Procurement FAQs

  1. How can I find out my requisition approval limit?
  2. Who are my requisition approvers? Or, how do I know who is in my requisition workflow approval path?
  3. What is a Supply Chain Workflow?
  4. What are Supply Chain business rules and how do they work?
  5. What are “approval groups” and how do they relate to Supply Chain workflow?
  6. How do SC workflows work for requisitions charged to Grants?
  7. What is ‘Quick Pay’?
  8. There is an encumbrance balance on my BPR report – how can I determine what makes up this balance? 
  9. How can I liquidate PO encumbrances listed on my BPR?
  10. How can I find the status of an invoice submitted to Account Payable (AP) or the check number of a paid invoice?  (SC-255 report)
  11. I’m a department manager and the person who created requisitions and purchase orders has left the department. How can I tell what requisitions and purchase orders were created for my department during a specific period of time? 
  12. How can I determine which account(s) should be used for my requisition?
  13. How do I prepare and submit a Travel reimbursement for someone other than myself?
  14. I’m unable to extract data on the SC-270 report for my students who are receiving Stipend checks.  Why?

 

Q 1. How can I find out my requisition approval limit?

A 1. In EAS, from your Supply Chain (SC) menu, run the ‘GWU SC Workflow Roles Matrix Report [PO-261] Secured [XML]’ report. The Approval Limit column in this report shows the approval limit for all users in the Supply Chain workflows in which you are included. Do NOT mistake the workflow level as the approval limit. The workflow level, which may or may not be the same number as the approval limit, indicates the approval group. 

Back to top


Q 2. Who are my requisition approvers? Or, how do I know who is in my requisition workflow approval path?

A 2. In EAS, from your Supply Chain (SC) menu, run the ‘GWU SC Workflow Roles Matrix Report [PO-261] Secured [XML]’ report. The workflow level, which may or may not be the same number as the approval limit, indicates approval group. 

Back to top


Q 3. What is a Supply Chain Workflow?

A 3. The Supply Chain (SC) workflow ensures that the SC document is approved before it is routed to Procurement for processing. The workflow system picks up after the document has been saved and submitted for approval in the SC system. Security rules and sponsored projects security verifies that the user has distributed the amounts of the requisition only to those general ledger (GL) accounting flexfields or PTA (Project/Task/Award) combinations (sponsored projects) that the user is authorized to use. 

These workflows process SC documents in the following sequence of events:

  • Process business rule distribution lines,
  • Process GL-related distribution lines,
  • Process Sponsored Projects-related distribution lines.

Back to top


Q 4. What are Supply Chain business rules and how do they work?

A 4. Business Rules are designed to comply with University approval policies and with regulatory disclosure requirements. Typically, business rules represent an extra step in the normal approval workflows for requisitions, GL journals, cash journals, and budget journals. 

When a requisition’s distribution is charged to an account that has an associated business rule, the document is routed to those users assigned to the workflow responsibility for that account.  The following is a list of accounts with associated SC business rules:

Value Account Description Workflow Business Rule
54215  Laboratory Supplies Animals WF Bus Rule Approv 54215
54521  Laboratory Supplies Radioactive WF Bus Rule Approv 54221
54523  Laboratory Supplies DNA WF Bus Rule Approv 54223
54524 Laboratory Supplies Hazardous WF Bus Rule Approv 54224
58517 Capitalized Food Service  Furniture and Fixtures WF Bus Rule Approv Food Svc

The business rule approvers approve or reject the SC document from their notifications form. Rejected documents are returned to the preparer and approved documents will continue to the next step.  If multiple accounts with business rules are included on the distribution for the document, then the document routes to the next approver. Once all SC business rules are fulfilled (documents are approved), the document advances to the next workflow process.

If the business rule approver does not approve or reject the SC document within 4 days, the SC document will automatically reject back to the preparer.

Back to top


Q 5. What are “approval groups” and how do they relate to Supply Chain workflow?

A 5. After fulfillment of the business rules, the workflow next checks for the existence of GL-related distribution lines. If lines are found, the workflow compares the amount of the requisition to the approval group of the user to determine if the user has the authority to approve the requisition. The approval group of the user is determined by the job assigned to the user. If a user is not allowed to approve any requisitions, the user is assigned to the job called “Default Job” which has an approval limit of 0. If workflow finds requisitions created by users with an approval limit of zero, it determines the next approval level for that particular workflow and routes the document to all users assigned to that workflow level. If the user has an approval limit not equal to 0 and the user approves the document, then workflow compares the amount of the requisition to the approval limit of the user to determine if the document can be routed to Procurement. If the requisition is for an amount greater than their approval limit it will require additional approval. Additionally, workflow compares the accounts used in the distribution of the document to determine if the user’s approval group can approve the document. All approval groups (regardless of approval limit of the approver) are not allowed to approve the following accounts:

51XXX ALL EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION ACCOUNTS
52411 INTEREST-SHORT TERM
52415 INTEREST-LONG TERM
52416 LOAN MANAGEMENT FEES
52418 NOTE PREPAYMENT PENALTY
52422 UNCOLLECTED RETURNED CHECKS
52431 BANK CHARGE/CREDIT SALES
52432 PETTY CASH REIMBURSEMENT
52451 SELF INSURANCE
52453 CASUALTY INSURANCE
52471 AMORTIZATION FINANCIAL EXPENSE
52511 MALPRACTICE INSURANCE EXPENSE
52532 CONTRACT EXPENSE - MFA GME
52533 CONTRACT EXPENSE – DHP
52535 CONTRACT EXPENSE - MFA INSTRUCTION
52536 CONTRACT EXPENSE - MFA OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL
52616 LOBBYING EXPENSES
52618 GIFT IN KIND EXPENSE
52619 ENDOWMENT ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE
52621 COMMUNITY SERVICES
52631 ROYALTY PAYMENTS
52671 THEFT/LOSS EXPENSE
52692 UNRECONCILED VARIANCES
52693 DEFICIT DIRECTS
52714 GUARANTEES EXPENSE
52802 TELEPHONE CHARGES – UNDISTRIBUTED
52803 POSTAGE CHARGES – UNDISTRIBUTED
52804 WORK ORDER CHARGES – UNDISTRIBUTED
52899 ACCRUED EXPENSE ITEM RECEIVED/NOT INVOICED
52901 BUDGET RESERVE
52902 RESTRICTED RESERVE
52903 SUPPLEMENTAL RESERVE
52913 MERIT POOL RESERVE
53312 LONG DISTANCE LINES EXPENSE
53313 LONG DISTANCE USAGE
53314 CALL CHARGES
53315 EQUIPMENT CHARGES EXPENSE
53316 RECURRING CHARGES
53318 DATA NETWORK CHARGES EXPENSE
53911 BAD DEBT EXPENSE
54153 PRINT SUPPLIES PASS THROUGH
54154 PROCUREMENT CARD PURCHASES
55581 COLLECTION ACCESS
55702 RENTAL PROPERTY EXPENSE
56101 ELECTRIC
56102 GAS
56103 FUEL OIL
56104 WATER
56216 NON-CONTRACT PARKING ADMINISTRATION FEE
56421 REAL ESTATE TAXES
56431 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMMISSIONS
56511 DEPRECIATION-BUILDING
56512 DEPRECIATION-EQUIPMENT
56531 AMORTIZATION COMPUTER SOFTWARE
56711 PROPERTY INSURANCE
57111 TUITION-GWU EXPENSE
57113 SCHOLARSHIPS-FUNDED
57114 SCHOLARSHIPS INSTITUTIONAL EXPENSE
57115 STUDENT STIPENDS
57117 ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIPS EXPENSE
57121 PRIZES AND AWARDS EXPENSE
57122 HONORARIA EXPENSE
57132 GRANTS-IN-AID SUBSISTENCE EXPENSE
57133 GRANTS-IN-AID HOUSING EXPENSE
57141 STUDENT LOANS-CANCELLED
58121 EXTERNAL LOANS
58331 LOAN PLACEMENT FEES
58333 CAPITALIZED INTEREST
58599 DISPOSAL OF FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT
58713 PERPETUAL TRUST DRAWDOWN
58714 FUNDING FROM TAXABLE DEBT POOL
58716 FUNDING FROM 1999 SERIES A, B & C BONDS
58717 FUNDING FROM 2001 SERIES A BONDS
58911 UNIVERSITY LOAN FUND CONTRIBUTION
58912 ADMINISTRATION EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT
58914 UNIVERSITY SEOG MATCH TRANSFERS
58921 DEBT SERVICE FUND TRANSFER
58941 ENDOWMENT SUPPORT - INVESTMENT PROPERTIES
58942 PRIOR YEAR ADJUSTMENTS – ENDOWMENTS
58951 TO CURRENT FUNDS
58952 RESIDUAL TRANSFERS TO DEPARTMENTAL FUNDS
58953 MISC TRANSFERS TO ENDOWMENT FUNDS-CONTRIBUTIONS
58955 TO PLANT FUNDS
58956 TO CAPITAL PROJECT-PLANT FUND
58957 ENDOWMENT PAYOUT
58958 ENDOWMENT SUPPLEMENTAL PAYOUT
58959 DRAW DOWN OF ENDOWMENT PAYOUT/PERPETUAL TRUSTS HELD BY 3RD PARTIES
59XXX ALL ASSESSMENTS ACCOUNTS

If a user approves a SC document that includes one or more of the accounts not included in the approval group for that user (see above list), the document is rejected back to the requisition preparer. The preparer can modify the account and resubmit the document into workflow or cancel the document.

If the user approves a SC document and the amount of the document is greater than the amount of the users approval limit, then the workflow system determines the next approval level for that particular workflow and routes the document to all users assigned to that workflow level.  This procedure repeats until the amount of the document being approved is less than the approval limit of the user approving the SC document.  Once the document is approved, it is routed to Procurement for processing.

If more than one user is assigned the responsibility for a workflow level, then the SC document appears on each of the user’s notification form.  Once the document is approved by a user, the document is removed from all other users’ notification forms for this workflow level and is either routed to Procurement for processing (amount of document is less than approver’s limit), to the next workflow level for approval (amount of document is greater than approver’s limit), or rejected to the preparer of the requisition (examples for automated rejection include the use of an invalid account, invalid PTA, insufficient funds on a PTA, timeout from a business role approval stage, and timeout on a PTA approval stage). If an approver rejects a SC document that has been routed to him/her for approval, the document is returned to the document preparer regardless of the workflow level of the user rejecting the document.

If a SC document is not acted upon within 4 days (GL distributions) or 5 days (sponsored projects) after being routed to a workflow level, it is automatically forwarded to the next level in the workflow (with the exception of the business role approval stage and the PTA approval stage which both reject to the preparer rather than forwarding to another approval level). If a SC document routes to a workflow level for which no user is assigned (usually due to users leaving the University and the departments not notifying the “security approver” of his/her replacement), a document can get stuck in the workflow system. If this occurs, or if all users at a workflow level are absent and a SC document needs immediate attention, that is, pushed to the next workflow level or rejected back to the preparer, contact the IT Support at 202-994-4948, option 1, and identify your need.  Alternately, you can send an email to [email protected]. The Help Desk personnel will log your request and notify the Financial Systems Support (FSS) to assist you.

Once a document has been approved and routed to Procurement for processing, the preparer receives a notification that the document has been approved. The preparer does not receive a notification if a document is approved but routed for additional approvals in an approval hierarchy. 

The preparer of an SC document or any User who has approved or rejected a SC document, can view the Action History of that document via the Notifications form.

Shown on the following page is an example of a SC Workflow.  In this example, requisitions created by Esther Humphrey route to Howard M. Alford for approval. If the amount of a requisition created by Esther Humphrey is $6,200 and Howard M. Alford approves it, Workflow compares the requisition amount to Howard M. Alford’s approval limit of 5K and routes the document to the next Supply Chain Workflow Level with for approval. Either Pamela Sue Goodnow or Timothy L. Russell can approve this requisition. If Pamela Sue Goodnow approves this requisition created by Esther Humphrey, Workflow compares the requisition amount to Pamela Sue Goodnow’s approval limit of 500K, approves the document, and routes the document to the Supply Chain Organization for processing.

An asterisk following the user’s name indicates the user’s primary workflow (see description of primary workflow in the next FAQ).
  
The amount shown in the column named ‘Approval Limit’ denotes the approval limit for the user. The approval limit for the user may not necessarily equal the approval level. If a user has more than one workflow, the highest approval level generally coincides with the user’s approval limit. A user may be in multiple approval levels to share in the approval role of documents routed to that approval level.

Run the ‘GWU SC Workflow Roles Matrix Report [PO-261] Secured [XML]’ report to obtain a copy of all your SC workflows. If you need to validate the SC workflows you are not in, contact the IT Support at 202-994-4948, option 1, and identify your need. Alternately, you can send an email to [email protected]. The Help Desk personnel will log your request and notify FSS to assist you. FSS department will run the ‘GWU SC Workflow Roles Matrix Report [PO-261] Unsecured [XML]’ report for you and send you the results. Copies will be provided to your department head and to your “security approver” (if you are an academic user). Alternately, this data is provided periodically to the “security approver” for your school (if you are an academic user) and you can contact him/her for this information.

If I have multiple workflows, how do I select the appropriate SC workflow for my requisition?

All users with a GW SC Departmental User responsibility and access to general ledger account combinations (a.k.a. accounting flexfields) are assigned a primary workflow. If a user is only assigned to one workflow, that workflow is designated as the user’s primary workflow and the user cannot select a different workflow for their SC documents. If the user is assigned to more than one workflow, one of the workflows is designated as the user’s primary workflow and all others are designated as Secondary Workflows.

When creating a SC document, the user must assign a “Deliver-to Room Number” (descriptive flexfield) to the document. On this same Requisition Distributions form, the user may select a secondary workflow for the document, if the user has multiple workflows. If the user does not select a secondary workflow for the document, the SC document uses the user’s primary workflow for its GL approval process. Since the approval process does not verify the data security of the approver, the SC document requester must select the appropriate secondary workflow if applicable.

Back to top


Q 6. How do SC workflows work for requisitions charged to Grants?

A 6. After fulfillment of the business role approvers and GL-related distribution lines, workflow next checks for the existence of sponsored projects-related distribution lines. A distribution line is considered a sponsored projects distribution line if the Project/Task/Award (PTA) has been filled in. The PTA data is filled in using the Projects region of the Distributions form.

For workflow purposes, all distribution lines are grouped by award.  Workflow routes the SC document to the Notifications box for all users assigned as expenditure approvers for the award. If more than one user is assigned as an expenditure approver for an award, any of the expenditure approvers for the award can approve the SC document. Unlike the GL approval process, there is no approval limit (amount) for sponsored projects distribution lines.

If there is no expenditure approver assigned to the award, then the document routes to the award manager for approval.

If an expenditure approver or award manager rejects a distribution line, the entire requisition is rejected back to the preparer.

If the expenditure approver or award manager does not approve or reject a SC document within 5 days, the SC document is automatically rejected back to the requester.

Once the distribution lines (for an award) are approved by an expenditure approver or award manager, Workflow checks the SC document for certain expenditure types. If found, the SC document is routed to the research service coordinator role (RSC) assigned to the award for approval. 

If the RSC role approves the distribution lines, workflow checks the SC document for additional awards associated with the distribution lines for the SC document. If the SC document has additional awards, workflow will repeat the entire Grants Accounting (GA) approval process for each additional group of distribution lines (award). If the RSC role does not approve or reject the SC document within 5 days, the SC document automatically rejects back to the preparer. After the RSC role approves the SC document it is routed to the post award manager role. If that role does not approve or reject the SC document within 5 days, the SC document automatically rejects back to the requester. If any line(s) gets rejected at any point, the whole document is rejected back to the requester. Notification is sent to all users involved with the document. Once all approvals have been met, the SC document routes to Procurement for processing. The preparer of an SC document or any user who has approved or rejected a SC document, can view the Action History of a document via the Notifications form.

Back to top


Q 7. What is ‘Quick Pay’?

A 7. Several years ago GW implemented the Oracle EAS system for financial operations. In order to accommodate small dollar purchases (under $2500), Quick Pays were established to assist in the payment processing in the absence of a PO. Now GW has a strong p-card program and as a result, the Quick Pay process has been terminated, and small dollar purchases should be placed on p-cards at time of purchase. Should you have a small dollar purchase where the vendor will not accept a p-card, you will then use the standard requisition to PO process.

Quick Pay Process Terminated (November 10, 2014) EAS Communication Notice

Back to top


Q 8. There is an encumbrance balance on my BPR report – how can I determine what makes up this balance? 

A 8. There are two methods you may use to identify the encumbrance:

  • From the main Oracle SC menu, run the ‘Supply Chain Encumbrance Report By GL Flexfield [PO-266]’ report to find the all of the purchase orders listed to your organization
  • For grants, from the main Oracle GA menu select ‘Award Status.’ In the ‘Find Awards Status’ form, look up your award then, from top level, click on the ‘Commitments’ button to view everything listed against your award.

Back to top


Q 9. How can I liquidate PO encumbrances listed on my BPR?

A 9. PO Liquidations are handled through Procurement by submitting the on line ‘PO Liquidations’ form located on the Procurement website.

Back to top


Q 10. How can I find the status of an invoice submitted to Account Payable (AP) or the check number of a paid invoice?  (SC-255 report)

A 10. Run the ‘Accounts Payable Invoice Inquiry Report [AP-255] [XML]’ report.

Back to top


Q 11. I’m a department manager and the person who created requisitions and purchase orders has left the department. How can I tell what requisitions and purchase orders were created for my department during a specific period of time? 

A 11. Access to historical data via the SC forms is controlled by “document” security. This means that if you created a requisition, rejected a requisition that was later approved (even if by someone else), or approved the requisition, you can view the document and its related documents (purchase order, invoice, and receiving activity) at a later date. If you did not create, reject (update), or approve the document, you cannot view the historical data via these forms. 

Various reports have been developed using a user’s “Security Profile, rather than “document” security, to provide users with this needed information. These reports include:

PO Summary Report [PO-262][XML]
Requisition Summary Report [PO-264] [XML]

Back to top


Q 12. How can I determine which account(s) should be used for my requisition?

A 12. It is the responsibility of the individual preparing an online requisition to determine which specific natural account best describes the goods or services being ordered.

Although EAS cannot make the determination as to which account is the most appropriate for a particular transaction, there are certain accounts that cannot be used for online requisitions of goods and services under any circumstances. For example, it is never allowable to use 51xxx accounts (Employee Compensation) for online requisitions. EAS workflow systematically prevents approval of requisition/releases charged to restricted accounts.

To determine whether or not an account is allowable for departmental purchases of goods and services,  open the ‘Natural Account Descriptions – Chart of Accounts’ form on the Forms page. From the Chart of Accounts webpage click the ‘ACCOUNT’ tab then click ‘Search’. From the ‘Select Tags’ list highlight ‘Requisitions’ and press search, the list of accounts approved for requisition use is displayed.  Note: Accounts available will be restricted when used on a GRANT. If you do not see a restriction listed for the account you wish to use, it is allowable.

Back to top


Q 13. How do I prepare and submit a Travel reimbursement for someone other than myself?

A 13. For faculty and staff, visit the iBuy+ website to log into the GW Expense Reporting system. This system is used to allocate and submit PCard transactions and requests for reimbursement. Visit the iBuy Expense page to view training materials and FAQs for using the GW Expense Reporting system.

For student and non-employee expense reimbursements please use the  Accounts Payable 'Payment Request Form' and send the completed form to AP.

Back to top


Q 14 . I’m unable to extract data on the SC-270 report for my students who are receiving Stipend checks.  Why? 

A 14. For Stipend payments to appear on the ‘Stipend Profile [AP-270] Secured [XML]’ report, the stipend invoice must have an invoice type of “Recurring”. Your data may not appear on this report for the aforementioned reason or because your data security may restrict you from accessing this information.  FSS will research the problem for you.  If needed, contact the IT Support at 202-994-4948, option 1, and identify your need.  Alternately, you can send an email to [email protected]. The Help Desk personnel will log your request and notify SAIG to assist you. 

 

Back to top

Visit the Procurement website for additional operational FAQs related to Procurement activity.