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Prompt Payment

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, we answer questions about:

Receiving invoices

OMB Directive M-15-19 (2015) stated that by the end of 2018, federal agencies would need to transition to electronic invoicing for appropriate federal procurements.

Getting vendors to fix invoice problems

Paying invoices

Resolving problems related to interest for late payments

Dealing with internal government (not vendor) payments

Purchase Card

When to Pay a Federal Agency's Credit Card Bill

Government-wide commercial purchase cards includes centrally billed travel cards, fleet cards, and other “credit cards”. If your agency use a credit card, you must pay the bill on the date that is best for the government.

If the card issuer offers "basis points," paying early may save money. However, paying as late as possible without incurring late fees and penalties is best. To determine when to pay a credit card bill, you can use either an Excel spreadsheet or a formula.

Accelerated payments

Agencies should pay vendors early after getting a proper invoice if it is in the best interest of the government and if any one of these is true:

  • The invoice is under $2,500.00.
  • The payment is to a small business; or
  • The payment is related to an emergency, disaster, or military deployment.

Other situations for early payment

In some situations, agencies may pay a proper invoice early without evidence that the goods or services were received (See 5 CFR § 1315.6 and 5 CFR §1315.4(j)).

An agency head or designee may determine, on a case-by-case basis, that early payment is necessary.

Note: This authority must be used cautiously, weighing the benefits of making a payment early against the good stewardship inherent in effective cash management practices. An agency may use the “accelerated payment methods'' (5 CFR §1315.5) when it determines earlier payment is necessary.

Last modified 07/03/23