Purchasing Policies



The Departmental Management Accounting System (DMAS) is used by advisors to track real-time spending on university accounts. Students are not authorized to use this software; good communication between club leaders and advisors is essential to ensure that funds are accurately tracked.

Treasurers should start with the beginning balance and track all spending/deposits, comparing the numbers regularly with the DMAS balance. Treasurers are encouraged to keep detailed records of all spending for events, and to share that information with the organization’s advisor. If a transaction is found in an organization’s account that is in error, please contact the SAFAC Advisor for assistance.

Organizations’ funds may be spent on items allocated by SAFAC, but may not be spent on anything illegal under university, local, state and federal law. SAFAC funds may not be spent on alcohol. Misfeasance and malfeasance of funds is a violation of University of Miami policy, and violators may be subject to disciplinary action.

Access to Accounts

A DMAS account form signed by an organization’s advisor can provide viewing access to DMAS under the advisor’s login. The eCheck/eBERF/UMeNet access form allows the advisor access to the Ariba system to generate eCheck requests and purchase requisitions. All account access forms can be found in the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations (SC 206), or at the front desk of the Student Organization Suite (SC 210).

Advisors that are having difficulty accessing accounts should e-mail SASO@miami.edu or visit the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations (SC 206).

Opening a New Account

In accordance with University of Miami policy, all funds of recognized student organizations must be kept on deposit with the University of Miami. Organizations are not permitted to hold funds in off-campus bank accounts. The university does not charge a fee for maintaining organization accounts.

Upon completion of necessary paperwork, all recognized student organizations are assigned an account number for the deposit of SAFAC funds.

Forms required to open a new account include:

I. Account Creation Form for SAFAC Account and/or Account Creation Form for Agency Account

II. DMAS System Access Request Form

III. eCheck/eBERF/UMeNet Access Form

New organizations will receive the required account paperwork at New Organization Orientation. Only organizations that are currently COSO registered and in good financial standing with the university and COSO will be allowed to open a new account.

Types of Accounts

There are a number of different types of student organization accounts:

4XXXXX-00 or 4XXXXX-01 SAFAC Account: This account is used to hold funds granted by SAFAC and/or funds received through referenda. 4XXXXX-00 accounts are cleared out at the end of each fiscal year, and funds are returned to SAFAC. Donations from individuals or businesses should not be deposited into this account.
4XXXXX-02 or 7XXXXX Gift Account: This account is used to process gifts from individual or corporate donors. These accounts are not cleared out at the end of each year.
9XXXXX Agency Account: This account is used to hold funds such as member dues, copayments for trips and activities, and revenue generated from ticket sales, bake sales, and other fundraising events. These accounts are not cleared out at the end of each year.


Interdepartmental Requisition Form (IDR)

IDRs allow for the transfer of funds from one University of Miami account to another University of Miami account. Transfers can be made for payment of services or used for co-sponsorship between organizations and departments.

Prior to signing an IDR, the organization advisor must ensure that sufficient funds are in the organization’s account to cover the charge and that the expenditure was approved by SAFAC, if necessary. Only advisors who are authorized to sign on behalf of the organization are permitted to sign IDRs. Supporting documentation should be attached to each IDR as backup. IDRs should be delivered to the Controller’s Office (Gables One Tower, Room 120) for processing.

Methods of Payment for Outside Vendors

There are a number of different ways for a student organization to provide payment for goods or services. It is the responsibility of the advisor to identify the appropriate payment method before a purchase is made. Below are some of the most common types of expenditures incurred by student organizations:

Payment Type PO P-Card eCheck BERF/ Travel Card Example
Outside Advertising Costs X X Miami Herald/Local Radio Advertising
Awards/Prizes/Stipends for Students X End of year banquet awards


X Catering for an end-of-the-year banquet.
Charitable Contributions X Distribution of funds to a group’s philanthropy.
Dues X X X Chapter dues paid to a national organization.
Equipment - Capital X Major equipment that costs more than $2,500.00
Equipment - Minor X X Minor equipment such as laptops, projectors, computers, and printers that cost less than $2,500.00.
Furniture X Desks, chairs, tables, etc. for Student Org Offices.
Honorarium X Speaking fees, performance fees.
Lodging/Hotel – UM Student/Employee X Conference hotel
Lodging/Hotel – Non UM Student/Employee X X X Lodging for a visiting speaker
Meeting Subsistence X X Snacks for regular meetings.
Performer/Entertainment Fees X X DJ’s, Inflatables, Performers, Entertainers.
Promotional Items X X T-shirts, custom printed marketing materials, printed marketing materials.
Registration – Conference/Seminar X X X Conference Registration
Rental Equipment X Light trees, sound equipment.
Rental - Room X Off campus space rentals.
Services X Consultants, photographers, etc.
Software X X Specific programs for your organization
Supplies – Miscellaneous X X NOTE: Groups should use established/approved vendors and processes when possible. For example, office supplies should be ordered through the university’s Staples system.
Transportation Rental X Bus charter.

Business Expense Reimbursement Forms (BERF)

Business Expense Reimbursement Forms (BERFs) are used to reimburse students and non-UM personnel for expenses incurred on behalf of the university or a student organization. All spending should be pre-approved by SAFAC and/or the organization’s executive board and advisor. Because a BERF requires a student to pay for supplies and materials in advance, other methods of payment (eCheck, Purchase Order, Purchasing Card, etc.) are preferred and should be explored. Faculty and staff seeking reimbursement are required to generate an eBERF through the UMeNet system. Students seeking reimbursement are required to complete and submit a paper BERF.

BERFs should only be used to reimburse students for the purchase or goods or conference/travel expenses. BERFs should not be used to reimburse expenses for performers (DJs, bands, comedians, etc.), equipment rentals (lighting, golf carts, etc.), or space rentals (banquet halls, etc.).

BERFs allow the purchaser to split the reimbursement among multiple accounts. This enables the purchaser to split costs between two or more accounts, when necessary. This can be used when SAFAC and gift account funds are both being used to cover a portion of a student’s travel.

Blank BERFs can be obtained here

Once the form has been filled out and all necessary signatures have been obtained, the form must be submitted to the Department of Student Activities & Student Organizations (SC 206). BERF’s sent directly to the Disbursements Office will NOT be processed.

Once a BERF is processed, payment is usually sent to the student via direct deposit. If a student does not have direct deposit, a check is cut and is mailed to the address on the BERF form. BERF processing can take up to 15 business days, depending on the volume of requests in queue. For more information on BERFs, contact the Disbursements Office at 750 Gables One Tower or by phone at (305) 284-3569.

Purchase Requisitions/Purchase Orders (PO)

Purchase requisitions/purchase orders are used to generate payment for companies that are approved University of Miami vendors. Purchase requisitions are completed by organization advisors through the UMeNet system. Once a requisition is fully approved, a purchase order is generated and sent to the company as a “promise to pay,” and the funds are set aside. Purchase orders are paid out AFTER services are rendered or goods are received and the final invoice is received by the university’s Accounts Payable department.

Purchase requisitions must be generated BEFORE services are rendered. A purchase order is an agreement between the university and a vendor stating that once merchandise is received or services are rendered, the university will issue payment. If the final invoice for the completed service exceeds the amount of the purchase order, the original purchase order must be increased before payment can be generated.

To process payment through a purchase requisition/purchase order:

I. Obtain an estimate in writing from the vendor. An “Invoice” or “Bill” is not acceptable. The document should say “Estimate” or “Proposal.”

II. Using the estimate, the organization’s advisor creates a new purchase requisition in the UMeNet system.

III. The organization’s advisor must also approve the purchase requisition once it has been submitted.

IV. Once approved (typically within 48 hours), a purchase order is generated. The advisor can view the PO number in UMeNet or in DMAS.

V. The student or advisor shares the PO number with the vendor as confirmation of payment. A copy of the purchase order can also be obtained by contacting the Purchasing Department directly.

VI. Vendor provides goods or services.

VII. Vendor sends an invoice to the student or advisor.

VIII. Advisor sends the invoice to Accounts Payable. This serves as confirmation that the good or services were received, and begins the payment process. Final invoices should be sent to the appropriate Accounts Payable representative as indicated on the Accounts Payable website (http://www.miami.edu/finance/index.php/accounts_payable/accounts_payable-1/contacts/).

IX. Vendors are paid according to the terms of their vendor agreement with the university. Some are Net-60 (paid 60 days after receipt of an invoice), while others are Net-30 or Net-15. Vendors may negotiate their payment terms with Purchasing directly.

For more information on purchase requisitions/purchase orders, please contact the Purchasing Department at Gables One Tower Suite 1235, by phone at (305) 284-5751, or on the web at www.miami.edu/purchasing.


eChecks are used under extremely limited circumstances to pay one-time charges on behalf of a student organization. One-time charges include performance fees, honoraria, and charitable contributions. To generate an eCheck, a final invoice from the company is needed. If the payee is a performer, a copy of the fully-executed contract for the event can be used in place of an invoice. For performers, a W9 (dated in current calendar year) is required along with the copy of the contract. The name and address on the W9 must match check payee.

eChecks can be requested by the organization’s advisor through the UMeNet system. Once the request has been fully approved, it can take up to three days for the check to be generated by disbursements. Checks are mailed directly to the address in the system unless “Internal Distribution” is selected during the eCheck request process. Internal distribution requires the approval of a Vice President, and allows for the check to be picked up at the Ashe Building. This is useful when payment needs to be made directly to a performer immediately following their performance.

To have a check re-issued or to request a stop payment, an organization’s advisor must fill out a stop payment form, which can be found at


For more information on eChecks, please contact the Accounts Payable Department at Gables One Tower Suite 750 or by phone at (305) 284-3570.

Purchasing Card (P-Card)

University of Miami faculty and staff are eligible to apply for a purchasing card that can be used for certain types of expenditures. The user must agree to the terms of the card, and must follow a strict reconciliation policy each month.

For more information on P-Cards, please contact the Corporate Cards Office at Gables One Tower Suite 750 or by phone at (305) 284-3570.

Financial Systems Training Resources

The Controller’s office offers trainings and tutorials for DMAS, eBERF, UMeNet, and eChecks.


Policy questions: Contact the Disbursements Office at 305-284-3564

System questions: Visit the eBERF website http://www.miami.edu/finance/index.php/accounts_payable/disbursements_office/eberf/

or view the



DMAS Training:


DMAS Log In Page: https://dmas.ir.miami.edu/DMAS/signon.asp


UMeNet Training: http://www.miami.edu/finance/index.php/purchasing/contacts/umenet/

UMeNet Log In Page: https://enet.miami.edu/

eCheck Information: http://www.miami.edu/finance/index.php/accounts_payable/disbursements_office/echeck_check_requisitions/


More in-depth information about University Financial Systems can be found in the “Finances” section of the Student Organization Handbook.