Buying & Paying Overview

Overview | How to | Policies | Resources | Forms | Training | Contacts

Information provided here applies to all University entities, departments, and funds. The Procurement & Contract Services department is the central purchasing authority for Stanislaus State. The Procurement staff members are identified as Buyers and/or Contract Specialists. The Accounts Payable department is responsible for all payments, excluding payroll. The Accounts Payable staff members are identified as AP technicians.

Overview on Purchasing Products and Services

Stanislaus State Buying

Because the CSU is a publicly funded institution, making purchases is driven by statute and policy. The purchasing process must be open, transparent, inclusive, and a fair process. All transactions are subject to examination by the public. (California Public Records Act).

Vendor Registration

In order to purchase products or services from a vendor, the vendor must be registered with Stanislaus State. For assistance see "How to Register a Vendor".

Sole Source buying (limiting to one vendor)

Purchase requests (Requisitions) submitted by University departments or entities may specify that a particular vendor or brand be used. Procurement Buyers make the determination as to whether a sole source/brand procurement purchase is justified. When a requisition is submitted to Procurement & Contract Services requesting a specific vendor it must include a completed Justification for Sole source/Sole Brand form.

Sole source requests for acquisitions $100,000 or more must be approved by Vice President of Business and Finance. For sole source purchases of $250,000.00 or greater, a copy of the requisition, the written justification, and other pertinent documentation, must be forwarded to the Chancellor's Office for review and approval prior to execution of the contract

Criteria for determining if a sole source/brand purchase is applicable refer to the Sole Source Criteria document.

Different Types of Purchase Transactions

Procurement Matrix a brief description of the various acceptable methods of making a purchase.

Office Supplies:

Each department should have a staff member with an authorized Staples Advantage online account and Staples login.


  • Products restricted from PCard purchase: Purchases of items over the PCard purchase limit, items that are to be tagged as capital assets, and electronics costing less than $500 that contains sensitive data (ipads, computers, etc) require completion of a purchase requisition in PeopleSoft Finance. The requisition will go to a Buyer in Procurement who will make the purchase. Buyers will research possible vendors and place orders.


  • Purchasing services for the University involve specialized purchasing processes.
  • Service Provider Purchase Order: Vendors can perform services as a result of receiving a purchase order from Procurement. If service is to be performed on campus the vendor must provide proof of insurance.
  • Contractors: see "Overview on Contracts" below
  • Hospitality (Food, Gifts, Events): See the Hospitality Procedure under Policies.


A requisition is a formal written (can be digital document) request for something needed. At Stanislaus State requisitions are submitted via the Requisition Module in PeopleSoft Finance module. (How To Submit a Requisition) PeopleSoft Finance access is established through the submittal of a Security Request Form.

Category Codes

The PeopleSoft Requisition requires the use of a Category Code to establish what expense account (account code) will be identified in the chartstring. The Category Code utilized is the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS numbering system. The NAICS numbering system employs six-digit code at the most detailed industry level. The first two digits designate the largest business sector (e.g., 11 is Agriculture) the third digit designates the subsector (e.g., 111 is Crop Production), the fourth digit designates the industry group (1112 is Vegetable and Melon Farming), the fifth digit designates the NAICS industries, the sixth digit designates the nation industries. To correctly allocate the expense of a purchase you will need to refer to the Category Code list each time you prepare a requisition.

Bid Requirements

Purchases $50,000 but less than $100,000: All purchases for the acquisition of goods in the amount greater than $50,000 and less than $100,000 shall be advertised in the California State Contracts Register and may be the result of an informal bid process. An informal solicitation process may provide for submittal of written or verbal quotes from vendors.

Non- Information Technology Resources (ITR) Acquisitions of $100,000 or more: All contracts for the acquisition of non-information technology goods in the amount of $100,000 or more shall be formally bid and awarded by written contract to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications. The purpose of competitive bidding is to develop sources, validate prices and to provide all qualified bidders with a fair opportunity to enter the bidding process, thereby stimulating competition.

Information Technology Resources (ITR):

  • ITR acquisitions that are estimated to be equal to or greater than $50,000, and $500,000 or less, may be the result of an informal solicitation.
  • ITR acquisitions estimated to result in contracts greater than $500,000 shall be awarded as the result of a formal solicitation process.
  • ITR acquisitions under Federally Funded Projects must comply with Uniform Guidance & CSU Thresholds Combined

Disabled Veterans & Small Business Enterprises (DVBE)

California State University, Stanislaus makes a diligent effort to meet the purchasing and contract participation goals established by the Office of Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises
A Small Business is defined by the following criteria:

  • An independently owned and operated business, not dominant in its field of operation
  • The principal office and officers are domiciled in California
  • Together with affiliates is either: A service, construction, or non-manufacturing business with 100 or fewer employees, an average annual gross receipts of ten million dollars or less over the previous 3 years,
  • Or, a manufacturer with 100 or fewer employees.

A Micro Business is defined as a small business that, together with affiliates, has average annual gross receipts of two million five hundred thousand dollars or less over the previous three years.

Small Business Preference (includes micro businesses): a certified small business may claim a 5% small business preference when submitting a bid upon providing evidence of certification.

A Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise is defined by the following criteria:

  • At least 51% owned by one or more disabled veterans.
  • Managed by and daily business operations are controlled by one or more disabled veteran
  • Home office located in the U.S.
  • Certified by the State of California and perform a commercially useful function

For DVBE certification purposes, a disabled veteran is defined as:

  • A veteran of the U.S. military, naval, or air service
  • The veteran must have a service-connected disability of at least 10% or more
  • The veteran must be domiciled in California

For additional information, visit the Office of Small Business and DVBE Services website

Amazon Business

Procurement & Contract Services is excited to announce that Amazon Business is approved for purchasing. This new program simplifies your purchasing process and allows you to take advantage of Amazon’s wide product selection and competitive prices. The contract with Amazon Business has been competitively bid through the OMNIA Partners purchasing cooperative and includes Amazon Prime at no additional cost to our purchasers.

Amazon Business Log-In:

The Amazon Business account is located within CSUBUY.

  • PCard users have access to the Amazon Business account.
  • Non-P-Card users and student assistants do not have access at this time.

Training Guides and Resources

Overview on Delegated Authority for Financial Transactions

Signature Policy

Executive Order (EO) 1000 from the Chancellor delegates to the campus President authority and responsibility for effective oversight of all state funds held by the campus and all funds held in a fiduciary capacity. The campus Chief Financial Officer (Business & Finance Vice President) has the responsibility for the administration of these delegations of authority and responsibility. To comply with EO 1000, the President executed a Stanislaus State Signature Policy for Financial Transactions Signature Policy

Number of Signatures Required by Financial Services:

  • Transactions under $10,000 can be approved by the appropriate College Dean, Assoc./Assist. Vice President, or Vice President (exceptions for Grants and Trusts).
  • Transactions $10,000 or greater must be approved by the appropriate Vice President.
  • Trust Fund transactions under $10,000 can be approved by the authorized Trustee. Trust Fund transactions over $10,000 must be approved by the appropriate Vice President.
  • Grant Fund transactions of any amount can be approved by the Principal Investigator (PI). No additional approval is required since the fund disbursements are defined in the Grant contract.

Overview on Sponsored Programs Administration Regarding Federal Funds (Procurement Guidelines)

On federally funded awards, Stanislaus State will follow the Procurement Standards required under 2 CFR 200 [Subpart D, §200.317 - §200.326] (relocated from OMB Circular A-110 [Subpart C, Sections 40-48]) and OMB Memo M-18-18 dated June 20, 2018 regarding Implementing Statutory Changes to the Micro-Purchase and the Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance.

Overview on Contracts

A contract is a written agreement between two or more competent and willing parties that creates obligations to do, or not do, the specific actions that are the subject of that agreement for some value or consideration (whether monetary or other consideration). Contracting occurs when the University executes an agreement or contract with an entity outside the University. Any time the University is one of the contracting entities, there are only a few people who are authorized to sign the contract on behalf of the University: the President, the Vice President of Business & Finance (CFO), AVP of Financial and Support Services, and Procurement & Contract Services staff. Signature authority can be delegated for specific types of contracts (e.g., Student Intern Agreements). Contract requests that require a financial commitment of the University must be submitted as a requisition in the Peoplesoft Finance Requisition Module. Contract requests that do not require a financial commitment by the University, or that are only between the various University entities (e.g., ABS and Housing, University and ASI, etc.), may be submitted via email to using a Business Contract Request Form (BCRF).

Stanislaus State regularly prepares the following contracts:

Independent Contractors:

A service provider who is engaged in a distinct profession and is in the business of providing services related to the job being contracted. Independent contractors have total control over the work being performed, set their own hours, provide their own equipment, liability insurance, and office space. How To Prepare a Request for an Independent Contractor to Work on Campus.

Guest Lecturer/Honorarium:

a guest lecturer is an independent contractor who is paid for a one-time speaking engagement, musical performance, training, etc. The University cannot be direct billed for travel/hotel for Guest Lecturers. The University is required to withhold California taxes from Guest Lecturers who are out-of-state residents. How To Prepare a Request for a Guest Lecturer

Leases (Capital & Operating):

A capital lease is a financing tool and is booked as a long-term asset. An operating lease transfers the right to use property and is booked as an operating expense. All leases obligating the University or an auxiliary must be negotiated by the campus Contract Specialist and signed by the President. Lease agreements must be submitted to Procurement & Contract Services using a requisition in Peoplesoft.

Memorandums of Understanding (MOU):

An MOU is a bilateral or multilateral agreement between two or more parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. An MOU is utilized in the university to define a relationship between departments or between the University and a related entity (e.g., auxiliary) and must be prepared by Procurement & Contract Services staff (How To Obtain a Memorandum of Understanding). Most MOUs do not require a financial commitment and can be submitted via email to using the Business Contract Request Form (BCRF).

Public Works Contracts:

Public works involve the erection, construction, alteration, painting, repair, or improvement of any state structure, building, road, or other state improvement of any kind. Public works contracts must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, and shall be based primarily on plans and specifications for typical work. Payment of prevailing rate wages is required on all public works projects in excess of $1,000. Public Works Contracts must be prepared Procurement & Contract Services staff, and must be requested via Peoplesoft Finance Requisition Module.

Student Intern Agreements:

Student internships require contractual agreements between the cooperating organization and the University. All student intern agreements are processed by Stanislaus State Procurement & Contract Services. (How To Obtain a Student Intern Agreement). Requests can be submitted via email to on a Business Contract Request Form (BCRF).

Wireless Devices:

The Wireless Device Usage Policy applies to employees who have been required by the University to carry a wireless device so as to be available to the University while away from campus and/or to use a wireless device as an integral, non-optional tool in performing their assigned duties. The Wireless Device Authorization form is an agreement between the University and the employee. (How To Process a Wireless Device Authorization)

Auxiliary Contracts:

All contracts involving Stanislaus State auxiliary organizations must be reviewed and approved by Stanislaus State Procurement & Contract Services staff and by the Stanislaus State Chief Financial Officer (CFO) prior to execution by auxiliary organization Executive Directors. Auxiliary Accounts

Overview on Paying

Vendor Payment

Vendor Registration:

In order to pay a vendor for products or services, the vendor must be registered with Stanislaus State. A vendor should submit a completed Vendor 204 Form to Financial Services. For assistance see "How to Register a Vendor".

Check/EFT/ACH Schedule:

The fastest payment method is Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). EFT payments are processed twice a week. Check payments are processed once a week. Check Schedule

Direct Pay Request:

For goods that have been purchased without a requisition/purchase order or PCard, payment to the vendor can be requested by submitting Direct Pay Request. This method of payment has specific requirements. (Payment Matrix)

Paying a Guest Lecturer (Honoarium)

An honorarium can be paid to Guest Lecturer if: the person is not a current CSU employee; the person not an enrolled student; it is a special, non-recurring activity; fee is not legally or traditionally required; is not in-lieu of regular wages; the award is for short-term activity where no specific deliverable or specific result is requested or expected. This method of payment is not to be used for consultants or other personal services which should be handled through normal payroll or contracting procedures. Payment Matrix

About Employee Payment (Excluding Payroll)

Check/EFT/ACH Schedule

The fastest payment method is Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). EFT payments are processed twice a week. Check payments are processed once a week.
Check Schedule
How To submit EFT Payment Registration form

Employee Award

Employee stipends and bonuses are only paid through payroll. An employee award can be paid using a Direct Pay Request – Employee form. If it is determined that the employee payment is subject to payroll withholdings it must be processed by the Payroll department. Staff and Student Assistant awards must be pre-approved by Human Resources and faculty awards must be pre-approved by Faculty Affairs. The award must be approved by the appropriate delegated authority. The employee must be registered as a vendor.

Employee Reimbursement:

See Reimbursements Services