Non-pay expenditure

Section K

78.  Authority to Incur Expenditure

No expenditure may be incurred by a Head of School unless provision for such expenditure is included in the Annual Budget or has been additionally approved by the Policy and Resources Committee or Director of Finance or is covered by a specific provision, from an external source, accepted formally on behalf of the University by an officer authorised on behalf by the University.

A Head of School may incur revenue expenditure within the approved budget providing that the expenditure is made in accordance with the Financial Regulations, the University Procurement Strategy and detailed financial policies and procedures. All financial commitments must be in line with the University’s Delegated Scheme of Authority, Finance Department’s Authorisations’ database and follow the appropriate approved Procurement Journey.

79.  Purchasing Acquiring Goods and Services

All staff must comply with the University’s Procurement Strategy. The procurement office should be contacted on Procurement Strategy or regulations before action.

Staff should wherever possible buy goods and services from University contracted suppliers who have been selected according to our strategy and legal duties using the appropriate e-ordering system. For information on approved contracted suppliers see Buy@Ed. A list of regulated contracts are on the Procurement website.

Where the goods or services cannot be sourced from a contracted supplier then staff members must follow the University approved Procurement Journey.

The University will procure any other goods/services/ works according to the appropriate and legally compliant procurement processes, using the Procurement Journey and advice provided from the procurement professional staff engaged.

80.  Procurement Office guidance

Guidance, training and awareness of procurement law, whole life costs, drafting a procurement plan and procurement journeys are available from the Procurement Office. The University requires advance and (from 2017) public planning for any large, major or strategic projects, or where total acquisitions of goods or services aggregate to a value in excess of £50,000. Details of financial thresholds for large projects (eg works over £2million) and the planning guidelines to be followed are outlined on the procurement website.

81.  Receipt of goods and services

All goods shall be received at designated receipt and distribution points. They shall be checked for quantity and/or weight and inspected for quality and specification. A delivery note must be obtained from the supplier at the time of delivery and signed by the person receiving the goods.


All persons receiving goods on behalf of the University should, if possible, be independent of those who negotiated prices and terms, and authorised the official order. The University has payment obligations under the University Procurement Strategy and goods receipting must not be delayed as it may delay payment duties.

82.  Return of goods

If the goods are deemed to be unsatisfactory, the record shall be marked accordingly and the supplier immediately notified so that they can be collected for return as soon as possible. Where goods are short on delivery, the record should be marked accordingly and the supplier immediately notified.

83.  Payment of Invoices

All invoices will be paid in line with the appropriate Finance Department’s Policies and Procedures.

The Director of Finance is responsible for deciding the most appropriate method for payment of invoices. Invoices will only be paid for amounts authorised by an appropriate authoriser with a sufficient delegated limit as in the Delegated Authority Schedule and as defined on the eAuthorisations database.

Payments shall only be made on invoices where the goods or services have been satisfactorily received. However, in circumstances where advance payment (partial or full) is required as a condition of contract, and the University can be satisfied that it will ultimately receive the goods and services, such payments may be made.


When engaging a supplier it is essential that staff determine if a person is an employee under HMRC IR35 (intermediaries legislation). All invoices received from these suppliers must be sent to payroll so that tax and national insurance can be deducted before payment.

84.  Late payment rules The Late Payment of Debts (Interest) Act 1998, as amended by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013, gives small, medium and large businesses and public sector organisations the right to charge interest on late payments from large organisations and public authorities. In view of the penalties in this Act, school/departments should ensure that invoices are authorised without undue delay. Any charges incurred will be charged back to the College / University Service concerned. The University does not apply this charge to other organisations.
85.  Internal Charging

All Internal charging from one department to another must be undertaken using the electronic internal transfer (eIT) system, following satisfactory delivery of goods or performance of service and appropriate authorisations.

Prompt payment of eITs is essential for goods, services which are bought in order to supply e.g. catering, events, printing. The eIT must not be held back to manage budgets.

86.  Payment of expenses

Reimbursement of expenses must be done in accordance with the Expenses Policy.

Claims for expenses must be raised and approved in the University eExpenses system. Click on link for guidance on how to register.

eExpenses must not be used as a route to procure goods and services.

87.  Advances

Where advances are made to members of staff for reasons of foreign travel, these advances should be accounted for within 3 months of the return to the University. Further advances will not be made to members of staff who have previous advance accounts outstanding.

88.  Petty Cash The University's petty cash account is maintained by the Finance Office. Cash floats should not normally be maintained in Departments. However, under exceptional circumstances, petty cash accounts may be maintained on the authority of the Director of Finance to meet minor payments and disbursements. Such accounts are the responsibility of the member of staff to whom they are entrusted. Payments from petty cash accounts must be supported by appropriate invoices or receipts.