Changes to E-Invoicing from October 2017

The Accounts Payable department have partnered with Basware, a global leader in electronic invoicing, to enable us to provide our suppliers with free services that will enable us to handle invoices more efficiently.

The new service is due to go live on 23 October 2017

Frequently asked questions - E invoicing for Basware

I am a Supplier to Imperial College, what do I need to do?

You will be sent an email from Imperial College detailing your options and the steps you need to take to enjoy the benefits below.

To request more information now to be ready for the change, email


  • Reduced time spent handling invoices
  • Faster notifications of any issues that could delay payment
  • 24/7 visability of all your invoice status- thus no need to contact Imperial College to see where your invoice is in the process
  • Dedicated supplier support from Basware

I work at Imperial College and deal with purchases and invoices, what do I need to do?

It will be mandatory for all purchase orders to be raised before the supplier issues an invoice. Additionally, it is going to be paramount that no invoices are received by the individual departments, and all invoices must go through the new portal, or be submitted as PDFs by email to Basware.

You can help to support this change by encouraging suppliers to follow the instructions they are given, and not accepting invoices sent directly into departments.


  • Reduced scope for invoices to be "lost"
  • Faster querying of invoice and PO issues by Accounts Payable
  • Reduced delay from invoices awaiting processing in Accounts Payable

Will T&Cs be changing?

Yes, there will be a small change to our terms and conditions, which are signed before a supplier is accepted by the College.

Which suppliers are affected?

All suppliers who are not currently invoicing electronically will be processed via Basware by January 2018. This includes all foreign currency invoices.

Are research partner payments included?

No, partner payments will not be processed in this way.

Are payment authorisation forms included?

No they are not, although there are alternatives to the payment authorisation form in most cases. It may be quicker and easier to use the College’s Virtual Credit Card system, or reclaim a payment you have made yourself via Expenses.

I raise the Purchase Order (PO) once I receive the invoice, what do I do?

Purchase orders must always be raised and provided to a supplier as a formal request for good or services. An invoice should never be received before a purchase order is issued. In this circumstance, the College has a liability for the value of the invoice that is not formally approved.

Best practice is to request a quotation from the supplier and use this information to raise the purchase order. The purchase order should then be sent to the supplier. Once the goods or services have been delivered, the supplier should send their invoice, quoting the purchase order number, to the College via the e-invoicing route they have signed up to.

Are personal services companies, impacted by IR35 included?

No they are not, departments will continue to receive invoices and process the relevant payroll forms to pay personal services companies. If you are unsure of this process, please speak to your department finance team.

Does the change cover the subsidiary companies on ICIS?

Yes it does. All invoices processed via ICIS, including those for subsidiary companies, are in scope for this change.

Will I be able to check invoices before they are paid?

Yes you will.  When an invoice is matched to a purchase order in ICIS, the same notification will be sent to the Buyer. From this they will be able to check the invoice on Omnidox, via the link provided, and request for the invoice to be held, if necessary.


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.