There are multiple methods for purchasing services at Stanford.

The following table describes methods and scenarios for purchasing services at Stanford.

Method Why?
Amazon Business
via iProcurement system
You are buying any item that is available in Amazon Business. Amazon Business is the recommended and preferred purchasing method at Stanford. 
Before purchasing items from other suppliers, check Amazon Business first for availability.
via iProcurement system
Buying certain products or services through the SmartMart catalog or through one of the punch out suppliers.
Non-Catalog Purchasing
(Non-Catalog Requisition) via iProcurement system
Service provider accepts purchase orders and will invoice Stanford.
Note: Items that meet the criteria may use a lease agreement. A lease agreement is established when Stanford funds are used to rent, borrow or use a product or services for a specific period of time. To learn more about lease agreements, refer to Topic Overview: Equipment Leases and Topic Overview: Rent or Lease Real Estate.
Purchasing Card
via PCard module of Oracle Financials system
Service provider accepts credit cards, total amount for services is under $4,999 and service is not available in SmartMart or Amazon. A purchasing agreement (signed contract) is not needed.
Non-PO Payment Request
via Expense Requests system

You are paying a supplier directly for certain services (e.g., honoraria, human subjects, moving and temporary living expenses, etc.)

Stanford partners with several key suppliers to ensure best pricing and service for commonly ordered services. Use these strategic suppliers when buying:

Purchase of certain services requires understanding of specific policy. Examples include:

Services Special Considerations/Treatment
Consultants and Contractors

The determination of whether a worker is classified as an employee or as an independent contractor is related to whether employment taxes are withheld and paid by the employer. For more information, refer to Employee versus Independent Contractor Status.


For capital projects over $50,000, expenditures which improve or add to the value of the asset, or extend the useful life of the asset are capitalizable as part of the project's cost. All other costs must be expensed. Refer to Resource: Cost Guidelines for Capital Project.

Hiring Temporary Workers

CardinalTemps, a managed service provider, mitigates risks associated with hiring temporary workers by ensuring consistent background checks, appropriate classification of workers, proper insurance for placed workers and enforcement of Living Wage policies.  CardinalTemps interfaces with the iProcurement system.

Web-based Applications

Suppliers providing web-based applications through direct purchase or custom development, must be informed of Stanford University Online Accessibility Policy and complete the Stanford Accessibility Procurement Template.

To request assistance from a representative of the Stanford Online Accessibility Program, submit a Support Request.


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