Receipt & Payment


The receipt and payment of materials and services is as important as ordering itself. This section discusses WHOI internal process to ensure that the items and services WHOI orders are the items and services we receive.

WHOI coordinates the ordering and payment processing of its orders. Under the Finance and Accounting departments, The Procurement Office bears the responsibility of procurement and Accounts Payable handles payment for goods and services.  Both departments are located in GEOSECS and work closely together. This gives our Procurement Team member a unique view of the entire transaction, creating an environment where the person responsible for processing the payment also has intimate knowledge of what was ordered.

Central Receipt

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution maintains a central receiving operation and all ordered items should be received in the receiving department at the following address.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

266 Woods Hole Road

Woods Hole, MA 02543


Receiving is managed by the Facilities Department and the Receiving Team is responsible for acknowledging receipt of all incoming shipping traffic as well as its redistribution throughout the WHOI campuses.

Members of the Receiving Team will verify the quantity of items received against the quantity ordered on a Purchase Order using the SunGard OneSolution receiving module. They will visually inspect for damages and refuse items that appear to have extensive damage.

As the Receiving Team does not possess intimate knowledge of the items ordered nor the capability to test them, they are not able to ascertain if an item is indeed usable as intended by its Requisitioner.

Final inspection of materials against specification is the responsibility of the requisitioner; therefore, it is imperative to inspect your shipment and verify its quality upon receipt. Delaying this inspection may hamper the effort to return materials that do not provide the quality required.

When an item does not meet your specification or is damaged, contact your Procurement team member immediately. He/she will assist you in returning the item and negotiating a remedy with the supplier. The Procurement team member can obtain an RMA number for a returning order, but the return is not processed through Procurement. You need to repack your order and enter the shipping request.

Direct Receipt

From time to time, it may be necessary to have shipments directed to a location other than central Receiving. In these cases, the Requisitioner is responsible for acknowledging receipt of items or services.

This approval may be emailed to Procurement Representative noted on the Purchase Order acknowledgment. Please note name of the individual who actually received the order and the date received.

Packing Slips

In the event that a shipment bypasses Central Receiving and is shipped directly to you, the packing slip that is provided by the supplier is a critical document. This document commonly shows a shipping number, the Purchase Order number, the quantity ordered, the quantity shipped and, when applicable, the quantity back ordered. It is your record of what was sent to you by the supplier and is used to track the shipment throughout the system. Please submit a copy of this to and retain this form for your reference.

Invoices & Discounts

While the Institution prefers invoices to be sent from the supplier to the Procurement Office, sometimes invoices may inadvertently be directed to you. When this occurs, please forward the invoice to the Procurement Office immediately. If you have contact with the supplier, please update them with our address.

WHOI Procurement

266 Woods Hole Road MS#1

Woods Hole, MA 02543


Many of our suppliers will offer discounts that apply only when invoices are paid within a period determined by the supplier. Forwarding all invoices to the Procurement Office will ensure that the Institution can take advantage of these discounts whenever possible, thereby reducing costs incurred to your projects and/or cost centers.

Authorization for Payment

Whether receiving occurs centrally, at a remote site, or directly by the Requisitioner, all supplier invoices are matched against the items or services ordered on the Purchase Order as well as the items or services received. At WHOI, a three-way match is accomplished electronically through the SunGaurd OneSolution ERP system.

The system will verify that the item or service received matches the quantities and prices of the items or services ordered, and that the invoiced amount matches both. When applicable the system automatically creates back order information, releases encumbrances, creates appropriate entries in the General Ledger, and closes fully paid orders when all items/services have been received and paid.

If you have a procurement that requires your authorization prior to payment, please advise us when you place your requisition.

Service Invoices/Repair Invoices:
All service invoices require authorization to pay from the end user or his/her surrogate via e-mail or receipt form.

Wire Transfers

A wire transfer is performed when:

  1. Invoices are in foreign currency
  2. Invoice terms state please wire funds

Please provide the following information for on a Request for Wire Transfer form: 

*Name/owner of bank account
*Bank account number
*Beneficiary bank name
*Routing/ABA number

International/foreign wires require a SWIFT code and/or US correspondent bank information if available. (Please do not convert foreign currency into U.S. dollars as this process is handled by Cash Management at the time of the wire transaction) 

Please send this information to Accounts Payable, MS #1.  A Wire Transfer Form will be processed and forwarded to the Cash Management Office. Domestic wires are generally completed within 24 hours upon receipt and foreign wire transfers may take from one to five business days.

Invoice Tolerances

When processing invoices, the Procurement Team works within institutionally defined parameters to determine what is a reasonable variance between invoice total and Purchase Order totals. These tolerances allow Procurement to process payment of invoices that exceed the value of the Purchase Order.

If the value on an invoice for a Purchase Order of $100 or more exceeds 5% or $300 of the Purchase Order total, whichever is least, the invoice cannot be processed until a Purchase Order change is issued by the requester. As an example, if a Purchase Order is written for a total of $1,000 but the cumulative total of the invoices for the Purchase Order is $1,051 or, if the value of the order was $6,000 but the invoice total was $6,300, a Purchase Order change would be required.

Receipt and Payments Processing for SOS and Procurement Card Programs

Both the SOS and Procurement card programs have unique requirements regarding how receipt and payments are processed. Please refer to the specific procedures for these processes.

Last updated: September 25, 2015