

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I be reimbursed for the full amount of my purchase if I buy an item at a store from a contract vendor?
A: No, if you purchased an item from a contract vendor without utilizing the appropriate purchasing method then (1) the tax amount will not be reimbursed, (2) shipping costs will not be reimbursed and (3) the University’s contract discount will be deducted from the reimbursement amount.

Q: Will I be reimbursed for the full amount if the item was purchased from a non-contract vendor?
A: No, you will be reimbursed what the University would pay using the appropriate procurement method.

Q: Why do I need to get authorization to purchase goods or services in excess of $5,000?
A: Authorization is required to ensure adherence to State statutes and maintain effective internal control. Contracts of suppliers who do not have to accept returns usually contain language that increases the difficulty of pursuing that vendor in a potential lawsuit. In addition to ensuring the University receives the best value through open competition, required authorization and rules governing state agency purchasing provides Purchasing Services with information on a vendor’s historical performance, financial status and other important factors that mitigate the risk of receipt of faulty goods.

Q: As a principal investigator and researcher, I have earned a grant to fund my research. Since this money was given to me for my work, why can’t I purchase from the vendor of my choice?
A: Expenditure of all funds on deposit with the University, regardless of the source, is governed by the provisions of the State Division of Purchase and Contract. You can purchase from the vendor of your choice if your purchase meets the criteria of a sole source justification as part of the waiver of competition.

Q: May a coworker borrow my P-Card to purchase items they need quickly?
A: No. The bank requires that only the cardholder utilize his/her P-Card to purchase goods.

Q: Can I use the Campus Voucher process to pay a vendor who is designated as an ePro vendor?
A: No. ePro vendors are not available in the Campus Voucher process.

Q: How should I make online purchases from sites like, for example for research books?
A: Online purchases should be made via P-Card. Books in particular are to be purchased from the UNC Student Stores. UNC Student Stores’ earnings support non-athletic scholarships for students. Additionally, Bull’s Head Bookshop will match online retailer prices or discounts up to 40% off the list price for faculty and staff purchases. The Health Affairs department offers an across-the-board discount on all medical and health sciences publications for faculty and staff. To qualify, purchases must be made with departmental funds, a grant, a University purchase order or with a P-Card. All purchases will be tax-exempt, and Student Stores offers free campus delivery to departments.

Q: May I delete a voucher in ConnectCarolina if it is was created in error?
A: You may delete a voucher if you are the creator and if it is not approved in ConnectCarolina (meaning it is still in the approval process). Once you delete a voucher, it cannot be recovered. Deleting a voucher eliminates all budgetary encumbrances from the system.

Related Data

1251 - Small Order Policy
- Small Order Purchase via Purchasing Card
- Small Order Purchase via Business-to-Business Strategic Partner Agreements


Purchasing Method Purchasing Services-Goods 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 purchasing_team@
Disbursements and Methods Disbursement Services-Disbursements 919-843-5098 919-962-2356 disbursementsteam@



April 6, 2014: Added information on deleting vouchers to FAQ section.
December 16, 2014: Added link to Procedure 1218.1.
October 1, 2014: Changed purchasing system names in Policy Statement; changed naming of campus vouchers and table in Reason for Policy.
January 14, 2014: Added exception to reimbursements in FAQ section; added new question in FAQ section.
September 13, 2013: Updated information in Purchasing Method chart.
January 26, 2012