format_list_bulleted Topic Overview

Purchase Order Invoice Processing

This page provides an overview of invoice processing in order to support schools and units in efficiently and effectively processing invoices to pay suppliers. Suppliers may reference the Topic Overview: Do Business with Stanford for related information and actions they are responsible for with regard to invoice processing. 

The following criteria must be met in order for Accounts Payable to process an invoice and schedule payment per the terms specified on the purchase order (e.g. Net 30 days from date of invoice):

  • The supplier record must be complete and up to date (including all government forms and confidential data provided by the supplier via Stanford’s Supplier and Payee Request Portal or Supplier and Payee Registry (according to supplier/payee type).
  • The document must be an invoice, not a quote, order acknowledgement, sales receipt or packing list.
  • Invoices must be addressed to Stanford University and include a remit to address.
  • There must be a Stanford PO Number referenced on the invoice.
  • The PTA associated with the PO must be valid and the invoice amount must not exceed the available balance on the PO. Refer to How To: Release Invoice Holds for more information.
  • Appropriate additional approvals or certification of certain purchases must be complete.

Once goods/services have been received/rendered respectively  in accordance with university policy, suppliers may submit invoices (indicating the appropriate Stanford purchase order number) to Stanford through one of the options below. Invoices for purchases made through Stanford's SmartMart Catalogs are electronically sent by the supplier to AP for payment processing.

  • The supplier emails invoices in individual PDF files to: @email (PDF files containing multiple invoices will not be processed).
  • The supplier mails invoices to:
    Stanford University Accounts Payable
    P.O. Box 20410
    Stanford, CA 94309-0410
    United States
  • The supplier provides the invoice to the school or unit department, who upload invoice (via the Requisition Purchase Order Query Tool).

Upon receipt of an undisputed invoice, AP ensures that:

  • Invoices are paid in accordance with the terms specified in the purchase agreement (e.g., net 30 days from date of invoice). Departments may also request AP will call checks to pay suppliers. 
  • Payments are in compliance with federal, state and local tax laws and regulations, proper taxes are withheld as necessary and transactions are properly reported.
  • If an invoice is placed on hold, the school or unit contact person is notified of required action.

At that point, unless additional approval is required (see section below), the invoice is processed. To request an invoice be placed on a department invoice hold, submit a support request to the Accounts Payable (AP) team with the PO number, invoice number and reason why the hold is requested. To ask the AP team to release a department invoice hold for payment, submit a support request with a reason why the invoice can now be released. Please note that a request to release a department invoice hold will not release other invoice holds (e.g., insufficient amount on the PO) that might currently be on the invoice. 

Certain purchases require departments to complete additional steps to process invoices. If the below actions are not taken, the invoice will be placed on hold by AP and the originator will receive an email notification with instructions to release the hold.

Type of Invoice Action Required
Capital Equipment (via SmartMart or non-catalog orders)

Receiving is required for this type of invoice.

Goods or services over $5,000

This type of invoice requires departmental approval. 

Two options are available:

  • Receiving is completed before invoice receipt (see above), or,
  • When the requisition preparer or authorized approvers upload invoices, they will see a checkbox noting Invoice approved for payment which serves as department approval. If someone other than the requisition preparer or authorized approver uploads an invoice, the checkbox is not visible and uploaded invoices would then be placed on hold for department approval (see below).

The payment status of an invoice can either be Paid, Pending or On Hold. From the time an invoice is submitted to the time it’s paid, transaction preparers and approvers may want to check the status of an invoice payment.

OBI report users can check the payment status of an invoice payment by drilling down on the AP Invoice Summary field in the Procure to Pay Inquiry report found on the OBI P2P Dashboard.

Invoice images and payment status can be viewed using the Requisition and Purchase Orders Query tool to search by requisition number or purchase order number and then scrolling to the Invoice Payment Details section on the PO Details page. For instructions, refer to How To: View Requisitions, Purchase Orders or Invoices.

An invoice may be placed on hold by Accounts Payable and require action to release the hold. Invoice hold notifications, which include instructions on how to release the hold, appear within the Oracle Financials system. They may also be sent via email if a user enables their email notifications within Oracle Financials (go to Settings/Preferences to enable or disable email notifications).

The table below describes the most common types of invoice hold notifications that require action, what they mean, and how to release the hold. For other types of holds, and any action required, please contact the Financial Support Center.

Common Invoice Holds That Require Action
Hold Notification Hold Code in Oracle Reason for the Hold Action Required to Release the Hold
Your invoice requires action (receiving)

QTY REC HOLD

Receiving information must be entered in iProcurement for this type of purchase.

Enter the receiving information in iProcurement.

If no action is taken in 7 days, a reminder notification is sent.

Your invoice over $5000 requires action (department approval) DEPT APPROVAL REQUIRED HOLD Because the invoice amount is over $5,000, it requires department acknowledgement that the goods or services have been received.

Approvers with the appropriate authority (the preparer of the requisition or a financial approver listed on the requisition) must access and review the invoice details that are hyperlinked from the hold notification.

Note: Some notifications direct approvers to a page in Oracle allowing them to request release of the hold. If this is not available, submit a support request to request release.

If no action is taken in 7 days, a reminder notification is sent.

Your invoice requires action (PI approval) MISSING PI CERTIFICATION HOLD The invoice requires approval from the Principal Investigator (PI).

The certified and designated PI for the subaward must certify that the goods on the invoice have been received and/or the services on the invoice have been provided in accordance with the policy and processes outlined by the Department of Research. See: Managing a Subaward for more information.

Once the certification information is completed, submit a support request with the attached certification to the Financial Support Center to request attaching the certification to the invoice to release the hold.

If no action is taken in 7 days, a reminder notification is sent.

Your invoice requires action (insufficient amount on PO) MAX SHIP AMOUNT HOLD There is an insufficient amount on the Purchase Order to pay the invoice.

If this PO will no longer be used after this invoice, add enough funds to the PO to equal the total of the invoice through a change order. After this invoice is paid, the department can finally close the existing Purchase Order.

If this PO will be used for additional invoices, add enough funds to the PO to equal the expected total of future invoices through a change order.

The change order will generate a new requisition number. Enter the requisition number in the form hyperlinked from the notification to indicate that you have taken action and do not need to receive reminder notifications.

If no action is taken in 7 days, a reminder notification is sent.

Your invoice requires action (PO is finally closed) PO FINALLY CLOSED HOLD Purchase Order for an invoice has been finally closed.

Create a new Purchase Order to pay this invoice. Then click on the form hyperlinked from the notification to provide the Requisition Number used to create the new PO.

If no action is taken in 7 days, a reminder notification is sent.

Your invoice requires action (invalid PTA - insufficient funds) INVALID PTA HOLD  The PTA for a PO has expired and there are not enough funds on the PO to process the invoice.

If this PO will no longer be used after this invoice, add funds equal to the total of the invoice (using a new, valid PTA) to the PO through a change order. After this invoice is paid, the department can finally close the existing Purchase Order.

If this PO will be used for additional invoices, it’s best practice to do a PTA change through a change order for the invalid PO line. In addition, you will need to add more funds equal to the total of future invoices to the PO on that change order.

Once the change order process is complete, which includes requisition approval and updating and approving the purchase order, the invoice hold will be released.

If no action is taken in 7 days, a reminder notification is sent.

Your invoice requires action (closed or unavailable PTA) INVALID PTA HOLD The PTA referenced on the Purchase Order is closed or not available for this invoice and a PTA change is required.

This alert is sent to the Preparer, Approvers, and Task Manager. Please choose one person to take action.

Submit a PTA change request per the steps below within seven (7) days. If the change request is not processed and finalized within the timeframe, the PO will require reapproval and the invoice will be charged to the default AP PTA for your task-owning organization.

Follow these steps to change the PTA. Do not create a new Purchase Order.

  1. If there is less than $1,000 remaining on the PO total amount, submit a support request to change only the PTA (not the Expenditure Type).
  2. If there is more than $1,000 remaining on the PO total amount, complete a change order requisition.

Once the change order process is complete, which includes requisition approval and updating and approving the purchase order, the invoice hold will be released.

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2023