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Policies & Guidelines

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Making Purchases

To order supplies under $5,000, please use your College Corporate Card. For orders over $5,000, please submit a completed requisition form to the purchasing office along with any quotes or back-up documentation. If your quote requires a deposit, please submit a completed accounts payable voucher with your requisition and quote.

Refer to the Purchasing Guidelines Grid (PDF) for appropriate forms of payment according to the cost of services.

For the Smith College contacting policy and procedures please see the guide to contracting, on the Smith College Legal, Compliance and Risk Management website.

Tax Exemption Certificates

Smith College's Commonwealth of Massachusetts Tax Exemption Certificate number is E041843040. This number is not to be used for personal purchases.

Smith College is exempt from the payment of most federal, state and local taxes. However, we must pay certain taxes, such as hotel and restaurant taxes.

Please note: A copy of the ST-2 Smith Tax Exmeption Renewal Notice must be included with the Tax Exemption Purchaser Certificate when sending to a vendor. This form certifies that our exempt status is valid through 2019.

Amazon Policy:


Approvals Required

All expenditures from regular departmental budgets require the advance approval of the department head. In the case of grants and contracts, the principal investigator, or an authorized designee, must approve all purchases.

Sole Source Justification

According to Smith College requirements, three price quotes are required on orders over $10,000.

Requests for a waiver of bidding or price-checking requirements, based upon the premise that only one vendor exists who can meet the need, will require a written statement from the end user department and the review and approval of the purchasing department. Purchasing will consider each case on its individual merits and decide it based upon objective criteria, the needs of the customer department, best industry practices and the best interest of Smith College. For orders over $20,000, controller's office will then have to sign off on the purchase order.

End users are required to carefully consider all possible alternatives and avoid unnecessarily restricting of the search for best product, lowest cost and alternative suppliers. Often a careful review of the facts will reveal an alternate strategy that preserves the college's leverage in the marketplace, and still gets you the best item at the best price. Consult with purchasing as soon as possible whenever such cases arise.

Grants and Contracts

Expenditures made under grants and contracts must comply with all of the requirements of the grant or contracting agency. For example, federal grants and contracts require compliance with OMB Circular A110. Principal investigators should familiarize themselves with these requirements in advance of any expenditures. All items purchased under grants and contracts are under the ownership or stewardship of Smith College, which delegates responsibility for the care and operation of the equipment to the principal investigator.

Uniform Guidance

Procurement: Smith College has adopted the new Uniform Guidance (CFR Title 2: Grants and Agreements PART 200) as of 12/26/14, but chooses to postpone the adoption of the procurement regulations until FY 2018, beginning July 1, 2017. Smith College is currently following the regulations in A-110 until implementing the Uniform Guidance regulations at the end of the grace period.

Emergency Procurement

Whenever scrupulously following these procurement policies and procedures, and taking the time to obtain the required quotations or bids or a purchase order would endanger anyone's life or health, degrade personal or college security, threaten structural integrity, jeopardize property, or severely limit college operations, you are empowered to act without delay on your own personal judgment, as you see fit, in the best interests of Smith College. Consult with your supervisor, and/or the chief financial officer, the director of security, the director of facilities, purchasing manager, and/or other appropriate officer of the college, as the specific situation warrants, in advance, whenever possible.

A memorandum of explanation, outlining the actions taken, and the reasons therefore, should be sent to the purchasing manager as soon as is possible following the emergency.

Minority and Woman-Owned Business Policy

We are committed to actively developing and supporting minority-owned and woman-owned businesses, because we recognize the tremendous value of diversity in our society. We actively seek out and promote partnerships with minority-owned and woman-owned businesses.

Certificates of Insurance

Appropriate coverage is required of all vendors who come on campus to perform service, labor or make deliveries. This policy protects the College against expensive liability in the event of an accident. The insurance certificate must be made out to The Trustess of The Smith College and the Additional Insured box next to General Liability must be marked with an "X" to indicate that Smith has been named as additional insured.

The purchasing department files Certificates of Insurance in the purchasing department. End users must ensure that certificates are received before any work can start. The insurance certificate must remain in effect continuously for as long as the vendor has personnel coming onto campus. Please forward copies of the insurance certificates that you obtain to the purchasing department.


The Smith College accounts payable in the Office of the Controller processes invoices. When you send an invoice to accounts payable for processing, make sure you reference the purchase order number on the invoice.