Purchase Orders

A purchase request should be used whenever you order materials or services from a company or vendor when you expect delivery in the future, and payment after delivery.

Membership renewals, services that involve a contract with a one-time payment, magazine subscriptions, and membership renewals should all be submitted using a check request.

Blanket purchase orders (BPOs) 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. Complete the request using an estimate of spending for the fiscal year. Please notify Purchasing Services that you want your request to be a blanket order.

An order for $2,500 or more must be accompanied by three competitive bids. Original copies of these bids must be included with your request.

Requests for a purchase order are to be entered into Web Advisor. We've created a PowerPoint file with Instructions for this process [PPT].

To Become a Requestor

A Colleague Access Request Form [PDF] must be completed and submitted to ITS for processing. Please allow an average of four days for processing.

Steps to complete the form:

  • Complete the Top Half
  • Do not complete the “Setup Security Profile As” section unless you are replacing or mimicking someone’s full system access.
  • In the Application Access Box Note:
    • Check UT
    • Under Application/Security class write: Access to Web Requisition and Grant Access to Department GL Accounts
  • In the Records Access Set Up Box enter: department numbers that you support (if you are unsure, please contact Purchasing Services to confirm)
  • Then sign the form and have your supervisor sign the form
  • Reason for Access Modification: write AP/PO Requisition
  • Return the completed form to the Help Desk and copy ITS

Purchase Requests are approved using Web Now (a.k.a. Image Now). See instructions for this process on this PowerPoint [PPT]. See instructions on setting up your browser for Web Now [PPT].

To Become an Approver

Please complete an ImageNow New User Account Form [PDF] and send it to us by email.

How you can help the Business Office, Departments, and Vendors

  • Always use a current PO when doing business with a vendor
  • Have the vendor reference the PO number on the invoice and have your department name referenced on the ship to address
  • Direct all invoices to accounts payable
  • Try not to reference first and last names on the invoice

If you need a PO to be paid within two weeks, please write the date in the space provided at the bottom of the form, near the budget number. We pay vendors once a week and if the PO misses that run it will be paid on the following run.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please contact the Business Office at 617-573-8405.

Procurement Policy

Procurement Policy - July 1, 2018 [PDF]

Purchase Orders FAQs

Yes. Changes (both increases and decreases) and cancellations can be applied to both standard and blanket purchase orders. Contact the business office if you would like to make any changes to your POs.

Yes. If your going to pay the vendor more than four times in a year, it is easier to use the BPO than writing separate POs.

BPO's work better if they're created with one budget number, unless you want to assign an equal percentage to each GL when paying the invoices.

If the encumbrance amount equals the full amount of the PO, then a payment has not been made to the vendor for this PO. If the encumbrance is less than the full PO amount, then a partial payment was made and there may be items or services yet to be invoiced.

Simply contact the Business Office and supply the voucher, journal entry or Purchase Order number. We will then email, interoffice, or fax you the backup/invoice to answer your question.

Most of the time this works: If it's a vendor/company it should be on a Purchase Order and if it's a person it should be on a check request. Some exceptions to this would be if the vendor does not have a billing system (e.g., the Postmaster or if it's a donation). Please ask if you're not sure!