Central Receiving


To provide an overview of and guidance for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) central receiving process.


UTS159 requires the primary procurement officer of each institution and System Administration to promulgate procedures to facilitate and expedite the purchasing function.

University Guidelines

Table of Contents
  1. Overview
  2. Receipt of Shipments
  3. Receiving Reports
  4. Disputes
  5. Returns
  6. Priority of Deliveries
  7. Direct Deliveries
  8. Outbound Shipments

A. Overview

The UTSA Central Receiving office is a unit of Financial Affairs that provides receiving and delivery services for goods ordered by the UTSA teaching, research, administrative, and project offices (items of a personal nature are not to be sent to Central Receiving).

Services provided include:
  • Receiving most items delivered by vendors and transportation companies
  • Performing external inspections to determine quantity delivered
  • Delivery to requesting departments
  • Providing departments with receiving report assistance when requested
  • Picking up and arranging for return shipment if required

B. Receipt of Shipments

When shipments are received, deliveries are inspected. User departments (“departments”) must verify received shipments and create a receiving report where required.

Departments must immediately notify the vendor of any discrepancies (damaged merchandise, overages, double shipments, incomplete shipments, etc.). For information on vendor disputes, see Disputes.

Shipments Delivered to Central Receiving 
Upon receiving a shipment, Central Receiving inspects the shipment’s external packaging for any visible damage, matches the quantity shipped to the quantity received, makes any needed notations and assigns a delivery location. Central Receiving does not open shipments. Deliveries are usually made to the user department within two business days of receipt unless the items require special handling. Large items may be delivered by the Office of Facilities (at no charge to the user department).

The department must verify the delivery upon receipt and create a receiving report for all items received, if required.

Shipments with "collect charges" are not accepted unless Central Receiving is notified and arrangements are made for payment at time of delivery.

Shipments Delivered Directly to User Department 
When departments receive shipments directly, the department must verify the accuracy of the delivery. If the delivery is accurate and if required, the department creates a receiving report, unless the shipment is a One Card purchase.

Departments should have all One Card purchases delivered directly to the department. For more information on One Card purchases, see Financial Guideline — One Card.

C. Receiving Reports

Departments must create a receiving report (in Rowdy Exchange) for all shipments accurately received if the purchase is:

  • Over $4,999.99; or
  • Funded with state or federal funds; or
  • Of capitalized or controlled property; or
  • Project-related (regardless of amount or commodity type).

For more information, see How to Create a Receiving Report.

Receiving reports are not required for One Card purchases, nor for purchases under Amount Only purchase orders.

A receiving report serves as verification that the goods were received as ordered and as documentation for payment to the vendor. A department's failure to promptly create a receiving report may delay payment to the vendor and result in late payment interest being charged to the department. Payment is due to vendors 30 days from the date goods/services are received/completed or a correct invoice is received, whichever is later.

If a department believes payment should be withheld based on an incorrect delivery or invoice, the department should not issue a receiving report. In this case the department should dispute the shipment with the vendor, as below.

D. Disputes

If there is a dispute with a shipment, the user department must notify the vendor promptly. Failure to notify the vendor promptly may delay payment to vendors and result in late payment interest charges to the department. For information on dispute processes and late payment interest, see Financial Guideline — Texas Prompt Payment Law.

E. Returns

If a return is necessary, departments must notify Central Receiving immediately and return the merchandise to Central Receiving in its original packaging.

F. Priority of Deliveries

Deliveries are processed by Central Receiving on a first-in, first-out basis unless special handling is required. Examples of items requiring special handing include but are not limited to:

  • Air and overnight shipments
  • Materials on dry ice or frozen
  • Live materials
  • Blood and blood platelets
  • Packages labeled “refrigerate immediately”, “freeze upon arrival” or that include other special handling instructions
  • Radioactive materials
  • Controlled substances

Books and other items addressed to individuals are sorted and scanned for tracking purposes and delivered the next business day. Federal Express, Airborne, Next Day Air, etc. are delivered the same day.

G. Direct Deliveries

Departments requiring direct delivery of an incoming shipment (both UTSA purchased, and non-UTSA purchased items such as lab equipment brought in by new employees) must notify Central Receiving in advance. The department will need to provide tracking information along with the building and room number of where the shipment needs to be directed, in order for Central Receiving to direct the driver to the department’s location.

H. Outbound Shipments

Central Receiving will arrange for outbound shipments as requested. Departments must call Central Receiving when an item needs to be shipped. The department must package and label the item and provide Central Receiving with a description of contents, value, and method of shipping.

Approved methods of payment are:
  • Department Cost Center
  • Call tags (vendor furnished)
  • Freight collect (freight lines only)

Departments should be aware that a return authorization number only authorizes the return of an item, and does not necessarily indicate payment of freight charges.

Central Receiving can pick up small outbound items, but departments must make arrangements for the Office of Facilities to pick up large items for delivery to Central Receiving.

Related Forms

None at this time.

Revision History

Date Description
04/23/24 Non-substantive edits for clarification.
05/14/21 Departments now create receiving reports; updated user departments’ responsibilities and Central Receiving’s services. Added information on vendor payment due dates and late payment interest charges. Re-arranged sections and added sections C, D, G.