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Business Policy and Procedure

55.040:  Purchasing - Receipt of Items: Notifications, Damages, Shortages, Returns


Approved on March 27, 2006Signatures and dates
on archival copy


when approved 

Initiated by:

Mary Patacca
Director of Business Services

Endorsed by:

The Ohio

Kathy Krendl

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis

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This policy provides guidelines for properly accepting goods, to allow the University to consistently recuperate loss due to damaged shipments, shorted shipments, etc.


Prompt inspection of items received, whether ordered by Purchase Order or P-card, is the responsibility of the end-user department.

I.  Items Ordered via Purchase Order

Persons receiving damaged goods must notify the Purchasing and Contracting Office of the delivery immediately, to request a hold on payment. Return of supplies for credit or replacement must be processed through the Purchasing and Contracting Office. Purchasing will assist in filing claims, obtaining credit, returning damaged items, receiving replacements, or expediting receipt of missing items. Any department requiring such assistance should notify Purchasing immediately of any damage or shortages.

II.  Items Ordered via P-card

Return and credit arrangements are the responsibility of the cardholder or his or her departmental designee (see also Policy and Procedure 55.074, "Purchasing Card"). The cardholder should be notified immediately, and he or she has 60 days to fax GE Capital a Disputed Item Form for removal of the charge pending resolution with the vendor.

Policies and Procedures

I.  Notification of Receipt of Items Ordered on a Purchase Order

A.  Items Received in Central Receiving

Receiving personnel should forward a Receiving Slip to Accounts Payable, documenting receipt of the items.

B.  Inspect all packages promptly

Save all boxes, packaging materials and packing slips until you are certain the delivered items are acceptable. Failure to keep this material is very likely to preclude any chance of a successful claim should damage be noted after the fact.

II.  Damages or Shortages

In the case of damage or shortage to a shipment the following information will be needed:

  • Name of carrier and copy of the freight bill

  • Purchase Order number and date (or date of p-card transaction)

  • Vendor name

  • Invoice number and date (if available and applicable)

  • Extent of damage and shortage (be specific)

Packages showing severe external damage at the time of delivery should be refused. If damage or shortage is only suspected at the time of delivery, Receiving or departmental personnel may accept delivery at their discretion, but should ask the delivery driver to indicate the visible damage or suspected shortage on the freight/shipping ticket. The driver is required to sign his name and the date of delivery. Save all packing slips, boxes and packing material until the dispute is completely resolved.

Whether it is suspected at delivery or is noted only after the shipment has been opened, the carrier must be notified within 14 days of a shortage or a damaged shipment. Notification should be confirmed in writing.

III.  Return of Supplies or Equipment

Supplies or equipment ordered via a Purchase Order and being returned to suppliers or manufacturers for adjustment, replacement or credit, must be cleared through the Purchasing and Contracting Office. Credit memos received that cannot be identified will be disposed of at the discretion of Accounts Payable.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Provost

  3. Cabinet

  4. Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

  5. Planning Unit Heads

  6. Policy and Procedure Review Committee


The following forms are specific to this policy:

  1. The Receiving Slip is available at Central Receiving.

  2. The Disputed Item Form is available at http://www.finance.ohiou.edu/forms/#pcard.

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Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohio.edu/policy/55-040.html) on May 15, 2013.
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