Buying goods and services? Key steps to speed delivery and payment

Sep 13 2022

The buying of goods and services through the Shared Services (IBC) portal is a quick and easy process, when all the steps are followed.

To avoid delays in receiving your goods, and possible delays in payment to your suppliers, there are key actions required both before and after purchase.

Buyer action before making your purchase


Link to the Shared Services Portal

Ensure you raise a purchase order (PO) before the point of ordering goods or services

  • If your purchase is quantity based (i.e. you are ordering 120 units) or is one off / ad-hoc then eStore or Simple Shop should be used to raise a standard PO.


  • be used if the supplier invoice will include goods/services with different VAT rates (e.g. invoice which includes both standard rated and zero rated goods or services). The PO should include a different line for goods/services relating to each VAT rate.must Simple Shop


  • A Service Shop order should be considered if your purchase is:


  • For goods/services to be consumed or ‘called off’ over a period of time;
  • You expect to receive multiple deliveries relating to the order; or
  • The frequency, quantity or value of expected invoices is not known at the point the PO is being raised.


  • be paid against a Service Order PO and will need to be returned to the supplier.cannotFor a Service Shop order, a single PO should be raised for the estimated value of invoicing, for the period the PO covers. An individual invoice which includes goods/services with different VAT rates


  • An invoice received in VIM cannot be paid without quoting a valid Purchase Order (PO).


  • Approved POs can be viewed in the Purchasing Analysis report, which you can run for an individual supplier and/or budget area. The report output includes the total value of the order, and the amount/quantity that has been goods receipted to date (if applicable) and amount invoiced to date.


  • For individual, low value purchases (typically below £250) a purchasing card should be considered to make payment at point of purchase. In these cases a PO will not need to be raised (but approval for the purchase should be secured by the Buyer in advance).


Simple Shop | Staff and managers (


Service shop | Staff and managers (


eStore Catalogue Shopping | Staff and managers (


Applying for a purchasing card | Staff and managers (


Purchasing analysis | Staff and managers (

Ensure there is a Vendor record for your Supplier


  • Purchase Orders (POs) can only be raised with new suppliers once they have a vendor record and have completed registration for supplier self-service.


  • If you are unable to find an appropriate supplier record, the Supplier Master app can be used to search for a record. If the required result is not returned, a new supplier record will need to be created.


  • A missing vendor record or lack of Self-Service registration will delay order creation, delivery and ultimately, payment.


  • Supplier Self-Serve will enable the supplier to manage their account at a time to suit them, including tracking the progress of their invoices.

Supplier Master | Staff and managers (


Supplier Self Service | Business and economy | Hampshire County Council (




making your purchase afterBuyer action


Link to the Shared Services Portal

Complete the goods receipt for a standard PO or approve invoices received against Service Order POs

  • If you are a buyer (you raised POs) check ‘My Inbox’ on the Shared Services (IBC) portal to ensure there are no items awaiting your approval.


  • Act on any items you receive in ‘My Inbox’. Guidance on the action you need to take can be found here.


  • If you are an approver (you approve POs), or any manager with a financial authorisation level, price blocked invoices may route to you for approval, so check ‘My Inbox’ regularly. Guidance on action you need to take can be found here.


  • All buyers and managers should ensure they have substitutes set up who can manage their inbox items in the event of planned or unexpected absence.

Invoices Pending Review/Action | Staff and managers (


Blocked Invoices Pending Review/Action | Staff and managers (


Manage substitutions | Staff and managers (

If an overdue invoice has not been paid or a supplier is chasing payment:

  • Is the invoice still within agreed payment terms? If yes, it should not yet be chased. Payment terms start from the point at which the supplier submits a valid invoice (including PO) to Shared Services.


  • Has the supplier submitted a valid invoice to Shared Services? Guidance on what an invoice must include can be found here. If the invoice does not include all required information it will be returned to the Supplier. Where a PO was quoted, the Buyer will be copied in when the invoice is returned.


  • Is action required from the Buyer or Approver? Items may be awaiting approval or action to allow an invoice to be paid. The Buyer or Approver can be identified from the Purchasing Analysis report. Price blocked invoices may workflow to a more senior manager, depending on the value and level of financial authorisation required.


  • Has the invoice been posted to the vendor record for payment? Once an invoice has been processed through the Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) system it will be posted to the vendor record for payment within payment terms. At this point you can view a copy of the invoice, check whether it has been paid and confirm the payment date/reference.


  • You can check whether an invoice has been posted for payment through the View Supplier Invoice report. Search by inputting the supplier invoice number/reference into the invoice search box (using the ‘Reference Number field’)

Getting paid on time | Business and economy | Hampshire County Council (


Purchasing analysis | Staff and managers (

Invoices Pending Review/Action | Staff and managers (


Blocked Invoices Pending Review/Action | Staff and managers (


View supplier invoice | Staff and managers (



Supplier Responsibilities – helping your Supplier

  • You can help suppliers ensure they are submitting invoices with all of the required information and in the correct format by directing them to the guidance pages on getting paid.


  • You can also direct suppliers to this page if they have any queries regarding invoicing, payment terms or remittances.


  • Ensuring your supplier submits a valid invoice will help avoid invoice rejection and enable timely payment.

Getting paid on time | Business and economy | Hampshire County Council (



Have you completed the better buying eLearning?

Have a look on the Learning Zone for ‘Better Buying - An eLearning Guide to Purchasing Routes’ to teach you all you need to know on the process and routes for purchasing!


Have a question?

If you have checked the guidance pages and you are still unsure, try using webchat. If you access web chat via the icon found on the guidance pages, you will reach a specialist advisor who can assist you. Web chat is instant and on average our advisors respond in 18 seconds. Just look out for the orange icon.