The University of Chicago

Financial Services


Processing Your Purchase

The following action steps of procurement serve as a guideline to the initiator and the buyer responsible for the purchase of goods and services. They are divided by responsibility below:


  1. Clearly identify the goods or services needed.
  2. Determine if it is in everyone's best interest that you, as the initiator, should take the time to obtain these goods directly from a vendor. If so, place your order directly with the vendor using the University's BuySite (for orders costing less then $25,000); obtain the goods; and forward invoices for payment. If your purchase will exceed $25,000 prepare a University PURCHASE REQUEST, Purchasing Form 100 and send it to Procurement and Payment Services. For more information, see Procedure 5.058: Purchase Order Issuance.
  3. For purchases between $5,000 - $24,999, document the price reasonableness of your purchase decision by completing the BuySite Price Reasonableness Form. Explain in brief detail the vendor sources you considered, the prices that were offered and the features or benefits of the goods that influenced your decision if you did not choose the lowest price available. Attach the completed form to your BuySite Order. For more information, see Procedure 5.062: Price Reasonableness by Price Analysis Methods for Purchases Greater than $5,000.


It is the responsibility of the departmental approver to review the submitted PURCHASE REQUEST, Form 100 and provide an authorized signature where specified.


  • The most frequent purchases are for goods and services costing less than $25,000. You are encouraged to select a suitable vendor source for such products and submit that vendor's name on your request. All requests are made on The University PURCHASE REQUEST, Purchasing Form 100. Complete the "REQUEST" with all required details and supportive documentation and forward to Procurement and Payment Services, 6054 South Drexel Avenue, Suite 400. REQUESTS for items costing less than $25,000 are usually processed within a week of receipt.
  • You can FAX a REQUEST to Procurement and Payment Services (2-0904) for those occasional emergencies that arise. Please do not overuse the FAX network, thereby delaying requisitions from others who may have true emergencies and are unable to submit a FAX because of busy phone lines.
  • It is necessary to include all descriptive and specification detail on the REQUEST. Many REQUESTS cannot be promptly processed because of missing information on the form, lack of signature authorization and product choice options (e.g., color, size, etc.), which must be clearly provided to a vendor.
  • Your completed PURCHASE REQUEST, Purchasing Form 100 will result in a University Purchase Order being issued to a vendor after processing by Procurement and Payment Services. Only after a purchase order is issued will the University accept payment responsibility for those products or services. You, as an individual, cannot contractually bind the University for any goods or services. Do not authorize deliveries or accept services until you are certain that the purchase order has been issued. In case of an emergency, contact Procurement and Payment Services for assistance in arranging authorization for needed goods and services.