Purchasing Policies

Requisitions and Purchase Orders

Departments generally make purchases using the University's Purchasing Card or with a University Purchase Order. Departments wishing to issue a purchase order generally initiate the process by entering an online requisition using SLU Portal. Approved requisitions are reviewed by the Purchasing Department and they will issue a University Purchase Order to an approved vendor with the information provided on the requisition.

University purchase orders are generally required for the purchase of goods and services for amounts greater than $1,500. Requisitions for amounts greater than $1,500 must be approved by department heads/directors before Purchasing will issue a purchase order. Requisitions for amounts greater than $10,000 must be approved by the appropriate vice president. Requisitions for computer equipment must be approved by Informational Technology.  Instructions for entering and approving requisitions using SLU Portal are available on the Business Office website.

Departments are encouraged to use the University Purchasing Card to purchase goods and services less than $1,500, but there are some situations in which this is not possible. In these instances, departments may enter an online requisition to notify Purchasing to issue a purchase order. Departments that frequently need to issue small purchase orders may be set up to issue departmental purchase orders directly to vendors using SLU Portal if they contact Purchasing to schedule the implementation of specific print software and training.


In most cases, instructions are printed on purchase orders to mail invoices directly to the Business Office. For departments such as Facilities Operations, Athletics, and the Sciences, however, instructions on the purchase order instruct vendors to mail invoices to their department directly. These departments must receive prior approval for this and need to enter their mailing address as the alternate address in the Printed Comments section of the online requisition.


Departments must indicate when an item ordered on a purchase order has been received by entering a receiver using SLU Portal. The Business Office can not pay an invoice until the receiver is completed.

Request for Payment

Payment requests for items such as subscriptions, registrations, reimbursements, membership fees, honoraria and speaking fees should be made by entering an online Request for Payment using SLU Portal.

Users must designate who payment should be made to by selecting a vendor. Students and employees who have received prior payments through accounts payable (not payroll) will already be established as vendors and may be selected. Those who have not received such payments will not be in the system as vendors and users must contact Purchasing to do so before they can complete a Request for Payment.

Employees who successfully submit Request for Payment will receive an email that the request is complete. Employees should print the email, attach their supporting documentation for the payment, and forward to the Business Office for payment. If an employee is requesting a reimbursement to themselves, the printed email should first be forwarded to their supervisor for approval and then sent to the Business Office.

Requests for honoraria. A completed W-9 form must be on file in the Business Office before payment will be made to any U.S. persons. U.S. persons includes individuals who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens as well as partnerships, corporations, companies, or associations created or organized in the U.S. or under the laws of the U.S.

If payment is to be made to a foreign person or organization, a valid W-8 form must be on file in the Business Office. In some cases, the IRS requires tax withholding on payments to foreign persons and organizations. More detailed information is provided at paying foreign persons and organizations.

Hazardous Materials

Some items that are procured may be dangerous or regulated and may require a special license and/or approval by administrative officers. Radioactive substances must be procured only through the university radiation safety officer. Certain drugs, syringes, and chemicals require special licenses for possession. Strong acids and bases, certain lasers, as well as many solvents must be handled and stored according to state and/or federal regulations. It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that all ordered items are compliant with current university policy and with state and federal regulations. 


Checks to vendors are printed in the Business Office every Friday morning, and reimbursements to employees are directly deposited to employee bank accounts every Monday morning. Payments to vendors are made in accordance with terms, generally within 30 days of invoice date. In order for a check to be printed on Friday morning, the appropriate documentation must be submitted to the Business Office by 4:00 p.m. of the preceding Tuesday.