Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

General Travel Questions

Accounts Payable Questions

Supplier Questions

General Questions

1. To do business with a supplier, do they have to be in RU Marketplace before I start the requisition process?

Yes. The supplier must be in RU Marketplace in order to start the requisition process. If you need to add a new supplier, please complete the New Supplier Form by clicking the Suppliers Icon.

2. Do I have to use a contracted preferred supplier?

No, but we strongly encourage you to use contracted preferred suppliers as your first choice. The university’s commitments to these suppliers grant quantity pricing,which benefits all departments.  When you buy through preferred supplier contracts, in most cases, you do not have to obtain additional quotations or use the competitive bid process. 

3. I found a lower price for an item I am looking to purchase. Can I order the item based on it being cheaper?

In general, departments should use the university's contracted vendors for purchases. Contact the appropriate University Procurement Services staff person if you have a question about purchasing a specific product from a non-contracted vendor.

4. How can I find out which Procurement Services buyer handles my commodity?

Check the Business Services, Information Technology, Professional Services, Facilities, and Research and Scientific pages to find lists of the commodities handled by each of our five buying category teams, along with the buying team's contact information.

5. How long will it take to process my requisition?

The time it takes to process your requisition depends on the nature of the items you are purchasing and how long it takes your department to work through the approval process in RU Marketplace. Once your department approves the requisition, you may track the status by going into the requisition clicking on the approval section or the history section of the requisition in RU Marketplace. 

6. What types of requisitions require special approval?

Some categories require additional approval due to the nature of the purchase. Refer to the Purchasing Policy 20.1.11 (PDF) to see a list of special approval categories.

7. What do I do if a vendor gives me an agreement to sign?

Do not sign any agreement. You should forward any agreement requiring signature to Procurement for signature and include the requisition number that corresponds to it. Departments do not have authority to sign supplier agreements on behalf of the University. If you have any questions, contact the Contract Management team.

8. What is the dollar threshold for competitive bids?

See Section V in the Procurement and Payment Policy 20.1.11 (PDF) for details about competitive bidding.

9. What happens if there are no competitive sources available for my purchase or if there is a reason why my purchase cannot be bid?

We refer to this as a "sole source" situation. Where there are no competitive sources available, you must complete a Sole/Single Source Procurement form (DOC). This waiver of competitive bidding is also required when an emergency or economic reason exists.

10. A vendor contacted me saying they have not received my purchase order. Should I resend the purchase order?

Do not attempt to resend a purchase order as it may result in the vendor duplicating the order. Instead, please look at the history of the purchase order in RU Marketplace to make sure we have dispatched the purchase order. If it has been dispatched and the vendor has not received it, contact the appropriate Procurement Services staff member.

11. I ordered items some time ago and I have not received them yet. What should I do?

Contact the vendor via phone or email to inquire about delivery status of the order. If there appears to be a problem with the order, contact the Purchasing buyer that processed the purchase order for guidance.

12. The supplier sent me an invoice, should i forward it to the Accounts Payable team for processing?

Departments should not be receiving invoices from vendors and then forwarding them to the Accounts Payable team on the vendors' behalf. This only slows the payment process. Purchase orders clearly state that it is vendors' responsibility to send invoices to the Accounts Payable team.

13. Is Rutgers University tax exempt?

Yes, university purchases are exempt from the payment of New Jersey sales and use tax. Contact the appropriate Buyer if a supplier questions the university’s exemptio

General Travel Questions

1. What forms of payment are available for my travel expenses?

Learn more about booking travel and paying for your travel expenses.

2. If I use personal funds for my expenses, how do I get reimbursed?

An expense report must be completed through the financial system accessible in Oracle Expense and approved. The report must include a complete business purpose to support the use of university funds. Documentation as defined by the policy must accompany the expense report. Learn how to accurately report your travel expenses to request reimbursement.

3. What do I need to include with the business purpose for reimbursement request?

The business purpose must clearly define the benefit to the University.

4. My department has its own policy, is this allowed by the University?

More restrictive travel or business expense policies may be specified by the deans, directors, and department heads of individual schools, divisions, departments, and/or by the funding source.

5. Is there a different policy for visitors?

Reimbursement of travel expenses incurred by visitors is subject to the same policy that pertains to University employees. The department is responsible for informing the visitor of the University's expense reimbursement policy prior to him or her incurring expenses.

Note: Non-employees are paid via check request.   

6. Does the requester still have to physically sign the expense report?

No, electronic signature will be attached to the expense report when submitted through our financial system accessible through Oracle Expense.

  • Log in to myRutgers portal
  • Click the Cornerstone tab
  • Open the Expense Management app under the Finance section

7. Can I be reimbursed prior to my travel for expenses incurred?

No, you will need to wait until you return to request reimbursement.

Note: Submitting a check request for conference registrations or using one of the travel agencies, after submitting an approver Travel Order form, reduces the amount of personal funds put out by the employee. 

8. If I need a passport or visa for foreign travel, may I request reimbursement?

Expenses related to a visa or passport required for University business travel are reimbursable expenses.

9. Are the costs of vaccinations and immunizations reimbursable if they are required for University business travel?

Yes, attach original receipts to your expense report.

10. What receipts are required to support the expenses?

An original receipt is required for any expense in excess of $50. All meal expenses require an original receipt regardless of the amount. Policy defines a receipt as an original document itemizing the good(s) or service(s) purchased. The receipt must provide a named payee and date that confirms payment has been made for a stated purchase. Per diem does not require receipts.

11. What if I lose my receipt?

Prepare a Lost Receipt Certification Form (DOC) and attach it electronically to your expense report. This form is required for all duplicate or lost receipts and must be accompanied by proof of payment and the signatures of the requester and the person approving the expense.

12. What if my receipt has someone else’s name on it?

Obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt authorizing reimbursement to you. The memo must also indicate that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from the university.

13. Can I be reimbursed for telephone calls while traveling?

You can be reimbursed for all business-related phone calls, but are limited to one personal call, of reasonable length, per day.

14. My conference begins on the 10th of the month and ends on the 17th. Do I have to fly out on the 10th and return on the 17th?

No, the university allows for one travel day prior to the event and one travel day after the event. Any additional days before or after the event require a University business purpose or they are considered personal and the expenses are the responsibility of the traveler. Extending the stay is allowed when the airfare savings exceed the cost of lodging and meals for a pre- or post-business period. Documentation showing the airfare with and without the extended stay and the hotel/meal costs for the additional days must be provided to support the request.

15. What if I want to take my family or a friend on my business trip?

Any additional cost is your own personal expense.

16. What if I combine personal travel with my business travel?

Any additional costs resulting from combining personal travel with University business travel are the responsibility of the traveler. You must obtain a quote for the business portion of your air travel. The quote must support the cost of direct travel to/from your business destination on your business travel dates. It is important to get this quote at the time you are making your plans and not after the trip. This documentation must then be attached to your expense report along with the actual itinerary.

17. How do I convert foreign currency to U.S. Dollars?

The Oanda currency converter tool should be used when actual currency exchange receipts or credit card statement are not available. The exchange rate for the date the expense was incurred must be used for conversion.

18. Equipment costing several hundred dollars is needed immediately by the department. Will I be reimbursed if I use my personal credit card?

The University limits reimbursement of personal funds used to purchase goods or services to a maximum of $500, including sales tax and shipping. Purchases in excess of this amount must be processed through University Procurement Services.

Accounts Payable Questions

1. Where should invoices be sent?

Unit and suppliers should send invoices via email to: accountspayable@finance.rutgers.edu.

2. What is the difference between Scholarships, Fellowships, Prizes & Awards, and Non-Qualifying Scholarships?

For information on these types of monetary awards, visit our Guidelines for Student Award Payments page.

3. When should I use a check request?

There are many uses for check requests. Read our check request page to learn when to process a check request and find which supporting documentation is required.

4. Are reimbursements processed through my paycheck taxed?

No, there is no tax implication at all.

5. How do I apply for a UPS CampusShip account?

Send an email to upshelp@rutgers.edu and include your name, unit, full street address with room/suite number, 10-digit phone number, and 10-digital fax number.

6. Who do I contact to get my CampusShip password reset?

Send an email to upshelp@rutgers.edu.

7. How do I complete a UPS Airbill so that I am billed correctly?

The Reference Number field is required and should contain your GL string.

Supplier Questions

1. What does the University buy?

Rutgers University purchases goods and services to support administrative, academic, research, and individual student needs. Items purchased include, but are not limited to, scientific equipment and medical equipment; classroom and office furniture and supplies; technology equipment and software; building construction and repair; maintenance services; and professional services.

2. How can I find out which Category Manager handles my commodity?

University Procurement Services category managers are assigned specific commodities and/or services. The Staff Directory provides contact information for Category Managers and Staff.  

3. Are there preferred suppliers?

University Procurement Services establishes preferred supplier contracts, which are either competitively bid or negotiated with suppliers that meet the requirements for sole/single source procurement. The University also takes part in group and cooperative purchasing agreements.

4. How does the competitive bidding process work?

The University may use one of a variety of methods of soliciting information and pricing from a supplier including informal quotes, invitations to bid, requests for proposals, and requests for information.

  • For goods and services below $10,000: departments and schools can make purchases without requiring the approval of University Procurement Services.
  • For goods and services between $10,001 and $149,999: University Procurement Services or a department will obtain bids or proposals from multiple prosective suppliers prior to issuance of a purchase order.
  • For goods and services $150,000 and above: University Procurement Services, working in consultation with the Unit making the purchase, shall conduct a sealed bid or competitive proposal process.

5. Are there exceptions to the competitive bidding process?

There are circumstances when the competitive bidding process may not be possible and a request for no-bid/sole source or single source may be made. 

6. How will the University evaluate my bid or proposal?

The evaluation of proposals usually involves a review and recommendation by a committee composed of University representatives.

Being the "low bidder" does not necessarily mean that you will be awarded a contract. In our evaluation we seek to determine the "best buy" for the University, according to the criteria outlined in the invitation to bid or request for proposal. 

We may contact you if we need you to clarify some terms in your proposal. However, if we do so, no change in prices is permitted, unless we conduct a best and final offer or negotiation process as part of the evaluation.

7. What are the factors taken into consideration when determining an award?

We make awards to the most responsible and responsive qualified bidder who meets all specifications, terms, and conditions of the bid proposal.

Some factors we consider in addition to price may be quality, adherence to specifications, delivery, service, and warranty depending on the intended use of the commodity or service.  We award bids based on price only when quality, delivery, etc. are equal.

The University reserves the right to waive technicalities or minor discrepancies in any bid, if the best interest of the University would be served.

8. How will I know if I'm getting an award as the result of my bid submission?

We will notify you in writing via an intent to award or notice of award letter usually within 120 days after the bid has been publicly opened. The award is final unless the University Procurement Services Executive Director determines that a bid protest merits a stay or holding of the contract award. The award notice or intent to award is not a notice to proceed. You can only proceed after you have received a purchase order.

9. What may cause my bid or proposal to be rejected?

We may reject any bid which does not meet, or substantially alters, the specifications, bid terms, or conditions of a proposal.

10. How does a supplier get on a bid list?

Department buyers often maintain their own lists of vendors whom they contact for quotations, bids, and proposals. Contact the appropriate department or unit to discuss the commodities or services that you sell.

Departments units may also:

  • Receive referrals from colleagues at Rutgers and other institutions
  • Identify suppliers by reviewing bid records in RU Marketplace
  • Conduct internet searches
  • Learn of a supplier through one of our buying consortia.
  • Find suppliers through trade publications, directories, registers, supplier catalogs and professional journals such as ISM, Thomas Register, and the Yellow Pages.

11. How do I market my goods and services?

Contact the appropriate department buying units to discuss the commodities or services that you sell.

12. Generally what is the term of most contracts?

Most Rutgers term contracts are for a period of three years with the possibility of two one-year extensions. Rutgers also awards contracts that are limited to the duration of completing a specific project.

13. Where does a construction company, architect, or engineer find out about potential opportunities?

Major renovation projects of $2 million or more, new construction, selection of architects, and real estate purchases are handled through University Facilities and Capital Planning.

14. Are pre-bid or pre-proposal conferences required?

We sometimes hold pre-bid or pre-proposal conferences for construction projects, renovations, infrastructure projects, IT projects, and other types of service contracts. We and the requesting department together determine whether to hold a pre-bid conference. If a pre-bid or pre-proposal conference is involved, we will clearly state the information and requirements in the RFP solicitation including the date, time, and place of the event.

15. Is bonding required on all bids?

The University does not normally require bid bonds. Performance bonds, however, may be called for. Alternative bonding methods may also be provided. Otherwise, in the event of default of the contractor, the University may procure the articles or services from other sources and hold the contractor responsible for excess costs incurred.

16. What are the insurance requirements?

Rutgers University requires that all suppliers who conduct operations on University premises provide evidence of having appropriate insurance coverage in the form of a valid certificate of insurance. We set forth standard insurance requirements in our Standard Terms and Conditions. Requirements may vary depending upon the nature of the procurement.

17. Who is responsible for issuing and approving payments?

Submit all invoices directly to accountspayable@finance.rutgers.edu">Accounts Payable. If the invoice does not have a purchase order number, your payment will not be processed.

18. What are the payment terms?

Rutgers University standard payment terms are 45 days from the invoice date unless the supplier has a signed contract with different terms, any exception to these terms must be reviewed and approved by AVP and Chief Procurement Officer Nimish Patel. Requests must come from a Rutgers Department Head and not the supplier.

If you offer a prompt payment discount  (e.g., 2% 10 days), we will make every effort to take advantage of it.