Financial Services

Receiving of Shipments

Since the University does not operate a central receiving facility, each carrier, with the exception of Canada Post, delivers to each building as indicated on their waybill or bill of lading.

Delivery information is provided to carriers by the shipper based on the 'ship to' location indicated on purchase order, or information provided by the recipient of the goods where a purchase order is not involved.

It is important that consistent shipping instructions are given to vendors and shippers regarding the delivery address. The University has limited civic addresses and the University’s official business address is insufficient to permit delivery. The University’s name must always be shown as the first name in a consignment as this identifies the contractual parties involved with the shipment. International shipments where the University is not identified as the first name will likely experience a delay in the Customs clearance of the goods. The Customs release and clearance process is dependent on the Importer Name being shown first and foremost on the carrier’s documentation.

Definitions Useful for the Recieving Procedure

"Receiver" refers to the person who accepts deliveries from the carrier (delivery vehicle). The objective is to restrict the number of receivers to one for each campus building.

"Recipient" refers to the addressee of a shipment or the person delegated responsibility for opening the shipping cartons/packages and verifying that the contents agree with the packing slip and purchase order.

"Document Matcher" refers to a person who is responsible for matching of receiving documents, purchase order, and the vendor’s invoice to verify that all goods have been received before payment occurs. The document matcher may also be the recipient.

Receiving Procedures

The following procedure was established to ensure that a proper receiving record is maintained and to provide the documentation necessary for the matching and verification of vendor’s invoices.

1. The Receiver, on delivery of a shipment, shall:
(a) inspect the condition of the shipment and note any outward damage on the carrier's waybill/delivery slip;
(b) check that the number of cartons delivered coincides with numbers shown on the carrier's waybill/delivery slip;
(c) report any damage or shortages to the Procurement Services, Customs and Logistics team;
(d) where a carrier requires payment of transportation or Customs brokerage charges on delivery, advise the Customs and Logistics group prior to payment. Payment of transport fees by cash or credit card can result in duplicate payments where an account exists between Western and the carrier. Customs agent’s fees will never be collected by the approved Customs agent of the University. The University has accounts with most of the couriers and trucking companies serving campus and payment will be made centrally from Financial Services;
(e) sign the carrier's waybill or delivery document and release the carrier;
(f) record the receipt of the shipment into a receiving log;
(g) contact the recipient for pick up of the shipment;

2. The Recipient shall:
(a) Upon picking up the shipment the recipient shall:

  • ensure that the number of cartons being picked up matches the number received
  • sign the log acknowledging the receipt of the goods;


(b) transport the shipment to the destination location for unpacking and checking of contents;
(c) check the contents of the cartons against the packing slip and purchase order;
(d) immediately report any damage or shortage to the Customs and Logistics team;
(e) if the shipment is partial or if there is no purchase order, advise the designated matching point;
(f) if the shipment is complete, forward copies of all documents and packing slips to the designated matching point;
(g) retain files of all complete and incomplete orders.

3. The Document Matcher shall:
(a) Upon receipt of purchase order number the document matcher will advise the recipient, where necessary;
(b) Upon receipt of receiving documents (packing list, receiving report or exception) from the recipient:

  • attach documents to a copy of the purchase order pending receipt of invoice
  • if no purchase order is shown on the receiving documents, the document matcher will request the recipient to initiate a purchase requisition;


(c) Upon receipt of an invoice from the vendor or Financial Services:

  • check the invoice against receiving documents
  • immediately notify Accounts Payable of any discrepancies prior to the payment due date of the invoice
  • file completed documents;

Where an invoice has been received directly from a vendor, the document matcher must submit the invoice for payment to Accounts Payable.

Damaged, Lost or Short Shipments

Any visible damage to cartons or parcels or discrepancies in quantity noted on delivery should be clearly marked on the carrier's delivery slip before acceptance of a shipment. Failure to note visible problems will result in the decline of a claim by the carrier.

When the cartons or parcels are opened and damage or loss is discovered, it is referred to as contained damage. A detailed accounting of contained damages should be communicated to Customs and Logistics.  The team will arrange an appointment with the carrier’s inspector to examine the damage. It is important that all wrappings, cartons or other containers be retained so that the inspector may determine how the damage occurred.The inspector, on examination of the damage or loss, will prepare a report. This report should be forwarded to the Customs and Logistics team so that a claim may be made either against the carrier or the shipper whichever is deemed to be responsible. Any payment or credit received will be credited to the account to which the purchase was originally charged.