Purchase to Payment Process

eStores is the university's preferred method for purchases. When eStores is not a viable option, there are different methods for your use to purchase goods and services on behalf of the university.  These methods can be found in this section.

How to Choose a Procurement Method

To help you decide which procurement method to use, use one of the following selection tools: Procurement Flowchart (PDF)

Authority to Buy

Central Buyers

The Board of Trustees grants the authority to purchase on behalf of the University to the Office of Business and Finance, which delegates that authority to the Purchasing Department, responsible for central purchasing functions.

Delegated Buyers

The authority to purchase goods and services on behalf of the university (not to exceed $5,000) can be delegated to a designated buyer of a college or vice presidential area, by the Director of Purchasing, subject to certain responsibilities and restrictions. Click here for training to become a delegated buyer.

How to Buy

Internal Suppliers

The university has many internal suppliers for goods and services.

View a comprehensive listing.



eStores is an on-line store / web site (similar to amazon.com) filled with catalogs from contracted suppliers. It is a purchasing tool that provides users an easy way to search for and order needed items. eStores integrates fully with the PeopleSoft Financials System, meaning that requisitioners have the ability to search for items within the catalogs and build a shopping cart that will import into the Financials system.

There are 2 ways to access eStores: 
  1. Financials System
  2. eRequest. Anyone with a name.# login can search the catalogs and create a shopping cart that will become an eQuote in PeopleSoft that must be approved.


Contract Book

The Office of Business and Finance has established a Strategic Sourcing team to implement cost savings initiatives and establish favorable contracts for the University. There are Key Contracts and there are Preferred & Strategic Contracts that provide favorable pricing and terms for the University.


State and Consortium Agreements


Non-Contracted Suppliers


Any purchase from a non-contracted supplier that exceeds the bid limits is subject to the competitive bid process. The Purchasing department utilizes the following documents for bidding purposes:

  • Requests for Quotations (RFQ): A document provided to bidders requesting prices for goods or services. Also called a bid or price inquiry. 
  • Requests for Proposals (RFP): A request for bidders to provide a customized response, often for services or goods that include a service element. Responses may include pricing, enhancements, implementation plan, and timeline. 
  • Request for Information (RFI): A request issued to suppliers within a specific commodity or market to determine the viability of a concept. No award is made from an RFI. 
  • Quote: A supplier’s offer of a price for specific goods or services, generally provided verbally or in writing on supplier letterhead. 

View the RFP Process


Waiver of Competitive Bidding

The Waiver of Competitive Bid Form must be completed by university departments when seeking to purchase goods in excess of the bid limit of $25,000 or more per supplier, per fund, per fiscal year; or services in excess of the bid limit of $50,000 or more per supplier, per fund, per fiscal year.

View Waiver Process

Tools for Buying

  • eStores
  • Purchase OrderA Purchase Order is a document created and approved in the Financials System PeopleSoft Requisition for the purchase of goods and services not available in eStores or items not eligible to be purchased on the Purchasing Card or Travel Card. 
  • Blanket Order: Blanket Purchase Orders are used for transactions that occur very frequently (daily or multiple times a week), have a high variation of product types, an undetermined timing and for items not available for purchase in eStores. The Blanket Purchase Order Release Form is used to record all releases against a blanket purchase order. 
  • Term Order: A term Order is an order that allows for the incremental purchase of a specific product or service when the price, quantity and schedule of fulfillment are largely predetermined and specified in the purchase order at the time it is initiated. The quantity can be the same with every delivery or may vary. A term order can be created for a maximum of 1 year (12 months) and cannot cross fiscal years. Click here to link to the Blanket Order vs. Term Order (PDF) guidelines and examples.
  • Convenience Order


In order to provide receipt verification and accountability for products purchased on behalf of the University, it is a good business practice to have suppliers direct shipments to Central Receiving. Central Receiving inspects deliveries for external box damage and enters receipts in PeopleSoft in a timely fashion. Learn more.


Payment is processed by the Office of the Controller Accounts Payable division. For any more information or questions, please refer to Accounts Payable.