In this section
The majority of University Suppliers are paid via BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing System). This is an electronic payment system whereby money can be paid directly into a supplier's bank account on a specified day, without the need to wait for funds to clear or to visit the bank to pay cheques in.
BACS is also much safer and more secure - unlike cheques; payments cannot be lost, stolen or delayed in the post. This system saves the University money and increases efficiency both for us and our suppliers.
What this means for our suppliers
Procurement Services and Accounts Payable issue BACS forms to suppliers requesting details of their sort code, account number, telephone, fax number and e-mail address for remittances. Any subsequent payments go directly to the supplier’s bank account. A remittance is sent via e-mail listing all the invoices the payment relates to. Contact telephone numbers will be provided against each invoice paid which will enable the supplier to contact the relevant department directly with any queries.
Suppliers will then have the assurance of knowing when the money will be in their bank account.
What this means for departments
There are no significant changes for Departments when processing invoices where payment is via BACS except that the payment terms of ‘30 Days’ and payment method of ‘Electronic’ must not be changed, otherwise this may result in a supplier not being paid.
The BACS payment run is built and paid weekly. It is necessary to have all relevant invoices for payment on the system and secondary approved by the appropriate deadline. If there is any accompanying correspondence for the supplier, departments should send this under separate cover directly to the supplier with reference to the payment number, if need be once the payment has been made we can provide a copy remittance for departments to include with any correspondence to the supplier.
The payment will be made electronically direct to the supplier’s bank account and a remittance advice detailing all of the invoices relating to that payment will be sent via e-mail. The supplier will be able to contact the Department directly if there are any queries relating to the invoice.
If a department receives an invoice from a supplier with bank account details, and the supplier is not currently paid via BACS, the department should send a copy through to Accounts Payable at Greenwich House for the supplier to be contacted (if this has not been done) so their details can be amended on UFS.
Occasionally we do still pay suppliers by cheque. New suppliers are initially put onto a cheque payment run under the University payment terms of ‘Month + 30 days cheque’. Once we have their bank details they will be transferred to BACS this will show on UFS as payment method ‘Electronic’.
Supplier payment runs are made weekly and are in line with the above payment period, unless a signed contract with agreed alternative terms is in place. These agreements should only be made with suppliers after consultation and agreement with the Procurement Services Team or Accounts Payable.
Important Notice re: the Pay Alone "Tick box"
There is currently some confusion over the pay alone tick box - this option is not a Pay Group. If ticked a cheque will not be returned to your department, it only acts as a way of telling UFS that you require one cheque to be raised for that particular invoice.
If you require the cheque to be returned please follow the above mentioned procedure and select the Pay alone Pay Group.
Please process these as supplier pay group. All US Dollar cheques are returned to their originating department for distribution.
Please process these as supplier pay group All Euro cheques are returned to departments for distribution.
The Accounts Payable Team can arrange for an urgent payment. For the Team to be able to process an urgent payment, the specific urgent invoice needs to be entered into UFS. Please contact the Accounts Payable Team to discuss your requirements.
Currently, there are a few instances where suppliers are being paid by direct debit, however, these are exceptional cases and we do not encourage this method of payment as it is increasingly difficult to control.
Any supplier wishing to be paid by direct debit must apply in writing to the relevant department, enclosing a direct debit mandate. All applications must be agreed in advance by the Assistant Director of Finance (Financial Operations), within the Finance Division.
The direct debit mandate must be signed by an authorised member of the Finance Division.
All direct debit invoices should be sent to the Finance Division clearly stating which Finance account code the payment is to be charged to. The department should not process the invoices on the UFS as this could cause duplicate entries.