A purchase Requisition is a document that is created and submitted to the procurement department. You’re not actually ordering anything; you’re simply getting the approval to utilize university funds. The subsequent approval, or ‘thumbs up’, to utilize funds is in the form of a Purchase Order created by the procurement department. Procurement is responsible for overseeing the use of university funds for goods and services.

The broader workflow is referred to as ‘Procure to Pay’ and the basic steps are:

Requisition --> Purchase Order --> Receipt of Goods --> Supplier Invoice --> Payment

Below are the key steps, terms and important tips which will help you to be proficient in:

Creating a complete requisition that….
results in a purchase order to a supplier
which should result in the receiving of goods/services from a supplier
who invoices the university for actual goods and services delivered
and results in a payment by the university to a supplier for the received need.


Confirm Your Budget

Before entering a requisition make sure you have the available funds for the requested goods and services.

Identify the Correct Chartfields

Some users have access to more than one chartfield. Double-check to make sure the funds for the requisition you are creating will be aligned with the correct budget and organization chart field

Confirm the Vendor

Once you have established who will provide the goods or services, check the vendor database to see if your selected vendor is Approved and Active.  If the Vendor is Inactive or not in the system you will need to have the vendor fill out a Vendor Application and submit the document to Accounts Payable. A federal tax ID, social security number, or ITIN must be provided. Once a new vendor is submitted and approved by Accounts Payable or you are using an Active vendor, you are able to move forward to create a requisition in the Cardinal Financials procurement system.  Activating (new or inactive) a vendor may take from three to 10 business days.

Commodities, Categories & Documents

Every commodity has an account code and funds allocated to that commodity. To prevent delay in chart field approvals please make sure the commodity you have selected and the supporting documents match.

Attach All Documents

To prevent a delay in the processing of your requisition, make sure all of the required documents are attached to your requisition.  If you need, assistance concerning what supporting documents are needed (before creating the requisition) contact askprocurement@cua.edu and someone in the department will be happy to assist. Typically supporting documents include: competitive quotes, sole source documentation, properly executed contracts, routing form, and applicable invoices if there is already a contract on file.

Include 3 Competitive Bids or A Sole Source Form

When entering a new requisition of $2500 or more that is not tied to a contract, three competitive bids must be attached, or a Sole Source Justification Form must be attached. The University’s preferred vendors should always be included as one of the competitive bids.

Requisition Status Must be Approved and Valid

Before procurement can issue a PO and dispatch it to the vendor, a budget check inclusive of general accounting and manager approval must be in place.

Keep Track of Approval Alerts

People Soft provides the end-user with two alerts. The first alert is Manager Approval (Once the end-user informs their approval manager to approve the amounts to the req.)  The second alert is Chart Field Approvals (Once the Manager approves the amount, the req enters General Accounting or Sponsored Accounting’s queue for chart field approval.) If you did not receive these two approval alerts your req is still pending, and was not entered into Procurement’s queue, and a purchase order cannot be created.

Use the Query Manager

Query Manager is a great time saving tool! It can assist the user in determining the status of the requisition. It also provides the user with the following: Approval Managers, Budget Drill Down, Pending or Approved requisition status, and Requisition Approval dates and time. Some useful queries you will find useful are: requisition status, requisition chart field status approval date, and requisitions not yet sourced to a PO.

Receive the PO

The system will notify you once a Purchase Order (PO) is created/dispatched.  Once the product or service has been delivered or satisfied, the PO must be received into the system. For technology items such as computer equipment, hardware, devices, IT equipment, etc., the receiving into the system will be completed by the Tech Services desk.  Please note that Accounts Payable cannot make payment if the PO has not been ‘received’ in the system, no matter who is responsible for receiving.


All invoices should be submitted to Accounts Payable with the Purchase Order number (not the requisition number) listed on the document. If the requisition/PO had multiple line items you must highlight or identify which lines the invoice should be matched to. Please note that Accounts Payable cannot make payment to the vendor if the PO number is not noted on the invoice.


Our preference is to pay via ACH or credit card instead of by check. Wires are discouraged. To check the status of a payment, first make sure the PO has been received (see two Tips earlier). If the system says it has been received, go to ‘document status’ located on the requisition page and click the hyperlink. A box will open and will give you a picture of the requisition including requisition number, PO number, receipt number, voucher number and payment number. If there is not a voucher or payment number, your payment has not yet been executed.