As an existing supplier to Heathrow you will find information on how to trade with us, including details on how to transmit purchase orders, receive invoices and comply with the Construction and Industry tax Scheme.
How Heathrow dispatch purchase orders
Heathrow currently send out Purchase Orders by three main transmission methods Email (as PDF attachments), Oracle iSupplier (iSP) and electronically through the RBS e-Invoicing Hub. The frequency of orders being transmitted from Heathrow will differ depending on the transmission method used.
Email - is the default mechanism for transmitting Purchase Orders. They are automatically sent to the email address that was obtained from the supplier upon setup. This is an automated process that runs on a regular basis throughout the day. Purchase orders will be attached to emails as PDF documents enabling suppliers to print and save them.
Oracle iSupplier is the preferred method for sending Purchase Orders to suppliers. The supplier registers for iSP and has access to view Purchase Orders and send invoices into Heathrow's integrated systems. Orders are received regularly to a predefined email address and invoices are sent directly, by the supplier, into Oracle.
Electronic - Suppliers receiving high volumes of purchase orders from Heathrow can discuss the establishment of a custom connection enabling POs to be sent electronically through their preferred method and integrated into the supplier order processing system.
If you are a regular supplier to Heathrow then it is recommended that you utilise the Oracle iSupplier system for receiving Purchase Orders and sending invoices.
Email: Purchase Orders are transmitted at the time of approval 24 hours a day.
Oracle iSupplier: iSupplier Purchase Orders and Revision numbers are sent from Heathrow to iSupplier in real time, so are available as soon as they are generated. An email will be sent to the supplier informing them of the arrival of new orders.
Electronically: Purchase Orders are transmitted at hourly intervals between 0600 and 2200.
How to ensure your invoice is received
Invoices MUST only be submitted for goods and services that are covered by an approved Heathrow Purchase Order. Invoices submitted without a Purchase Order will not be accepted. Invoice numbers must always be unique even when re-submitting a rejected invoice.
If you are set up for e-invoicing using iSupplier or electronically, then you must submit all invoices using these methods. If you are not set up for e-invoicing then you will need to submit your invoices by email as pdf attachments. All paper invoices will be rejected.
Invoices should be emailed to BSCPayables@Heathrow.com.
If you want to be set up for e-invoicing please contact the BSC to discuss the most appropriate option by emailing BSCPayables@Heathrow.com.
All invoices must have the following information:
- The full Business Support Centre address:
Heathrow Business Support Centre
Purchase 2 Pay Process Team
PO Box 6000
- The company name that the Purchase Order applies to eg. Glasgow Airport Ltd.
- The full Purchase Order Number as shown on the Purchase Order.
- The Line Number and Item Description from the Purchase Order to which the request for payment refers.
- Quantity, Price, Value and Supplier Name should all be the same as shown on the Purchase Order
Invoices that do not contain all of the above will be returned to you with an explanation note.
View a sample invoice (474KB PDF)
How to track the status of an invoice
Suppliers setup to use iSupplier will be able to view the status of their invoices on-line when logged into iSupplier.
3-way matching: Once an invoice has been received and accepted by Heathrow it will undergo a 3-way matching process before payment will be scheduled. This is where the invoice is matched against the following three aspects of the Purchase Order: Order Quantity, Receipted Quantity and Invoiced Quantity. Invoices can only be paid once the Internal Requisitioner has receipted the goods/services. If the system cannot match the 3 criteria then the invoice will be placed on hold.
Invoice Hold: If any line of the invoice does not match the Heathrow Purchase Order in terms of: order quantity, receipted quantity or price, then the whole invoice is placed on hold by the system. The Internal Requisitioner will correct the purchase order detail or resolve the discrepancy for issues relating to order quantity or receipted quantity. If after discussion with the Supplier, it is agreed that the invoice detail is incorrect then the supplier may be asked to issue a credit note.
Rejected invoices, what to do?
If critical information is missing from an invoice or invoice information is incorrect then the invoice will be returned to the supplier with reason for their return stated in a letter. Invoices will be returned to a Supplier unpaid if:
- The invoice does not state the BSC Address
- The invoice does not state the company name to which is applies eg. Glasgow Airport Ltd
- The invoice does not refer to a valid company PO
- The invoice does not match a valid company PO
- The currency of the invoice does not match that of the company PO
- There is no reference to the line number of the company PO
- The Supplier Name on the invoice is not the same as that on the PO
- The Order has been fully receipted and billed and the invoice is for an additional amount which has not been confirmed by a PO
- The Purchase Order number has been handwritten.
What to do if you receive a returned invoice:
Correct the error that has been stated on the returned invoice and resubmit. Note: the same invoice number cannot be re-submitted for payment as it will be rejected again as a duplicate invoice.
Submitting a credit note
When submitting a Credit Note, please ensure that it is sent to the BSC with clear reference to the Original Invoice Number and company Purchase Order Number. Credit Notes will be applied immediately to enable processing of the invoice.
The credit note must clearly state Credit Note at the top of the document.
A credit note must be sent to the BSC using the correct transmission method. iSupplier, electronically or email.
Heathrow utilises the BACS method of payment to pay invoices. Bank details are required from each supplier in order to complete supplier set-up. If you have not provided your bank details you will need to send them to the Business Support Centre on original company letterheaded paper.
Schedule of Payments
BACS payments are made on the following days for each of Heathrow's individual legal entities. Funds are normally received into the Supplier account two days following the day of the payment run.
- Monday - Glasgow Airport Limited & Business Support Centre
- Tuesday - Aberdeen Airport Limited
- Wednesday - Heathrow Airport Limited & LHR Airports Ltd
- Thursday - Southampton Airport Limited
- Friday - Heathrow Enterprises Ltd & Airport Holdings NDH1 Ltd
Remittance advice are sent by post email to the postal email address provided at the time of Supplier set-up.
Oracle iSupplier - getting started
In order for you to use iSupplier for self-service billing, you need to register your company by completing the registration form. You will need to use the registration ID that was sent to you by the Business Support Centre (BSC).
Once you have registered, the BSC will set up your iSupplier account. When this has been done you will be sent a confirmation e-mail which will include your username and password. This process takes 15 mins once you have received your email. Please use this time to review the training documents on this website to familiarise yourself with the iSupplier process.
Customs and Excise
Customs & Excise need to be made aware you will be trading electronically. You will need to write to your local HMCE office and advise them that you are submitting invoices electronically. This must be done during the first 30 days of electronic trading. The relevant legislation is - Regulation 13a of the HM Customs & Excise VAT Regulations 2003/3220 and Public Notice 700/63, both of which were published in December 2003.
What changes does the Supplier need to make?
You will still maintain your current back-office invoicing processes, the difference is that the Submission of the invoice to us will be electronic via iSupplier rather than through the post.
You will need to log onto iSupplier, select the appropriate purchase order and raise the invoice against it. You will also be able to access and review purchase orders and track the payment progress of submitted invoices and credit notes.
Review the iSupplier Training Guides for more information. Please can you also upload an image of your invoice through this portal and details are supplied within the pack.
iSupplier training guides
Click on the links below to either view the complete training guide, or the specific useful sections taken from it:
- Oracle iSupplier Portal complete training guide (4.85MB PDF)
- View PO/receipt/invoice/payment status (1.16MB PDF)
- Create an invoice (492KB PDF)
- Create a credit note (510KB PDF)
Question: How reliable is the system? And What is the proposed back up and the affect on payments if the system should crash for a long period of time.
Answer: iSupplier is a component of Oracle Enterprise, used by the company for many years. They system is maintained by us - a crisis resolution plan is in place, should there be any problems. In the event of system non-availability, suppliers will be notified through the Procurement website, the BSC Customer Services helpline or e-mail notification.
Question: Would Heathrow resort to manual invoices if the system was not working?
Answer: Only if the iSupplier system had an unrecoverable error, or if it went down for more than 2 days.
Question: Are we able to run in parallel with the existing manual invoice process before going live? This will give us the opportunity to learn the system and to iron out any issues that may occur beforehand.
Answer: Unfortunately, we cannot run the two processes in parallel. Once we switch the e-invoicing system on then we can only receive invoices in that manner. We have developed a training guide that will help you through the process of raising invoices and credit notes.
Question: When an invoice is submitted and gets rejected for what ever reason does this invoice remain on the system for re-submission at a later date?
Answer: Yes, the invoice details will not need to be re-entered into the system.
Question: When we input an invoice, do we get to see the amount of funds that have been receipted against a particular Purchase Order or line?
Question: Can you detail what happens when we create an invoice against a particular line where there are insufficient funds available on that line, but sufficient within the Purchase Order
Answer: The system will reject the invoice and you will be informed that it is because the PO line is closed or fully billed. iSupplier invoices are loaded against Purchase Order lines, when you submit an invoice you need to be sure that the order line has sufficient funds available.
Question: Can you detail what happens when we create an invoice against particular line where there are sufficient funds available on the Purchase Order but funds have not been receipted?
Answer: The invoice will be accepted but the invoice will go On Hold. You will see this reported on iSupplier. The invoice will only be cleared for payment once the amount has been receipted by the Heathrow requestor.
Question: My Oracle password has locked out, how do I reset it?
Answer: At the login screen click on forgotten password, from here enter the information requested. Your new password will be sent to you via email.
Question: Can I submit VAT invoices using iSupplier?
Answer: No. Any VAT only invoices must be submitted to the BSC in paper format. iSupplier cannot accept VAT only invoices.
Question:What happens to the request for iSupplier access when I submit the form?
Answer:Once you have registered, the BSC will set up your iSupplier account. When this has been done you will be sent a confirmation e-mail which will include your username and password. This process takes 15 mins once you have received your email.
Question: When will paper invoices be accepted at the BSC?
Answer: The only time paper invoices will be received at the BSC is for VAT only invoices or I the event of iSupplier being out of service for over 2 working days.
Question: I know I've submitted an invoice, but can't see it in iSupplier?
Answer: An invoice should be visible in iSupplier within approximately 30 minutes of being submitted. After this time if it is still not visible contact the BSC Customer Services Team who will be able to forward the issue onto the relevant team.
Question: I have raised an invoice but it is showing as On Hold. What should I do now?
Answer: Go on to the invoice raised and click on the On Hold text showing. You should now see what the reason for the hold is. For receipt holds contact the original requester and inform them that you have invoiced the goods / services provided and a receipt is now required in Oracle to release this invoice for payment.
Question: I've tried to contact the original requester on the purchase order, but have been informed that they are no longer with Heathrow. How do I know who to contact?
Answer: You will have to contact the BSC Customer Services Team who will investigate on your behalf and advise on the best contact to resolve outstanding issues on the order.
Question: Can I submit one credit note to cover off a number of invoices?
Answer: No, a separate credit note will have to be provided for each invoice that requires a refund.
Glossary of Terms
- iSupplier - iSupplier Portal from Oracle
- BSC - Heathrow's Business Support Centre
Electronic invoicing service
A free service provided by Heathrow in partnership with The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Multiple connection options ensure that there is a suitable submission method for every type of supplier.
Benefits to Heathrow suppliers are:
- Confirmation and speed of delivery of invoice
- Quicker invoice processing time facilitating payment of invoices to term.
To find out more about this service please read:-
To register for this service please go to e-invoicing.rbs.co.uk
Supplier information pack
All suppliers that are new to Heathrow must download and read the Supplier information pack. This ensures that Suppliers understand the way Heathrow trade, which in turn helps to minimise any ordering and payment issues that may arise.
Supplier information pack (30KB PDF)
What is CIS?
CIS is a scheme administered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to ensure that tax is collected from all payments made to businesses providing construction type services. (see list below for examples of services within CIS).
Businesses operating in the construction industry are known as subcontractors and they may be companies, partnerships or self-employed individuals.
With effect from 6 April 2007, before subcontractors can be paid under the scheme their customers have to ensure that they have verified with HMRC that their supplier is registered for CIS. Large tax compliant subcontractors can be paid the gross amount shown on their invoices but smaller subcontractors or those with a poor history of paying tax will not receive full payment as an amount will be deducted as tax and paid to HMRC on their behalf by their customer.
For more information please visit the Inland Revenue website www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk.
Who has to be CIS Registered?
Any supplier who will be carrying out maintenance or construction work on a Heathrow property has to be registered for CIS with HMRC before they can commence work on site.
As a company involved in major construction and maintenance work. Heathrow must comply with the CIS regulations. This means that the use of subcontractors must only commence after the supplier carrying out the work has been verified as CIS registered with HMRC. If Heathrow allows works to begin on site without verification of the subcontractor's CIS status it will be liable, not only for the tax, but may also be subject to significant financial penalties.
Using subcontractors / sole traders
Because of the complexity of the new tax rules and their interaction with employee tax regulations, Heathrow cannot now directly employ a sole trader to carry out maintenance or construction work on any BAA property. Therefore, if a sole trader must be used then he/she will have to be employed by an agency that is itself CIS registered, such as Capita Resourcing Ltd.
Examples of types of operations which are within CIS. (This list is not exhaustive!)
- Actual construction, alteration and civil engineering
- Installation of power, pipe and telecoms lines
- Road construction
- CCTV installation
- Fire protection systems
- Fitting floor coverings (excluding carpet)
- Painting and decorating
- Repairing street furniture
- Repairs to windows, doors and security barriers
- Repair to roads and bridges including white lining
- Demolition of buildings, structures and tree felling
- Site clearance
If you require further advice please contact the BSC Purchase to Pay Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vanessa Rand in Tax.