Carnegie Mellon University

Making Purchases

The Authorized Signer is responsible for the overall purchasing for the student organization. The Authorized Signer may not be the individual that is planning events and initiatives for the organization, so it is very important that the Authorized Signer educate these members on the information, documentation, and receipts/invoices needed to pay for goods and services in a timely manner.

What Can I Purchase?

Goods (physical/tangible items)

How Can I Purchase Goods?
  • Pcard (university credit card)
  • Payment Request (Purchase Order; cuts a check to vendor)
  • On-Campus Purchase(on-campus vendor purchases)
  • JE transfer (electronic transfer of money between 2 on campus accounts)
  • Expense Reimbursement (out of pocket purchases)
  • Any purchase ≥ $5,000 must be paid via Payment Request and include a Purchasing Checklist & Bid Summary Form
  • Purchasing hazardous materials

Services (someone providing skills, support, or labor)

How Can I Purchase Services?
  • Pcard (if less than $2500 and contract is included with receipt)
  • Payment Request (Purchase Order; cuts a check to vendor)
  • JE transfer (electronic transfer of money between 2 on campus accounts)
  • On-Campus Purchase (on-campus vendors)
  • Payroll (If current CMU employee)
  • CANNOT reimburse for services
  • Contract Required for Services

Payment Processes

Payment Request

If you need to pay a vendor by check, you can request that a Purchase Order (PO) be created by submitting a Payment Request Form. A Purchase Order should be created PRIOR to the date of ordering items/service. Once created, the PO is sent to the vendor.

  • Attach an Estimate or Quote.
  • Contract should also be attached (if service).
  • Provide Supplier Forms if vendor is not currently in our financial database.
  • If good/service is over $5000 a bid checklist is required.
  • A PO will be supplied to the vendor.
  • Submit Final Invoice once service has been complete.
  • Payment will be made 30 days from final invoice date.

PCard Appointments

Most purchases and some services can be arranged on-line or over the phone with a vendor that accepts credit cards in the SLICE Office using a University PCard.

  • Facility rentals and catering/food services ARE permitted to be purchased on a university Pcard.
  • Professional services such as performers and lecturers are NOT permitted on a Pcard.
  • Please complete the Meet With A SLICE Staff member form to make an appointment.  Appointments must be made 1 business day in advance.
Journal Entry

Complete a Journal Entry Transfer Request form to pay another student organization or department. Note that Gift Account money cannot be used to pay another student organization or department.

On Campus Purchase
  • Complete an On-Campus Purchase Request form in our office. A requisition form with your oracle account will be provided to give to vendor.
  • Return receipt to our office after purchase (all receipts are filed in SLICE).
  • To pay an online campus vendor such as FMS, Culinart or MediaTech complete an on-campus purchase request form. SLICE will provide the oracle account to be entered during the on-line process. Return a printout of your receipt/order.

Paying for Services

  • ALL SERVICES REQUIRE A CONTRACT REGARDLESS OF HOW PAYMENT IS MADE.
  • Any service that is provided on campus or as part of any official Carnegie Mellon University sponsored event must have an agreement that is signed and executed by an authorized university official. Students are not able to sign and execute agreements or contracts as representatives of the university, so it is imperative that you communicate with the SLICE. The contracts process is lengthy, so any contracts to be signed by a university official must be advanced to SLICE at least 4–6 weeks in advance of your purchase.
  • Services provided off-campus as part of a non-university sponsored event can have agreements that are signed by individual students, however you should still work with SLICE to ensure that you are looking out for the best interest of your organization as represented in any written contract. Our office advises giving at least 3–4 weeks lead time to ensure timely payment arrangements.
  • Many vendors have a Master Service Agreement (MSA) that might apply to your service. The list of vendors with MSA’s on file can be found on the University Contracts website.    
  • Even if working with vendor with MSA, the University Contracts Office must still review and sign off on the quote or estimate prior to payment.
  • If you need assistance with the contracts process, please complete the Meet with a SLICE Staff Member form or visit the SLICE Office to make an appointment.