Automatic Purchase Orders (APO)


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The Automatic Purchase Order (APO) facilitates quick placement of small, routine orders through extending purchasing authority to a department for these transactions. The APO is to be used as a single, one-time transaction and the total dollar amount of goods/services for any single APO cannot exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000). Other restrictions apply and are described in section “C” of this document.

Please read all of these instructions carefully before creating an Automatic Purchase Order. This is an additional method of procurement providing a convenience for the using department. However, failure to comply with these procedures can result in revocation of a department’s right to use APOs.

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APOs cannot be used for the following:

  • Animals
  • Cell Phones
  • Check Enclosed/Prepayment Orders
  • Furniture, furnishings
  • Gift cards of any kind --- without written authorization from Purchasing
  • On-line auction source purchases (e-bay, etc.)
  • Orders to University employees for personal service
  • Personal Purchases and the use of personal reward cards that benefit the employee and not the university.
  • Plants and Flowers
  • Professional Services
  • Purchases involving trade-in
  • Radioactive materials
  • Recurring payments (leases, rentals, standing orders, repetitive ordering, etc.)
  • Reimbursements to Indiana University employees
  • Transactions restricted by IU policy are also restricted on an APO
  • Travel or travel-related expenses, including reimbursement
  • Vehicles, boats, trailers (anything requiring a title)
  • Weapons, ammunition

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The delegation of limited purchase authority to a department allowing use of the APO means the departmental user accepts and is responsible for compliance with all State of Indiana and Indiana University policies, rules and regulations governing procurement. This includes adherence to all prohibitions, restrictions, and limitations of such purchases. The APO may not be used to make purchases from: (1) Indiana University employees or their spouses, (2) business concerns of which an IU employee (or spouse) is a sole or principal owner, or (3) corporations of which an IU employee (or spouse) is a major officer or primary employee.

The APO must not be used to reimburse Indiana University employees. The proper method for reimbursements is the Indiana University Disbursement Voucher with receipts attached.

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Additions, Deletions, Changes, Cancellation, Voiding

Any revision of the original APO must be completed by the Purchasing Department. To have a change made on an APO, detail the change on the Notes tab of the PO document in the system and Send the note to someone in that commodity team. Commodities and staff can be found on the Purchasing Buying webpage.

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Return of Merchandise

Authorization from the vendor must be obtained for returns. Please contact the vendor and/or Purchasing for instructions prior to returning the goods. It is the Department's primary responsibility to obtain return goods authorization and to make arrangements for returning items ordered on APOs. It is the Department’s responsibility to ensure that credit is issued for all returned merchandise.

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Telephone Orders

If an order is phoned to a vendor, the APO should have as its first line item the notation that states “Confirming order - do not duplicate” to avoid a duplicate shipment being made. NOTE: Confirming Orders should be the exception and not the normal ordering procedure. If you do require a Confirming Order, it is recommended you set the transmission to “No Print” to further avoid the possibility of a duplicate shipment. If the vendor requires a copy of the Confirming Order, be sure you have the “Confirming Order.” statement on your REQ/APO.

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You may not use multiple APOs for one requirement. “Stacking” APOs which keeps the dollar amount of the individual order under $3,000.00 but the total requirement over the $3,000.00 limit is not permissible.

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