The creation and sending of invoices or bills to your customers and receipting of money received is usually handled by UNSW faculties, whilst debt collection is managed by both the faculty and Finance's Accounts Receivable (AR) department.
Overall, we are here to help you raise charges for goods and services, manage customers and guide you through any processes.
The following outlines what you have to do and how it all works:
- Customer creation
To get your invoice and billing processes started the first step is to create a new customer by completing the "Customer Requests" form found in the Finance Portal under the "To Create" menu and which requires the following information:
- Trading name and ABN
- Customer contact details – contact name, phone, fax and email
- Billing address.
If your customer already exists you will be notified by email. If all is in order you will be notified within 48 hours by email that your new customer account is set up and ready to go.
If you need to amend the records at any time please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Invoices & credit notes
Your Faculty or Division has its own allocated staff to raise invoices to bill customers as this process is not centralised. This means an invoice can be raised by a variety of users around the University using NS Financials. If you have any questions you can contact your Finance Services Team for your Faculty.
All Credit Notes for the University and its subsidiaries must also be raised through Accounts Receivable (AR), except for UNSW Canberra and Research Finance.
To raise an invoice thorough AR you need to fill out a Request for Tax Invoice Form and before you do it’s important you have the following information:
- Description of goods and services being billed
- The account details – account or fund code plus department and project ID showing where the revenue is to be allocated
- Billing amount and GST information
- Relevant customer contact information.
If your information is incomplete your application will be rejected, so make sure you have the information required as this also minimises billing errors and ensures accurate accounts. Once AR receives your application and all is well, your invoice will be processed within 48 hours and a confirmation email sent to you. To generate a same day invoice read this quick reference guide for information.
A Credit Note is issued when an invoice has incorrect information or when billed goods or services have not been delivered or performed.
To raise a Credit Note a Credit Note Request form should be completed making sure:
- The request is approved by your appropriate delegation
- It includes the relevant invoice number and whether it is a partial or complete credit note
- All the information required is provided.
Once submitted your application will be finalised within 48 hours and you will be notified via email.
There are a variety of debts you may seek to be managed by Accounts Receivable (AR):
- Sundry Debt – which are outstanding invoices from non-student related customers
- Sponsor Debt – where a student’s sponsor/s, usually from foreign countries, still have to pay
- Student Debt – where a student has not paid relevant fees and charges following the census date, which is the last date they can withdraw from a course without financial penalty
- Bad Debt – this is where a debt is considered non-payable and written off.
The processes for each in brief for each are as follows:
On a daily basis AR will review debts based on an invoice’s age. If debts are overdue a first reminder is emailed to the biller and the customer. If not paid after 30 days the biller will be advised that a letter of demand will be sent to the customer demanding payment, with a final demand sent if there is no payment received within in a further 15 days. Customers that do not respond to final demands are referred to an appointed debt collection agency and possible legal action.
Note that bank charges that arise when a Sundry Debtor is settled are charged to your business unit. In turn, foreign exchange gains or losses that arise are charged centrally.
Sponsors are usually supporters of students and often from overseas. As with Sundry Debt these debts are reviewed regularly and similar follow up occurs. If the debt remains unpaid 30 days from the date of the Reminder Notice 2 and following after consultation with relevant UNSW office/department, a block will be placed on the Sponsored Student account. Sponsor and sponsored student will be advised that the Sponsored Student account has been blocked and that the debt responsibility now rests with the sponsor student and that this debt may be referred to debt collection agencies.
A student will be in debt if they have not paid their course fees two weeks after the census date. AR provides each Faculty,Division and Student Central list of students in debt that have been sent a letter reminding them to pay within three weeks. Following this time a final notice is sent again asking for payment within another three weeks. If this is still not paid the debt is referred to a collection agency and possible legal action. Students can apply for a payment plan through Student Central but this must be done before the Census date. Following this date, payment extensions or instalments must be authorised by AR.
This can only be written off by the Associate Director, Finance Shared Services and the Director of Finance. To request to write off a Bad Debt, you should complete a Bad Debt Write-off form ensuring you contain all the necessary invoice and contract information then sent to AR for processing.
For a Bad Debt write-off to occur the following conditions should be met first:
- The debtor has moved address and cannot be located (students only)
- It is uneconomical to retrieve the debt because it is so small and cost to retrieve is greater than the debt
- The debtor is bankrupt in receivership or liquidation
- Legal proceedings have proved successful or legal advice is not to pursue
- The debt collection agency has advised it is no longer cost-effective to pursue the debt.
- Receipting, banking & Credit cards
The Financial Operations team in Accounts Receivable (AR) ensures that all bank statements are receipted daily through OneStop & NSFinancials and incorporated into the general ledger. If a customer has not provided the relevant reference number to an invoice or job, or an invoice was not provided, the receipt will be assigned to ‘unallocated monies’ until this can be assigned to an existing invoice which will be searched for. Alternatively AR will raise an invoice if this has not been done. After more than one year any unallocated monies will be transferred to ‘Other Miscellaneous Income’ in Central Finance.
Receipting channels are as follows:
- An electronic direct deposit to the University bank account
- Cashless receipts e.g. Credit Cards, EFTPOS, Webpay and BPay
- Western Union for overseas receipts (students only.
Credit Card Guidelines
Credit Card payments must follow the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) guidelines, which are requirements to ensure that companies that process, store or transmit credit card information do so in a secure environment.
Note that no credit card payments will be received over the phone and credit card payment authorisation forms are not accepted.
For Credit Card refunds AR will organise this to go back to the originating card. Exceptions include:
- If card is cancelled or lost, refunds go back to original card
- If the card holder holds a replaced card, the credit will automatically go on the new card
- If the card holder no longer has the card, a statement will be sent so they can request a refund via cheque through their bank.
For inquiries please contact Finance Helpdesk on x53330 or email email@example.com or see Guidelines, Policies and Procedures.