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Research Project Invoicing Procedure

Category Finance
Type Procedure
Approved by Chief Financial Officer
Date Procedure Took Effect 5 January 2015
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Officer Senior Management Accountant
Review Date 5 January 2017

Purpose

This procedure is a supplement to the Accounts Receivable Procedure providing tailored guidance for those responsible for externally funded research projects.

Organisational Scope

This procedure applies to all University staff with responsibility for the management or administrative support of externally funded research projects.

Definitions

  • Credit Sale - A credit sale results in an invoice being created and given or sent to the purchaser who will then send payment back at a later date.
  • Debtor – A person or entity owing funds to the University

Policy Content

Probity

All staff members having responsibility for invoicing must ensure that business is conducted in the University’s interest and avoid any situation that may impinge or may be deemed to impinge on impartiality.

Confidentiality of customer information must be maintained as well as information related to revenue such as pricing and discounts.

Staff members should never accept gifts, gratuities or any benefits that may influence or be seen to influence equity or impartiality in completing their responsibilities for managing the University’s revenue.

Responsibilities

Cost Centres and the Research Office
Debtor Accounts

Debtors are held in the financial system in unique accounts. The debtor account is used to make credit sales by raising an invoice against the account. Existing accounts with a nil balance that have not had any activity for 18 months and no signed Debtor Account Application form is on file are made inactive. The Accounts Receivable – Account Application – Research Funder form is used to request an account be reactivated. The form is also used to have new debtors set up in the financial system.

Invoicing

All revenue transactions are recorded in the University’s financial system, Finance One, using an appropriate invoice format. No off system invoices or emails should be made to customers to communicate amounts due or adjustments to amounts due. Communication of amounts to be paid is always made via an invoice issued from Finance One. The Accounts Receivable Procedure states that an “…invoice is required in all circumstances where a cash sale is not made.”

Some funders make regular electronic payments to the University. These receipts also require an invoice. This ensures that all revenue is properly documented and facilitates any future necessary account adjustments. In these cases, an invoice would be generated against which payments are applied, but the invoice would not be sent to the customer.

Invoices can only be sent to Funders once they have been reviewed and posted to the Finance One ledger by the Revenue Management Office. This is to ensure that any issues with the invoice can be resolved prior to the Funder receiving the invoice.

Credit Notes

Credit notes are used to cancel invoices either in whole or in part and are used to:
• Correct errors in the original invoice
• Account for the return of unspent funds
• Amend the debtor account for a price dispute

Because GST is paid by the University to the IRD as soon as a GST invoice is issued it is important that any credit notes be issued promptly.

Credit notes should not be sent to customers prior to posting for those reasons described in the invoicing section above.

See the Finance One Accounts Receivable Manual for information on how to create a credit note.

Revenue Management Office, Financial Services Division
Maintenance of Debtor Accounts

The Revenue Management Office is responsible for the maintenance of the debtors account list. Where no transactions have been entered against a debtor account in the previous 18 months and no completed Account Application form is on file the account will be removed from the Debtors list and the procedures for the creation of an account will apply.

Review and Posting of Transactions

The Revenue Management Office, Financial Services Division, is responsible for the posting of all Accounts Receivable related transactions. Any transaction entered into Finance One may be examined and referred to other members of the Financial Services Division for review prior to posting of the document.

Collection

The Revenue Management Office is responsible for collection of University debt employing, but not limited to, those procedures identified in the Accounts Receivable Procedure.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

For further information, contact the Senior Management Accountant, extn 8222 or email michael.mcalpine@otago.ac.nz