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The purchase of goods and services plays a big part in helping to achieve the university’s mission. Faculty and staff who make purchases have a key role in stewarding the university’s resources.

Stanford Financial Management Services (FMS) recently launched FIN-0420: Preferred Purchasing Methods to equip purchasers with the knowledge and resources to choose the purchasing method that best meets their department’s needs, balances operational efficiency, and meets key compliance procedures required of the university. This new course is now required to access iProcurement, including all central staff working within a purchasing role in Oracle, such as buyers.

Before this change, all new employees were automatically granted access to iProcurement. This change now establishes a process and opportunity to provide foundational knowledge on preferred purchasing practices prior to receiving access. This aligns with our standard practices around access to financial systems like Expense Requests and PCard, reserving system access to those individuals for whom purchasing is a primary responsibility of their role with the university and therefore have been granted appropriate authority privileges in Authority Manager and complete required training.

What is iProcurement?

SU Internet Procurement, also referred to as iProcurement, is the system the university uses to facilitate the purchasing of goods and services through a suite of connected systems including: Stanford’s Amazon Business account, SmartMart Catalog Suppliers, Cardinal TempsNon-Catalog Requests, and SmartMart Contracts. Purchasing through iProcurement is preferred because it offers increased built-in features to protect the university and steward its resources.

iProcurement facilitates the transaction approval process prior to the payment being made, which supports accurate, reasonable, and appropriate use of Stanford’s financial resources. Additional benefits are offered by the individual systems, for example Amazon Business provides similar availability and access to items available on its public website, but holds higher standards of vetting and approving sellers. SmartMart Catalog Suppliers offers pre-vetted suppliers, pre-negotiated pricing and efficiencies such as repeat ordering and a streamlined invoice and payment process. Learn more about how to gain access on the iProcurement Systems page.

Change for new staff now effective

Effective immediately, department authority grantors (described below) will grant a new iProcurement authority privilege for new staff to gain access to the system. After being granted the new authority privilege, the staff must enroll in and complete the new course, FIN-0420 Preferred Purchasing Methods, and its prerequisite, FIN-PROG-0020: Financial Stewardship Expectations. After that, new staff will have access to iProcurement within two hours.

Current staff must take the course to maintain access

On March 20, FMS reached out to existing iProcurement users within the last 24 months with the following instructions on how to take the course within the next 90 days:

  • To maintain access, existing iProcurement users can prepare to complete FIN-0420 Preferred Purchasing Methods and its prerequisite FIN-PROG-0020: Financial Stewardship Expectations (if not already completed) by June 19, 2023 to maintain iProcurement access. Everyone who completes the training by the due date will be auto-granted the new SU Internet Procurement authority privilege and retain access to iProcurement.  
  • If access to the purchase process is no longer needed, those existing iProcurement users should review the list of systems that this course is required for to ensure access is no longer needed. After confirming access is no longer needed, they can opt to not take the course and let their access expire.  

Access to iProcurement is granted, no longer automatic

At Stanford, authority to create financial transactions is managed by specific individuals referred to as authority grantors. They use the Authority Manager system to grant needed privileges to staff in their school or unit. A new financial system authority privilege was created called SU Internet Procurement and provided to authority grantors with existing authority for granting:

  • SU Expense Requests
  • SU Digital Payments
  • SU PCard

Staff requiring access to any of the iProcurement Systems should follow instructions included on the iProcurement Systems page and reach out to their department authority grantor to initiate the process.

Prepare for the change

Anyone who purchases goods or services for the university can now take the course to meet the requirement. Hiring managers, authority grantors, and HR managers should take a moment to update their onboarding guidance for new staff to reference the new requirement. In addition, note the following resources to support purchasing practices:

To get assistance

If you need help with financial training please submit a support request. For assistance with purchasing activities and transactions, contact the Financial Support Center.

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