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COVID-19 - Finance & Accounting Service Update

Image representing COVID-19 - Finance & Accounting Service Update

NHS SBS Finance and Accounting (F&A) COVID-19 Response - Frequently Asked Questions

Supplier set-ups

We will prioritise new supplier setup requests relating to COVID-19. These should be clearly marked as urgent.

Supplier setup queries should be sent to:
Provider: SBS-W.Supplier-prov@nhs.net
ISFE/Commissioner: SBS-W.Supplier-comm@nhs.net

 

Ref.

Date Updated

Area

Sub Process

Question

Response

30

15/04/2020

P2P

Scanning

Is the Leeds office still open and are you still able to scan invoices?Scanning of invoices continues from the Leeds office, however we are encouraging suppliers to use electronic invoicing where possible to ensure prompt processing and payment. 
We have recently upgraded our inbound invoice solution and can now accept single invoice PDFs from suppliers by email. A communication has been sent out to all suppliers informing them of this additional service which will reduce the risk around processing paper invoices and support prompt payment.

29

15/04/2020

P2P

Payments

How is NHS SBS supporting the NHSE/I guidance around prompt payments to suppliers?NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued further guidance on the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note PPN 02/20. We are currently working on how we can support you to meet the requirement to pay all invoices within 7 days of receipt of goods and service and process part payments on the undisputed elements of all invoices currently on hold.
Full guidance can be found on the NHS SBS Extranet.

28

09/04/2020

P2P

Payments

How is NHS SBS supporting the NHS block payment process?We have worked in partnership with NHSE/I to support Commissioners making block payments in accordance with the guidance on 15 April/ 15 May/ 15 June.

27

09/04/2020

A2R

VAT

Has HMRC offered any other support on VAT?HMRC has offered a delay on paying VAT due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until 31 March 2021. VAT on imports from outside the EU of COVID-19 fighting equipment including PPE and some medical supplies has also been suspended. Acquisition VAT still needs to applied on these goods from the EU. For those clients who are mandated for Making Tax Digital for VAT the requirement to digitally link.

26

09/04/2020

A2R

VAT

What support is available to produce accurate VAT returns ?HMRC have extended the existing "estimation" rules to include COS VAT claims as well as on business VAT. This means that you can write to HMRC to explain why you cannot produce accurate returns and a method by which you could estimate the figures. HMRC will only agree to an estimation where return figures cannot be produced accurately. It will not cover situations where VAT figures are known but where a "best guess" is being used to establish whether VAT on an item is recoverable for example. NHS SBS VAT processes are currently functional, as such estimation is unlikely to be appropriate for our clients. As HMRC will usually agree a prudent approach in  many cases estimation can also produce a lower VAT recovery than would be available on an actuals basis. Please contact the VAT team if you wish to discuss this.

25

09/04/2020

A2R

VAT

Has HMRC changed the deadline for COS VAT recovery intended to be the June VAT return due 7 August 2020?Yes - HMRC has extended the deadline to the December VAT return. This means that VAT on COS services must be submitted in this return by 7 February 2021 at the latest.

24

03/04/2020

CSC

Contacts

How will the transfer of supplier telephone calls to the CSC impact on call handling time?Following the closure of our Noida office in India, all supplier calls have been transferred to our UK Client Service Centre (CSC). Due to the volumes, we are asking clients to raise queries by email. Thank you for your understanding at this time.

23

31/03/2020

A2R

VAT

How will VAT recovery be impacted by any increase in prepayments made to suppliers?Clients should be aware that any payments made to suppliers without an invoice will risk VAT recovery being missed. Should you need to process any payments without an invoice or where an invoice will not be received in AP, then you should notify the VAT Team.

22

30/03/2020

P2P

Procurement

Can you help in sourcing additional supply routes for COVID-19?In addition to the current range of support offered by NHS Shared Business Services, we have made the decision - alongside our Virtualstock partners - to issue all of our NHS contacts with immediate access to The Edge4Health marketplace. Our easy-to-use catalogue and ordering platform will allow you and your procurement team to identify suppliers, view items and pricing from a wide variety of suppliers to support you in sourcing the critical items you need for the effective delivery of healthcare, which you can go on to order in the usual way. To ensure we continue to improve on access to the items needed, NHS SBS will be working with suppliers to actively pursue increased supply availability through The Edge4Health and will issue updates to you as these become available. 

21

30/03/2020

P2P

Procurement

Could NHS SBS offer assistance to clients in raising requisitions where local staff are unavailable?Yes we are geared up to amend our Procurement Service for NHS SBS to raise the requisition on the clients behalf if local resourcing becomes an issue and help is required in this area.

20

26/03/2020

F&A

Contacts

Can I sill telephone my usual NHS SBS contact?As you will appreciate, the availability of any individual team member may change over the coming weeks and without notice. To avoid the risk this poses, please use our generic email addresses in all instances which are available here (Extranet).

19

26/03/2020

A2R

General Ledger

Will 3rd party Payovers be made to deadline?Pensions, Tax and NI will be processed to the usual deadlines and additional NHS SBS staff have been added into clients' hierarchies to maintain the workflows for approval and processing of 3rd Party Payovers.
There is a risk that some of these payments miss the deadlines but we will monitor and inform you in this event.

18

26/03/2020

A2R

General Ledger

Will my month end reports be delivered to the agreed schedule?Month end reports will be produced as normal by end of working day 1 and we will endeavour to support our clients to meet their year-end requirements. Interim and final packs will also be produced in accordance with the usual standard monthly timetable.

17

26/03/2020

A2R

VAT

Will I keep my existing VAT team member?As you will appreciate, availability of any individual team member may change over the coming weeks and months without notice. Please do use our generic email addresses, which will continue to be monitored.
VAT Compliance: SBS-W.VATTeam@nhs.net
VAT Consultancy: SBS.TaxConsultancy@nhs.net

16

26/03/2020

A2R

VAT

Should I undertake Third Party Reviews?Given the current staff reduction observed in the VAT Team, we may be limiting VAT processing to exclude amendments. We will keep amendments logged and on file, to action as and when possible over the coming months. We would ask you to consider not sending VAT Returns to external advisors for review during this time.

15

26/03/2020

A2R

VAT

Has the June VAT returns - COS deadline been changed?We have asked HMRC to look into extending this deadline and relaxing normal tax point rules so that items not recovered in year, due to a reduced analytic process, can be recovered in the next period. We understand many organisations have asked for this and the request is being escalated urgently at HMRC.

14

26/03/2020

O2C

Debt

How will debt collection be affected?The majority of our debt management is delivered from our Pune office and this service will see the biggest impact of staff shortages. In addition, we are already experiencing difficulty in contacting organisations which have gone into lockdown, often with phones diverted to voicemail. The service will therefore be scaled back in the short term and effort concentrated on collecting high value non-NHS debt.
Urgent contact details: SBS-B.Collections@nhs.net

13

26/03/2020

P2P

Payments

How will the Cabinet Office Procurement Policy Note (PPN) guidance to maintain Supplier payment be supported?Provider clients should consider increasing pay through dates to at least 30 days to support Supplier cashflow in accordance with the guidance. 
We would also encourage all organisations to consider reviewing their PO and invoice tolerances; increases may help ease the volume of holds created and support the flow of transactions through the system.  Any changes should be made with appropriate due diligence.
Clients should also consider increasing their BACS payment limits in line with the expected value of Supplier payments.
Further guidance will be issued following a full review of payment options by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

12

26/03/2020

P2P

Payments

Will other emergency payments still be supported?If you would like to accelerate your supplier payments then you can amend the pay through dates so they are caught on an earlier BACS run. However, on the rare occasion where you do have an urgent payment request, we will endeavour to deal with it as a priority. All requests for both supplier and payroll emergency payments must be made through the Oracle manual payments system. This will be kept under continual review.
Urgent contact details: SBS-W.CashPayments@nhs.net

11

26/03/2020

P2P

Payments

What if an urgent payment is required in connection with COVID-19 supplies?Any urgent payments in connection with COVID-19 will be prioritised and the request must clearly state this in the email subject line.  
We are currently experiencing a high volume of manual payment requests. Whilst these should be processed using the existing Oracle form, any requirement for Urgent high volume COVID-19 payments should be agreed with your Cash Management contact. Clients should note that the increase in volume may mean that invoices in the system may not be flagged in a timely manner and therefore may be at risk of double payment.
Clients must ensure that when approving the associated invoice this is flagged with the prepaid hold.
Urgent contact details: SBS-W.CashPayments@nhs.net

10

26/03/2020

P2P

Payments

Will payment runs be made in accordance with agreed schedules?Payments will be made in accordance with existing schedules. Therefore, please ensure that all critical invoices are approved for inclusion on the scheduled runs. Clients must ensure that members of staff are available to approve the payment run or notify us if there are any challenges to consider. Where circumstances dictate that an extra payment run is essential, we will do what is reasonably possible to support your request, although this cannot be guaranteed.
Payments queries to be sent to: SBS-W.PaymentsTeam@nhs.net

9

26/03/2020

P2P

Invoice Processing

How are you managing the throughput of AP Invoices?We have developed a daily dashboard that provides an exact status of AP invoice volumes and allows us to assign resources to clear critical areas in duplicates/holds/PO matching and all other areas to ensure that AP invoices are available without excessive delays.

8

26/03/2020

P2P

Supplier Maintenance

There may be a requirement to purchase goods outside of existing contracts therefore additional suppliers will require setting up quickly.Requests for new supplier set-ups should be kept to a minimum. Any changes to existing supplier files will be prioritised to ensure that the supply of critical goods and services is maintained. We will prioritise new suppliers requests relating to COVID-19 and these should be clearly marked as urgent.
Supplier set-up queries should be sent to:
Provider: SBS-W.Supplier-prov@nhs.net
ISFE: SBS-W.Supplier-comm@nhs.net

7

26/03/2020

P2P

Procurement

Will there be any impact on issuing Purchase Orders?E-procurement will have full support and all orders raised will be despatched as normal.
All queries should be directed to: SBS-W.eproc@nhs.net

6

31/03/2020

CSC

Contacts

Will suppliers still be able to telephone the Client Service Centre?Following the closure of the Noida office phone lines have been diverted to the UK. There is reduced capacity for answering telephone calls and a communication has been sent to around 50,000 supplier contacts requesting that all queries are sent to the mailbox: SBS-W.Payables@nhs.net.

5

26/03/2020

F&A

 Will Great Clients metrics still be issued?We have made the decision not to issue these until further notice and divert the staff involved to more business critical tasks.

4

26/03/2020

F&A

Contacts

If I have a specific question about my F&A service how should I get in touch?Please continue to use existing routes to contact the F&A Service. These can be found here.

3

26/03/2020

A2R

General Ledger

Is there a code within the Oracle system that I can recode the costs of COVID-19 against?Yes for Providers only - Analysis 1 code 03361 with the narrative COVID-19 Cost Incurred.
For ISFE bodies CORONAVIRUS A1 codes have been set up for reporting of COVID-19 related spend and you should refer to local guidance for details of the codes and how they should be used.

2

26/03/2020

F&A

IT

Can client employees use their home computers to access Oracle?The advice of the NHS SBS IT department is for client IT departments to set up VPN access for their staff so they access through a secure route - i.e. VPN into their own network and route them through HSCN on a known, white listed IP address.

1

26/03/2020

F&A

 What steps have you taken so far to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the F&A Service? Our business continuity plans have been invoked. We have enabled home working for a large number of employees to focus on delivering critical services and prevent disruption.