Overview of Payment Methods

There are a number of processes through which the University of Oxford can make payments to suppliers, organisations and individuals. The following list provides an overview of these processes.

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The primary route for all purchases of goods and services is to raise a purchase order via Oracle Financials, following the purchase to pay process. In limited circumstances, a PO is not required, and the invoice can be processed directly.

A purchase order enables the purchase to be appropriately authorised; University terms and conditions issued to the supplier; monitoring of progress; and monitoring against budget.

Individuals supplying a commercial service may be paid via the purchase to pay process (i.e. submit an invoice). However, every engagement should be assessed carefully to understand whether it should be treated as employment for tax purposes and paid through payroll.

All invoices must be processed through Accounts Payable.

Payments of both UK and overseas suppliers normally take place on a weekly cycle. There are also facilities for urgent cheque payment and same-day electronic payment (for which there is a charge).

The recurring invoices form may be used for repeat invoice payments or other payments such as repeat payments to students.

When it is not possible or practical to order via the standard purchasing process a University Barclaycard   can be used. This will typically be limited to low value spend, for example conference bookings or internet purchases where justified as the most appropriate supplier. For small one-off purchases, it may be more appropriate to use a credit card than to set up a supplier on Oracle Financials.

If an individual holds a University Barclaycard, expenditure should be in line with the expenses principles. The credit card should only be used when it is not possible or practical for the University to pay directly.

When it is not possible or practical for the University to pay directly, an individual may make the purchase and reclaim the cost via the expenses process. Any purchase via expenses should be in line with the expenses principles.

The expenses process is used primarily when travelling for work, for example for subsistence costs.

Travel costs may be claimed via the expenses but where possible should be paid for directly using the University’s preferred supplier where possible.

The purchase of minor or incidental items may also be made via expenses.

Petty Cash   floats can be used for minor or incidental expenditure such as delivery fees, postal charges to a limit of £30.

Petty Cash should only be used where alternative purchase routes are not available.

Payment request forms should be used for payments that are initiated by the University, and are not payments for goods or services. Examples include scholarships, prizes, and payments to study participants.

Payment request forms should never be used to make payments to trading bodies. If an invoice is received, it must be processed as an invoice through the purchase to pay process.

Internal trade is the buying and selling of goods or services between departments of the University (including St Cross and Kellogg colleges).

Where the most appropriate supplier of ad-hoc goods/services is identified as another University department, the internal trade process should be followed, unless there is a specific alternative system in place (e.g. Planon).

Payments of both UK and overseas suppliers normally take place on a weekly cycle. There are also facilities for urgent cheque payment and same-day electronic payment (for which there is a charge).

The main payment run for all UK payments takes place each Friday. Invoices or expense claims received by the Payments Team by 5pm on Tuesday or input locally within departments by 5pm on Wednesday will be included in the weekly run if they are due for payment.

Supplier payments are made in UK pounds sterling (GBP) except where there are unavoidable operational reasons for a payment to be made in a foreign currency, including where the recipient bank account will only accept payment in a particular currency.  

Foreign currency payments, with the exception of certain US Dollar payments, are usually made weekly on Monday. Invoices received by the Payments Team by 5pm on Tuesday or input locally within departments by 5pm on Friday will be included in the weekly run if they are due for payment. Payment is made via Barclays Gateway and typically a payment will take 3-5 working days to arrive in a recipients' account.

Foreign cheque payments are no longer a valid payment option offered by the University (as of February 2016). All payments overseas must be paid directly into a bank account. 

Recipients of overseas payments may not receive the exact same value into their bank account as the value that was sent from the University. This can be due to currency exchange rates, the need for banks to convert our payment into the currency of the bank account or a handling fee by the recipient or intermediary banks. Bank charges are not taken by the University's bankers and we have no prior knowledge of when a bank fee will be incurred. We advise that recipients are made aware that there is the potential that a bank fee may be incurred and therefore they may receive in the region of £20 (or equivalent) less into their bank account than the value of the claim/invoice they submit for reimbursement/payment.

If you require a payment to be made outside of the weekly payment run cycle please contact the Payments Team to discuss the options available.  Please note payments outside of the weekly payment run cycle cannot be guaranteed and charges will apply to any urgent BACS transfer due to additional bank charges.

Completed paperwork must be provided to the Payments Supervisor no later than 11am on the day the payment is to be made in order to meet the processing deadline (in most circumstances delivery of original paperwork is required).

Facilities exist for making regular payments via direct debit. For more information on making payments via this route, please contact Treasury.

Facilities also exist for making cash cheque payments to individuals who do not have UK bank accounts but need to access the funds whilst in the UK. Such payments are limited to £500 per cheque. Please alert a member of the Payments Team if you need to use this facility or mark the payment request clearly with a request for 'cash cheque'. 

Departmental finance staff will be informed when the cash cheque is ready for collection. The recipient should collect the cheque from Hythe Bridge Street ensuring they bring their passport with them for proof of identification. 

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 : Payment Services
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       Oxford OX1 2ET

 payments@admin.ox.ac.uk
 :  01865 (6) 16016
 :  Team contacts  

 
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