Purchasing cards

Purchasing cards are also known as ‘p-cards' and ‘procurement cards'. Salford City Council offers purchasing cards as a preferred method of payment.

Salford City Council is introducing a range of electronic invoicing and payment options to improve the efficiency of the purchasing process for the council and suppliers. Suppliers who do business with the council will need to demonstrate that they are prepared to co-operate with the council in the achievement of this objective.

The use of purchasing cards can simplify the processes for the council and reduce the number of paper invoices it receives from suppliers. Suppliers also benefit in the following ways:

  • Payment within four working days
  • Reduced administration costs - no need to issue an invoice or chase up payment
  • Increased business opportunities
  • Improved cash flow

If you are a supplier that is interested in receiving payments by purchasing cards please contact us using the details below.

Mike Cross
E-Trading Team 
Salford Ciiy Council 
Chorley Road 
M27 5AW
Telephone: 0161 793 3963

Self-service invoicing system

We have developed a system that will allow suppliers and service providers to submit invoices electronically via a form on our website.

This will mean that you will be able to trade electronically with the council. All that is required is that you have received an official purchase order from the council, and that you have a computer with an internet connection.

There will be no cost to you for submitting invoices and if you agree to use the system to submit invoices, you will be offered 10 day payment terms rather than the standard 30 days. The solution has been developed ‘in house' so no commission is paid to any third party software provider.


  • Payment terms reduced from 30 days to 10 days
  • Invoices are posted into our system within seconds of the form being submitted - no waiting for council staff to receive and process an invoice 
  • Quick and easy user interface - an invoice can be created and submitted in seconds 
    No chance of invoices being lost in the post
  • Reduction in printing and postage costs 
  • A copy invoice emailed back to you immediately for your records 
  • No cost to you or the council

For more information, telephone Paul Narey on 0161 793 2117.

Receiving orders

Salford City Council prefers to send orders electronically. This is currently via email or XML. These are the fastest, more environmentally friendly ways of sending purchase orders.

Email orders

Email orders are sent as a PDF attachment to a standard email.

All you need to start receiving orders by email is an email address and a PDF viewer such as Adobe Acrobat which is available free of charge.

XML orders

We currently use cXML for orders.

We are only using XML ordering in conjunction with punch-out solutions. For more information, please contact e-trading@salford.gov.uk.

To receive orders by email or XML, please contact e-trading@salford.gov.uk.


We currently operate punchout solutions with several suppliers instead of holding suppliers' product catalogues.

Punchout is generally the first phase in an e-commerce implementation with a supplier.

What is punchout?

When we use an order created on a supplier’s website to populate our purchase orders. These orders are then returned to our buying application (SAP R/3). Typical lapsed time between a buyer clicking ‘confirm’ on a purchase order and order transmission is two or three seconds. This means that suppliers receive orders faster.

Usually we implement punchout a few weeks before moving to XML ordering. This means that we can generate and send plenty of test XML orders from the punchout system. For more information on XML ordering or punch out please contact e-trading@salford.gov.uk.


BACS stands for Bankers Automated Clearing System. Founded over 40 years ago, BACS provides a quick and easy way to make payments from one bank account to another.

Please contact us to apply to be paid using BACS.


Salford now has the ability to send BACS remittances to you by email. To register for this facility, please email e-trading@salford.gov.uk or telephone 0161 793 2117.

XML invoices

This page is intended for XML (eXtensible Markup Language) developers and e-commerce specialists

Salford City Council cXML invoices include detailed line item information. This means that the VAT for each item must be recorded at line item level in order to post successfully to our financial system.

The standard schema that Salford City Council uses for invoices is cXML 1.2.014.

DTDs, sample files and guidance is available from www.cXML.org. We recommend the user guide which should provide all the guidance necessary to create a cXML invoice.

Salford City Council is always interested in learning about different XML flavours. Please contact e-trading@salford.gov.uk with any queries or suggestions.

The guidance below provides information on Salford City Council's requirements which expands on the guidance given in the cXML user guide. This is not intended to replace that document.

We would recommend that any newcomers to XML visit the following useful websites.



Salford City Council eInvoice Document Type Definition (DTD)

A DTD provides a set of rules against which XMl documents can be validated for example which elements are mandatory and which are optional. Salford City Council has created a DTD for inbound CXML invoices which is available at the following URL: http://services.salford.gov.uk/einvoices/InvoiceDetail.dtd.

This should appear in the second line of the XML document as:

<!DOCTYPE cXML SYSTEM "http://services.salford.gov.uk/einvoices/InvoiceDetail.dtd">

For example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE cXML SYSTEM "http://services.salford.gov.uk/einvoices/InvoiceDetail.dtd">
<cXML payloadID="cXML-VAT-100" timestamp="2001-04-20T23:59:45-07:00" xml:lang="en-US">

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

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