How to invoice the University

Payment delays

The University of Bristol is aware that some suppliers are continuing to experience delays with receipt of payments.

 We are doing everything we can to expedite payment. Suppliers should be aware that there is a significant backlog of invoice processing due to the high volume and some technical issues, but that significant progress has been and is being made. We are grateful for your patience.

 Suppliers should also be aware that you should only submit invoices quoting single Purchase Orders – these invoices are, in general, processed automatically, whereas invoices that reference more than one Purchase Order require lengthy manual intervention and may be rejected.

 If you have any queries or concerns regarding payment of your invoices please contact the Accounts Payable Team

Purchase order policy

All invoices submitted for payment should clearly quote a University of Bristol Purchase Order number. Our Purchase Order number consists of eight numbers beginning with an eight (e.g. 81234567). Purchase Orders from our Estates Services Division consists of six numbers, a dot and then two numbers (e.g. 123456.78).

If you haven't been provided with a Purchase Order, please ask the university department making the purchase to provide one. Failure to quote a Purchase Order number on your sales invoice will result in the invoice being rejected; you will need to resubmit the invoice containing a valid Purchase Order number. To avoid your payment being delayed please ensure you are given a Purchase Order number when accepting an order from the University of Bristol.

Electronic invoicing

To help reduce the environmental impact, as well as time and money, we encourage electronic invoices in PDF format, which can be sent to Electronic invoices normally result in quicker payment. We cannot process invoices submitted in Word (.docx) or Excel (.xlsx) format. 

Please note: There are a number of suppliers who send both electronic and paper copies of invoices. This duplication creates additional work for the University’s Accounts Payable team as both hard and electronic copies of the invoice need to be processed, which then ultimately contributes to delays in making payments to suppliers. We therefore would request that invoices are sent only to and are not sent in hard copy as well. If paper copies must be sent instead, they should be mailed to our Accounts Payable team at the address found below.

If you are sending reminder invoices, please ensure they clearly state they are a reminder so we can distinguish it from the original.

Payment terms

Our standard payment terms are 30 days from the date of invoice.

Public Contracts Regulations 2015

The University of Bristol is committed to adherence to regulation 113 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, in relation to the payment of valid and undisputed invoices within 30 days. In line with the Regulations, performance data from the financial year 2015/16 onwards will be published below:

Financial year (ending 31 July)Proportion of valid and undisputed invoices paid within 30 days in accordance with regulation 113The amount of interest paid to suppliers due to a breach of the requirement in regulation 113
2015/16 80.8% £0
2016/17 76.2% £0

*The remaining 19.2% of invoices paid outside of 30 days includes those where payment was delayed due to sending them to somewhere other than Accounts Payable, or where a valid Purchase Order number was not quoted.

Invoicing address

All supplier invoices should ideally be emailed to or sent to:

Accounts Payable
3rd Floor, Augustine's Courtyard
Orchard Lane




More information for suppliers about how to do business with the University.

If you have any questions, contact Procurement directly. 

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