Procurement Lifecycle

Click to download a PDF Version of the Procurement Lifecycle

Intent and Scope

The purpose of this webpage 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, and there may be slight variations by campus. (E.g., Some requirements for sponsored awards will not fit into this overview.) Links to additional resources/documents are provided in the Additional Resources section.

Process Summary Diagram

Process summary Diagram shows text boxes followed by arrows in the subsequent sequence: Supplier Registration (SUP ID), Financial Requisiton (REQ), Supplier Contract (CON), Purchase Order (PO), Receipt (Rct), Invoice (INV), Payment

Supplier/Payee: The person or entity providing goods, performing services, or being paid.

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. 

Financial Management Team: The person(s) holding Cost Center Manager, Senior Business Manager, and Campus CFO roles in GMS responsible for the requesting department’s budget.

Accounts Payable: The team responsible for processing invoices and issuing payments.

Financial Management is responsible for diligent dialogue with departments and end users, and both financial and procurement planning via the budget development processes.

  1. The Financial Management team discusses functional activities and programs with departments and helps identify needs for procuring goods/services along with timing.
  2. The Financial Management team not only plans for the financial impact of these activities, but also guides 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 as soon as possible, and at least 60 days in advance for known annual events (preferably at the start of the fiscal year).

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. If a contract is required, statement of work negotiations can begin prior to supplier registration and/or approval of the Requisition, but the contract itself cannot be initiated in GMS (or completed) until the supplier is registered, and requisition approval must precede contract review and approval in GMS.

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 supplier registrations, makes sure they are complete, non-duplicative, and compliant, 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.

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 (e.g., scope of work) (or why a request for payment is being made), the business purpose/spend justification (operational impact; who/what/when/where/why), an estimate of the amount of yearly spend and total 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 the procedures for the 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 Financial Management Team (specifically the CCM,SBM, CFO, or Treasurer) reviews and approves the requisition (or MPREQ). If total anticipated lifetime spend is over $10,000 or certain criteria in the contracts policy are invoked, 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.)

Procurement Services directs 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) 

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.

Procurement Services initiates a purchase order (PO) or change order 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 Financial Management Team (CCM, SBM, CFO and Treasurer) 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, with copy to the Requesting Department and Procurement Services.

Turnaround for initiation, approval, and issuance of a PO typically runs 2-3 business days.

The Requesting Department, as goods and services are delivered, confirms receipt of goods or services by sending an email (or ticket) to the Procurement Services team based on your department/campus. In cases where the department contact has been assigned as the Requisition Requester, that person may instead receipt in GMS directly.

Procurement Services (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.
  • POs created from a PunchOut do not require receipts when the PO is under $10,000

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

The Supplier sends invoices for payment to Accounts Payable at 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, the Requesting Department or Procurement Services should send the invoice to and let the supplier know that they should be delivering the invoice directly to

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.

Financial Management Team approves 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.

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 AP issues ACH, domestic or international wire, and domestic paper check payments without special processing on a daily basis. 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: >> Payment Reissue Requests.