9. PURCHASE ORDER (PAYMENT) PROCEDURES
Disbursements (payments) are recorded when checks for payments of merchandise or services are issued. Disbursements are made against encumbered purchase orders only. An expenditure is created when an invoice is processed and a check is issued.
Expenditures are made against encumbrances and will only affect the available budget balance if differences exist between the amount encumbered and the amount of the invoice final payment. When the invoice is processed, the encumbrance is reduced and the expenditure is recorded (except in partial payments wherein the encumbrance is reduced only to the extent of the partial payment amount)
- The original copy of the purchase order is kept in the Accounts Payable Department and is matched with invoices and vouchers. These documents form the basis for authorizing payments. Payment may not be made without vouchers. When multiple accounts are indicated on a purchase order, the supervisor should indicate the appropriate payment to be made against each account on the voucher when the invoice amount differs from the purchase order total. If the voucher or invoice does not indicate the appropriate distribution, the change in the invoice amount to the purchase order will generally be distributed proportionately, in conjunction with the multiple distributions on the original purchase order, unless otherwise indicated by the supervisor. The voucher or invoice should be clearly marked for the change.
- The Accounts Payable clerk processes invoices as the transaction that will initiate payment. This results in the posting of an expense to the account. Checks for these invoices payable are usually processed twice per month. The checks issued to the vendors will indicate the purchase order number, the invoice number, and the amount paid. Checks issued to vendors may list several purchase orders and invoices.
- The district accounting system permits all employees that have access to the accounting system to inquire about any purchase order or budget accounts of the department(s) that they are assigned.
- Disbursements must be authorized by the Board of Education. To process vouchers and invoices and prepare Board report in a timely and efficient manner, all vouchers and invoices must be received by the established schedule which is distributed at the beginning of the year. Payment cannot be processed if an encumbrance was not established by the assigned deadline for reporting Purchase Orders to the Board.
- Payments to vendors can not be generated until the Board Office receives an invoice and a signed payment authorization (green P.O. copy) from the originator. It is the Originator's responsibility to forward approved payment authorizations and invoices for payment as quickly as possible to prevent delinquent accounts. Purchase orders which have not been approved for payment within the current or following budget year will be closed. Subsequent requests for payment of a closed purchase order will require the submission of a new current year purchase order and will be deducted from the current year budget.
- Payments to vendors can not be made without receipt of the signed voucher (pink copy of the P.O.) from the vendor. If the pink voucher becomes misplaced, a substitute voucher can be sent to the vendor for signature. A blank (substitute) voucher is included in the appendix for this purpose.
Disbursements may be necessary on rare occasion prior to Board of Education approval. Since such payments circumvent the standard payment procedures established by the Board, the privilege is extended with strict discretion.