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  • Open Comment Period: April 27 - May 8, 2015

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Comments Jul 29, 2016 2:23 pm

Overall, this process seems reasonable. However, I would echo some of the concerns of others:
1) Maintaining Order History: when P-Cardholders accept the invitation, are they associating an *existing* Amazon account with the University's business account (presumably maintaining order history), or does this process automatically create a new Amazon account? It sounds like the latter, which is a problem for the many people who have extensive order histories.
2) Amazon Prime: the University could save a lot of money if it could negotiate an Amazon Prime membership.
3) Amazon Marketplace: I know it may be outside the University's (and even Amazon's) control, but making sure Amazon Marketplace sellers never charge tax would be quite helpful.
4) P-Card storage: Will we finally be allowed to keep our P-Cards stored in our Amazon accounts, or will we continue to need to delete them after each purchase?
5) Amazon Smile: will this still be available to us?

Thanks! Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I agree it would be nice to continue to use our personal prime membership numbers to get free shipping. Lets figure out a way to make this happen.

One central account is an excellent idea. AMAZONS pricing is WAY better than Ibuy.

On my wish list for AMAZON is that they process all purchases in one transaction - it is not uncommon to see 7 p card transactions for one set of purchases.

Will we be able to make purchases through AMAZON SMILE - so we get the extra benefit of getting a percentage of our purchase price donated to charity? Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I think this is a good policy but would like the policy to reflect the concerns expressed above about having prime membership and having sub-accounts to be able to keep track of orders and ship-to addresses. I do not support adding the Amazon account to iBuy because not all p-card holders have access or use iBuy. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

Will our current business account be linked to the new University account so that we do not lose historical information. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I would like help from Amazon to make my personal purchases history available and not lost when changing to a non-university email address. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I agree with many of the other commenters that a Prime Membership should be obtained to save on shipping, I currently use my personal prime membership to make orders so we can save on the shipping and have the extra protection when buying items, prime items are much easier to return if needed. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

It sounds like a good idea... Hoping that you can click on a box that indicates we are tax exempt so we are not charged sales tax. I bought something from the Dollar Tree online and was able to click on a tax exempt box so that I was not charged taxes when I checked out. It was very convenient. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

Buying for the sciences, I have been able to keep purchasing from to a minimum. With out contracts it has not been hard to convince most faculty and researchers to buy outside Most of my requests for are from grad. students and field staff. I am glad taxes have been addressed, but I see nothing about the shipping the university will be charged. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

Recently, I needed to complete a purchase on Amazon. I called Amazon to find out if the items would be taxed. They directed me to an online form to complete to set up my account as tax exempt. All the information needed is available on the University's tax exempt letter except for Terry Thompson's title which is University Director of Tax. Once you sign in, go to My Account. Under "Settings" click on Amazon Tax Exemption Program for more information. Personal accounts would need to be moved to another email account so they are not under the University's tax exemption. Amazon Prime accounts can be linked to save on shipping. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I agree this is great, but we currently use my personal prime membership to save on shipping, which can be a large expense on heavy items-if the membership includes the shipping it will save the university much more. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I've been making business/UIC purchases from Amazon since 1999. Additionally, I use my personal Prime membership so that our UIC orders get free 2-day shipping, which saves us considerably in shipping charges. I have never used the University tax exempt service in my personal account, and I have my own credit card saved in my profile, which makes it very easy to distinguish between paying for a University purchase and a personal one.

With this new system, will we have a Prime membership? If not, would we have the option of continuing to use an existing account that has Prime, and arrange for the tax exemption based on the UIC P-card? Otherwise, shipping charges and the extra amount of time it takes to receive orders will be less effective than the current set-up we're using. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

I agree this policy looks great. I do agree that the shipping should be part of this big agreement. They will see the rewards of making this happen. Wish this could be done with SAMS. Jul 29, 2016 2:22 pm

What if we already have tax exempt status for our department with Amazon? Will we have to relinquish the account and open up a new one? Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

This is great! If UIC is able to get 2-day shipping added, like for Amazon Prime members, that would even be more ideal. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

Although I have been able to recover taxes paid. I agree with the decision to establish a Business Account which will reduce the additional steps necessary to complete orders now. Liken it to the UPS CampusShip a log number is mandatory before completing the order with the option of including it as part of the shipping label. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

Amazon is extremely user-friendly and SIMPLE to use. Will the proposed business account format make it more complicated? I am concerned about a few issues. First, about the use of Prime Membership: Fast, free shipping is a huge part of the attraction of purchasing from Amazon, and I hope it will be available to us. Second, will I have to wade through endless "Ship to" addresses in a central business account to find the one I need, or will each P-card user be able to access and maintain the one they use most often? Third, it would be great if I didn't have to delete the P-card information each time I use it in Amazon. (Per P-card guidelines, we are not allowed to store the card # with merchants, so I delete it in my account info after every purchase). Please be sure to address these issues. Thanks! Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

I like the central account idea. I also agree with the iBuy punch out as an even better way of managing purchases. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

Since you are allowed to retain your University e-mail address after you leave the University, is there a mechanism to pevent the former employee from using the tax exempt account? Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

"At a future date, the University may not reimburse employees who use personal funds to make Amazon purchases." - Concerned how this will affect faculty who from time to time make purchases personally thru various vendors, including Amazon, and seek reimbursement. I encourage faculty to have someone in the business office make their purchases but many times they are out of the office or away when they do. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

I have used Amazon extensively in the past. One of the most important features of having a separate account was being able to find previous orders and reprint invoices/receipts when needed to reconcile or when something was missing.

I would hope that the new system would maintain separate "sub-accounts" such that it would maintain history for only the person who has signed in. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

I would like to see a way that Amazon purchases from ALL vendors were tax-free at time of check-out. Currently, even with a business account with Amazon, some vendors charge you tax at the time of sale. You then have to send them a request to refund the tax and attach the tax-exempt letter. It creates unnecessary work and extra transactions in P-card. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

I believe that the policy is well done and makes complete business sense. If it is decided at a future date that the University will not reimburse employees who use personal funds for Amazon business purchases, it will need to be very well communicated. I believe that a lot of employees do this now. Jul 29, 2016 2:21 pm

I think this is a great idea. We have used Amazon often for ordering teaching materials for our faculty because it was so easy and it really put a dent in things when they started charging Illinois tax. Jul 29, 2016 2:20 pm

Please make this available soon. I do lots of ordering for the residents in my department and I hate it that I can't use Amazon right now. Jul 29, 2016 2:19 pm

Could Amazon be put in I-buy that way we would not to use the p-card and the transaction would be a lot easier, quicker, and less paper to hold on to. Jul 29, 2016 2:19 pm

I had established an Amazon business account for our department prior to the sales tax issue and found it worked very well. I anticipate it will work even better if it's set up at the University level. Jul 29, 2016 2:19 pm

I absolutely agree with this process. As a P-Card reconciler it has been a challenge to process transactions within the allowed time when every amazon order has a charge and credit for every single purchase. This has caused delay as well as hassle in logging in these transactions for P-Card holders. This method is an ideal way to provide employees to make purchases without having to worry about following up with credits pending on P-Cards as well as save usage of more paper as a result. It's also a good method of keeping the tax exempt form on file to a business account without having it linked to a personal account. Jul 29, 2016 2:19 pm

It sounds as though you have it all figured out. I have been worrying myself to death about a possible process because our office uses Amazon quite frequently for purchases. Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

I'm glad that you are setting up something for Amazon. I used them a lot. Also, if you have an account already set up with your email and the pcard, do you still have to set up an account? If so, will there be instructions on how to delete the previous account? Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

What about the advantages of Prime membership? Free two day shipping saves the University a lot of money when individuals use their Personal Prime Membership accounts for University purchases. The University will end up spending a lot of money on shipping fees if using a University centralized account without the benefits of Prime membership. Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

The policy does not include the use of the T-Card (Travel Card).
Per BFPP Section 8 Payments and Reimbursdements, purchases of food for specific events must be purchased with a T-Card, not a P-Card.

"How to Purchase
Do NOT purchase business meals with a University P-Card. Make the purchase using:
T-Card..." Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

When this is implemented, I would like to have the instructions sent via email several times. The directions should be simple and step by step with excess verbiage removed. Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

I've been making business/UIC purchases from Amazon for a number of years; rarely can I get competitive pricing through iBuy for many of the things we need. Additionally, I use my personal Prime membership so that our UIC orders get free 2-day shipping, which saves us considerably in shipping charges. (I have my own credit card also linked to this Amazon account, which makes it quite simple to keep personal and UIC purchases separate.

With this new system, will we have a Prime membership? If not, would we have the option of continuing to use an existing account that has Prime, and arrange for the tax exemption based on the UIC P-card? Otherwise, shipping charges will eat into our cost savings. Thank you. Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

Would it be possible to add Amazon to the iBuy portal so that the tax exempt issues could be taken care of internal to the application? Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

I think this procedure sounds good, thank you for implementing. I was also wondering if the University will be members of Amazon Prime for purposes of expedited shipping that has been quite helpful in the past? Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

This appears to be very well researched and written.
I don't believe F&S uses Amazon presently. I will forward the link to these procedures to our department's pcard holders & reconcilers. Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

This is great! We order books from Amazon frequently and have been toying with how to deal with sales tax. We do have an employee who established an Amazon account for our office for the purposes of receiving tax exemption, which I am assuming will have to be cancelled once the university's business account becomes available to P-Cardholders. Or should we cancel this account now? Jul 29, 2016 2:18 pm

This is a great plan. I've already cancelled several potential Amazon purchases for the University due to the tax issue. Jul 29, 2016 2:17 pm

It is a good idea to set up the central account so that the department staff does not need to deal with the sales taxes refund. The department saves a lot of the shipping costs when the staff has the Amazon Prime membership. I will suggest University has the Amazon Prime feature so that the department does not need to pay the shipping. Jul 29, 2016 2:17 pm

I like this proposal, especially for reducing paperwork on our end. Since the change Amazon made, we have had to generate 2 sets of P-card paperwork for each purchase from them - one that shows the sales tax they were required to charge, and one to show the credit for sales tax they were required to issue. This means extra work logging, reconciling, and approving, and extra paperwork in our back-up files. Your proposal should relieve us of both of those issues. Jul 29, 2016 2:17 pm

I think the policy as outlined is terrific. When I use my P-card now I am not charged tax after my first submission to Amazon with our tax exempt letter, order number and cover letter. The new policy will make it even easier.