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Purchasing Tools:

  • Purchase Requisition
  • Purchase Order (minimum of three quotes obtained)

Signature Authority (See Signature Authority Thresholds)

A quote is a statement from a vendor regarding the price for a specific good or service. The quote is not as formal as a bid and can be given over the phone or in writing. There are a minimum of three quotes required for the $9,999-$25,000 threshold. It is the initiating department’s responsibility to obtain these quotes from various vendors for the goods or services being obtained. The PD is available to assist departments in identifying comparable vendors, but it is up to the department to follow through to obtain the required quotes. Once the quote documentation and the purchase requisition are received, the PD will begin the process of producing the PO.

Hint: Vendors may not quote you the best price over the phone, especially if you do not have an established relationship with them. A phone call may mean you are just looking around for a ballpark estimate and are not a serious buyer. One way to impress vendors that you are a serious buyer and are interested in purchasing their products at the right price is to send the vendor a written request for a quote or bid. Identify the specification requirements and request their response in writing. This is not a “formal” bid process in that the request is not as extensive as a full request for proposal (RFP), but it is more formal than an over-the-phone quote and will yield more competitive prices.

Purchase Requisition / Purchase Order

  1. Department identifies required specifications and selects appropriate vendor to provide goods or services. (A minimum of three quotes must be obtained at this threshold level.)
  2. Department selects the vendor that meets the quality standards and provides the lowest price.
  3. Department completes purchase requisition for purchase of goods/services and forwards to the PD.
  4. PD verifies budget and signature authority and prepares the purchase order. Copies of the purchase order are forwarded to originating department and vendor. Funds are encumbered for the amount of the purchase order.
  5. Vendor ships goods/services to the department.
  6. Vendor forwards invoice to the PD for processing.
  7. PD checks the invoice and forwards to originating department for payment approval.
  8. Department completes payment portion of the purchase order, attaches original invoice and forwards back to the PD.
  9. PD issues payment to vendor.
  10. Typical turnaround time for a purchase requisition into a purchase order is 24 hours, provided the above criteria (appropriate signatures and budget verification) are met.

Vice Presidential Override
Purchases over $5,000 without a purchase order require a vice presidential override. The general policy is that only the vice presidents and the president have the authority to grant VP overrides. Only the president may authorize payment for merchandise and services that have been purchased directly by a vice president for his or her own office or staff without a properly executed purchase order. (No VP may grant an override for orders made directly by his or her own office.)




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