Effective Date:  July 2009
Last Reviewed: July 2009

Purpose and scope:

The purpose of this policy is to establish policies and document the procedures for purchasing and paying for College goods and services.


The Purchasing and Payment Policy ensures:

• Budgetary control over College resources,

• Compliance with applicable federal, state and local government regulations

• The College receives maximum value for funds being expended

• Proper payment of College obligations

Purchases for goods and services are ordered by various purchasing methods. Prudent purchasing should always be used; price, quality, shipping, and service should all be considered.

Purchase Order Policy

Purchases less than $2,500 do not require a purchase order unless required by the vendor. The College recommends the use of the Stonehill Purchasing Card for purchases of goods and services with a value of less than $2,500. For information about obtaining a purchasing card please visit the Stonehill Purchasing Website.

Purchases over $2,500 require a purchase order (see exceptions below). The Purchase Order is a primary ordering document for College purchasing activity. It is a formal written offer to a vendor or contractor containing all terms and conditions of a proposed transaction. Once accepted by a vendor, it becomes a legally binding contract between both parties. Purchase orders also create a budgetary commitment, which assists budget management.

Stonehill's purchase order system is automated and begins with the requisition form. Requisition details are entered into the system via Banner Self Service by individual departments. Only persons designated as budget approver may approve requisitions. Budget approvers are listed in the Signature Approval Authorization Policy maintained by the Finance Office.

After the requisition is approved, the Purchasing Office issues a purchase order to the selected vendor. A purchase order contains all the order information from the requisition and permits the vendor to process and ship the order. Purchase orders are forwarded to vendors on a daily basis. Copies of Purchase Orders will not be distributed back to the departments as departments can obtain Purchase Order information on-line from Banner Self Service.

Conflict of Interest Statement

Any vendor that has a relationship with the College or an employee of the College must disclose the relationship in a conflict of interest statement.

Categories Exempt from Purchase Orders

Certain categories are exempted from the purchase order requirement and bid policy. These include:

• Honoraria and fees for entertainers

• Investment management services

• Educational program expenditures (e.g., study abroad programs)

• Fringe-benefit related • Taxes and payments to government agencies

• Legal and audit fees

• Professional services

• Membership fees and subscriptions

• Insurance

• Utilities

• Items covered by a formal contract

Purchase Order Changes

Requests for the cancellation or modification of Purchase Orders, including an increase or decrease in the dollar amount or a change in the account number of the order must be submitted via a Change Order Form to the Purchasing Department. The respective budget approver must state the reason for the change and refer to the Purchase Order number and vendor's name and address. Changes will be governed by the approval process.

Change orders are not required for changes of less than 10% of the total order value.

Violation of this Policy

Employees should not make any commitments of Stonehill College funds by placing an order without following purchasing procedures. Employees could be held legally liable and responsible for payment of unauthorized purchases. Note that an “after-the-fact” or “confirming” Purchase Order cannot be issued after placing an order with a vendor to satisfy compliance to this policy.

For any violation of this purchase order policy a notification will be sent to the employee’s Division Head and a copy will be sent to Human Resources. Excessive violations may result in the termination of Stonehill purchasing ability.

Processing Invoices for Payment

Once an invoice has been received for goods and services purchased, a Request for Payment Form must be completed (see Controller’s website). This is the case for both items where a purchase order was generated and a direct pay from an invoice. Once all information has been entered both the requestor and the appropriate authorized signer must sign the Form. Refer to the Stonehill Signature Authorization Policy to ensure the proper individual is signing. Forward both the invoice and Request for Payment Form to Accounts Payable for payment.

Please note that original invoices are required in order to prevent duplicate payments. However, if a photocopy or fax copy of an invoice is used, you must mark on the copy “USE AS ORIGINAL” indicating that you have not forwarded the original for payment.

Checks are processed each Thursday during regular business weeks. The deadline for submitting items to be included in the weekly check process is the preceding Friday. Requests for checks to be issued between regular scheduled check processing are greatly discouraged and must be approved by both the V.P. of the issuer’s division and the V.P. of Finance.

Returns for Credit

When a vendor has shipped items as specified on a Purchase Order, they have legally complied with their part of the contract and are under no obligation to accept for credit any of those items delivered as specified. Acceptance of a return by the vendor is by no means automatic, and a restocking charge may be incurred. This charge will be assessed to the requisitioning department.

Credit memos received by a department should be handled in the same manner as approving an invoice for payment.

Signature Responsibilities

All signatures must be original. An individual signing another person’s name and initialing it is unacceptable. Signature stamps seriously weaken internal control over expenses and their use is specifically prohibited.


The individual submitting an expense for payment bears the responsibility to:

• Verify that all expenses being paid by the College are valid and conform to this policy document

• Understand that requests lacking required documentation and/or business purpose will be questioned.


Individuals authorized to approve expenditures of others will administer these policies and are responsible to verify and have:

• An understanding of what is being approved

• The information and supporting documentation is accurate and complete

• The transaction is allowable, reasonable and justified

• The transaction is charged to the correct project(s) or accounts

• There are adequate funds to cover the expense

• The funding source is appropriate for the expenditure

Controller’s Group/Accounts Payable

The Accounts Payable department within the Controller’s Office is responsible for reviewing expenses prior to processing to verify that expenses are reasonable and meet the following criteria:

• Expenses have been reviewed/approved by the appropriate approver

• Expenses are charged to the appropriate account numbers

• Expenses have been reviewed for compliance with College Policies