Incoming Invoices Protocol

Status: LIVE

Incoming Invoices Protocol

General rules

  • Incoming invoices should always be sent to If anyone receives an invoice to their personal email: a) forward it to, and b) kindly ask the sender to send future invoices to 

  • All incoming invoices must be approved.

  • Invoices are approved using the 4-eyes principle.

    • First, the HoF does an initial check, and as part of this check ensures that:

      • a) legal requirements are satisfied

      • b) the invoice is factually correct: the correct 9Y company is invoiced, there is a relevant Activity, the hourly rate charged is correct, the underlying work is tracked in our time tracking system, and the work can be attributed to a particular person (developer, designer, etc.).

    • The HoF then immediately sends the invoice for approval, to the person responsible for the expense (see below). The HoF should act quickly. That 2nd person should give a go for payment.

  • Spenders are welcome to provide recurring-approvals towards the HoF. E.g. "Up to 100USD/mo on Bitbucket is approved by the HoP.". Such recurring-approvals should always limit the monetary amount. The HoF should seek a new approval if an incoming invoice exceeds the limit. So for example if 100USD/mo for Bitbucket was approved, but the bill jumps to 200USD/mo, the HoF must ask for a new approval.

  • Once an incoming invoice has been approved according to the 4-eyes principle, the HoF is responsible for paying the invoice.

  • Some invoices that we receive, will already have been paid, e.g. purchases with credit cards. These still need to be approved according to the 4-eyes principle. In such cases, the purchaser may want to proactively inform HoF of incoming expenses, and if they're recurring to what monetary amount these are expected.

  • Paying invoices late is a great way to sour relationships, so we always strive to move keep invoices moving through the process quickly. HoF aims to pay all invoices ahead of deadline. HoF should follow up with the relevant people regularly so that invoices can be paid swiftly.

  • HoF will accommodate all reasonable requests from the seller, e.g. for earlier payment. Very often we don't *have* to do something, but it may still the right thing to do it, so we should do it.

  • The HoF is responsible for not double-paying invoices.


Customer projects (as part of the Product Team)

  • For customer projects, the HoF should send to invoice to the relevant PM for approval. HoF should already know who the main PM for a project is, as this should have be communicated actively to the HoF when the Product Clan accepted the new project. In case of doubt, the HoF can double check with the HoP who the responsible PM for a particular project is.

  • It's possible that an incoming invoice relates to multiple projects and would therefore fall under the jurisdiction of multiple PMs. In such cases, the HoF sends the invoice to all relevant PMs, and each PM can only approve the part of the invoice that they are responsible for. The HoF is responsible for ensuring that all sub-parts of the invoice have been wholly approved by the relevant PMs, and only then can the invoice be paid.

  • If the incoming invoice is not reasonable with respect to the work that it's for:

    • the PM must immediately contact the contractor and ask for an explanation, in a friendly manner.

    • Only once the PM is satisfied, should they give the HoF the go for payment.

    • If the PM is not satisfied with the explanation, appropriate measures must be taken and this should then be a three-way conversation between the PM, HoP and HoF.

  • If an invoice will not be paid on time by us, then the PM is responsible for communicating and justifying this to the contractor ahead of time. If this is due to Finance reasons (e.g. cashflow), then HoF must duly inform the PM of the situation so that the PM can adequately explain to the contractor why the invoice payment will be delayed.


Other incoming invoices:

  • Spending authority outside of the Product Clan is typically granted as part of OKRs to Clan/School Leaders.

  • Spending authority can also be given by a Role directly, for example the HoP has authority over all spending on software tools. The CRO has authority over spending within the Sales Clan. 

  • The person who has spending authority, is the one from whom the HoF should seek approval. The HoF is responsible for collecting approvals, and for making sure that it gets paid.

  • If the HoF is unsure whom to ask for approval, check in with the CEO.