Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms Business Policies and Procedures Manual

Revised 8-17

For more information contact:
   Purchasing Services


Department Orders


Departmental personnel may use a Department Order (DO) to make simple purchases of goods and services. The Department Order process generates an encumbrance against the supporting account.

Departmental personnel must create DOs for all department purchases not processed by one of the following methods:

For a list of items that may be processed directly through Accounts Payable without the involvement of Purchasing Services, go to:

Online Application

Personnel use the online Administrative Information Systems (AIS) application called Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Receiving (PAPR) to generate a Department Order.

Prior to Requesting Access

In order to be granted access to the Department Order system, the employee must obtain an AIS User ID (see BPPM 85.37).

Required Training
Employees must complete training prescribed by the Washington (WA) Department of Enterprise Services (DES) prior to requesting access to prepare Department Orders. To fulfill this requirement, employees must complete the following online training courses:

  • WA State Purchasing and Procurement Ethics; and either
  • Purchasing and Procurement 101; or
  • Small Purchases.

Links to the online training classes are available under the Procurement and Supply Specialists (Purchasing Professionals) section of the Purchasing Services DES Training website at:

Authorization to Generate DOs

To obtain approval for an employee to generate Department Orders, the department completes an AIS Access Request form with a valid AIS User ID and other information as required (see BPPM 85.33).

The department routes the completed request to Purchasing Services for processing; mail code 1020; French Administration 220. The employee is notified when access is granted.

The access authorization grants the user the ability to prepare Department Orders. It does not include expenditure authority to approve departmental purchases. See BPPM 70.02 for a description of expenditure authority delegation.

View-Only Access

View-only access to Department Orders within the PAPR system does not require completion of an AIS Access Request. The PAPR command for viewing, QRYPO, is not secured. Any employee with an active AIS User ID may perform the QRYPO command in PAPR to view Department Orders.

Maximum Purchase

The maximum allowable cost of a single Department Order is $10,000, not including shipping, sales, or compensatory tax. If shipping is added as a line item on the order, it counts towards the $10,000 limit. Departments are not required to enter shipping on Department Orders.

Department Responsibilities

The requisitioning department is responsible for:

  • Resolving problems, e.g., incorrect pricing, poor quality. (Purchasing Services can assist departments in resolving problems.)
  • Following University requirements regarding allowable funding (see BPPM 70.03).
  • Following University requirements regarding prohibited purchases. See Prohibited Purchases.

Dividing or stringing orders to circumvent the $10,000 limit of the Department Order is prohibited.

Prohibited Purchases

Do not use a Department Order to make the following purchases:

  • Capital equipment (see BPPM 20.50).
  • Radioactive materials (see SPPM 9.50).
  • Printing (see BPPM 80.05).
  • Contracts for personal services (see BPPM 70.50).
  • Alcohol for laboratory use (see BPPM 70.22).
  • Any purchase requiring the review and approval of the central administration (see BPPM 70.10).
  • Alcoholic beverages (see BPPM 70.29).
  • Commodities which must be purchased through Facilities Services, Operations:
    • Carpeting
    • Floor coverings
    • Window coverings
    • Furniture requiring connections to the building or building utilities

    See BPPM 70.01, 70.10, and 80.45.

  • Complex purchases (see BPPM 70.10).
  • Telephone calling cards (see BPPM 85.41).
  • Tax-exempt equipment (see BPPM 70.42).
  • Personal items
  • Nonemployee labor for services subject to prevailing wages (e.g., carpentry, electrical, plumbing).

Purchasing Services may grant exceptions to the prohibited purchases listed above on a case-by-case basis.

Sponsored Programs Approval

Obtain any necessary prior approval for the purchase of equipment supported by a sponsored project. Contact Sponsored Programs Services.

Payment Terms, Net 30 Days

Accounts Payable pays the net due within 30 days of the receipt of goods or receipt of the properly completed invoice, whichever is later. If other terms are required, do not use a Department Order. Complete a Departmental Requisition (see BPPM 70.10).


A properly completed invoice should include all of the following:

  • Vendor’s name
  • Unit prices
  • Itemized description of items purchased
  • Total amount of purchase
  • Date of purchase

Preparing a DO

The following is a description of how to prepare a simple DO.

Sign On

Sign onto the AIS PAPR application.

Department Order Menu

Access the Department Order Subsystem Menu from the PAPR System Main Menu by entering the command DO or selecting the number that corresponds to DO. The Department Order Subsystem Menu may also be accessed by entering the command, DO, on the command line of the PAPR logo screen.

See DO Menu Description below for a full list of DO functions available from the Department Order Subsystem Menu.

Access the Add/Update Department Order screen by entering the command, ADO, on the command line or entering the number that corresponds to ADO.

The Add/Update Department Order screen includes vendor information in the upper left, departmental information in the upper right, order description in the middle, and account information at the bottom. The following numbered descriptions correspond to numbered sections on Figure 1.

Department Order menu screen with numbered sections 1-16
Figure 1
Vendor Number (1)

Enter the vendor number. In most cases a vendor has an existing WSU vendor number which is used for all University purchases from that vendor. Enter the applicable vendor number from a previous order or search the vendor number database. Search the vendor database by pressing PF1. See Number Search below for more about vendor number searches.

Contact Accounts Payable by telephone or e-mail for help with finding or creating a vendor number. If the vendor number is not available, enter the vendor name and address into the appropriate fields.

Contact (vendor) (2)

Enter the name of the vendor contact and/or telephone number. This information is not required by PAPR.

Dept. (3)

Enter the department number in the Dept. field. If not known, look up the number in the AIS application WSUORG (see BPPM 10.05). Department number is also referred to as organization number, WSU number, or home department number. NOTE: The department number is not a budget, zip code, or telephone number.

Contact (department) (4)

Enter the departmental contact name. This information is not required by PAPR.

Phone (5)

Enter the appropriate departmental contact’s telephone number.

Ref (6)

Enter any desired departmental reference number for the transaction. This number is not required.

Description (7)

Describe the purchase items. If more description space is required, press PF5 to continue the description.

Qty/Unit/Price (8)

Enter these values for each described item.

Exceeding Three Items

Before adding additional items to orders exceeding three items, do the following:

  • Enter an appropriate budget/project and object/subobject in the cost distribution line at the bottom of the screen (sections 13 and 14 in Figure 1).
  • Press PF8 to enter (update) the order. The system assigns a Department Order Number (see Figure 2).
  • Press PF2 to add more items.

A maximum of 47 items may be included on a single Department Order.

Deleting Items

Enter a “d” in the first column of a line item to delete it. NOTE: This only applies to orders that have already been entered (updated) into PAPR by pressing PF8 (see Figure 2).

Department Order screen showing how to delete an item
Figure 2
Shipping Charges

Shipping charges entered as a line item count toward the $10,000 Department Order limit. If the shipping line item puts the order over $10,000, delete this line item to complete the order. Departments are not required to add shipping on Department Orders.

Negative Values

Do not enter negative dollar amounts for discounts, trades, or exchanges in the Price field. Note a discount or exchange amount in Description. Enter a positive net value under Price.

Meals, Food, and 17A

Prior approval from the responsible chair or director is required before purchasing meals and food (see BPPM 70.31).

Food or meal purchases or purchases supported by accounts in program 17A may require additional justification. If 03-BR or 03-BP is entered as object-subobject or if 17A is entered as program-subprogram, a message appears reminding the user to enter any necessary justification. The system then provides access to a comment entry screen (see Comments below).

Tax (9)

PAPR estimates the tax on the basis of the vendor’s location. The tax amount is added to the order. Press PF9 to change tax location or to indicate that the purchase is not subject to tax. (NOTE: Items for resale, fertilizer, and seed may not be subject to Washington sales/compensatory tax.)

Deliver to: (10)

Non-Pullman Locations
Enter the appropriate delivery address for the location.

WSU Pullman
The default is Central Receiving and Delivery’s Pullman address. When special circumstances require that a vendor deliver directly to a Pullman department, enter the department’s actual delivery location. Special circumstances might include a weekend or after-hours delivery or delivery of live animals.

If Central Receiving and Delivery is to deliver an item to an address other than the department’s address as shown in WSUORG, indicate the alternative address as a comment under Campus Delivery Change. To access Campus Delivery Change see Campus Delivery Change (D) below.

Staff Pickup (11)

If the order is picked up by the department, mark the Staff Pickup field with a Y and indicate the name of staff employee who will pick up the item in the Staff Pckp field (below Deliver to:). Print the staff pickup vendor copy of the DO (see Printing below).

Budg/Proj (12)

Enter the budget and project of the account supporting the purchase. The budget/project must be a currently valid University account.

Obj/Sobj (13)

Enter the applicable object and subobject. PAPR does not accept an order unless these values are entered. Press PF6 to access a picklist of subobjects.

%/Amt (14)

If only one account supports the purchase, must be 100.00 with nothing under Amt.

Additional Accounts
Before additional supporting accounts can be added, the order must be entered (updated). (NOTE: Before creating the order, be sure that 100.00 is entered under %.)

Press PF8 to enter (update) the order, then press PF3 to access a screen that allows entry of additional accounts. At the Add/Update Department Order Cost Distribution screen, enter either a specified amount or a percent for each account. A dollar amount could be entered for one or more accounts and 100.00 percent entered for the final account, indicating that the last account will pay for 100.00 percent of the balance of the order (see Figure 2). The total percent must equal 100.00.

Delete an account from the cost distribution by entering a “d” in the first column of the applicable account. (see Figure 2).

A single Department Order may be supported by up to eleven separate accounts.

CC (15)

CC refers to cost code. Departments may use this field to classify expenditures. Any alpha/numeric may be entered.

Fnd/Sfnd Pgm/Spgm (16)

These fields fill automatically, based upon budget/project.

Creating the Order (17)

Press PF8 to create the order in PAPR. PAPR assigns a Department Order Number when the order is created. Department Order Numbers begin with the prefix K.


After updating the order (PF8), press PF4 to access the print menu (Figure 3).


The DO may be printed directly from the PAPR system or the record may be imported into the Adobe Acrobat DO form template available on the web.

PAPR provides the following options for printing the Department Order.

  • Screen print. (PF7)
  • E-mail, i.e., the order could be e-mailed to someone in the office, copied to word processing software, and printed. (PF6)
  • Print using Entire Connection software.

To print, start Entire Connection.

Windows: At the Data Transfer box under Format select “printer”. Enter “PRN” in the File Name field. Select “download.” With these settings, the software prints the requested orders.

Macintosh: Select Report Options under File Menu. Be sure that “Print after Download” is selected. Choose either “Delete” or “Save” after download.

Print Department Order screen
Figure 3

Web users print using the Adobe Acrobat template.

After Department Order Select screen is displayed:

  • Enter the Department Order number.
  • Select the form type to be printed (Vendor, Department, or Staff Pickup).
  • Select Display Department Order.

The Department Order is displayed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Print the form to obtain a hard copy.

NOTE: To download a copy of Acrobat Reader, select the “Get Acrobat Reader” image at the bottom of the page.

Departmental Copy

Print a departmental copy of each Department Order.

Vendor Copy

Print a vendor copy or e-mail the order to the vendor. A vendor copy is not required when the order is placed by telephone.

Vendor Copy – Staff Pickup

Print this version of the vendor copy if the order is to be picked up by a staff member.


An employee holding expenditure authority for the supporting accounts must sign the departmental copy and any vendor copy generated. (See BPPM 70.02 for a description of expenditure authority.)

Records Retention

The signed departmental copy and the itemized packing slip or itemized receipt is the University’s official public record of the transaction. (NOTE: A cash register receipt is acceptable if it contains sufficient itemized detail.) The department must retain these documents for six years after the end of the current fiscal year. See BPPM 90.01 for records retention and disposal procedures.

Order to Vendor


The department may submit a Department Order to a vendor by any one of the following methods:

  • Giving the DO to the vendor at the time of the transaction (staff pickup).
  • Mailing the DO to the vendor.
  • Faxing the DO to the vendor.
  • E-mailing the order to the vendor.
  • Telephoning the order to the vendor.
Order Number

When placing an order, instruct the vendor to include the Department Order Number on the shipping label and invoice.

If the Order Number is not on the vendor’s shipping label, Central Receiving and Delivery attempts to determine the identity of the recipient. If the identity is not determined within 24 hours, Central Receiving and Delivery may return the package to the vendor.

Terms and Conditions

The department is responsible for providing the vendor with the University’s Terms and Conditions for doing business with WSU.

Along with the DO, the department must provide the vendor with a copy of the General Terms and Conditions or the following link to the Terms and Conditions for Purchase Orders on the Purchasing Services website at:

NOTE: A link to the online General Terms and Conditions is included on the vendor copy of the Department Order.

For telephone orders, fax or mail the Terms and Conditions or the link to the Terms and Conditions to the vendor immediately after placing the order. While placing the order, notify the vendor that the Terms and Conditions will be forthcoming.

Receiving Order

Most equipment and supplies purchased by WSU Pullman units on Department Orders are received by Central Receiving and Delivery, which delivers the items to the units. Shipping companies deliver merchandise directly to non-Pullman units and to some WSU Pullman units. In some cases, department personnel pick up items from a vendor.

Unit personnel at all WSU locations must use one of the reporting methods described below to promptly report the receipt of shipments. See also Payment Authorization below.

See BPPM 70.14 for additional receiving procedures.

Department Reporting

Access to PAPR

Department personnel who have received PAPR access authorization record the receipt of order information into PAPR. See BPPM 85.33 regarding access authorization and training information.

Without Access to PAPR

Department personnel who have not received PAPR access authorization notify Central Receiving and Delivery of receipt of the order by one of the following methods:

  • E-mail
  • Telephone 509-335-5575
  • Submit the information through the Central Receiving and Delivery Completion of Purchase Orders website at:

Payment Authorization

Accounts Payable is authorized to pay the invoice only when the goods are received and recorded in PAPR. Accounts Payable can only access receipt data that is reported by the department or Central Receiving and Delivery in the PAPR system. Input of information ensures that invoices are paid.

Rapid Invoice Payment (RIP)

Rapid invoice payment (RIP) is a streamlined process that allows Accounts Payable to schedule and complete Department Order payments without receipt confirmation from Central Receiving and Delivery.

Upon receipt of the invoice, Accounts Payable schedules the payment for a future date (minimum seven days in the future) and notifies the department of the planned payment. Accounts Payable processes the payment on the scheduled date unless the department requests otherwise.

For further information, see the Accounts Payable RIP website at:

Also see State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM) 85.32.60.

DO Menu Description

The following is a description of the functions accessible from the Department Order Subsystem Menu.


Add Department Order: Use this command to enter an order, encumber the funds, and receive a purchase order number.


Copy Department Order: Use this command to copy an existing Department Order. The information from an existing order may be edited to create a new order. This feature provides a shortcut for those who frequently purchase the same product from the same vendor.


Add Emergency Department Order: Use this feature to record emergency purchases made while the computer is down. Such orders must be entered into the system. Entering the order into the system assigns a purchase order number, encumbers the purchase, generates a copy of the order for the department file, and enters the order into PAPR for receiving and bill payment purposes.


Update Department Order: Use this command to update (change) the information for a previously placed Department Order. The identity of the vendor cannot be changed. Other information can be updated until the first item is received from the vendor. The cost distribution information may be updated until Accounts Payable makes a payment on the order. Internal comments may be added at any time.


Query Department Order: Use this command to view a previous order. Enter the purchase order number to view the details of the order. Data may not be changed when using this command. To review the comments and notes, query comments by pressing PF7 after querying the Department Order.


Query Emergency Department Order: Use this command to view an emergency order. Enter the emergency number order assigned when the order was placed.


Query Department Order by Organization: Use this command to see open orders, closed orders, or all orders placed by a specific organizational unit. Enter the departmental ORG number.


Use this command to view open orders, closed orders, or all orders placed with a specified vendor.


Print Department Order: Use this command to generate a copy of the Department Order based upon information from the Add or Update screens. Entering the PDO command provides a menu of print options.


Close Department Order: Use this command to cancel an existing Department Order. An order may be closed because the department no longer needs to make the purchase or perhaps the vendor placed the order on backorder and the backorder is not acceptable to the department. Closing an order liquidates the encumbrance.

PAPR requests an explanation of why the order is to be closed.

When an order is closed because items are no longer wanted, notify the vendor and enter an explanation.

Accounts Payable closes most orders when all line items are paid.


Download Department Order: Use this command to download data. NOTE: Entire Connection software is required to use this function.

Vendor Numbers

Number Search

WSU assigns a vendor number to each vendor who does business with the University and uses the same vendor number for all transactions involving the vendor. A vendor number may be located on a previous Purchase Order or Department Order, by referring to Account Balances or the Budget Statement, or by searching the vendor database.

Vendor Database

Most vendors who have done business with WSU have a vendor number in the vendor database. To search the vendor database from the “Add/Update Department Order” screen, press PF1. Figure 4 shows the vendor search screen.

Vendor Name

If the exact name of the vendor is known, enter vendor name. NOTE: The vendor name must be entered exactly as shown in the database for this search method to be successful.

Key Word Search

If the exact vendor name is not known, enter words that comprise the vendor name. Enter one word per line. Enter the least common word on the first line.

NOTE: The Department Order Subsystem will not search for the following keywords or characters:

an at by
if in of
on or to
is as and
but for the
from with la
le der des
les und die
das & co
corp dept inc
ltd pub committee
bureau press division
institution subcommittee office
corporation incorporated div
etc edited company

Department Order - Vendor Name and Address search screen
Figure 4
New Vendors

Accounts Payable assigns a number to a new vendor when Accounts Payable processes the payment. (Purchasing Services is available to assign the new vendor number for a rush order if Accounts Payable is not available.)


At the Department Order Add/Update screen, press PF7 to access the Add/Update Department Order Comment screen. Use this screen to submit a request to add, update, or view comments (see Figure 5).

Enter the code for the appropriate comment type in Add comment type: or Update comment type:. (Enter V for vendor notes, C for internal comments, D to change campus delivery address, or F for food/17A purchases.) Press PF8 to add or update comments. Press PF7 to view comments.

Do not enter data in the Glossary field.This function is currently not available for general use.

Vendor Notes (V)

Vendor notes appear on the vendor and department copies of the Department Order. Include information that assists the vendor in completing the order. Vendor notes might include special shipping instructions or a reference to the person who provided price information. Vendor notes are printed above the line items.

Internal Comments (C)

Internal comments are printed on the department copy of the Department Order only. Enter information that may assist the department, Accounts Payable, Central Receiving and Delivery, or Purchasing Services with processing the order.

Internal comments might include descriptions of returns, a vendor’s authorization number, records of telephone contacts with the vendor, or documentation of the quality of service.

Internal comments may be entered at any time, including after Accounts Payable pays the bill.

Add/Update Department Order Comment screen
Figure 5
Campus Delivery Change (D)

Select this option to instruct Central Receiving and Delivery to deliver the merchandise to a WSU Pullman campus location other than the default delivery location for the department.

Food Purchase/17A (F)

See Meals, Food, and 17A above.