See latest COVID-19 impacts related to Purchasing, Payments & Travel

Purchasing Guidance during COVID-19 Pandemic

As the University of Pittsburgh continues to monitor the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, the health and well-being of the Pitt community and our partners is a priority. The PantherExpress team has compiled guidance in response to the COVID-19 outbreak on the following topics related to the purchase and payment of goods/services:


In preparation of the threat of COVID-19, you may be incurring unplanned and unbudgeted expenses such as the purchase of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies as well as unrecoverable costs related to canceled events. These types of expenses should be recorded as follows in order to allow us to track these expenses appropriately. More detailed examples will follow as we continue our outreach to departmental administrators.

  • In PRISM – use subcode 8119
  • Using Travel Card, Concur – use COVID-19 Cancelled Travel expense type
  • Using the P-Card – reconcile transactions using subcode 8119

The CFO’s office will be discussing this in more detail at the next Directors of Administration meeting on March 20th.


Effective as of Monday, March 16th, Payment Processing is taking the following steps to protect the University community by reducing face-to-face contact and operating with a minimal staff in the office due to the threat of COVID-19:

  • No in-person check pickup will be permitted, all checks will be mailed to the payee.
  • Regarding enclosures, please remember that enclosures are not necessary when there is a valid invoice number provided. These should only be used when there is no invoice number provided.


Goods - Invoices are already handled via invoice automation through EDM, Electronic Digital Mailroom and third-party invoice automation software.

Services - While we are working towards automating invoices for purchase of services through EDM, invoices are currently sent by service providers directly to departments for review. Departments then enter service invoices into the PantherExpress System for payment. To ensure that your service providers are paid when your department is working remotely, we recommend utilizing one of the following solutions:

  • Contact Mailing Services to request that your mail be routed to someone working on-site (fee applies). Discounted rates for sending via UPS & FedEx may be available.
  • Contact service providers and request that invoice images or PDFs be emailed to you.


If you are working remotely due to the University’s response to COVID-19, consider the following information related to Suppliers:

  • Contact information for University-wide Contracted Suppliers is available online.
  • If you work closely with a supplier that is not included on our list of University-wide Contracted Suppliers, ensure you have updated contact information in the event that you need to notify them of changes impacting deliveries or in-person meetings.
  • Check our website for announcements of any supply chain interruptions due to COVID-19.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Procurement Specialist assigned to your area or Customer Service.