Purchase Orders


Department heads and other authorized employees are permitted to spend budgeted University funds. Most purchases will not require a Purchase Order (PO). This document will outline when a PO is required.

Purchase orders are required when:

  1. The vendor requires one, or
  2. The purchase is for equipment or software over a cost of $5,000, or
  3. When federal funds are used to purchase equipment or software of any amount.

The PO process consists of three steps: a request, an authorization, and a payment

Purchase Requisitions

  • In Workday, complete a Purchase Requisition (Create Requisition) for all equipment or software with a unit cost of over $5,000.
  • If Federal funds are used to purchase equipment or software, a Purchase Requisition must be completed regardless of amount. Federally-funded equipment or software purchases will be inventoried and tracked through the University Fixed Asset system as required by federal grant regulations.
  • If you elect to use your department number for purchases of $5,000 or greater from your operations funds, you must first request permission and have signed approval from the University Treasurer.

Purchase Orders (the authorization)

  • PO's and PO numbers are generated by the Workday accounting system.
  • You will receive the approved Purchase Order from the Fixed Asset/Purchasing Manager, via your Inbox in Workday. You can access the PDF of the Purchase Order and it can be forwarded on to your Supplier
  • In a situation when time does not allow for the steps above, the department may take the following steps except when using the operating budget for purchases greater than $5,000:
    • Make the purchase commitment directly with the vendor and give the vendor a unique PO number.
    • Create the Requisition in Workday, and explain the special circumstance.  A official PO will be generated in Workday for the department to send to the Supplier.


The Supplier will send the invoice to the department after the sale /shipment is final. The department should:

    • Verify that the items have been received;
    • Make note of any differences between the PO and the vendor invoice;
    • Ensure the PO number is on the vendor invoice;
    • Indicate payment approval by signing the invoice and providing the Spend Category, if different from the earlier PO and send to the Fixed Asset/Purchasing Manager for payment processing.

Assistance during any part of the purchasing process is available by contacting the Jessica Vassar , jvassar@wlu.edu, or businessoffice@wlu.edu.