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.
To equip purchasers with the knowledge and resources to choose the purchasing method that meets their needs as well as key compliance requirements, Financial Management Services (FMS) developed a new course, FIN-0420 Preferred Purchasing Methods, which will be required to access iProcurement. The course takes approximately 35 minutes to complete and does not require recertification after successful completion.
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 who have received training and for whom purchasing is a primary responsibility of their role with the university.
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, Non-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 effective February 20
Effective February 20, 2023, department authority grantors (described below) will begin to 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
Existing faculty, staff, and students are invited to take the course when it is live on February 20. In the spring, FMS will reach out to individuals who have previously used iProcurement and provide instructions on how to take the course within the next 90 days. Individuals who complete the required training by the deadline will be automatically granted the new iProcurement authority privilege and will retain their access to iProcurement. iProcurement access will be removed for anyone who does not complete the training by the deadline. Following that department authority grants can grant iProcurement privileges and access will be enabled following completion of required training.
Access to iProcurement will be 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 iProcurement” and was 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 take the course starting on February 20 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:
- Purchasing and Payment Methods covers the variety of methods to use to buy, pay and reimburse at Stanford.
- Categories of Purchases is a snapshot of common types of purchases at Stanford. From this page, Purchasing Goods and Purchasing Services provides a deeper dive into these two categories.
- Visit the Procurement Services Events page to register for upcoming events or to view past recordings.
- Follow the Slack channel #Stanford-FMS-News for the latest on this and related topics.