Please visit Ventura County Schools Self-Funding Authority's Agreements Page for the following forms:
Please note these forms have replaced the Independent Contract Agreement.
A/P and Purchasing
All purchasing activities include processes and procedures that ensure both internal and external controls. All purchases should be budgeted and require pre-approval. The Escape Financial system has a built-in purchasing approval process designed for audit control.
Standard Purchase Order( P.O. W/ Receiving)
This type of PO is created for specific items such as textbooks, instructional materials, and advance checks. Purchase orders will be either faxed or e-mailed to vendors by the BSA staff. Upon receiving delivery of items. It is important for the site staff to “receive “ the items( only items actually received) in Escape on the purchase item prior to submitting invoices to BSA for payment. As part of the internal controls process, Escape will not allow the issuance of checks until items have been “received” by site staff. It is the responsibility of the site to maintain packing slips or other proof of receipt for audit purposes. As a best practice, all invoices should be reviewed and signed by a district/site administrator.
Blanket Purchase Order
This type of PO is opened when a “not to exceed” amount is defined along with the authorized purchasing personnel, the period of performance (dates), and the service is defined. They are used for ongoing payments such as for supplies, maintenance agreements, utilities, and rent. Blanket purchase orders are slo created when entering into a contract for specific services. Because items on this type of PO are not “received” in Escape, approved invoices must be submitted.
Confirming Purchase Requisition
This is a line-item requisition used for obtaining a purchase order number when needed for internet or telephone orders, revolving reimbursements, and credit card purchases. This type of purchasing mechanism does not become a "purchase order". However, receiving is required for this type of purchase. Examples of confirming requisitions also include conference/workshop registrations and hotel reservations.
This type of payment is utilized for reimbursing employees for out-of-pocket expenses such as supplies, workshop travel, and mileage. Checks are issued once all required forms are received from the sites by BSA.
- In order to ensure fiscal responsibility, California Education Code 41010 requires that school districts use accounting systems based upon Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), to manage tax dollars invested in education. California Education Code 42634 is based upon these principles and requires strict adherence to certain rules and procedures for reimbursements.
- Process: Once the purchaser has obtained authorization from the site/district authorized agent and they have purchased and received items, they must complete an "Expense Reimbursement" form, acquire the necessary signatures, and attach entire original, itemized receipts. An original itemized receipt includes:
- A line by line description of each item purchased.
- The dollar amount of each item.
- Total tax and shipping charges in dollars.
- Grand total.
- Method of payment, i.e. cash, check, or credit card.
- Proof that items have been received by purchaser
At the recommendation of the auditors, employees can only be reimbursed for actual amounts paid via cash, check, or credit card. Employees cannot be reimbursed for gift cards or frequent purchaser coupons. Travel expense reimbursements must also include the purpose, destination, and dates of travel.
Internet orders must include the following if an original receipt cannot be obtained:
- Order confirmation with line by line descriptions of each item, price, total, etc., as above.
- Packing slip with line by line description of items received.
Board policies may establish additional requirements for reimbursements. Credit card statements, copies of receipts, and expense reimbursement forms missing any information will not be processed and will be returned to the site for correction.
Mileage Reimbursement forms should be submitted utilizing the IRS approved amount. This amount is normally updated on an annual basis.
If an itemized receipt has been lost, the purchaser must obtain an affidavit from the authorized agent listing the items purchased and giving explicit authorization to reimburse the purchaser. This must be submitted with a completed Expense Reimbursement form.
*Note: Affidavits should be used as a last resort as it may cause an audit exception. Itemized receipts are considered a standard accounting requirement.
Direct Payments Procedures
Direct Payments bypass the approval process and are entered into Escape by BSA personnel only. Because Direct Payments are used as an alternative to entering a Purchase Order or a Confirming Requisition, they are rarely utilized. Direct Payments can be made to vendors in the database or companies and individuals that are not defined as vendors (one-time payments). Direct payments are not to be used for 1099 vendors because Escape Online will not include those payments in 1099 processing.
Samples for using a Direct Payment:
- Board Member refunds
- Parent refunds
- Food Services refunds
- Use Tax Payments
Supplies include both Object 4300, Materials and Supplies, and Object 4400, Non-capitalized equipment. Supplies are items of an expendable nature that are consumed or worn out, deteriorate in use, or are easily broken, damaged, or lost. Equipment with a unit price of $500 -$4,999.99 is coded account 4400 and should be tagged upon receipt. When creating a requisition that includes said items, there is an asset box that should be marked. This causes the requisition to interface with the fixed asset system in Escape causing a record to be created. The system generates an asset ID number that is utilized on the physical inventory worksheet. When the item is delivered to the district, an asset tag should be attached to the item and recorded for tracking and ease of identification when performing the physical inventory. It might be helpful, to keep records of the location of this asset for future review and identification.
Capital assets are those items in excess of $5,000 per unit. Capital assets are depreciated at the end of each year for financial statement purposes. They should also be tagged and recorded for future inventory identification
When contracting with independent contractors there should be a signed agreement. The IRS has established common law rules defining an independent contractor:
- Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
- Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how the workers is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tolls/supplies, etc.)
- Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?
Correct identification is important as both CalSTRS and CalPERS are auditing independent contractors to determine if an individual has been erroneously classified as an independent contractor vs. as an employee.
Independent contractors should be fingerprinted if they will be on campus during school hours or if there is a potential for student contact. A copy of this verification should be sent to accounts payable along with the vendor documents.
Purchasing and Bid Limits:
Public Contract Code Section 20111(a) requires school district governing boards to competitively bid and award any contracts involving an expenditure of more than $50,000, adjusted for inflation, to the lowest responsible bidder. Contracts subject to competitive bidding include:
- Purchase of equipment, materials, or supplies to be furnished sold, or leased to the school district.
- Services that are not construction services.
- Repairs, including maintenance as defined in PCC Section 20115, that are not public projects as defined in PCC Section 22002(c).
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) is required to annually adjust $50,000 amount specified in PCC Section 201119(a) to reflect the percentage change in the annual average value of the Implicit Price Deflator for State and Local Government Purchases of Goods and Services for the United States Department of Commerce, fo the 12-month period ending in the prior fiscal year. The inflation adjustment is rounded to the nearest one hundred dollars ($100).
Pursuant to the above calculation, and effective January 1, 2023, the SSPI has determined the inflation adjustment ibid threshold will increase from $99,100 to $109,300.
Also note that public projects as defined in PCC Section 220022, such as construction or reconstruction of publicly owned facilities have a lower bid threshold that is not adjusted for inflation.
Effective July 1, 2017, requirements for SB854 changed. Contractors who work exclusively on small public works projects are not required to register as a public works contractor or file electronic certified payroll reports for those projects.
- $25,000 for new construction, alteration, installation, demolition or repair
- $15,000 for maintenance