With the launch of OneUniversity, the University is implementing a ‘No PO No Pay’ policy.

What’s changing?

With the launch of OneUniversity, the University is implementing a ‘No PO No Pay’ policy. This effectively means that invoices from suppliers MUST quote a valid OneUniversity Purchase Order (PO) number in order for them to be processed and ultimately paid by Accounts Payable. If an invoice is received and it doesn’t quote a valid OneUniversity PO number, then the invoice will be returned to the supplier, who should go back to the requester of the goods/ services to obtain a valid PO number.

Why is this changing?

'No PO No Pay' policies are commonplace across most organisations of our size and complexity. The policy encourages transactions with external suppliers to be processed on the OneUniversity system. If transactions aren't processed on the established system then, as well as breaching the University’s Finance Regulations, the individual is likely to have no auditable record of the transaction (including any approval). Also, there's no record of the financial commitment which impacts on managing the University’s budgets. This lack of control would be of concern to both internal and external auditors as well as grant providers, potentially jeopardising future funding.

What does this mean?

Except in the case of allowed exceptions (which you can find in the table below) and transactions paid using a University of Dundee purchasing card (p-card), UoD members of staff who need to buy goods and services from external suppliers should do so using the OneUniversity system.

No PO No Pay Exceptions

There are some exceptions to the policy where a PO is not appropriate for the type of supplier or transaction. There is a perception that it’s impossible to raise a purchase order for a requirement unless a final price is known and that the final price is only known when the invoice has been received.

This would make budget management in the University extremely difficult given that there will be no commitment on the finance system prior to the invoice being received.

Also, it doesn’t allow the University to establish the terms of the agreement with the supplier for scope of work, terms and conditions, etc.

There are varying solutions to this, however some of them such as retrospective POs (raised after the invoice is received) or
POs raised for £0.01 have similar issues. Therefore, the advice is to:

  • Raise the PO in advance and use it as a means to engage with the supplier (establish the scope of work and the terms of the agreement/purchase); and
  • Ensure the amount on the PO is based on a realistic estimate.

List of exceptions:

Expenditure typeExamplesFuture processException

Spreadsheet upload

Payroll, GP Practice Study Payments, Student Funding

Spreadsheet upload

YES

Consolidated invoices

e.g. Key Travel, Maestro, Canon

Consolidated Invoice

YES

Direct Debit

Fuel Cards, Barclaycard, Royal Mail, etc.

Direct Debit

YES

Pro-forma invoices

Conferences, Room Hire, Accommodation, etc

P-card wherever possible. No PO, No Pay exception only if P-card not accepted by supplier

YES – only if P-card not accepted

Self-Assessment/ IR35

Services normally provided by sole traders.

E.g. Artists fees, specialist training providers, etc

Manual process

YES

Rates/Council Tax

N/A

Manual Process

YES

Utilities

N/A

Manual Process

YES

NHS Charges (Estates)

N/A

Manual Process

YES

Contributions to collaborative research projects with other Higher Education Institutions

N/A

Manual Process

YES

Note: This list of exceptions is for reference purposes only and will be reviewed and updated from time to time. Please refer to the most recent version available on the Procurement webpages.

How's it going to work?

Invoices received with a valid OneUniversity PO number will be processed as normal by Accounts Payable. Invoices received without a valid OneUniversity PO number will be returned to the supplier and the requisitioner will have to raise a retrospective order on the OneUniversity system. Any delay with this process leaves the University at the risk of being put on hold by the supplier and incurring a financial penalty.

A suite of FAQs, including the list of exceptions, form part of the guidance around the policy which is available on the OneUniversity Knowledge Base located within the IT portal at help4u.dundee.ac.uk

Need more help?

Business Transformation
business-transformation@dundee.ac.uk