Business Office FAQ

Want to buy something for your department? There is a process for that! With the launch of ctcLink, purchasing is now done electronically. To help you navigate through this new system, we're sharing our most common frequently asked questions (FAQ). 

Notice: the South Business Office email has been discontinued. Please refer all questions, inquiries and requests for assistance from South Business Office staff to the Seattle Colleges Help Desk. Please include attachments, screenshots and supporting documentation, so that our staff can better assist you.

The Purchasing Process: Terminology & Timeline

Question: What is the new process to purchase items? 

Answer: To purchase an item you must complete the following steps: 

  • Step 1: Purchase Requisition (I think I want to buy)
  • Step 2: Purchase Order (I want to buy)
  • Step 3: Voucher (I bought it)

Purchase Requisition is the stage of purchasing where you “think” you might want to buy something. This is the pre-approval stage where you have an item that’s needed for your department.

Process for Purchase Requisition

At this stage, you will enter the requisition into ctcLink with supporting documents so that the budget manager can review and approve/deny your request. No more field orders to scan via email, this can all be done through ctcLink. Requisitions can be done by you. You can also reach out to your department’s administrative support staff or Business Office staff and they will be able to help you as well.

What sort of documentation would you need to include?

  1. A quote from the vendor that identifies the quantity and price of the item, or a ready generated invoice from a vendor.
  2. A completed W-9 form from vendor, if you know this vendor is new to our finance system after checking with the Business Office.

To make sure this process is as smooth as possible, please have your budget ready and an email communication with the budget manager that approves the purchase.

Note: Use the “Budget Crosswalk” tool to get Chart String on ctcLink/PeopleSoft from Legacy (Old FMS) Budget Code.

Now, time to create a Purchase Requisition (PR) following instructions on the Purchase Requisition Instructions document. 

Budget errors may occur that prevent you from submitting a purchase requisition. This video contains an overview of budget / chart fields and troubleshoots types of corrections that need to be made to process a requisition.

If getting stuck while creating a PR, send an email requesting help or question to

At this stage, the requisition has been approved and we can now submit the purchase order to the vendor to purchase the item. This is a step that is completed by the District Purchasing Department. At this point, if the vendor has any questions you will want to have them contact Lisa Gacer at or Angela Gurney at

Timeline: After a purchase requisition is submitted into ctcLink and is approved, it will take 3-5 business days for a Purchase Order (PO) number to be created by District Purchasing department staff.

Note: After 3-5 business days, the requester (person who created the PR) needs to log back into ctcLink to check on the specific PR # and to see if the PO is generated. Once the requester learns that a PO has been approved and created with a specific PO ID #, and knows that the items on the PO have been received/shipped, the requester must then log into ctcLink to complete the “Receiving” process (submitting a PO Receipt) by following the instructions on the Receipt/Receiving document. 

If you get stuck while completing the “Receiving” process (submitting a PO Receipt), send an email requesting help to

We submitted the Purchase Order to the vendor and they have sent/delivered their product/service to us. Now we need to pay them. The District Accounts Payable (AP) team must receive the invoice from the vendor so we can process the payment. Since we are not on campus, we are printing and mailing checks once a week. If it is an urgent payment request, please send an email to and mark it with "high priority." You must get approval from the Fiscal Service Director or the Director of Budget and Business Services.

Timeline: After delivery and an invoice is sent by the vendor, it will take 15-20 business days to process a payment.

For any questions or comments about this new process, please send an email to

Question: Is correct that the person creating a Purchase Requisition (PR) doesn’t have to do Receiving Receipt before invoices can be paid by Accounts Payable?

Answer: Yes, that is correct. Effective 2/3/2022 on, for those who work with purchase orders/receiving/invoicing, from here on out you no longer have to create a receipt document to accompany an invoice to Accounts Payable.

The new process for submitting an invoice is to make sure it has the purchase order (PO) number on it—write the PO number on the invoice if not, or include the PO number in the email to

Purchasing can still require receipts on a case-by-case basis when creating a PO if your department uses them for internal purposes. In this case, let us know in the requisition comments section.

Contact Angela Gurney at, Director of Purchasing Services, if you have questions.

Procurement Card Process with ctcLink

Answer: We will be making procurement purchases the same way as before. Nothing has changed on that respect.  And P-Card users are able to make purchases now.

Note: Use our updated Credit Card (P-Card) Authorization form to go along with ctcLink Chart String Code. For help, please view the P-Card Authorization Form 2021 Instructions

Answer: The change will come with the reconciliation and reallocation process. The reconciliation and reallocation process, including the use tax survey, has migrated to ctcLink. 

See the Reconciliation and Reallocation instructional document or video.

For any questions or comments about this new process, feel free to send an email to

Answer: Miguel Gatmaytan, Seattle Colleges Procurement Cards Manager at

Answer: Refer to P-Card Reconciliation Error Training video. If you do not get the answers you need from the video, please send an email to to request assistance. 

Stipend E-Form Process in ctcLink

How to submit a stipend request in ctcLink to pay full time faculty or part time faculty for their work.

Answer: The department will create the stipend e-form and send it to the Business Office using the submit button. The Business Office will review the chart string and combo code. If the combo code is incorrect, the Business Office will be able to change the e-form to the correct combo code. Once this has been completed, they will then select who should approve the payment such as a Dean or a Manager. Once approved by the Dean/Manager it will forward to the Payroll Office for processing, unless the total dollar amount is over $1,000, then the VP over the department will need to approve and anything over $2,000, the President will approve.

Instructions: See the Stipend E-Form Process

Also use the Crosswalk Tool to get Chartstring in ctcLink.

What is a Combo Code?

Please reach out to the Business office for assistance with this process at

New A19 form (Invoice Voucher) Process in ctcLink

Answer: For now, use the new A19 fillable form for employee reimbursements. Send the completed department approved form to the Business Office (for coding check and budget approval). The Business Office will send the completed approved form to the District Accounts Payable Office for payment processing in ctcLink, much the same as in Legacy.

ctcLink coding titles can be found in the A19 Invoice Voucher fillable form

Note: Use the Crosswalk Tool to get Chartstring in ctcLink.

Feel free to request assistance if you have a question on Chartstring coding, please email

Purchase Orders

  1. Departments can begin submitting blanket order requisitions on July 1, 2021. DO NOT submit your blanket/annual purchase order requisitions for FY2021-2022 prior to the morning of July 1, 2021.
  2. When completing the blanket Purchase Requisitions (PR) do not include the tax in the total amount since taxes are configured automatically in a separate area of the Purchase Order (PO).

The IDC / Interdepartmental Expense Transfers Procedures for ctcLink

ITEM TYPES Information and Request Process

EXPENSE ACCOUNT Code in ctcLink for Purchasing Items and Services

Budget User’s Meeting

Time and Effort Compliance for Fed Grants

Seattle Colleges Time and Effort procedure 668 is applicable to a position that is even partially federally funded must have an accompanying Time and effort certification. Please refer to your grant’s fiscal guidelines/terms & conditions/contract to determine if this is applicable.

Most all our SBCTC grants have a fiscal guidelines that contain this clause; “Time & Effort Reporting Federal regulations under 2 CFR 200.430 require employees whose salaries are charged to a federal grant to keep time and/or effort reports to substantiate the charges. Additional time & effort reporting information may be found online.”

Here is a summary of the employee classifications and the permitted Time & Effort system.

Classification of Employees Acceptable Time and Effort Reporting Systems for Employees Funding in Whole or in Part by a Federal Grant
Classified, hourly, student workers 1. After-the-Fact Activity Report Systems
Professional/Exempt 1. After-the-Fact Activity Report Systems

2. Plan-Confirmation System

3. Multiple Confirmation System


1. After-the-Fact Activity Report Systems

2. Plan-Confirmation System

3. Multiple Confirmation System

Employees on the After-The-Fact Activity Report System should use the Personnel Activity Report.

Employees on the Plan Confirmation should use the TE_Plan_Confirmation_Template.

A walk through of the Time and Effort policy and procedure can be viewed here.

Meals With Meetings / Coffee and Light Refreshments (Food Form) Process

Question: How do I proceed requesting a food form for meals with meetings or light refreshments?

Answer: Please look at the Basic Flowchart for Food and Light Refreshment Process follow the steps in the chart. Use this link Request for Meal w/ Meeting or Coffee & Light Refreshments to proceed your food form request. Also check this link for current per diem.

If you need more guidance, please submit a ticket to

Updating combo codes worksheet Excel doc.