How-Tos

Manage Billing and Receivables

Billings

Billings to customers should be done in a timely and regular manner after services/products have been provided. See examples and templates of complete and abbreviated internal IDs, internal back- up invoices, and external invoices. Washington University standard accounting policies and procedures should be followed.

Internal Customers

Services/products provided to internal (Washington University) customer billed via Interdepartmental Invoices (ID). When entering IDs in the Washington University AISystem, the RC/SSF is the Vendor department and the customer is the Order department.

To bill internal customers here is a list of what you may need :

  1. Department/fund associated with the RC/SSF
  2. Unique Recharge Center Activity Only budget/object code (32-XX) assigned to the RC/SSF (Subclass/Object Code information)
  3. Budget 81 set up in the dept/fund so the credit can be applied to budget/object code SC 81-00

Either on the actual AIS ID or in an invoice sent to the department as back up for the abbreviated AIS ID, invoices to internal customers should include the following information: (See AIS ID examples (PDF), backup examples (PDF)Backup Templates (PDF))

  • RC/SSF Center Name
  • Invoice Date
  • Invoice ID Number (for RC/SSF tracking)
  • Name of person who requested the service and name of requestor’s department and lab
  • Date(s) of service
  • Name or description of service performed/product developed
  • Quantity (i.e., hours, samples, runs etc.)
  • Unique Washington University vendor budget object code to be used
  • Pricing – per service/product multiplied by volume of service/product provided
  • Subsidy – amount of and type of subsidy, if applicable, that is being applied to the bill (Note: in cases where a service is fully subsidized, it is recommended that the customer still receive a detailed invoice noting that the product/service cost nets to zero, or that the bill is paid-in-full via the subsidy.)
  • Total dollar amount due
  • Statement that the ID will auto-pay in 30 days (if WUSTL account is set up in this manner)
  • Citation information for attributing a grant or RC/SSF for any published works, if applicable
  • RC/SSF Contact information if there are questions regarding the invoice
  • Other – any other information unique to your RC/SSF

External Customers

(Also see the Special Considerations for External Customers section.)

Invoices to external (non-Washington University customers should include the information detailed below.

External customer invoices should be set up with sequential invoice numbers and a list of the invoice numbers and amounts should be given on a regular basis to the person receiving the payments. Invoices may be mailed, emailed or faxed. (See invoice example (PDF), invoice template (PDF)​.)

  • RC/SSF Center Name
  • Invoice Date
  • Invoice ID Number (for RC/SSF tracking)
  • Purchase order number from the external customer, if applicable
  • Name and address of the customer
  • Name of person requesting the service
  • Date(s) of service
  • Name or description of service performed/product developed
  • Quantity (i.e., hours, samples, runs, etc.)
  • Price per the established external rate, inclusive of overhead and administrative fees (it is preferred that overhead and fees not be listed as a separate line item on invoices to external customers but rather the a total cost is presented)
  • Subsidy – amount of and type of subsidy, if applicable, that is being applied to the bill
  • Total dollar amount due
  • Citation information for attributing a grant or RC/SSF for any published works, if applicable
  • Check made payable to: XXX
  • Terms of payment, i.e., payment within 30 days
  • Name and address for remittance of payment (Special note: To comply with internal controls, checks should be mailed/received by a person independent of the one who creates/mails the invoices.)
  • RC/SSF contact information for questions regarding the invoice
  • Other – any other information unique to your RC/SSF

Special Note for School of Medicine: Overhead on SOM recharge center work is calculated on the total income received. This is different than sponsored projects funding where overhead/F&A is charged on expenses. The formula for calculating the total billing amount is:

X = amount to be collected (per the billing rates) by the recharge center
Y = amount to invoice the external customer
Z = overhead rate associated with the external customer, i.e. 20% if it is for-profit
X/(1-Z) = Y

For example if the center’s rate for the service is $100 and the customer is for-profit and will be charged 20% overhead, then the formula is $100/(1-.2) = $125

Receivables – Payment Processing

Described below are some basic procedures for management of payments associated with recharge activities. In all cases you should continue to adhere to standard Washington University accounting policies and procedures and also refer to the Washington University Guide to Internal Controls.

Internal customers – ID payments

  • Monitor the status of IDs in FIS using the worklist or doc inquiry features, troubleshooting rejected ID’s based traildocs or following up with the order department and watching to make sure ID’s in incomplete status are resolved in a timely manner.
  • Any adjustment, changes or deletions of ID’s must be documented and retained for audit purposes.

External customers – Invoice payments

  • A log of checks received must be maintained by the person receiving the checks. The log should include: check amount, check number, date received and who sent the check. These checks are then matched to the invoice numbers and handed off to the person who will make the deposit. On occasion payments are made by wire transfer. Washington University standard accounting policies and procedures should be followed.
  • A periodic reconciliation of the invoices sent out, the log of checks received and deposits made in to the RC/SSF account should be completed by someone other than the person receiving the checks and the person making the deposits. Washington University standard accounting policies and procedures should be followed.
  • Periodic review of outstanding invoices should be completed and followed up with in a timely manner (e.g., 60 days outstanding).
  • At Washington University fiscal year end, outstanding invoices of a material amount should be reported to the Finance Office department representative or school accountant for accrual in FIS. In the new fiscal year, notify the Finance Office rep/accountant when the outstanding invoices are paid so that the accruals can be reversed.

An investigator requested services from our research service center but we cannot complete the service request for two months due to our workload. The investigator’s grant expires in one month and she has asked us to bill for the services now so she can use the available grant funds by pre-paying for the services. Is this okay?
No, that is no​t okay. Billings should be prepared and issued on a timely basis after the service or product has been provided to the user. It is not acceptable to bill the user before the service or product has been provided to allow the user to apply charges to a grant in advance of the time the service is received