General Allowability of Office Supplies as Project Expenses
In general, Office Supplies are not allowable project expenses. The institution recovers expenditures for Office Supplies through the Indirect Cost Rate (IDC/F&A-Rate).
Office Supplies are allowable project expenses in the following few exceptions:
The project requires office supplies to an extend that is far beyond the normal requirements for the administration of a project. Examples can be:
- A mailing campaign conducted as part of the project
- Office Supplies are provided to participants as part of the project
Expenses for Office Supplies are explicitly mentioned in the grant award or listed as a line item in the award budget.
Office Supplies can be directly ordered or purchased through the vendor. However, most office supply stores do not accept Purchase Orders from individuals or from companies that do not have an established account. Consequently, in most cases the Office Supplies will be purchased through private funds and then expenses will be reimbursed through a Check Request (excel). Please ensure that you enclose the required supporting documentation (e.g. receipt/invoice or the necessary supporting documentation for internet purchases).
Order Through The University Corporation
Principal Investigators & Research Administrators also have the option to order Office Supplies through The University Corporation, who maintains an account with Office Max Solutions.
To order Office Supplies through The University Corporation complete a Purchase Order (excel) form listing the requested items and using the Item#, which you can find in the Office Max catalogue or at www.officemax.com.
Cost Allocation/Coding of Accounting String
For Sponsored Programs the Accounting String (Purchase Order Section "2. Cost Allocation") should be most likely as follows:
Please ensure, to include the current sales tax for your purchase. For the most current sales tax rate please go to Sales & Use Tax.