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Procurement & Payment Services

How To...

Place an Order Return a Product Maintain Documents

As a newly appointed "purchasing agent" there are a few things to remember when placing orders:

Before placing the order

  • Make sure funds are available in the account (usually default) that you intend to make payment from. Always obtain proper written approval for the intended purchase from an individual with authority over that budget.
  • When selecting a vendor, be sure to consider NYS contracts, preferred sources and NYS minority/women-owned businesses (M/WBE).
  • Inquire if the vendor accepts VISA prior to the purchase being made.

Placing the order

  • Orders may be placed via telephone, fax (be sure account information going to an individual not a general fax number), on-line, or in person. Be prepared to provide the following information to the vendor:
    • Cardholder name and account number
    • Account expiration date
    • Ship to address, including "VISA" and cardholder's name and room number, should appear on the outside of the package. If shipment is to come through Central Receiving, please use 382 Holley Street as the delivery address. If delivery is to arrive through U.S. Mail, please use the 350 New Campus Drive. Preferred method of shipment is UPS.
    • Tax exempt number #14740026K. (Orders placed in-person outside of NYS are subject to that state's sales tax.)
  • With the exception of "in-person" ordering, all orders require the use of an order form. If an order form is not provided by the vendor, please use the order form created by Procurement & Payment Services. On-line orders should be printed before being submitted. Do not rely on confirmations after the orders have been placed. All retail purchases require a comprehensive, itemized receipt.
  • Cardholders should be prepared to collect the following information from the vendor:
    • Name of person receiving the order if placed by phone.
    • Cost for each item including any/all shipping charges. If the vendor is unable to provide an exact shipping charge, please obtain an estimate.
    • Anticipated delivery date that product will arrive or service will be completed.
    • Itemized receipt for in-person purchases and/or packing slip for items shipped or services rendered.

Follow-up after the order

  • Cardholders should keep all outstanding transactions in a pending folder until the transaction is complete. If a confirmation of the order is provided by the vendor, the cardholder should maintain it for backup and expediting purposes.
  • Vendors are not authorized to process an order for payment against procurement card accounts until goods are in transit and/or services are completed. Pre-payments are not allowed. Typically, once a product or service is processed, the charges will appear in the cardholder's log list (VI03) located in the SUNY Central system within 24-48 hours of being received at VISA. Cardholders may review transaction logs in order to charge them to accounts other than issued SUNY default accounts (where authorized), resolve discrepancies with vendors, and/or detect any suspected fraudulent activity.
  • Once product is delivered to and received by the cardholder, the packing slip should be carefully reviewed to ensure proper goods were received in good condition. If the order is received complete, the cardholder should match the packing slip to the outstanding order form and maintain it until a corresponding VISA statement is received. If the order is received in more than one shipment, the cardholder should keep a copy of the order form as "open" with items noted as backordered. For each delivery, the corresponding packing slip should be attached to a copy of the order form. Once all items have been received, the order is considered complete.

Making returns

There are a few situations that may arise that require the return of an item(s) that was purchased using VISA.

First, an item(s) may arrive damaged and need to be returned for credit. A replacement may or may not be requested. A cardholder, in this situation, should follow the procedures below for returning the damaged item(s):

  • Call the vendor to alert them of the damage immediately.
  • Be prepared to provide the following information to the vendor:
  • Order number typically located on the packing slip
  • Cardholder name and account number
  • Telephone number
  • A vendor will give specific instructions for returning the item(s) that may include written authorization or a return authorization number (RA or RMA number) to be referenced on the return package; packaging instructions, etc. Please follow these instructions exactly.
  • When product is returned due to damage from shipping or manufacturer defect, the cardholder is not responsible for paying return shipping charges. The vendor must issue a "call tag" or pick up the item(s) at the vendor's expense. Once the item(s) has been received by the vendor, a full credit for that item and its original shipping cost must be issued to the original credit card account. Cash refunds are not allowed!
  • If a replacement item is requested of the vendor, a new charge with all new shipping costs (if applicable) should be submitted through VISA.

A cardholder may opt to return an item that is not what was expected or is no longer needed. In this situation, the above process applies with the exception of return shipping charges. The cardholder will now be responsible for paying shipping charges to return the item; will, most likely, not be refunded the original shipping charges and may be subject to a restocking fee (a percentage of the original cost for the handling of the item back into inventory by the vendor). A restocking fee may vary from minimal (1-2%) to more costly (25-30%). The cardholder must weigh the cost of the entire return against the original cost of the item(s). It may be advantageous to the department, as well as the college, to find another use within the department or college community.

Obtaining credits

Regardless of the circumstance for requesting a credit (returns, sales tax, incorrect/duplicate billings, etc.), the cardholder must use a "Credit Pending Form" as backup documentation for audit purposes. The form should include the following information:

  • Date
  • Vendor name
  • Name of person handling the credit
  • Brief explanation of problem and expected outcome.

If the cardholder is unable to resolve the situation within a reasonable timeframe (minimum 1 full billing cycle), please contact the Program Administrator for assistance in obtaining credit due. The cardholder may fax the Credit Pending Form with previous communication documented and with whom to fax number 5885.

Maintaining documents

Cardholders are required to keep complete procurement records for every transaction made against the VISA account, debit or credit, from beginning to end for a total of seven fiscal years. This includes order forms, packing slips, invoices (if provided), event information (if applicable) and credit pending forms. It is important that cardholders maintain these records in an accurate, organized and timely fashion since performance of audits by the Office of the State Comptroller does not require advance notice.

The billing cycle for Citibank VISA runs from the 7th of a month through the 6th of the following month (e.g., January 7 through February 6 is the January billing cycle). Cardholders should maintain all open orders and respective documents in a separate folder to be matched to corresponding VISA statements at the end of each billing cycle. Once reconciliation and certification of these transactions have been completed, the statement with its respective backup documentation should be placed in a "closed" fiscal year folder.

Last Updated 12/9/15