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Costain payment process

To be paid promptly to terms, suppliers should be aware of the Costain payment process.

Suppliers engaged by Costain must first register with Costain. Please see the link on the website in “Becoming a supplier” to the supplier self-registration form.

Orders for goods and services are placed following an approval process. Deliveries are recorded by the receiving project or department and processed by the responsible accounts’ person, for projects, a person usually based at the project location. All physical deliveries must be supported by either a hard copy or electronic validated (signed), Goods Received Note.

Invoices should be addressed to the correct business name (normally Costain Ltd but will be different for joint venture projects), sent to the address on the purchase order and quote the full order number. Where there is a project specific email address please send a copy to this in addition to a hard copy by post.

Costain has a three-way matching process when processing most invoices into its accounting package. The exceptions largely being supplies not involving deliveries.

Any discrepancy with an invoice that prevents processing should be advised to the supplier within five working days.
Standard suppliers are paid following reconciliation to the supplier’s statement, which should be addressed to Costain’s Maidenhead office or, preferably, sent by email to [email protected]

Payment runs are prepared weekly and include all processed and reconciled invoices with payments made by BACS following signatory signoff.

Payment terms, which are all based on supplier invoice date, and frequency of payment for suppliers vary between:

  • 21 days: weekly payment runs will include invoices once processed
  • 30 days (the most common terms): weekly payment runs in line with terms
  • 45-days: applied only to suppliers generating large invoice volumes and paid twice monthly.

Payment runs include all invoices processed that fall due up to and including the funds transfer date.

Subcontracts approved by the project team are paid to terms on weekly payment runs.

Where specific projects have trust bank accounts, suppliers are paid according to the trust deed for that bank account once the normal processing has been completed.

Costain is aiming to pay 95% of invoices within 60 days and invoices within agreed terms. An improvement plan has been produced and put in place to improve performance from current levels and payments data is monitored to check plans are generating the targeted results. This plan includes making process changes in the invoice to payment cycle, identifying where further resource might be required and encouraging our suppliers to assist with making the end to end process more efficient.

Invoice queries should be addressed to the project or department noted on the purchase order. If a query turns into dispute, resolution will be achieved by reviewing with all relevant parties. This may include the projects and suppliers’ teams, supply chain, procurement, commercial, accounts and accounts payable.

For major suppliers and subcontractors, central procurement will likely be involved and, where necessary, members of management.

If an agreement is not possible, potential dispute resolution methods may be used, most commonly, mediation or adjudication. If it remains impossible to reach agreement, the dispute may go to litigation.

Costain Limited - joint venture contracts

Joint ventures operate in a similar manner to the above, but all processing and payments are performed by the project accounting team. All documentation should be sent to the project address for the accounting team along with any queries.




Working with Costain

Becoming a supplier