Systems and Procedures
A Division of The Corporate Controller's Office

Procedure CR2014 - Prepayment Authorization

Office of the Corporate Controller

Policy Steward facilitating procedure: Associate Vice President for Auxiliary and Business Services

Table of Contents:


In order to process and control orders for materials or services which require a payment to accompany a Purchase order, the following procedure has been developed. This procedure provides an after-payment follow up to verify that the prepaid material or services were actually received.

The Special Request for Check will still be used to pay for magazine/periodical subscriptions (when a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periodical will be received on a continuing basis),and books and published materials (under $250). The other uses of the Special Request for Check remain as outlined on Special Request for Check on GURU. Additional information may be obtained on the GURU Decision Tool, Payment Decision Matrix - Use of Purchasing Card, Purchase Order or Special Request for Check .

This procedure outlines the flow of the Purchase Order copies and the requirements of respective departments in order to provide a controlled prepayment environment.

The Purchase Order form referenced in this procedure, serves only as a requisition until it is completed and approved by the Department of Purchasing Services.



A Purchase Orders Requisition must be completed and submitted using eBuy. The ordering department must indicate that it is a prepayment in the description field. The Purchasing Agent will contact the company to be sure that the order must be prepaid. If the order must be prepaid the agent will send the Prepayment Letter to the department for signature. The order will not be approved until the signed Prepayment letter is received by Purchasing. It is the Ordering Department's responsibility to acquire an invoice or order form from the vendor and provide this invoice to the Purchasing Department. The invoice or order form must reflect the total cost of the materials or services (without taxes), less appropriate discounts, plus any shipping costs.

When the Purchase Order is approved, it is printed and held with the check for mailing to the vendor. The payables clerk will enter the invoice into the payment system to pay the invoice upon confirmation. The payables clerk also enters a note for the Accounting department to return the check to Purchasing. When the ordering department confirms the invoice the check will be prepared and sent to the Purchasing Department. The check and purchase order will be mailed together to the vendor. The agents and assistants will give the Office Manager a copy of all prepayment orders. The Office Manager will then complete a Receiving Report for the order. A copy is then sent to the department for a signature when the items are received. One copy will be held with the order copy. Once the department receives the items, that department signs the Partial Receiving Report and returns it to the Office Manager in Purchasing. When the Partial Receiving Report is received with a signature, the original will be electronically attached to the order.

NOTE: If the Ordering Department elects to cancel the prepaid order, the department must contact the vendor as soon as possible to cancel the order and then submit a Purchase Order Change form (see instructions for eBuy and the Purchase Order Change Form on GURU) to Purchasing Services.


At least monthly, Purchasing will verify that any prepaid orders appearing in their open file for more than 60 days are, indeed, still open and the material has not yet been received by the Department. If the file has not been closed after 60 days, Purchasing Services will pursue with the vendor to accomplish closure.

If a department is negligent in submitting signed Receiving Report photocopies, approval for future prepayments may be withheld. If a vendor does not supply materials or services as ordered and prepaid, that vendor will not be an approved source for future prepayments.

The Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that procedures pertaining to the accountability and safeguarding of all cash receipts, cash funds, and other assets are established and followed in accordance with approved University policies and procedures. Regular audits relating to advances, cash, travel, equipment accountability, and other expenditures provide a means to protect University assets. The Financial Officer is responsible for working with Internal Audit when audits are being performed in the administrative area.


Record retention must be managed in accordance with Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management , and records schedules approved by the Records Management Advisory Committee, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the President. These retention requirements are the University's retention criteria, either derived or based upon federal, state, and local statute or regulations, industry standards, and business needs. Retention beyond recommended time periods require justifiable reasons and warrant review by the Records Management Officer or designee. All documents must be maintained in such a manner so as to provide ease of access for review, and to provide a suitable audit trail for all transactions.

Upon expiration of a stated period of time, documents must be discarded and/or destroyed, unless permission granted by Records Management Officer or designee to retain the records. Archival records created more than 20 years prior to the current date must be reviewed before destruction. Units should also contact the University Archivist before discarding any document which may be of permanent or historical value to the University. To safeguard the privacy of individuals, documents that contain salary information, personally identifiable information (PII), or student records must also be shredded. See Policy AD53 - Privacy Policy and AD22 - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for additional information regarding privacy and the protection of an individual's personal information. For documents that must be shredded, departments may arrange for Blue Bag service by contacting the Blue/White Shredding Program of the Office of Physical Plant. Exceptions to the practice are as follows:

Additional questions may be directed to the University Archivist or the Records Management Officer.


No associated exhibits


For questions, additional details, or to request changes to this procedure, please contact the Associate Vice President for Auxiliary & Business Services


Policy Status:

Date Approved: 3/22/2012

Most recent changes:

Revision History (and effective dates:)