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iBuy (online purchasing)

How to Get started

First time in iBuy? Please contact Unit Security Contact (USC) for your department to get the access. 

Departments:

Below you will find tips to help departments transition smoothly to iBuy as well as key considerations regarding best practices for the use of iBuy.

Identify iBuy Users

Those employees who currently use P-Cards and/or requisition/approve purchases in Banner are prime candidates to use iBuy.  However, any University employee involved with procuring goods and services in the course of official University business may also use iBuy.  This includes faculty, staff, and even student employees, such as lab and research assistants.

Once those employees who will use iBuy have been identified, the next step is to assign roles as appropriate.

Best Practice Tip: Decentralize transactional activity to the organizational level at which purchasing decisions are actually made.  iBuy's ease of use, workflow functionality, and reporting capability are well-suited to support such decentralization.

Assign Roles

There are seven iBuy roles that apply to departmental users. Listed with each role below are some factors to consider while making decisions regarding user roles:

SHOPPER - Can do everything necessary to create a requisition and submit it for approval EXCEPT adding C-FOAPAL information. When a Shopper submits a requisition, it moves into the Department Account Coder (DAC) queue for their assigned Chart/Org so the C-FOAPAL information can be entered. Generally this role is not combined with any other role.

REQUESTOR - Can do everything necessary to create a requisition and submit it for approval INCLUDING adding the C-FOAPAL information. When a Requestor submits a requisition, it moves into the Approval queue linked to the Chart/Org entered within the C-FOAPAL information. This role can be combined with the DAC or Approver roles. However, it is University best practice for the same user to not create and approve the same requisition.

DEPARTMENT ACCOUNT CODER (DAC) - Can add C-FOAPAL information to complete a requisition initiated by a Shopper. Once the appropriate C-FOAPAL information has been entered and the requisition submitted, it then moves into the Approval queue linked to the Chart/Org entered within the C-FOAPAL information. There may be more than one DAC within a queue for a particular Chart/Org. This role can be combined with the Requestor or Approver roles. Advised to have at least two people assigned to the role of DAC in each department.

APPROVER - Can approve, reject, edit, return or forward a requisition within their approval queue. The Approval queues are set up by dollar ranges with a particular Chart/Org (see Department Approvals). There may be more than one Approver within a queue for a particular dollar range and Chart/Org. This role can be combined with the Requestor or DAC roles. Advised to have at least two people assigned to the role of Approver in each department. However, it is University best practice for the same user to not create and approve the same requisition.

EXECUTIVE APPROVER - Can only approve, reject, forward, or return requisitions (but not edit them) within their approval queue.

QUERY ONLY - Can only review requisitions, purchase orders, and invoices for validation of account or report reconciliation. Unable to perform any other actions on a requisition. This role cannot be combined with that of a Requestor.

INVOICE ACKNOWLEDGER - Can approve, return, or forward invoices within their approval queue. This role will only acknowledge invoices with line items over $5,000 on vendors set up with e-invoicing. For a list of these vendors please see types of vendors https://www.obfs.uillinois.edu/iBuy/overview/vendors/. This role can be combined with the Requestor or Approver roles. Advised to have at least two people assigned to the role of Invoice Acknowledger in each department.

UIC ONLY - HOSPITAL REQUESTOR - Some iBuy users at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have the Hospital Requestor role. The Hospital Requestor role is similar to the Requestor role but includes Materials Management review as an additional step in certain workflows. Hospital Requestors use the Route to Materials Management form instead of the Route to Purchasing Form. Also, Hospital Requestors have access to a subset of hosted and punchout catalogs.

Departmental Approvals

Departmental approvals are one aspect of iBuy's overall approval process.  As such, it is a control point that deserves attention as departments begin using iBuy.

When assigning Approvers, administrators should consider which staff will be responsible for reviewing and approving the orders of others on a routine basis.  Such users should be given sufficient approval authority to handle approving the most common orders.  In addition, administrators should consider who will need to look at larger orders and provide those users with a higher level of approval authority.  A hierarchy of approval levels will allow for appropriate allocation of workload while ensuring that large purchases are presented for review by more senior or experienced staff.

The following approval queues are available for departmental use:

$0 - $4999 (Optional)
$5000 - $9999 (Optional)
$10,000 - $49,999
$50,000 - $249,999
$250,000 - $499,999
$500,000 - $999,999
$1,000,000+

In order to ensure that iBuy's approval process is no more restrictive than those required by P-Card and Banner, while at the same time providing departments with the opportunity and flexibility to exercise greater internal controls over purchases, the first two queues above may be invoked at each department's option.  An Approver or Executive Approver must be assigned to each of the remaining queues.
Note: Departments are strongly encouraged to use the $5000 - $9999 queue; those departments that choose not to use this queue subject all of their departmental Requestors and Department Account Coders to Statements of Economic Interests reporting requirements.  iBuy Approvers (with the exception of those that are included in the $0 - $4999 queue only) may be required to file as well.

Best Practice Tip: Include at least two individuals in each approval queue.  Although Approvers may establish proxies for known absences, having multiple Approvers at each level addresses the possibility of unplanned absences.

Establish iBuy Access

Access to iBuy must be requested through Unit Security Contacts (USC).  Refer to a list of USCs by department to find your Unit Security Contact.

The iBuy Project Team has worked with AITS to add the ability for USCs to process iBuy access requests via the same Security Application that they are already accustomed to using to process access requests for Banner Finance, HR/Pay, etc. 

The Team has since shared the following communications with USCs:

Last Updated: February 2, 2017

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