Documentation Requirements

Detailed purchase documentation should be maintained on file to support the expenditure of public funds for which the UW has fiduciary responsibility. Purchase receipts and supporting documentation (i.e., proof of receipt of goods, business purpose, itemized list of what was purchased and pricing information) are required for all transactions over $75. Visit the  Award Documentation Guidelines page. 

A receipt is a written acknowledgment of having received, or taken into one's possession, a specified amount of money, goods, etc. A receipt is not a confirmation notice or quote. The information on a receipt should include:

  • Vendor Name
  • Description of purchase
  • Amount Paid
  • Date Paid
  • Signature

Receipts should be itemized to show exactly what was purchased. For example, if a meal is being reimbursed, include the itemized receipt showing the food and beverages being purchased at that meal.

IMPORTANT: You should make every effort to obtain invoices and receipts for your expenditures. If it appears as if the vendor is not going to provide an invoice or receipt at the time of purchase, be sure to ask for one.

If a receipt cannot be collected, have supporting documentation available such as a bank statement, confirmation email of purchase, packing slip etc along with the following options:

  • Obtain a duplicate, scanned, or photocopied receipt from the vendor.
  • A image of the receipt (taken via a Smartphone or other photographic device).
  • A written description of the items/services purchased, the name of the person or business the items were purchased from, and the date of purchase signed and dated by the vendor or person from which the item/service was received.
  • If a meal was purchased, include a list of attendee names

In addition to the above, if the purchase was done via a bank card (personal or ProCard), then a copy of the bank card statement with the purchase highlighted should always be included.

If the purchase is over $75, and none of these options are feasible then the expense must be charged to the department’s discretionary or other unrestricted funding source.

Waiver

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) has approved a receipt requirements waiver for purchases up to $75, which has been reviewed and approved by UW Internal Audit. This is granted by the state per biennium. This policy covers purchase transactions of $75 and under, made through the following University purchase systems: Ariba (eReimbursement, eTravel and P2I for Associated Expenses), Central Travel Account (CTA), ProCard, and Manual Check Requests, as well as purchases made through interfacing UW purchasing systems, such as the Medical Center.

SAAM policies covered by this waiver include Subsections 45.10.70, 45.20.50, 45.20.60; and Sections 70.10, 70.15, and 70.20. (Source Document).

Note: Excluded from this waiver are lodging and transportation expenses for which a receipt is generally available such as airfare and car rental. Other travel expenses excluded from the waiver can be found here on the Travel Office website.

IMPORTANT: You always make every effort to obtain invoices and receipts for your expenditures. The $75 receipt waiver pertains only to invoice retention when you don’t have an invoice/receipt or are missing an invoice/reciept.

The purpose of the waiver is to save departments time from chasing after missing documentation of allowable department purchases that is evident of its business purpose, i.e. registration, membership fee, office supplies, etc. 

It is not mandatory to use the $75 receipt waiver. However, individual departments have the discretion to implement this. If a department decides to use the waiver, then it must be written in the department's internal policies, contingency procedures and communicated to those impacted by the change.

An itemized list of what was purchased, pricing information and business purpose must still be kept on file as supporting documentation. If food related, a list of all food and beverages must be kept and a statement about whether alcohol was purchased should be included.

  • ProCard Charges:
    • This waiver does not apply to ProCard “high risk transactions” listed below. Purchase receipts and supporting documents are always required for: Food/Meals (due to lack of per diem compliance in PaymentNet), PayPal, Fuel/Gas Station, Travel (“High- Risk Transactions” are transactions that have the highest risk of misuse or fraud.)
    • Individual departments have the discretion to require cardholders to provide and retain purchase documentation for other purchases in addition to the list above or as it is stated in department’s internal policies.
  • Reimbursement Payments:
    • Departments may require purchase receipts or documentation for transactions that have a high risk of fraud or misuse.
    • Receipts should be electronically attached to the eReimbursement form within Ariba as the document of record.
    • The size limit for an attachment in Ariba is 4MB.
    • If a receipt is in a spouse or someone else's name, reimburse the person whose name the receipt is in using eReimbursement for a Non-UW Employee.

Records Management

Reconciliation

  • It is strongly recommended that departments thoroughly review and understand budget Reconciliation Guidelines as provided by Internal Audit.
  • Please also view guidance from Financial Reporting on budget reconciliation best practices and recommendations.