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Agency FAQ- Invoice Processing Platform

Agency FAQ

Getting Started

1. Which agencies are eligible to participate in IPP?
IPP services are available for federal government civilian agencies, both U.S. Department of the Treasury (TDO) and Non-Treasury (NTDO) disbursed offices. IPP uploads payment information from Treasury systems for TDOs and imports ACH files produced by NTDO agencies.
2. How does a federal agency initiate IPP participation?
To participate in IPP, please contact us by phone or e-mail.
3. Are there fees associated to IPP setup or use?
No. There are no fees for services or support. The Treasury Department provides IPP services free of charge to federal government agencies and enrolled vendors.
4. What is required for IPP implementation planning?
The IPP agency outreach team will work with your agency to complete the IPP Agency Participation Agreement. After that, the IPP agency implementation team will work with you to create an implementation project plan.
5. How long does implementation take?

Implementation times will vary depending on the set of functions your agency chooses to implement. Baseline duration estimates for an implementation in five phases is illustrated in the table below:

Phase Description Estimated Duration
I Pre-Kickoff Outreach 1 month
II Kickoff 1-2 days
III Discovery and Planning 1-3 months
IV Implementation 3-6 months – depending on PO, Invoice and Workflow function selections.
V Production Go-Live 2-5 days
6. Can an agency use existing connectivity to Treasury Web Application Infrastructure (TWAI)?
Yes. Connectivity to TWAI is required for IPP implementation, and agencies may use an existing connection. IPP file exchanges are bi-directional, flowing to and from your agency’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

 

IPP Services

7. What payment types does IPP report to agencies and their vendors?
IPP reports on payments made by electronic funds transfer (EFT), Treasury check and wire-transfer. Note that offsets are not reported for checks. IPP posts Treasury Department payments as well as payments made by NTDO agencies. CCD, CCD+ and CTX payments are posted in the system.
8. What payment status values does IPP report?
IPP posts payments that are settled in full, returned, or canceled and replaced with reduced payments. Reduced payments include a display of offset details in the vendor portal only.
9. What electronic PO functions does IPP support?
Agencies may electronically send purchase orders blanket purchase orders, as well as changes to them, to IPP where both the agency and the associated vendor can be view them online. Vendors can then “flip” online purchase orders into invoices or credit memos. Vendors may also download the purchase orders. Vendors may load invoices in a batch called an “eFile”. Purchase orders include line and schedule information with accounting distribution details. Vendors do not have access to the accounting distribution information. Version numbers may be recorded when changes are made. IPP does not replace your agency’s ERP procurement system, which is the authoritative source system for order transactions. On invoice submission, each invoice is linked to the order to which it is associated. The values in the order control and limit what the vendor may invoice.
10. How does IPP manage change orders?
IPP supports order upload processing for change orders and allows for revision numbers, so the vendor can see the previous version(s), as well as the current version of the order. In this manner, IPP supports order versions and links all versioned documents for viewing.
11. What electronic invoice functions does IPP support for federal agencies?
In addition to receipt of electronic invoices from vendors, IPP supports a self-service function for agency users that allows online invoice creation from other sources. Agency users may create PO-based invoices from the electronic purchase order by populating the invoice fields using the PO “flip” feature or by generating a copy from an existing invoice. Agencies may upload and post electronic invoice files they entered or that were created by their vendors. Agencies then send invoice status update files to IPP to let their vendors know the “approved to pay” and “scheduled to pay” status and date.
12. Does IPP support credit memos?
Yes. IPP supports credit memo creation and processing for agencies and their vendors.
13. What is IPP invoice approval workflow?

IPP invoice approval workflow is a module that can be selected by an agency to use for online invoice approval routing. The IPP agency implementation team will work with agencies during implementation to set up workflow processing. Workflow holds the invoice in IPP until all defined approvals are obtained. IPP then presents the invoice for download to the agency's ERP system for final handling. IPP invoice approval workflow routes an invoice to approvers according to rules defined and maintained by the agency. The workflow rules utilize invoice header information, such as total amount, cost center identifier, department identifier or business unit code, or embedded routing information passed from the agency in the associated order. Workflow rules allow multiple paths per agency and include options for escalation, delegation (for vacation or illness) and manual reassignment with e-mail notification upon assignment.

IPP invoice approval workflow routes an invoice to approvers according to rules defined and maintained by the agency. The workflow rules utilize invoice header information, such as total amount, a cost center identifier, a department identifier or a business unit code. Workflow rules allow multiple configurations per Disburser and include options for escalation, delegation (for vacation or illness), manual reassignment, default approver(s) and e-mail notification upon assignment.

14. Can an agency enter invoices online to add them to workflow?
Yes. Through the agency self-service function, the IPP disburser module allows agency users to enter invoices online, to flip them from purchase orders, or create invoices from existing invoices to then add invoices to the workflow. This is useful if vendors have not uploaded or entered the invoices online or until vendors learn to submit their electronic invoices in IPP. These invoices can also be uploaded in a “batch” form.
15. Can an agency use the IPP workflow functions for all their vendor invoices?
Yes. Typically, all vendor invoices flow to the workflow process if workflow is enabled. For vendor-entered invoices, all vendors associated with agency invoices must enroll in IPP and then be matched by the agency to support invoice functions. An agency may configure IPP to automatically approve Invoices below an agency-set value, bypassing workflow.
16. Does IPP support e-mail notifications?
Yes. IPP supports user configured e-mail notifications for both agency and vendor users. Users may select event-driven notifications and schedule the frequency.

 

Vendor Enrollment

17. How do vendors enroll in IPP?
Agencies prepare vendors for enrollment by notifying vendors the agency is implementing IPP. Then, the agency develops enrollment request lists using either the “Vendors to Enroll” report or the “No Match” report that identify all the vendors on the master file to enroll. Agencies contact these unenrolled vendors to identify a contact name and e-mail address for the initial IPP user (account administrator) at the vendor and to alert the vendor that IPP will send them enrollment e-mails. The agency submits the completed list to IPP enrollment services to manage enrollment. Many agency vendors may already be enrolled in IPP however.
18. Who manages the IPP enrollment process?
The IPP customer support team and the agency implementation team work together to plan and execute vendor enrollment. The team contacts the vendor for the name and e-mail address of the initial IPP user (account administrator) at the vendor company and prepares the enrollment list. The IPP team creates and activates the vendor accounts and manages enrollment e-mails to vendor users. Agencies may track results online in IPP.
19. How does a vendor complete enrollment?
A vendor will complete enrollment when the first user completes provisioning to IPP in the Treasury Web Application Infrastructure (TWAI) environment and accepts the online vendor participation agreement. User provisioning consists of logging onto the TWAI web site (with the ID and password sent to the user) and accepting the TWAI's rules of behavior.
20. When can an agency use IPP to interact with a newly enrolled vendor?
An agency may interact with a newly enrolled vendor as soon as the vendor account is activated by the IPP customer support representative, and the agency matches one of its vendor master records to the vendor. Agency “matching” does not depend on new vendor users completing provisioning, just on the vendor account having been created. An agency should contact vendors before sending them PO files to confirm their users are set up to receive and process them.
21. How long will it take for an agency to enroll all their vendors in IPP?
Agencies use an IPP report to identify enrollment candidates and create any number of enrollment request lists to complete the enrollment of their full vendor master list. Contacting vendors to confirm names and e-mail addresses is the key factor in length of this process. A significant percentage of vendors may already be enrolled in IPP.
22. How will an agency's ERP system know which PO records to send to IPP?
Agencies add an IPP flag to vendor records in their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and develop a process to set the flag for vendors matched in IPP. Purchase order and invoice status files extracted for IPP are filtered by this vendor flag.
23. Why do agencies send a copy of their master vendor list to IPP?
An agency’s copy of its master vendor list (XMVL) in IPP establishes the “crosswalk” between the agency vendor record and the IPP vendor directory. When agencies submit a “match” between their vendor record and an IPP vendor, transactions are submitted to the corresponding IPP vendor account, and IPP sends invoices back to the agency’s ERP system with the appropriate ERP vendor values.
24. How do agencies send a copy of their master vendor list to IPP?
An agency may upload a copy of its master vendor list (XMVL) file to IPP using the preferred XML format with a standard scheduled task to support ongoing updates or, using the less preferred online browser upload request, in a .CSV format.
25. How is the agency's master vendor list used for IPP vendor matching?
A copy of the agency's master vendor list (XMVL) is housed in IPP to support "matching" to the IPP vendor directory. The agency record keys are associated to IPP record keys, so that agency PO, invoice and payment files can be properly associated to IPP agency and vendor accounts.
26. How does an agency initiate a vendor relationship in IPP?
Using the IPP matching function, an agency user must establish a relationship between each vendor record in its copy of the master vendor list (XMVL) and each vendor account. IPP runs a scheduled process to identify proposed 100 percent TIN matches and to identify unmatched vendor records. Agencies can review a report of proposed matches and either accept each page or accept individual matches. Agencies review the "no match" report to initiate the enrollment process for unmatched vendors.
27. Can an agency activate multiple vendors at one time?
Yes. The agency master vendor list (XMVL) and IPP vendor directory may include thousands of records. IPP supports automated matching by running a nightly process which will display all proposed matches to an agency user who may accept all or selected matches.

 

Administrator and User Roles

28. How does IPP handle management of the agency, or disburser account?
IPP has two levels of the disburser (agency) module: the disburser administrator and disburser modules. The disburser administrator module is available for users with the administrator's permission. The agency uses this application to: set up users and roles; assign permissions; create groups and assign members; select options, define rules and validation for data entry and invoice submission; and create and schedule integration tasks. The administrator may select workflow routing options and assign filters to users to limit their view of transaction pages or vendor pages. Please see the next question for details on the disburser module.
29. What transaction types and functions are available for Disburser users?

The Disburser application manages the following transaction types:

  • PO/Blanket PO
  • PO-based Invoices
  • Credit Memos
  • Payment Information

Additional functions include vendor management, transaction searches and reports, invoice approvals, and self-service, online invoice creation. Agency users may also configure their own transaction event-driven e-mail notifications.

 

IPP and Agency ERP Integration

30. What user roles are available for invoice approval workflow?
Agencies may create roles and levels of workflow. The agency assigns users to roles and creates rules for invoice assignment to set up workflow in IPP. The maintenance of these roles and workflow rules remains with the agency's administrators.
31. Why are agency location codes (ALC) required for a disburser, or agency account setup?
IPP uses the ALC owned by each federal agency during IPP disburser, or agency account set up to identify the correct disburser for payments posting from the Treasury Department to IPP, and potentially, to manage transaction ownership in federal shared service providers. The ALC on the payment record allows IPP to post it to the correct IPP disburser account. Thus, an ALC value may be assigned to only one IPP disburser account.
32. Does IPP support agency accounting codes for data entry or workflow routing?
Yes. IPP supports a number of mechanisms to allow agencies to use their accounting data reference sets when entering or routing invoices. Currently, workflow may only be applied to the entire invoice, so the selected portions of accounting codes needed for use in routing are given at the invoice-header level.
33. How do agencies integrate their ERP system’s units of measure (UOM) with IPP?
Agencies will compile a set of UOM codes and descriptions for the IPP agency implementation team to map to the IPP standard set and upload to IPP. This step is required for order and invoice services to display IPP standard values.
34. How do agencies integrate their discount terms with IPP?
Agencies will compile a set of their discount terms in a template and present them to the IPP agency implementation team for upload support. The discount terms are parsed into the template and loaded into IPP to support discount amount and anticipated date-due computation. The terms data may optionally also display to vendors, who may, on selection of the option by the agency, select an alternate approved (and better for the agency according to agency provided rankings) term than the one given on the PO when creating an invoice.
35. Does IPP support the Prompt Payment Rule?
Yes. IPP reinforces agency compliance with prompt payment business processes through invoice aging reports, configurable workflow escalation strategies and e-mail alerts. The workflow function supports the recording and passing of the approval date to the agency ERP system to start the prompt payment clock for invoice processing.

 

Government Standards

36. Are user sessions and data access secure?

Yes. IPP supports secure user sessions and data access. IPP is in compliance with Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements and is fully integrated with the Treasury Department User Provisioning Service (UPS), which manages user authentication and application-level permissions.

IPP supports administrative accounts that manage user roles and permissions. Internet file exchanges are secured with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). Bank account data associated with payment remittance is encrypted in the database.

37. Is IPP Section 508 compliant?
We strive to have the IPP site in compliance with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. It is an ongoing effort as new functions are tested and added.

Please call (866) 973-3131 or e-mail us at IPPCustomerSupport@fiscal.treasury.gov to report any compliance issues you may find on the site.

38. Is IPP a government standard service for digital invoice processing?
Yes. In 2007, IPP was recognized by the Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) as a best practice for electronic receipt of invoices from vendors. In addition, IPP leverages web-based computing best practices to help agencies comply with the Federal Cloud First initiative. IPP also supports two of the Treasury Department's 12 transformational initiatives aimed at reforming federal financial management and is an approved shared service offering under the Shared First initiative.
39. Is the IPP part of the System for Award Management (SAM)?
IPP is not integrated with the SAM. All government vendors must continue to maintain their account data in the SAM registry and activate it annually. Vendor data in IPP depends on the source agency to manage bank account validation and current information. Some IPP agencies use SAM for this purpose.

 

Operation and Support

40. What are the IPP hours of operation?
IPP services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The IPP Customer Support Team is available to assist users Monday through Friday (excluding federal holidays) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern and can be reached at (866) 973-3131.

41. What help services are available and are they fee-based?
The IPP Customer Support Team is available to answer customer questions, provide assistance with login, and troubleshoot any issues encountered. In addition, IPP has help links for all major functions.

Customer support is provided free of charge to agencies and vendors. In addition to the toll-free number (866-973-3131), the IPP Customer Support Team can be reached at IPPCustomerSupport@fiscal.treasury.gov.

42. Does IPP have a message that an agency could add to its web site to notify vendors about IPP?
Yes. Agencies may add the following message to their web sites:

About the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service Invoice Processing Platform (IPP)

IPP is a secure online service that exchanges electronic POs and invoices and enables retrieval of payment details and history. IPP services are easy to use and are available at no charge to participating federal agencies and their vendors. To enroll in the IPP Payment Notification Service, call IPP Customer Support at (866) 973-3131.

IPP customer support is available to assist users from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). A user ID and password are required to view payment information.

Customer Support

(866) 973-3131
IPPCustomerSupport@
fiscal.treasury.gov


Standard Operating Hours
Monday-Friday*
8:00 AM to 6:00 PM ET

*Except Federal Holidays