Learn About the Receiving Process


Receiving is the process of inspecting and acknowledging the receipt of a purchased good in accordance with Columbia University policy. 

Whenever possible, the person receiving the product should sign the receiving documents provided by the supplier or shipping company. During the inspection process by the person receiving the delivery, the supplier’s packing list should be compared to the purchase order and/or the vendor's quote to determine if there are any discrepancies between the documents. Those accepting delivery should also check for damage or partial delivery of expected goods and notify the supplier of any discrepancies or issues immediately. 

For Marketplace orders, additional receiving procedures are required when the following is true:

  • The line amount (not total order) is equal to or greater than $5,000. Until receipt of the purchase is acknowledged within the CU Marketplace, the auto-payment to the vendor will be withheld. This does not apply to purchases under $5,000. 

For non-Marketplace orders processed in ARC, the submission and approval of a corresponding invoice for processing serves as the confirmation that the goods and/or services have been received in good order. No further action is required. 

  • Please note, departments should follow existing delivery controls in place for goods that fall into a special handling category and/or capital equipment. Review the correct purchasing category for more information. 


Review our Receiving Policy in full for more information concerning delivery signings, inspections, and reporting damage.