Purchase Orders

Welcome to the PAAS landing page on how to buy.  This page provides an overview of the university's procurement to payment process. From this page faculty and staff can navigate to a multitude of resources which can provide you in-depth information on the individual components of the process.


Departments wishing to procure goods or services should initiate the process by completing and submitting a Purchase Requisition.  The requisition is a request to purchase. It serves as a mechanism for departments to articulate their exact needs, and allows for a universal way of capturing any and all required approvals prior to purchase.  Please refer to USF Purchasing Policies and Procedures.  Another helpful resource is the USF Buying Guide, which is a compiled list of services, commodity and expenditure types outlining the required approval process and approved buying method. The list is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.


This activity of the procurement process involves understanding the scope of work; ensuring compliancy with university, state, and federal laws, rules, and procedures; and selecting a source. 

PAAS works to form relationships with preferred vendors, which are strategically sourced and managed in-house.  In addition, PAAS leverages a number of cooperatives and consortiums such as E&I and US Communities that allow USF access to solicitation programs that connect thousands of members across the nation with best-in-class competitively awarded contracts and price lists.  

Certain purchases are subject to competitive bidding based on a variety of factors including expenditure threshold, funding source and commodity type.  PAAS is available to assist departments with this process.  The amount of time required to complete the bidding process is dependent largely on the complexity of the goods or services being procured.  For best results, departments are encouraged to include PAAS early in their procurement initiatives.

New Vendor Onboarding
Each vendor must go through USF Vendor Onboarding prior to Purchase Order issuance.  This includes completion of the USF Vendor Registration Form and submission of pertinent forms such as W-9, certified green business, and diversity certifications such as: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), and Veteran-Owned Business (VOSB).  Vendors may be audited in areas such as: debarment listing and Better Business Bureau rating prior to doing business with the University. 

Purchase Order Terms and Conditions

A Purchase Order (PO) is an authorized contract which commits University monies to a particular vendor and serves to articulate the exact purchase requirements.  A PO is issued by PAAS once all necessary due-diligence has been performed. An order with a vendor is not considered valid unless it is accompanied or initiated by an authorized University PO. The PO protects the University by providing a record of the expected services and commodities that University is to receive, should there be an issue with a vendor PAAS can support individual departments based on the language of the PO.

Central Receiving

For all tangible goods, Central Receiving serves as the central point of delivery for USF’s academic and administrative offices. All packages sent to USF may be opened to verify accuracy, to inspect quality and to ensure all set policies and procedures are met.

For services to be rendered, PAAS will work with requesting departments to ensure that university guidelines are adhered to prior to the start of work.  Examples: Certificate of Insurance, Public Safety Campus Driving Policy

Accounts Payable

Once goods and services related to a PO have been documented as being received, the University will work to complete the procurement process by making payments against a vendor issued invoice.  Invoices received by the University are managed by the Office of Accounting & Business Services. Click the above link for more information.