A purchase order (PO) should be used whenever you order materials or services from a company or vendor. Download the PO form and use it for:

  • Equipment and supplies
  • Printing
  • Film rentals
  • Advertising
  • Servicing and repair
  • Conference registration
  • Hotel reservations
  • Catering
  • Airline tickets
  • Photography
  • New membership
  • New magazine subscriptions
  • And more

How to use a purchase order

When submitting a PO, plan ahead. It takes time to process a PO, both on Suffolk's end and with the vendor. If you know you will have a deadline, give yourself plenty of time in advance.

Be sure to fill out the PO completely. A copy is sent to the vendor and performs two functions:

  • It places the order with the vendor
  • It informs the vendor of our conditions of order

Blanket purchase orders

While a standard purchase order is used to pay a vendor for a specific item or service, a blanket purchase order (BPO) establishes an open purchase order with the vendor for the remainder of the fiscal year.

This enables the Business Office to pay multiple invoices under a single BPO. To encumber the BPO, you will need to provide an estimate of spending and a budget number. The business office can tell you what was spent on the previous year, if needed.

Things to look out for when preparing a PO

  • Proper billing address
  • Tax Exempt number
  • Notification that we have no receiving dock and require inside delivery
  • Delivery Address
    • Please specify in the allotted space where the items are to be delivered
    • To better serve Suffolk's mail rooms, please specify your room or office number on the PO.
  • Bids—An order for $2,500 or more must be accompanied by three competitive bids. Original copies of these bids must be sent to the Business Office.
  • Attachments—Any samples, forms, letters, etc. that you want sent to the vendor should accompany the purchase order when it is sent to Business Office. This includes all ad copies when placing advertisements.
  • Confirming Purchase Orders should only be used when you place an order after receiving your copy of the numbered PO. When you contact a vendor to place an order, make sure to give them the PO or BPO number. The Business Office will send a confirming copy.

Short notice situations

  1. Fill out the PO completely.
  2. Put a check in the "confirming order" block so that when the vendor receives the PO, they will not duplicate the order.
  3. Make sure that you have all the necessary signatures. Refer to the Payment & Procurement Authorization Policy.
  4. Bring it to the Business Office. The Business Manager, Purchasing Services will sign it and a purchase order will be processed.

Prepaid Orders

Prepaid POs should be used when an order requires payment before it will be processed. Examples include:

  • Discounts given for prepayment
  • Vendor requests prepayment
  • Conference registrations, hotel deposits, etc.

To process, fill out the PO completely. Place a check in the "prepayment" block. The Business Office automatically mails all prepayments unless there are special circumstances for picking it up.

Other considerations


  • All order forms to be sent out with the PO should be attached when it is sent to the Business Office.
  • Prepaid POs should always have two copies of the order form (the original and a copy) attached.
  • Please be sure to complete the PO with a valid address and description of the item or service you are purchasing.
  • It is not necessary to write a new PO each time a membership or subscription is renewed. Simply approve the renewal notice with your signature, date, and budget number, and forward the notice to the Business Office for payment.