The staff of the Office of Financial Management (OFM), National Institutes of Health, process approximately ½ million vendor invoices each year. Streamlining efforts and increased demands have mandated that the OFM change the way invoices are processed. Those demands include meeting ever-changing regulatory requirements, taking advantage of discounts, avoiding interest and other penalties, and meeting the numerous demands of our customers. To improve our service, the OFM has embarked on a major new initiative which allows staff to eliminate time spent handling paper and devote more time to paying invoices.
Upon receipt of an invoice, it is scanned into a system that interfaces with the Administrative Data Base (ADB) and appears on individual technicians desk-to PCs as an image of the original invoice. After being handled one time, the paper invoice is filed. Pertinent data from the image is captured in the scanning and indexing phases of the process and compared to NIH orders for goods and services stored in the ADB. If an invoice does not have the correct order number, or it has no invoice number, then it cannot be matched with an order, cannot be paid, and is returned to the vendor with an explanatory letter generated by the system. If the data from the invoices matches an order in the ADB, it appears on the PC screen of an accounting technician, will be considered for payment and paid at the first opportunity that it actually becomes payable. Assuming receipt of goods or services has be documented in the ADB, it is expected that most invoices will be paid the first time they are viewed and are payable.
This system also reduces the risk of lost or misfiled invoices, allows for quicker retrieval of information on the status of payments and reduces the processing time per invoice.
You may notice an improved response time for telephone calls to customer service. A new interactive phone system should provide better communication with commercial accounting. The customer service phone number still remains 301-496-6088.
Vendor Contact Notice