Frequently asked questions

Policy 36

Can I submit an invoice without a purchase order?

It depends. Accounting can only pay invoices without a PO for goods or services exempted by Procurement (see Procedure 4-3 – Procurement Standards, item 6), or purchases that have an approved derogation or transgression, can be paid directly. This rule applies to all amounts. In all other cases, you must use the appropriate procurement method based on the total value of the purchase. To learn more, check the Approval Authority Schedule listed in Policy 36 – Procurement.

Kindly log into the Accounting Service Portal (TOPdesk) for exempt purchases and select the “payment request” form. Make sure to state that your purchase is a listed exemption on procedure 4-3.

Why can we no longer pay an invoice by submitting a request for payment?

Paying invoices without a PO is not a best practice. Purchases must be planned upstream, i.e., BEFORE purchasing goods or services. For example, submitting an invoice for payment before first speaking to your designated buyer could make you miss out on automatic approvals built into the system, or pre-negotiated rebates, or pre-established agreements.

Be aware that receiving an invoice without a purchase order is considered a transgression or a violation of procurement standards. To avoid this, kindly contact your designated buyer as soon as you identify a need for goods or services. The designated buyer will assess your need and may recommend suppliers. Also, this person will ensure your purchase follows the right procedure, has the right approvals (business and procurement) and commits funds in the University’s financial systems (needed for accounting and auditing purposes).

I have a question about procurement. Can you help me?

All services and faculties have designated buyers who are your first line of support with procurement questions. You can check the list of designated buyers. If your designated buyer requires assistance from Procurement, they will collaborate in the background.

The role of the designated buyer is described in Policy 36 (item 7.4). This paragraph also lists the responsibilities associated with this role.

How are designated buyers selected?

Unit managers are responsible for naming their designated buyers. Holding a PCard or being a SciQuest requester does not automatically make someone a designated buyer.

Who is authorized to approve a derogation or transgression?

The Approval Authority Schedule in Policy 36 – Procurement lists the individuals authorized to approve purchases.

For derogations and transgressions, refer to the same Authority Schedule mentioned above. For derogations, go “one level up”. In other words, seek approval from the authority that is one threshold above the regular approval. For transgressions follow a similar concept, but go “two levels” above the value-based approval authority.

For example, a faculty’s designated buyer and budget manager can authorize standard purchases up to $10k, derogations up to $5k (one level up) or transgressions up to $1k (two levels up).

In all cases, make sure to have both a procurement AND a business approval.

When is the deadline to comply with the new Policy 36?

Everyone is expected to comply with the new policy as of January 25, 2021. Since then, Procurement has been meeting with all the services and faculties on a rotating basis to modify their SciQuest procedures. Even if your procedures have not yet been modified, all of your purchases of goods or services must comply with Policy 36. If your workflows are not yet automated, kindly obtain business and procurement approvals manually, and follow the proper procurement procedures.

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