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The Purchase to Pay (P2P) process describes how to order, receive and pay for goods or services. It has been written in support of the Financial Regulations to ensure the University achieves value for money in its purchases.

Graphic showing the purchase to pay process. Text version available at


See the University Finance Division's webpages for full details of the P2P process.

Before you start

It is important that a genuine business need is identified before any purchase of goods or services. 

Consider if the goods or services are available within your department (eg from a store) or alternatively whether another department can supply through Internal Trade.

Before committing to a purchase the financial impact must be fully understood, the funding identified and all necessary authorisations obtained.

Preferred suppliers have agreed contract terms with the University and should be used where possible. See the University Finance Division's webpages for the list of preferred suppliers (Oxford single sign-on required).

Purchasing overview

To purchase goods and services from the University of Oxford you will need to raise a Requisition on the R12 Finance System. This will be checked and approved by the MSD finance team and will then become a Purchase Order (or PO). The PO is sent out to the supplier who then provides the goods or services to you, at which point they are Receipted. The supplier will then generate an invoice, which needs to be matched to the receipted PO by the MSD Finance team to release payment.

The correct order of events is: R12 Requisition, then PO Goods/Services Supplied, then Items Receipted, then In​voice Matched and Paid 

You can discuss a potential order with suppliers and obtain quotes, but at no point should you formally agree to or accept the supply of any goods or services from a supplier until a University Purchase Order has been raised.


Once you have a login as an R12 Shopper you can then raise Requisitions by entering all the product information into R12, including attaching any quotes or other supporting documents. You then code the Requisition with your Grant or GL Account information and submit it for approval.

Approved Requisitions become Purchase Orders three times a day (at 11am, 1.30pm and 4pm TBC) and the number will then appear in your list on Oracle R12. The PO will also be emailed out to the supplier by the system so that they can process your order.


This is done in the receipts window on R12, and depending on Oracle access can be done yourself or the MSD finance team. If you ever get a package that still has the delivery note attached then please make sure to pass it on to MSD finance so that they can do this for you.

If you're ordering a service (Couriering, Travel Tickets, Catering etc) where there will be no delivery note then it is fine for you to receipt the order yourself when you know it's been received. The MSD finance team will also check on these so may have already receipted it for you, but please do check.


You'll need to make sure the Invoice is sent to the MSD finance team inbox so that they can match it to the PO. Most Invoices are sent to MSD finance directly by the supplier, but if you ever receive a copy directly please make sure to pass it on promptly. Once the Invoice is matched to a valid, open and Receipted PO it will be ready to be paid in the next University Payment Run, which happens once a week. The money will then be transferred to the supplier's bank account within 3-4 working days and the ordering process will be complete.