Policies and procedures to simplify and expedite purchase orders.


There are multiple ways goods or services can be acquired for the university which include using local vendors, an electronic marketplace conveniently interfaced with Banner, as well as standard purchase orders processed through Banner. There are policies and procedures to simplify and expedite each type dependent upon the type of purchase and total amount.

All orders over $500.00 require a purchase order.

Orders being delivered to Colgate University directly, excluding food deliveries, require a purchase order, regardless of the amount.

Local Vendors

Colgate University has long-standing relationships with Hamilton businesses to support the longevity and growth of a successful and thriving community. Utilizing their goods and services is encouraged.

  • In the village of Hamilton, businesses will accept Colgate University charges on account.  You are required to have a proper Colgate University I.D. and give the vendor when ordering:
    • The purchaser's name.
    • Department placing the order.
    • Budget number to charge.
  • Purchases from out-of-town vendors (outside the village of Hamilton) will not require a purchase order if they accept Colgate University charges on account.
  • All Colgate University orders should be exempt from sales tax. If the vendor does not have an up-to-date form, you can obtain a sales tax exemption form  form from the Controller’s Office.
  • If a local vendor will not accept a university charge, use of your Colgate University Corporate Card issued by J.P. Morgan is permitted, pursuant with our a Corporate Card Procedures .
  • All attempts should be made to utilize university funds first. Use of your own personal funds will result in a  personal reimbursement  through our travel and expense accounting system, Concur.


Non-Local Vendors

Colgate University has a wide variety of preferred suppliers to procure goods and services from. Many of which can be found in our electronic marketplace already integrated with Banner Finance. This should be used for the suppliers most frequently ordered from. If they are not available, the standard requisition and purchase order should be acquired through the Colgate Portal.

*In some pre-approved cases, the Colgate University Corporate Card may be permitted for such orders.

How do I know how I should be placing an order?

Colgate Unimarket (Online Marketplace)

This system provides round-trip shopping experiences with our most frequently used suppliers. Purchase orders initiated through Unimarket, approvals, invoices, receipts, and payment information are all housed in the software.

  • Prior to ordering, all users should have completed a training session led by the Purchasing Department. If you have not, contact the Purchasing Department at purchasing@colgate.edu to set up an individualized training.
  • Unimarket is the preferred method for order processing.
  • Colgate Unimarket can be located in the Portal or by using your Colgate University Single Sign On (SSO) credentials at colgate.unimarket.com.
  • The online marketplace integrates with our Banner Finance system in real time so that the user can see the status of their order(s) at all times from request to payment. User budget permissions mirror those setup in Banner Finance.
  • Purchases of any dollar amount can be obtained through Unimarket with ease due to the built-in approval queues.
  • Suppliers are continually being added to the marketplace.

Banner Finance Requisition and Purchase Orders

All orders with suppliers not available in Unimarket or orders over $500.00 should be initiated through the Portal.

  • Instructions on how to complete an electronic requisition can be found on the Purchasing Department website.
  • Orders over $10,000.00 from vendors not under contract, should be submitted with an electronic requisition and accompanied by two or more quotations.
    • If unable to obtain two or more competitive quotes, a Waiver of Competitive Bidding Form must be completed (according to the instructions on the form) and submitted to the Purchasing Department.

Corporate Purchasing Card (J.P. Morgan Chase MasterCard)

Corporate credit cards can be assigned to any benefit-eligible University employee. Primarily for university travel expenses, corporate cards can be used for non-travel university-related expenses.

  • Corporate cards cannot be used to purchase any single supply item costing over $500.00 without prior approval from the Purchasing Department.
  • For non-travel expenses, the corporate card should only be used if the vendor is not available in Unimarket and the purchase is under $500 with a local vendor.
  • For travel expenses, follow these guidelines.
  • All corporate card expenses will automatically feed into our travel expense management system, Concur, where they will need to be accounted for in a monthly expense report, including budget allocations and supporting receipts or other documentation.
  • For more corporate card information, please see the  Corporate Card Procedures .

Colgate University Disbursement Vouchers

Issuing payments to vendors and individuals for items or services required by the university.

  • A disbursement voucher is not required if an invoice has already been obtained
  • Disbursement vouchers are to be used for the payment of services and/or reimbursement of students or non-employee individuals.
  • Honorariums and payments to speakers should be sent to the Controller’s Office. The individual will need to complete a W-9 to be paid. Some individuals may need to complete a W-8BEN dependent upon their country of residence. Additional information will be required for authorization of payments to non-residents.
  • To complete the Disbursement Voucher you will need the following information:
    • Full (legal) name of individual. Some individuals may already be in our vendor database with their given name. Use of nicknames on disbursements may result in delayed payment or duplication of vendors. (ie: Meg Doe should be entered as Meghan Doe or match the name listed on their W-9 or W-8BEN)
    • Address of payee
    • Banner ID# (if applicable)
    • Appropriate approval signature
    • Description of disbursement
    • Amount
    • Budget Code including account
    • Attached receipts or supporting documentation
  • Expenses that may require attachments to be sent with payment should be sent to the Controller’s Office. Order forms and required documentation should be included with the disbursement voucher. These include:
    • Magazine and journal subscriptions.
    • Registration forms for conferences and seminars.
    • Membership fees for organizations.
    • Federal and State departmental registration fees.
  • If no documentation is required to accompany the payment for subscriptions and fees, and credit card payment is accepted, a Colgate University corporate card may be used pursuant to the corporate card policy, and subsequently reported in Concur.