The purpose of this page is to help Statewide Contractors understand and monitor payments by the Commonwealth. If the payment you have received is less than the amount you were expecting based on your invoice, please review this page before taking any other action.
This page covers:
Most Statewide Contracts have Prompt Payment Discount (PPD) terms – for example, 2% discount if payments are made within 10 days of the date the Commonwealth contract user received the invoice, 1% for payments made within 30 days of the date the Commonwealth contract user received the invoice. These are terms that were offered in the Statewide Contractor’s Bid Response or subsequent negotiations. For State Agencies (as opposed to municipalities), the PPD is taken automatically by the Commonwealth’s accounting system, MMARS. MMARS looks at the date the invoice was received by the State Agency, and calculates when to make the payment so as to receive the most favorable discount, while retaining the money as long as possible.
In the example above (2% PPD for payments in 10 days, 1% PPD for payments in 30 days), if MMARS received authorization to make the payment within 10 days of the date the invoice was received by the State Agency, MMARS would issue the payment just in time for the Statewide Contractor to receive it within 10 days of the date the invoice was received by the State Agency, and take the 2% discount. If MMARS received payment authorization 11 days after the State Agency received the invoice, MMARS delay payment for an additional 18 days, make the payment just in time for the Statewide Contractor to receive it within 30 days of the date the invoice was received by the State Agency, and take the 1% discount.
If no Prompt Payment Discount was offered by the Statewide Contractor, payment is made just in time for the Statewide Contractor to receive it within 45 days of receipt of a correct invoice.
The Comptroller’s Office, which operates MMARS, monitors State Agencies’ invoice payment practices and urges them to make payments in time to receive the largest available PPD.
Statewide Contractors are sometimes confused by the amounts taken as PPD, generally for one of two reasons. Some Statewide Contractors are under the impression that the PPD is based on their invoice date. In fact, it is based on the date that the contract user receives the invoice, which could be a few days, if the invoice is sent by mail; or the date that the goods or services were received by the contract user, whichever is later. Also, if the invoice contains errors, it does not “start the clock” on the PPD. The clock starts only when a correct invoice is received.
Another issue is due to the fact that the “date the invoice is received by the State Agency” is manually entered into MMARS by State Agency staff, who can make errors. Staff who are new to this task may enter the date they receive the invoice for processing, rather than the date it was received by the State Agency. If a Statewide Contractor knows that the PPD taken is not consistent with the date they sent the invoice to the State Agency, the Statewide Contractor must contact the State Agency (not OSD) to resolve the problem. Generally this is handled by the Statewide Contractor invoicing the State Agency for the amount that the Statewide Contractor was underpaid because the PPD was taken incorrectly, after the Statewide Contractor and the State Agency agree on what the PPD should have been.
The amount of the PPD for each invoice is shown in VendorWeb, see below.
Payments to vendors can be “intercepted” via MMARS for various reasons, for example, if the Statewide Contractor has not fully paid Commonwealth taxes. If this happens, the amount of the intercept is noted in VendorWeb, see below.
VendorWeb is a web application through which Commonwealth vendors may view their payment transactions with Massachusetts State Agencies. On VendorWeb, you will find information on both scheduled payments and payment history. To use VendorWeb, you must know your Vendor Code and the last 4 digits of your Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). Your vendor code can be found on your signed copy of the Standard Contract form. If you cannot locate your Vendor Code, you may contact your OSD Strategic Sourcing Lead (SSL). VendorWeb shows Prompt Payment Discounts as well as any intercepted payments.
VendorWeb only shows payments by State Agencies and other agencies who use MMARS, the Commonwealth’s accounting system. Municipalities do not use MMARS.
The Commonwealth's Bill Paying Policy is established by the Office of the Comptroller. This document outlines the Commonwealth's Bill Paying Policy and general payment policies that apply to the expenditure of Commonwealth Funds by State Agencies. Statewide Contractors, who are not paid within 45 days of the later of the State Agency’s receipt of a correct invoice, or the State Agency’s receipt of the goods or services, are entitled to charge a late payment penalty as described in this document.
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