Reference Guide for Payments

Contracting Authority

Any agreement (such as an affiliation agreement for student interns), memorandum of understanding, etc. that binds the parties to some sort of exchange or performance is considered to be a contract. A contract involving UW-L may only be approved and signed by someone who has been formally delegated that authority in writing. More information is available here. Contact Scott Holzem, Contract Administrator, at 785-8569 if there is any doubt about whether an agreement is a contract or with contracting authority questions.

Academic Support Services Agreements (ASSA)

UW-L secures personal services from individuals and business entities through one of two methods: an employer-employee relationship (hire) or an agreement with an independent contractor. Independent contractors may include speakers and guest lecturers in a nonpublic setting. Officials for athletic events and contest judges may also be considered independent contractors. Generally, an independent contractor situation exists if the service is provided regularly and continuously to the general public, and the service is the principal source of livelihood or profit. The institution may not control how the work must be done, only the result of the work. An independent contractor may be an individual, a group of individuals or a business entity. If the service desired is available from more than one source, competitive procurement rules apply and purchasing bid and waiver regulations must be followed. Some services provided by independent contractors represent special talents needed by UW-L on a temporary basis to fulfill its missions of instruction, research and public service. If the service is from an independent contractor and is a unique, noncompetitive activity supporting instruction, research, or public service, it will be considered an Academic Support Service, and the ASSA form shall be used to contract for the service. Specific questions should be directed to Scott Holzem, Contract Administrator, at 785-8569 .

Prohibited Purchases

The following are examples of prohibited or strictly controlled commodity categories, and purchases of these commodities by UW-L employees will not be reimbursed. Purchases with a procurement card will require personal reimbursement to UW-L by the cardholder.

  • Office Decorations
  • Non-travel Food or Drink (unless pre-approved by Business Services)
  • Entertainment Printing Personal Items (Clothing, for example)
  • Flowers, Gifts, Awards, Prizes
  • Wisconsin State Sales Tax

It is advisable to contact Budget & Finance, 785-8724, if there is doubt about a purchase qualifying for reimbursement.

Meals and Food for Meetings

Except for travel and conferences, it is not intended that UW-L accounts, regardless of funding source, should be used for food for UW-L employees at UW-L or in the La Crosse area. Business meetings and events should be scheduled so as to employ UW-L facilities and to avoid the necessity of meals or break refreshments paid with UW-L accounts.

Food may not be purchased for the following:

  • Dean's or Department Chair's meetings
  • Division Director's meetings
  • Meetings primarily of UW-L employees
  • Meetings beginning or ending at a meal time
  • Meetings of short duration
  • Snacks, refreshments, or meals in offices
  • Semester or year-end events to thank UW-L employees for hard work

Examples of when food may be purchased:

  • Meeting is of long duration, and
  • Meeting is attended by non-employees, and
  • Business continues through the refreshments or meal, and
  • Stopping the meeting for a break or meal would be disruptive or food is not available at the facility
  • UW-L sponsored conference

A Food Expense Approval form, with required attachments, must be completed and approved before the meeting or event. Chartwells will not cater a campus meeting or event without an approved form. Specific questions will be answered by Budget & Finance, 785-8596.

Non-Travel Reimbursements

Non-Travel Reimbursements to employees may either be for personal funds used to purchase on behalf of UW-L or for petty cash fund replenishment. In all cases, in order to be reimbursed, the purchases must be within state procurement policy and be of demonstrable benefit to UW-L. A Reimbursement Form is used to request the reimbursement, and it must be approved at the dean or division director and Budget & Finance levels. Receipts accompanying the request must be original and clearly indicate what was purchased and that payment was made. Wisconsin state sales tax will not be reimbursed. Specific questions will be answered by Budget & Finance, 785-8599.

Procurement Card

A Visa credit card may be available for issue to UW-L employees for making low dollar purchases of supplies and equipment instead of using the purchase order or petty cash process. The single transaction limit is $5,000, and all purchases are directly charged to a UW-L account. In addition to the prohibited purchases listed earlier, the following may not be purchased with the procurement card:

  • Professional Memberships or Certifications
  • Meals and Lodging
  • Professional Services

Unauthorized purchases will require personal reimbursement to UW-L by the cardholder. Application forms and policies are available here. Specific questions will be answered by Budget & Finance, 785-8724.

Payments to Individuals

The Payment to Individual Report (PIR) form is used to request all payments to individuals except salaries, employee reimbursements, and payment to subcontractors and architects. All PIR requests must include documentation that clearly indicates the purpose of the payment, the benefit to UW-L, and, preferably, an agreement between the payee and UW-L.

Examples of payments that can be made using a PIR:

  •  Academic Support Services – see ASSA.
  • Scholarship – An amount paid or allowed to, or for the benefit of, a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies.
  • Grant Participation Support – Payments to students for the purchase of materials related to their research or scholarship while participating in approved grant activities under faculty supervision.
  • Human Subject Payments.

The PIR form requires dean's office or division director approval. Specific questions will be answered by Budget & Finance, 785-8611.