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Establishing new accounts

The University operates "devolved" purchasing. In practice this means that each department is responsible for placing orders, receiving invoices, checking them and passing them to the Finance Department for payment. Orders are placed subject to the University's Standard Conditions of Contract and under any special terms negotiated by the Purchasing Section, the HEPCW or national working parties.

To ensure that invoices are received and processed efficiently, it is vital that a "parent and child" account structure is established.

This means that an individual account must be generated for each departmental order/delivery point and that each department can be traced back to the University's parent account for the production of management information. Departments are encouraged to quote the correct account number when ordering, as it is easy for accounts to be confused when the supplier enters the order, due to the large number of accounts, many of which will have similar names. Suppliers are encouraged to require the correct account number and an order number are quoted and to check that the account details are correct before processing the order.

If it is necessary to complete a credit account application, the University will make a single application on behalf of all departments in relation the the "parent account" under which other accounts will be established. To ensure that deliveries can be made efficiently and that orders are only placed by staff with authority to order, each delivery point has been assigned an order number prefix which should be quoted at the time of order. A list of order number prefixes is available from Purchasing and it is important that the supplier only accepts orders with bona fide order numbers. The University cannot guarantee payment in cases where an order number has not been correctly recorded.


The Majority of departments are based near the city centre. Some University departments are based at the University Hospital of Wales and a number of departments are based at Llandough Hospital. There are also several departments at other locations in the Cardiff area and we also have one department based in Caerleon, which is about 15 miles east of Cardiff. Some departments require deliveries to be made to various locations and therefore may require several account numbers to ensure correct delivery to each location. Wherever possible, additional order number prefixes have been generated so that the delivery location can easily be identified.

The majority of deliveries made to the UHW site are received by UHW Stores department and transported to departments by stores personnel. In order to ensure that such deliveries are made in a timely and efficient manner it is imperative that delivery notes contain accurate information and include th order number with prefix. The creation of individual accounts with accurate delivery point information is therefore essential to aid efficient delivery.

Processing Invoices

Payment is made on receipt of a correctly rendered invoice showing VAT as a strictly nett additional charge (where applicable). The department will check that the details are correct before authorising the invoice for payment. If the invoice is incorrect, for example VAT has been charged in error, the invoice will be held within the department until a credit note has been received. Invoices and credits are entered onto the Finance computer system which consolidates payments to suppliers and ensures payment by BACS or cheque.


Wherever practical, suppliers should send statements to the address shown on the individual departmental "child" account. This ensures that if an invoice has gone astray action can be taken quickly to obtain and process a copy invoice. It also serves as a reminder if outstanding issues have prevented the processing of any invoice.

Management Information

At agreed intervals, suppliers are required to provide information in a suitable format for analysis. Suppliers may also be required to submit management information to the HEPCW in order to monitor the take-up of consortium agreements. Management information may include details which allows the efficiency of suppliers to be monitored and such information may be used to evaluate preferred supplier status.

Setting up an account for every departmental delivery point and analysing management information allows us to identify departments not using the account and will assist preferred suppliers in targeting departments which may be using alternative suppliers. It may also identify departments which have used the supplier but returned to alternative suppliers, possibly after perceiving shortfalls in the service provided which may not have been caused directly by the supplier. Identifying barriers to departments using preferred suppliers is vital if we are to work in partnership with preferred suppliers to promote the use of agreements and management information can play a vital role.

We see our role as working in partnership with suppliers to ensure that departments obtain value for money and quality of service in procurement and look forward to working with you.