Buying & Paying Overview

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

Information provided here applies to all University entities, departments, and funds. The Procurement 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 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.

Overview on 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 As a Vendor"

Overview on Different Types of Purchase Transactions

Office Supplies:

The CSU has a systemwide contract with OfficeMax to be used when purchasing office supplies.


  • Low dollar amount: The Procurement Card (PCard) should be used as the first option for low dollar (under $500) purchases (purchases that are not restricted and fall within the purchasers transaction limit). No value is added by involving Buyers in the process and less work for staff. PCard holder makes the purchase and submits invoices with a monthly PCard Statement.
  • 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 "About Contracts" below

Overview on 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.

Overview on 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

Overview on Contracts

A contract is a written agreement between two or more competent parties which creates obligations to do, or not do, the specific things that are the subject of that agreement. Contracting occurs whenever the University executes an agreement or contract with an entity outside the university. Anytime the University is one of the contracting entities, there are only two people who are authorized to sign the contract: the President and Vice President of Business & Finance (CFO). Signature authority can be delegated for specific types of contracts (e.g., Student Intern Agreements).

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. Authorization to Work As An Independent Contractor.

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.  Link to About Paying 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. Link to Obtain an Approved Contract

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 by the campus Public Works specialist. (Link to Bid on Public Works)

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.

Overview on Paying (excluding Payroll)

About Vendor Payment

Vendor Registration: In order to pay a vendor for products or services, the vendor must be registered with Stanislaus State.  A vendor will submit both a completed Vendor 204 Form - State or a W-9- Federal 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. (Schedule)

About Paying a Guest Lecturer (Honoarium)

An honorarium can be paid to Guest Lecturer if: the person is not a current CSU employee; the person is 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.

Overview on Warrior Card

The Warrior Card is the official identification card of California State University, Stanislaus.  It is issued to all members of the University Community and is required for identification for all students to access essential campus services.

About Warrior Cash

Warrior Cash is a prepaid spending account on a Warrior Card.  Warrior Cash can be used to make purchases at Campus Dining locations and the Bookstore.  It is also accepted at subscribing local businesses.

About Merchants Accepting Warrior Cash as a Payment

Businesses around California State University, Stanislaus are invited to join the Warrior Card Program by accepting Warrior Cash as a form of payment.  Your business will gain access to student funds that can only be spent at on and off campus accepting locations.  And, your business will be featured in University branded communications that are sent to students, parents, and university personnel throughout the year. More information at

Download a merchant application or email