Purchase Orders

Definition of Purchase Order

A contract that communicates an order for goods or services to a supplier. By using a purchase order to place orders, the university can clearly and explicitly communicate not only what is being ordered but also terms and conditions of the sale that are in the best interest of Seattle University.

Please reach out to the Procurement Office for any questions regarding Purchase Orders, purchasing in general, or for any non-routine purchases to help with sourcing/vendor selection. :  Procurement Office

A purchase order is required before a purchase or commitment for goods has been made for the following:

  • Orders totaling over $1,000 (including shipping and handling, delivery, and taxes)
  • Any Technical/IT or furniture purchase (regardless of dollar amount) to allow University to maintain the established standards
  • To obtain a blanket purchase order for the Campus Store
  • When a vendor requires a purchase order regardless of the dollar amount
  • For service agreements or contracts with a predetermined payment; a blanket purchase order can be issued for the annualized amount

    Travel expenses, conference fees, meals/catering, utilities, and employee payroll and related expenses do not require a purchase order.

Expenditure Authority

To ensure a consistent approach in reviewing both budget and appropriateness of purchase, the following are the expenditure authorization approval levels:

Expenditure Authority

Activity Manager

Under $5,000

Reporting Unit

 $5,001 to $20,000 

School/College/Major Area

$20,001 to $50,000


$50,001 to $100,000

Senior Executive

$100,001 to $1,000,000


Over $1,000,000