Frequently Asked Questions - Payment of Invoices

Page updated on: 16/08/2023

The following FAQ's should answer any questions that you may have about Purchas to Pay (P2P)

APOC is a compulsory purchase order policy which will facilitate the processing of invoices and is a key financial control measure for the Council, ensuring that all spend is correctly authorised in our financial system (Some organisations refer to this method as No PO No Pay).

The APOC policy ensures that the Council only pays for goods, services, and works which have been properly ordered and authorised in accordance with the Authority’s Financial Contract Procedure Rules (FPRs) BEFORE making any commitment to spend Council funds and receiving an invoice. It ensures that suppliers have been set up on the financial system so that invoices received by the Accounts Payable team can be processed efficiently to minimise delay to suppliers and contractors. Invoices received by the Accounts Payable Team without a valid PO number may severely delay payment and may ultimately be returned to you.

A valid PO number is an 8-digit Purchase Order number that has been raised and authorised on the Authority’s official purchase order system. A PO number is your proof that an official order has been raised and authorised. Any invoice received that does not quote a valid PO number will experience a delay in payment or returned to the supplier, unless it is covered in the exceptions list.

Contact the council officer who gave the original instruction to supply the goods/services and ask them to provide a valid PO number and included it in your revised invoice.

If you haven’t received a PO number, please contact the council officer who placed the order and ask them to supply an order number.

Prompt payment - Provided a supplier has quoted a valid Purchase Order number which has been obtained in advance of supply, CCC commits to paying invoices in line with the Public Sector Payment Policy i.e. within 30 days from receipt [not the invoice date], of a valid invoice or receipt of the goods or service, whichever is later. Payment is usually much faster than 30 days (the vast majority of order number invoices are paid within 10 days of receipt).

Invoices without an order number will require further action and will therefore take longer.

All invoices must quote a valid Purchase Order number. If this is not provided, there may be a delay in payment and the invoice may be returned to you.

The APOC policy applies from 1st August 2022

Once the policy is fully implemented, CCC will not recognise invoices without a valid PO number and they will be returned to the supplier, unless they are covered by an exception. You will then need to speak to your order contact who will seek an order number so that the invoice can be paid.

All departments will be implementing the policy. Schools are not currently included in this policy; however, it is best practice to ensure you have a PO number before you commit to any work with schools. There is no change to the ordering process or payment process for invoices received for schools for the time being.

A copy of the top of your bank details showing the account details or an official headed business letter giving the details.

Please enquire with your order contact. Or if you have any questions about the policy email

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