This procedure is made under the Procurement Policy.


This procedure applies to all staff at the University involved in the purchase, processing and approval of goods, services and building works irrespective of the payment’s funding source.


1. Purchasing methods

1.1.    The University provides staff with three purchasing methods:

  • the Themis iProcurement module – this must be used for procurement of all goods and services, including building works, except those listed in the List of Exceptions to iProcurement
  • travel cards – these purchasing cards may only be used in accordance with section 3.4 of the Procurement Policy
  • purchasing cards used for procurement as nominated by a head of budget division – these may only be used in accordance with section 3.5 of the Procurement Policy

Refer to the Procurement Policy, the Procurement of Goods and Services Procedure and the Procurement of Building Works Procedure for further information on purchasing methods.

1.2.    Holders of University purchasing/travel cards must comply with the requirements relating to these cards outlined in the Procurement of Goods and Services Procedure.

2. Financial delegations

2.1.    Financial transaction delegation levels are detailed in the Delegations Policy, Schedule A – Financial Delegations.

2.2.    Staff must not:

  • enter into agreements
  • authorise payments to a related party
  • approve payments to themselves or third parties

where the expenditure was incurred in relation to themselves (e.g. airfares, hotel accommodation).

3. Purchase processing and authorisation

3.1.    Staff will issue purchase orders through the Themis iProcurement module. The principle authorisation for the procurement of goods and services occurs during the online requisition process via a predetermined work flow that prevents purchase orders from being printed or emailed until authorised.

3.2.    Purchase requisitions initiated by a staff member that exceed their financial delegation must be authorised via the Themis iProcurement module by a staff member with the appropriate financial delegation, as nominated in the predetermined workflow. Purchase orders will not require a second authorisation once the purchase requisition authorisation has been completed.

3.3.    Staff will manage purchasing card approval process via the Themis iExpenses module.  

3.4.    Staff will manage petty cash in accordance with the Payments and Reimbursements Procedure.

3.5.    In approving a purchase requisition, authorisers must ensure that goods and services purchased are for legitimate University purposes and that:

3.6.  The Vice-Chancellor, Senior Vice-Principal or Chief Financial Officer must authorise the following types of expenditure from University funds:

  • payment for, or reimbursement of, parking or traffic fines
  • membership subscriptions to University House or the Graduate Union
  • gifts to staff at Christmas or on termination
  • donations to any organisation (due to the University’s legal status as a charitable organisation)
  • gratuities, including tips given within Australia
  • non-business related payments from business centre or budget unit consulting income.

3.7.    Staff must issue a purchase order for the acquisition of all goods and services unless they are listed on the List of Exceptions to iProcurement,

3.8.    Staff must complete a Missing or Lost Receipts Under/Over $200 form, where original invoices or receipts are not available.

4. Purchase orders for regular supply orders

4.1.    Staff may use the Themis iProcurement module to  confirm a service agreement with a supplier to fill an order on a regular basis for a 12 month period from 1 January to 31 December.

4.2.    When a purchase order for a 12 month period is raised in the Themis iProcurement module:

  • a requisition is raised for the estimated total cost of goods or services to be supplied over the 12 month period (the estimate must not be for nominal amounts)
  • the requisition must be approved by a staff member with appropriate financial delegation
  • a purchase order is sent to the supplier via email upon approval of the requisition (either a standard purchase order or blanket purchase order can be used).

4.3.    Staff must not use University purchasing cards for the regular supply of goods and services.

5. Prepayment of supplier invoices

5.1.    Prepayment of supplier invoices is only permitted for subscriptions and maintenance. 

5.2.    Legal proceedings may be taken against anyone falsifying documentation to fully expend a government grant within the current financial year.

5.3.    The Tender Board Secretary may facilitate a prepayment in conjunction with a bank guarantee or international letter of credit in limited circumstances in order to protect the University against non-delivery of goods and services.

6. Outstanding purchase orders

6.1.    Commitments on open purchase orders are carried forward to the next accounting period.

6.2.    Business centre finance managers must:

  • regularly review purchase orders that have been open for more than 6 months with an inactive encumbrance
  • report any purchase orders left open longer than the 6 month period with an inactive encumbrance to the Finance and Planning Group with an explanation as to why they are to remain open.

6.3.    Purchase orders with an unmatched amount, which are no longer required, are to be closed.

6.4.    A purchase order must be cancelled where a supplier has indicated that the order will not be supplied.

7. Internal suppliers - cost allocation process

7.1.    The Strategic Procurement website lists all preferred suppliers of goods and services.  This includes internal suppliers, which are the preferred suppliers for similar goods and services.

7.2.    Allocation of the cost of goods and services supplied by internal budget units is to be recorded within the natural account range 7000–7999.  See Practice Guide to the Chart of Accounts.

7.3.    A Themis internal requisition will be raised online when ordering goods or services from an internal supplier. 

7.4.    The charge will be allocated when the service and or supply is provided to the requesting budget unit.

7.5.    Costs accumulated for other types of requests are processed on a monthly basis with a report issued to the paying budget unit.

8. Supplier payment requirements

8.1.    A supplier must be created in Themis before the issue of a purchase order, or the entry of a supplier invoice (e.g. a contractor or a thesis marker).

8.2.    To create a new supplier, one of the following forms must be completed and attached to the online supplier create process in Themis:

8.3.    The Finance and Planning Group will create new suppliers in Themis within 48 hours of receipt of the relevant form outlined in section 8.2. Procurement related suppliers will be created and approved within 24 hours.

8.4.    An individual with an Australian Business Number (ABN), will be paid through Accounts Payable via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or cheque, provided they meet the criteria of an independent contractor (refer to the Engaging Independent Contractors Procedure).

8.5.    An individual without an ABN must be paid through HR Payroll as a casual employee (refer to the Categories of Employment Procedure).

8.6.    ‘No ABN declarations’ will only be accepted if the individual is able to claim one of the following exemptions:

  • the payment is less than $75 (excluding GST)
  • the supplier is not entitled to an ABN as they are an overseas resident, not carrying on a business, but marking a thesis, in Australia.

8.7.    Payments to overseas thesis markers are to be made through Accounts Payable via wire or cheque.

8.8.    Where the supplier is a contractor, the contractor will be ineligible to sign the exemption declaration if:

  • the contractor’s income for work performed in Australia is greater than $50,000 for any 12 consecutive months
  • the contractor has a place of business in Australia, including an office on the University premises for longer than six continuous months or where the contractor is returning to the same office over a period longer than six months.

8.9.    If an independent contractor does not supply a valid ABN or ABN exemption declaration, the University will withhold tax at the maximum rate of 48.5% as per the Australian Taxation Office requirements.

8.10.  Where a new supplier is an overseas supplier:

  • the address must be the contractor’s permanent overseas address
  • the bank account must be in the name of the contractor
  • where an ABN exemption is being sought, the bank account must be held overseas.

8.11.  Compliant tax invoices are required to enable the claiming of Goods and Service Tax (GST) paid on purchases.  The Treatment of Tax Procedure provides further information on the GST.

9. Payment of invoices

9.1.    Suppliers must forward invoices relating to purchase orders directly to Accounts Payable via a generic email address specified by the University or direct mail to Accounts Payable, Finance and Planning. Departments who receive invoices for purchase orders must forward the invoices to Accounts Payable via internal mail.

9.2.    On receipt of an invoice relating to a purchase order, Accounts Payable will enter the invoice into the AP Imaging system for automated matching with the purchase order and the record of receipt of goods. Payment will be made in accordance with the University’s payment terms provided that:

  • the purchase requisition has been authorised
  • the purchase has been receipted by the requisitioner or local budget unit.

9.3.    Staff must contact Accounts Payable about cancellation or deletion of imaged invoices.

9.4.    Suppliers may forward invoices for goods and services for which there is no purchase order (purchase order exceptions) directly to the department.

9.5.    Departments must add distribution details to invoices for purchase order exceptions and forward the invoices to Accounts Payable for scanning and processing.

9.6.    Accounts Payable will scan purchase order exception invoices into the Readsoft Imaging system, code the invoices and forward them to the business or academic centre for coding and approval. Business centres may refer to the Readsoft Training manual for further information.      

9.7.    Invoice batches prepared by the Finance and Planning Group will be approved in line with the Delegations Policy, Schedule A – Financial Delegations.

10. Supplier payment terms and methods

10.1.    The University’s trading terms are to pay trade accounts 30 days from the end of the invoiced month. Acceptance of a University purchase order by a supplier indicates acceptance of these terms.

10.2.    The supplier payment terms in Themis will determine when an invoice is selected for payment. 

10.3.    Payment can be made to suppliers via the following payment methods:

  • a non-negotiable cheque addressed to the supplier / independent contractor
  • electronic funds transfer (EFT) – preferred option for local
  • overseas draft
  • overseas telegraphic transfer – preferred option for overseas.

10.4.    Business centres can check payment details and track the progress of a payment in Themis.

10.5.    Draft or wire transfers may be used for overseas payments. Wire transfers are preferred and ensure the recipient receives the funds as quickly as possible. Drafts are suitable only for low value payments when bank account details are not readily obtainable, as they are forwarded to recipients via international mail. 

10.6.    Business centres dealing with overseas suppliers should request invoices be issued in the overseas currency, unless there is a contractual requirement to issue the invoice in Australian dollars.

10.7.    For invoices greater than $20,000, foreign exchange (FX) protection should be considered and the Managing University Finances Policy should be consulted with regard to FX requirements.

10.8.    The foreign currency amount, and not the Australia dollar equivalent, should be entered on the requisition in Themis iProcurement for overseas purchases in the following currencies:

  • CAD: Canadian Dollar
  • CHF: Swiss Franc
  • CNY: Chinese Renminbi Yuan
  • EUR: Euro
  • GBP: British Pound
  • HKD: Hong Kong Dollar
  • IDR: Indonesian Rupiah
  • INR: Indian Rupee
  • JPY: Japanese Yen
  • MYR: Malaysian Ringgit
  • NZD: New Zealand dollar
  • SGD: Singapore Dollar
  • USD: US Dollar.

10.9.  Invoices in all other foreign currencies (not listed in 10.8 above) must be converted to Australian or US dollars before entering into Themis.

10.10.  The University processes foreign currency payments via Western Union Global Payments System.  Use the OANDA currency converter at the following web address if you need to convert payments in other than the currencies listed above to AUD or USD.

10.11.  Foreign currency expense reimbursements should be converted to Australian dollars before entering the reimbursement into Themis iExpenses.

11. Receiving and receipting goods

11.1.    Departments purchasing goods must:

  • inspect the goods upon receipt and confirm that the quantity and quality of goods is consistent with the purchase order
  • record receipt of the goods in the Themis iProcurement module.

11.2.    Accounts Payable will only pay suppliers for goods that have been receipted by the purchasing department via the Themis iProcurement module. Failure to receipt goods will result in system holds being placed on the invoice to prevent payment and may result in late payment of the invoice. 

11.3.    Goods receipted via the Themis iProcurement module will be added to the Asset Register via a bulk system function.

11.4.    The officer signing for a delivery must:

  • either sight the goods or have possession of a delivery document signed by another officer
  • confirm supply of the service to the department
  • be in a position to confirm that the department has in place a procedure which ensures that goods delivered have been reviewed for conformance with purchasing specifications.

12. Importation of goods

12.1.    Customs duty is payable on the importation of goods from overseas unless the entry of the goods is exempt.  A Customs Tariff form must be completed. Please refer to the Finance and Planning Group  website for details of Customs agent. 

12.2.    The University has Australian Taxation Office approval to defer GST on imported goods.

12.3.    Budget units who import biological material, including genetic material, must apply for a Permit to Import Quarantine Material from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS) before importation.  AQIS permits require:

  • payment of a fee and
  • validation by a Quarantine Officer in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in the state of entry.

12.4.    Normal quarantine fees apply in addition to the fee for each biological permit.



Term Definition
preferred supplier Supplier who provides goods or services under agreements established through a competitive tendering process.
purchase order An online order for the authorization and purchase of goods, services or building works generated from the Themis Finance System.
purchasing card A National Australia Bank Visa card issued to a staff member under authorisation from the University for employment-related expenditure in accordance with the Procurement Policy. Purchasing cards are not linked to membership reward programs.
travel card

A type of purchasing card for which authorised expenditure is limited to:

  • expenses related to travel on University business
  • entertainment
  • books, subscriptions and journals.



The Manager, Accounting Operations, Finance and Planning Group is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of this procedure in accordance with the scope outlined above. Enquiries about interpretation of this procedure should e directed to the Implementation Officer.


This procedure is to be reviewed by 30 November 2014.


Version Approved By Approval Date Effective Date Sections Modified
1 Senior Vice-Principal 24 Aug 2012 24 Aug 2012 New version arising from the Policy Simplification Project. Loaded into MPL as Version 1.
2 Vice-Principal Administration and Finance
on behalf of Senior Vice-Principal
4 Apr 2014
7 Apr 2014
Amendments throughout document to reflect new procurement processes.
Definitions and Related Documents sections updated.
Responsible Officer section removed.
3 University Policy Officer     No changes - version 2 archived in error.
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