Online purchase order system
On July 1, 2002, Accounting & Budget Services, in partnership with the Office of Information Services, implemented online purchase orders (POs) using the Banner Purchasing System. Online POs have automated the creation of purchase orders and have made it possible to encumber purchases/budgets. This section contains information about the online PO system, including information about training and support. For general information about the purpose, benefits, and use of online POs at Puget Sound, please refer to our Online Purchase Order FAQ page.
In conjunction with introducing online purchase orders to the campus, the university is establishing formal purchasing and disbursement policies. The new policies will include, among other things, guidelines for when purchase orders are required and the approval authority structure for disbursements. The campus community will be informed when the purchasing and disbursement policies are finalized. Once the new policies are in place, Accounting & Budget Services will review and update the procedures contained in this resource guide to reflect the published policies. Until then, Accounting & Budget Services is using the following procedures for verifying purchasing and disbursement authority and processing purchase orders and disbursements. These procedures are similar to those we have used for several years, with just a few modifications. Accounting & Budget Services also posts financial related policies in the Policies and Procedures page.
Division Vice Presidents (the Associate Academic Dean for the Academic Division) have the authority to grant the budget manager role, purchase order approval, and disbursement authority to the department heads/chairs, managers, faculty, and staff within their divisions. Accounting & Budget Services collects and maintains this information.
The general guidelines for establishing budget, purchasing, and disbursement approval authority are as follows:
(1) The division vice president identifies a budget manager for each index (FOAPAL fund or operating organization/department) in her/his division by sending an e-mail to the Accounting Operations Coordinator. The division vice president should also notify the Accounting Operations Coordinator when a budget manager in his/her division changes.
(2) The budget manager of each index will automatically have online purchase order (PO) creation, online PO approval (subject to academic division capital purchase limits), and disbursement (invoice) approval authority. The budget manager will also have access to his/her indexes via the Budget Administration Web application (Budget Admin Web).
(3) A budget manager may delegate online PO creation authority and Budget Admin Web viewing privileges for his/her indexes to other faculty or staff as appropriate and necessary. This is done by sending an e-mail to the Accounting Operations Coordinator. The Accounting Operations Coordinator should also be notified (via email) by the budget manager of all changes in PO creation authority. Note: POs under $500 do not require an electronic approval in the system.
(4) A budget manager may delegate PO approval (subject to the academic division capital purchase limits) and disbursement (invoice) approval authority for his/her indexes to other faculty or staff with his/her division vice president’s approval. The division vice president’s approval should accompany the request that is sent via email to the Accounting Operations Coordinator.
(5) A system generated message requesting that a Sample Signature form be completed and forwarded to Accounting & Budget Services is sent to an individual granted disbursement authority.
(6) When a new index is requested by a budget manager or otherwise established, Accounting & Budget Services will request the information identified above.
A purchase order created and approved in the Banner Online Purchasing system is needed for all capital purchases (e.g. furniture, equipment, or computer accounts in the 71xxx range of accounts).
Approval limits for Academic division capital purchases
The Academic division has set the capital purchasing approval queue limit at $499 for academic department chairs. Online PO’s for capital purchases of $500 or more will be routed through the electronic approval queues, first to the department chair, and then to staff in the Associate Deans’ office. Associate Deans’ staff will verify that the academic department has an approved capital budget for the specific items in the PO and will provide final electronic approval. The approved PO will be converted to a .PDF file by a process run by Accounting & Budget Services staff and will be returned via email to the email address that was indicated on the Banner PO form. Please see the important note about online PO training and urgent PO creation on page 17.
Computer and network hardware, software, and peripherals
If you are ordering computer and networking hardware, software or related peripherals, you will want to contact the Purchasing Coordinator in Technology Services (TS) (x2866 or email@example.com). The Purchasing Coordinator will provide you with specific order information (or a referral to another member of the TS team), to ensure that your purchase is supportable by TS. The PO can either be created by you or it can be created by the Purchasing Coordinator in TS and routed to you for approval through the online approval process.
Other purchases that may need a PO
A PO should also be used for high dollar operating expenses, when a vendor requires one, when you want to clarify items ordered and related prices, and/or when you would like the purchase reflected as a budget encumbrance (e.g. budget reservation). Almost all university PO’s are now created and approved using the Banner Online PO system. A small number of departments do not use the Banner Online PO system because they have computer systems that generate POs and it would be a duplication of effort to create a PO in the Banner system. These departments include: Library, Facilities Services (for FAMIS system purchases), Dining Services, and the Bookstore. Note: When Facilities Services purchases goods or services at the request of another department (i.e., as a result of a work order request), Facilities Services will use an Online PO. The Office of Information Services (OIS) also uses Online POs when initiating purchases at the request of other departments. The requesting department’s budget manager is expected to use the Online PO system (Banner) to approve the purchase order. Please see the important note about online PO training and urgent PO creation below.
Urgent PO creation
If you have an urgent need for a PO and you are temporarily unable to use the Banner Online PO system, the Purchasing Coordinator in Technology Services (TS) is available to assist you with urgent PO creation. There are two steps to the urgent PO creation process:
(1) First, you will want to email your urgent PO creation request to the Purchasing Coordinator at OIS. Please be sure that you are either the budget manager or have purchasing approval authority for the index that is charged.
(2) Second, the Senior Accountant & Analyst or the Associate Vice President for Accounting & Budget Services, may need to electronically approve the PO on your behalf. Your email to the Purchasing Coordinator will provide the appropriate written authorization for the Associate Vice President for Accounting & Budget Services or the Senior Accountant/Analyst to do this, provided you are either the budget manager or have purchasing authority for the index that is charged. The Purchasing Coordinator or you can forward the e-mail to the Administrative Secretary for Business Services, and this person will coordinate with either the Senior Accountant/Analyst or Associate Vice President for Accounting & Budget Services (whoever is more readily available) to approve the PO.
“Out of Office” PO Approval
When you are planning to be out of the office or otherwise unavailable to approve Purchase Orders in the Banner Online PO System and you anticipate you may have urgent POs that will need approval, please make arrangements for your supervising Director (or the person with financial oversight for your division, such as the Associate Academic Dean or Division Vice President) to request the urgent PO be approved. He/she can do this by sending an e-mail to the Administrative Secretary for Business Services, asking for the specific urgent PO to be approved in the Banner system. The Administrative Secretary for Business Services will coordinate with either the Senior Accountant & Analyst or Associate Vice President for Accounting & Budget Services to approve the PO.
Training for online PO creation and approval is available in one of five ways
Download an Online PO Creation and Approval Manual from the Online Purchase Orders page.
(1) Access the Online PO Creation Tutorial on the Online Purchase Orders page. This is an interactive tutorial that will walk you through the basics of creating a purchase order in the Banner system.
(2) Accounting & Budget Services provides periodic group training for faculty and staff. Group training is generally offered as part of the Faculty and Staff Professional Development Conference sponsored by Human Resources, which is typically in January. Group training may also be offered when major system upgrades are implemented.
(3) The Purchasing Coordinator in TS (Technology Services) is available to assist new online PO system users with limited training or question answering (x2866 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
(4) For all other online purchase order questions, please contact the Administrative Secretary for Business Services for assistance or a referral.
When you have bills (invoices, receipts, etc.) ready for payment, you will generally use one of three methods to approve them for payment.
Note: The budget manager(s) or individual(s) with disbursement authority for the index(es) charged must be the one to approve bills for payment.
A. Procedure for using the disbursement stamp to approve payment of invoices
(1) All university departments should have a disbursement stamp. This stamp is used to approve vendor invoices, statements, and contracts for payment. 
(2) Locate a clear space on your vendor invoice to place your stamp. Even using the back of the invoice will work just fine.
(3) If there is no clear space on the front or back of the vendor invoice, stamp any other blank paper, which is big enough for the stamp. If you need to do this, please staple (do not paperclip) the stamped paper to the back of the invoice. (Most of the information the AP staff need to reference is included on the face of the invoice by your vendor.)
(4) In the event that the AP staff receives the vendor invoice and it is then forwarded on to your department for processing, the AP staff will make every effort to not use up the space you may need for your disbursement stamp.
(5) We ask that the AP staff and the department staff not use their stamps on the vendor remittance copies and/or coupons. AP does have a commitment to return remittance copies and/or coupons to your vendors.
(6) Complete the necessary fields on the disbursement stamp, including the signature and date lines. Please see below for an example of the disbursement stamp.
(7) Send the invoice to Accounts Payable at CMB 1042 or Jones 018. Accounts payable will process the expenditure and pay the vendor.
Example of the disbursement stamp:
Highlight PO Number on Invoice or List Here ___________
Budget Administrator: In signing I acknowledge the receipt of goods, any changes to the
The disbursement stamp can be used whenever possible, to approve vendor invoices, statements, or contracts. You may find instances where the Disbursement Stamp is not the best way to transact your business with AP. Please see items B and C, below, for additional ideas/procedures for approving bills for payment. You and your team will be the best judge of which will work best in each instance.
B. Procedure for using a copy of the purchase order (PO) to approve payment of invoices
(1) You will still need to submit your PO copy when: (there may be other instances):
(2) Attach a copy of the PO to the original vendor invoice (invoice on top and PO underneath).
(3) Indicate on the PO that the goods or services were received (if not all items have been received, please indicate which ones have been received), the date received, and sign, to approve payment of the invoice. Only approve payment for those items received.
(4) Place a letter “F” to the right of each line item on the PO, to indicate the items that are included on the attached invoice. This indicates that the PO line item was “filled” and can be “closed” in the Accounts Payable/Purchasing system.
(5) Send the PO and invoice to Accounts Payable. Accounts payable will process the expenditure and pay the vendor.
Please note: It is very important that invoices are matched and referenced to POs, using the steps outlined in both sections A and B, above, so they can be closed in the system when filled/completed. If invoices are not properly referenced to related POs, your budget will reflect both the open budget encumbrance (PO) and the paid invoice (actual expense). This will result in inaccurate budget variance (available budget) information.
C. Procedure for using the disbursement request form
(1) Expense reimbursements to faculty, staff, or students are typical examples of when it is appropriate to use a disbursement request form.
(2) Complete a disbursement request form and attach the expense summary form with original receipts, advance processing form, or other supporting documents, as applicable. Send to Accounts Payable for processing the expenditure and paying the vendor.
(3) You can download the disbursement request form, expense summary form, and advance processing form from the Financial Reports & Forms/Forms page. Time saving tip: the forms open in Excel. You can save the forms on your local or share drive, by using the “File, Save As” command. This will allow you to fill in and save information that will be the same each time you complete the form.
If you have questions about processing invoices and/or disbursement request forms, please contact the Accounts Payable Specialists in the Accounts Payable office.
Operating/capital budgets = 00xxxx.xxxxx = Index (00+department #).Account
Designated & restricted funds = xxxxxx.xxxxx = Index (fund #).Account
Selecting an Account
When coding transactions, select an account that best describes the transaction. You can view the revenue and expense section of the chart of accounts (FOAPALs) from the Budget Administration Web application by clicking on the “FOAPAL” link located on the left side of the top navigational bar. See section D of this resource guide for information on this Budget Administration Web application.
You may also access the chart of accounts (FOAPALs) by using FOAPAL Search. This look-up tool provides an easy way to search the Banner Chart of Accounts for a Fund, Organization, Account, Program, or Activity code. This tool can be accessed from the Banner Tools menu item on your Cascade Menu.
Since most of your transactions will be expenditures, you will most likely choose an account that begins with a 7xxxx. If you select an account other than that, you will want to understand the reason and implications.
When you utilize certain campus services your department will be “billed” via an electronic recharge process. This includes the Bookstore, Catering/Dining, Conference, Copying, Facilities, Mail, Printing, and Telephone Services.
The process to initiate services in each of these areas varies. Each department can more fully explain their procedures. The basics are covered below.
For office location and contact information for the services listed below, please refer to the University Department Quick Reference List.
Complete an Office Supplies Requisition Form (available from the Bookstore); if purchasing without a form, provide index and account number (budget coding) verbally at the time of purchase.
Catering, Dining & Conference Services
Dining Services departmental charge cards are obtained by contacting the Dining & Conference Services staff. For catering services, provide index and account number (budget coding) for charges when making arrangements with Dining & Conference Services staff.
Your department has a copy machine code to use at public area copy machines. This code should be kept secure. It is a good idea to periodically change your department’s copy machine code, especially if you think the security of the code has been compromised. Please contact the Copy Services Coordinator at x3446 for assistance.
See electronic work order form and instructions on the Facilities Services' Facilities Request Form.
Provide index and account number (budget coding) either verbally or in writing (e-mail) as you request services for mailing or faxes.
Submit a printing work order request form to the Publications Manager in the Office of Communications, 1314 N Alder (across from the Faculty Club). Printing work order request forms can be obtained from the Office of Communications.
Long distance calls made on phone extensions in your department will be charged to your budget.
Urgent online purchase order creation: Purchasing Coordinator in TS (email@example.com)
Urgent online purchase order approval: Administrative Secretary, Business Services at x2902.
Online purchase order training
Download an Online PO Creation and Approval Manual from the Online Purchase Orders page.
Other questions about Online Purchase Orders: Administrative Secretary, Business Services at x2902
Coding expenditures, deposits, and transfers: Accounting Operations Coordinator
Concerns or ideas for improving services: Associate Vice President for Accounting & Budget Services
Computer related purchases: Purchasing Coordinator in TS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Campus services and related recharges: Please contact the applicable service department regarding their process for accessing services. Please refer to the University department quick reference list.
Please visit the Accounting & Budget Services department website for more information and resources for budget managers.
Not sure who to contact?
Please contact the Accounting & Budget Services front desk by calling x3224 or the Associate Vice President for Accounting & Budget Services for a referral.