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Creditors Guide for Schools

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Creditors Guide for Schools

The FMS creditor number is linked to a vendor number within SAP. To find the correct vendor number, please use the SAP Creditor request form.

http://bs172/schools/images/ed_paid.jpgWhen requesting or searching for a creditor number, please ensure you have the postcode and invoicing address to hand. If a creditor needs to be set up this will guarantee delivery of the remittance advice to the correct department or accounts office, reducing the number of telephone calls from suppliers who are unable to trace payments.

All FMS Creditor numbers have six continuous numbers (e.g. 206355 not 206 355). If there is a space in front of the number in your Supplier Details field it will not be recognised on transfer to the SAP Creditors system, however the transaction will appear on the printout and will reject on the interface between the two systems.

The purchasing address should be entered in your Suppliers Details field to ensure the purchase orders go to the correct address. County Councils for example, have many different departments from which you may purchase goods or services but payment must always be made to the Treasurers or Finance department.

Please be aware that you may order from one company but actually receive an invoice in a different name. You must ensure the Creditor Number you use is for the invoicing company eg Findel will invoice you for orders placed against NES Arnold, Phillip Harris, Davies Sports or LDA. Pearson Education in Oxford will invoice you for BBC Active Orders

Eform information

Following feedback received from colleagues in schools, finance have now developed a new tool to help schools get live SAP information regarding creditor numbers and requests for new vendor set ups.

This will allow schools to view creditor numbers instantly and they will not have to contact the finance service desk or use the creditor lookup template. 
Any searches using the form are live and is real time SAP information ensuring that the correct and most up to date information is available at any time to schools.

The eform will replace previous excel request form for new vendors. If you look up a creditor number and find the vendor is not set up you can request the vendor to be set up using the same form and do not have to log into any other SAP forms.

If you have any queries or issues please contact the finance service desk 01296 382222 or financeservicedesk@buckscc.gov.uk

Invoice Numbers

It is imperative when inputting invoices to ensure the correct reference or invoice numbers are quoted and please ensure they are input without spaces. On the Remittance Advice, the supplier receives only the information you input. therefore, if you enter only a date or an incorrect reference it is unlikely that the supplier will be able to allocate you payment, if the company has not quoted an invoice number, use the name of your school. If you receive a recurring charge with the same amount and reference number, add the month and year (e.g. 123456 JAN 06).

For Utility bills (Gas, Electricity, Water, Telephone), please quote your Customer Reference number.

For TV Licensing, please quote the TV licence number.

For Sunlight Textiles, please enter the docket invoices separately, quoting the account number and despatch note number (the invoice number).

For exam boards, please quote the centre number and the invoice number.

For magazine subscriptions (Croner, Questions, Times Supplements, etc), they usually ask you to quote a specific reference, so please read the invoice carefully. As this is normally a recurring charge, please follow the reference with the year.

Invoice Dates

Please ensure you enter the invoice date when entering invoices onto the system and not the date the batch is being transferred as this will ensure the invoice is paid within the correct payment terms. When a supplier is set up on SAP payment terms are allocated (e.g. 30 days, 14 days, 00 days, etc).

New Legislation for Paying Small Companies – Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998

If a company is not paid on time the school could be liable for interest at base rate plus 8%.


A = Exempt (stamps) C = Zero rated D = Standard rated E = 5% X = Outside the scope

If you receive an invoice with two types of VAT, enter either the VAT code according to the rate on each line of your order or, if the line of your order is for two types of VAT, please calculate the split and enter one of the VAT codes on the postage line. Please note that all correct VAT Codes have been entered on your system. Whilst it is possible to overwrite the VAT amount on FMS, please ensure that the totals agree with the invoice.

If the invoice exceeds £250.00 and VAT applies then you must refer this back to the supplier for amendment.

Please send VAT only invoices to the VAT officer. Please refer to the VAT Section of SchoolsWeb for school photograph invoices or other VAT queries.
Please take care to enter invoices correctly. If there is an error and the payment amount is incorrect we cannot amend the details in SAP. The invoice will be returned to your to re-input.


Credit notes issued by suppliers may be entered on your system with the exception of BT. Although BT issue credit notes these are just for your information and the credit will appear against your next bill.


Please do not send statements for checking or for payment. Statements are often sent to you prior to payment due dates. Please check your statements and if you are concerned particular invoices have not been paid, contact Finance Service Desk.

Urgent Payments

If you have an extremely urgent invoice for payment, there are three ways it may be dealt with:

  • Via your imprest account – before making payment in this way please contact the Schools Support Section for guidance.
  • Send the invoice as usual, attaching a note to the front page of the authorisation printout, stating which invoice is urgent and the date payment must be with the supplier. If the file is transferred immediately and there are no errors on the invoice it will be paid in accordance with the payment terms held in SAP.
  • As a last resort, write a cheque from your school fund. reclaim it using the school's headed notepaper, stating to whom the payment is to be made and details of the invoice. A copy of the invoice must be attached. enter on your system as a non-order invoice. 

When you have produced the payment authorisation printout, please file the invoices in the same order as they appear on the printout and attach them to the back. This not only makes it easier for the Accounts Payable section to deal with but is also a good way for you to check you are enclosing all the invoices. Do not include orders, delivery notes, statements or envelopes. For ease of processing in Creditors please keep batches to a maximum of 30 invoices/credit notes

Finally, the batch should be signed (not initialled) and dated by the authorised signatory as this certifies all the invoices for payment, if this is not done, the printout will be returned.

Change of Authorising Officer

In order to keep my records up to date, we must be informed if the authorising officer changes. Please download a copy of the relevant form from the SchoolsWeb under School Finance Support/Forms and send by post to the Finance Service Desk, NCO, 8th Floor.

Payment Authorisations

Providing the invoice date is correct, the file transfers successfully and the invoices arrive promptly, invoices can be paid within five working days. You can therefore calculate how long you can delay before authorising and sending your batches to the Accounts Payable Section. With this information, you will probably find it necessary to produce a payment authorisation only once a week or even once a fortnight.

Mailing your Invoices

When you send the file through AVCO file transfer, the information is transferred to SAP the following morning. If there is an error on the file it will stop that invoice from posting and this cannot be corrected if we do not have the invoice. Please send your invoices using the green bags.

Payment Runs

BACS is the preferred method of payment. There are currently BACS runs on Wednesdays and Fridays and the payment is cleared in the supplier's account two full working days after the payment run.

There is only one cheque run each week. This is processed on a Tuesday and cheques should be received by second class post on Thursday.

Travel Claims

Travel claims are now paid through HR and the SAP Payroll system, please do not enter them onto your system.

The Accounts Payable section sits now with the Finance Service Desk Team based at: 8th floor, New County Offices, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP20 1UD

01296 382222
Jane Parker, VAT Officer

01296 383388
IT Problems

01296 382222
Finance Service Desk

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