Financial Management Policies

Purchasing: Purchasing

The following procedures are intended as a guideline for all schools and/or departments when requesting or ordering material under a decentralized purchasing concept.


1. Capital equipment items are defined as equipment with a unit cost of $5,000 or more and a useful life in excess of one year.

2. Purchase orders are to be completed for purchases with an extended value greater than or equal to $10,000 using the High Value Purchase Requisition Form located here. They are to be approved and signed by the appropriate dean or department head or his/her officially designated representative.

3. All purchase orders with an extended value of $10,000 or greater are to be approved by the Vice President for Administration prior to transmittal to the vendor.

4. All purchase orders having an extended value of $10,000 or more (whether equipment or supplies) generally must have at least three written quotations covering the material in question and substantiating the premise that a satisfactory price was obtained. Less than three bids must be substantiated. These written quotations, or justification for one or two bids, are to be maintained in the school/department originating the purchase order or sent to Accounting for filing with the purchase order.

5. Selection of a successful bidder should be determined by the evaluation of the TOTAL quotation (price, terms, shipping charges, ability to deliver).

6. When calling a salesperson the following should be obtained: 

a) Terms for payment. Attempt to obtain bulk rate discounts (if you need a quantity of goods) and prompt payment discounts. 
b) FOB charges. Prepay the freight and have the vendor add it to the invoice if CalArts is to pay the freight. 
c) Delivery date. 
d) Prices. 
e) If a confirming copy of purchase order is necessary.

7. Confirm the order with a purchase order number.

8. Type the purchase order and give it to the dean or department or his/her officially designated representative for signature.

9. When the purchase order is returned to you distribute as follows: 

a) White – vendor copy. 
b) Yellow – send to Accounting Office. 
c) Pink – requisitioner copy.

10. Supplements to purchase orders are typed if the following occurs: 

a) Items are returned for credit. 
b) Items are added to the same purchase order.

11. A purchasing package includes the following: 

a) Invoice from the vendor. 
b) Authorized yellow copy of purchase order. 
c) Three written quotations if the extended value is $1,000 or greater. 
d) Supplements to purchase orders, if necessary.

12. Material requirements or stationery supplies may be requisitioned through and ordered by the stockroom.

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