Buying and Paying Overview

LAST UPDATED: June 27, 2018

What You Should Know

Prime dramatically streamlines buying and paying, providing a more user friendly, integrated, and efficient process.

With Prime, there are three ways to buy and pay for goods and services:

  • Our new requisition process, which includes a new Marketplace 
  • University credit cards
  • In very select cases, a non-PO payment request

The Buying & Paying Process

The primary way to buy and pay will be through requisitions. Once approved, these requisitions become purchase orders.

Buying & Paying Overview

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Finding What You Need
You begin the requisition process by shopping in the Prime Marketplace.

Many goods needed for University operations can be found in the new and expanded Prime Marketplace. In the Prime Marketplace, you will identify items from online catalogs and put those in a shopping cart. You also will be able to place a special request for a non-catalog item or service. 

When you chose items from a catalog in the Prime Marketplace, you will assign your cart to your Requisition Creator. The Requisition Creator uses the cart information and any other information you provided to create a requisition in Prime Financials. The Requisition Creator will add ChartField information along with any additional information necessary to complete the requisition.

Unless you are a Requisition Creator, you do not need to know the ChartFields.

The requisition automatically routes to the appropriate Approver, depending on the Department ChartField and dollar amount of the order.

Purchase Order 
Once approved by the purchasing department, a requisition becomes a purchase order that is sent to the supplier for the items you requested. Purchase orders dispatch every hour from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, so there should be no need to phone-in orders. Dispatched orders also reference our terms and conditions, ensuring compliance and adding efficiency to the process.

With Prime, we have consistent receiving thresholds across campus. Receiving is optional when the order totals less than $2,500. Receiving always is performed when an order equals or exceeds $2,500. During receiving, packing slips can be attached for record retention.

Prime introduces new electronic invoice capabilities for catalog suppliers. Paper invoices will be scanned and will be available to view within Prime Financials or the Information Warehouse.

Prime Financials will match invoices against purchase orders to ensure we only pay for what we order. When an order totals $2,500 or greater, Prime Financials will also ensure that the goods and services have been received before payment is scheduled.

Matched invoices are scheduled for payment according to the established payment terms. In most cases, electronic payment will be made to suppliers.

At any point during the process, the Shopper, Requisition Creator, and Approver can readily see the status of a purchase. Requisition Creators and Approvers also have easy access to detailed requisitions, order history, receiving information, matching, invoices, and payments.

The Prime Marketplace

The majority of everyday purchase requests will be made in the new Prime Marketplace, featuring a familiar online shopping experience. Faculty, staff, and some students will use the Prime Marketplace to make requests for goods and services.

University Credit Cards

The Travel and Expense card is used to pay for individual business expenses such as travel, books, professional memberships, conference registrations, and business meals. Linked to our travel booking and expense system, Concur, charges to this card are automatically imported. If you incur individual business expenses, you may be a candidate for a Travel and Expense Card.

Departmental Purchasing Cards, formerly referred to as departmental credit cards, are University credit cards used to pay for low-dollar purchases that benefit the department such as furniture, supplies, and some recurring charges. If you are responsible for creating requisitions, or procuring goods or services on behalf of your department, you may be a candidate for a Departmental Purchasing Card. Departmental Purchasing Card charges will be substantiated in Concur.

For more information see University Credit Cards.

Non-PO Payment Requests: Very Limited Use

Non-PO payment requests are used for very select transactions including honoraria and limited engagements, utilities, institutional payments, royalties and copyrights, and some employee relocation expenses. These requests are processed in Prime Financials and are structured to manage the creation, review, and approval of these payments. Processing options depend on the type of transaction and the payee.


Prime Financials is the system of record for buying and paying transactions and is the primary tool for Requisition Creators and Approvers.

The Prime Marketplace is the system used by campus shoppers to select items from supplier catalogs or to request other non-catalog items.

Concur is the University’s travel booking and expense management system. It is linked to the new Travel and Expense Card and the Departmental Purchasing Card.

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For more information


Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-0442

Princeton University
Office of Finance & Treasury
701 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

Google Map
Princeton Shuttle


7 New South
Tel (609) 258-3080
Fax (609) 258-5040
Open Monday through Friday,
8:30 am — 4:30 pm


Customer service, cashiering,
check pick-up, financial system access


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