Subject Guides

Acquisitions (working)

Acquisitions Procedures

invoice creation

invoice approval

You can search for an invoice under the "Invoice" search on the main search bar; or find invoices that are In Approval or In Review on your Alma home page in the Task Box.

Using the "Approve" button on an Invoice will "P" the invoice in Aleph terms. 

In approval invoices:

  • Click on the ellipsis
  • Click on edit
  • Look the invoice over
  • If it is correct hit the green "Approve" button
  • The invoice is now waiting for payment.    Initial/stamp the invoice and send it upstairs.   A job will be ran regularly to move the invoices to "paid" status. 

If edits or corrections need to be made, you can edit the invoice; then choose the "Save and Continue" button.  You will then have to start over to Approve the invoice. 

In review invoices:

In review invoices have alerts on them that should be reviewed or corrected before moving forward.    

  • Click on edit 
  • Look the invoice over 
  • Select "Save and Continue" 
  • Find the invoice again; edit and now you should able to "Approve."

Invoices totaling $2500  +  :
Check the shared Contracts drive to see if the vendor is an OGS contract vendor.  If they are not, then pass the invoice to the Head of Collections after approving for a justification. 

Updated by S.Maximiek, August 4, 2023

adding postage & shipping

For invoices that include postage / shipping charges; the invoice total will reflect the total value of the invoice. 

As of FY2022, we are making sure that all postage / shipping  / handling charges are linked to a PO Line (this is so they will appear on the weekly "invoice report" that is ran in Analytics). Past fiscal years practice was that we would create an invoice line for the amount without a POL number. 

  • Postage / shipping / handling charges are added to the invoice with the invoice line type of "SHIPMENT."   This can be changed at the top of the invoice line box from the drop down menu.
  • PO Lines to use should be located by searching for (vendor name) postage:  Postage   POL-30191
Academic International Press Postage  POL-33964
ADI Postage POL-20787
Alibris Postage  POL-27897
Amalivre Postage POL-20390
Amazon Postage POL-21299
Antipodean Postage  POL-36924
A-R Editions Postage POL-20383
Austin Abbey Rare Books Postage POL-21558
Bar Ilan University Press Postage  POL-21138 Postage  POL-30193
Brepolis Publishers Postage POL-20381
Brill Postage  POL-36150
Bromer Booksellers Postage  POL-27719
Casalini Postage  POL-20379
Chicago Distribution Center Postage POL-23314
DAnthem Booksellers Postage  POL-30803
East View Postage  POL-23290
Eclectibles Postage  POL-34476
Flute World Postage  POL-40111
GOBI Postage  POL-28171
Garrett Scott Bookseller Postage  POL-29720
Iberbook Sanchez Cuesta Postage  POL-22132
Info Today Postage POL-20763
ISDistribution Postage  POL-39985
Jonathan A Hill Bookseller Postage  POL-38605
John Hellebrand/Palinurus Antiquarian Books Postage  POL-30195
JW Pepper Postage POL-29418
Kelmscott Books Postage  POL-30958
Kinokuniya Bookstore Postage  POL-22790
Leslie Kostrich/ Postage  POL-30252
Lexis Nexis Postage POL-35352
Leyerle Publications Postage  POL-38341
Liber Antiquus Postage   POL-4056
Libra Books Postage  POL-32618
Libros de Barlovento Postage POL-20386
List & Index Society Postage POL-27281
Liturgical Press Postage POL-22302
Lorne Bair Postage POL-22986
Ludwig Mayer Ltd. Postage  POL-34654
Mergent Postage POL-21912
MIPP International Postage  POL-31579
NASW Press Postage POL-27722
Nat DesMarais Rare Book Postage POL-32970
Neuwerk Postage POL-27307
Nudelman Rare Books Postage  POL-41576
NY Legal Publishing Postage POL-24464
Oak Knoll Postage POL-22987
Otto Postage  POL-20382
Oxford University Press Postage  POL-22511 
Postage Direct POL -20627 (for DIRECT vendor)
ProQuest Postage  POL-21710
Proxima Vera Postage  POL-40575
Tia Blassingame (Primrose Press) Postage  POL-29782
Theodore Front Postage  POL-20380
Theodore Presser Postage  POL-35522
Turpin Postage  POL-29867
Risk Management Association Postage  POL-23511
Rubin Mass Postage POL-20384
Rulon Miller Postage POL-24436
Society of American Archivists Postage  POL-30194
Stainer & Bell LTD Postage POL-20765
United Nations Postage PO-21033

  • If there is subscription dates available: Uncheck the subscription date box and write "postage" in the additional notes box.   
  • Adjust the Price as necessary.  The fund is  POSTAGE/ Mono Postage.

Searching and Creating the Orders

Since these orders are created as an "order without inventory" if you are searching from the main Alma search bar, these will only appear by doing an ORDER search, not as an ALL TITLES search.

To create the orders:

  • Use the "order without inventory" function
  • Create as a "other service - subscription"   (So we don't have to create a new order for every charge) 
  • Name: Vendor Name Postage 
    postage, handling, shipping charges
    description: For any of the above charges not assigned their own PO number on a invoice.
  • On the order screen: make "manual renewal" is unchecked and the subscription to and from date matches the fiscal year. 
  • Save when done. 
  • There will be a mandatory information missing error, since a fund and price is not assigned.    The order will remain in review. 

Updated August 18, 2021 by S. Maximiek; rev. 6/28/22

adding a discount

A vendor may provide us with a discount that applies to the entire invoice.   If all items on the invoice are from  one fund, use the INVOICE LINE TYPE = DISCOUNT to apply the discount instead of adjusting each POL to reflect the overall discount.

The discount dollar amount is added in as a whole/ positive number.   Provide a description (i.e vendor discount for end of the year sale) 

For an example, see invoice 2018 from vendor HONEYWAX 

S. Maximiek, January 10, 2022, updated August 15, 2023


For pro-rated items, the FULL POL price should be used whenever possible, and not the pro-rated price.   Since the discounted rate usually only applies for the first year, we want the full POL price to be present in the roll-over and encumberance for future fiscal years.    If the pro-rate price is applied, then that is the rate that used in the roll-over, and we have to search notes to adjust the encumbered price. 

1.  Start the invoice as normal 

2. When adding the POLs, make sure to use the full POL price, and not the pro-rated price.  Add a note in the POL that gives the period the pro-rate applies, and what the price shows on the invoice.  

3. At the end of the invoice, add a DISCOUNT line, as explained on this page.  The POL amount will be difference between the full price of the POLs and the price of the pro-rated invoice.    Provide a note for this line that you adjusting for the pro-rate period of (dates). 

Invoice example: NERL-11455

S. Maximiek, March 8, 2022

adding credit card fees

Some vendors add credit card fees that apply to the total amount of an invoice.   Administrative Offices will inform us if we need to start applying the fee to an invoice. 

General steps:

  • Use the percentage given, note the credit card fee charge on the invoice; along with the new total 
  • Update the invoice summary to the new total 
  • Add an invoice line type =OTHER for the credit card fee

see: Chicago Distribution Center as an example

S. Maximiek, April 3, 2022

"sent" items on invoice

I want to move the invoice, but there are still POL items that show as being "sent."  What do I do? 

This happens if items on the invoice were not yet received.   All items must be in-hand before the invoice can be move forward.   If you do not have all the items in-hand, then set the invoice aside to finish later. 

If you have all the items, then you need to finish the receiving process for the POLs that are showing as sent by going to ACQUISITIONS - RECEVING. 

​Search for the item to receive, and UNCHECK  "Keep in department"  at the top of the screen.   

Note: Even if the item is shown on this screen as received (there is a receiving date and there is an item in received column, try to receive the item anyway. (If we add a receiving date via the item information screen, it sometimes still needs to be received this way as well. )


To receive the item, be sure to place a check in the box next to the title, and click the green 'Receive" at the top of the screen. If the process was successful, the title will disappear from the screen and you will see the blue confirmation pop-out.


(S. Maximiek 9/11/2019, Updated 9/29/20)

working with foreign vendors

  • All transactions should be recorded in USD in Alma.   (Edit on invoice in necessary)
  • If returns are necessary, email all vendor contacts for a credit memo.  
  • Vendor contacts will provide any necessary shipping or book handling information for their returns. 

flagged invoices

Some invoices receive a flag to draw attention that all or part of the invoice is attributed to certain funds. 
Category 1. Non State Funds. 

  • Wang endowment
  • CCDA
  • Garcinski
  • Honors
  • Klenz
  • Preservation
  • Patron Pay
  • Rogers

For a current list of non-state funds, check the  YTD Expenditure Reports under "zNon-State Funds" - at the bottom of the report.

Invoicing Non-State orders:

  • All orders for purchased from non-state funds should be invoiced separately from state fund orders.   Proquest and GOBI have been told this, however, this should be still stated to all vendors when possible.
  • Invoices are sent upstairs after being flagged with the non-state fund slip, with the correct non-state fund highlighted. 

Category 2: Designated Subject Funds 

Specific subject funds may be designated to receive a flag due to different accounting workflows.    Library Finance or the Head of Collections will ask for this. 

For example: 

  • All Pharmacy funds 
  • All Decker related funds 

Created March 19, 2021 by S. Maximiek; Updated August 4, 2023 by S. Maximiek

credit memos for continuing resources on EDI invoices

Things to remember about EDI invoices

  • With Ebsco only (-00 & -68) invoices come in EDI
  • -75 still need to be entered manually
  • Credit memos still need to be done manually (they are their own entity; you will have to add a not to the credit memo and the invoice that it  is used against), remember to change the line type to credit memo.  Below are the notes to add to each.
  • Remember to always check the fund, POL#, title and that the note states what we are paying for.
  • The total price will match what is on the invoice, including the service charge

Create an invoice manually for each CREDIT MEMO received. 

  • Go to Acqusitions --> Receving and Invoices -> Create Invoice
  • Choose Manually 
  • Invoice Type will be CREDIT MEMO (select from the drop down on the first line) 
  • Apply against the journal title POL 
  • Remember to add the price in both lines as a negative number 
  • Add price notes, if needed
  • Save and proceed as normal. 

Wording notes

On the credit memo
Told vendor & accounting to use against invoice #_________for payment. So invoice #______ that had a total of $_____ will be lower by $______. New total on invoice #_______ is now  $____.

On the invoice credit
Rec'd credit memo # ______ for $ ____, told vendor & accounting to use against this invoice # ______.  So the vendor will be paid $ ______.  The credit is listed as its own in Alma.

Finding the credits later

A search on the order in Invoice Lines will show the invoice being applied. 

On EBSCO for periodicals, the SUMMARY tab displays a "pro-rata" charge, which is the Shipping/Service charge.   
If we try to add a credit the "normal" way - by doing it as a POL to the invoice - this pro-rata charge was being redistributed across all invoice lines; causing a mismatch among invoice lines and the invoice summary. The only fix was to remove the "pro-rata" charge and then manually adjust every invoice line to match the proper charge. 
(We did not consult with Ebsco on this, instead changing our procedure) 

S. Maximiek & S. Hall, January, 26, 2020; Updated by S. Hall 10/28/21

credit memos for monographs

Vendor invoices us for replacement copies, and then credits us for returned copies. 

  1.  Keep original invoice as-is in Alma.  Hold until the credit memo arrives.
  2.  Add the new invoice (containing the replacement copies) In Alma, process as usual
  3.  When the credit memo arrives:
    • Use the Create Invoice function to manuall create an invoice.  The invoice type is "CREDIT MEMO."   Add all invoices lines, using the POL numbers from the original invoice. 
    • Save the invoice as usual.
  4.   Edit the original invoice in Alma to include a note  "used CM (invoice number) in the amount of xxx"   Save the invoince. 
  5.   Paper clip the credit memo to the invoice. 

S. Maximiek, Updated with new procedures, April 22, 2022

OCLC credit memos

How to Read a Credit Memo

The Credit Memos apply to IFM/ ILL  charges; and they read *opposite* of what is expected in that a (-) on the memo is actually money that we have to pay them (as opposed to credit they are giving us) and the (+) amount is the money we are paying them that cycle.   The Credit Memo balance is often a positive balance, which is the amount they are giving us back.  

When to Apply the Memo 

We are billed for OCLC services at the beginning of each month.   The Credit Memos arrive at the end of the month, for that month. We will apply the credit memo to the invoice for the following month. 

For example,  we will receive the credit memo for August 2020 services in late August, after the August service bill has been paid.  We are billed for September 2020 services in early September.  We hold the August Credit Memo until we are billed for September, and apply it to the September invoice. 

The August Credit Memo and September Invoice are paper clipped together, with the total "P" amount being the Credit Memo amount subtracted from the Invoice amount.   

This allows the invoice and credit memo to be processed as quickly as possible. 

Entering in Alma 

The Credit Memo should be entered so that the actual invoice summary and POLs reflecting credit and debits as expected; not as reflected on the memo.  For example, if the memo shows -$2306; we would enter it as $2306; since that is actually money they are crediting back to us.

Notes should be placed with each invoice to make it clear what credit memo was entered with the invoice. 

Moving the Invoice Forward
As necessary, Accounting will adjust the application of the credit memo and the invoice in BI so that the service dates match.   

Starting FY 2023

  • OCLC switched to billing Cataloging and Metadata and Worldshare ILL annually
  • ILL Fee Management (IMF) stayed monthly. 

Starting for FY 2023-2024, it was determined that we would have to hold all Credit Memos which give us a positive balance (money in our favor) to the end of the year, when we can apply them to the next annual invoice (as per J. Bell, email to S. Maximiek, 3/15/2023)


S. Maximiek, October 6, 2020; edited November 6, 2020, edited March 17, 2023

understanding common invoice errors

Common Error / Problem  Information / Action
Invoice contains vendor account which differs from one of more linked PO Lines Yellow; will appear because we do not fill out the "Vendor Account" section on the Invoice Summary Tab.  Proceed with Invoice. 
Some Invoice Lines are not Linked to PO Lines Yellow: appears when POSTAGE fund is used.   Proceed with Invoice. 
Some Invoice Lines differ in price from their linked PO Lines Yellow.  Will appear on ongoing orders (Standing; PX, etc) since we currently attribute all these orders at $1.00; but charge the POL the correct amount on the invoice   As long as the invoice price is correct; and the error is expected - Proceed with Invoice. 

On a monograph invoice, this will appear for API orders if the price entered in Alma is the full price of the book, and the price entered for the invoice price is the discounted price.  Proceed with Invoice. 
If the price difference is unexpected, the publisher may have changed the price or changed format(if the price is significantly higher, check with the Librarian before proceeding); if the price is otherwise different, check for keying error.
Additional Invoice Lines are linked to the same PO Line that is linked to Invoice Line.... Yellow.  Will appear on SO or ongoing orders when we attribute multiple POL to the same record. 

As long as it appear in this context, Proceed with Invoice.  If not, review. 
Can not find an PO Line to add to the invoice 1. The invoice line may already be closed.   If this is for ongoing / SO order that was migrated; we may need to still do order cleanup. 
2. The invoice may have been created under an owner other then "Binghamton University."  Delete the invoice and start over. 


invoice status meanings



Current Stage  Meaning Next Stage
In Review  Invoice has been started or created; but it may have incomplete or missing information.  
It has alerts on it, which should be reviewed and may need to be addressed to move to next stage.  Funds are encumbered.
In Approval 
In Approval  The "Approval" button will appear.   If changes need to be made to the invoice at this stage, it needs to be sent back to review.   Funds are encumbered. Ready to be Paid
Ready to be Paid Once the "Approval" button is hit, this moves to the Ready to be Paid status  This is the last stage that we touch the invoice. Funds are expended. Closed
Closed /
A job is ran weekly to move the Ready to be Paid invoices to Closed.   For one time orders, the PO lines associated with the invoice are closed if they are received/activated.     

S. Maximiek, updated 8/4/2023

further documentation