School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

Finance and purchasing further information

Purchasing goods and services/High value purchases

Total purchase value (including VAT) is > £5k but < £25k: If the supplier is set up on the Finance system and a contract is in place, raise a PO. If no contract is in place, seek 3 written quotations and contact Procurement by emailing Note: A contract is only in place if it has been approved by Procurement. Contracted suppliers can be found here

Total purchase value (including VAT) is > £5k but < £25k: If the supplier is not set up on the Finance system, seek 3 written quotations and contact Procurement by emailing

Total purchase value (including VAT) > £25k: Request Procurement support by emailing 

Further guidance on purchasing goods and services can be found here

If Procurement is involved, please allow approximate 4 weeks for this process to be completed. 


Goods receipting

A goods receipt notice (GRN) is the formal declaration that goods or services have been received satisfactorily in part or in full, and acts as the authority to pay the supplier.  

When you receive goods or services you must acknowledge this via the goods receipting option in the finance system. Invoices from suppliers will only be paid where the invoice can be matched to a purchase order and confirmed as received through a GRN. It is very important that you only receipt when you have received the goods or services. Please check the FAQs for guidance on how to goods receipt here 


IR35/Invoices from suppliers not set up on UNIT4

If you want to engage a service provider (e.g. guest speaker, consultancy company) who is not set up on UNIT4, they need to be assessed in accordance with HMRC rules by the University’s HR IR35 team before they can start the work. Please complete the University’s Employment Status Questionnaire (ESQ) and forward the form to the HR IR35 team . Once the IR35 team have established the status as a supplier of services (and not as a worker subject to PAYE and NIC through the University’s payroll), a purchase order must be raised on the finance system.

Guidance on IR35 and the ESQ form can be found here. Please allow approximate 4 weeks for the IR35 team to complete the process.


Business travel and how to apply for a purchasing card (corporate credit card)

If you are required to travel on University business, please plan your travel well in advance. The University’s managed travel provider (Key Travel) must be considered in the first instance for all overseas travel and UK and overseas accommodation. You will require a user login for the University’s account. To get one please email your to ,  along with your name, department and contact number. (This can take up to 3 working days). Once you have your login details please navigate to the Key Travel portal to start your booking. Key Travel have also provided this guide .Please also check the university’s guidance on travel and insurance here

A list of useful Key Travel contacts can be found  here

If you have any questions about your booking or how to book, please email in the first instance but you can also call Key Travel on 0161 819 9767 for complex or urgent travel needs. The 24-hour emergency assistance line is + 44(0)20 7843 9602.

If you have not received a response from Key Travel about your login or query within 3 working days, please contact the University Finance Service Desk on .

If you are travelling on University business (frequent traveller/regular overseas traveller), you can apply for a purchasing card (corporate credit card). Details on how to apply can be found here

Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for all University business travel that involves either an overseas trip, or an overnight stay in the UK. Members of staff or students must arrange travel insurance through the University. You can find guidance on how to apply for travel insurance here .


Purchasing cards

If a low value purchase (below 5k) cannot be made using one of our approved suppliers, a purchasing card (corporate credit card) might be used. The School has a few members of staff who hold a purchasing card. If you have questions about the process, please contact Stefanie Freiling by emailing Please allow approximate 1 week for your request to be processed.


Budget codes

Please contact the Head of Department or Head of School if you are unsure what budget code to use.


Outstanding commitments against a purchase order you have raised

It is important to cancel any outstanding commitment to ensure unused funds are returned to the budget. If you have received an email about an outstanding commitment, please ensure you follow the guidance below. Although you might have already received the items, there is still outstanding commitment showing against a Purchase Order you raised. Please check any invoices showing against your PO on UNIT4 to ensure they match.

To check go to Reports - Purchasing Reports – Invoice Enquiry and complete the following sections: 

SuppID like

Order No 

Click on Search. This will bring up all the invoices recorded against your Purchase Order. If no invoice is showing, none has been received. Contact the supplier and ask them to submit any invoices to and please complete any GRN task on UNIT4.

If the Purchase Order is no longer needed, please email and ask them to close the PO.  

For any further information please see the “Purchasing Goods and Services” guide which can be found  here .


Useful contact details

Finance Help Desk (for staff only): or call 01273 87(7172)

Finance Help Desk for suppliers:

IR35 Team (for staff only):

School of Engineering and Informatics (for staff and students)

School Office:
School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Chichester 1 Room 002, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ
T 01273 (67) 8195

School Office opening hours: School Office open Monday – Friday 09:00-15:00, phone lines open Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00
School Office location [PDF 1.74MB]