Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 70: Purchasing

Payments to Outside Suppliers

BPPM 70.16

For more information contact:
   Accounts Payable
   General Accounting
   Travel Services


All invoice payments to suppliers are processed through the Controller’s Office.

Required Documents

The following documents are required before the Controller’s Office can process any payment to the outside supplier.

Purchasing Authority

This is authorization from Purchasing Services, either direct or delegated, to make the purchase. A purchasing authority may be a Purchase Order, department Purchase Order or Requisition in Workday, purchasing card, contract, or other appropriate document. Direct questions concerning appropriate use of purchasing documents to Purchasing Services.

Travel Services also provides direct or delegated authorization to make travel-related purchases with a Central Travel Account (CTA) (see BPPM 95.03) or other appropriate document. Direct questions concerning appropriate use of travel-related purchasing documents to the Travel Services.


The invoice must have a printed heading and include an itemized list of the materials or services supplied. Monthly statements are not acceptable unless supported by itemized invoices. A State of Washington Invoice Voucher may be used in lieu of an invoice if the vendor signs the supplier’s certificate (see also BPPM 30.45).

Controller’s Office

The Controller’s Office performs the following steps in processing supplier payments:

  • Verifies that the materials or services as invoiced comply with the specifications indicated on the purchase authority.
  • Verifies that the invoice is for materials or services actually received and matches the receiving or approval information.
  • Verifies that the unit prices agree with those indicated on the Purchase Order or Contract.
  • Verifies that invoiced freight charges are reasonable.
  • Verifies that invoiced tax charges are correct.
    If no tax is charged, use tax is calculated based on the tax rate for the location where the materials or services are utilized.
  • Verifies that allowable cash discounts are applied to the purchase.
    If a cash discount is offered and the terms of that discount can be reasonably met, the discount is calculated and the invoice reduced. It is important that all departments promptly sign in merchandise through Central Receiving and Delivery in order to avoid losing cash discounts (see BPPM 70.14).

    The University begins the discount period on the date the goods/services were received or the date the invoice was received, whichever is later.

  • Verifies that calculations and totals are correct.
  • Verifies that the accounts charged are appropriate.

Revisions:  January 2021 (Rev. 560); Apr. 2015 (Rev. 448); July 2000 (Rev. 165).