Frequently Asked Questions

The most frequently asked questions about purchasing at Elon are as follows:

  1. How do I place an order?
  2. When do I need a purchase order?
  3. What is the difference between a purchase request and a check request?
  4. What happens when Purchasing receives the purchase request?
  5. What kind of information is available from the Purchasing Department?
  6. How should I interact with vendors in a professional manner?
  7. How do I buy office supplies?
  8. How do I get reimbursed at the Bursar?s Office?
  9. Does Elon University pay sales tax?
  10. Who do I call when I have problems with my computer and/or printer?

ANSWERS

1. How do I place an order? Simply fill out a purchase request and obtain appropriate signatures. All expenditures that exceed $1,000 require the approval of the appropriate dean. Expenditures exceeding $2,000 require the approval of the appropriate Vice President or designate as determined by the Accounting department signature authority guidelines.

2. When do I need a purchase order? Elon University requires a purchase order for orders that exceed $1,000. If the order is less than $1,000, and the vendor requires a purchase order, Purchasing will issue one. Purchase orders are not required for limited subscriptions (e.g., magazine, newspaper), membership fees, registration fees, etc.  A purchase order is required for furniture and technology orders regardless of dollar amount.

3. What is the difference between a purchase request and a check request? A check request is used for limited subscriptions, membership fees, registration fees, etc. A purchase request is used to order supplies, equipment, materials, etc.

4. What happens when Purchasing receives the purchase request? The Purchasing Department reviews the request for: 1) correct budget classification, 2) appropriate signatures, 3) determining if a less expensive price can be found, and 4) warranty information, delivery and installation. The request is entered into Colleague and a purchase order is printed and faxed or emailed to the vendor. The receiving report (green copy of purchase order) is sent to the initiator and must be signed and returned to the Accounting Office when items are received. The pink copy of the purchase order is for the initiator's files.

5. What kind of information is available from the Purchasing Department? The Purchasing Department can: 1) help locate sources, 2) negotiate pricing and delivery, 3) issue competitive bids, and 4) answer questions about orders previously placed, encumbrance issues, and all other questions concerning supplies, equipment, and services and P-Cards.

6. How should I interact with vendors in a professional manner? The University strives to be fair to all vendors with whom it does business. This involves allowing vendors to competitively bid on items the University might need and never revealing one vendor's prices to another vendor. Should you have questions when working with a vendor, do not hesitate to call Purchasing for assistance.

7. How do I obtain office supplies? Elon University has a contract with OfficeMax for delivery of supplies to your office. Your department assistant will place your orders through the online ordering system.

8. How do I get reimbursed at the Bursar's Office? Simply take the receipt including the appropriate account number, signed by the budget manager, to the Bursar's Office to be reimbursed for up to $150.

9. Does Elon University pay North Carolina sales tax? Elon does pay NC sales tax; however, the University is reimbursed. The sales tax is not charged to departmental budgets.  Do not include sales tax on the purchase request.

10. Who do I call when I have problems with my computer and/or printer? Call the Campus Technology Support "Help Desk" at ext. 5200.