Skip to main content
Accounts Payable Data Collection: submission support

Accounts payable data illustrates actual expenditure of NHS care providers.

Learn how to register with the Strategic Data Collection Service using NHS Digital's single sign-on, download and add your data to the template, and submit your data.

New users wishing to submit to the Accounts Payable Data Collection should first register with SDCS and create an account using our Single-Sign-On.


Download the data template from SDCS

You can only download a template from SDCS when the reporting period it's linked to is open. This prevents users from downloading old versions of the data template that are no longer accepted by SDCS.

On the top ribbon, navigate to the ‘Submissions’ drop down and then select ‘New’.

SDCS new submissions drop down menu

You'll be taken to the ‘Submissions’ page. If you have multiple open reporting periods that you can submit again, select which collection you would like to make a submission against. This will enable the ‘Download Proforma’ button. Click to download the latest version of the template.

SDCS download proforma button

You can also check the latest version number which is displayed next to the ‘Download Proformabutton. 

You are not required to download a new version of the template for every reporting period. You can continue to use the same template if the version has not changed. You only need to download a new version if there is a significant change to the template. You'll be informed of this in advance and the new version number will also be displayed here.

SDCS works on minor and major versioning. A minor up version is by a decimal and a major up version is by a whole number. If there is a major change, a new template will have to be downloaded.

Here are two examples of minor and major versioning:

  1. Minor version changes: You have downloaded version 1 of the template and there is a minor change, therefore the latest version is 1.1. You can continue to complete and submit version 1 or download the minor change. Usually minor changes are formatting changes or are changes that only affect specific users. Therefore, only the affected users would need to download the latest change. While changes are only minor, you can continue to use earlier version of the template. 
  2. Major version changes: You have downloaded version 1 of the template and there is a major change, therefore the latest version is version 2. Version 1 or any iteration of version 1 (1.1, 1.2 for example) will not be accepted by SDCS and you'll have to download the latest version. Major changes are much more significant changes to the template (such as a new question) that affects all users. It's mandatory to download every new major up version. 

Complete your data

Depending on your version of Excel, you may be required to enable macros. When you first open the template, you might be presented with a security warning which prompts you to enable macros. If you notice this yellow ribbon when you first open the template, please click ‘Enable Content’. 

Excel template security warning: enable content

If this doesn’t work, there is additional guidance on enabling macros on Microsoft’s support page.

Once you've enabled content you can click on one of the five corresponding tabs. The 'Guidance' tab, found in the footer, provides details of how to successfully complete the form.

The 'Data requirements guidance' tab describes which tabs are mandatory and which are optional to be completed in the 'Adddata' tab.

Data collection template, data requirements guidance tab

In the 'AddData' tab complete all mandatory fields.

Data can be copied into the form using your own data source.

Once complete click on the “Validate Now” button - this will check the data quality of the input data and returns relevant error/warning messages if there are issues with the data quality.

Data collection template, Add data tab

If you do not click on the 'Validate now button', your submission will fail when trying to upload to SDCS.

Click 'OK' on the pop-up box.

MS Excel pop-up box

After you click on 'OK' another popup will appear. You can decide to stop validation after the first 100 rows or continue.

MS Excel full validation pop-up

Once completed it will advise you to check validation for any errors - this will provide you the cell number and the reason for the error. These must be corrected before uploading.

Data collection template: check validation errors

Last edited: 9 December 2019 3:18 pm