Changes to invoice processing
Important information for University of London suppliers
From 1 May 2017 the University of London will implement a “No PO No PAY” policy and an e-invoicing policy. This means that when suppliers invoice the University or subsidiaries for goods, services or works, they must quote a valid purchase order (PO) number on their invoice in order for it to be paid. From this date the University will only accept invoices submitted electronically by email to email@example.com.
All invoices received from 1 May 2017 without a valid PO number or through any other delivery method than email will not be processed. These invoices will be returned to the supplier unpaid.
Introducing these policies will allow the University to streamline processes for the payment of invoices, enabling us to pay all suppliers as quickly as possible.
Ensuring your invoices get paid
In advance of the 1 May date we encourage suppliers to begin requesting valid POs for all orders with immediate effect. Simply ask the University staff member placing the order with your company to provide you with the purchase order and include this on your invoice. Send your invoice to the University at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will make the transition to No PO No PAY as seamless as possible.
If you have any further questions regarding the No PO No PAY policy and e-invoicing policy please see the No PO No PAY Frequently Asked Questions below or alternatively you can email Procurement@london.ac.uk.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Purchase Order (PO) number and what does it look like?
A purchase order is a commercial document and the first official offer issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating quality details and agreed prices for products or services. The seller’s acceptance of the buyer’s purchase order forms a contract between the buyer and seller. Purchase orders all have 8 digits, beginning with either a “12” or “13”.
Why is the University implementing this policy?
The No PO No Pay policy is being introduced to help improve efficiency in our procurement and payment processes. This new policy also ensures that all procurement is compliant with internal policies. The policy will cut through the red tape of identifying invoices without POs to ensure that payments are made to suppliers as quickly as possible.
By accepting invoices electronically, the University can fulfil our corporate social responsibility commitment to reducing carbon emissions. This also enables quicker invoice processing so suppliers are paid sooner. The Email address for electronic invoices is email@example.com.
In the past I’ve not needed to quote a PO number on my invoice, and I have still been paid. Why can this not continue?
The No PO No Pay policy is being implemented to ensure that all financial commitments made by the University are approved and recorded in the purchasing system in advance of payment being made. This is a change to the previous system, and from 1 May, invoices without a valid PO number, other than those agreed by the University Deputy Director of Finance (Financial Services) or Procurement Director as an exemption, will not be processed or paid until a valid PO number is quoted on the invoice by the supplier.
Requests for goods and services have been made in the past without a PO number being quoted. Will this still happen?
When No PO No Pay comes into effect, all financial commitments for goods and services must be made using a PO. As part of the No PO NO PAY policy the supplier will be required to put the valid PO number on the invoice. Therefore, suppliers should not accept orders from the University of London or its subsidiaries unless a PO number is provided.
What does a valid PO look like?
Purchase orders all have 8 digits. POs from the University of London and its subsidiaries will look like 1XXXXXXX.
I need to submit an invoice, but I don’t have a PO number. Where can I get the PO number?
You will be able to obtain a valid PO number from your contact within the University, who provided you with the instruction for the goods or services. Once they have raised the PO in the University’s system they will send it to you. You need to enter this number on your invoice before submitting it to the University again for payment. All invoices must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I need more information or have a query who can I contact?
If you require any further information regarding NO PO NO PAY please contact your normal University contract manager or the staff member who placed the order with you. Alternatively you can contact the Procurement Team by emailing email@example.com. Please ensure you quote the name of your University of London or CoSector contact or the service area that you have worked with.
I have submitted a hard copy of an invoice to the University. Will it still be paid?
No. Hard copies of invoices will be returned to suppliers unpaid. Scan or save your hard copy of the invoice to a PDF and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.