Q1: What is No PO, No Pay?
No PO, No Pay is one of Clemson University’s key financial control measures to ensure that payments are made only to suppliers and contractors with a supplied invoice (paper or electronic) containing a valid official purchase order (PO) number (unless it is for a Direct Expenditure, which is an exception to this requirement)
Q2: Why a No PO, No Pay financial control measure?
No PO, No Pay ensures that the University only pays for goods and services that have been properly ordered and authorized. It also ensures invoices received by University Accounts Payable representatives/departments will be processed efficiently to minimize or eliminate payment delay to suppliers and contractors. Invoices received by Clemson without a valid PO number will be discarded and not paid unless they are considered a Direct Expenditure that does not require a PO.
Q3: When does No PO, No Pay come into effect?
No PO, No Pay will apply to all orders of goods, services and works placed on or after March 1, 2019, and invoices received on or after this date.
Q4: How does No PO, No Pay work?
No PO, No Pay requires that Clemson issue POs for all goods and services PRIOR to goods being ordered or services performed. Invoices submitted by suppliers and contractors will then have a PO to reference and an official PO number to include on each invoice. In all instances requiring a PO, the supplier will need to be registered in the University purchasing/AP system and will receive a PO generated from the University eProcurement system. The PO will contain a Clemson PO number that begins with either CU or FAC followed by 8 numbers. Departments receiving an invoice without a PO being issued in advance will have to process that invoice through a special approval process in buyWays. A new form/process was created to process true Direct Expenditures that don’t require a PO.
Q5: What exceptions apply to the No PO, No Pay?
The list of Direct Expenditures at the top of this page include expenditures/circumstances that do not require POs. This list is under constant review and any further changes will updated on the University Procurement website.
Q6: What is the difference between a Direct Expenditure and a Procurement Exemption?
Procurement exemptions (previously referred to as DPV Exemptions) still exist and are often referred to as “exemption # X” where X is a number between 1-49. These are instances where a specified type of purchase/payment does NOT need to adhere to State procurement requirements for bidding. This is different from the list of Direct Expenditures, which specify types of purchases that do not require a PO. There are many instances where the two lists overlap, but because something is on one list does not mean it is on the other list. There are plenty of instances where something is Exempt from procurement requirements but we still want to issue a PO to the supplier.
Q7: What happens if I receive an Invoice without a PO # included on the invoice?
First consider if the invoice is for a Direct Expenditure. If it is, process accordingly. If the invoice is for goods/services, you may choose to conduct a search in buyWays to see if there is a PO that was issued that the invoice could match up to. If there is a PO (i.e. supplier just failed to include PO # on the invoice), you may ask them to resubmit the invoice correctly with the PO # included. Alternatively, you may simply disregard the invoice and let the supplier know that you cannot process the invoice without a PO # included. If there was never a PO issued, you will have to create a PO using the Unauthorized Commitment form in buyWays and have the supplier re-invoice after they receive this confirming PO. This is different from how Clemson has handled in the past where we have routinely just created a PO after the fact to make the payment. The new Unauthorized Commitment PO process will indeed take place after the fact, but it will require additional approvals from your Business Office to process. This is NOT the way we want to conduct business and is only used when the required process is not followed.
Q8: What if I receive an invoice for a supplier who is not registered in buyWays?
Whether the invoice is for goods or service or for a Direct Expenditure, the department will need to submit a Request to invite a new supplier and that supplier will need to register with the University prior to a PO being issued or a Direct Expenditure being processed.
Q9: Can I issue POs for purchases that are listed on the Direct Expenditure list?
YES! You can always issue a PO to any supplier and are encouraged to do so whenever possible. The worst thing that can happen when you issue a PO is the supplier ignores or questions the PO, but most suppliers are used to receiving POs from their customers since many schools and businesses have a No PO, No Pay policies. Issuing a PO is a way to ensure your approvals to spend money are met and that money is encumbered and budgets are better managed – all positive things. If you want to only issue a PO to create an encumbrance and have a reason you really don’t want to send it to the supplier, you can select on the requisition to not have the PO sent to a supplier. It will still create a PO but just won’t be sent to the supplier. Not recommended because it doesn’t convey our T&Cs to the supplier but this is an option.
Q10: What changes are taking place in buyWays to support this change in policy?
There are many changes in buyWays that have been made, some over several years (Invoice workflow, supplier registration, etc…) and soon a new change order process and changes to the forms you will use in buyWays. We will have training specific to these new changes, but to highlight briefly:
- We will be removing the Direct Purchase Request and the Payment Request forms. These forms will be replaced by a new Direct Expenditure Request that will be tied specifically to the account codes on the Direct Expenditure list. The good news for those processing direct expenditures is that it is a one step process to pay these invoices. You will be entering a direct invoice – no PO – receipt – invoice entry!
- We have added a new form called an Unauthorized Expenditure of Funds form. This is the form you will use when you order something without issuing a PO and need to pay an invoice for something you should have issued a PO for. This form will be similar to the I need to Buy Something form but it will route to your Business Officer for approval and will be sent to the supplier as a PO indicating it is a duplicate order. The supplier will need to re-submit an invoice with this PO number in order for the invoice to be processed.
- A summary of the current Clemson forms and the NEW Direct Expenditure and Unauthorized Expenditure of Funds forms can be found on our training site.
- We will soon have the ability to make limited changes to POs after they are issued. You can’t change everything but things like account codes and some other items will be allowed, which will eliminate the need to start all over and issue a new PO when you need to make an account change.