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Purchase orders and invoicing

Purchase orders and invoicing

What our No Purchase Order, No payment policy says, how to get a purchase order number, what to include in your invoice.

No Purchase Order, No Payment policy

If you supply goods or services to us, you must ask for a valid purchase order number from your council contact when an order is placed. 
You must not accept verbal or written instruction to supply goods or services from any member of staff unless they give you a valid purchase order number.

If a Bristol City Council employee requests goods or services from you without giving you a valid purchase order number: 

  • refer them to this policy
  • do not accept the order until they give you a purchase order number

If you submit an invoice that does not reference a valid Purchase Order number, you'll get an email advising you that:

  • your invoice is not compliant
  • we won’t pay the invoice until you’ve given us a valid purchase order

Cooperating with this policy is one of the best ways to make sure your invoice is paid promptly.

Getting a purchase order number

Council staff must issue you with a valid purchase order number for the supply of goods and services. Each order must have a purchase order number supplied by a council staff member. 

Our financial system produces purchase order numbers in the format ‘6nnnnnnn’, for example 6123456. Most purchase order numbers will look like this. 

If you have a question about an invoice or about the No Purchase Order, No Pay policy, contact accounts.payable@bristol.gov.uk   

What to include in your invoice

To help us process your invoice for payment, your invoice should include:

  • your company name and address
  • your VAT registration number, if you have one
  • invoice number
  • invoice date
  • valid purchase order number
  • customer’s name, this must be Bristol City Council
  • name of: 
    • the service area requesting goods or service, or
    •  council contact person (you can find this on our purchase order)
  • full description of the goods or services supplied
  • for each line item: 
    • quantity
    • description
    • unit price
    • net value
    • VAT rate
    • VAT value
    • line total
  • invoice totals: net, VAT, gross
  • where goods or services do not have a VAT, this should be shown clearly

To sure we process and pay all invoices on time, email them to invoices@bristol.gov.uk quoting a valid purchase order number.  If you don’t do this, we may delay processing your invoice and making payment to you.