Purchase Order - Step 5
Invoice processing and payment activities, though Accounts Payable (A/P) functions, are driven largely by the University's business and financial system (BEN Financials). Therefore, the extent to which the customer, requisitioner, P.O. manager, and supplier adhere to Penn's Procure-to-Pay (P2P) process (as outlined in previous steps) directly determines A/P's ability to process and pay a supplier invoice within terms (typically 30 days; 7 days for EDI suppliers). When all participants in the P2P process follow University policy, supplier payments become straightforward: a supplier invoice is received by A/P, scanned into the A/P system either electronically or manually, and matched with its corresponding P.O. Provided the invoice and P.O. are consistent, the invoice is approved for payment and the funding source account charged. Delayed payments usually have one of two causes:
- The supplier did not send the invoice directly to A/P. An invoice cannot be considered submitted until it has been received by A/P personnel for processing. Suppliers cannot send invoices directly to the customer or requisitioner; they must send invoices directly to A/P as instructed on the P.O. to avoid unnecessary delays.
- The P.O. manager did not release an "invoice hold." If there is a discrepancy between an invoice and its corresponding P.O.—product ordered, quantity, price, or other variable does not match—the invoice is automatically placed on hold. The P.O. manager will receive an alert to clear the hold and to approve the invoice for payment. The P.O. manager must proactively manage and clear invoice holds to avoid unnecessary delays in invoice payment.