In efforts to improve and optimise processes, Imperial College has looked into more efficient ways to receive and process supplier invoices. To that end, the Accounts Payable department alongside colleagues in Purchasing and ICT have implemented electronic invoicing since June 2006.

In order to achieve this, Imperial College partnered with Tungsten Network, formerly known as OB10, to enable suppliers to invoice electronically through their online Web Portal. 

The electronic invoicing strategy had two distinct stages. The first was targeted at suppliers who sent the highest volume of invoices.  In the first phase thirty-nine suppliers were converted accounting for approximately 60% of all supplier invoices received.

Between June 2006 and Dec 2013, Imperial College received approximately 700,000 electronic invoices.

In the second stage of our strategy, we targeted suppliers who send a lower volume of invoices (less than 200 per year). For that reason, we again partnered with Tungsten Network in order to find an alternative invoicing solution.  After thorough testing and development we have implemented a new electronic invoicing process called PO Convert.

Frequently asked questions - E invoicing for Tungsten

What is PO Convert?

The premise of PO Convert is straightforward. It takes purchase order information raised by buyers at Imperial College and presents it to suppliers to invoice against through a secure web portal. This ensures that the invoice Imperial College receives accurately matches the purchase order.

What does this mean for buyers?

PO Convert is NOT a new purchasing system. PO Convert is simply a mechanism for the supplier to submit their invoices. This does not affect the current purchasing or ordering process. 

The PO Convert process relies heavily upon the accuracy of purchase orders raised by buyers. This means all buyers must accurately reflect prices and all additional charges, such as delivery charges, when raising the purchase order. 

Failure to reflect all charges accurately on the purchase order will prevent the supplier from being able to submit their invoice.

All suppliers have been advised to contact buyers if there are any price discrepancies or if extra charges have been omitted on the purchase order. If contacted by suppliers regarding this issue then buyers must arrange for the necessary amendments to be made.

What does this mean for suppliers?

By using PO Convert, suppliers will benefit from faster transmission and processing times for their invoices. Invoices will be received and matched to purchase orders within 24 hours of the time of submission. There are no set-up or annual fees for using the service and the first 52 invoices in each calendar year are free of charge.  Thereafter, the supplier is charged a flat-rate of £1.50 per invoice which is equivalent to standard costs of invoicing.

Registration and Support

The registration process is managed by Tungsten Network. They will liaise with suppliers and provide access to the invoicing portal as well as technical support once suppliers have started using the portal.

Any suppliers who raise queries about using PO Convert should be directed to our internal support team.  We are able to provide help and assistance along with comprehensive guides explaining every step of the process.

Additionally, if a supplier raises a query regarding £0.00 values appearing on services-type orders, please direct them to our internal support team as this is not an error.