eVA I – Introduction to Purchasing


Cardholders are responsible for all material in this training, including information contained in the links. To successfully complete this training you are required to read each section and thoroughly explore all links.

This training is composed of three sections of material. Each section concludes in a mandatory quiz. Answer all questions on each quiz and click “submit” before continuing to the following section. Bring any questions you have regarding the material contained in this training to your next in-person training session.

Allot a minimum of two hours to complete this training. You may leave and come back to this training as time allows. However, be sure to complete the reading and submit all quizzes prior to your next in-person training session.

Please Note: To view some of the links in this training you must be connected to a UMW Network or logged-in through VPN.

If you have any questions regarding this training, or have any issues with accessing the links, email tess@umw.edu.

eVA I – Introduction to Purchasing

This class provides an introduction to eVA, Virginia’s web-based procurement tool, as well as a look at the laws, policies, contracts, and procedures governing use of UMW issued charge cards.

Section 1

The first section of this training covers:

  • An introduction to UMW’s e-Procurement tool, eVAeva-1
  • An overview of available methods of payment
  • How to identify appropriate vendors
  • Mandatory Sources and Exclusive Contracts
  • Small Business use requirements
  • Use of the eVA eMall Manual

What is eVA?

eVA is Virginia’s web-based electronic vendor registration and purchasing system which allows state agencies, colleges, universities, and many local governments to conduct purchasing and sourcing activities for goods and services.  The University of Mary Washington uses eVA to announce bid opportunities, invite bidders, receive quotes, and create purchase orders for goods and services. This system is managed by the Department of General Services.

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all state agencies, including colleges and universities, to process purchases through eVA.  The use of eVA is governed by both state and University procurement rules and regulations by which all UMW cardholders are required to abide. The rules and regulations are outlined in this training.

Vendors contracting with the University of Mary Washington are required to register with eVA.

Most goods and services must be entered into eVA. However, some exceptions do exist. A complete list of eVA guidelines and exempt purchases can be found within Procurement’s Small Purchase Procedures.

Navigation Overview of eVA

Learning to navigate eVA is an important part of learning to purchase at UMW.  Section I of the eVA eMall Manual covers the following information:

  • Buyer Login
  • How to search for a Vendor
  • How to determine if a vendor has a PunchOut Catalog
  • SWaM Certified Vendor Searches
  • Contracts
  • Important questions to ask before purchasing
  • NIGP Code (National Institute for Governmental Purchasing) Searches

Please read all of the information contained in Section I of the eVA eMall Manual before continuing on to the rest of this training. You may access the eVA homepage as you read the manual to assist with homepage navigation.

Note: eVA tends to work most efficiently in Firefox or Google Chrome browsers, though this may be dependent on the specific computer.

eVA Payment Options

eVA has two available methods of payment:

  • Charge Card – Generates a purchase order with a “PCO” number
  • Check – Generates a purchase order with an “EP” number

In eVA, orders are tracked using their PCO or EP number. This system allows vendors to view the purchase orders once they are created, fulfill the orders, and charge the University (if the order is paid by charge card).

There are four types of charge cards available at UMW:

  1. Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC) – Used for state-fund purchases only.
  2. UMW Finance Card– Used for items not allowed on the SPCC. The Finance Card can be used to pay for Business Meals, travel (when traveling with students), non-state funded purchases, and other expenses as defined on the Finance Card site.
  3. Travel Card– Used when a UMW employee must travel but does not have a personal credit card on which to charge travel expenses. Travel cards are issued on an “as-needed” basis. This card is a personal card designed to help eliminate cash advances for University Travel. It is issued to the requester based on their personal credit history. The cardholder is responsible for paying Bank of America from their personal account. UMW is not responsible for the payment of any purchases made on this card. The cardholder is liable for all purchases and will have money withheld from Payroll if payment on the card is past due.
  4. Gold Card – Used at the discretion of the Accounts Payable Department. Gold cards are generally reserved for purchases over $5,000. Only four Gold Cards exist on campus.

Please review each link to view in-depth the requirements and uses for each card type.


When possible, it is preferred that a contracted vendor or small business vendor be used for UMW purchases. All UMW contracts can be viewed in Procurement Services’ Cobblestone system. Review the different categories of contracts below and how they relate to UMW purchasing.

Mandatory Source – Vendors that must be used per the Code of Virginia.

  • Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE) – All furniture purchased for the University of Mary Washington must be purchased through VCE per §53.1-48 of the Code of Virginia. A waiver must be obtained from VCE in order to purchase furniture from another vendor. Waivers are issued by VCE in the following reasons:
    • The furniture VCE can provide does not meet reasonable requirements for UMW
    • And identical piece of furniture can be obtained at a lesser cost
    • The requisition cannot be fulfilled by VCE due to insufficient supply
    • Matching existing furnishings

UMW Exclusive Contracts – Vendors that must be used per UMW’s contracts containing exclusivity clauses.

Preferred Contracts – Contracts recommended when their use may be beneficial to the University.

Optional State Contracts – Virginia state contracts available for UMW use.

UMW Term Contracts – Contracts issued by the University for campus-wide use.  If you have any questions about UMW contracts, please contact a Procurement Services Contract Officer.

VASCUPP Contracts– Contracts available to UMW through other Higher Education Institutions.

Other Cooperative Contracts – Cooperative contracts issued by other public or private organizations.  Contact Procurement Services for review and approval prior to using any contract initiated by other organizations.

For more information, view Procurement Services’ Contracts webpage.

Perform a Contract Search

Found on the Procurement Services website, the Cobblestone system houses all UMW Term Contracts. This system allows you to view contract terms, contact information, contract expiration dates, and more. Instructions on how to search in Cobblestone can be found here.

A list of the optional state contracts can be found on the eVA homepage under “Statewide Contracts.” Instructions for how to search for a Statewide Contract can be found in Section I of the eVA eMall Manual.

SWaM Vendors

Small, Women, and Minority (SWaM) vendors are an important part of purchasing for the University of Mary Washington. As ordered by the Governor of Virginia per Executive Order 20 (2014), all state agencies are expected to exceed the target goal of 42% of discretionary spending for each fiscal year with Small Businesses certified by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD).

The SWaM certification program is administered by the DSBSD. This is the resource used by the Commonwealth of Virginia in an effort to help Small, Women and Minority owned businesses do business with state government entities.

To be certified as a “Small Business,” by the DSBSD, the vendor must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 51% independently owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are US citizens or legal resident aliens (and control management and daily operations of the small business).
  • Have 250 or fewer employees (together with affiliates)
  • Have average gross receipts of $10 million or less averaged over the previous three years

Note: Vendors register separately through eVA and DSBSD. This means a vendor could be SWaM certified, but not an eVA vendor.

Purchases $5,000 and under, that are not made on a contract and are not listed on the Small Purchase Procedure exemption table, are to be made from a Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) certified small business. At this time, there is no requirement for purchases from Women and Minority vendors.

SWaM Quote Requirements

Acceptable SWaM quotes come from small businesses certified by the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD). The use of State or University Contracts supersedes the requirement to obtain a SWaM quote. Therefore, if you are purchasing on a contract, you do not need to search for a SWaM vendor and obtain a quote.

Quotes may be obtained through email, over the phone, by fax, or on vendor websites. For quotes obtained over the phone, please make sure to note the date, the name of the person you contacted, and the price you were quoted.

For all purchases up to $5,000 that are not on a contract, UMW cardholders are required to obtain one quote from a SWaM vendor. For orders above the $5,000 threshold, please contact Procurement Services for assistance.

If you are purchasing goods or services from a vendor who is not SWaM certified and not on contract, then you must obtain at least one quote from a SWaM vendor and keep that documentation with all other documentation from your purchase. You must record on the purchase order the reason that a non-SWaM vendor was used instead of a SWaM vendor.

Acceptable reasons for using a non-SWaM vendor instead of a SWaM vendor include:

  • A significant price difference between the vendors
  • The SWaM vendor being unable to fulfill your requested order or not carrying the goods/services you require
  • The SWaM vendor not replying with a quote in a reasonable amount of time
  • The SWaM vendor not being able to provide the requested goods/services in a reasonable amount of time.

Failure to obtain a SWaM quote when purchasing from a non-SWaM vendor is considered to be a violation of procurement regulations and will result in tiered consequences ranging from a written warning to suspension and revocation of card privileges.

Some purchases do not require a SWaM quote. These are purchases that can be deemed “exempt from competition,” meaning the services are generally unavailable from other vendors. For a complete listing of purchase categories that do not require a SWaM quote, please refer to Small Purchase Procedure Category B and Category C.

Perform a SWaM Vendor Search

UMW Cardholders are responsible for meeting the Governor’s Executive Order goal of 42% Small vendor usage. It is important for UMW Cardholders to understand the process by which SWaM vendors can be identified for use.

SWaM vendor searches can be conducted in two ways – through eVA or through the Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) website. Both of these processes are outlined in the eVA eMall manual under the Section I, Vendor Searches category.

Quiz 1

Click the quiz button below, answer all questions contained in the quiz, and click “submit” before continuing to the next section of training.


Section 2

The second section of this training covers:secure-credit-card-transactions-300x250

  • Verifying check payment vendors
  • The use of independent contractors as vendors
  • Policies and procedures governing the use of UMW issued charge cards
  • Violations and consequences for misuse of UMW issued charge cards
  • Sales tax exemption requirements

Cardinal ID

Cardinal is a Commonwealth of Virginia vendor database that ensures accurate processing and payment to vendors. Vendors requesting a check payment from UMW must:

  • Register in eVA to obtain a Cardinal ID, and
  • Be properly established in the University’s financial system (Banner).

It is the responsibility of a UMW buyer to verify that a vendor has a Cardinal ID before paying a vendor by check. Cardinal ID’s can be found in a SharePoint report called “Cardinal Verified Vendors Report.” This report is available to all UMW buyers who have completed Finance training.

Independent Contractors

Independent Contractors are self-employed individuals who are not considered to be employees of the University.

The IRS requires UMW to screen all vendors used at the University who are individuals (having no other persons in their employ) to determine if they should be considered an independent contractor or if they will be considered to be employees of UMW.

If you will be using a vendor who is an individual, and the vendor uses their Social Security Number as their Tax ID, please be aware that there may be additional steps to using this vendor so that UMW can ensure that the vendor is not an individual. If you believe this may be the case with one of your vendors, please contact tess@umw.edu for assistance with the Independent Contractor process.


The Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC) is the most common form of UMW issued charge card on campus. This card is used for state-funded purchases only.

Policies and Procedures

The SPCC is governed by a set of policies and procedures set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia and followed by all institutions therein. All purchases made on an SPCC must pass the test of public review and be for official Commonwealth purposes.

The SPCC cannot be used for:

  • Personal Items
  • Cash Advances
  • Business Travel (with the exception of airline and mass-transit tickets)

The SPCC may not be used for purchases made with the following funds:

  • 1117 (Equipment Trust Fund)
  • 8xxx (Agency Funds)
  • Foundation Funds
  • State funds in the purchase of retail club memberships, including renewals (BJ Wholesale, Costco, Sams, Amazon Prime, etc.)

View the Policies and Procedures page for more information on the rules governing the use of the SPCC. You are responsible for all information contained on the page.

Violations and Consequences

Misuse of the SPCC will result in consequences up to and including revocation of a cardholders SPCC. The Procurement Services’ Violations and Consequences site provides a detailed list of violations and their corresponding consequences.

SPCC Billing Cycle

The billing cycle for the SPCC runs from around the 16th of each month to around the 15th of the following month. Charges made in this time period must be signed-off on in WORKS and reconciled each month. Sign-off deadlines for each month can be found on the Billing Cycle Dates webpage.

Sales Tax Exemption

UMW is a tax-exempt institution, and therefore is exempt from paying sales and use tax for tangible property to be consumed by the University. This exemption also includes prepared meals, catering, and other services related to the provision of food.

When making a purchase, be sure to provide UMW’s Sales Tax Exempt Form to the vendor. If you are purchasing online, please make sure to research each vendor’s tax exempt policy and ensure that the University is not charged tax. Most online vendors have a webpage dedicated to tax exempt ordering. For purchases made from Amazon, please create an Amazon Tax Exempt account.

If a vendor charges sales tax to a UMW order, the cardholder is responsible for contacting the vendor to have the sales tax refunded. The refund must be applied to the card used for the original order.

There are three exceptions to UMW tax exemption:

  • Lodging
  • Gas
  • Car Rentals

Over the Counter

Over the counter purchases are purchases using a University issued charge card where the cardholder physically goes to a store to purchase an item. The item must be in stock (on the shelves) and be paid for in the store at the same time.

Over the counter purchases must follow all procurement guidelines (including obtaining a SWAM quote if the store is not a SWAM vendor), but do not require entry into eVA.

Example: A cardholder wants to purchase batteries from the local battery store, which is a SWAM vendor. The cardholder physically goes to the store, finds the batteries they need on the shelf, and purchases the batteries at the checkout counter. 

Your order is NOT considered to be Over the Counter if you do any of the following:

  • Order the item online and pick it up from the store
  • Go to the store, have them order the item, and pick it up at a later date
  • Call and have the item ordered to be picked up at a later date
  • Any instance in which the cardholder “orders” the item ahead of going to the store, including free “ship to store” from vendors

Each of these instances would require eVA entry because they are not considered to be over the counter.

Quiz 2

Click the quiz button below, answer all questions contained in the quiz, and click “submit” before continuing to the next section of training.


Section 3

The third and final section of this training covers:file-and-directory-create-java-program

  • Expenses that are disallowed on UMW issued charge cards
  • Proper procedures for procuring technology
  • Maintenance and retention of documents related to purchases
  • Policies and procedures for travel
  • Reimbursements that are not related to travel
  • Rules governing the acceptance of gifts from vendors

Disallowed Expenses

All purchases at UMW should support the mission of the institution and stand the test of public review. Below is a list of disallowed expenses at the University. This list is not all-inclusive. If the legitimacy of a purchase is ever in question, please contact Accounts Payable for guidance prior to purchase. More information can be found on the Accounts Payable’s Disallowed Expenses site.

The following are Disallowed Expenses:

  • Lost or stolen articles
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Damage to personal vehicles, clothing or other items
  • Movies charged to hotel bills
  • Any and all expenses related to personal negligence, such as fines for parking or services used to gain entry to a locked vehicle, missing a flight, etc.
  • Entertainment expenses, including parties such as retirement, birthday, etc. that do not directly support the mission of UMW
  • Towing charges for personal vehicle or state vehicle or rental vehicle
  • Contributions
  • Donations (unless the donation is the means whereby an item is purchased and the item that is purchased remains the property of the Commonwealth)
  • Charges for spouse, children and companions
  • Personal needs such as medication, refrigeration (even for medication), hotel safe or other conveniences
  • Flowers
  • Greeting cards of any type (birthday, sympathy, holiday, etc.)
  • Gifts (EXCEPT under conditions found at Gift Giving)
  • Legal Services UNLESS written authorization from the Office of the Attorney General was provided PRIOR to the service being provided
  • Retail Memberships using state funds (Examples: Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Amazon, etc.)

Technology Purchases

Technology at UMW must be reviewed and go through an approval process prior to purchase. Because of this requirement, technology purchases are broken into three categories:

  1. Buy Your Own
    • This category shows pre-approved technology goods that can be purchased without further approval from IT or Procurement Services.  Cardholders are authorized to purchase these items directly from vendors, while following all normal purchase procedures.  If the total of the purchase in this category exceeds $5,000, please contact Procurement services.
  2. Standard IT Form
    • This form contains options to select common technology items purchased by the University, including Computers, iPads, PC accessories, Apple Accessories, Printers/Scanners/Fax Machines, and External Storage.  Cardholders must submit this form for approval before purchases of these items can be made.  For the majority of purchases for these items, purchase will be made by the IT Procurement Liaison on behalf of your charge card.
  3. Non Standard IT Form
    • This form must be submitted for all technology purchases that do not fall into the Buy Your Own or Standard IT Form categories, including all software requests.  This form is reviewed by the Technology Group and Procurement Services prior to approval of the purchase.  Many of these items will be ordered on behalf of your UMW issued charge card once the purchase is approved.

Procurement File Maintenance

As a UMW cardholder, you are required to keep a Procurement File recording all purchases made on your UMW issued card. For each purchase made on your UMW issued card, you must retain physical copies of the following information:

  • Purchase Order (PCO) or Check Order (EP), if applicable
  • SWAM Quote, if applicable
  • Receipts
  • Business Meal Form, if applicable
  • Other Supporting Documentation, including emails and waivers

Your file must also contain a printed version of your WORKS billing cycle report, which will be set-up during training.

Many cardholders find it useful to organize their purchases by month or billing cycle. When you reconcile your charge card you will do so following billing cycle dates. In the event of an audit, you will submit your Procurement File for the billing cycle requested by the internal or external auditor.

A complete and properly documented Procurement File will be shared during your next in-person training.

Procurement files are required to be kept for 3 years before being properly destroyed following procedures set forth by the Library of Virginia.  Proper records destruction procedures and forms may be found on the Sustainability website.

Travel at UMW

Because UMW is a public institution, the use of state funds to accommodate personal comfort, convenience, and taste is not permitted when travelling on University business. It is the policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia to limit travel costs to only those expenses that are necessary for providing essential services to the Commonwealth’s citizens.

Travel at UMW is managed by the Accounts Payable department. The Accounts Payable Travel website provides essential information on travel requirements, procedures, and travel reimbursement.

Non-Travel Reimbursement Requests

UMW cardholders are responsible for following all state procurement regulations. However, in the event that an item is purchased on behalf of the University using personal funds, a reimbursement may be issued by Accounts Payable. Reimbursements of this nature are limited to $100.

Example: A professor purchases an item they need for class with their own personal funds (without informing their department Office Manager/Cardholder). The Office Manager/Cardholder can then submit a Non-Travel Reimbursement request to have the professor’s money reimbursed for the University expense (if the purchase meets the reimbursement guidelines set forth on the Accounts Payable website).

To obtain reimbursement for goods and services purchased for UMW that were paid using personal funds, please submit a Non-Travel Reimbursement Request. Click the link to view all rules and regulations governing Non-Travel Reimbursements.

Note:  This form of reimbursement should be rare. In the case of purchases that fall under this category, the reason for purchasing with personal funds must be justifiable to the Accounts Payable department (i.e. emergency purchase).  The Procurement Services department must also sign-off on non-travel reimbursements to verify that all procurement regulations were followed.

Gift Policy

The giving and receiving of gifts at the University follows a set of stringent rules outlined by the IRS and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Giving Gifts

To give gifts, the gift must:

  • Support the mission of the University
  • Be reasonable, and
  • Sustain the test of public review (what would the purchase/gift look like to the public if printed in the newspaper?)

You may give a gift for the following reasons:

  • As a token of appreciation for event participation
  • A non-cash award for winning a competition
  • Recognizing a UMW Student for achievements/volunteering
  • A token of appreciation for participation in an academic research project
  • A door prize at a UMW event

Allowed forms of Gifts: Gift Cards up to $100, Gift Certificates up to $100, Physical Gifts such as a t-shirt, book, etc.

Disallowed forms of Gifts: Cash, Donations (for Donation exceptions to the policy, please contact Accounts Payable)

For procurement policies regarding the purchase of gifts and maintenance of the required gift log, please refer to the Gift Giving site on the Accounts Payable website.

Receiving Gifts

University policy states that UMW employees will not accept gifts from vendors. UMW adheres to the National Association of Education Procurement (NAEP) Code of Ethics that views acceptance of gifts from vendors as a conflict of interest, and therefore unacceptable.

Quiz 3

Click the quiz button below, answer all questions contained in the quiz, and click “submit” to conclude the training.



Thank you for completing “Introduction to Purchasing.” Please bring all questions you have regarding the training content to your next scheduled training class.

If you have any questions, please contact tess@umw.edu.