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Purchase Orders


The Purchase Order is the primary ordering document for university purchasing activity. It is a formal written offer to a vendor or contractor containing all terms and conditions of a proposed transaction. Once accepted by a vendor, it becomes a legally binding contract between both parties.

Bentley's purchasing system is automated.  Purchase Requisition details are input into the system via Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services. Purchase Orders are subsequently computer-generated with system-assigned Purchase Order numbers.

The Purchase Order document is a two-part form. Once signed by an authorized buyer, one copy is sent to the vendor, while the other is kept on file at Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services. 

Requestors are sent a Confirmation Document (Exhibit F) by e-mail, which contains detailed purchase order information.  If any discrepancies exist, please notify Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services immediately.


Quick Reference:Purchase Req. to Purchase Order Process


Occasionally, vendors may require prepayment for ordered goods or services. Prepayment arrangements are not desirable and should be avoided whenever possible due to the tenuous position it establishes for the university.

If, however, Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services determines that no viable alternative exists to this arrangement, the transactions must be indicated on the purchase requisition and will be governed by the following guidelines:

  1. Prepayments must be authorized by the Director of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.
  2. Cost Center Approvers will be made aware of prepayments when they occur.
  3. When goods and services are received, the Cost Center Approver must notify the Accounts Payable Office with an approved copy of the invoice.


Certain purchases will require payment upon delivery of goods or services specified. Purchase Requisitions requiring such payment must clearly specify that COD (Check on Delivery) will be required and identify the respective Bentley University employee who will be responsible for picking up a check at the Accounts Payable Office to provide to the supplier or contractor upon delivery.

All COD requests must be noted on the purchase requisition and approved by the Director of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.


Requests for the cancellation or modification of Purchase Orders, including an increase or decrease in the dollar amount or a change in the account number of the order must be submitted to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services via a Purchase Requisition. The respective Cost Center Approver must state the reason for the change and refer to the Purchase Order number and vendor's name and address. Changes will be governed by the authorization level required on the original order document.

The cumulative value of a Purchase Order and any changes cannot exceed the initial Cost Center Approver's signature level. Any changes beyond this amount require approval of the next appropriate level of authorization.

An official notification to the vendor will be sent via a Bentley Purchase Order Change Notice (Exhibit G).

Please Note: Such Purchase Requisitions must clearly state that the request is a modification to an existing order.  The original Purchase Order number must be referenced.


In cases of damage or shortage of shipment, a written report should be submitted immediately to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services, including the following details: Purchase Order number, date received, vendor, and extent of damage or shortage.

Such claims must be filed in a reasonable time, normally within two business days. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in a disallowance of the claim by the vendor.

Please contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services for assistance in the event that a satisfactory resolution cannot be met with a vendor.


Mistakes in shipping or invoicing should be reported promptly to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services, referring to the Purchase Order number and vendor involved. Departments should provide sufficient detail concerning the mistake so that steps may be taken to correct the error with the vendor.

When a vendor has shipped items as specified on a Purchase Order, they have legally complied with their part of the contract and are under no obligation to accept for credit any of those items delivered as specified. Acceptance of a return by the vendor is by no means automatic, and a restocking charge may be incurred. This charge will be assessed to the requisitioning department.

Credit memos received by a department should be handled in the same manner as approving an invoice for payment. Returns or adjustments which effect the encumbered amount of the Purchase Order should be processed through Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services via a requisition so that a Purchase Order Change Notice can be processed.


Each time a Purchase Requisition is input into the computerized purchasing system, available funds from designated budgeted accounts are analyzed by the system. Each respective Cost Center Approver is responsible for monitoring and managing their budgets throughout the fiscal year.

Variances are to be reported to the Financial Operations Budget Office on a quarterly basis.