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Billing and Fee Collection
 
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1.0 Description

As identified in the chapter of the
Policies and Procedures on Providing Services to other Agencies, UNDP provides a variety of services to other UN Agencies, many of which arise due to UNDP’s ability to provide payment and procurement services at the country office level. Services include:
  • Payments to local and international third parties.
  • Procurement of goods and services.
  • Payroll services for UN agency staff employed under UNDP letters of appointment.
  • Common and shared services, such as the provision of office space, security and other miscellaneous field support.
For the purpose of cost recovery, the above can be categorized into three main groups of services provided on a reimbursement basis, namely:
  • Standard transactional services identified in the Universal Price List (UPL).
  • Non-standard ad-hoc services (not included in the UPL), costed locally based on local hour rates. The service fee for any non-standard services is be negotiated on an ad-hoc basis between each concerned UNDP country Office and the Agency receiving the service.
  • Common and shared services
Cost recovery for all of these services is done through the Billing Module in Atlas and/or a special-purpose cost recovery project set up in Atlas to recover costs from non-Atlas agencies where the use of the billing module is not viable (voucher-based services to non-Atlas agencies).

This section provides guidance and useful references on all the aspects above. This section is not a substitute for the chapter of the
Policies and Procedures
on the financial management service transaction.


2.0 Relevant Policies

For standard (UPL) and ad-hoc services, users should refer to
UNDP’s Policy on Cost Recovery from Agencies for services provided at Country Office level. This remains the main document to consult in order to gain an understanding of service provision as it relates to standard (UPL) and ad-hoc services regulated by the Memoranda of Understating (MOU) concluded with each individual UN Agency. Where useful, such MOU should be supplemented by a local Service Level Agreement.

The policy is to obtain payment for these services after the service is provided, based on standard UPL rates, where applicable, or local prices for non-standard (i.e. non-UPL) ad-hoc services. In all events pricing should be consistent with the
True Hourly Cost Methodology on which the UPL is based.

There are specific
instructions on billing workflows that conform to the quality and transparency objectives of the policy.

For policy guidance on common and shared services, users should refer to the relevant section of this chapter as well as the
UNDG Guidelines developed to regulate these services. These services should be regulated by a common shared service agreement (CSA) negotiated locally, based on templates available at the UNDG website. The policy is to obtain payments in advance at the beginning of the year so that UNDP offices do not end up advancing funds to cover the total cost of common services.

NB: additional specific tools related to these policies are available under the ‘additional info and tools’ section below.


3.0 Flowchart

There is no flowchart for this sub-process


4.0 Procedures

Atlas enables offices and units to issue bills to recover the cost of providing:
  • Standard, ad-hoc, and common/shared services to Atlas partner agencies (UNFPA, UNOPS, UNIFEM, UNCDF, UNV and IAPSO);
  • Standard, ad-hoc, and common/shared services to non-Atlas agencies;
  • Implementation Support Services (ISS) to project and programmes (NB: users should first consult the section in the Policies and Procedures on Programme Cost Recovery)
Generic Billing workflow





Billing workflow for Atlas Partners (UNFPA, UNOPS, UNIFEM)






Common and Shared Service Billing Workflow


 
4.1 Cost Recovery for Services to Atlas Agencies

With
the introduction of Atlas, UNDP now shares the same financial system with UNFPA UNOPS, UNV, UNCDF and UNIFEM (the “Atlas agencies”). This means that all Atlas transactions, regardless of who performs them, will be recorded directly against each Atlas Agency’s respective project budgets. These transactions will generally be done in the business unit of the Agency itself. Each time a transaction is conducted by UNDP staff on behalf of one of the Atlas Agencies, this should be recovered in a billing line in the Billing module. This is particularly important for services that are not generated and recorded in Atlas (e.g. visa requests, travel arrangements, etc.) The detailed steps are described below.

In order to report to Atlas agency clients, two queries have been set up to report on payment and procurement services provided by UNDP staff. These query outputs will also be used as supporting documentation and supplemental detail to the payment and procurement summary lines in a bill:
UN_CRE_AP_ACTIVITY and UN_CRE_PO_ACTIVITY.

4.2 Cost Recovery for Services to Non-Atlas Agencies

In contrast, for all other UN Agencies (the “Non-Atlas agencies”), we now have established a dedicated Service Clearing Account, (managed by Treasury Division) against which all global advance payments from UN Agencies are recorded), and against which all services are to be performed across all offices. Whenever a unit provides a service to an Agency, a budget sufficiency check is performed based on the chart field combination of “Fund” and “Donor”.

With respect to the cost recovery element of non-Atlas Agency services, there are three categories of services:
  • Services that originate within the Atlas Accounts Payable or Procurement module (payments, purchases, etc.);
  • Services that originate within the Atlas Global Payroll module (agency staff payroll); and
  • Services that originate outside Atlas (hotel reservations, visa requests, etc.). It is UNDP policy to charge UN Agencies for ALL services that are provided. Details on how to record transactions relating to Agency Services are included in an Office of Finance instruction of 16 January 2004 on Agency Services. The mechanisms for cost recovery for non-Atlas agency services differ based on the three scenarios.
For the automatic charging of those services that originate in the Atlas Accounts Payable module, each office was set up with a ‘cost recovery project’ which includes a distinct set of activities (e.g., Payment), and where each activity is linked to a rate template based on the UPL. When the cost recovery project and the correct activity are selected in the voucher chart fields at the time of making a payment (together with the other chart field elements as explained in the Agency Services Memorandum), Atlas will automatically generate the appropriate cost recovery fee in accordance with the UPL when the expenditure is posted to the project.

There are five services that are set up to automatically generate a fee, and these are the first five activities in the cost recovery project:
  • ACTIVITY1 Procurement Simple (1 procurement fee + 1 payment fee)
  • ACTIVITY2 Procurement Complex (1 procurement fee + 1 payment fee)
  • ACTIVITY3 Payments (1 payment fee)
  • ACTIVITY4 Payments – Ticket (1 ticket request fee + 1 payment fee)
  • ACTIVITY5 Payment – F10 (1 F10 settlement fee + 1 payment fee)
For all other services, fees are not automatically generated, and the costs need to be recovered through billing (see below). Please note that when processing payment vouchers with multiple lines, only choose one fee-generating activity, and choose ACTIVITY99, which does not create a fee, for all other lines.

At periodic intervals, a reclassification process will be run centrally which will pick up all the ‘fee’ rows sitting in each office’s cost recovery project, charge them to the Service Clearing Account, and post the income to the office’s extra-budgetary Fund (11300).

For charging of payroll costs against positions that are created for non-Atlas Agency staff, (refer to the Payroll chapter of the
Policies and Procedures and the Instruction on Position Management), the same approach as explained in the Agency Services memorandum should be followed. In this case, however, no cost recovery fee will be generated automatically, even though the cost recovery project is used. This is due to the fact that the payroll interface which sends the payroll expenditure data from the Global Payroll into Projects is not at the individual level, and therefore there is no way for the system to know how many staff are involved. The fee for recurring personnel management services is to be charged for each individual. It is, therefore, necessary at this stage to recover the cost of providing payroll services through the Billing module. The process is similar to that used for ISS. Billing details are provided below.

For cost recovery of those services that do not originate in Atlas, the same process as for ISS services is to be followed, i.e., through the use of the Billing module. The detailed steps are explained below.

In order to report to non-Atlas agency clients, two queries have been set up to report on payment and procurement services. These query outputs will also be used as supporting documentation and supplemental detail to the payment and procurement summary lines in a bill:
UN_CRU_CRN_AP_ACTIVITY and UN_CRU_CRN_PO_ACTIVITY.

Corrections
: ALL corrections for Agency fees need to be done through billing, as neither the rate template process, nor the payroll process have a built-in correction facility. The correction to the original fee can be made through a credit in the (next) Agency bill. The credit is done by choosing identifier 800001 and entering a negative amount, which will then be credited back to the Agency’s Service Clearing Account and debited from the unit’s XB account. Ensure to enter an appropriate reference in the PO reference field, which serves as a comment field.

For all corrections to accounting entries using either an APJE or GLJE, always use the cost recovery project with ACTIVITY99 to ensure that no additional fee is created for the reversal process.

For a summary of the various cost recovery scenarios, and how they are being addressed in Atlas, refer to the
cost recovery overvi​ew presentation in Atlas OnDemand.

4.3 Cost Recovery for Common and Shared Services (CSA) in Atlas

In general, the management of the Common and Shared Services Agreement (CSA) at individual country office level is regulated by the
UNDG guidelines on this matter.

The CSA management process revolves around the dedicated CSA Project and the use of the CSA-type bill. The CSA bill will be especially helpful to those offices that receive contributions from UN Agencies (Atlas and non-Atlas) in cash. Many offices presently use AR direct journals to record these contributions. The advantage of the CSA bill is that it will serve as a formal record that a bill was issued and it will create a “pending item” in Atlas so that offices can better track unpaid bills.

Where Agencies make “non cash” contributions -- i.e. via GLJEs or APJVs – you may wish to use the new CSA bill for these contributions as well, as a way to formally notify the UN Agency that the contribution is due. However, there is no way to “apply” the GLJE or APJV to the pending item and therefore the pending item will have to be “written off” immediately after approving the GLJE or APJV.
Specific instructions on how to manage CSA in Atlas are provided below, as follows:
  • SCENARIO 1 – Billing for Implementation Support Services (ISS) to projects – USE BILL TYPE IDENTIFIER ‘CRU’.
  • SCENARIO 2 – Billing for STANDARD (i.e. UPL) and non-standard/ad-hoc services to ATLAS AGENCIES - USE BILL TYPE IDENTIFIER ‘CRE’.
  • SCENARIO 3 – Billing for STANDARD (i.e. UPL) and non-standard/ad-hoc services to NON-ATLAS AGENCIES - USE BILL TYPE IDENTIFIER ‘CRN’.
  • SCENARIO 4 – Billing for common and shared services to Agencies - USE BILL TYPE IDENTIFIER ‘CSA’.
NB: while the overall process is the same, there are several important differences in each of the four scenarios.

To access the Billing Module in Atlas, navigate to:
Billing>Maintain Bills>Express Billing.

(NB: use only the “Express Billing” menu item)

Choose ‘add a new value’, enter your Business Unit, the Bill Type Identifier (see below). NB: the Bill

Source is always “ONLINE”, and the customer is the entity you are billing depending on the four billing scenarios: (see below).

Scenario 1 - Cost recovery of Implementation Support Services (ISS) – CRU Bill:
  • The bill type identifier for ISS cost recovery is CRU (Cost Recovery UNDP)
  • The customer is UNDP (00012), as our own projects receive these services. This includes UNV bills.
  • Navigate using the pull-down menu at the bottom right. Entries are necessary on the following pages:
    • Header-Primary: Select a contact person under “Biller” for your unit. This person’s name and email will be printed on the invoice.
    • “Header-Note”: Enter the billing period; important to avoid duplicate charges (once per period, mandatory)
    • Line List”: Enter the services using the lookup functionality. Table ID is always “ID”; the identifiers for the services are grouped by cost tiers. All high-cost countries start with 100001, mid-high countries start with 200001, mid-low countries start with 300001, and low-cost countries start with 400001. Please note that the prices are effective dated and use the date when the service was provided (i.e. when a 2004 effective date is entered, the UPL 2004 rates appear, whereas if a 2005 effective date is entered, the UPL 2005 rates appear. Services can be summarized by project, i.e. total number of payments done per project. It is important to hit the yellow project button to enter the PCBU, project and activity ID to be charged. The data is required when posting the bill information to GL and Projects. The project ID entered should be the same project ID used in the Acctg- AR Offset project field.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Line-Note”: Enter additional information, for example name of traveler
      (each time a service is provided)
    • “Acctg – AR Offset”: Enter the project chart string to be charged (debit side) as authorized by the project manager; The ACCOUNT code entered should be an expenditure account ONLY (60000/70000 series). The project ID entered should be the same project ID used in the Line List –Project button. Each line in the “Line List” requires a corresponding entry in this page.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Acctg – Rev Distribution”: Under “Code” choose the distribution code of your country office in the lookup. This is the credit side (the units XB account). The format is ISO_BI_XB. These codes have been set up for you as part of the configuration.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • Save! Bill can only be saved once the accounting information has been completed.
      (each time a service is added, mandatory)
    • “Header-Primary”: At the end of the billing period, the Operations Manager reviews the bill and changes the status from “NEW” to “RDY”. The regular batch process (weekly) then processes the bill. No changes can be made after that.
      (once per period)

Scenario 2 - Cost recovery from ATLAS Agencies – CRE Bill:

  • The bill type identifier for ISS cost recovery is CRE (Cost Recovery ERP Agencies)
  • Select Agency’s customer number (UNOPS=10036, UNFPA=10037, UNCDF=10038, UNIFEM=10039) These are specific interunit customers which are exclusively used for billing purposes!
  • Navigate using the pull-down menu at the bottom right. Entries are necessary for the following pages:
    • “Header-Primary: Select a contact person under “Biller” for your unit. This person’s name and email will be printed on the invoice.
      (once per period, mandatory)
    • “Header-Note”: Enter the billing period; important to avoid duplicate charges (once per period)
    • “Line List”: Enter the services using the lookup functionality. Table ID is always “ID”; the identifiers for the services are grouped by cost tiers. All high-cost countries start with 100001, mid-high countries start with 200001, mid-low countries start with 300001, and low-cost countries start with 400001. Please note that the prices are effective-dated and use the date when the service was provided (i.e. when a 2004 effective date is entered, the UPL 2004 rates appear, whereas if a 2005 effective date is entered, the UPL 2005 rates appear. Services can be summarized by project, i.e. total number of payments done per project. It is important to hit the yellow project button to enter the PCBU, project and activity ID to be charged. The data is required when posting the bill information to GL and Projects. The project ID entered should be the same project ID used in the Acctg – InterUnit Exp/Inv page project field.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Line-Note”: Enter information by Agency, for example name of traveler
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • Acctg – InterUnit Exp/Inv”: This is a different page from ISS billing! Enter the project chart string to be charged (debit side) as authorized by ATLAS Agency. The ACCOUNT code entered should be an expenditure account ONLY (60000/70000 series). The project ID entered should be the same project ID used in the Line List –Project button. Each line in the “Line List” requires a corresponding entry in this page.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Acctg –Rev Distribution”: Under “Code” choose the distribution code of your country office in the lookup. This is the credit side (the unit’s XB account). The format is ISO_BI_XB. By choosing a “code” the chart fields are filled automatically.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • Acctg – AR Offset”: Ensure that the ACCOUNT code contains the respective Due To/Due From account pertaining to the interunit agency (15010=UNCDF, 15015=UNIFEM, 15020=UNOPS, 15025=UNFPA). Each line in the “Line List” requires a corresponding entry in this page.
    • Acctg – InterUnit Payables”: Ensure that the ACCOUNT code contains the Due To/Due From UNDP account (15005). Each line in the “Line List” requires a corresponding entry in this page.
    • Save! Bill can only be saved once the accounting information has been completed.
      (each time a service is added, mandatory)
    • “Header-Primary”: At the end of the billing period, the Operations Manager reviews the bill and changes the status from “NEW” to “RDY”. The regular batch process then processes the bill. No changes can be made after that.(once per period)

Scenario 3 - Cost recovery from NON- ATLAS Agencies – CRN Bill:

Note: Voucher-based services (payments and procurement services that entail the issuance of an AP voucher in Atlas) will be recovered automatically when these services are provided using the cost recovery project with the appropriate activity. For all other services, the following billing process applies:
  • The bill type identifier for ISS cost recovery is CRN (Cost Recovery Non-ERP)
  • Select Agency’s customer number
  • Navigate using the navigation Pull-down menu at the bottom right. Entries are necessary on the following pages:
    • “Header-Primary”: Select a contact person under “Biller” for your unit. This person’s name and email will be printed on the invoice.
      (once per period, mandatory)
    • “Header-Note”: Enter the billing period and any other important references; important to avoid duplicate charges
      (once per period, mandatory)
    • “Line List”: Enter the services using the lookup functionality. Table ID is “ID”; the identifiers for the services are grouped by cost tiers. All high-cost countries start with 100001, mid-high countries start with 200001, mid-low countries start with 300001, and low-cost countries start with 400001. Please note that the prices are effective dated and use the date when the service was provided (i.e. when a 2004 effective date is entered, the UPL 2004 rates appear, whereas if a 2005 effective date is entered, the UPL 2005 rates appear. Services can be summarized by Agency, i.e. total number of payments done per Agency. Make sure to hit the yellow project button to enter the PCBU, your cost recovery project and ACTIVITY99. The data is required when posting the bill information to GL and Projects. The project ID entered should be the same project ID used in the Acctg- AR Offset project field.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Line-Note”: Enter additional information, for example obligation reference, account string, name of traveler, etc. as provided by the Agency
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Acctg – AR Offset”: Enter the Agency Service Account chart string to be charged (debit side). The ACCOUNT code entered should be an expenditure account ONLY (60000/70000 series). The project ID entered should be the same cost recovery project ID used in the Line List–Project button. Each line in the “Line List” requires a corresponding entry in this page.
Account
OperUnit
Fund
DeptID
Project
Impl Agent
Donor
same as service
your unit
12000
your department
your CR project
001981
Agency
(each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • “Acctg – Rev Distribution”: Under “Code” choose the distribution code of your country office in the lookup. This is the credit side (the unit’s XB account). The format is ISO_BI_XB. Currently there is a system error that shows the “code” field on the first line, and this problem is fixed centrally.
      (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
    • Save! Bill can only be saved once the accounting information has been completed.
      (each time a service is added, mandatory)
    • “Header-Primary”: At the end of the billing period, the Operations Manager reviews the bill and changes the status from “NEW” to “RDY”. The monthly batch process (1st or 2nd of each month) then processes the bill. No changes can be made after that.
      (once per period)

Scenario 4 Management of Common and Shared Services Agreements (CSA) in Atlas

CSA billing deserves special extended guidance. Offices should proceed as follows:
  • At the beginning of each year, each country office should agree with partipating resident Agencies on the estimated cost of common/shared services in accordance with existing UNDG guidelines. When negotiating Letters of Agreement on these services, including common premises, at a minimum consensus must be reached on the types of services covered, the total estimated annual cost of each service, as well as the share payable by each Agency. Based on the signed Letters of Agreement, UNDP COs should create one CSA invoice per Agency for the full amount due for the year, through the Billing module, listing all the service the Agency participates in, as well as its respective share of costs.
  • When Agencies are issued a CSA invoice using the Atlas Billing module, a receivable will be automatically created in the AR module. COs should use the receivables to track outstanding payments from Agencies, particularly in cases where Agencies provide only partial advances during the course of the year. Based on the issued invoice for common/shared services, the resident Agencies should provide local advances (at least quarterly) specifically for the services they participate in. These advances should be received and recorded by the UNDP CO as project-level co-financing for their common/shared services project/activity.
  • A Common/Shared Services project must be created and posted to KK before a CSA bill can be processed.
Creating a common/shared services project:

At the beginning of the year, UNDP COs should create a separate ‘common services’ management project, with at least the following distinct Activities (as applicable) for each common/shared service:
  • Premises
  • Security
  • Communications/VSAT
  • Dispensary
The total budget for each activity must be equivalent to the total estimated annual cost of these services. In case there are specific additional services that the agencies have agreed to share, additional activities can be created. The total budget for each activity must be equivalent to the total estimated annual cost of that services, and each participating Agency’s share in the cost of a particular service should be represented by one funding line under the corresponding activity in the project budget (see example).

In instances wherein the reimbursements from several agencies are lumped together, the common Donor code to be used is ‘ 00012’ – UNDP. On the other hand, you can use the individual agency (Donor) codes to reflect each agency’s share for reporting purposes.

In setting up the project budget chartfields, use the following FUND codes for common services budget and expenditures of the participating agencies:
  • 11920 - Premises
  • 11925 - Security
  • 11930 - Communication/VSAT
  • 11935 - Dispensary
These fund are cash-controlled by Department and not by Donor code. As for UNDP’s part, fund code 02300 or 11300 is used in the common/shared services project.

The budgetary ACCOUNT codes to be used for the Common/Shared Services project budgets are:
  • 73100 - Premises
  • 74300 - Security
  • 72400 - Communication/VSAT
  • 74500 – Dispensary
Positions and staff under common/shared services:

Whenever a position is funded by several Agencies under this arrangement, the Agencies also need to agree on the percentage split of total personnel cost upfront, and the administration of such a position follows the partially billable concept explained in the Payroll Section of the Policies and Procedures. All staff of all Agencies for whom UNDP administers pensions and/or MIP contributions need to be included in Atlas and payrolled in Atlas – even if they do not have Letters of Appointment from UNDP

Whenever Agencies agree to share the cost of a staff position, where UNDP’s share of the cost has originally been budgeted as part of General Operating Expenses, request a transfer of funds. For non-staff-related expenditure, the UNDP contribution to the common/shared service project can be brought in directly as a budget line from the Regular Resources ASL; this is not possible for staff-related items. The UNDP contribution is budgeted under the “7” series of accounts, whereas the salary payments from Atlas payroll are recorded under the “6” series. Hence, when staff under 100 or 200 series are recruited for a common/shared service project, it is necessary to request the Office of Planning and Budget to transfer the required funds from the Regular Resources budget to the shared services fund.

Dispensary services and supplies:

Dispensary services and supplies should be agreed on and budgeted as a distinct activity in the common services project in the same fashion as other common/shared services. Goods and services needed for the dispensary are procured directly from WHO against the common services project, and therefore should be received, and paid to WHO, by each individual office. ASD/OFA will no longer be involved in this process.

Contributions of UNDP to common/shared services:

UNDP’s contribution to common/shared services will consist of contributions that are managed at the fund/department level (e.g. regular resources support budget, UNDSS, country office XB earnings), as well as contributions that are managed within other UNDP projects (e.g. UNDP development projects).
For the contributions at the fund/department level, acceptable funding lines are:
  • fund code 02300 for the UNDP portion coming from regular resources BSB, or
  • fund code 11300 for extrabudgetary earnings, or
  • fund code 68100 for UNDSS (as agreed upon by the Field Security Officer).
Note that in the case of fund code 02300 you will have to reduce the budget in your management project accordingly.

For the contributions that are made out of other UNDP projects (i.e. development projects) it is important to show the contribution as an expense to the project as a debit using the common/shared services identifiers in the 800006-10 range. Consequently, a CRU bill must be used instead of the CSA bill and the credit to the common and shared services chartfields must be manually entered. (The existing CO billing distribution code does not apply.)

Contributions of Atlas Agencies to common/shared services:

In the case of ATLAS Agencies, advances will be given by the Agency on the basis of a CSA bill through the processing of General Ledger journal entries, crediting directly the CO’s common/shared services account. At the same time, the automatically created receivable will need to be written-off by the CO as an acknowlegment that the funds were received. If only part of the receivable is settled, then the remaining amount of the receivable should be also be written-off. (Write-off instructions to be provided with a forthcoming Accounts Receivable Atlas release.)

Alternatively, an Atlas agency might actually make a cash payment to the UNDP CO. In this case, the payment would be received by the CO and applied against the receivable created by the upload to AR of the CSA bill, which would then make the money available to the common/shared services project.

When creating CSA bill types for Atlas Agencies, the CUST ID selected should not be the CUST ID set up for the CRE bill type, which is specifically set up for the Inter-Unit Atlas Agencies.

Do NOT use CUST ID 10036 (UNOPS), 10037 (UNFPA), 10038 (UNCDF), 10039 (UNIFEM).

Instead, use the following CUST ID for the Atlas Agencies when billing for common/shared services using the CSA bill type:
  • UNIFEM - 10776
  • UNCDF - 10777
  • UNFPA - 10778
  • UNOPS - 10779
Contributions of Non-Atlas Agencies to common/shared services:

In general, if the non-Atlas agencies pay for their share in cash locally, the payment would be received by the CO and applied against the receivable created by the upload to AR of the CSA bill, which would then make the money available to the common/shared services project.

If no cash is received from the Non-Atlas Agency, the CRN bill type should be used.
  • A customization to the CRN bill type was developed to capture the non-Atlas Agency required data which are: PO Reference, ULO # and Agency Project #. Preparing a GLJE is not feasible since the above agency reference data will not be available.
  • The AP/AR work-around, if no cash is received from the non-Atlas agencies should be discontinued .
Creating a common/shared services (CSA) invoice
  • Once a common/shared services project is set up in the country office’s Business Unit, UNDP country offices should generate one CSA invoice per Agency.
  • A CSA bill can have one line or mutiple lines, depending on the number of common services the agency participates in. Each bill line represents a common service, using the relevant fund code. For example, a bill line for premises uses fund code 11920.
  • The bill type identifier for common/shared services is CSA.
  • CSA bill types must be created in USD (US dollars) currency only.
  • “Header-Primary”: Select a contact person under “Biller” for your unit. This person’s name and email will be printed on the invoice. If the currency code is NOT USD, at the header primary page, click the ‘Y L $’ icon (see screenshot below) and change the default currency to USD.
  • “Header-Note”: Enter the period (year) on which the common/shared service calculation is based and any other important references
  • “Line List”: Enter the services using the lookup functionality. Table ID is “ID”; the identifiers for the common/shared services start with 800007 to 800010 and include no default price. For each invoice per Agency, there needs to be only one line of service i.e. line for total cost of Premises, another line for cost of Security, another line for cost of Communications etc.). The common service project PCBU, Project ID and Activity must be properly entered by clicking the Project link. This is necessary to correctly set up the external pending item in Accounts Receivable with the common service project, against which payments will be made. (each time a service is provided, mandatory)
  • “Line-Note”: Enter additional information, for example square meters occupied by the Agency
  • “Acctg – AR Offset”: Enter 55085 for Account for each line created; receivable will be created automatically in AR based on this account
  • “Acctg – Rev Distribution”: Enter the accounting information of the common/shared services project you set up. Each line in the “Line Lis

 

 



5.0 Inputs

The following are necessary inputs to proper cost recovery for agency services at CO level:
  • An MOU with the agency requesting services;
  • A written service request from the agency (to serve as formal record of service request);
  • A system to track service requests (the billing module in Atlas essentially doubles as such a system)
  • A service pricing system (Universal Price List for standard services) based on the True Hourly Cost Methodology. For common and shared services, the agreement with agency should reflect a cost sharing formula. See UNDG Guidelines.
  • A billing system, currently Atlas-based, with customized billing options for charges to Atlas partners (CRE bills), non-Atlas partners (CRN bills), common shared services (CSA bill) and, finally, implementation support services to programmes (CRU bills);
  • A service reporting system, in the form of a number of relevant Atlas queries;
  • Additionally, a local service level agreement (SLA) may be useful in order to clarify service provision levels and expectations.
  • Finally, a billing cycle must be established that suits the billing workflow (see Flowchart section above)


6.0 Deliverables

N/A


7.0 Roles and Responsibilities

  • As a service provider, the Country Office bears the following responsibilities related to the fee collection cycle:
  • Maintain service request records. COs are to ensure that all service- providing units within the country office maintain accurate records of service requests by agencies, for reference purposes at the time of billing and in order to avoid disputes over the volume of services being provided to agencies. To facilitate this process, OMs may want to encourage the use of simple service record sheets, to be kept for future reference and for the purpose of billing transparency.
  • Establish a billing period and observe it consistently. On average, a quarterly billing period seems aappropriate to deal with the volume of services UNDP provides. Local measures may vary, and OMs should establish and observe billing periods that best fit local conditions and communicate effectively to service recipients/partner Agencies the duration of billing periods
  • Leverage billing functionality effectively. If the recovery occurs through the Atlas billing module, ensure at the beginning of each billing period that a ‘NEW’-status bill is created so that item lines can be entered and referenced by users in the service providing units. Over the course of the billing cycle, promptly enter bill item lines and properly reference each line by providing a reference number to the relevant voucher and/or otherwise briefly provide background information for the benefit of the client. Before the close of each billing period, ensure each invoice is reviewed by the recipient so as to minimize disputes. When finalizing bills, ensure that utmost care is paid to the review process to reduce the possibility of staging and/or budget check errors that would cause the finalized bill not to be picked up by the relevant batch process.
  • Leverage Atlas reporting functionalities and communicate with Agency clients. Communicate effectively with Agency partners and illustrate the use of relevant queries in the system that show the number of transactions carried out by a specific unit on behalf of a given client. Again, in this context ensure that all relevant reference fields are filled, in order to make it easy for recipients to track transactions.
  • Prevent charges disputes. At end of each billing cycle, COs should notify partner Agencies that the ‘NEW’-status bill is ready to be finalized and processed (‘RDY’-status). In turn, partner Agencies should review the bill within a specified time period (e.g. 3 days) and raise any objections/questions with UNDP. It is the responsibility of both the service provider and the service recipient to review effectively the items in question and to solve promptly any disputes. Note that any unresolved service issues should be referred to Headquarters level for resolution only after several (i.e. at least three) documented attempts to solve them have been undertaken at the CO level.
Relevant Headquarters units (BOM) must ensure that billing-related batch processes are run according to schedule to so as to enable proper income collection.


8.0 Templates and Forms

N/A


9.0 Additional Info. and Tools

The following documents should be consulted by any office that bills for services to UN agencies:


10.0 Lessons

A set of Frequently Asked Questions has been put together to collect the main lessons learned. However, since the introduction of Atlas billing is relatively new as of writing, users are encouraged to subscribe to the MPN sub-networks in order to remain updated on the state of the subject.


11.0 On the Drawing Board