Purchase Order (PO)

Purchase orders (PO) are required for items or orders costing more than $2,500 that aren’t on the list of goods or standard services that don’t require a purchase order. PO requests should be submitted by completing the UMN Psychology Purchase Order Request form. 

Folwell Components

Expand all

Purchasing 101 at the University of Minnesota

Standard Equipment/Supplies Purchase Orders

Needed Documents

All PO requests must include:

  • Vendor Name
  • Total Dollar Amount
  • Justification
  • Chartstring(s)
  • Quote

Additional Information on Dollar Amount

Contract for Professional Services (CPS)

A contract for service is used when hiring a company or individual (not a University employee) to provide some specific service, such as consulting or computer services. There is a specific contract document that must be fully signed by all parties involved BEFORE any work begins.

Types of CPS

There are multiple types of CPS.  See the Contract For Professional Services Policy to find the type that will work best for your needs.

Note: If grant-related, please ensure the services to be purchased should be a Contract for Professional Services versus a “sub-award” administered by SPA. If unsure, please check with Anjeanette Roy or Kristen Abernethy.

Needed Documents

See CPS Grid for more information on required documentation.


Justifications are needed for all financial transactions.  While an expense may be perfectly legitimate, it can be flagged in an audit if it does not have a complete justification in the documentation.

Components of a Good Justification (5W’s)

The Writing Justifications Guide contains further explanations and examples.

A reasonable justification requires a who, what, where, when, and why/how (5W’s)

  • Who: Who is involved in the transaction? (Travelers, Stakeholders)
  • What: What exactly is being paid for?
  • When: For travel, when will the travel take place? For supplies/equipment, when will the items be used? For services, when will/were the services be provided?
  • Where: For travel, where is the destination? For supplies/equipment, where will the items be stored or used? For services, where will the services be provided?
  • How/Why: How does the purchase benefit the university? Why is the purchase necessary?

Other things to include

  • For Charges to Sponsored Projects:
    • identify the project (project number, study title, etc.), principal investigator (PI), and a detailed explanation of how the expenses directly support the aims of the grant.
  • For Subject Payments 
    • All identifying information should be removed and the statement "Documentation will be kept on file in the department, available for audit” should be included.
    • The identifying documents should be held in the lab in the case of an audit.
  • Any Oddities
    • Anything out of the norm should be included in the justification. Clarifications and extra details pertinent to the payment should be included.
Sarah Jahn
Finance and Grants Manager
S253 EltH | 626-7975
Kamran Motevaze
Finance Professional
S252 EltH | 626-8146
Angela Park
Finance Professional
S254 | 625-5429
Svena Saenvilay
Student Finance Assistant
Anjeanette Roy
Grants Coordinator
N256 EltH | 626-0871
Kristen Abernethy
Grants Coordinator
S250 EltH | 624-4325
Elliot Skurich
Senior Grants Administrator
Abby Roberts
Student Finance Assistant
Revision create time