Business Procedure Manual campus collage Vertical red bar NIU
Northern Illinois University
Table of Contents A - Z Listing Finance and Facilities Home NIU Home
Accounts Receivable Policies
Procedure No. 6-1
Revision 1/2011
  1. Accounts Receivable
  2. The university, through its Bond Revenue, Sales and Service, Local Fund Activities, and Income Funds, has cause to make sales and assess charges to various individuals, organizations, and agencies "outside" the university system. All sales and charges by a university department must be made via the "Request to Generate a Customer Invoice" form provided by the Accounts Receivable Office or directly into the PeopleSoft AR/Billing module if the department has access. Direct access to this module shall be determined by the supervisor of the Accounts Receivable Department. The AR office will use the information on the "Request to Generate a Customer Invoice" form sent by the departments without access to PeopleSoft to input data in the AR/Billing module. The AR office will also edit and process all invoices for accounting purposes and collection follow-up.

    Direct billings by any university department are a violation of university policies of internal control and are in conflict with audit recommendations.

    Accounts Receivable is defined as any amount owed the university by an individual, organization, or agency whose funds are not controlled by the university. Accounts receivables are established by the selling department or the department issuing the charge—not the Accounts Receivable Office.

    Departments desiring to issue university billings for the first time must obtain clearance through the Supervisor of Accounts Receivable. When a department has been authorized to issue university billings, it is assigned a three-character alpha prefix code by the AR department. This code will appear on all invoices followed by six numeric digits (i.e. THE000001). The PeopleSoft AR/Billing module allows each department to start their invoice numbering sequence as XXX000001 and will automatically assign the next number to be used.

  3. Preparing a "Request to Generate a Customer Invoice" Form—For Departments Who Do Not Have Direct Access To PeopleSoft

    A.      Access the website address as stated below and then go to the Accounts Receivable section and click on Excel worksheet macro in the “Customer Invoice” row.

    B.       Complete the Customer Invoice

    1.        Billing Department Information

    a.        Billing Department – Specific name of the department assessing the charge, i.e.  Holmes Student Center

    b.        Telephone Number – Telephone number of the person in the department who Accounts Receivable can contact if questions arise on the form.

    c.        Contact Person – Name of person who prepared the form.

    d.        Internal Log Number – This number is necessary only if the department uses their own internal control for these forms.

    2.        Bill to Information

    a.        Bill Type –  The three letters alpha code that was assigned to the department.

    b.        Customer Number –  The number PeopleSoft AR module has assigned to the customer.

                                                                                                                                           i.      If this is a new customer you must fill out a “Request to Add/Update a Customer Record” form before you can proceed with this form which is located at the following website address: 

                                                                                                                                          ii.      Go to the Accounts Receivable section and click on Excel worksheet macro in the “Add Customer” row.

    c.        Customer Name – The name of the person or company being billed.

    d.        Billing Address – The address of the customer being billed.

    e.        Contact Person – The specific individual of a company or business for the billing department to contact regarding questions or concerns.

    3.        General Description of Sale (Optional) – The PeopleSoft System allows an additional 255 characters to be used in the general description of the sale.

    4.        Item Description of Sale

    a.        Description – 30 characters available to be used to describe an item on the bill line.  If additional space is needed for a particular bill line, use the bill line note space. 

    b.        Quantity – Indicate the number of items being sold on this bill line.

    c.        Unit – Unit of measurement (ie. Ea., Day, Hr.)

    d.        Unit Price – Price of a single item being sold.

    e.        Sale Date – Date of the sales transaction.

    f.         Revenue

                                                                                                                                           i.      Fund – Indicate the fund (ie. 29, 41, 44, or 50) to be used on this bill line.

                                                                                                                                          ii.      Organization – Enter the department’s cost center/code to be used, including the two alpha prefix code.

                                                                                                                                        iii.      Account – Enter the six digit revenue code.

                                                                                                                                        iv.      Program – Enter the applicable three digit numeric/alpha code, if applicable.

    g.        Bill Line Note (Optional) – If more than 30 characters are needed to describe the item sold on this bill, this space provides additional characters.

    h.        Authorized Signature – Signature of person authorized to execute this sale if request is sent by mail.  A signature is not necessary if sent by email.


    III.                 Preparing an Invoice Using PeopleSoft


    Departments desiring to issue external university billings through the PeopleSoft module must obtain clearance with the Accounts Receivable Office. Each person requiring access must attend training sessions conducted by AR staff.


    When a department has been authorized to bill in PeopleSoft, the following procedures must be followed:


    A.      Each rollout department will create invoices through Billing > Maintain Bills > Standard Billing > Add a New Value.

    B.       Departments will have their own Bill Type (3 letter prefix) and Distribution Codes in the PeopleSoft Billing setup tables.  The Billing Specialist for each department should only use their particular Distribution Code.

    C.       When selecting a customer to be billed, only the Grants Fiscal Administration Department is allowed to use customer numbers starting with GFA.  All other departments must use the automatic customer numbering system starting with “1” or “0001”. 

    D.      The Fund and Organization must be the same for the Revenue Distribution and the AR Offset.

    E.       The departments will take responsibility for the readiness of the invoice by having their own internal approval procedure.

    F.       Full and partial credits will be created by the Accounts Receivable Department.  Please use the “Request to Generate a Customer Invoice” form on the Web to request full and partial credits.

    G.      When the invoice is in acceptable form, the department will set its “Bill Status” to “Pending Approval”.

    H.      The Accounts Receivable department will review all invoices in the “Pending Approval” status.

    I.         If revisions are needed, the AR Office will set the “Bill Status” to “New” and contact the billing department by e-mail or telephone.  The department is responsible for making the correction and resetting the “Status” to “Pending Approval”.

    J.        Invoices that are correct are set to the “Status” of “Ready” by the AR Department.

    K.      Invoices that have been set to “Ready” status by AR should never be modified.  Contact the AR staff and have the status set to “New”.  You can then make your changes and reset the status to “Pending”.    

    L.       Proformas will be printed by AR and sent to the billing departments.  This is the copy that must be maintained by the departments for audit purposes.

    M.     Departmental invoice distribution will be classified into two groups:  1) those that sometimes or frequently attach additional data to their invoices and, 2) those who never have attachments.

    N.      For departments who attach additional data to invoices, the Accounts Receivable Office will forward all invoices to them.  It will be the department’s responsibility to match attachments, mail invoices and keep appropriate file copies. 

    O.      The Accounts Receivable Office will mail all invoices for the group that never has any attachments to the customer.


    IV.                 General Policy Concerning Minimum Billings on NIU Invoices


    Invoices will not be processed if the amount is less than $5.00.  Billing areas should accumulate small charges to the same customer until they total $5.00 or more. Exceptions to this policy may be necessary for final billings at the end of an accounting period.


    V.                   Flow and Distribution


    If a billing department uses attachments at any time on its invoices, it will be the department’s responsibility to mail all its invoices. The department may choose to pick up the invoices and proformas in the Accounts Receivable Office or have them sent in the inter-office mail. However, the Accounts Receivable Office will mail the invoices for departments that never have attachments.


    VI.                 Timing Guidelines for Submission of Invoices


    Departments should submit "Request to Generate an Invoice" forms or enter on-line all charges incurred prior to month-end by no later than the 15th day of the following month.


    VII.                Timing Special rules for invoicing Student Organizations


    Special rules apply to many NIU Student Organizations that do not have a FEIN to allow them to charge for services. We recommend that you request to see the copy of their approved application form that is processed by our office. The “Application for NIU Accounts Receivable Number” is completed in our office by two of the Organization’s officers. The completed form will list an Expiration Date, Organization’s Accounts Receivable Number, Organization Name, Organization Mailing Address and the two authorized officers. The Application form should indicate that the original is “On File with AR” and should be stamped in red indicating that it is a copy. Invoice requests will not be processed for Organizations with expired authorizations. Only the two authorized officers are allowed to charge on the account. A photo ID should be presented to protect both the officer and the billing department. “Requests to Generate a Customer Invoice” from a non-rollout department must include one of the two authorized officers to be processed by AR. Rollout departments must include one of the two authorized officers on the “Attention To” area of the address page of all invoices to be processed.