Elon University requires a purchase request for orders that exceed $1,000. Requests are submitted through our online system and routed to those who need to sign-off on the request before it’s officially placed with the vendor. Please note that for limited subscriptions, membership fees, or registration fees, you should submit a check request through Accounting.


Approval/Signature Requirements

  • All expenditures that exceed $1,000 require the approval of the appropriate department chair or budget manager.
  • Expenditures exceeding $2,000 require the approval of the appropriate Vice President or designate as determined by the Accounting department’s signature authority guidelines.

Understanding the Purchase Request Process

Submitting a Request

The purchase request process begins with the submission of a request through our online system. In the request, you’ll detail things like vendor information and items being purchased. You’ll also have the chance to send the request to the appropriate people who need to sign-off (e.g., your budget manager or department chair). Once you press submit, the request will travel to the person you’ve specified for approval – or straight to Purchasing if no approval is necessary.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • The form will time out 30 minutes from when you open it, so be sure to save your work if you’ll need more time.
  • Do not include sales tax on the purchase request.

    Reviewing/Approving a Request

    Once a purchase request has been submitted, the specified approver will receive an email notification. As an approver, you’ll be able to amend budget numbers, approve or deny the request, or else return the request to the initiator for changes. If you choose to approve the request, you’ll be prompted to send it to another person if needed, or submit the request directly to Purchasing.

    Approved Requests

    Once everyone has signed off, Purchasing will review the request for the correct budget classification and appropriate digital signatures. They will also determine if a less expensive price can be found, and may inquire further on warranty, delivery, and installation information. Upon approval, the request is entered into Colleague and a purchase order (PO) is emailed or faxed to the vendor.

    Final Sign-Off

    Once the PO is created, the specified initiator (usually the original requester) will be sent a receiving copy of the purchase order through campus mail, also known as the “white copy.” The white copy is used to confirm whether or not all of the merchandise was delivered as requested.

    Once the merchandise has been received, the initiator should sign the white copy and send it to Accounting at Campus Box 2900. Accounting will transfer the money to the vendor once they have received the signed white copy from the initiator as well as an invoice with PO number from the vendor.

    For more information, including what to do if merchandise hasn’t been delivered, review Accounting’s Accounts Payable page.