Generally, the first step to paying a supplier invoice is the requirement of a UNSW Purchase Order, quoting the purchase order number on your supplier invoice will also generally speed up the payment process. You can request a purchase order here.
To process your invoices and payments for goods and services you will work in partnership with Accounts Payable (AP) staff using the finance online management system - New South Financials (NS Financials) and your financial delegate/s.
The following outlines what you have to do and how it all works.
- Invoice processing
To ensure smooth payment of your faculty's or department's invoices, purchase order creating, goods receipting and prompt submission of invoices to Accounts Payable (AP) through New South Financials (NSF) is essential.
Note that to begin the first step of the invoice processing – to raise a purchase order.
Contact your Finance Services Team and request a purchase order. Once there is a Purchase Order in the system and an invoice is received it will proceed to payment once you confirm receipt of the goods or invoice. Your Finance Services Team member can also help you with this.
The University uses the matching process to proceed to invoice payment, there are two ways this is done depending on the vendor you used.
Two-way matching: NS Financials automatically matches the invoice with the purchase order to facilitate payment. If there is a variance between amounts NS Financials will provide an exception report to AP and you will be contacted to resolve the issue.
Three-way matching: NS Financials automatically matches the invoice and receipt with the purchase order to facilitate payment. If there is a variance between amounts NSF will provide an exception report to AP and you will be contacted to resolve the issue. Note that three-way matching is the preferred payment method to use.
When providing invoices to AP these should be in a PDF format (either scanned or supplied as a PDF by the vendor) and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The invoice must be addressed to UNSW
- The vendor invoice must include: sale price, GST, and their Australian Business Number (ABN)
- The invoice must clearly state the vendor’s name, business address, amount and description of goods and/or services
- The UNSW purchase order number must be clearly displayed.
Invoices with UNSW purchase orders must meet the three-way matching requirements (see above).
As outlined previously, unsuccessful three-way or two-way matching in NSF will result in an exception error report being automatically produced and sent to AP. Invoices with exceptions are put on hold until these are resolved between you and AP.
Payment request form (PR1): The UNSW Purchasing Policy supports the use of purchase orders accompanied by invoice and receipt (three-way matching) as the preferred method of purchasing. However, it is recognised that at times there are some approved payment types where a purchase order and invoice are not appropriate. In this case you can use a “Payment Request Form-PR1” for application.
- Payment processing
Invoices received by AP that meet all the requirements outlined in Invoice Processing will be processed through NS financials within three business days and payment remittances emailed to the vendor with payment details.
Payment cycles occur every Tuesday and Friday for local vendors, employee and student reimbursements and overseas vendors. If a payment falls on a public holiday the payment will be processed the following day.
You should note there are different systems for domestic and overseas payments:
Domestic: Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) is the preferred payment method and cheques should only be used in exceptional circumstances (e.g. when EFT is not available such as prizes).
Overseas: Wire transfer payments are the preferred option. Drafts (bank cheque in another currency) should only be used in exceptional circumstances.
Payment terms: UNSW’s default payment terms are 30 days at the end of month from invoice date. Where payment terms are less than 30 days, a higher payment term should be negotiated wherever possible. If no payment term is specified the 30 days rule will be applied. Any changes to the standard payment terms must be channelled through AP with an explanation in order to amend the vendor information.
- Payment advances
If you do not hold a UNSW credit card or exceptional circumstances exist, there are a couple of ways you can receive payment advances.
Travel Advances: You may require a Travel Advance when you do not hold a UNSW credit card or the one you have cannot be used. This is a request for funds in advance to cover your travel on approved University business.
The travel advance process is as follows:
- Apply for your travel advance in MyTravel, when you have your pre-trip approval use it as supporting documentation to request the payment of the advance in Concur (My Expenses).
Non-Travel Advances: If you require funds for activities other than travel, you should apply for a Non-Travel Advance. Again this is when you do not have a UNSW credit card or it cannot be used.
The Non-Travel Advance process is as follows:
- Apply for a cash advance in Concur (My Expenses)
Click here to find out more about travel or cash advances.
- Other payments
In addition to standard invoicing payments there are other payment methods you may be required to use for your faculty’s or department’s business. These payment methods are as follows:
Asset instalments: This is where you will have a multi-line purchase order indicating milestone payments over time. You should diarise these for a smooth process and ensure receipting is completed according to these payment due dates. This requires a copy of the invoice or pro-forma invoice marked as “PREPAYMENT” be sent to Accounts Payable (AP) for processing. For more information click here.
Express payments: These are payments you need to be made quickly. However theses should only be requested from AP if the following criteria are met:
- Significant penalties or late fees will be incurred or discount foregone if not paid immediately
- Immediate payment is required to meet UNSW statutory or compliance obligations (e.g. tax or payroll).
You are required to have all express payments approved by the Associate Director – Finance Shared Services or nominated financial delegate. Please note that express payments are limited to electronic funds transfer (EFT) only.
Student and employee reimbursements: This is when you are refunded when personal funds are used to incur UNSW related expenditure. Reimbursements are processed through the expense module in NS Financials and you should have approval from your financial delegation. To ensure prompt and efficient payment any changes to your personal details should be updated via MYUNSW. The approver has to also ensure that the expenditure is appropriate and that receipts and tax invoices are attached to the claim.
Payment channels: UNSW maintains multiple payments methods as part of its commitment to efficiently pay for goods and or services provided. The following payments channels should be used to maintain payment efficiency and effectiveness:
- Student and employee reimbursement: The expense module in NS Financials must be used for employee and student reimbursements.
- Credit card: UNSW credit cards are intended to provide an efficient method of purchasing travel, accommodation and low value goods and services where no preferred supplier agreement is in place for UNSW business purposes. Use of credit cards should strictly follow the credit card procedure.
- Supplier payment: Domestic payment and overseas payment.
- Foreign Currency Payments
If you have been invoiced in a foreign currency, UNSW has policies and procedures in place to mitigate the risk of currency exposure to the University.
Invoice of more than or equal to AUD 50,000 equivalent: Requesting a fixed FX rate is mandatory and completion of a fixed rate form is required.
Invoice of under AUD 50,000 equivalent: Requesting a fixed FX rate is not required. Please raise a purchase order as per the regular process for AUD payments.
Fixed Rate Form: There are two options for you to request a fixed rate for your foreign currency invoice:
- Excel based form – FC2 Form
- Web based form – found in myUNSW / My Finance / Finance Services / Buying / Request a foreign currency PO with a hedge
If using the FC2 form, you will need to email the completed form to your Finance Service Team (FST) to be processed. If using the web form, this will be sent to FST automatically once you click on Submit.
UNSW Policy and Procedures: Foreign Currency payments are noted as per section 4.23 of the Procurement Procedure and section 6.3.3 of the Treasury Procedure.
For queries relating to Foreign Currency Payments please contact your Finance Service Team member, or alternatively you can email Treasury directly at email@example.com .
For inquiries please contact Finance Helpdesk on x53330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.