Memorandum 30 – Purchasing Guidelines

Reviewed and Approved February 2011


This policy attempts to ensure that all University transactions for goods and services are processed in strict accordance with the Norwich University Purchasing Policy. All University purchases will follow the strictest of business ethics and standards.


This policy stipulates what actions and behaviors are authorized when purchasing goods and/or services using University funds.

  • Purchases for goods and/or service that will cost over $499.99 (including shipping and handling) must have a Purchase Order Number.
  • Office supplies must be purchased from the University’s contract supplier.
  • Office furniture purchased for the University will be a brand and level of quality specified by the Purchasing Agent. Only the Chief Administrative Office may grant exceptions.
  • All furniture must be ordered through the University’s Purchasing Agent.
  • Requests for computers and computer related items must be approved by the Director of Information Technology.
  • All purchasing is to fall under the purview of the Purchasing Agent.
  • In all transactions, every employee shall treat every vendor in a professional, courteous manner.
  • No threats, promises, or pressures shall be directed towards any vendor.
  • Purchasing and fundraising ethics require that there be no correlation between purchasing and donations to the University. Being a donor should neither aid nor hinder a company’s obtaining or retaining business with the University. No one making a purchase on behalf of the University may state or imply any quid pro quo between donations and obtaining business from the University. See Administrative Memorandum #40 – Solicitation of Vendors.


The Purchasing Agent is responsible for issuing Purchase Orders for all expenses over $499.99 and insuring that the policies listed above are followed. The Accounts Payable Office is responsible for monitoring departmental expenses under $499.99 and processing travel expenses.


Purchases $499.99 or Less

The following instructions should be used for all transactions for goods or services that will cost the University $499.99 or less. Enter items such as subscription renewals, registrations and/or permit applications that require a check to be mailed to the vendor with the completed forms as Direct Pay Invoices. In the Direct Pay Vendor Invoice Number field enter “E/” to notify the Accounts Payable Office that an enclosure must be mailed with the check. If there is no invoice available from the vendor, use a Departmental Invoice Request (obtained from the Accounts Payable Office).

  • These purchases do not require a Purchase Order Number.
  • These orders are placed directly with the vendor by authorized department personnel.
  • When placing orders, give the Vendor your department’s organization number and request that the vendor use the number on all paperwork related to your purchase. To insure that your order is not delayed during shipping, give the vendor your complete mailing address (contact person must be noted). When your order arrives check it carefully to ensure that it is complete and correct.
  • Should a vendor require a Purchase Order before accepting your order, follow the instructions for Purchases Over $499.99.
  • When the invoice arrives attach packing slips or other related paperwork and forward to the person in your department who is authorized to enter the invoice into the Banner System for payment.
  • The Banner System will assign an Invoice number to your request for payment. Write this Banner Assigned Invoice Number on the upper right corner of the invoice. Forward the invoice to the Accounts Payable Office in Jackman Hall.
  • If you need to have a check sent to your office instead of mailed to the vendor enter “R” (enter your departments code number, which you can obtain from the Accounts Payable Office,)” into the “Vendor Invoice Number” section on page one of the Banner Invoice Form.

Purchases Over $499.99

  • Any purchase of goods or services that will cost more than $499.99 must have a Purchase Order Number assigned to it prior to placement of the order.
  • Departments must enter a Purchase Requisition on the Banner Finance System. Be sure to enter your department’s Ship-To Address (where you want your order shipped to). Be sure to enter the correct Vendor Address Code as many Vendors have more than one address. Your printed Purchase Order will be sent to the ship to address that is indicated on your requisition. Special instructions for the Purchasing Agent and Accounts Payable Office should be inserted in the “Edit Line Item Text” section of the requisition. Special Instructions include notification to Accounts Payable to enclose a check with the Purchase Order prior to mailing, return printed purchase order to department, etc.
  • Once your Requisition is completed it will be forwarded to the approval process. Your request will go to the individuals responsible for approving purchases for your department. Once posted, it will then be forwarded to the Purchasing Agent for Purchase Order Assignment. The Purchasing Agent checks the Banner System twice a day for incoming requests. The Purchasing Agent will check the requisition to insure that items are being purchased from the correct source. The Purchasing Agent may assign the Purchase Order to a vendor other than the one suggested by the requestor if necessary. You will be notified by email of vendor changes. NOTE: Prior to contacting your source, be sure to look at your Purchase Order on FOIDOCH to be sure that your request has not been assigned a new vendor. Purchase Orders are mailed twice daily.
  • Upon receipt of your order check it carefully to insure that it is complete and correct. When the invoice arrives attach all packing slips and related papers. The authorized employee in your department must sign on the front of the invoice approving payment. Please indicate if this invoice is a Final Payment or Partial Payment. Forward the invoice to the Accounts Payable office. The Accounts Payable office will enter the invoice into the Banner System.
  • You can track all activity related to your Purchase Request by using the FOIDOCH form on Banner. This form will show you the Purchase Order Number, Invoice Numbers and Check Numbers related to your purchase. You can view all of these items by entering List Field Values.

WARNING: NO ORDER OVER $499.99 MAY BE PLACED WITHOUT A PURCHASE ORDER. An individual may be held personally responsible for paying all charges associated with any unapproved, improperly placed order. “After-the-Fact” Purchase Orders WILL NOT be created.

Office Supplies

  • Office supplies are to be ordered through the University’s approved vendor (currently Office Max). You may place your order on line. If you do not have an account set up, please contact the Purchasing Agent. You will either be set up with an account or the Purchasing Agent may order for you. Departments doing a large volume will be set up with their own account. Use your purchasing card to pay for these transactions or submit invoice through Accounts Payable. Be sure to check your order to make sure everything is accounted for. Currently, orders are delivered on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Travel Expenses

  • Refer to Travel Policies
  • To obtain funds for travel, you must complete a Travel Advance Form. Complete this form and return it to the Accounts Payable Office. Be certain to indicate the date when funds are needed.
  • If you obtain funds through a Travel Advance Form, you must keep detailed receipts from all your travel expenses. Upon your return, complete a Travel Expense Voucher itemizing your expenses and attaching all receipts. Return any remaining funds with this form. If a refund is due the traveler, the Accounts Payable Office will issue you a payment.
  • If you pay for Travel Expenses out of your personal funds you must complete a Travel Expense Voucher Form. Attach all detailed receipts related to your expenses and submit the form to the Accounts Payable Office. A payment will be issued in your name. Prior to sending any invoice to the Accounts Payable Office, make sure that the Budget Manager/Dean/Supervisor for that budget has signed the form.

Check Requests and Fast Checks

  • Checks are printed on Wednesday of each week.
  • To request a check at any other time within the week (Fast Check) you must complete appropriate paper work (i.e. Check Request Form, Travel Advance Form, Travel Expense Voucher, etc.) as you would for regular check cycle. Be sure to provide appropriate signatures on all documents. You will then petition the Treasurer’s Office for approval to create the necessary check(s). Once approved, deliver this paperwork to the Accounts Payable Office. NOTE: this procedure is for emergency situations only. All other check requests must be made through normal procedures

Contact Offices

  • Purchasing Agent: Ext. 2150
  • Accounts Payable: Ext. 2050

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