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FAQs - Invoicing and Suppliers

How do I request a cheque/BACS payment without an invoice?

To request payment complete a pro forma invoice - payment request which should be used for example

  • if the supplier is unable to issue an invoice
  • the supplier can only issue a booking form
  • the company can only supply a subscription form

Provide as much information as possible and arrange coding and authorisation.  If there is any supporting documentation to be sent out with the payment, this should be attached to the form. 

  • Conference bookings

If the payment is for a conference and the supplier has only provided a booking form, it is often advisable to send a copy of the booking form to the supplier in advance of payment (to ensure the place is booked and dietary requirements etc are known) along with a note advising payment will follow under separate cover.  The original booking form should be attached to the payment request and this will be sent with the payment.

Our preferred method of payment is by BACS so if a supplier has quoted their bank details payment will be made directly to their bank account (refer to BACS payment run dates).  A remittance advice will be sent to them along with the booking form/supporting documentation.  If a supplier has not provided their bank details, a cheque can be raised and sent with the documentation.


How do I process a purchase order form?

To place and order with an approved supplier you will require a purchase order pad which can be obtained from the Finance Office. The number at the top, YSJ/0*****, is your unique purchase order number which should be quoted by the supplier on their invoice.

Once you have completed your order form it should be coded and signed by an authorised signatory prior to placing your order with the supplier.

The white copy should be sent to the supplier, the pink copy must be forwarded to the Finance Office and the yellow copy is to be kept within the faculty/department for reference and checking when the goods/services are received.

Please note that the purchase order is the request to order the goods/services only, payment cannot be made on a purchase order form alone.  Once the invoice is received from the supplier this must be authorised by a delegated signatory and coded to a nominal then returned to Finance for payment.


Can I use a supplier not on the University Suppliers List?

Whenever possible staff should try to use suppliers who have already been approved and show on the University Suppliers List.  However, this may not always be possible for example:

  • staff may wish to order goods on line with a one-off supplier.  In this instance goods should be paid for using a University credit card and there is no need to complete a purchase order.
  • staff may wish to place an one-off order.  If this is under £2k please complete a purchase order in the normal way but endorse it with "one-off".  If the order is over £2K or the supplier is to be used again on a regular basis, a new supplier request form should be completed.


How do I set up a new supplier?

Where possible staff should endeavour to use a new supplier already registered with NEUPC.  However if staff wish to use another supplier they should complete a new supplier request form.  All sections of the form should be completed especially the banking information so that the supplier can be paid by BACS.  Once the new supplier request has been approved by the Director of Finance staff will be notified so that the order can be placed.


How do I authorise/code an invoice?

Invoices must be signed off for payment by a budget holder or delegated authorised signatory. The invoice should be authorised by a different signatory to the person who authorised the purchase order.  However if this is not operationally possible within the department the invoice should be signed by the authorised signatory and either:

  • signed by another member of staff (not necessarily an authorised signatory) to confirm that the goods/services have been received
  • or the delivery note should be attached to the invoice which has been signed by the member of staff who received the goods

Please refer to the how to code an invoice document.  For any queries regarding budgets allocated to your faculty / department, please contact your management accountant.


How do I dispute an invoice?

If you have a query on an invoice, contact the purchase ledger section quoting the supplier name and red stamper number.  The purchase ledger system can then be updated in case the supplier contacts the Finance Office directly.


I have an invoice received in my faculty/department in error?

Please contact the purchase ledger section quoting the supplier name and the red stamper number so that the correct department can be identified for the invoice to be forwarded on to and the purchase ledger system can be updated.


What do I do with statements?

Statements should be forwarded to the Finance Office in order to reconcile the details against the purchase ledger system.  Under no circumstances will a statement be used as a method of payment to a supplier.  Some companies have statements which look very similar to their invoices so please check before authorisation that the correct paperwork is being signed off.


How do I become an authorised signatory?

Purchase orders and invoices must be signed off by a authorised signatory.  Authorised signatory forms are renewed annually and can be found on the Finance Forms page.  These must be completed with the cost centre, expenditure codes and limit which can be signed on.


How do I employ an individual on a self employed basis?

If an external individual is being employed to provide teaching/workshops etc their employment status must be determined before they do the work.  This should be done via the Employment Status Indicator (ESI) tool on the HMRC website.  A copy of the final results page must be forwarded to Finance with the supplier's invoice.

Please refer to HR procedure - Employment Status Guidance for Managers


How do I employ temporary staff?

The current approved supplier for temporary staff is Office Angels.  Please provide them with a purchase order number and the cost centre (and project code if applicable) to quote on their invoices


How do I place an advert?

Supplies of advertising to the University should be charged at zero VAT rate due to our charitable status.  If the supplier requests this in writing a Charity Zero Rated VAT on Adverts form should be completed and sent to them.


How do I make a payment by credit card?

Each faculty / department should have at least one member of staff responsible for holding a Visa purchasing card to enable payments to be made on line or direct with suppliers.  Please contact your admin team for further information relating to your faculty / department.