Payment of Invoices

Invoices should be processed promptly for payment to earn prompt payment discount, to maintain our excellent credit rating and to maintain good vendor relations. Invoice processing is handled by the College′s Finance Office. The College uses the following methods of paying invoices:

1. Standard "Purchase Order" Method of Payment. Submit to the Finance Office the following:

  • Invoice approval form
  • Vendor′s invoice
  • Gold copy of the Purchase Order

A five-part purchase order is issued for all College supplies, equipment, and services not listed in the "Check Request Method of Payment" below. All orders must be approved by the Purchasing Office prior to placement of order. The original copy (white) is sent or faxed to the vendor from Purchasing; the canary (numerical) and pink (alphabetical) copies are kept in the Purchasing Office; the gold and green copies are sent to the department.

Most vendors send invoices to the Finance Office. The Finance Office logs the invoice and sends it to the Department Chair for approval. Departments receiving invoices for approval should verify the accuracy of the materials, price, and quantity being billed. All items should be checked against the green copy of the purchase order. Invoices with discrepancies should be resolved with the vendor before payment. Contact the Purchasing Office if you need assistance in this matter. Sometimes paying by invoice(s) is tricky. Here are some sample situations and how properly to process payment.

If all items have been received, the invoice approval for payment form, and the gold copy of the purchase order should be forwarded immediately to the Finance Office. Payment within certain time periods often earns a discount for the department!

If items have been back-ordered but some items have been sent ahead, the department should check these items received against the green copy of the purchase order. If the invoice received is only for the items received, submit the approval for payment form, invoice and a copy of the purchase order copy to the Finance Office. After final shipment has been received and is acceptable submit the gold copy of the purchase order with the last invoice to the Finance Office.

If the invoice received includes all items ordered but not received because of back-orders, hold the invoice until all items have been received. The invoice, approval for payment form and gold copy of the purchase order should be forwarded immediately to the Finance Office once the order is complete.

2. "Check Request" Method of Payment. Submit to the Finance Office the following:

  • Pink "Request for Check" form
  • Gold copy of the Purchase Order
  • Original copy of the Purchase Order to be mailed with check(s)
  • Any order form required by the vendor

Many transactions made on behalf of the College can be completed without processing a purchase order. The Finance Office can, in certain instances, issue payment from a check request. Invoices processed by this method must be forwarded along with the check request to the Finance Office. A check request must be signed by the Department Chair and can be obtained from the Finance Office.

The following list of items and services may be processed by the check-request method providing the approved invoices, supporting receipts, etc. are attached:

  • Transportation and travel except for Athletic Department charters.
  • Awards, scholarships, etc.
  • Honoraria and expenses (See Finance Office before award.)
  • Stipends (See Finance Office for procedure before award.)
  • Books requiring pre-payment, automatic renewals (standing orders and periodicals).
  • Inter-library loan fees
  • Subscriptions and magazines (personal subscriptions excluded)
  • Gas or car rental
  • Advertising, classifieds
  • Memberships and dues (personal memberships and dues excluded)-Attach statement to check request.
  • Insurance policies
  • Telephone and telegraph bills
  • Freight charges
  • Testing services
  • Health Claims
  • Miscellaneous payments (deeds; inspections [boiler, elevator] licenses; legal fees; assessments)
  • Utilities: gas, water, electric, sewer
  • Metered postage
  • Entertainment for which a contract has been signed.
  • Office Supplies (Rhodes has an agreement with Corporate Express to purchase all office supplies).

Purchases Requiring Prepayment. This is always true for U.S. Government documents from the Superintendent of Documents and for certain other items, usually of small value. The College prefers that an order over $25 be accompanied by a purchase order and a check request. The purchase order must say "Check Attached" and be accompanied with any supporting evidence such as advertisements, letters from the vendor, order forms, etc. Orders under $25 should be handled through petty cash or a check request. A purchase order becomes too expensive to process for orders under $25.

Petty Cash Purchases. Cash purchases by departments totaling $100 or less may be made without use of a purchase order. Reimbursement will be made by Bursar′s Office upon presentation of a receipt and the account number to which the purchase should be charged. Departments should inquire about discounts available to the College when making petty cash purchases. They should also remember the tax-exempt status of the College.
Small Orders. Small orders are costly to the College but cannot always be avoided. Careful planning by departments and a complete survey of requirements in categories of items not regularly stocked, such as special office supplies, non-stock typewriter ribbons, etc., make possible consolidated orders. This results in lower prices, less paperwork, and less time spent by all personnel involved. Purchasing also recommends buying such items in reasonably large quantities (six to twelve-month supplies) if department storage space allows.

Stationery, Envelopes, Business Cards. College stationery, envelopes and campus maps are standardized and available at Corporate Express. Corporate Express is responsible for keeping up with inventory and are to notify the College when quantities are low. Purchasing will place orders to replenish stock at MMBP. If a department anticipates an extremely large mailing using College letterhead and envelopes, please notify Purchasing in advance to be sure there will be an adequate supply on hand. Business cards are also standardized and information and prices can be obtained from The Printer (see printing section for information).

Printing. All printing requirements such as brochures, catalogs, material for special events, etc. should be approved by the Director of Communications in the Communication′s Office to ensure editorial continuity in all Rhodes publications. The Director of Communications will assist the departments in planning and editing.

  • Forms requiring minor changes should be clearly marked on all samples.

Cooperative Pool Buying. The College will participate in cooperative or pool buying when it is judged to be economically advantageous. Examples are:

  • Annual bid for scientific equipment and supplies
  • Annual bid for housekeeping supplies (paper towels, trash liners, toilet paper, chemicals, 
     mops, brooms, floor finishes)
  • Contracts with Educational and Institutional Cooperative Services
  • Annual bid for swimming pool chemicals and supplies
  • Annual contract for machine maintenance contracts
  • Annual bid for athletic equipment and supplies
  • Annual bid for light bulbs
  • Annual bid for photographic film and supplies

E & I Cooperative Service. The College is a member of Educational & Institutional Cooperative Service, a group of tax-exempt schools organized to pool their buying power. Through E & I the College can buy from over sixty manufacturers supplying many items such as furniture, audiovisual equipment, photographic equipment and supplies, maintenance items, and athletic equipment. Discounts available are often greater than the College can obtain elsewhere. E & I is also a good source for advice on what to buy. Departments are welcome to examine the E & I contract files in the Purchasing Office or contact the Purchasing Manager to discuss possible E & I Sources for their needs.