Above the trees. Fall time at Queen’s in Kingston!
I have Requisition Email Notification news. Do we want to hear the positive or the not-so positive news first?
I tend to request the not-so positive news first, so the information-unloading can end on a somewhat uplifting note. Hope I’m not alone in this train of thought.
Not-so positive news:
Lately, PeopleSoft has been testing my patience. The email notification process has decided to take a little stay-cation, if you will.
This issue is still somewhat mysterious to us – but we do have a few answers. One aspect seems to be that of unmatched email addresses between PeopleSoft databases (FIN, HR, etc). If the email addresses were unmatched, an email notification related to Requisition matters would not send.
When I say Requisition matters, I’m referring to:
- Your Requisition being sourced into a Purchase Order
- A Requisition requiring Amount Approval
This issue seems to also have a few more layers to it however, so we’re still attempting to decipher all the factors.
I haven’t pulled all my hair out.
That’s not it, don’t worry.
As always, you can still find out your Purchase Order ID w/o waiting for that email notification to come through. Look your Requisition back up in PS, once open click on the Document Status link you will find on the page of the order. This will open a new window, which will contain details of all the documents that correspond with your Requisition (ie. Purchase Order, Vouchers, Payments, etc.).
My dedication to you guys is to continue to work with the highly intelligent technical people on our team and clear this up.
Stay with me.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume most of you have received at least one warning message when attempting to save your Requisition in PS… true?
Let’s cease the confusion and wonderment, and decipher some of these warning messages here and now!
Ever had this one?:
“Warning: Invalid chartfields combination on line number:1, schedule number:1, distribution line number:1…” etc.
This message pops up when you don’t have enough chartfield (account) information on one of the (or the only) line level distribution(s). You will want to review the line level distributions and ensure you fill in the blank fields. Could be happening because you forgot to click override in the Requisition Defaults section, or utilize the Req Defaults section all together!
What about this foreign-language message?:
“Ship-from Country is Required…” etc.
This one used to puzzle me, up until recently! Two reasons you might get this message: 1) The vendor location code (the vendor address) is missing from a field. This really shouldn’t happen too often, as this code is supposed to default into the appropriate fields once you select the vendor. If you get this warning message you’ll want to navigate to the “vendor information” tab at the line level of the Req main page, and ensure every product line (if multiples) has a vendor location code. If one doesn’t, you’ll want to fill it in. 2) Something’s missing from the vendor profile - let me know the vendor details, and I’ll review the profile for the missing link.
How about this friendly pop-up?:
“Requisition message for line number 1: Requisition amount is >= $10,000, ensure 3 quotes are attached….” etc.
This one is actually a fairly friendly message. We thought it might be helpful to have this pop up whenever you’re submitting a Purchase Requisition with a line amount >$10,000… just to remind you to attach competitive quotes you may have obtained, or the Sole Source form you’ve possibly spent time completing. You can still submit the Req w/o these documents, there just might be a delay in your PO approval once the Buyers review the order.
You might see this guy:
“Requestor Item required…” etc.
There’s more to this message, but the specifics escape me at the moment. If you see a similar message appear, it can be deciphered as the system thinks you should enter an Item ID.
At Queen’s we’re not actually using the Item function in PS, so there’s no need to enter a number here. You want to actually customize your Requisition main page to hide that ITEM field, so you’re not tempted to enter something in (even if the vendor has quoted you a specific Item ID - we are just utilizing the Description field on the Requisition main page, so this is where you should enter in all your product/service information).
Click on the yellow “Customize” link found in the dark blue line above the Req line level - find Item on the list of functions to customize, select it, then click “Hidden” in the middle of the screen. Scroll down and find that OK button - click it!
Once back on the Req main page, you’ll notice that the pesky Item field is now hidden. This will be the only time you have to customize this, as your updates will be saved for every future Req you submit.
I’ve seen this next message several times:
“Page inconsistent with database…” etc.
If you’re attempting to make a change to your Req, or even just save it for the first time and you do so right over a new hour change (ie. 10am, 11am, 12pm - etc.), the system might be trying to work with your Req as well. You’ll get the above hefty message if this is the case.
Just ensure you wait a few minutes if you have any updating/saving to do on your Requisition and are approaching a new hour.
Trying to make a change to an existing Open Requisition?:
“The Accounting Date xxx is not open. The open period for QUNIV is from xxx to xxx”.
Sounds like you’ve had your Req on hold for a while! Long enough to pass through into a new accounting period in PeopleSoft. You’ll need to update the Accounting Date to be current (usually just choosing the current date is sufficient), in order for your Requisition to budget check the right period.
These are the major ones I’ve run into… If more happen to haunt my dreams, I won’t keep them to myself!
As always, let me know if you have questions on any of the above information.
We haven’t closed every door or written the final page of this year-end’s chapter just yet, but the big hurdles are done!
Congratulations are due for every team member involved - there were hour-long phone calls, SO many emails and some head-scratching meetings…. but we came out on the other side with positive results and a few high fives. Who could ask for more?
Lessons were learned and a new & improved process manual will come from this year-end’s run through, which is currently underway.
Next year will be seamless right?
I will probably look this post up next April and read it everyday… :)
What a wild time of year here in Procurement!
Need some help surviving through year-end?
Good news - Operating Requisition Blackout Period has ended today! If you need your access back for Req submissions (to order through Operating accounts) send me an email with the request and your User ID. We’ll get you back in business.
Research users unfortunately have to wait a little bit longer… I know! It’s a pain. But at this point, there’s no way around it.
I was going over the year-end schedule today, trying to determine how we could shorten this blackout period…
I’m telling you, it appears as though every day is filled with necessary processes. We’re actually on par with some other Ontario Universities working in PeopleSoft, and listen to this - our blackout period is actually significantly SHORTER than a couple institutions!
Keep calm and carry on, as some would say.
Amount vs. Quantity? Sound odd?
There are two ways you, as Requestors, can set your Purchase Requisitions up. Your decision should really boil down to how you expect invoicing to shake out.
Yes, I said shake out.
Setting your Requisition up by AMOUNT is the best option when you are creating the order to pay for a service, or you have been quoted a set price for a group of multiple items.
Example Scenario 1 – Vendor has quoted you $5500 to fix the air conditioning in your office or complete testing on laboratory samples (let’s assume different vendors, as I haven’t come across one that could offer both services!). In this scenario, you’ll want to set your Requisition up by AMOUNT, and base the order on the $5500 pricing.
Example Scenario 2 – Vendor has quoted you a price of $6000 for 75 widgets. This price includes the cost for all the widgets, freight and the inclusion of a personalized thank you letter from the vendor (you never know!). In this scenario, we don’t really know how much each widget costs individually, nor do we know how much specifically the freight is budgeted at as well as what they are charging us for the personalized thank you letter. Best option in this scenario is to set your Requisition up by AMOUNT, and base the order on the $6000 pricing.
You can also set Requisitions up by AMOUNT for blanket/standing orders. These orders are typically utilized for a certain time period (let’s say, 6 months – 1 yr) and are budgeted for the amount of money the Requestor thinks they’ll spend with that vendor throughout that time period.
Setting your Requisition up by QUANTITY is the best option when you are creating the order for a specific quantity of items, or perhaps a specified number of days/months of work.
Example Scenario 1 – You have requested a quote from a vendor for 4 new office chairs. The vendor has come back to you with a quote of $300 per chair. In this scenario, it’s best to set your Requisition up by QUANTITY, selecting 4 as the quantity, each at a unit price of $300. You order summary will then sit at $1200 as a subtotal.
Example Scenario 2 – You have requested a quote from a vendor for a certain service, and they have come back to you with a quote expecting the work to take 10 days to complete, each day costing you $500. In this scenario, you could set your Requisition up by QUANTITY, selecting 10 as the quantity and have $500 as the unit price. Your order summary will then sit at $5000 as a subtotal. In this scenario also, you do have the option to set the order up by AMOUNT, and just base the order on the $5000 subtotal. Either will work!
Clear as mud?
I know, it’s sometimes a little murky… As a reminder, just think of how the invoice(s) will come in. Multiple invoices? All on one invoice?
Reach out to me if you have a Q!
Yep - it’s coming…
The most anticipated time of year in Finance/Procurement’s world. From my view-point, that is.
We’ve been prepping for a few months now. How have I been gearing up for it?:
Noting the above, there’s a very good chance that over the next month I’ll be coming to some of you to discuss your “open” PO.
I might also show up at your office with wine and snacks, as an advance apology for hounding you about the above topic.
My brain power is in overdrive during year-end. Isn’t it supposed to be that time of year where we’re all slipping into a more relaxed kind of mode? Spring has arrived… Summer is just a few blocks down the road… and some of us are heading to the liquor store more frequently because we like to sit on our decks after work with a drink in our hand, right?
I have to just admit it though, I dig it.
Year-End for me is like putting the final piece of tape on that well-wrapped birthday gift. Or washing the last dish in a mountain-high pile of dirty dishes. The ideals of a new fiscal year are in sight. Fresh ordering situations, conversations, and learning opportunities. It actually also symbolizes that summer can officially start, in my books. What’s not to look forward to?
I’m making it sound pretty and smooth… the year-end process can have its speedbumps. But one can dream for a smooth ride.
I may look a little disshelved, and take an extra minute phoning you back - but I will make sure to show up!
Here we go!
Quite often, a PO needs to be sent “out the door” with specific instructions for the vendor, or references to a quote/email, etc.
We’re in luck! PeopleSoft Purchasing allows us to add comments and upload documents to our Requisitions/Purchase Orders.
Some of us are talkers, right? The words that come out of our mouths sometimes seem endless… our friends/colleagues/family members love us for it. And now, vendors (or just Procurement) can love us for it too.
If you have a comment or quote you want to upload to your Requisition, there are a couple places on the Req you can add this detail: Header Comments or Line Comments.
Best place to add comments/quotes related to the whole order, is through the Header Comments section.
Line Comments are geared more towards comments you might have related to specific lines on your order: ie., maybe you have a product line for $0 and you want to make note on the order of what the item actually costs/why you’ve marked it as $0. Noting this in the Line Comments section is something both Procurement and the vendor will appreciate (and you too, in case your memory is as on-point as mine and you want a refresher down the road).
Line Comments can be added through the little bubble next to your price field (at the line level).
Click on “Add Comments” in the Header section of your Requisition, to add general comments (Header Comments) or upload your quotes. You have the option to choose from pre-loaded “Standard Comments” already in PS, or you can free-hand type a comment in – whatever suits your needs best. Below each comment text box, there is an attachment section all ready for you to upload documents.
Feel free to add multiple comments (as you can only have one attachment per comment anyway), by clicking on the blue + button in the comment screen.
Expecting your order from outside of Canada? Make sure you add the “Customs Requirement” comment from the “Standard Comments” choices.
For any comments you want the vendor to see (actually have the comment be printed on the PO), you’ll want to click the “Send to Vendor” button under the text box. If you have uploaded an attachment and definitely want it to send with the PO, make sure you click the “Email” button in the attachment section.
Procurement may add some comments to your order once we get the chance to review it – if we put your order on hold, we typically put a comment in detailing why we’ve done so. Feel free to check these out if you get a Curious George itch (99% of the time, we’re chatting with you anyway about why your order is on hold).
More Q’s on adding comments/attachments? Let me know -> firstname.lastname@example.org.