Purchasing Orders & Vendor Payment Procedures

The Purchase Order Process

When a purchase requisition is indicated on the Purchase Requisition/Payment Voucher the computer generates a multi-copy purchase order. Unless special mailing instructions are requested, the white, vendors copy of the purchase will be mailed to the vendor, the project director will receive a yellow copy and the gold copy will be sent to where the merchandise is received.

Requirements for Payment

When goods or services are received, the project director is to note the number of items received sign and date the gold copy of the purchase order and send it and all other papers (packing slips, invoice, statements, etc.) to the Office of Sponsored Research

Please Note: We cannot pay the vendor for the goods and services until the signed gold receiving copy is received from you, and an original invoice is received from the vendor.

The Vendor Payment Process

When a payment is made directly to the vendor (purchase requisition/payment voucher) a multi-copy purchase order is not processed. Therefore, the project director's copy indicating that the transaction was processed is not available. Project Directors are, therefore, advised to make a copy of the payment voucher and any additional supporting documentation prior to forwarding it to the Office of Sponsored Programs for processing. An Account Expenditure Summary (AES), which lists each payment processed on a given grant, is sent to the project director at the beginning of each month. Project directors are encouraged to review this report and notify the Office of Sponsored Programs of any discrepancies.

Requirement for Bids

The purchase of equipment or supplies valued over $10,000.00 must be documented as follows:

  • Less than $10,000 - No formal price quotation is necessary
  • $10,000 to $20,000 - Minimum of 3 price quotations: Options of documented verbal quotes or written quotes.
  • $25,000 and up - Three written bids

Purchase requisitions, which do not satisfy this requirement, will be returned to the project director. Selection of other than the low bidder without documentation will also necessitate the purchase requisition being returned for explanation.

Please Note: if item or items to be purchased are on a State Contract, no bids are necessary. However, you must provide the State Contract number on the purchase requisition.

Purchase Order/Vendor Payment Processing Delays

Under most circumstances requisition can be processed within five working days. This allows Research Foundation staff one day to check to make sure that the purchase requisition complies with Research Foundation and Sponsor guidelines, and one day for processing. However, if the requisitions are not completed properly, processing of the purchase order is delayed because the requisition has to be returned to the project director for corrections. To help to avoid delays - following is a listing of the most common reasons purchase requisitions are returned:

  1. Incomplete or Illegible Vendor Address:

    Purchase/Payment Requisitions need not be typed; however, you must please print legibly. We have no way of checking vendor addresses, so if the address is incorrect on the purchase requisition it will also be incorrect on the vendor's copy of the purchase order.

  2. Missing Project Director Signature:

    We cannot process an order or payment against a grant without the project director's signature. Therefore, if a purchase requisition is received unsigned, it will have to be sent back for an authorized signature.

  3. Materials not Budgeted in Account:

    Before being processed each purchase requisition is checked to make sure that the materials or services being ordered comply with the grant budget and that they are consistent with sponsor regulations and guidelines. Any expenditure not meeting these criteria must be rejected and returned to the project director.

  4. Budget Category or Account Over committed:

    An Account Expenditure Summary is mailed to project directors on a monthly basis. The computer will not process a purchase order if the account or even the budget category is already expended. So, please be sure to check not just the account, but also the specific budget category balance, before submitting your requisition.

  5. Local Vendor not Utilized Within 45 Days of Term of Grant:

    Federal and State grant and contract guidelines specify that all expenditures for supplies purchased by a given grant or contract must be used during the project and not to supplement other activities. Therefore, unless the items to be ordered are in stock and can be shipped immediately, we recommend that you utilize a local vendor when purchasing goods and services within 45 days of the end of the grant year. This will insure that supplies are received and used during the grant period. Procurement from local vendors is accepted until the close of the project.

  6. Student Stipend Payments:

    A Purchase Order must be generated in order to process student stipend checks. Stipends are NOT considered payroll, and therefore are not included with Research Foundation biweekly regular paychecks. Students need to be made aware of this distinction so that they do not come to RF office on payday expecting a check! For purposes of generating their checks, each student is considered a vendor. Therefore, A MINIMUM OF TWO WEEKS MUST BE ALLOWED FROM THE TIME THE PURCHASE REQUISITION IS PROCESSED FOR THE CHECKS TO BE OBTAINED.

  7. Open or Standing Orders:

    Some project directors find it convenient to process a "standing order" for payment for College Services such as telephone, postage, work study, and duplicating charges. For example, if $500.00 is budgeted in your grant for work-study services, a PO could be processed for this amount as the beginning of the grant year. Each month when the invoice is received, a partial payment can then be made against this purchase order for the charges for the work-study for the month.