Topics Covered Below

What is a Non-PO Invoice?

A Non-PO Invoice is an online tool in ARIBA used to make a payment to a supplier when a PO is not required and the invoice is under the Direct Buy Limit. When the ultimate aggregate cost to the department for a service or the purchase of a product will exceed the direct buy limit, regardless of the period of time, please contact Procurement Services for guidance.

Some benefits to using this payment method include:

  • Faster payment to the supplier
  • Greater transparency of the invoice payment process
  • Increased budget flexibility

Supplier Requirements

Suppliers must be registered with the UW.

  • Domestic suppliers must be enrolled in electronic payments. 
  • If you are using a new supplier, please direct the supplier to the Supplier Registration Form and have the supplier register as a UW supplier.
  • If the supplier is foreign, please review our Foreign Suppliers page for registration guidance.
  • Suppliers must have their payment method completed (established) to issue a payment through Non-PO Invoice.  Check the Supplier Search report (B.I. Portal) report to verify that the Supplier's remit-to address is on Active status.

Before Initiating a Non-PO Invoice


  • Only process one invoice per Non-PO Invoice, even if you have multiple invoices for the same supplier.
  • Note that quotes, statements, proforma invoices and packing slips cannot be used to make payment.
  • Only pay invoices for items or services that have been received by your department. (Exceptions: Subscriptions or memberships).
  • Never take an invoice over the Direct Buy Limit and split it between more than one Non-PO Invoice. Contact for assistance.
  • If the invoice you received is incorrect, request a corrected invoice from the supplier.
  • Confirm the supplier's remit-to address using the Supplier Search report.
  • Ensure proper documentation is available for food purchases (form 1798).
  • Obtain access to Non-PO Invoice (See Access Guidance below).

Best Practices:

  • It is the responsibility of the Preparer and Approver to ensure that transactions they submit are correct and compliant; read all warnings and errors for each transaction before submitting.
  • Ensure that payments are allowable, acceptable, and accurate and the original supplier payment request is on file within the department. Neither Procurement Services nor eProcurement will validate the reason for the payment.
  • Be aware that Procurement Services performs spot audits on Non-PO Invoices to ensure transactions are compliant (i.e., items are not on the exceptions list).
  • Determine within each department the workflow between Preparers and Approvers for Non-PO Invoice payments.
  • Familiarize yourself with the types of restricted payments as some payments cannot be processed in ARIBA. To review which payments cannot be processed through ARIBA, see the Exceptions List.
  • Familiarize yourself with Commodity Codes.
  • When entering a credit with sales tax, enter the tax amount as $0.00. When the system returns to the summary page, change the tax to the negative amount listed on the credit memo.
  • Document the Non-PO Invoice number generated in ARIBA to the supplier’s invoice.
  • You do not need to print information contained in ARIBA. Invoice information and all scanned documents will be kept for the full records retention period of six years.
  • Check Pickup/Special Check Handling is not available using Non-PO Invoice module. When you need to send paperwork to the supplier along with the payment, we recommend sending the document with the date of the payment and payment number(i.e. check number or ACH reference number available through Payment Loop).
  • When contacting the suppliers to place an order:
    • Provide a unique number to provide to the supplier as a "PO #", such as a Purchase Path number or a sequence number created and maintained in your department to track Non-PO Invoice.  (Suggestion: begin your sequence with NPO and add a number value after)
    • Have the supplier send the invoice directly to your department instead of Accounts Payable.
    • Provide the supplier with a contact person for your order, including first and last name and telephone number.

Access to Non-PO Invoice

Access to Non-PO Invoice is granted upon completion of the following two steps. Procurement Services will authorize the Non-PO Preparer role in ASTRA within two business days.

  • Review this Non-PO page.
  • Review the training materials and pass the knowledge assessment with 80% or higher (15 of 18 questions correctly answered).

Initiating a Non-PO Invoice

Access must be granted prior to initiating a Non-PO Invoice payment. For optimal performance, DO NOT use your browser back button. Doing so can produce inconsistent and often undesirable results in ARIBA and is not recommended.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for how to initiate a Non-PO Invoice.

Attaching Documents to Non-PO Invoice Payments

Documents required to support Non-PO Invoices should be attached electronically within the application. The attachments will be the official record for the Non-PO Invoice transactions. The attachments will be maintained in accordance with the UW approved records retention policy.

The benefit of using this feature is that in most cases you no longer need to retain the hard copies of the documents in department files, provided that you adhere to the University Scanning Policy.

For Non-PO Invoices you should attach:

  1. Vendor invoice/membership voucher/subscription voucher/registration documents, etc.
  2. Any supporting documents for proof of delivery, i.e., packing slips.

DO: Attach the invoice to the Summary page of your Non-PO Invoice.

DO NOT: attach it to the line item page, as this will make it hard to find the invoice in the future.

DO NOT: include scans of any information that includes bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or social security numbers.

For destruction of invoices/proof of goods received/receipts/records, each department must create a scanning policy that is in compliance with Records Management. For more information regarding the University Scanning Policy, please visit:

Forms such as 1798 (for food orders from non-food approved budgets) should be kept on file within the department.

Approving and Reviewing a Non-PO Invoice

  • Develop a written procedure for paying Non-PO Invoices within your department. Include approval levels, documentation needs (such as where to store documents and how the Approver receives them for review), and any additional retention period needs.
  • Determine who will be responsible for creating Non-PO Invoice payments and assist them with training and obtaining ASTRA access.
  • At least one backup Preparer and Approver are recommended in the event someone is on leave.
  • Review each item as compared to the original invoice.
    • Is the selected supplier correct based on the invoice?
      • Hint: Click on the Supplier and Remit To address links in Ariba and compare to the invoice. Many supplier names look the same. It is the department's responsibility to verify that the payment is being initiated to the correct supplier. Errors will result in payment being made to the wrong supplier and the department will have to request a refund, then re-submit the Non-PO invoice to the correct supplier.
    • Were the items added exactly as listed on the invoice?
    • Were the items entered and coded correctly?
    • Are there any restricted items included in the payment?
  • If food or beverages was purchased, does the budget have food approval?
    • If not, is a 1798 food approval form for the specific event on file?
  • If this is payment to an individual, is the person a current UW employee?
  • Is there confirmation that the goods were received, where appropriate?

Click here to review how to approve and review a Non-PO Invoice.

Remittance Notes

Remittance Notes are notes added to the payment details sent to a supplier when a payment is made to help the supplier identify the payment. It allows the supplier to easily connect the payment to their invoice. Current payment details include the invoice number, invoice date and dollar amount.

Preparers now have the option of adding Remittance Notes to their Non-PO Invoice payment. This field is limited to fifty (50) characters.

DO Use Remittance Notes For:

  • Last names of conference attendees
  • Customer/account numbers
  • Project numbers or Job name
  • Membership numbers

DO NOT Use Remittance Notes For:

  • Attention To names
  • Remit-to address
  • Comments (i.e. Thanks! You're the Best!)
  • Item descriptions from invoice

Unauthorized Purchases

An unauthorized purchase is a commitment made by an employee or department outside its authority. Unauthorized purchases must be reviewed by Procurement Services to determine whether the purchase conforms to all applicable laws, regulations, and/or University policies. Unauthorized purchases may subject the individual responsible for the unauthorized purchase to significant personal liability.

Payment Status

After all exceptions have been resolved through invoice reconciliation, the invoice will pay. The AP invoice reconciliation team's goal is to reconcile within 10 business days of a properly completed invoice and the invoice will pay accordingly.

Available Reports

Procurement Desktop Reports has a report called Non-PO Payments: Invoices paid through Non-PO Invoice during a specified date range. 

Ariba has a Non-PO Invoice Report: The Ariba Non-PO Invoice report now allows you to search by Supplier, Invoice Date, Preparer, Budget Number and Organization Code.