Purchase orders and payments

Before starting work

In order to supply goods, services or works, you firstly need to have agreed with us what your company will supply and at what price. You must ensure that you are clear about all of the costs that will be included on the invoice e.g. delivery costs, because if the cost is not included on our purchase order, our system will reject your invoice and your payment will be delayed.

If this is the first time that you have worked with us, we will need some standard information from you about your business such as e-mail addresses, bank details and VAT registration (if applicable). Ensure that this is provided promptly when requested as without this we are unable to raise a purchase order.

You should not provide work or goods without firstly receiving a purchase order – there is a strict No Purchase Order - No Pay policy. All invoices submitted for payment without stating a valid and correct purchase order number will be returned to the supplier.

More about the No Purchase Order - No Pay policy

The No Purchase Order - No Pay policy is a key financial control to ensure that payments are only made to suppliers and contractors where goods, services and works have been properly ordered and authorised. The purchase order acts as the authority to supply / proceed with the service and it is essential that you ensure that this authority is in place before goods are supplied or services are undertaken. We use automated systems to process invoices and we use the purchase order to ensure that we only pay for properly authorised goods and services.

If you need to carry out emergency work e.g. repairs to secure a building or to safeguard a person, then you should take the details of the person requesting the work and ask them to send the purchase order within three working days.

Do not send an invoice until you have received a purchase order number as the invoice will be returned to you and this will cause a delay in payment

The purchase order

The purchase order acts as the authority to supply / proceed with the service and it is essential that you ensure that this authority is in place before goods are supplied or services are undertaken. Make sure you have a purchase order and that this is quoted on your invoice.  If it is not your invoice will be returned to you unpaid.

Your purchase order will be sent to the email you have previously provided. Where an email address is not available, the order will be posted or faxed as per the instructions on your vendor record.  If you want to add or change an email or postal address then use the change of details form to do this.

Checking the purchase order

We use automated systems to process invoices and the purchase order number is used to match your invoice with the purchase order. If an invoice does not match the purchase order exactly then manual intervention may delay payment.  In some cases payment may not be possible until a new purchase order is provided.

On receipt of your purchase order check the information carefully.

 If any information on the purchase order is incorrect or requires amending you should contact the person named on the purchase order.

Purchase orders will be raised in one of the following two ways

  • Quantity based order – used to raise orders for a specific quantity of goods or for a services which can be quantified e.g. a number of days of service.

  • Value based order – used to raise orders for services where there may be multiple invoices up to the specified value.

Only supply quantities or prices as per the purchase order. Make sure that everything you will invoice for is on the purchase order, including any delivery charges. If extra goods or services are to be provided then a new purchase order will be required. If the prices on the order are incorrect then use the contact details on the purchase order to confirm that the changes in price are agreed and will not cause a delay in payment. Due to their unique payment approval process, please ensure only one value based order is quoted per invoice.

See more on quantity based orders

On receipt of the purchase order, please

  • make a note of the purchase order number (1) – it must be stated on your invoice
  • check the quantity (2) and description of the goods or services (3) you are supplying are correct
  • check that the price (4) is correct and any delivery charges have been added to the purchase order
  • make sure the delivery date (5) is achievable.  The delivery date drives goods receipting reminders in our system
  • ensure that you send any invoices to the invoice address (6) as sending your invoice to the incorrect address will delay payment
  • check the terms and conditions (7) including any links to other sources
If you have any questions please raise these with the person named on the purchase order (8) at the time the purchase order is received e.g. if the purchase order is incorrect (i.e. delivery charge not included). Some queries may require a new purchase order or an additional purchase order to be raised.A sample purchase order
See more about value based orders

On receipt of the purchase order, please :

  • make a note of the purchase order number (1) – it must be stated on your invoice
  • check the description of the services (2) you are supplying are correct. There will be a short sentence explaining that the value shown is an estimate of requirements in the description
  • check that the services you are providing will not exceed the overall price (3)
  • ensure that you send any invoices to the invoice address (4) as sending your invoice to the incorrect address will delay payment
  • check the terms and conditions (5) including any links to other sources
If you have any questions please raise these with the person named on the purchase order (6) at the time the purchase order is received e.g. if the purchase order will not cover all of the value to be invoiced. Some queries may require a new purchase order or an additional purchase order to be raised.A sample service order

Submitting your invoice

We use automated systems to scan and process your invoice.

To enable the software to read your invoice ensure that the information is legible and complete.

You must only submit invoices by email as PDF documents. Each document that is submitted must contain only one invoice.

Invoices should be submitted to the address stated on the purchase order and must have the correct purchase order number typed on the invoice itself. We aim to pay invoices within 30 days of being scanned so sending the invoice directly to the correct address is essential for payment being made on time.

Do not send an invoice without a purchase order number. All invoices submitted for payment without stating a valid and correct purchase order number will be returned to the supplier.

See more on information to be included in invoices

To ensure prompt payment of your invoice, please make sure the following on your invoice are checked and correct against the purchase order.  To be valid your invoice must include the following information:

  • The correct purchase order number
  • The invoice address as per the purchase order
  • The word Invoice/Credit Note is clearly stated, along with the unique invoice / credit reference
  • Correct value and quantity (to match the purchase order)
  • Your VAT number (if VAT registered)
  • The values of the individual lines and total amount of the invoice
  • The net, VAT rate, VAT amount and gross amount (if VAT registered)
  • The invoice date
If you do not have a suitable format for your invoice, you may find one of these invoice templates useful:

Invoice (no VAT) template Microsoft Word 15kB

Invoice (with VAT) template

Payments

Standard payment terms are 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice and will only be varied by written agreement.  

See why a payment might be delayed

Delays in payment are frequently caused by:

  • discrepancies between the purchase order and invoice
  • the invoice not being sent to the correct address
  • invoices not quoting a purchase order number or quoting an invalid one
  • goods receipting has not been completed by the shopper.  Please ensure that shoppers have a delivery note to aid goods receipting
  • a dispute with the goods or services.

Remittance advice will be sent to you to confirm that payment has been agreed and is on its way. Your remittance advice will be sent to the email you have previously provided. Where an email address is not available, the remittance advice will be posted as per the instructions on your vendor record.  If you want to add or change an email or postal address for remittances then use the change of details form to do this.

Remittance advice

Your remittance advice shows the payments that that have been made and when you will receive them. If you are receiving payments against a number of invoices, these will be itemised on the remittance

Where an invoice was submitted, the remittance will show the invoice reference followed by the purchase order number that the invoice was paid against if appropriate

Where a payment was made which was not the result of an invoice (e.g. a claim form) alternative information will be provided to help you identify the source of the payment

On the left hand side of the remittance, there will be a document number. In the event of a query about a remittance please quote the document number as this will help us identify the correct document.

Example remittance advice

If we hold bank account details for you, it takes 4 working days for payment to reach your bank account after you receive an e-mailed remittance. If we do not hold bank details for you, a cheque will be issued to you. To inform us of changes to your bank details, complete the change of details form. Changes to bank details will only be made once they have been verified.

If you do not receive your remittance advice, raise an online enquiry.

If you are not receiving remittance regularly, complete the change details form to ensure your details are held correctly. 

Enquiries and statements

If you have an enquiry about an invoice that has been submitted to shared services then raise a query.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • invoice number
  • purchase order number
  • how you submitted the invoice (i.e. email/post)
  • when and where you sent this to.

All of this will help us to track your query more speedily.

Do not send automatic statements, as these will not be reviewed.  

Statements will only be reviewed by exception on request. If you have a number of invoices that are outstanding and you do not wish to raise individual enquiries for these, raise an online enquiry requesting that a statement is reviewed (including the reason), and we will contact you for further information as necessary.

If any of the contact details we hold for you are incorrect you should request a change to details.

Schools in Hampshire

Just over 100  Hampshire schools use the centralised service for having their invoices processed rather than processing them in the school.

List of Hampshire schools processing their own invoices Microsoft Excel 64kB (known as Model 1 schools) – you can check the school’s address to make sure it’s the correct school.

List of Hampshire schools using the centralised service for processing invoices Microsoft Excel 38kB (known as Model 2 schools)

This means that:

  • invoices must be sent to the invoice address that is printed / displayed on the relevant individual Purchase Order (this will either be the centralised invoice processing address or the individual schools address)

  • invoice queries must also be directed to the invoice address quoted on the Purchase Order.