1237 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Changes to Purchase Orders



This policy ensures compliance in making contract modifications through individuals with delegated authority to sign contracts on behalf of the University.

Scope of Applicability

This policy applies to all University employees.


Policy Statement

Only Purchasing may request a change to a purchase order already accepted by a vendor. A charge may be made for changing or canceling an order only when a vendor has expended funds for fabrication or ordering special equipment or supplies.

If a purchase order is written to a vendor but differs from the terms and conditions previously offered by the vendor, it is not a binding contract until the vendor either acknowledges and accepts the purchase order in writing, or delivers the goods or services detailed in it. Breaking or canceling a contract requires the consent of both parties.

Most vendors are willing to make reasonable changes to an order without penalty to the purchaser.

Departmental requests for changes to an existing purchase order should be made through ConnectCarolina. This includes increases or decreases in the order quantity or dollar value, cancellations, liquidations, account number changes (before invoicing) and returns.


After an invoice has been entered into ConnectCarolina any chartfield string change required must be done via online journal entry after the payment posts, even if the change is requested before a payment has been made.

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I need to encumber additional funds on my standing order and I'm not sure how to accomplish this?
A: Process a change request through ConnectCarolina. Start with a new requisition number and show the funding source and additional dollars to be added. Indicate that this is a change request to encumber additional funds and clearly reference the existing standing order number. Indicate the line number of the PO to be increased, the increase amount, and the new total for the line in the comment section of the requisition. This provides the proper audit trail.

Q: I need to change the dollar/percentage allocations on an existing purchase order. How do I do this?
A: This change can be made only if there are no invoices entered in the system against the existing purchase order number. Process a change request and show the new dollar/percentage allocation you are requesting to provide the proper audit trail.

Q: My requisition was entered in the system with the wrong account listed. How can I change this?
A: Process a change request showing the complete chartfield string (with new account listed) along with the entire amount of the purchase order. Purchasing will make the change once the requisition has been completed and transferred into ConnectCarolina.

Q: The estimated dollar figures on my requisition were not enough to cover the entire amount of the purchase order once the bids were received. What is the process to add the additional amount to the purchase order?
A: Process a change request showing only the additional amount to be added along with chartfield string. This additional amount of money must be added to a line item. Mentioning it in a text line will not allow the change request to process properly.

Q: Who do I speak to if I want to make changes to my purchase order?
A: If you need to make a change to a purchase order (additions, deletions, other corrections) call the appropriate agent listed on the purchase order and submit a change request.

Special Situations


Related Data


Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences


University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contacts
Subject Contact Telephone Fax E-Mail
Solicitation of Bids and Quotations Purchasing Services - Goods 919-962-3774 919-962-0636 purchasing_team@unc.edu
Solicitation of Bids and Quotations Purchasing Services - Services 919-962-9463 919-962-6271 contracts_team@unc.edu



  • February 2, 2015: Removed information from Exclusions section.
  • October 1, 2014: Revised references to requisitions and chartfield components; removed Related Data links.
  • August 3, 2011
  • November 14, 2003
Print Article


Article ID: 131433
Thu 4/8/21 9:08 PM
Mon 8/9/21 4:20 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director of Purchasing Services
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
11/13/2021 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
11/13/2020 8:57 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
11/13/2020 8:57 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
11/13/2020 8:57 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
01/01/1995 12:00 AM