Order Rules

Many people find it hard to keep the rules for ordering straight because there seem to be so many ways to order things. This page should help you determine how to get your items ordered.

Here are some frequently asked questions related to orders:

Would you define the orders, please?
How much can I spend?
Who places the order?
Do I have to fill out a Purchase Form?
What can I buy?
What can't I buy?
Do I get a copy of the order?
Does the vendor get a copy of the order?
Do I have to worry about an invoice?


General Types of Orders and Guidelines

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) "Purchasing to Place" means that Purchasing placed the order with a vendor.

Note: A Purchase Order is the landscape form with the State Seal that Purchasing Creates by entering the information from your Purchase Form into the Banner System. A Purchase Order can be created from a Purchasing to Place Order or a Department Order.

Department Order (DO) A Department Order is an order placed with a vendor, by the Department. When that is done, the department marks the box "Department Order" on the Purchase Form and sends it to Purchasing for the creation of a "Purchase Order" The opposite of a Department Order is a "Purchasing to Place" order.

Check Request A Check Request is a request to have a check sent for payment prior to receiving the goods or services (usually). A check request is started when a department marks the "Check Request" box on a Purchase Form, then sends the form with the necessary attachments to Purchasing for review. No Purchase Order is created for a Check Request.

Blanket Order A Blanket Order is a Purchase Order set for a total lump sum to cover a year's worth of purchases with one vendor. You can also check out our Blanket and Open Order page.

Open Order An Open Order is a Purchase Order set to make regular payments for goods or services for a one year period, with one vendor. You can also check out our Blanket and Open Order page.

PCard Order A PCard Order is an order that has been placed against a PCard by the cardholder. Sometimes Purchasing or Accounts Payable takes a Check Request or Purchasing to Place order and uses their PCard to pay for the goods/services. These are PCard orders also. You can also check out our PCard page.

How much can I spend?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) For the most part, Purchasing to Place Order amounts are only limited by your budget. However, if your order is under $1000 and is not a restricted item, you could save time by ordering it yourself (see Department Orders or PCard Orders).

The order total can change how Purchasing has to deal with a Purchase Order. Here's the basic breakdown:
  • $0 to $3,000.00 - Restricted mainly only by contracts
  • $3,000.01 to $42,300.00 - We must obtain quotes

Department Order (DO) A Department Order cannot be for more than $1,000.00. If you want to buy something over that amount, do not place the order with the vendor. Submit a Purchase Form to Purchasing and mark it Purchasing to Place.

Check Request A Check Request for goods should not exceed $1,000.00. A Check Request for services (such as a lecturer) is monetarily only limited by your budget and any agreement previously signed between WWU and the provider.

Blanket Order Because Blanket Orders are created in Purchasing, they fall under the same dollar restrictions as a Purchase Order.

Open Order Because Open Orders are created in Purchasing, they fall under the same dollar restrictions as a Purchase Order.

PCard Order PCard orders are considered an alternate type of Department Order, so they currently fall under the same dollar restrictions as a Department Order. In addition, you cannot exceed $10,000.00 a day or month.

Who places the order?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Purchasing places these orders.

Department Order (DO) The Department places these orders.

Check Request The Department technically places these orders by filling out the appropriate order form and attaching it to a Purchase Form. Accounts Payable cuts the check which finalizes the order.

Blanket Order Purchasing Places Blanket Orders.

Open Order Purchasing Places Open Orders.

PCard Order Any PCard holder can place a PCard Order. Sometimes Purchasing or Accounts Payable takes a Check Request or Purchasing to Place order and uses their PCard to pay for the goods/services. These are PCard orders too.

Do I have to fill out a Purchase Form?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Yes. Purchasing cannot place an order for another department without a completed Purchase Form.

Department Order (DO) Yes. Purchasing cannot enter a Department Order into the Banner System without a completed Purchase Form.

Check Request Yes.

Blanket Order Yes, but usually only for the first year. Additional years are renewed via a memo initiated by Purchasing to the department.

Open Order Yes, but like Blanket Orders, only for the first year. Additional years are renewed via a memo initiated by Purchasing.

PCard Order No. And yes. If you would like Purchasing to use their PCard to place the order for you, you must fill out a Purchase Form. Purchasing cannot place ANY order for another department without a completed Purchase Form.

What can I buy?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Purchasing to Place orders are great for anything on the Restricted Items List. Also, any orders that are over $1,000.00.

Department Order (DO) Items purchased with a Department Order should not be on the Restricted Items List, and should be under $1,000.00.

Check Request Check Requests should be used in situation where the Vendor will not send us an invoice. They are very often used for subscriptions and registrations.

Blanket Order Blanket Orders are best for low priced items that you buy frequently. Think of it as combining several Department Orders into only one set of paperwork.

Open Order Open Orders are best for items or services that required repeated payments of a set amount.

PCard Order PCard's should be used for items under $1,000.00 and not on the Restricted Items List.

What can't I buy?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Unless an item is on the Restricted Items List, if it is under $1,000.00 it probably shouldn't be a Purchasing to Place Order.

Department Order (DO) Department Orders should not be used for items over $1,000.00 or on the Restricted Items List.

Check Request It is University policy to not pre-pay for goods. Do not use a Check Request to pay for things the vendor is going to invoice.

Blanket Order Blanket Orders should not be used if you don't intend to use it at least three times in a 12 month period.

Open Order Open Orders should not be used for goods/services where the dollar amounts vary from payment to payment.

PCard Order PCard's should not be used for items over $1,000.00 or on the Restricted Items List.

Do I get a copy of the order?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Yes. Purchasing should fax a copy of the completed Purchase Order to the fax number on the Purchase Form.

Department Order (DO) No. Accounts Payable is the only department to get a copy of a Department Order Purchase Order.

Check Request No. Purchase Orders are not created for Check Requests.

Blanket Order Yes. Purchasing should fax a copy of the completed Purchase Order to the fax number on the Purchase Form.

Open Order Yes. Purchasing should fax a copy of the completed Purchase Order to the fax number on the Purchase Form.

PCard Order No. Purchase Orders are not created for PCard Orders.

Does the vendor get a copy of the order?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Sometimes. It depends on whether or not the vendor requires/asks for a copy. Purchasing sends copies on an order by order basis.

Department Order (DO) Not usually. If you check the box "Requires Confirming Copy", then Purchasing will forward a copy of the order to the vendor.

Check Request No. Purchase Orders are not created for Check Requests.

Blanket Order Usually, but not always.

Open Order Same as Blanket Orders. It depends on the vendor's preference.

PCard Order No. Purchase Orders are not created for PCard Orders.

Do I have to worry about an invoice?

Purchasing to Place Order (PO) Yes. Purchasing to Place Orders should meet up with an invoice in Accounts Payable. Watch for an Orange Approval Letter so you can approve invoice payment!

Department Order (DO) Yes. Department Orders should meet up with an invoice in Accounts Payable. Watch for a Blue Payment Notification to let you know the invoice has been paid!

Check Request No. Unless you are attaching an invoice to the original Purchase Form. If you do attach an invoice, make sure it does not reference the order number. If it does, mark that Purchase Form "Department Order".

Blanket Order Yes Blanket Orders should meet up with an invoice in Accounts Payable. Watch for an Orange Approval Letter so you can approve invoice payment and choose a fund.

Open Order Yes Open Orders should meet up with an invoice in Accounts Payable. Watch for an Orange Approval Letter so you can approve invoice payment.

PCard Order No. PCard orders are paid via a Banner upload.

Page Updated 10.09.2012