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Production Purchasing - Student Handbook

In order to facilitate proper record keeping for the various Theatre accounts, some strict guidelines have been established for purchases made on the department’s behalf. Please follow these guidelines closely, directing any questions to your supervisor or the Accounts Supervisor (Room AD 220, 855-5382).

Key Terms

Blue Form This is an all purpose form required for some purchasing procedures. It also contains reference lists of accounts and expense classes. Blue Forms are available outside the Accounts Supervisor’s office.

Account The responsible area for a particular charge (i.e. University Theatre, Brown County Playhouse, Broadway Cabaret, etc)

Expense Class A specific area within an account (i.e. Sets, Costumes, Audience Development, etc.)

Vendor Any merchant from whom we purchase supplies

Tax Exempt Indiana University is tax exempt and therefore should pay no sales taxes on any purchases. Make the vendor aware of this at time of purchase by presenting our tax-exempt number (a copy of this is available from the Account Supervisor).

Purchasing Instructions

Purchasing Supplies Through the University

  • Office, janitorial, and certain other supplies are available from catalogs kept by Department Secretary.
  • The Executive Secretary will place the order electronically.
  • The items are delivered to room A300U within a few days (contingent on availability).

Blanket Purchase Orders (B.P.O.’s)

  • This is an account set up at a particular vendor to cover all purchases made during the year. There are special requirements for BPOs.
  • BPO numbers are available from your supervisor.
  • Simply tell the cashier at the store that you would like to use an IU Purchase Order.
  • The vendor will give you an invoice. Write the account, expense class and BPO # on the invoice and sign it legibly.
  • Return the invoice to your supervisor ASAP.

Special Purchase Orders (P.O.’s)

  • For use with vendors for which there is no BPO. Each one will have a different number and be for specific items.
  • Fill out a Blue Form with as much information as possible (vendor name and address, items needed and prices, etc.)
  • If the total amount required is less than $500, the PO may be available immediately. Otherwise it may take several days. So PLAN AHEAD!
  • When you receive the PO, make your purchase, giving the vendor a copy of the PO form. Make sure the vendor knows that they are to send a bill directly to IU’s Accounts Payable department (the address is on the PO form).
  • The vendor will give you an invoice. Write the account, expense class and PO # on the invoice and sign it legibly.
  • Return the invoice to your supervisor ASAP.

IU Purchasing Card

  • Looks and acts just like a credit card. Only certain individuals will receive these.
  • Simply make your purchase from the vendor (make sure no sales tax is included).
  • Write the account and shop info on the receipt.
  • Turn receipts in to your supervisor and follow their instructions on how to handle receipts. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Lost receipts will cost your area $5.00 each to replace (and they must be replaced!)
  • PLEASE NOTE Purchasing Cards cannot be used for everything. Go to for more information.


  • This is a last resort, only to be used if there is no purchasing card available AND we do not have a BPO with the vendor AND there is not enough time to wait for a PO.
  • Make the purchase at the vendor, using your own money.
  • Remember DO NOT PAY SALES TAX. Sales tax paid will not be reimbursed. If necessary obtain a tax-exempt form from the Department Secretary or from the Accounts Supervisor.
  • If the receipt is $25.00 or less , write the account name and shop on the receipt and sign it legibly. Then bring it to the Department Secretary for immediate reimbursement.
  • If the receipt is $25.01 or more , fill out a Blue Form completely (including the supervisor’s signature in Section 1 of the Blue Form), staple the receipt to it and submit it to the Accounts Supervisor. Reimbursement will be in the form of a check from the university and usually takes about 1 week.

Other points to remember

It is your responsibility to make sure that all information on an invoice or receipt is correct. Vendors can make mistakes, so double-check before leaving the store.

Do not use any of the above purchasing techniques for a personal purchase, even if you plan to pay for it later.

Violation of any of the above policies could result in a suspension of purchasing privileges. If you should have any questions, please contact the Accounts Supervisor.