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Division of Business and Finance

East Tennessee State University

FP-5 Receipt of Materials/Approval of Invoices
I.   Receipt of Material
II.  General Policy Regarding Payment of Invoices
III. Departmental Responsibility in Processing Payments
IV. Approval of an Invoice for Payment


I. Receipt of Material

A. Central Receiving

University Purchase Orders and  Procard orders specify the location to which orders are to be delivered. University Purchase Orders will normally be delivered to Central Receiving. Procard orders may be delivered to Central Receiving or directly to the department.

When deliveries are made to Central Receiving, employees of Central Receiving will:

1. Compare the number of cartons or packages with the shipping documents.

2. Inspect for visible damage; note damages on the shipping document and obtain the delivery driver's signature.

3. Compare the delivery to the purchasing information and make appropriate entries into the FRS Purchasing System regarding purchase orders.

4. Prepare delivery sheets.

5. Deliver the material or equipment to the appropriate department, and obtain a signature from the person accepting the delivery.

B. When deliveries are made to the department, employees of the department will:

1. Compare the material or equipment received with the ordering records immediately upon receipt for conformity as to the specifications and quantity. The date received, quantity and condition of the items should be noted on the ordering records.

2. Report any deviation from specifications, shortages, damages, etc. to the purchasing agent in writing. The purchasing agent will initiate the communications with the vendor, except for apparent damage in transit, in which case the department should contact Central Receiving, who will file the proper claims with the vendor and shipper.

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II. General Policy Regarding Payment of Invoices

A. In order to make payment to an outside vendor, the Accounts Payable Section of the Financial Services Office must have the original invoice. If the original is not received, the requisitioner must make a statement to that effect on the invoice copy and certify that the invoice has not been previously processed for payment. Accounts Payable cannot pay a monthly statement unless supported by original copies of delivery tickets supporting the amount of the statement. The invoices must not be approved and sent to Accounts Payable for payment until all of the items covered by the invoice have been received in good order.

B. Vendors have the right to expect prompt payment by the University after delivery. Each department head is responsible to insure that invoices are promptly processed for payment. Should an invoice not be within 30 days of receipt, the University may be required to pay interest at 1 1/2% per month which will be charged to the requisitioning department. 
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III. Departmental Responsibility in Processing Payments 

There are three methods for making payments to vendors. The departmental responsibilities are detailed for each of the methods below.

A. Pre-Approval of Invoices

Purchases made by purchase order generally will not receive a copy of the invoice. The Financial Services Office will ensure that the material has been received, and that the quantity and price on the invoice match that of the PO. Once this match has been established, the Financial Services Office will consider the invoice to be pre-approved and will make payment on the appropriate date. It is the departments responsibility to ensure that the material is as ordered and is in good working order. Any problems with an item should be reported to Purchasing immediately. Purchasing will freeze the purchase order until the issue can be resolved. This procedure will not be used for the following types of invoices: subscriptions or copiers with varying charges to several departments.

B. Invoices on which departmental approval is required

The invoice must be compared to the notation made on the purchase order at the time of delivery to insure that the material has been received (See paragraph I.B. above). At the same time the unit price must be verified.

Extensions and additions on all invoices must be verified. If errors are noted, the purchasing department must be contacted for instructions in handling.

The requisitioner must affix his/her signature of approval on the invoice. Initials, rubber stamp or other facsimile is not permitted. If the purchase order number does not appear on the invoice, it must be written in a conspicuous place. If the invoice is not covered by a purchase order, the account number to be charged must be indicated directly on the invoice.

C. Payment For Procurement Card Transactions

The department user will receive a monthly summary statement from the bank that issues the procurement card. Any discrepancies are handled between the departmental purchaser and the vendors. If a particular transaction is in dispute, the departmental purchaser is to communicate directly with the bank. All procurement card records are to be maintained in the department.

Accounting will pay the bank on a monthly basis for all procurement card transactions, except those transactions in dispute.
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IV. Approval of an Invoice for Payment

Approval of an invoice for payment certifies to the Financial Services Office that:

A. The merchandise or service has been received, is acceptable and is in conformity to the purchase order,

B. That the account charged is the proper one and that funds are available to cover the expenditure.
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Original effective date: April 9, 1982
Revised: October 1, 1987; October 16, 2000; October 1, 2001; November 20, 2003; February 22, 2010      
Last review: November 20, 2003

Web page last updated 2/22/2010

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