The University of Massachusetts Amherst

How to purchase goods and services

Goods and services may be obtained using either a purchase requisition or a Procard depending on the type and dollar amount of the item.  Purchase requisitions are input in BuyWays, routed, approved and electronically dispatched to a vendor.  Procard transactions are purchased on a University issued credit card and subject to limitations and post audit reviews.  Purchasing policies are described at the Procurement website.

Key facts for Department Administrators

  • The university requires goods and services to be purchased on authorized contracts
  • A sole source form must be used when a product is only available through one vendor or manufacturer.
  • Competitive bids are generally required for services, equipment or commodities valued over $50,000
  • A Contract for Services (cfs) form is used for the purchase of all services over $10,000

How to obtain a UMass Procard (Procurement credit card)

Contact Hillary Osgood, Procard & Travel Card Program Manager, in the Procurement Department at 5-1748 or visit the Procurement website.

How to Obtain a UMass Corporate Travel Card

Employees expecting to travel on University business should obtain an UMass Corporate Travel Card for charging travel related expenses.  Contact Hillary Osgood, Procard & Travel Card Program Manager at 5-1748 or visit the Procurement website

How to get reimbursed for travel

The University’s policy is to reimburse employees for necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized and approved University business.  Most departments have trained and certified travel preparers who will prepare reimbursement forms and submit Expense Reports on-line to the Controller’s Office for inclusion in the employee’s paycheck.  A UMA corporate travel card is available to employees who travel on University business. See the travel website for more information.

Key facts for Department Administrators:

  • Travel policies are available online.
  • All reimbursement submissions to the Controller’s Office must be approved by the traveler’s immediate supervisor and include written pre-travel authorization.
  • Reimbursements must be submitted within 60 days after the trip is complete or monthly for long term travel.  Travel submitted after 120 days will be reported as taxable income to the traveler.

How to get reimbursed for authorized business expenses

In general, employees should not purchase non-travel related goods and services with personal funds and instead utilize the procurement processes available to the campus.  In the event that a purchase requisition or Procard is unavailable for an unexpected expense, the reimbursement must be documented, include a business purpose, and be authorized.  A department’s certified travel preparer submits business reimbursements using the same process as travel submissions.  Reimbursements for purchased services are not allowed.

Key facts for Department Administrators:

  • Expenses must follow the University Business Expense Policies.
  • This policy provides guidance on various types of business expenses including business meals and meetings, gifts, moving expenses and others.
  • All expenditures must be accompanied by an original receipt and documentation must include date, location and description of business purpose and name and title of any persons in attendance.
  • Approval requirements for expenditures can be found in the Business Expense Policy referenced above.

What is PeopleSoft?

The PeopleSoft System is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system which integrates data and processes of the institution into one unified electronic system. The University implemented financial and human resource modules to support our business functions and improve their efficiencies. In the financial arena, the University utilizes PeopleSoft to support general ledger, accounts payable, asset, grant, and post-award functions. The Human Resource modules are used to support payroll, benefits, time and labor functions. PeopleSoft gives users the ability to access financial and human resource data from their desk top.

What is BuyWays?

The UMass BuyWays platform is an intuitive, user friendly procurement tool for purchasing goods and services departments require. BuyWays will provide users with an easy route to all of their purchasing needs without undue restrictions or approvals. All purchase requisitions and purchase orders go through the BuyWays system to insure prompt processing of all orders. Encumbrances will automatically continue to be maintained in the PeopleSoft Financial System. To learn more contact Gary Duggan, Associate Director in the Procurement Department at 5-0361.

What is Summit Reporting?

Summit is a web-based, interactive reporting tool for financial data. The tool provides timely information on budgets, expenditures, encumbrances and balances for both sponsored and non-sponsored activity. Summit also provides important “at-a-glance” financial and demographic information, such as, days remaining for a grant and payroll detail by employee. As an interactive tool, it gives users the flexibility to view information at a summarized level and to drill down to individual transactions. Summit is intended to be intuitive, easy to navigate and to improve decision making and performance monitoring.

How to accept credit card payments for departmental activities

If you wish to take credit cards as a method of payment for your department activities call Patty Roper, Director of Applications & Compliance, at 5-2119 or via email at There are strict payment card industry standards (PCI) the University must follow to align with the PCI industry standards. Helpful links concerning these policies, campus credit card processing options and other information are outlined on the A&F Systems e-commerce page.

How to track and dispose of University equipment

All University property must be properly disposed following University regulations for surplus property. The Property Office (545-0700) must be notified before any equipment purchased with sponsored funds is transferred to another institution.

How to report fraudulent activity

Anyone who believes fraud has occurred should contact either the campus Controller, Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor and/or directly the University Auditor’s Office or the Campus Police Department. Employees are protected under Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 149, section 185, from retaliatory actions by their employer.

Fraudulent acts include:

  • Embezzlement, misappropriation or other financial irregularities
  • Forgery or alteration of documents (checks, time sheets, contractor agreements, purchase orders, other financial documents, electronic files)
  • Improprieties in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
  • Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, inventory, or any other asset (including furniture, fixtures or equipment)
  • Authorizing or receiving payment for goods not received or services not performed
  • Authorizing or receiving payments for hours not worked

The fraud policy is distributed annually to all employees.

What to do if contacted about an audit of financial data

The Controller’s Office coordinates all site visits and the preparation of responses to written requests for financial information. Occasionally an auditor or investigator may request information or a review of financial data, programs or facilities without prior notice.  These individuals should be referred to the Controller’s Office (5-0806) or OGCA (5-0698) before providing information or access to campus data or facilities.

Administration & Finance Websites