Closing the Books on Inactive Purchase Orders (PO)

On February 10, 2020, FMS Procurement Services delivered a new tool to make it easier for campus users to manage the life cycle of their POs. The Finally Close Feature is the first completed project of a user-centric approach, giving end users the ability to permanently close an inactive PO. This ability will lead to more accurate financial reporting and overall risk reduction for the department and university. 

Turning user feedback into design

The Finally Close feature and the effort to streamline the PO process are results of feedback Procurement Services received from the Client Satisfaction Survey. Procurement Services engaged end-users in designing and testing new features, tools, and processes over eight months to ensure that the final product meets campus users' needs. If a PO meets the systems eligibility criteria to be Finally Closed, then the process is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Results After Go-Live 

Chart of total commitments releases and total POs closed; total commitment released: $20.2 million, total POs closed: 22,669 during the period of Feb. 10 to May 3, 2020

Learn More

The Finally Close feature is part of a broad effort to make it easier for users to manage the life cycle of their POs. It is a result of feedback Procurement Services received from FMS Client Satisfaction Survey.

The feature is a part of Stanford's continued effort to increase operational efficiencies and improve internal controls and financial reporting for the business units, schools and departments. Learn more about this feature on the overview page.

The Finally Close feature rolled out the week of February 10, 2020. To learn how to use the feature, view the How To: Finally Close a Purchase Order (PO).

To Finally Close a PO means to change the status of the PO to permanently inactive. The PO has exhausted all funds and is no longer available for changes or renewals. Currently, many inactive POs over three years old are automatically Finally Closed by the system. Users can use the tool to clean up inactive POs even when funds remain (but will not be used) in order to release any commitments tied to older POs. Users can Finally Close a PO when the PO contract has been fulfilled, and there are no more pending invoices or pending payments. The Finally Close action is permanent and cannot be reversed. POs that have not received an invoice cannot be Finally Closed and must be cancelled instead.

All users can Finally Close a PO if they have the PO number. If the Finally Close action was taken in error, a new PO will need to be created to replace the Finally Closed PO.

Yes, you will still be able to suppress lines on a PO as needed.

The PO Suppression program only hides the PO’s open commitment from financial reports. The program does not change the status of the PO itself. Therefore, funds still remain available for AP to make payments on invoices and the PO can accept change orders.

Graphic showing when to use the finally close and suppression option.


PO should be finally closed as the first option and that manual decommitments can be done if required at the line level. Manual decommitments will still be processed by the Procurement Services team. However, Finally Closing a PO removes all remaining available funds (commitments), and it permanently prevents any future invoices, change orders and updates to old POs that will no longer be used. The Finally Close feature is more streamlined and accurate than the manual decommit process.

There is current information in Fingate on several OBI reports to help identify POs with open commitments.

Yes, Procurement Services is assessing other functionalities, including proposing a solution to enable users to better manage their POs.

If you have questions, please contact the Financial Support Center by submitting a Support Request to a Financial Support Specialist.

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