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Alma Acquisitions Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the Acquisitions process, which includes setting up funds, ordering, receiving physical items, activating e-resources, and invoicing. This guide also covers Serials patterns and arrival/check-in.

Acquisitions Infrastructure

Acquisitions Infrastructure

To use all of the features of Alma Acquisitions, there are two pieces of infrastructure that need to be added:

Fund Records: these are the budget resources available for Acquisitions; as orders are applied, they track encumbrances and payments to provide a real-time snapshot of available funds 

Vendor Records: these are used to store vendor information and connect orders & invoices for the same vendor; if configured, can also be used to send orders to and communicate with vendors


Using Fund Records

Fund records contain information about Acquisitions budgets and are used to monitor annual spending. They are optional when placing most orders, but using them can make purchasing more efficient.

Tracking funds in Alma will:

  • Allow all selectors, Acquisitions staff, and library administrators to see the real-time spend-down of library budgets
  • Track costs shared between library departments or funding sources, because purchases can easily be linked to more than one fund
  • Quickly generate Excel spreadsheets of budget totals and of purchases and invoices applied to a single fund by exporting from Alma
  • Increase the utility of Analytics reports by being able to include budget information 

If ordering is minimal, a library might choose to have a single ledger and a single allocated fund for all purchases. Additional allocated fund records allow for more specific tracking of high-interest funding sources.  


Using Vendor Records

Vendors are not only necessary for purchasing workflow (every order must be associated with a vendor), but they also:

  • Provide a single access point for contact information for each vendor 
  • Allow tracking of electronic usage statistics 
  • Allow tracking of electronic licenses 
  • Allow the storage of electronic access information (such as user interface username and passwords) in one central location

If ordering is minimal, a library might choose to have a single vendor record to use for all  physical item orders.  If a library is not interested in tracking purchase costs, this might a "Gift" vendor (see AWG-5 Policy).  

Libraries that want to be able to better keep track of electronic resource use and cost management without the use of spreadsheets will want to create vendors to correspond with their electronic resource use providers.   See the Electronic Resource Management section of this FAQ for more information.