Adele H. Stamp Student Union - Center for Campus Life

Purchase Order (PO)


What is a Purchase Order (PO)?

A Purchase Order is a promise to an individual/vendor that they will receive payment from the State of Maryland within thirty (30) days of receiving proof (an invoice) that the items/goods were received.

PO’s are used to initiate payments to off-campus vendors for the purchase of products that will be kept by the group.

Examples of when you should submit a Purchase Order Request are:

  • Office supplies
  • Decorations/costumes/supplies for an event
  • Subscription for a continuous service
  • Marketing materials

Purchase Order Guidelines

  • Purchase orders require a minimum of five (5) business days’ notice.
  • The university is a tax-exempt organization so purchases made with university funds are exempt from most sales taxes.
  • Prior to submitting a PO request, contact the vendor to ensure that they accept PO’s as a form of payment.
    • If the vendor does not accept PO’s, submit a Purchase Order Request through the SGA Financial Officers OrgSync portal and, in place of submitting a W-9, submit a document requesting that SORC work with the vendor to arrange alternative forms of payment.
  • You will need a signed W-9 form from your vendor unless you have worked with that same vendor during the current academic year. This is to ensure that the information is up-to-date and that there are no delays in payment.
  • To begin paying a vendor with a PO, you will fill out and submit the “Purchase Order Request” form found in the SGA Financial Officers portal under the forms tab.
    • For more information on the SGA Financial Officers portal, please refer to the SORC Financial Services Manual.
  • You will need to provide the following information on the form:
    • Detailed description of the items/services that you are paying for
    • Be as detailed as possible. If using SGA funds, SORC staff must determine whether the funds are being used in accordance the SGA approved budget and line item.
    • Program Name and Line Item
      • Copy and paste this information directly from your group’s account ledger or summary
      • For more information on viewing your account information, see section the Viewing Funds section of SORC Financial Services Manual.
      • For more information on viewing your organization's funds, please refer to the SORC Financial Services Manual.
    • Detailed list of the item(s) to be purchased
    • Date that items are needed
      • Plan as far ahead as possible to ensure that you receive your items when needed. Keep in mind both SORC’s processing time, shipping times (if items need to be shipped to your organization) as well as the possibility that desired item(s) may not be available/in stock.
  • Upon successful completion and submission of this form, your group will be emailed a PO within three (3) business days.
  • The PO can then be taken to the vendor and will serve as your payment.
  • FYI: Purchase Orders over $5000 are NOT easily approved by the university and if they are, it can take at least 30 days just to process! Do not expect to receive this PO within 3 business days.
  • Obtain an invoice from the vendor and EMAIL the invoice to SORC at
    • Your vendor will not receive payment until SORC has received an official invoice.
    • Invoices must contain certain information for the payment to be approved. Use the Sample Invoice below as a guide which should be forwarded to the vendor to ensure compliance.
    • Failure to provide an invoice could result in the suspension of your organization’s account and/or loss of future funding from the SGA.
  • The vendor will be mailed a check from the State of Maryland thirty (30) business days after the Accounts Payable Office receives the invoice.