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Requesting the Purchase of Items from a Vendor
Open Purchase Order | Standard Purchase Order
To request the purchase of items, a Requisition Request Form must be completed and submitted. Relevant backup documentation should always be included, whenever possible (except when establishing Open Purchase orders -- see below). Requisitions are specific to one vendor -- multiple vendors will require multiple Requisition forms. When completing a Requisition, please only use the LPC version provided here. Signature approval is always required up to your Vice President (or President) level. For instructions on ordering items through Amazon or Office Depot, see below.
How to Request the Purchase of Items from a Vendor
Flowchart: Standard PO | Open PO
Example: Standard Requisition | Open PO Requisition
- Contact the vendor to request a quote of all requested items. Quotes should include item numbers, item descriptions, quantities, unit pricing, extended pricing, and any relevant fees (tax, shipping, etc.) whenever possible.
- Once the quote has been received, complete a Requisition Request Form.
- All required and relevant fields MUST be entered.
- Note: insert your backup documentation to the Requisition Request Form BEFORE any signatures are added to the document. Signing before attaching documentation may prevent documents from being attached.
- IMPORTANT: If your quote exceeds $30,000 you must submit two additional quotes from two other vendors. The requisition should still be filled out for the vendor you wish to order from, but the two additional quotes must be included to comply with state law. If there are no other vendors that sell your item(s), you must include a letter from the vendor that states they are a sole-source providor of those item(s). This is a hard requirement of the Purchasing Office. If you do not include the two additional quotes, your requisition will be returned to you.
- Submit your Requisition, with relevant backup attached, to your immediate supervisor for approval.
- Up to your Vice President's signature approval is required.
- Once approved, submit the Requisition and relevant backup to the Business Office for review.
- The Business Office will obtain signature approval from the Vice President of Administrative Services.
- Once final approval has been obtained, the Business Office will enter the Requisition into Banner. A copy of the Requisition will then be provided to the names listed in the "Return Copy of Req to" field.
- Upon Banner approval, the Business Office will forward the Requisition packet to the District Purchasing Office for processing.
Establishing Purchase Orders
Purchase Orders are the preferred method for the requisition of items and should be used whenever possible in lieu of direct-payment through a Disbursement Request Form. You are encouraged to set up all needed PO's for all planned and expected expenses and purchases for the upcoming fiscal year. Purchase Orders can be established for various expenses, such as paying for invoices, purchasing items, hiring independent contractors, and more. There are two types of Purchase Orders that the District Office will establish: Open Purchase Orders and Regular Purchase Orders (see below for distinguishable characteristics of the two). Please note that PO's are set up based on a designated FOAP (Fund-Org-Account-Program) and for a specified vendor. For this reason, purchases made against a PO should all be for the same type of expense. For example, if you purchase physical supplies from one vendor, but also purchase digital software from the same vendor, these should not be paid against the same PO, as physical supplies should be coded to one account, while software purchases should be coded to a different account. In this scenario, two PO's should be established with the vendor.
Purchase Orders are established via a Requisition Request Form. See section "Requesting the Purchase of Items from a Vendor" for more detailed instructions on filling out a Requisition Request Form.
Open Purchase Orders (PO number begins with an "O")
Open Purchase Orders are essentially "open ended." These are typically used in cases where you expect to make multiple purchases through the same vendor, using the same FOAP (Fund-Org-Account-Program), throughout the year. For this reason, it is usually best to estimate the cost as a whole, rounded number, such as $850 or $3575. For example, if your department purchases diploma paper through Herff Jones frequently throughout the year, consider establishing an Open Purchase Order for Herff Jones for an estimated cost for the whole fiscal year. The PO amount can always be increased or decreased throughout the year via the Purchase Order Adjustment Form as needs change.
Example: PO Adjustment Form
Additionally, Open Purchase Orders can be established in cases where you may only make one purchase to the vendor, but a quote cannot be provided (though you are still encouraged to request a quote from the vendor). For example, if your department needs to pay for a subscription service every year that usually costs $300, but the vendor has not provided you a quote, you can still establish an Open Purchase Order with the vendor, which you can then use to pay against the invoice you receive later on. This process is preferred over direct-payment through a Disbursement Request Form.
Form to use: Requisition Request Form (Open PO Version)
On the Requisition Request Form: include a brief description of the types of purchases that will be made against the PO.
Required backup: for Open Purchase Orders, no backup is required by the Business Office, nor should it be included.
Regular Purchase Orders (PO number begins with a "P")
Regular Purchase Orders are established in cases where you have a more exact idea of the cost of the expense AND can include backup to show the cost, such as a quote or estimate. In cases like this, a PO number will be established that begins with a P. These costs should be indicated in more exact terms, such as $357.25. An example of a Regular Purchase Order would be the Chemistry department requesting 6 beakers and 3 graduated cylinders through a Requisition Request Form that has a quote attached.
Form to use: Requisition Request Form (Standard Version)
On the Requisition Request Form: enter each item number, description, quantity, and unit price.
Required backup: a quote, estimate, or similar document indicating the estimated cost. Please avoid using shopping carts as backup.
Receipts of Delivery
When establishing PO's of this type, it is imperative that a "receiver" is entered in Banner by the Warehouse to confirm the items have been received. This helps facilitate payment with Accounts Payable, as we do not pay for invoices until the items have been received. If the "P" PO number is noted somewhere on or inside the package(s), the Warehouse will enter this receiver upon receipt of the items and you will receive a Receipt of Delivery notice for your records (example). If you did NOT receive a Receipt of Delivery when you received your package, please contact the Warehouse* and provide the "P" PO number associated with the items you received so the "receiver" can be entered in Banner.
*Please contact Matthew Strout at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please contact:
Vice President of Administrative Services
Administrative Services Technician
Administrative Services Officer
Fiscal Coordinator, Special Programs & Grants