Purchases from Vendors

Purchases from Vendors using a College Purchasing Card

Purchasing cards are a preferred method of payment. Please check with all vendors to see if they will accept purchasing cards prior to requesting a check payment.


Purchases from Vendors/Invoice paid by Accounts Payable

The department places the order with the vendor. When the invoice is received from the vendor, the budget officer or designee verifies that the goods and/or services have been received. The budget officer or designated signer then records the account number(s) to be charged for the goods/services on the invoice and signs the invoice authorizing payment. The signer is responsible to verify that the department budget is adequate to pay the invoice and that relevant college policies are followed in regards to the purchase. The department forwards the invoice to Accounts Payable for payment. Invoices are paid based on upon due date. 


Purchase Orders are required by some vendors.  In addition, Lewis & Clark requires a purchase order for purchases over the federal micro-purchase amount if federal funds are being used to make the purchase.


To obtain a Purchase Order, the department submits a Requisition Form  to the Business Office.  The requisition must include the signature of the budget officer or designee, the account number(s), an adequate description of goods or services, and the complete address of the vendor. A vendor quote is recommended.

Departments that require purchase orders frequently may request access to enter their requisitions online. It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that only purchases authorized by the department’s budget officer are entered.

The department is responsible for ensuring that there is adequate budget for the purchase. Budget revisions are not necessary between object codes within a department’s operating budget. 

Requisitions are processed within 5 business days. The purchase order can be sent to the department by interoffice mail or picked up at the Business Office. 


Purchase Orders

The Business Office generates a purchase order from the information received on the requisition. A purchase order forms the contractual obligation between the college and the vendor where the vendor is obligated to ship goods or provide services to the college in return for the college’s promise to pay the agreed upon price. The purchase order creates an immediate encumbrance against the department’s budget.

The Business Office generates two different types of purchase orders:

Regular Purchase Orders are issued to order goods and services from a vendor. The order is item specific and includes a full description of each item ordered. The purchase order is closed when the items are received and the vendor’s invoice is paid by Accounts Payable.

Blanket Purchase Orders are issued when goods and services are received on a routine basis, such as monthly utilities and maintenance contracts. These blanket purchase orders are authorized at the beginning of each fiscal year. Monthly or quarterly invoices can be paid automatically from this yearly authorization.

Blanket purchase orders are also issued to be kept on file with vendors, such as the purchase of sheet music by the Music department or purchase of plants by Facilities Services. These blanket purchase orders authorize the vendor to accept orders from authorized personnel at the college for a preauthorized dollar amount of goods and services over a designated period of time. The vendor invoice will reference the blanket purchase order number.