Purchase Order Policy and Procedure

Purchase Order Policy

Purchase orders are not required, but may be used for procurement if a purchase order is required by the vendor or if a purchase order is a convenience to the purchaser.

Purchase Order Procedure

  1. Obtain verbal approval from the budget officer (or supervisor if the purchaser is the budget officer) prior to making the purchase.
  2. Prepare purchase requisition according to the instructions on reverse side of the form.
  3. Identify the "Three P's" - People, Place, and Purpose for meal and entertainment expenses. Also indicate the general ledger account(s) (x-x-xxxxx-xxxxx) to be charged for each line item listed on the purchase requisition. This should be done in consultation with the budget officer.
  4. Sign name at bottom of the purchase requisition. An original signature is required. No stamps are permitted.
  5. Obtain budget officer's signature at bottom of purchase requisition. If the budget officer is the purchaser , then the budget officer's supervisor should provide the second signature.
  6. Forward white copy of the requisition to Accounts Payable. The purchase order will be produced by Accounts Payable as soon as the white copy is received. Retain gold copy.
  7. Receive pink and yellow copies of purchase order from Accounts Payable. Staple gold copy of the purchase requisition behind the pink copy of the purchase order. These will be your copies of the documents to keep. The yellow copy will serve as the receiving report once the goods/services are received.
  8. When the goods/services are received, sign and date the yellow copy of the purchase order (hereafter referred to as the receiving report) and return it to Accounts Payable. This will serve as approval to pay once Accounts Payable received the invoice from the vendor. Please be sure to forward the yellow copy of the receiving report to Accounts Payable once the goods/services are received. If a partial order is received, indicate the portion received on the receiving report, make a copy of the report, sign, date and foward copy to Accounts Payable. Retain the original receiving report until the remainder of the shipment has been received.
  9. Immediately upon receipt of goods, notify purchasing coordinator. This step is critical to the smooth operation of the purchase order system.

View the Glossary of Terms and Miscellaneous Information.

Special Purchase Order Procedures

Emergency/Telephone Purchase Orders

When it is necessary to provide a purchase order number over the telephone, bring a properly prepared purchase requisition to accounts payable. The requisition will be entered onto the system and a purchase order number generated. Subsequent procedures are the same as for all other purchase orders. The following message will appear on the purchase order to insure that the order is not duplicated: "Confirmation of Telephone Order - DO NOT DUPLICATE." Confirmation copies of all purchase orders will be mailed to vendors regardless of their policies.

Payment to Accompany Purchase Orders

Requests for payment to accompany purchase orders are discouraged for the following reasons: reduction in leverage in the event that an order is not fulfilled satisfactorily, premature cash outflow, and virtually all vendors will sell on credit if a request is submitted to them. If you wish to do business with a vendor that does not have a line of credit established for Calvin College, please contact Accounts Payable. The procedures are the same as for all other purchase orders except that the appropriate box on the purchase requisition form must be marked to inform Accounts Payable that a check should accompany the order. Payment will be sent with the purchase order to the vendor.

Cash On Delivery (C.O.D.) Orders

Purchases should not normally be transacted on a C.O.D. basis. If this type of purchase is absolutely necessary, procedures are the same as for all other purchase orders except that the appropriate box on the purchase requisition form must be marked to inform Accounts Payable to issue and hold a check until a shipment document is received.

Fax Orders

If you wish to have the purchase order faxed to the vendor, mark the appropriate box on the purchase requisition form and provide the vendor's fax number. Accounts Payable will fax the purchase order to the vendor.

Foreign Currency Orders

Purchases transacted in foreign denomination are discouraged because of the additional cost involved in obtaining foreign drafts, and the risk of an adverse change in exchange rates between the date the order is placed and the date the invoice is paid. If a purchase must be transacted using a foreign currency, indicate the amount in the foreign denomination.