Buying Goods & Services
The buying processes at the University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington) include the ordering, receiving, and payment for all goods and services to support the mission of the university. Procurement oversees the various methods used to order goods and services. Asset management responsibilities start with the generation of receiving reports for purchased goods and include documenting procedures for tracking, safeguarding, and disposing of university property and university held federal government property. Payments for goods and services are processed by Accounts Payable in a manner to ensure compliance with all required fiduciary controls. Our goal is to provide for our customers the most effective and efficient procurement of quality goods and services to enable the university to achieve educational and research goals while insuring that all State of Texas as well as UT Arlington procedures are followed. Information is also provided on this web site to assist suppliers in selling their goods and services to the university. If questions arise, please contact UT Arlington Procurement, Asset Management, the HUB Program Director, and Accounts Payable staff at any time.
General Information regarding Buying Goods and Services
Buying procedures and requirements will vary depending upon what is being purchased, who purchases, the source of funding utilized to pay for a purchase, the dollar amount of a purchase, and the supplier of the goods and/or services. Each user and supplier of goods and services should be aware of the constraints that pertain to their situation. Reference Best Value Purchasing Procedures (Procedure 4-2) for an overview on all of these topics.
Procurement procedures are written for three (3) buying processes; two (2) processes for buying which do not require purchase orders, and one (1) process for buying which requires a purchase order.
Buying without a Purchase Order
- The preferred method utilizes the Purchasing Card (ProCard) Program in which individuals use credit cards issued to them for departmental purchases of $4,000 or less (including freight). Reference Purchasing Card (ProCard) Program (Procedure 4-11) for information.
- An alternative method for purchases that do not require a purchase order, regardless of the dollar value, is the voucher payment program for certain types of goods and services as specified in Reimbursements and Payments Other Than for Travel and Purchase Orders (Procedure 4-26). Reimbursements are restricted to departmental purchases of $2,000 or less (including freight).
Buying with a Purchase Order
- Regardless of the dollar value, purchase orders are initiated by individuals within departments by entering a Requisition into UTShare and submitting the required Requisition approval form in UTAFlow and require compliance with the requirements detailed in Best Value Purchasing Procedures (Procedure 4-2).
- For training tools on processing of requisitions see UTShare Financial Topics – Purchasing Goods and Services.
Buying Process Steps
Regardless of the buying process used, all purchases undergo a four step process; 1) correct initiation of order, 2) validation of receipt of correct goods and/or services, 3) tagging of capital equipment and controlled items, and 4) authorization for payment.
- Small orders of $4,000 or less may be done by individuals within departments utilizing a ProCard credit card.
- Orders with a value in excess of $4,000 (including freight) must be secured with a purchase order, and are initiated at the department level with the entry of a Requisition into the UTShare system and submitting a Requisition approval form in UTAFlow.
Each method has various advantages and restrictions, and persons placing orders should refer to Best Value Purchasing Procedures (Procedure 4-2), for more information. Requisition entry may necessitate setting up a new supplier in UTShare. Reference Vendor Set-Up and Maintenance (Procedure 2-13) and UTShare Financial Topics – Manage Vendors, for additional information.
Receiving Goods and Services
Receiving is a formal method for documenting acceptance of goods from suppliers. After a purchase order has been dispatched and the items delivered, the items must be received. The receiving process involves recording the items delivered and comparing the shipment to what was originally ordered through the purchase order. Departments will perform the desktop receiving process for items $5,000 or less.
Desktop receiving can be accomplished by using the Receive Items page or the Manage Requisitions page. The Receive Items page will only allow the creator of the requisition to receive their own line items. The Manage Requisitions page is used to receive line items regardless of who created the requisition in the department.
- Small orders of $5,000 or less are usually delivered to Central Receiving and delivered to ordering department. Validation of completeness of shipment and usability of received goods is the responsibility of the department. Return of defective shipments and damage claims are covered in Damages and Shortages (Procedure 4-22). Desktop receiving will need to happen at the departmental level for small orders. See Desktop Receiving at UTShare Financial Topics – Desktop Receiving for instructions on how to accomplish this step.
- Orders above $5,000 are usually received by Central Receiving. Central Receiving checks the shipment, prepares the Receipt and delivery ticket, and delivers the shipment to the requesting department. Reference Damages and Shortages (Procedure 4-22) for directions in checking delivered merchandise and notifying appropriate departments of any discrepancies.
Tagging of Capital Equipment and Controlled Items
- Small orders of $5,000 or less may contain controlled items which must be tagged for inventory control purposes. Asset Management must be notified to provide tags for all controlled items in any shipment accepted by a department. Controlled items are listed in Reimbursements and Payments Other Than for Travel and Purchase Orders (Procedure 4-26, Section II).
- Orders above $5,000 may contain capital equipment as well as controlled items. If a shipment is received by Central Receiving, the tagging process will begin as part of the shipment processing. If a shipment is received by the requesting department, Asset Management must be notified to provide tags.
Authorization for Payment
All purchase order payments are to be processed by departments and must be paid for in a timely manner.
- The process for payment authorization for ProCard purchases may be found at, UTShare Financial Topics – Purchasing Card (ProCard).
- If the purchase was done with a direct invoice for non-PO item purchases, the payment authorization process is delineated in, UTShare Financial Topics – Create Non-Purchase Order Voucher.
- If the purchase was done with a purchase order, refer to UTShare Financial Topics – Create Purchase Order Voucher, for information.
- All purchase orders are authorized for payment when the receipt, if required, is completed by Central Receiving or the ordering department. UTShare will run a process to match the invoice/voucher to the purchase order and receipt to proceed with payment to the supplier. For those purchases not requiring a receipt, UTShare will run a process to match the invoice/voucher to the purchase order to proceed with payment to the supplier.
Additional Information regarding Payment Processing
Processing of payments to suppliers in a timely manner is necessary to avoid late payment charges. Refer to the following resources for assistance in payment processing, and, select Procurement Services (Administrative Offices) on the contact us screen to reach your Accounts Payable representatives for additional help, should the need arise.
- The current late payment penalty may be found at Prompt Payment Law Interest Rate.
- Receipts denominated in foreign currency will require conversion to U.S. Dollars. Reference OANDA, for the currency converter service utilized by UT Arlington.
Additional Procurement Procedures
Additional Procurement procedures are available for processes that are unique to specific situations or need expanded delineation of specific requirements or restrictions.
- Transactions with employee restrictions are delineated in Transactions with Employees (Procedure 4-14).
- Guidelines for the payment of, or exemption from, taxes applied to UT Arlington purchases may be found in Tax (Procedure 4-16).
- Instructions for acquiring departmental gasoline credit cards for use for UT Arlington vehicles may be found in Gasoline Credit Card (Procedure 4-27).
- Information on purchasing computing equipment can be found at Emergency Centralized Computer Distribution Procedure (Procedure 19-1).
- For the purchase of temporary information technology staffing please refer to the Department of Information Resources page for this type of procurement.
Contract Services and/or Preferred Suppliers
Several goods and/or services are available from suppliers that are recommended by Procurement or contractually required in order to provide best value to UT Arlington.
- Contracted services for bus charters and temporary employees may be found at Campus Wide Blanket Orders. You are required to use these suppliers for these types of services.
- UT Arlington’s preferred supplier for express shipping may be found at eShipGlobal. This supplier is HUB certified (see next section).
- UT Arlington’s exclusive supplier for office supplies may be found at Today's Business Solutions. This vendor is also HUB certified (see next section).
Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB)
All state agencies are encouraged to make a good faith effort to increase purchases and contract awards to certified Historically Underutilized Businesses. It is the policy of UT Arlington to maximize opportunities for HUB firms to provide materials, supplies, equipment, and services to the university. The various methods used to promote HUB participation in procurement processes are found in Contract with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) (Procedure 4-28). HUB certified suppliers may be found in the following listings.
- Listings of HUB certified suppliers may be found at UT Arlington’s web site Find a HUB.
- Listings of HUB suppliers that have been certified with the Comptroller of Public Accounts may be found at the Texas Centralized Master Bidder List.
Additional Buying Resources
Additional resources are available for buying goods and services at UT Arlington.
- Your department’s assigned procurement specialist (buyer) may be found at Find a Buyer.
- Information in Purchase Orders may be viewed in UTShare.
- Employees responsible for preparing requisitions, performing desktop receiving and preparing payment vouchers may wish to attend training sessions offered by Business Affairs Training & Development Training Classes and Events. A variety of detailed training tools are available at Business Affairs Training and Development.
- A list of all the Procedures may be found at Procedures Index.
- A list of all the forms referenced in the Procedures may be found in the Forms/Exhibits Index.
Information for Suppliers Doing Business with UT Arlington
Bids, Requests for Proposals, and other information for suppliers who wish to sell goods and services to UT Arlington is available at Doing Business with UT Arlington.