It is important that purchase orders are raised and approved by an individual with delegated authority to do this for all goods and services that the University requires prior to the good/ service being supplied.  The reasons why the creation, approval and issue of a purchase order to a supplier is important are:

  • It ensures that prior to making a commitment to spend funds there is a review of available budget for the good/service, the expenditure is assessed to ensure it is in line with Financial Regulations and this expenditure is appropriately approved
  • A legal commitment to paying for a good/ service arises when we instruct a supplier to provide it and the good/ service are delivered (subject to the good/service being of an acceptable standard) and not when we receive an invoice.  By raising a purchase order with the University’s standard terms and conditions we ensure that both we and the supplier understand the contractual relationship we are entering into
  • Where we are unhappy with a good/service provided by a supplier and no official purchase order has been raised, approved and sent to the supplier detailing our requirements and our terms and conditions it proves more difficult to resolve these disputes
  • Where a purchase order is raised, approved and sent to the supplier correctly it allows prompt payment of supplier invoices within our agreed payment terms.

There are two current systems for raising general purchase orders:

Smarter Purchasing 

An electronic ordering system with safety and financial approvals built into the system in line with Financial Regulations.  The system benefits from an online electronic supplier catalogue, full audit history of who requested and approved orders and an electronic invoice management system which ensures that if we have received a good / service and been billed in line with the order, the invoice will be paid automatically.

This system is in use in the majority of departments within the three academic colleges and also in the IT Services, Library, Estates, Human Resources and Residential and Commercial Services divisions of Professional Services.  The final rollout of the solution to the rest of the University will conclude by Summer 2017.

Details on how to use the system can be found on the following webpages.

SAP manual orders 

A purchase order is generated in SAP and printed.  This order is then approved by the appropriate budget holder in department and sent to the supplier.

Where departments have not moved to Smarter Purchasing this approach is still allowed and details of how to raise such orders can be found on the following webpage

Specific Ordering systems

Alongside the two ordering system above the Library and Residential and Commercial services utilise approved ordering systems for books and catering supplies which meet the requirements of our financial regulations.

Use of Department Purchase Cards, Employee University Credit Cards and Expense claims

There is certain expenditure for which it is more practical to pay suppliers electronically via a department purchasing card or via an university credit card and such expenditure does not require the creation of an official University of Leicester Purchase Order.

Travel and subsistence costs incurred directly by an employee in line with the expenses claim rules can still be reclaimed, without a purchase order, by completing an Expense Claim Form.

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