Click to download a PDF Version of the Procurement Lifecycle
Intent and Scope
The purpose of this page is to provide a high-level overview of the procurement lifecycle from need/supplier identification to payment, along with roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders, and expectations for time to complete each distinct process.
This overview will not describe every eventuality or requirement for the procurement process. (E.g., There are requirements for sponsored awards/grants and accessibility that will not fit into this overview.) Links to additional resources/documents are provided in the Additional Resources section.
Process Summary Diagram
Supplier/Payee: The person or entity providing goods, performing services, or being paid (non-payroll).
Requesting Department: The Georgetown entity requiring goods or services, or requesting a non-payroll payment to be made.
Procurement Services: The person(s) holding the Requisitioner and/or Cost Center Buyer roles in GMS responsible for procuring goods and services for the Requesting Department.
Unit Financial Management Team: The person(s) holding Cost Center Manager, Senior Business Manager, and Campus CFO roles in GMS responsible for the requesting department.
Accounts Payable: The team responsible for processing invoices and issuing payments.
Financial Management is responsible for initiating the budget-to-obligation-to-payment cycle through diligent planning and dialogue with departments and end users via the budget development processes. As the planning team discusses functional activities and programs, departments will identify the need for procuring goods and services that are not eligible on ProCard or through punchouts along with the timing of their needs. It is the responsibility of the financial management team to not only plan for the financial impact of these activities, but to guide departments to their designated procurement analyst to begin planning and processing in a timely way for their event or activity. At a minimum, quote gathering and supplier set-ups should begin at least 60 days in advance for known annual events.
Note on the Ordering of Steps in the Process
The following actions are presented in the order that they must be performed for the process to work as intended, with the exception of 1A/1B: Requisition can precede supplier registration, or vice versa. Contract negotiations can begin prior to the supplier’s registration and/or approval of the Requisition, but the contract (if required) cannot be initiated in GMS (or completed) until the supplier is registered, and in general requisition submission and approval should precede contract submission in GMS.
Step 1 (A) – Supplier Registration
All Suppliers/Payees are responsible for registering themselves/their business via the OCFO supplier set-up website. The process takes 5-7 minutes and assures that Georgetown has accurate information about them in order to make payment once payment is due.
Accounts Payable reviews registrations, makes sure they are complete, and approves them. Our expectation is that registrations will be reviewed within two (2) business days of the supplier completing/submitting their profile.
The Supplier/Payee will receive an email notification when their registration has been approved. They should forward that to the Requesting Department that they are working with to expedite the procurement/payment process. Alternatively, the department may periodically review for the Supplier/Payee record at the list of all active suppliers that is publicly available and updated nightly.
Step 1 (B) – Requisition
The Requesting Department is responsible for defining the goods or services they are looking to acquire, or the payment they are looking to make. This should, at a minimum, include a description of the goods and/or services (or why a request for payment is being made), the business purpose and spend justification (operational impact; who/what/when/where/why), an estimate of the amount of yearly spend, an estimate of the length of the engagement (specifically, the dates over which the goods will be consumed, services performed, and the dates of the first and last payment, if known), worktags, and if the department has identified the payee or preferred suppliers. This can be done via email (or ticket) to the Procurement Services team based on your department/campus.
Procurement Services either:
- Enters a Requisition in GMS
- Processes a Miscellaneous Payment Request (MPREQ) via GMS, for one-time payments of certain criteria, skipping steps 3-5 below (criteria are listed at Accounts Payable’s website >> Non-Procurement Expenses, and details regarding certain categories are available at the Tax Department’s website)
The Unit Financial Management Team (specifically the CCM and SBM) reviews and approves the requisition (or MPREQ). If total anticipated lifetime spend is over $10,000, a contract is required (step 2). If total spend is less than $10,000 or there is a master contract in place, step 2 is bypassed.
Typical turnaround for entry and approval of a requisition or MPREQ, assuming complete information delivered by the Requesting Department, is 3-5 business days. (This does not include contract entry/approval or PO entry/approval, discussed below.)
Step 2 – Contracting
Procurement Services verifies with the Requesting Department that a contract is needed, and specifies the information required and process to be followed so that they can initiate and complete the contract in GMS and send the contract for signature. Procurement Services will also shepherd the contract through required approval steps, alerting the Requesting Department of additional requirements from approving parties (e.g., Tax, Information Security, Legal, Unit Financial Management Team).
The Requesting Department provides the requested information, liaising with the supplier to:
- Determine whether the supplier will use GU’s standard terms and conditions
- Obtain required information from the supplier (e.g., Certificate of Insurance, SOC-I report, supplier’s standard contractual terms)
- Will be prompted in GMS to complete the spend justification for any purchase of $2500 or more. For purchases over $50,000, the Requesting Department will also need to complete the STaRT questionnaire in GMS to provide a business justification and answer other pertinent questions.
If the supplier agrees to using the GU standard agreement terms, which have been vetted by counsel, there is no need for negotiating the contract. If the supplier redlines the GU terms or prefers to use their own terms and conditions, the agreement must be reviewed/negotiated by a Procurement Legal Advisor (Contracts Department). If negotiation is required, then the Procurement Legal Advisors lead the negotiation of final contractual terms with the Department, the supplier, and the various approvers.
Turnaround for entry and approval of a contract can vary from 3 to 30 business days, potentially delaying the authorized start date for delivery of goods and or services, and Georgetown’s ability to pay invoices. This will depend on the amount and complexity of the contract, and particularly whether the supplier is using GU standard terms. For more information on the contract requirements, please see the Procurement Matrix.
Step 3 – Purchase Order
Procurement Services initiates a purchase order (PO) in GMS based on the approved requisition, for the total anticipated spend for the fiscal year related to the particular department, purpose, and supplier combination. New purchase orders are issued yearly, by fiscal year.
The Unit Financial Management Team (Cost Center Manager and Senior Business Manager) reviews and approves the purchase order when a change is requested, or if a requisition has not previously been required.
Procurement Services issues the PO, notifying the department, and the supplier/supplier contact if their info is in GMS, via email and attaching the purchase order, requesting that the purchase order number be printed on any invoices delivered to Georgetown, and that invoices be delivered directly to the Accounts Payable team at firstname.lastname@example.org, with copy to the Requesting Department and Procurement Services.
Turnaround for initiation, approval, and issuance of a PO typically runs 2-3 business days.
Step 4 – Receipt
The Requesting Department, as goods and services are delivered, confirms receipt of goods or services by sending an email to the Procurement Services team (i.e, the designated Procurement Analyst, Requisitioner, or Cost Center Buyer).
Procurement Services (or the designated Requisitioner or Cost Center Buyer) receipts in GMS on the Purchase Order as confirmed by the Requesting Department.
- Receipts are not required when the total PO is under $2,500.
Receipts are not specific to an invoice. Receipts are general confirmation that a specific dollar amount of goods and/or services have been received under a specific purchase order.
Step 5 – Invoicing
The Supplier sends invoices for payment to Accounts Payable at email@example.com as PDF attachments to the email, with copy to the Requesting Department and Procurement Services. The issued PO number must be listed on the invoice and the invoice must also have a unique invoice number and identified supplier. If the Requesting Department or Procurement Services receives the invoice directly from the supplier and the invoice was not sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, the Requesting Department or Procurement Services should send the invoice to email@example.com and let the supplier know that they should be delivering the invoice directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accounts Payable (AP) processes the invoice for payment, working with Procurement Services to resolve match exceptions due to missing receipts, lack of funds on a PO, or a missing PO. This includes processing MPREQs approved in (2) above. If there is lack of clarity with respect to what PO line an invoice/invoice line should be charged, AP will reference the receipts and engage in a discussion with the Requesting Department and Procurement Services.
Procurement Services and the Unit Financial Management Team approve invoices created from MPREQs.
Turnaround for entry and, if required, approval of invoices is 2-3 business days, assuming that a PO has been issued, has a sufficient uninvoiced balance, and receipts have been created. AP prioritizes invoices for processing by due date, invoice date, and date of receipt.
Step 6 – Payment
Accounts Payable (AP) issues payment to the supplier by the due date listed on the invoice if the invoice was delivered earlier than five (5) business days in advance of the due date, or within 5 business days of delivery of the invoice to email@example.com. AP issues ACH, wire, and domestic paper check payments without special processing payments on a daily basis. International or special processing paper check payments, generated on site for pickup or FedEx delivery, are issued once per week, on Thursdays.
AP also resolves any issues with payment, reissuing payment if required due to lost/missing check or undelivered ACH/Wire. Payment reissue requests are reviewed weekly. Details on the process are available at: https://ocfo.georgetown.edu/expense-management/accounts-payable/ >> Payment Reissue Requests.
Procurement Training Slide Deck
GMS Job Aid: End-to-End Procurement Guide
GMS Job Aid: MPREQ (Supplier Invoice Request) Process
GUMC Procurement and Procard Office