Supplier information: payment of invoices

Supplier Guidance Notes: Payment of Invoices


The Council is committed to the prompt payment of valid invoices in accordance with contractual agreements. In order to ensure that we are able to process payments as quickly as possible, suppliers will need to comply with the following guidance on the submission of invoices.

What is a valid invoice?

To qualify as valid, an invoice must:

  • Be invoiced to Coventry City Council and quote a valid Coventry City Council Purchase Order (PO) number
  • All requests for goods, works and services must be accompanied by a PO number. Only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. out-of-hours emergencies) should suppliers accept an order without a PO number, and in these instances, suppliers must ensure that a PO number is provided the next working day.

If the invoice does not quote a valid Purchase Order number, then the invoice will be returned to the supplier unpaid under the Council’s No PO: No Pay policy.

  • Quote a unique invoice number or reference
  • Quote the clear and full Accounts Payable address of the Council. (See section titled ‘Where to send invoices for the full address)
  • Provide clear details of the organisation submitting the invoice
  • Clearly state the payee (for receipt of payment)
  • Provide an email address to which payment remittances can be sent
  • Provide contact details in case of invoice query
  • Provide clear details of the goods, services or works provided
  • Have a valid invoice date (tax point date)
  • Provide Company & VAT registration numbers (where applicable)
  • Have the correct VAT calculations (handwritten invoices in particular)
  • Be clear, legible and add up (handwritten invoices in particular)
  • Have the relevant supporting information attached, for example timesheets.

Invoices that do not comply with the above terms will be returned to the supplier for correction or clarification and could result in a delay in processing the invoice and payment.

Invoice formats

Coventry City Council is rolling out a programme of electronic (EDI) invoicing. The key aims are to:

  • Reduce the cost of invoicing to both the Council and its suppliers
  • Improve the efficiency of our organisation
  • Improve payment performance
  • Put in place environmentally friendly, paperless offices Please contact for further details.

Early payment programme

  • The Premier Supplier Service gives the Council’s suppliers the option to be paid as soon as the invoice is authorised, and ahead of the standard 30-day term, in exchange for a pre-agreed rebate. Benefits of the service include an improved cash flow and reduced time chasing payments.

Suppliers can sign-up via our website, through the tendering process or by emailing


Please note: Following the introduction of IR35 legislation, unless there has been prior communication from a supplier and agreement from the Council, both parties acknowledge that any Payments made by the Council are paid inclusive of all Pay As You Earn tax and National Insurance Contributions applicable in respect of the Staff which the Contractor shall have responsibility for paying to HMRC in accordance with applicable legislation.

Privacy notice

Coventry City Council will use your personal information to pay money into your bank account, to collect monies owed from you and to contact you regarding payments.

We will work with Bottomline Technologies Inc who provide payment services.

We will also share information about you with:

  • The Cabinet Office (who are a government department), for the purposes of a data matching exercise called the National Fraud Initiative. The purpose of the exercise is to detect fraud and error. The Council is legally required to participate in this exercise. Read more information on the National Fraud Initiative
  • A nominated third-party supplier, Caatalyst, to carry out Accounts Payable recovery audits on the Council’s behalf. The purpose of the audit is to identify and recover monies owed to the Council.
  • A nominated third-party supplier, Oxygen Finance Ltd, the provider of the Council’s Early Payment Discount system. The purpose is to offer the Council’s suppliers access to a programme facilitating the early payment of invoices.
  • A nominated third-party supplier, Lloyds Banking Group, provides the Council’s purchase card system. The purpose is to offer the Council’s suppliers access to payment option services.

More details about how we use information about you can be found in the Council’s Accounts Payable privacy notice.

Where to send invoices

By email

Unless your organisation has signed up for electronic invoicing or Early Payment, Coventry City Council’s preferred method of receiving invoices is by email. Valid invoices should be attached as a pdf and emailed to Accounts Payable at unless you have received written instructions from Procurement Services to send you invoices to an alternative email address.

Please ensure that each PDF only contains one invoice although emails may contain multiple PDFs as attachments. Information supporting the invoice, for example, timesheets, can be sent on the same pdf as the invoice or attached as a separate pdf on the same email.

By post

Coventry City Council Accounts Payable - Invoices
Council House
PO Box 15

Please note: The delivery address is not the invoice address

What happens to an invoice when it reaches the Council?

The Council processes all invoices through the Accounts Payable team. When an invoice matches the details on the purchase order quoted, and the goods, services or works have been receipted, the invoice will be automatically paid.

What happens if an invoice is rejected?

Once an order has been approved by an officer within the Council and the invoice matches the receipted details, Accounts Payable will process the payment. If an invoice fails to match, then the invoice will be placed into query and Accounts Payable will contact the officer within the Council responsible for the purchase who will in turn contact the supplier to resolve discrepancies. When we are aware that invoices are invalid or cannot be matched with POs, then the Council will endeavour to notify the supplier as soon as possible.

When will I be paid?

The Council's standard terms of payment are 30 days from the latter of validation of the invoice or receipt of goods, works or services by Coventry City Council. However, this may vary in some contracts and suppliers should ensure they are aware of their own contractual terms for payment. Payments usually credit bank accounts within three working days from receipt of remittance.

Date of last review: February 2024

Accounts Payable

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7697 5232