Sales Tax Exemption

Exclusion from sales tax for goods and services purchased for use by a nonprofit organization. This exclusion does not apply to state hotel occupancy taxes.


Property that has no reasonable prospect of sale or use as serviceable property without major repairs or alterations because of its worn, damaged, deteriorated, or incomplete condition, or because of its specialized nature. Salvage has some value in excess of its scrap value.


MIT uses SAP—an enterprise software designed to manage business operations—for its integrated accounting and purchasing systems.

Scanned Images

MIT accounting operations (such as Accounts Payable) scan all invoices and Request for Payments (including attached backup) before posting for payment. After a document number is generated the scanned images are linked to that document number. These images are then accessible to the MIT community.


Property that has no reasonable prospect of being sold except for the recovery value of its basic material content.

Selection of Source

The process used to conduct an impartial, equitable and comprehensive evaluation of competing proposals to supply specified goods or services.

Sensitive Items

An Asset Category, also known as Unallowable. Property that is considered attractive to misappropriation for personal use or to being sold in a cash-for-value transaction. Items in this classification generally have a value greater than $100. Examples include cameras, binoculars and telescopes, power tools and firearms.

Separately Invested Funds

Investments that are held by or for the Institute and maintained in separate portfolios for investment purposes.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern

Defined as a small business that is at least 51 percent owned, controlled and operated by one or more service-disabled veterans. Controlled is defined as exercising the power to make policy decisions. Operated is defined as actively involved in the day-to-day management.


Unless otherwise indicated, both professional or technical services and service performed under a service contract.

Signoff Form for Financial Review and Control

Document that confirms the record of monthly review. The form must include a list of the cost objects reviewed, the transaction types (if not all were reviewed by the same person), the month being reviewed, and the date completed.

Small Business

A designation for certain statutory purposes referring to a firm, corporation, or establishment that is independently owed and operated, is not dominant in the field of its operations, has a small number of employees, low volume of sales, small amount of assets or limited impact on the market.

Small Business Concern

Defined as a business that:

•  is independently owned and operated
•  is not dominant in the field of its operations
•  qualifies under the criteria covering annual receipts set forth in Section 3 of the Small Business Act, or
•  does not employ more than 500 people

Small business concern categories include HUBZone, Small Disadvantaged, Women-Owned, Veteran-Owned, and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned.

Small Disadvantaged Business Concern

Defined as a small business concern that meets the following criteria:

1.  One or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own 51 percent or more of the business (in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock).

2.  Management and daily business operations are controlled by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, including Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent-Asian Americans, and other minorities or any other individuals found to be disadvantaged pursuant to the Small Business Act.

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as a member of a group without regard to their individual qualities.

Economically disadvantaged individuals are those socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities as compared to others in the same business who are not socially disadvantaged.


See  Supplier Search

SmartBuy was retired in July 2016 and replaced by Supplier Search.

Software License

Proof of copyright for software, documentation, name, trademarks and other related items.

Sole Source

An acquisition where, after a search, only one supplier is determined to be reasonably available for the required product, service or construction item.


The process used to communicate procurement requirements and to request responses from interested vendors. A solicitation may be, but is not limited to a request for bid and request for proposal.

Source Reduction Product

A product that results in a net reduction in the generation of waste, and includes durable, reusable and re-manufactured products, or products with no packaging or reduced packaging.

Space Hardware

Applies to those items of space property and components unique to NASA aeronautical and space programs. All space hardware, including space hardware work in progress is reported on the annual NASA financial report, NASA Form 1018.

Space Property

Capital assets which are peculiar to aeronautical and space programs of NASA, including such items as aircraft engines, space vehicles, other similar components, and related support equipment furnished for use as a standard or model, to establish equipment compatibility or such other similar reasons as may be determined by the contracting officer.

Special Test Equipment

Electrical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, or other items or assemblies of equipment, which are of such a specialized nature that (without modification or alteration) their use is limited to testing in the development or production of particular supplies or parts thereof, or is limited to the performance of particular services. The term “special test equipment” includes all components of any assemblies of such equipment, but does not include:

  • Consumable property
  • Special tooling
  • Buildings, defined as non-severable structures (except foundations and similar improvements necessary for the installation of special test equipment), general or special machine tools, or similar capital items, as well as fabricated equipment.
Special Tooling

All jigs, dies, fixtures, molds, patterns, taps, gauges, other equipment and manufacturing aids which are of such a specialized nature that (without substantial modification or alteration) their use is limited to the development or production of particular supplies or parts thereof, or the performance of particular services. The term includes all components of such items, but does not include:

  • Consumable property
  • Special test equipment
  • Buildings, defined as non-severable structures (except foundations and similar improvements necessary for the installation of special tooling), general or special machine tools, or similar capital items.
Sponsored Accounting

A VPF Business Unit that manages billing, collecting, and reporting for all sponsored research projects at MIT.


An item's characteristic or set of characteristics generally accepted by the manufacturers and users of the item as a required characteristic for all such items.


The process of defining and applying the conditions necessary to ensure that a given range of requirements can normally be met, with a minimum of variety, in a reproducible and economic manner based on the best current techniques.

Statements of Activities

Summarize the revenues, other additions, expenses, and other deductions that resulted in the changes to the Institute’s net assets as shown in the Statements of Financial position. The statements show this activity by net asset category, with details of the Institute’s operating and non-operating activities.

Statements of Cash Flows

These statements show the change in the cash balances of the Institute from the end of the preceding year to the end of the current year. The statements start with the overall change in net assets for the year, then add back expenses and other transactions that did not require cash, and then show the changes in the specific balance sheet items. Receivables and payables are created when transactions are booked for reporting purposes, but cash has not yet been received or paid. A positive adjustment for accounts receivable during the year reflects the net decrease in receivables.

Statements of Financial Position

The report of the Institute’s assets, liabilities, and net assets. Invested assets are reported at market value while other assets are valued at amortized cost. The net assets section of the Statements of Financial Position, the Institute’s assets less its liabilities, is comparable to stockholders’ equity in a for-profit corporation.

Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)

A unique product identification number.

Strategic Sourcing

A VPF Business Unit that finds and sources the most appropriate suppliers of goods and services to met MIT's complex purchasing needs.

Student Loan Funds

Resources loaned to students plus any dedicated balances available for such loans.


The recovery, in whole or in part, of claims costs, including legal expenses, from a third party (e.g., contractor, subcontractor, vendor, manufacturer) who may be held responsible for damages.


VPF's term for entities that provide goods or services to MIT. See Supplier Search for a list of MIT's Preferred Suppliers.

Supplier Search

The Institute’s online directory of Preferred and Internal suppliers can be searched by commodity or by supplier name. By using Supplier Search, DLCs can find suppliers that will help reduce purchasing costs, optimize product and service quality, and streamline ordering.

When you use MIT’s Preferred Suppliers for your DLC’s purchases there is no need to fill out a Selection of Source Form, no matter the amount of the purchase.

Note: Although Preferred Suppliers provide negotiated pricing for most items within their commodity, some goods and/or services may be excluded and a Selection of Source form would then be required. Review the individual suppliers’ page on VPF Supplier Search for a list of exclusions.

Surplus Property

Physical assets in excess of the needs of the Institute. These assets become available for disposition to outside organizations, for sale through brokers or  when appropriate, donated to local organizations.

Suspense Cost Object

Suspense cost objects are intended to be temporary holding places for salary expenses that encounter an exception condition, e.g., an invalid or terminated cost object. An unfunded internal order that is used to charge salary if the appropriate cost object (WBS element, Cost Center or Internal Order) is not available. Charges to suspense may be generated by the system or a DLC may enter the cost object directly in eSDS or on time sheets. Charges are cleared from suspense cost objects by Payroll quarterly.

Swept Charges

Any credit card balances that are shifted to a default cost object until supporting receipts or other backup documents have been attributed. Once back-up has been attributed, the changes will transfer to the appropriate cost object/GL account.

News and Announcements

The VPF Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) team has updated the list of all&nbs