Frequently Asked Purchasing Questions

Sales Tax

When am I supposed to pay Sales Tax on a purchasing Card?

While in the state of Wisconsin, all purchases are tax exempt. Online purchases are also tax exempt but you may have to call the company before you make the purchase in order to ensure tax exempt status.

What are best practices for tracking receipts?

We strongly suggest taking a photo of all receipts with your phone at the time of purchase. Microsoft Lens for Android/iPhone or the Notes app on iPhone for scanning documents into PDF with your phone camera.

What is our tax exempt number and where can I find the certificate to provide to vendors?

The tax exempt number for UW-Madison can be found on the information card in the Department Card wallets or by contacting your Advisor or the Hoofer Financial Specialist.

What should I do if my receipt has sales tax on it?

If the amount of tax on the purchase is over $25.00 it is your responsibility to contact the vendor and have the tax refunded on the original purchase card. You will need to provide both the original receipt and the updated receipt without tax when you submit your receiving report.


How do I get a refund for a trip, membership, or class I signed up for with Hoofers?

Please contact the Outdoor UW Front Desk to get the refund process started. If you are unsure whether or not you qualify for a refund, please start with your Club leadership or Team Captains to determine your eligibility before contacting Outdoor UW.

What is a refund?

A refund is money that is authorized to go back to the member or customer for something purchased from Hoofers or Outdoor UW.

How long does it take to receive a refund?

Refunds for payments made online will be processed within 30 days of the refund being approved by Club Leadership and Outdoor UW staff. Payments made in-person at Outdoor UW will take 4-6 weeks from approval and you will receive a check in the mail.

Who approves refunds?

All Hoofer refunds must be approved by the club president or other authorized club leader. The club advisor also approves the refund request.

What is the process to complete a refund request?

The refund request forms are used to complete refunds. This form is usually distributed by the Outdoor UW front desk. 1. Top part of the refund request form is filled out by customer. 2. Form is turned into OUW office. 3. Form is approved by president and advisor. 4. Wisconsin Union Accounting issues refund


What is a reimbursement?

A Reimbursement is when someone makes an out-of-pocket purchase on behalf of the university and requests to be compensated for the expenses. Reimbursements should be rare. Department Cards or check payments are the preferred forms of payment. In an emergency situation, you can use your personal funds, and we can reimburse you for that. The process for reimbursement can take 4-6 weeks depending on whether or not you are a University employee and have access to the E-Reimbursement portal. All reimbursements must have an itemized receipt.

I have a campus job, how do I get a reimbursement?

1. Navigate to the instructions on how to get reimbursed. 2. Find "Access E-Reimbursement" 3. Choose "Expenses" 4. "Create Expense Report" 5. Input all information and submit the expense report. Directions here. 6. Email your advisor a pdf of the summary page with your signature. 7. Your advisor will sign and submit the approval. 8. You will receive a reimbursement in 4-6 weeks.

I do not have a campus job, how do I get a reimbursement?

1. Fill out this form and submit to your advisor. 2. Advisor signs and submits the form for your profile to be set up. An email is sent to you when a profile is set-up. 3. Advisor submits a reimbursement on your behalf. 4. Advisor signs reimbursement request and submits. 5. You will receive a reimbursement in 4-6 weeks.

Department Cards

Can I use a Department Card to pay a vendor for goods or services through PayPal?

Yes, as long as they invoice you through PayPal and it is paid as "Goods and Services" and not "Friends and Family." If a vendor asks to be paid as "Friends and Family," you must refuse. This is for proper tax documentation purposes for both the UW and the vendor.

I need to use the Department Card I checked out for something that I didn’t plan for. Can I just use it again?

Not immediately; fill out the Department Card Request form again and contact the OUW Pro Staff person you checked the department card out from for approval.

Can I use the Department Card to purchase food for individual meals?

If you are on campus, you can only use this in the event an event attendee has a special dietary restriction and it can only be used with off campus vendors.

Can I use a Department Card for food within the Union? (Rathskellar, Pete’s, Ginger root, etc)?

No, should you wish to purchase food for your clubs from one of the food units please remember to fill out the Departmental Requisition Form and provide it to the unit management with at least 48-hour notice.

Can I use a Department Card to park in University owned parking lots or ramps?

You can pay for parking of UW fleet vehicles or personal vehicles in the UW and City of Madison lots as long as it is for a Hoofers purpose and no parking outside of the Union could be found. Remember to keep the parking receipt to attach to your receiving report.

Can I use the Department Card to pay for a traffic fine or parking ticket?

No, all fines and traffic violation costs must be paid by the individual out of their own funds.

Can I put the Department Card on file with a company for recurring automatic purchases such as subscriptions?

No. University cards may not be kept on file with any vendors.

How do I get a refund to my department card?

If you need to return a purchase, the refund must be made to the card it was purchased upon. This will require checking out the card again and a separate receiving report.


What vendors should I be purchasing through?

In general, the University does not restrict venders. For equipment you should check with the Universities Materials Distribution service (contact adviser) before shopping locally. There is a list of venders you may NOT use which should be checked before using a purchasing card. That list can be found here.

What vendors does OUW have purchasing agreements with?

For the most up-to-date information regarding existing purchasing agreements, talk with your advisor.

What if I need to pay for a recurring service?

If any fiscal year total of purchases for goods or services may exceed $5000.00 you should set up a Purchase Order (PO) with the accounting department.

Can I purchase from

You may purchase from using a department card but you must still follow all sales tax expectations. You may NOT purchase an amazon account using UW funds.

Travel Related

What rental vehicle options can I use?

Rental vehicle options and information can be found here. UW Fleet and DOA vehicles will be billed monthly directly to your account. Big 10 Contract vehicles can be paid for with a purchasing card.

Can I book a hotel?

Hotels must be booked through the UW Concur system (ask your advisor) or directly with the hotel. Payment for a hotel can be via check ahead of time or a department card.

Can book a house?

Airbnb is allowed for booking houses. See more information on airbnb. The UW Department Card can be used to pay for a booking. You may also book directly with the homeowner. Work with your advisor to complete a direct booking. Each direct booking must have the homeowners W2, a contract outlining terms, and UW-Madison's Purchasing Department approval. A check or UW department card can be used to pay for a booking.

Can food be paid for with a department card?

Food for off-site events or trips can be paid for with a department card. Any in-house food through Wisconsin Union catering must NOT be paid for with a department card. An internal transfer for billing will occur.

Chart of Accounts

What is a chart of accounts?

The club chart of accounts show all expense accounts for each of the clubs. This information is necessary when filling out receiving reports for purchases. Check with your club treasurer for information about current balances in each of the accounts. See club chart of accounts.

How do I know what account to charge?

During the budget season, clubs determine the amount budgeted to each line in the club budget. Your club treasurer can help you find more information about the budgetd amounts. Account numbers can be found in the Club Chart of Accounts.