Purchasing Methods

Quickly learn about different purchasing methods and types of transactions below. Links to more detailed "how-to" documentation are provided where possible.


A SpeedType is essentially an account, similar to a credit or bank account. This is where you will collect revenue or department transfers and charge your expenses. Every department has a SpeedType and the main SpeedType is called an "Operating Account" which starts with OPR and six numbers (OPR111111). With any type of purchase or transfer of funds it is required to put the SpeedType in the transaction and/or purchase. This tells Accounts Payable where to "charge" the expense or Accounts Receivable where to send the revenue to.

Here are some examples of different SpeedTypes you can perform transactions with:

  • OPR - Operating Account: main account by most departments.
  • END - Endowment Account: Principal is invested and returns are available for CWRU purposes.
  • AGY - Agency Account: Student group(s) raise their own funds or student activity fee resources.
  • RES - Research Account: Research expenses from a Principal Investigator.
  • OSA - Other Sponsored Activities:  No required reporting, discretionary funds.
  • TRN - Training Account: Training, research and improving professional education.
  • SPC - Special Projects Account: For a specific event or center.
  • CASE - CASE Account: Primarily to hold Fundraising Dollars or for short term projects (mini grants)


All transactions that happen within the university are recorded via Journals. Whether you are purchasing items via SmartCART, purchasing water coolers, reimbursing travel or transferring funds to another department, every transaction will have a Journal.

Some journals come in batch form. Accounts Payable, for example, will put millions of dollars worth the transactions in a single journal. Monthly university PCard transactions are another perfect example.

Learn how to do journals in the PeopleSoft 8.4 Journal Entry and Inquiry PDF

If you have any additional questions about how to enter or look up a journal, please contact finsupport@case.edu.

Petty Cash Disbursement

When employees pay out of pocket for work related expenses that aren't related to travel or professional development. In these cases, employees can fill out a Petty Cash Disbursement.

How to do a Petty Cash Disbursement

Once you've completed this form in PeopleSoft, print it, along with the receipt, have your supervisor sign it, and take it to the cashier's office in Yost Hall. If your total expenditure is under $75 you can receive cash the same day.

  1. Complete the Petty Cash Disbursement form in PeopleSoft.
  2. Print it along with the receipt and have your supervisor sign it.
  3. Take it to the cashier's office in Yost Hall. 

If your total expenditure is under $75 you can receive cash the same day.


SmartCART Manual

SmartCART is a Convenient, Advanced, Requisitioning Tool used by CWRU Purchasing to acquire goods from contracted vendors. All products and vendors enabled on the SmartCART platform have been issued a central contract with exclusive CWRU pricing that is available only through the SmartCART application. 

SmartCART is integrated with PeopleSoft Financials and can be accessed two ways. 

Additional information on SmartCART

Purchase Order Requisitions

When a vendor is not in SmartCART you might have to purchase a one time good or pay an individual for a particular service. In this instance you would fill out a Purchase Requisition Form which is the Accounts Payable process to pay an outside organization. Accounts Payable terms are 45 day pay, unless other negotiated terms have been established. When you are working out terms with the vendor The university pays in the following ways: credit card, EFT and check.

Purchase Order Process

  1. Receive quote(s) from vendor(s) for future work.
  2. Submit Purchase Requisition in PeopleSoft.
  3. Procurement Procurement issues a Purchase Order after the requisition is submitted and approved.
  4. Receive an invoice from the vendor and send a copy of it to invoices-pds@case.edu (one invoice per pdf).
  5. OnBase scans the document and gathers the important information.
  6. A voucher is created which cues payment.
  7. Payment is received by the vendor for up to 45 days depending on their terms.
  8. Payment Complete.

Tip: If you want to know the status of your invoice, email acctpay@case.edu. Don't resend your invoice because every time you resend you are putting your invoice at the bottom of the queue.

Independent Contractors

See our Independent Contractors page for guidance.


Travel helps advance the university's education and research missions. When on official CWRU business travel, faculty, staff, and students are expected to use good judgment and ethical behavior to manage expenses. Control of travel budgets is the responsibility of each dean and department head. Approval of expense reports is more than a formality. It indicates that expenses submitted have been reviewed and have been found to comply with the university travel policy and, if applicable, sponsored program regulations regarding travel and authorized business expenses. All personnel traveling or incurring business expenses on behalf of the university are expected to be familiar with policies. Those responsible for budget approval also must be familiar with policies.

AMEX T&E Card Benefits 

  • No adverse credit score impact for applicants
  • Audit-ready airline receipt data and hotel folio information for major hotel chains
  • Convenient and intuitive online statement and transaction interfaces
  • Global emergency assistance services including hotel check-in, medical referrals, and lost baggage support
  • Worldwide emergency card replacement
  • 24-hour worldwide phone support
  • $75 annual cardholder fee waived
  • Your Responsibilities as a Cardholder
  • T&E cardholders must adhere to the University Travel Policy for reimbursement.

The American Express T&E card is a hybrid liability product for use with CWRU policy-approved business expenses. The cardholder is responsible for full and timely payment of all card expenses. The card cannot be used for equipment purchases or recurring, non-travel charges such as monthly cellphone bills. The cardholder agreement permits booking of airfare and lodging only for the cardholder. Additional information can be found in the FAQ T&E section.

AMEX statement balances must be fully paid each month (brought to zero) through the Travel and Expense Module.

The card is a privilege of employment at CWRU. Cards must be surrendered upon termination of employment.

If you have questions, contact Michael Kurutz in the CWRU Travel Services Office at 216.368.6092 or tecardamex@case.edu.

Honoraria and Payment Requests

Honoraria may be requested to pay guest speakers for classes, colloquium or other events; authorship; writing or editing assistance. For honoraria payment requests, please contact Todd Rasmussen, Director of Finance for payments made from Departmental budgets. Those individuals who request “fee for services” will not be issued honoraria payments and those payments must follow the requisition process. Please contact your Finance Manager for assistance with requisitions.

Department Honoraria Set-up Instructions

  1. Department contact completes the Supplier Contact at Case Western Reserve University section on the Supplier Information Form (SIF)
  2. Send the SIF to the intended Supplier (Honorary) so they may finish completing the form.
  3. After all required sections are completed, the supplier submits the form in the designated dropbox.
  4. After the Supplier confirms that they have submitted the SIF to the dropbox, the department contact should receive an email from Procurement & Distribution within a week informing he/she that the individual has been created as a Vendor in the system.
  5. After vendor confirmation, the department contact may submit a Payment Request in FIN-ERP. 

In order for an honoraria payment to be requested, the following documentation must be included with your request:

  • Confirmation of honoraria arrangement in writing
  • Proof of engagement (Email confirmation, event flyer/poster, etc.)
  • Completed Supplier Information Form (SIF)

Student Awards - T&E Process

To process a Student Award, the department would do their normal process for the selection of the recipient. The recipient needs to be a current degree-seeking student. The department must provide the following in order for the award to be processed:

Provide an Award Letter as the Grantor.

The Award Letter must contain the following requirements:

  1. Student Grantee's full name
  2. Student Grantee's Student ID (7 digit number)
  3. Specify the amount of award granted
  4. State the Name of the Award
  5. State verbiage signifying that the Award may be considered taxable income and may be subject to federal tax regulations (this letter should be sent to the student or this statement should be part of application process or both)

Submit a T&E for the student grantee.

The T&E must contain the following steps and requirements:

  1. Input student Grantee's case ID as the employee ID (most important step) in place of your own name.
  2. Select "Non-Travel" as Business Purpose
  3. State "_______________ Award" as Description
  4. Select "Local" as Default Location
  5. Select "CASHEROFC" as Reference to indicate student will pick-up the reimbursement check from the Cashier's Office
  6. Input department's home based OPR (numerical values only) as Student Department in place of 299999. This determines the routing of the T&E.
  7. Click on Attach Receipt: Attach a complete Award Letter with all requirements specified above as the back up
  8. Click on Accounting Defaults: 
    1. Input the speed type that will cover this expense (ex. OPR######, CASE#####, etc.)
  9. Select "Create new budget line"
  10. Input "Date of Award Letter" as the Date of expense
  11. Select "Student Awards/Prizes" as Expense Type in Budget Line
  12. State "_______________ Award" as Description
  13. Select "Personal Out of Pocket Expense" as Payment
  14. Input specified value of the amount of the award granted
  15. Select "Student" as Billing Type
  16. Click on Accounting: 
    1. Verify/input the appropriate Speedtype you want charged
    2. Verify/input 573100 expense account to specify Prizes and Award
  17. Click SAVE
  18. Click Review and Submit
  19. Click Submit

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