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Essential Information

Disbursements versus Purchase Orders

Disbursement Requests are made for personal reimbursements more than $100 by faculty, staff, and students who have used their own funds to obtain small items not available through University Services or through the Procurement and Contract Office (mileage, metro fare cards, taxi, etc.).  Purchases less than $100 should be handled by the Petty Cash custodian or the Cashier’s Office located on the third floor of the Asbury Building.

Disbursement Requests are also made to request payment to independent contractors whom the University has hired for a specific task. A Personal Service Agreement (PSA) form must be filled out prior to the services performed, and signed by an authorized office of the University.  A copy of the PSA should accompany the Disbursement Request for payment. 

Purchase Orders are contractual agreements with a company for  goods or services and specify payment terms, delivery dates, item identification, quantities, freight terms, and all other obligations and conditions. 

For a Purchase Order to be issued to a company, a Purchase Requisition needs to be entered into the Datatel financial system.  After a requisition is entered and approved by an authorized University employee, the Procurement and Contract Office will review the request to determine if the items need to be sent out to bid, changed to an approved vendor, or need to meet other criteria.

Rule of thumb:  If a payment is made to a person, use a Disbursement Request.  If an order for a product or service is made to a company, enter a requisition into Datatel for a Purchase Order.