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Purchase Order vs. Check Request

The check request form is allowable only for the following types of expenditures:

  • Membership and Dues
  • Travel and Entertainment
  • Postage
  • Periodicals
  • Books
  • Charitable Donations
  • Cell Phones
  • Professional Fees (Professional Services Agreement or Speaker Agreement (.doc) must be included with payment)
  • Relocation Expense
  • Awards
  • Royalties

Payments for any of the above should be processed via check request regardless of the amount. However, if any single item on the check request is greater than $10,000, the department must contact purchasing prior to processing to determine the proper payment method. If the total payment requested is greater than $10,000, but no single item is greater than $10,000, the check request should still be used. Please remember that this applies only to the ten expenditure types listed above.

If the expenditure type is not one of those listed above (ex. reproduction), the item must be procured via purchase order unless the total amount requested is less than $250. The Financial Affairs office will process reimbursements of up to $250 for reproduction, software, and repairs. Please refer to the instructions at the bottom of the check request (.pdf) for guidance.

Loyola's exemption from state sales tax is the reason for disallowing purchases on check requests for items other than those listed above. This exemption is usually unenforceable when items are purchased on a check request, but is easily enforced when items are purchased with a purchase order. This results in significant financial savings to the university.


  1. A department wishes to purchase a set of books from a vendor totaling $600. This item can be processed on a check request even though the amount is larger than $500 because the item falls into one of the ten categories of allowable check request expenditures.
  2. A department wishes to purchase a rare book totaling $26,000. This may be allowable on a check request, but the department will need to check with Purchasing before submitting the request for payment to ensure proper bid procedures are followed and to determine the appropriate method of payment.
  3. A department wishes to purchase two rare books, one that costs $8,000 and one that costs $9,000. The total purchase is allowable on a check request because even though the total check request is over $10,000, the individual items are less than $10,000 each.
  4. A department wishes to purchase office supplies for a cost of $175. All office supply purchases must be processed on a purchase order with a preferred vendor. Please contact the Purchasing department for more information.