Packing List

A document that itemizes in detail the contents of a particular package or shipment.

Partial Payment

The payment authorized in a contract upon delivery of one or more units called for under the contract or upon completion of one or more distinct items of service called for thereunder.


An agreement between two or more individuals or entities for the purpose of conducting a business relationship. This relationship may be informal (non-contractual) or formal (written contract).

Pay Mode Terms

A specific set of accepted conditions for vendor invoice payment via electronic funds transfer.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)

A proprietary information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card providers including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, and was was created to increase controls around cardholder data to reduce credit card fraud.


Term used for payments made to vendors receiving via electronic funds transfer through Bank of America. PayMode (1-877-443-6944)

Pending Folder

Folder kept by some DLCs to hold copies of invoices, travel vouchers, and RFPs submitted for payment, and other non-SAP documents, such as packing slips. These documents are needed to verify that a transaction has been processed at the authorized amount and to the correct cost object and G/L account.

Per Diem

Literal translation is "by the day".  In finance, usually an amount of money given to someone for daily expenses.

Performance Bond

A contract of guarantee, executed subsequent to award by a successful vendor to protect the buyer from loss due to the vendor's inability to complete the contract as agreed.

Performance Specification

A specification setting forth performance requirements determined necessary for the item involved to perform and last as required.

Permanent Establishment

Most foreign countries subject an external organization to its tax laws based on whether the external organization has created a Permanent Establishment (PE) in that country (i.e., a taxable presence). Typically, a PE is created when an organization is engaged in a certain level of activities within the foreign country and receives revenue for those activities from the foreign country. The threshold for determining whether the level of activities within a foreign country would create a PE is usually defined by the laws of the foreign country. Additionally, if there is an existing income tax treaty between the US and the foreign country, the tax treaty may also define what would constitute a PE.

Once a PE is created, there may be adverse income tax consequences, numerous foreign reporting requirements, as well as significant administrative costs associated with dealing with a foreign country’s tax laws. Depending on the foreign country, the implications of creating a PE could include having to legally register as an operating organization within the foreign country, requirements to engage a representative or local agent in the foreign country, and obligations to prepare income tax or corporate filings regularly. Failure to meet the foreign countries’ regulatory and tax law requirements puts MIT at financial and reputational risk and could jeopardize both the funding and the future of your program.

Permanent Funds

Funds designated by the donor as unexpendable endowment.

Personal Injury

Liability for injury, other than bodily injury, to a person. Includes defamation, false arrest, invasion of privacy, and other non-physical injuries.

Plant Equipment

Equipment, machine tools, test equipment, furniture, vehicles, accessory and auxiliary items used or capable of use in the manufacture of supplies, in the performance of services, or for any administrative or general plant purpose. Excludes special tooling and special test equipment.

Plant Funds

See Educational Plant Funds


A written or oral agreement to contribute cash or other assets, and can be either conditional or unconditional.

A Conditional Pledge specifies a future and uncertain event whose occurrence, or failure to occur, releases the promisor from its obligation.

An Unconditional Pledge is a promise to give that depends only on the passage of time or a demand by the promise for performance.

Point of Origin

The location where a shipment is received by a transportation line from the shipper.

Post-consumer Material

A finished material which would normally be disposed of as a solid waste after its life cycle, and does not include manufacturing or converting wastes. Or material collected for recycling from office buildings, homes, and retail stores.

Pre-consumer Material

Material or by-products generated after the manufacture of a product but before the product reaches the consumer, such as damaged or obsolete products. Pre-consumer material does not include mill and manufacturing trim, scrap, or broken material which is generated at a manufacturing site and commonly reused on-site in the same or another manufacturing process.


An advantage in consideration for award for a contract granted to a vendor by reason of the vendor’s residence, business location, or business classifications (e.g., minority owned or small business).

Preferred Supplier

Preferred Suppliers are selected through a formal sourcing process. These suppliers have multi-year contracts in place with MIT that feature negotiated pricing, terms, and conditions. For purchases from Preferred Suppliers, MIT's competition requirements are met and a Selection of Source Form is not required. Although Preferred Suppliers provide negotiated pricing for most items within their commodity, some goods and/or services may be excluded and a Selection of Source form would then be required. Review individual supplier pages on VPF Supplier Search for exclusions.


A term denoting that transportation charges have been or are to be paid at the point of shipment.

Prepaid Expenses

Amounts that are paid in advance to a vendor or creditor for goods and services. Typically, insurance premiums are paid in advance of the coverage contained in the policy. Prepaid expenses are categorized as Current Assets because they are an advance payment for a good or service that will be received in the future.


The amount of money that will purchase a definite weight or other measure of a commodity.

Price Agreement

A contractual agreement in which a purchaser contracts with a vendor to provide the purchaser’s requirements at a predetermined price, and usually specifies a minimum number of units, orders placed directly with the vendor by the purchase, and limited duration of the contract.

Price Fixing

Agreement among competing vendors to sell at the same price.


The combined functions of purchasing, inventory control, traffic and transportation, receiving, inspection, store keeping, and salvage and disposal operations.

Procurement Card (ProCard)

A purchasing instrument issued to MIT employees for small dollar purchases.

Procurement Card (ProCard) Agreement Form

A signed document that acknowledges and accepts responsibility for participation in the MIT procurement card program.

Procurement Card (ProCard) Holder

The person to whom a unique MIT purchasing instrument has been issued with the understanding that the use of such an instrument is to be guided by specific terms and conditions.

Procurement Operations

A VPF Business Unit that helps the MIT community buy the goods and services it needs to conduct the Institute’s business and serves as the community’s partner in the actual purchasing process.

Procurement Verifier/Certifier

A person within a DLC who is authorized to approve payment against specific cost objects.

Profit Center

A mechanism in SAP for grouping cost objects to align with specific financial reporting purposes and to manage the granting of reporting, but not spending, authorizations.

Property Damage Liability

Liability for physical damage or destruction of tangible property of others. Includes the loss of use of tangible property, if the loss is covered by an occurrence under the general liability policy.

Property Office

A VPF Business Unit that serves as MIT’s master inventory department, keeping track of all movable capital equipment and MIT’s capital building assets.


The only items that can perform a function and satisfy a need. This should not be confused with “single source”. An item can be proprietary and yet available from more than one source. For example, if the the only lens that will fit a Nikon camera is a Nikon lens then the lens is “proprietary.” However, the Nikon lens is available from more than one source, and therefore is not single source.

Protection & Indemnity Coverage (watercraft)

Coverage for bodily injury, medical and legal and other expenses, associated with liability claims arising from the operation and/or transport of covered watercraft.

Purchase Manual

A document that stipulates rules and prescribes procedures for purchasing with suppliers and other departments.

Purchase Order (PO)

The signed written acceptance of the offer from the vendor. A purchase order serves as the legal and binding contract between both parties.

Purchasing Quick Buy Guide

An MIT reference document used by Institute DLCs to assure compliance with procurement policies and procedures.

News and Announcements

The VPF Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) team has updated the list of all&nbs