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Accounts Payable Section Service Standards - Summary

The Accounts Payable Section is responsible for the central input of batches from departments to the Financial Information System (FIS), the on-line approval of batches input by migrated departments and devolved input offices, control of the Purchase Ledger, including the production and despatch of cheques and the distribution of monthly transaction reports to departments.

The section also deal with other manual input including Inter Department Transfers (IDT), sales invoices and receipt batches and the associated detailed batch checking, reconciliation and control procedures that go with it.

The following list is a summary of the main service standards. A more detailed Service Standard document is attached which covers all aspects of the work carried out by the section. Additional copies are available on request from the Accounts Payable office or from the Secretary to the Director, Financial Systems.

• Supplier Payment Batches (PINV)

Input and on-line approval of Non Migrated Department batches to FIS within five working days of receipt in AP office.

On-line approval of Migrated Department batches, entered to FIS locally, within three working days of receipt in AP office.

• Expense Claim Batches (PPAN)

Input and on-line approval of Non Migrated Department batches to FIS within three working days of receipt in AP office.

On-line approval of Migrated Department batches, entered to FIS locally, within three working days of receipt in AP office.

• Despatch of supplier and expense cheques within two working days after each payment run. Issue remittance advice for BACS payment (by email or fax) at latest on the day the payment is credited to payee bank account.

• Staff and supplier telephone queries to be dealt with immediately or within one working day if not straightforward. Written queries to be responded to within two working days of receipt in AP office.

• Monthly transaction reports will be despatched to Departments within two working days of their production after month end.

• Service times 9am to 5pm excluding lunch break from 1pm to 2pm.

The service standards are subject to there being a reasonable flow of work (i.e. large numbers of batches are not delivered to the Accounts Payable Section just before a weekly or month end deadline), the forms have been properly completed and authorised and are legible.

Accounts Payable Section Service Standards - Detail

Since the introduction of the new Financial Information System (FIS), the Accounts Payable Section (AP) no longer treat all supplier invoice and expense payments received from departments in the same way.

Non-migrated departments (i.e. those not using the on-line purchasing module) send completed batches to AP for data input and secondary approval. Migrated departments (i.e. those using the on-line purchasing module) input their batches directly onto the system and then send batches to AP for tertiary (final) approval.

Since the introduction of the BACS payment method payments are made either by cheque or directly into payee bank accounts via BACS.

Cheque payment runs are processed twice each week on a Tuesday and Friday while BACS payment runs are processed each Thursday for transmission to BACS on a Friday, with payments credited to payee bank accounts the following Tuesday (in line with the BACS 3 day processing cycle).

Supplier Payments (PINV & PCRN)

Non-Migrated Departments: Batches prepared by departments will be input to FIS and given secondary approval within five working days of receipt in the AP office.

Migrated Departments: Batches are entered on to FIS and given secondary approval in the department, before being sent to AP section. On-line tertiary approval will be given in AP section within three working days of receipt in the AP office.

This is subject to there being a reasonable flow of work (i.e. large numbers of batches are not delivered to the Accounts Payable Section just before a weekly or month end deadline), the forms have been properly completed and authorised and are legible.

Cheque: In normal circumstances the supplier cheques are produced 15 days after the invoice date input onto the system. This allows sufficient time for the cheques to be despatched and received and banked by the company before the invoice falls due (the due date is normally within 30 days from the invoice date).

On request, this can be changed to ensure that a particular payment will be made in the next available cheque run. Some suppliers are set up to override the due date to ensure that all invoices are paid on the next available cheque run, e.g. for utilities such as gas, electricity and telephone.

Supplier cheques will be despatched within two working days of a payment run and are normally sent by second class post.

BACS: The due date for payment when processing a BACS payment run is set at 8 days from the payment run date. This allows all invoices due for payment before the following weeks BACS run to be included and allows sufficient time for the BACS processing cycle to make the payment directly into the payee bank account (the due date is normally within 30 days from the invoice date).

A remittance advice is sent by either fax or email and all supplier remittances are sent the night before the payment is credited to the suppliers' bank account.

Expense Claims and Similar Payments (PPAN)

Non-Migrated Departments: Batches prepared by departments will be input to FIS and given secondary approval within three working days of receipt in the AP office.

Migrated Departments: Batches are entered on to FIS and given secondary approval in the department, before the hard copy batch is sent to AP section. On-line tertiary approval will be given in AP section within three working days of receipt in the AP office.

This is subject to there being a reasonable flow of work (i.e. large numbers of batches are not delivered to the Accounts Payable Section just before a weekly or month end deadline), the forms have been properly completed and authorised and are legible.

Cheque: All payments to individuals are made on the next available cheque run after on-line approval has been given.

Expense payment cheques will be despatched within two working days of a payment run and will be sent by either internal mail or second class post. On request, cheques will be made available for collection within one working day of a payment run.

BACS: All payments are made on the next available BACS run after on-line approval has been given and in line with the 3 day BACS processing cycle.

A remittance advice is sent by either fax or email by the morning of the day the payment is credited to the payee bank account.

Payroll and other Automatic Input Batches

As well as the monthly payroll cheque batches other batches, which usually consist of a large number of similar payments (e.g. studentship payments made by Financial Accounting, student access fund payments made by Student Finance), can be automatically imported on to FIS by MSD.

Payroll cheque batches will be processed, and the cheques produced on a separate payment run, within one working day of receipt of the batch in the AP office. Agreement has been reached with Human Resources that the monthly payroll cheques will be available for collection by 4pm, provided a signed batch is received in the AP office by 10am that day.

On-line approval of other automatic input batches will be given within one working day of receipt of the batch in the AP office, after import by MSD. The cheques/BACS payments will normally be produced at the same time as the next scheduled payment runs.

Sales Invoice and Receipt Batches (SINV, SREN & SREC)

Sales Invoice and receipt batches will be input to FIS within ten working days of receipt in the AP office provided that there is a reasonable flow of work and that forms are properly completed and authorised.

There still tends to be a major increase in the number of these batches received towards the end of each month. Where this happens it is not possible to achieve reasonable input times. In general, sales and receipt batches receive a higher priority towards the month end and most batches are entered before the period closes. At the end of VAT quarters the Accounts Receivable Module is kept open for approximately five days and input is brought up to date.

Inter Department Transfer (IDT)

The IDT is a dual-purpose form which can be used for transfers between departments (inter dept. transfer) and transfers between codes within the department (intra dept. transfer).

Intra Department Transfers for Non-Migrated Departments: Batches prepared by departments will be input to FIS and given secondary approval within ten working days of receipt in the AP office.

Intra Department Transfers for Migrated Departments: Batches are entered on to FIS and given secondary approval in the department, before being sent to AP section. On-line tertiary approval will be given in AP section within ten working days of receipt in the AP office.

Inter Department Transfers: The procedure in AP section is the same for both migrated and non migrated departments. Batches prepared by departments will be input to FIS and given secondary approval within ten working days of receipt in the AP office.

This is subject to there being a reasonable flow of work (i.e. large numbers of batches are not delivered to the Accounts Payable Section just before a weekly or month end deadline), the forms have been properly completed and authorised and are legible.

Notification of Errors to Departments

Where batches are rejected and the reason appears to be obvious e.g. batch total is different from the total of the invoices in the batch, then AP staff will amend the records and dispatch written notification to the source department within two working days of processing the batch.

If GL codes are rejected, either due to an invalid account code or analysis code, AP staff will advise departments by telephone or by memorandum within two working days of processing the batch. If an account and analysis code combination is not valid, then AP staff will amend the code, where it appears obvious what was intended, and dispatch written notification to the source department of the correct combination within two working days of processing the batch.

Where research grant codes are rejected or the analysis code is invalid, AP staff will advise the source department or Research Services, whichever is appropriate, by telephone or by memorandum within two working days of processing the batch.

All other batches with errors will also be dealt with by telephone or by written notification within two working days of processing the batch.

Set Up/Amendment of Supplier Details

In order for migrated departments to process purchase orders, supplier invoice and expense payments they require the payee details (i.e. supplier code, supplier site, etc.) to be set up on FIS.

Requests for new suppliers and amendments to existing supplier details will be actioned within one working day of receipt in the AP office. Where a request contains a large number of amendments this may not always be possible. Departments will be advised if requests are likely to take more than two working days to complete.

Monthly Transaction Reports

Transaction and balance reports will be despatched to departments within two working days of their production after month end, except at the end of the financial year when the following exceptions apply:

Full reports for the July accounting period will be issued at the end of August and re-issued at the end of September. After the first set of July reports are issued only adjustments authorised by Finance and Business Affairs may be posted to the July accounting period. The final July reports will include all year end entries

Monthly transaction/balances reports will not normally be issued for the August accounting period. The September reports will include August and September transactions.

Dealing with Queries

Queries from staff or suppliers who can quote either a batch or document number will normally be answered immediately or within one working day. Where, because of the nature of the query, it is not possible to meet the above timetable, the staff member or supplier will be kept informed of progress.

Queries from staff or suppliers who are unable to quote a batch or document number will normally be referred to the appropriate source department. If supplier invoices are held up in departments and therefore not traceable on FIS, it is the responsibility of departmental staff to resolve the problem.

Service Times

The AP office will be open for both personal and telephone callers from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Telephone

Staff will give the section and name of staff member when answering the telephone .

Correspondence

Staff will give the name of the sender in letters, memos or compliment slips, together with telephone number and extension, and location as appropriate.

Messages

Staff will take a message if the relevant member of staff is not available and they themselves are not able to deal with the query.

Confidentiality

Staff will maintain confidentiality of information, particularly in respect of students and staff, but also in respect of suppliers and any other financial data used by or held in the section.

This page last modified March 22, 2013 by Web Editor

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