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 (click for form)

  • Complete a Purchase Requisition for all equipment or software with a unit cost of over $5,000. Send the Purchase Requisition to the Fixed Asset/Purchasing Manager by emailing businessoffice@wlu.edu.
  • 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.
  • As indicated on the form, the Purchase Requisition must be signed by an authorized Department Head or Dean.
  • If you elect to use your department number for purchases of $5,000 or greater from the operating budget, 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 University accounting system.
  • The Fixed Asset/Purchasing Manager will send the approved PO via fax or email to the vendor, if the information is provided. Otherwise, the PO will be emailed to the department to send.
  • 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.
    • Complete the Purchase Requisition after the fact and explain the special circumstances. And send to the Fixed Asset/Purchasing Manager by email to businessoffice@wlu.edu. An official PO will be generated for the department to send to the vendor.


The vendor 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 account number if different from the earlier PO and send to AccountsPayable@wlu.edu for payment.

Assistance during any part of the purchasing process is available by contacting the Fixed Asset/Purchasing Manager at x8917 or by e-mail at fbostic@wlu.edu or businessoffice@wlu.edu.