Account NI - questions and answers

Further information on Account NI are available through this list of questions and answers.

Who exactly does Account NI process invoices for? 

Account NI process invoices for the following departments, and not the wider public sector. 

Does Account NI support the 10 day prompt payment commitment? 

Yes, Account NI has taken steps to reduce invoice processing times to within 10 days of receipt of invoice for goods and services. Invoices are paid as soon as they have been fully authorised and quality assured by the departmental officials. This applies to all suppliers of goods and services but our existing contractual terms and conditions remain unchanged. 

Does the 10 day prompt payment commitment apply to my organisation? 

Yes, we have speeded up the payment process for all suppliers. 

When will Account NI start counting the 10 days? 

We will count from the day the invoice is received by government. 

How will I know when a payment has been made? 

You will receive a remittance advice by email or post. We make payments every working day and the advice will be sent out on the day after we make the payment. Where possible payments are made by BACs and will take a minimum of three days to arrive in your account. 

What would be the preferred method of payment? 

Our preferred method of payment is BACs. This is a more secure and convenient method for both Account NI and suppliers and we would encourage you to provide your bank details and avail of it.

What steps can I take to speed up my payment? 

Make sure you:

a) send your invoice to the correct address (see under where to send your invoices)

b) ensure your invoice is valid (see under good invoicing practice)

What other steps could we take to ensure that our invoices are in order? 

Ensure that your invoice/credit note is legible, especially if handwritten (our preference is for typewritten). In addition, ensure that it is:

  • printed on light colour paper
  • printed in a colour of ink that is not difficult to scan
  • not stapled, as this also creates problems for scanning

How is Account NI performing against the 10 working day target? 

In November 2008 the Minister for Finance and Personnel announced that NICS departments had been set a target to pay valid invoices within 10 working days. Since then, Account NI has taken steps to reduce invoice processing times, with invoices being paid as soon as they have been fully authorised and quality assured by departmental officials.

Payment processing performance tables show each department against this target. The figures reflect invoices received from suppliers, including utility bills and construction-related invoices for the Central Procurement Directorate's (CPD) works order processing system (WOPS).

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