Sound purchasing policies and procedures are necessary for efficient and effective management. These policies and procedures for Limestone University are as follows:

With the exception of construction or other Board of Trustees designated requirements, only the president and the vice president for financial affairs are authorized to commit funds for the University. The VP of Finance, Operations & Administration, in administering these policies and procedures, will act as the central agency for all purchasing.

The purpose of these policies is to assist department heads in purchasing the goods and services necessary to operate their departments. These procedures are also intended to aid in budget control. Requests which are denied may be appealed to the president.

Any purchases which cause a budget to be exceeded become the responsibility of the administrator responsible for that budget.

The Business Office has the authority and responsibility for procuring the requirements for all materials, equipment and services within the University System in accordance with the Limestone University Procurement Guidelines.

Purchases are to only be made for expenses for Limestone University and the employees of Limestone University when the purchases are needed to perform the employee’s job. If there is any expense that is being made for individuals that are not Limestone University employees or perspective Limestone University employees then they will need to be pre-approved by the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration or the Controller.

All purchases must provide a proper audit trail. This includes a completed Expense/Payment/Purchase (EPP) Form and other supporting documentation that provides the nature of the expenditure (business purpose), receipt of goods or services, signatures of authorized approving authorities, and the appropriate budget account number to which the expenditure is to be charged. When providing information for business purpose make sure the following questions are answered: who, what, when, why, and where.

Any employee who falsifies records or documents or willfully violates written rules, regulations or policies can be suspended or terminated from their employment with Limestone University.

Final interpretation of the Limestone University Purchasing Policy will be determined by the Controller or the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration.

Procurement Guidelines:

Check Cashing and Petty Cash Services

The University cashier is authorized to cash personal checks not to exceed $100.00 for students, faculty, and staff employees. The university cashier is also authorized to disburse petty cash for small one-time purchases not to exceed $50.00 when time does not permit the completion of an EPP Form and use of the normal purchasing procedures, however the same supporting documentation is required. A $25.00 bad check fee will be assessed in the event a personal check is returned from the bank marked “NSF” and check-cashing privileges of the individual who wrote the bad check will be suspended. Travel and Staff Development expenses should not use Petty Cash, they should use the normal purchasing process in order to have proper approval of the expenses.

Requests for Payment/Purchase/Reimbursement

The employee will need to provide a completed EPP Form for all Purchase, Payment, and Reimbursement Requests.

The University’s normal procedure is payment after the receipt of goods and services within thirty (30) days of receiving an invoice. Vendors submit invoices directly to the Business Office, giving such information as date delivered, purchase order number (if applicable), description of products or services, and the amount. Upon receipt of the invoice, the University Accounts Payable Specialist will compare the information to that contained on the purchase order (if applicable). The budget manager requesting this purchase will then be asked to complete and sign the EPP Form if they are ready for payment. This signature will certify (1) that the goods or services were received in good order; (2) that they were correct in quantity stated; (3) that the pricing is correct as stated; and (4) that the invoice is ready for payment. The Accounts Payable Specialist will then complete processing of the invoices. The signature on this form is one of the most important parts in proper utilization of the University’s resources. The Accounts Payable Specialist should be informed of any problems that exist in the information contained on an invoice and a plan of action should be developed which would resolve these problems at the earliest time. Invoices submitted to the Business Office which do not have documented prior approval will not be the responsibility of the University and may be payable by the person responsible for the purchase.

Approval Limits

Limestone University has multiple levels of approval that are determined by the dollar value of the entire purchase. All signatures must be original or in a pre-approved electronic format (faxed or electronic mail). No stamped signatures will be accepted.

  • Level 1 - $0 - $999
    • Requires the approval of the Administrative Officer (Director, Deans, etc.) of the Department.
  • Level 2 - $1,000 - $4,999
    • Requires the approval of the Administrative Officer and the Vice President/Provost of the Department.
  • Level 3 - $5,000 - $9,999
    • Requires the approval of the Administrative Officer and the VP/Provost of the Department, and the Controller.
  • Level 4 - $10,000 or more
    • Requires the approval of the Administrative Officer and the VP/Provost of the Department, the Controller, and the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration.

Quotes and Competitive Bids

Limestone University has multiple levels of bid and quote requirements that are determined by the dollar value of the entire purchase.

  • Level 1 – $0 - $2,499
    • (Required) No Quotes or Bids are required
    • (Recommended) Two or Three quotes to be supplied by different vendors (electronic and website related supporting documentation is allowed)
  • Level 2 - $2,500 - $49,999
    • (Required) Two quotes to be supplied by different vendors (electronic and website related supporting documentation is allowed)
  • Level 3 - $50,000 or more
    • (Required) Competitive Bid (The Completion of a Bid Documentation Form is Required)
      • Bids should be handled through the Business Office

Purchasing Policy Exceptions

Limestone University understands that there are certain circumstances that may require partial departure from the Limestone University Purchasing Policy

  • Sole Source
    • This kind of procurement is permissible only when there is a single supplier for the requirement(s). If the department has a valid sole-source requirement, it must complete the  and attach any back-up information they may have to justify the sole-source. This form along with the EPP Form must be completed and approved prior to any commitment being made. If there is any reasonable doubt, competition will be attempted by the Business Office or the Department making the purchase will be required to make additional attempts at competition.
  • Bid Exemption
    • There are 2 situations that can arise that will cause an allowed exemption from the Bid process and they are:
      • If bidding out the purchase would cost the school more than not bidding it out.
      • If there is a time restraint that would not allow proper bidding to occur.
      • In order for a bid exemption to occur a sole source form will have to be completed along with the EPP form and have the Controller's or VP of Finance, Operations & Administration's approval and the President’s approval.
  • Emergency Procurements
    • These procurements are performed when a situation or condition occurs which "creates a threat to public health, welfare, or safety such as may arise by reason of floods, epidemics, riots, equipment failures or fire loss". The existence of such conditions must create an immediate and serious need for supplies, services or construction that cannot be met through normal procurement methods and the lack of would seriously threaten:
      • the functioning of the University;
      • the preservation or protection of property; or
      • the health or safety of any person . . ."
    • In all cases, written documentation explaining the situation must be provided to the Business Office who will obtain approval from the Controller or the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration. Additionally, the Policy requires that "competition as is practical, be obtained" during emergency procurements.
  • Other Exceptions
    • All exceptions outside of Sole Source, Bid Exemption, and Emergency Procurements will be considered an Unauthorized Procurement.

Unauthorized Procurements

All commitments for goods and services other than those outlined in this Policy must have the prior approval of the Business Office. Those that do not may be considered unauthorized procurements.

If a change in the quantity or dollar amount of an existing Purchase Order is required, it must be approved by the Business Office before the change is made.

Corrective action for ratifying an unauthorized procurement is to request in writing through the Controller and the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration, that the President of the University approve the unauthorized transaction based on the written documentation provided. In cases where this approval is not granted, it will become the personal responsibility of the individual who made the transaction.

Additional Policies Regarding Purchases

Cash Purchases: Individuals making cash purchases from their own funds for the University will be reimbursed by the Controller upon presentation of a properly prepared EPP Form and a bona fide receipt(s).

Cash Advances: If an employee receives a cash advance, upon completion of purchase the employee must submit a completed EPP Form within 10 business days with proper supporting documentation. Failure to do so may have their cash advance privileges suspended.

Business Meal Purchases/Meal Reimbursement: For differences between Travel and Business Meals, please see Employee Travel Policy. Supporting Documentation for business meals should include the name and affiliation of the person sharing the meal and the general nature of the business discussed. The University will only reimburse or pay for reasonably priced meals. The University policy allows up to a 15% tip, with the exception of large group bills where the establishment requires more gratuity. In addition, the University will not reimburse or pay for any alcohol purchases. Any events that include alcohol purchases, will be considered an Unauthorized Procurement unless pre-approval is granted from the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration or the Controller, and the President. “Reasonably priced meals” mean meals that have a dollar amount that normally would be spent in that specific situation. The amount will vary depending upon circumstances: lavish or extravagant meals will not be paid for by the University. Expenses for meals may be subject to additional approval by the Business Office. In the course of spending University funds, consider these questions to ensure that resources are being used appropriately and that you are being a good steward of the funds entrusted to you: Could the amount spent be comfortably defended under public scrutiny? Would you be free from worry if the expense was selected for audit? Would you be comfortable reading about it in the newspaper? Would you be comfortable explaining to a donor that you used his/her money this way?

NOTE: Meals will be considered business meals for employees who are traveling for the recruitment of students as part of their normal job duties. If an employee is submitting a reimbursement, then only the exact purchase amounts up to the daily limits will be reimbursed. In addition, if an employee uses their Limestone University purchasing card and goes over the daily limits, they are responsible for paying the university back upon returning and the payment must be included with the EPP Form and credit card statement. If the payment is not submitted during the submission of the approved EPP form, then it will be considered a personal purchase and the guidelines under the Purchasing Card apply.

Personal Acquisitions: The purchasing power of the University will not be used for personal acquisitions for administrative, faculty, and staff members.

Gift Cards: It is Limestone University policy that gift cards purchased by student organizations must have a completed EPP Form that indicates the reason for the purchase of the gift card and then have additional supporting documentation that has the name of the individual who received it, the amount that they received, and they must have the individual who received the gift card sign a document stating they received the gift card. Gift cards purchased by all other departments must only be for special occasions and special circumstances and are required to submit a completed EPP Form that indicates the reason for the purchase of the gift card, the name of the individual who received it, the reason they received it, the amount that they received, and have the Vice President of the Department’s approval.

University Property: The Board of Trustees, the president, and the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration have control over the property of the University. As such, they have final jurisdiction over assignment or disposition of gifts made to the University for its general use, furniture, furnishings, household goods, and other items received as gifts by the University.

Alterations to the Physical Plant: Requisitions involving alterations to the University buildings or purchase of equipment that requires utility connections or alterations to buildings must be referred to the VP of Finance, Operations & Administration for technical review before being placed. Such Purchase Requisitions and written requests must have the signature of the director of the physical plant affixed.

Inventory and Control of Property: An inventory of University-owned equipment, except band equipment and information technology equipment, valued in excess of $5,000 is kept in the Business Office. Band equipment and information technology equipment does not have a set threshold. The items from those departments that are being maintained on an inventory listing is a result of cooperation between the Business Office and those departments. To maintain the accuracy of this inventory, the cooperation of all the areas of the University is required. Periodic physical checks by all areas are required to verify these records and scheduling of such checks will be the responsibility of the vice president for financial affairs.

Insurance: The VP of Finance, Operations & Administration has the responsibility for placing and maintaining insurance policies of fire and extended damage, workers’ compensation, public liability, automobile, theft, travel, student athletic insurance, and other needs as they arise. Generally, University insurance policies cover University material only while on campus. Coverage is not provided for University material off campus.

Some departments have insurance policies that are specific to their program; i.e., Social Work and Athletic Training.

Purchasing Card

Personal Charges

Personal charges made on a University Purchasing Card are NOT acceptable and must be paid back to the University by the individual immediately. After the first instance of personal charges are made a warning will be issued. After the second instance of personal charges are made, then the employees Limestone Purchasing Card will be removed. The University understands that certain instances may occur that may require use of the Limestone Purchasing Card for personal purchases, however these must be reimbursed immediately upon return to Limestone University. These instances are as follows:

  • A situation occurs that would seriously threaten the health or safety of any person.
  • A situation occurs that might leave an employee stranded due to unforeseen circumstances.
  • Entertainment purchases that are included with conferences, seminars, or training.
  • This instance will require prior approval from the Provost/Vice President of the Department and VP of Finance or Controller.


All travel purchases must follow the guidelines in the Employee Travel Policy while all other purchases must follow the guidelines in this Purchasing Policy.

An EPP Form must be completed and approved by the supervisor and the Provost/Vice President of the employees Department for every purchasing card statement.

Last Revision Date