Frequently Asked Questions
On this page, you will find answers to some of the most common questions we receive. For additional information about financial and travel requests, please also explore the Financial Guidelines page on the Financial Affairs website.
If you have any questions that are not answered on this page or in the Financial Guidelines, please feel free to contact us.
What is the best way to communicate with the Business Service Center (BSC)?
The best way to contact the BSC is via email at BAServiceCenter@utsa.edu.
Who is my Business Service Center Specialist?
|College/Division||Business Service Center Specialist|
How do I submit a request?
If you would like to submit a request to process an invoice, reimbursement, procurement, budget transfer, travel authorization, or an eForm, please visit the BA BSC website and click on the ServiceNow tile. You may also go directly to the ServiceNow website and log in with your UTSA email and passphrase.
What happens after I submit a request?
Once a request is submitted through ServiceNow, you will receive an automated email notification from BusinessServiceCenter@utsa.edu that your request has been received. All communication will be done through the ServiceNow portal. Your BSC Specialist will communicate directly if there are any questions or concerns regarding the request, and will let you know when the request is complete.
How long will it take for my request to be approved?
|People Excellence Requests||Financial Requests|
Who is authorized to sign contracts?
Per the UT System Regents’ Rules and Regulations, only an individual with a written delegation of authority from the university president may execute and deliver contracts on behalf of the university (ref. Rule 10501). For the full list of individuals with signature authority, please review the list of Delegations of Authority at UTSA.
IMPORTANT: Do not sign a contract. You may be held personally liable.
When do I need to verify a vendor hold status?
You must verify the vendor’s hold status prior to making any local funds or One Card purchases over $500. Vendors whose status is on hold with the state are ineligible to sell goods or services to state agencies.
To check the vendor hold status, use the Texas Identification Number System (TINS) vendor hold search.
Note: When requesting payment, you must submit documentation showing that the vendor hold check was conducted prior to the purchase date. Provide a screenshot of the vendor hold search which includes (1) vendor name and (2) date of search. Vendor status is automatically verified for purchases made with state funds.
What do I do if a vendor charged me sales tax?
If a cardholder simply forgot to inform the merchant of the tax exemption, then the cardholder should seek a credit from the merchant.
Because UTSA is a state institution of higher education, official in‐state university purchases are exempt from state sales tax. Texas sales tax is not to be charged or paid for any official university purchases. Present the appropriate tax exemption certificate. This certificate may be retained by the vendor.
Purchases exempt from state sales tax include, but are not limited to:
- In‐state official meals.
- Texas Sales Tax Exemption Certificate must be presented at the restaurant.
- In‐state lodging.
- UTSA pays local and county taxes, but not Texas state taxes.
- Hotel Tax Exemption Certificate must be presented at check‐in.
- If you are using paid parking at the hotel, an additional Sales Tax Exemption Certificate must be presented to the hotel at the time of check‐in to ensure sales tax is not charged for parking fees.
- Purchases of goods and services of any kind in Texas.
- Vehicle rentals.
- Other services.
It is the purchaser’s responsibility to enforce the tax exemption status with all in‐state transactions. Failure to comply will result in the purchaser not receiving reimbursement for the sales tax charges.
Purchases, meals, lodging, etc., outside of Texas are subject to all taxes.
What is an original itemized receipt?
An original itemized receipt is written documentation from a vendor that supports a transaction and enables the proper recording of the transaction in the university general ledger system. An itemized receipt includes:
- The date of the purchase.
- The vendor's name.
- Description of item(s).
- The quantity, unit price, and total cost of the item(s).
Some of examples of receipts include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Saved receipt from a web purchase.
- E-mail acknowledgment from vendor.
- Cash register tape.
- Detailed packing slip.
In addition to a receipt, sufficient documentation must include a business purpose. When the business purpose is not obvious, cardholders should write an explanation of the business purpose on their receipt. Cardholders should provide additional information to support the business purpose when an item lends itself to personal use, such as CDs, videos, meals, etc., or when the business purpose would not be clear to an external reviewer. The cardholder also should list the attendees at business meals.
What if the cardholder loses a receipt?
If a cardholder loses, misplaces or cannot provide an original itemized receipt, a Declaration of Missing Evidence form needs to be submitted. When completing the form, explain why the receipt is missing and provide details about the items purchased (date, vendor, description, quantity, price and total cost). This form is required to certify allowable business expenditures in compliance with IRS regulations to determine if the expenditure should be treated as taxable income to the employee.
One form may be completed per event or per trip, even if more than one receipt is unavailable.
Repeated reimbursements to the same individual without the required documentation may be denied.
What is an itemized invoice?
An itemized invoice includes:
- The date of the purchase.
- The vendor's name.
- Description of item(s).
- Item quantity and unit price.
- A description of additional charges (taxes, service, delivery, etc.).
- The total cost.
When submitting an invoice for payment processing to the BSC, please ensure “Approved to Pay” is marked on the invoice by the department manager. This certifies goods and services have been received/rendered, and that all information outlined on the invoice is correct.
How long will it take for my requisition to be converted to a purchase order?
Depending on the nature of the requisition and the dollar amount of the order, most standard punch-out orders are processed within 24 hours of submission. Delays may occur when a supplier is not in the vendor database, or when bid requirements, justifications or additional approvals are needed. Please see UTSA Bidding and Procurement Approval Guidelines for additional information.
Who are the preferred suppliers, and where can I find out more about them?
Preferred suppliers are those that hold existing contracts with UTSA or with accredited Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) to provide products, services, delivery and customer service with the “best overall value” to UTSA. We encourage you to use this list when possible as you procure goods and services. To learn more about the preferred suppliers, please review the list located on the purchasing website.
What if my supplier is a foreign vendor?
All purchases from foreign suppliers, regardless of method of payment (OneCard, purchase order, etc.), must be cleared through the Office of Research Integrity. Please contact the BSC for more information on how to proceed.
What purchases are restricted or prohibited?
As a general rule, the following cannot be paid or reimbursed from university funds:
- Expenses that are lavish or extravagant.
- Social meals.
- Entertainment expenses, including flowers for employees' birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers or farewell gatherings.
- Mileage reimbursement for local travel to a restaurant or to attend a hospitality-related event is normally not reimbursed.
- Mileage between UTSA facilities.
- Exceptions must be approved by the appropriate VP. Refer to HOP 4.28 Assignments UTSA Campuses and Associated Locations for more information.
- Expenditures for coffee pots, coffee supplies, coffee services, microwaves or refrigerators for employee’s personal use, except if housed in official employee break rooms or officially-designated public reception areas and approved by VP as an exception.
- Monetary contributions to a political campaign, candidate or charitable organization, except when it is a table sponsorship to attend a non-UTSA event, charity or community function with a business-related purpose.
- Expenditures for alcoholic beverages served on campus when the Permission to Serve Alcoholic Beverages form was not submitted and approved in advance.
- Reimbursements for state sales tax paid on supplies and related materials may be allowed on an exception basis.
I am a part of a UT System-sponsored committee within UTSA. I have been asked to attend a conference out of town. Will I need permission from my department supervisor to attend?
Yes, a fully approved travel authorization is required prior to making travel arrangements. Please submit the Travel Authorization Request form to the BSC, where it will route through all Cost Center approvers.
To avoid tax penalties, all travel-related expenses incurred during the trip must be settled within 30 days of the trip return date. Submit the Expense Reimbursement-Travel request form along will all applicable receipts for out-of-pocket reimbursements and expenses incurred by the university (OneCard, etc.).
I am interviewing a prospective employee from out of state, and they will travel to UTSA for committee interviews on site. Does the prospective employee need a Travel Authorization? Can UTSA reimburse prospective employee travel?
The prospective employee does not need a UTSA Travel Authorization, as these only apply to active faculty, staff and students. Please see the Travel Authorization Guidelines for more information.
Prospective employees interviewing for an open UTSA position are eligible for reimbursement for travel expenses (the actual cost of meals and lodging, not to exceed the GSA per diem rate for San Antonio, and transportation) as they relate to the interview process. All receipts must be submitted for processing reimbursement, along with hiring manager approval.
What do I do if my travel has been canceled?
Please notify your BSC Specialist if travel has been canceled. Travel Authorizations encumber funds upon approval. By notifying the BSC of the cancellation, those funds can be disencumbered.
If the Travel Authorization request was created through ServiceNow, please add a comment to the ticket stating the trip has been canceled and provide a brief description of the reason for the cancellation.
I am a supervisor who needs to hire a work study. Where can I get information?
Refer to UTSA Strategic Enrollment’s information for work study supervisors.
When you’re ready to hire a work study position, please submit the New Hire Request form to the BSC. Be sure to attach all supporting documentation to your request to avoid delays.
Please note: Information published in Financial Affairs' Financial Guidelines is updated prior to the information found in the FAQs above. In the event there is conflicting information, please refer to the information found in the Financial Guidelines.