A non-catalog purchase requisition, also called a non-catalog request, is a purchasing method used to purchase goods and most services. Before initiating a new non-catalog purchase requisition, Stanford purchasers should review goods offered by Amazon Business or SmartMart catalog suppliers, which offer a streamlined and efficient ordering process.   

All purchase requisitions must be in compliance with Stanford’s purchasing policies and guidelines.  Purchase requisitions facilitate appropriate financial approval and the creation of purchase orders, which serve as the contract between Stanford and the supplier of the goods or services.

When the purchase involves a signed agreement negotiated by two or more parties, such as when a business unit, school, or department, hires a non-Stanford, outside company or individual to perform a service for Stanford, the purchase must follow the contract process. This process facilitates the appropriate review and signature of the contract by the Procurement Services Contracts team and possibly also the supplier.

Certain categories of purchases, such as Capital Purchases or Special Goods, require additional actions in the procurement process.

Purchase Order (PO) Process

The Purchase Order process has the following six stages: 

All purchase requisitions begin with identifying a need for a good or service. The pre-request includes discussion with the department stakeholders and competitive quotes from  suppliers with pricing for the desired goods or services for non-catalog orders. Per Admin Guide 5.1.1, the university's policy is that acquisition of products or services will be by competition between potential suppliers. This is the responsibility of the requestor. Therefore, individuals that request goods and services are responsible for documenting their efforts related to price competition. Purchases $25,000 and over require additional consideration, documentation and review (see review and approval step).

A supplier is any individual or organization that receives a payment from Stanford University for goods and services. Before a purchase can be made, the supplier must have an active record in the university’s database. To search for an existing supplier or payee record, reactivate a supplier or payee, create a new address site or request a new supplier or payee record, refer to How to: Make a Supplier/Payee Request.

A purchase order begins with a purchase requisition in iProcurement. This is where the preparer of the requisition will input purchase details such as where to deliver the goods and will designate which project, task, award and expenditure type (PTAE) to charge. Refer to How To: Create a Standard Non-Catalog Requisition for detailed information.

All Stanford purchase requisitions must be approved by individuals within the school or unit with appropriate financial authority for the PTAE used. A designated PTAE approver is auto-populated in the requisition based on the PTA and dollar amount that is being requested. These financial approvers are designated and managed by the department in charge of the PTAE. Users can look up financial approvers by project and task using the Financial Approval Authority Query tool in Oracle. Users can select another approver with adequate authority and remove the pre-generated approver if appropriate.

After accepting or changing the designated financial approver(s) within the school or unit, the purchase requisition moves to the review and approval stage.

Purchases under $25,000
If the purchase order is below $25,000 and the supplier does not require a Stanford signature on their document, the PO is sent to the supplier after all financial approvals are complete. 

Purchases $25,000 or greater
If the purchase requisition is a non-catalog purchase and is $25,000 or greater, Procurement Services will confirm and document compliance with university and federal policies and then approve the requisition. This includes verifying that the requisition has appropriately met the competition requirements set forth by the university in Admin Guide 5.1.1. Subsequent to Procurement Services review, the requisition will route for financial approval and the PO will be sent to the supplier after all financial approvals are complete. 

University policy requires the purchase of products or services be by competition between suppliers to the extent possible based upon the requirements of quality, price and performance. When purchasing a product or service with a cost of $25,000 or greater, the requisition must include documentation verifying this requirement has been met. This can be achieved through one of the  following options:

  • In addition to the quote from the selected supplier, attach at least one or more competitive quotes from other suppliers, or,
  • Attach a completed single or sole source justification form.
    • A Single Source means other sources are available but the requisitioner chooses to use only one particular source. This may be due to the documented specific business requirements. 
    • A Sole Source means that no other sources can provide the product or service. The source justification should include a statement that demonstrates the unique qualifications of the product or service, description of efforts made to locate other sources (suppliers), and documentation that the anticipated cost is fair and reasonable.

Approved non-catalog purchase orders (PO) are delivered to the supplier directly via email. To review any aspects of the PO, users may access the Requisition and Purchase Order Query tool, which is one of the SU Inquiry Tools and Forms in Oracle Financials.

There are several activities that can occur when a PO becomes active: 

Finally Closing completed or inactive purchase orders is a good practice in order to reduce risk and support accurate financial reporting. When a PO is finally closed, any outstanding commitments are relieved. There are two ways a PO can be closed:

  • Departments may Finally Close a PO: Once all goods and services have been received, invoiced and paid, the PO can be finally closed by the department using Requisition and Purchase Order Query . Prior to finally closing a PO, the requester should confirm that there will be no further activity on the PO. For more information, refer to How To: Finally Close a Purchase Order (PO)
  • Procurement Services auto close: When a PO meets the following criteria; the PO has not had any activity including invoices or change order for over three years and there are no outstanding commitments, it is closed through an automatic process managed by Procurement Services.