Our payment approach

Frequently asked questions

In the past, I've not needed to quote a valid purchase order number on my invoice and still been paid. Why can I not continue to do this?

We are formalising our procurement and finance processes to support a more efficient 'Purchase to Pay' process and all of our financial commitments have to be generated using a purchase order unless otherwise specified. Any unauthorised transactions made outside of the approved process will not be recognised and subsequently will delay payment.

As part of the existing approach, 'No Purchase Order, No Payment' is being fully enforced to drive compliance and ensure all financial commitments made by us are approved and recorded in purchasing systems in advance of the purchase being made. Those invoices without a valid purchase order number, other than the categories recognised by us as an exception, will no longer be processed or paid until a valid purchase order number is quoted by the supplier.

Why have we implemented this approach?

To improve the process and controls for invoice processing internally and to ensure payments are made to suppliers as quickly as possible. Although the approach has always been in place, enforcement is now being driven to improve efficiency in the 'purchase to pay' process and compliance of ordering and invoice processes through approved procurement channels. We require a valid purchase order number to support the finance reconciliation process.

Will I get paid any quicker if I quote the purchase order number?

Unless specific contract terms have been agreed, our standard council payment terms are 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice. We aim to process and pay as many invoices as possible within this timeframe. Invoices without a valid purchase order number, other than the categories recognised by us as an exception, will not be processed or paid until a valid purchase order number is quoted by the supplier. This will delay payment.

I have completed my part of the contract by supplying the goods/service and now you are asking me to quote a purchase order number on my invoice. I haven't got this, where can I get a purchase order number from?

You should be able to obtain a valid purchase order number from your contact within the council who provided you with an instruction for the goods/service. You should then enter the purchase order number on your invoice before submitting it to us for payment.

The contact/address details the council holds for me are incorrect - who do I contact to get these corrected?

We will always endeavour to maintain data as accurately as possible so if you need to advise of any changes, please inform your usual council business contact in the first instance. Due to the requirements of the Data Protection Act we need to record your formal authorisation to amend your records. We ask that all changes be confirmed in writing on company letterhead to maintain compliance and meet with audit requirements.

Please use the 'contact us' box if you have any questions. For more information, see 'related pages', 'downloads' or 'other useful websites'.

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