Expert’s Corner | Purchasing

Welcome to the Expert’s Corner! This monthly series will provide valuable insight and knowledge from professionals within Financial Services. This space will help employees across campus understand what the department does, answer common questions and share their professional perspective!

Our first expert is Procurement Supervisor Colette Brown, who has worked in FS for 8 1/2 years.


What is the role of the Purchasing Department?

Purchasing’s role is to assist the university community, as well as vendors, find and procure the myriad goods and services necessary for the operation and advancement of the university and its goals. In other words, Purchasing helps campus departments follow the Utah procurement code through product research and sourcing purchases over the small purchase threshold of $10,000.

The Purchasing Department is the university’s expert resource in applying the state procurement code and university procurement policies to obtain the best total value for purchases made.


What are some common mistakes that members of the campus financial community make when working with Purchasing?

Purchasing is often mistaken for Accounts Payable (AP). While similar in purpose, Purchasing helps departments find and order what they need over $10,000, while AP helps the department pay for the goods or services after taking receipt.

Departments often assume that because there is a “contract” available, they can order goods or services prior to submitting a requisition or purchase order (PO). Any and all purchases over $10,000 must go through a Purchasing review (i.e. UShop requisition, then PO) before anything is ordered.

Shoppers often don’t reach out to Purchasing until they and the requisitioners are almost done with the process. The sooner Purchasing can be involved, the better it is for everyone in the long run.


What is something the campus community should understand about working with Purchasing?

Purchasing understands that adhering to the state procurement code and university policies may be time-consuming and an impediment, but Purchasing is here to assist! We help departments understand the best way to follow the required processes and truly find the best value using university funds.

Reach out to Purchasing – we like to help answer your procurement questions!


If someone is a new employee at the university and will be working with Purchasing, what are three things they should know?

Purchasing has multiple trainings available on our website. We strongly encourage all university employees to take advantage of the trainings, especially the Procurement Basics and Payment Training class.

If you find yourself approaching or exceeding a total of $10,000 on goods and/or services, please contact Purchasing for the best way to process the procurement.

Like any specialized profession, Purchasing often uses different terminology and acronyms. Individuals are welcome to review the glossary for help in navigating the procurement world.


Are there any updates from Purchasing that you would like to share?

The Purchasing website was recently updated! Come check it out!


Is there anything else you would like campus to know about Purchasing?

You can always reach out to Purchasing via phone, email or Teams.


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