Purchase Orders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a Purchase Order?

A purchase order is a written document used to request goods and services from a company or person. This is the most preferred way of paying suppliers for items over £200. A purchase order is contract between the two parties and has to be paid if the other party receives it.

Purchase orders contain details of what goods and services you want and how much you are expecting to pay for them.

How to raise a PO

Once you have your quotation for goods or services you will need to send the supplier the Purchase Order number, for them to reference on their invoices to receive payments.

To request a Purchase Order, go to Finance > Expenditure > Purchase Orders.

Supplier not listed or address incorrect? Request a new supplier go to Finance > Expenditure > Purchase Orders then Request a new supplier tab

How to download POs 

When your Purchase Order has been fully approved, you will be sent an email with the Purchase Order attached.

Alternatively, you can download it from eActivities by going to Finance>Expenditure>Purchase Orders then Authorised Purchase Orders.

Once downloaded you will need to send it on to the supplier and ensure the Purchase Order Number is quoted on the invoice.

How to complete goods receipting

Goods receipting is a critical part of the Purchase Order process. It communicates to the Union Finance Team that the goods or services have been received and that it is ok to pay the supplier.

To do this go to Finance>Expenditure>Purchase Orders then Authorised Purchase Orders, Goods Receipting and select the Purchase Order.

 

How to upload invoice

An invoice lets the Union know how much and who to pay. It is important you get the details on an invoice correct to ensure the goods/services are paid on time. The finance team will only action a PO once it has been goods receipted and correct invoice has been uplaoded.

The invoice will need to show the Union address Imperial College UnionBeit Quad, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BB NOT Imperial College or your address; and the bank details of the supplier must be on the invoice or on the supplier's letter headed paper.

 

Proforma Invoices

In some cases, the supplier will ask for a payment before the goods/service is delivered. They will then issue a Proforma Invoice. When you receive this, you should create a Purchase Order as usual, and then upload the invoice as detailed in the previous section.

The invoice will need to show the Union address Imperial College UnionBeit Quad, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BB NOT Imperial College or your address; and the bank details of the supplier must be on the invoice or on the supplier's letter headed paper.

Once you have received the goods/services to which the proforma relates to, you must provide icu.finance@imperial.ac.uk a copy or upload the final VAT invoice to the system.

International Payments 

For International Payments you must go to Finance>Expenditure>International Payments

Frequently Asked Questions

Q- How long does it take for a supplier to be paid once a PO has been fully approved by the highest authoriser?

A - Once the purchase order is approved, what happens next depends on whether payment is required before or after delivery:

Goods/services supplied on credit (payment after delivery)

  • Once PO is fully approved, originator places order with supplier.
  • Once goods/services received, originator completes goods receipt on eActivities.
  • Once invoice received, originator uploads invoice to eActivities (ensuring it is addressed to Imperial College Union).
  • Payment made on or before the due date shown on the invoice.

Goods/services paid for upfront (proforma)

  • Once PO is fully approved, originator places order with supplier.
  • Originator obtains a valid proforma invoice and uploads it to eActivities (ensuring it is addressed to Imperial College Union).
  • If invoice is valid and provided before 12pm on Wednesday it will be included in the Thursday pay for payment to clear on the following Monday. (For time-sensitive proformas such as for events, payment can be set up as a next-day so it would clear on the Friday).
  • Once goods/services received, originator completes goods receipt on eActivities.
  • If original invoice was a proforma invoice (not a valid VAT invoice), originator must upload the final VAT invoice to eActivities ensuring it complies with VAT documentation requirements.

Q - Why hasn't my approved PO been paid?

A - Not all invoices need instant payment, some of them have a 30 day payment term and will be inlcuded in next pay run.

Please check any of these points and action. If none apply, please contact icu.finance:

  • Has an invoice been uploaded?
  • Is the invoice addressed to Imperial College Union (not Imperial College)?
  • Has the invoice been provided before 12pm on Wednesday?
  • Has the PO (if applicable) been goods receipting?
  • Are bank details correct?

Q - How long does a refund take once the refund has been submitted into the system by the Activities Team? 

A - For refunds from the Online Shop the Systems Team have a service running fairly regularly to process the refunds – so unless they are rejected, you could expect them to reach the customer within 3 - 5 working days. Please contact the Activities Team if it is taking longer.

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