The following Procurement and Travel related policies are posted on the General Council's Policies and Procedures website:
The Correct Procure-to-Pay Process
Regardless of the purchasing amount, the correct procure-to-pay process must be followed to be compliant with the University’s Procurement Policy. Following the correct process also reduces the back-and-forth interaction with Purchasing and Accounts Payable, reduces frustration, and saves time and effort for the department and Procurement staff members alike.
STEP 1: Identify Your Purchasing Needs
The first step of the procure-to-pay process is identifying what you are buying. For example, computer equipment, office supplies, software, printed products, professional services, etc.
STEP 2: Sourcing and Vendor Identification
The next step is to determine how and from where to obtain your purchasing needs. Various factors must be taken into consideration, including whether you are buying a product or service, the types of product or service, and the total dollar amount.
Regardless of the types of goods/services or dollar amount, University departments are strongly encouraged to utilize a University Preferred Supplier should one exists. Please go to the Preferred and Contract Vendors section of the website for a list of university-wide preferred vendors and purchasing programs.
See the Purchasing Methods, Purchasing Thresholds, and Quoting, Bidding, and RFP Process sections of the website for more information on the purchasing process and the various supporting documents and approvals needed.
STEP 3: Enter a Requisition in Buy It eMarketplace
The Buy It eMarketplace requisition / PO process is the preferred purchasing method for all University spend regardless of dollar amount, excluding travel related expenses:
- Easy online shopping capabilities and streamlined requisition process
- Access to University negotiated contract rates, discounts, and tax-free purchasing
- Routes through the appropriate departmental and budgetary approval process
- Encumbers funds in the University’s financial systems to avoid NSFs
- References the University’s terms and conditions
The requisition process is initiated in the Buy It eMarketplace system, supported by various documents and approvals within the system itself. Click here for the Buy It User Manual and to access Buy It eMarketplace.
STEP 4: PO Issued and Vendor Start Work
Once a requisition and all applicable supporting documents are approved, Procurement Services turns the requisition into a Purchase Order (PO, starting with PE) which is then electronically delivered to the vendor, with a copy to the original Buy It Browser and Buyer.
The department should only engage the vendor or vendor should only start work once a PO (PE) has been generated and received by the vendor.
STEP 5: Vendor Issues Invoices Against the PO/PE
Once the vendor receives a PO, they can then issue an invoice(s) against the PO for the goods or services requisitioned. ALL invoices must be emailed to Accounts Payable at firstname.lastname@example.org for processing.
After-the-fact POs or retrofit orders issued solely for the purpose of paying an invoice for goods or services already received/performed is not compliant with policy and is generally not permitted.
Not only is after-the-fact POs not policy compliant, engaging the vendor before a Purchase Order is in place also:
- Exposes the University to potential risks
- Is a bad budgeting practice - when funds are not encumbered, departments are more likely to run into an NSF (Insufficient Funds) situation
- Is more likely to lead to vendor invoices not getting paid on time
- Creates additional work for departmental and Accounts Payable resources
STEP 6: Invoices Are Processed, Approved, and Paid
Once an invoice is received at email@example.com, the AP team will process the invoice in Buy It eMarketplace. Departmental Approvers, Buyers, or Browsers must then approve the invoice / complete Receiving in Buy It eMarketplace before a payment is issued to the vendor.
Departmental Budget Managers are responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the FOAP (Fund, Organization, Account, and Program) used to pay the invoice has sufficient funds. A requisition will not be completed and invoices will not be paid if the FOAP used is in NSF.