Order with a Purchase Order

  1. Purchase to Pay
  2. Obtain quotations or tenders
  3. Select a supplier
  4. Order via Internal Trade
  5. Order with a Purchase order
  6. Order without a Purchase Order
  7. Receive/reject goods or services
  8. Process Invoices
  9. Make payment

Having identified the goods or services required and the supplier, you will need to place an order.

A purchase order must be raised in Oracle Financials in respect of all purchases of goods and services (including advance payments), except those on the List of Purchase Order Exceptions to Requisitioning  (DOC) Orders must be raised and appropriately authorised before making any commitment to a supplier, and specifically before the invoice is received.

Note: Departments are free to raise purchase orders for goods or services in all circumstances if they wish to do so.

It is important to raise a purchase order for the following reasons:

  • Easy system-based approval of the order by an approver with delegated authority.
  • The purchase order includes reference to the University’s terms and conditions.
  • Purchase order enable easier monitoring of committed spend, either via commitments (only available in the projects module) or via the Open POs report.

Within Oracle Financials (iProcurement module) you can shop from selected preferred supplier   catalogues or raise non-catalogue orders. Orders must be raised and appropriately authorised before making any commitment to a supplier.

When placing purchase orders for large sums in a foreign currency refer to Foreign Currency Management for guidance.

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Those with Shopper, Reviewer and Preparer access can all raise requisitions. For guidance on the role specific training requirements, please refer to the Guidance on Courses page. If you're unsure about which training you require, please contact the Training Team.

Additional guidance on raising catalogue and non-catalogue requisitions (as well as other purchasing activities) is available in the How To portal under the iProcurement menu heading, with guidance specific to each role.

When raising a requisition, ensure that the total cost of the purchase (e.g. delivery charges) is included so that Oracle Financials accurately records the full commitment.

When reviewing and approving requisitions it is important to check that:

  • correct cost centre / project codes have been used;
  • the correct purchasing category has been used (see also the Assets process pages); and
  • funding is available (this is automatically done by the system for projects).

For training on reviewing and approving requisitions, enrol on the Reviewers and Approvals online course respectively as required. Book and complete your online training in CoSy the course booking system.

Where the supplier you intend to raise an order with is not on Oracle Financials, refer to the Supplier Set Up process.

Most suppliers are set up to receive electronic purchase orders. Non-electronic purchase orders should continue to be printed and sent to suppliers. 


Do NOT print and send copies of purchase orders to suppliers that are sent electronically. This could cause a duplicate delivery.


If, before the goods or services are delivered, it is decided that they are no longer required, it is important to cancel the purchase order in full or by line. If the order was sent electronically, the cancellation will be sent electronically; if not, you should notify the supplier by email or telephone.

Important Note:

If the supplier issues an order acknowledgement referencing their terms and conditions, you should reply to the supplier reminding them that the purchase order was placed on the University standard terms & conditions and these terms will govern the purchase.


Where payment is non-sterling, exceeds £50,000 and will be made between the next three months to two years, a forward currency contract may be relevant. Refer to Foreign Currency Management for guidance.


  • UO Open POs report should be run manage open purchase orders. For example, it will enable you to check purchases that have been received but not yet invoiced; purchases that are expected but have not yet been received; or orders that have been part received and part invoiced.
  • UO Purchase Requisition Activity Report should be run and reviewed on a regular basis (not less than quarterly) and any unexpected or unusual purchases investigated.
  • UO P2P Audit Report – if there are users in the department with the ability to raise, approve and receipt transactions, this report should be run at the end of every month and each transaction checked.

Contact us

 : Purchasing Department
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       Oxford OX1 2ET

 :  01865 (6) 16022

 : For further information
      please contact the
      Purchasing Department