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How does VU pay vendors and how can we all help?

Posted by on Monday, December 2, 2019 in Uncategorized.

The following chart gives a quick overview of Vanderbilt’s purchasing and payments processes:

Finance blog Nov19

VU faculty and staff can help this process run as smoothly and quickly as possible by double-checking the following steps:

  • When reviewing contracts or agreements, authorized delegated signatories should always ensure that Vanderbilt’s standard “net 45 days” payment terms are listed. “Net 45 days” means VU will pay the invoice 45 days from the invoice date. Since these are VU’s standard payment terms, this information should be clearly communicated to vendors up front (i.e., a contract or agreement should never be signed when payment terms are listed as “payment due upon receipt”, “net 30”, etc., unless approved by the Controller or Chief Financial Officer per the Invoice Processing Policy:
  • Procurement Requestors should inform vendors that, in order to receive timely payment for their invoices, the vendors must submit their invoices directly to When vendors send their invoices to recipients other than, Vanderbilt’s payment systems do not know the invoice exists and therefore the vendor will not be paid.  For example, if an invoice is sent to a department and sits there, there is no way for Vanderbilt’s payment team to know about it and for Oracle to pay the vendor.
  • Once a Procurement Requestor receives the Oracle system-generated invoice approval request email, he/she should check to ensure the following information is listed clearly and legibly on the invoice:
    • Supplier name and address and references Vanderbilt University;
    • Unique invoice number;
    • Invoice date;
    • Purchase order number;
    • Description of goods or services provided to Vanderbilt University; and
    • Invoice amount.

If any of the aforementioned items are missing, Payment Services must return the invoice to the vendor for corrections, which can delay the payment process.

For additional information pertaining to vendor payments, please visit the Finance website at

Our Purchasing & Payment Services teams are always happy to answer your questions or help guide you through this process. They can be reached by emailing and or by calling 615-322-2911.

Brett Sweet, Vice Chancellor for Finance & CFO