The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) purchasing card (PCard) is essentially a standard Visa card in which the credit liability rests with the University instead of the individual cardholder. The PCard is issued to a UNCG employee empowering this person to purchase goods, services and/or travel on behalf of the University. This program has been established to allow rapid purchase of low dollar goods and services while simultaneously reducing paperwork and handling costs associated with the small purchase process.
Under no circumstance may this Visa card be used for personal purchases. All expenditures must be within the allotted budget limits with funds in place before expenditures are made.
Role Definition and Responsibility
The department is responsible for reconciling all charges made with a PCard by their cardholders. A PCard Coordinator must be assigned prior to issuing PCards.
First Budgetary Authorities and/or Designees
Oversee the management of the PCard program within their department and assigns new cardholders and/or coordinators. Additional responsibilities include:
- ♦ Overseeing the appropriate use of assigned PCards.
- ♦ Ensuring sufficient funds for purchases.
- ♦ Designating permissible funding sources.
- ♦ Identifying PCard Coordinator backup (if necessary).
- ♦ Authorizing expenditures to be posted to Banner funds.
- ♦ Ensuring PCard Coordinator and Cardholder responsibilities are met.
- ♦ Notifying PCard Office if the assigned PCard Coordinator leaves their position.
- ♦ Selects department employees for participation in the UNC Greensboro Purchasing Card Program based upon business need and the ability to fulfill program requirements
The First Budgetary Authority may also be the PCard Coordinator or backup. However, all three signatures cannot be same on the Transaction Approval Report. If the cardholder, card coordinator, and budget authority is one person the signature from an immediate supervisor are required.
A PCard Coordinator/Approver and Backup
Must be listed within the University records system (Banner) as a permanent and active UNCG employee. PCard Coordinator/ Backup responsibilities include:
- ♦ Electronically reconcile transactions from the receipts given by the cardholders.
- ♦ Assigning the appropriate Banner fund/account combination for each purchase.
- ♦ Ensuring timely PCard transaction reconciliation.
- ♦ Verifying that reconciled transactions post correctly in Banner.
- ♦ Submitting documentation and information as requested by the PCard Office using the appropriate form(s).
- ♦ Notifying the PCard Office when there are changes to card status, including:
- • Changes to cardholder employment within the department
- • Unauthorized use of the PCard by a cardholder
- • Lost or stolen PCards
- • Suspected fraudulent charges
- • Disputed bank transactions
- ♦ Returning unused or canceled PCards to the PCard Department.
Cardholders are responsible for all charges made to their PCard. The PCard is to be used only by the named cardholder and cannot be given to another person at any time for off-campus purchases. A cardholder can purchase items for other employees within their department if applicable. The cardholder is responsible for:
- ♦ Obtaining budget approval prior to each use of the PCard
- ♦ Placing orders that comply with all PCard limits and Purchasing policies and spending guidelines
- ♦ Safeguarding the card and reporting any lost or stolen cards to the bank immediately
- ♦ Ensuring receipt of goods
- ♦ Obtaining original receipts for every purchase and submitting them to their PCard Coordinator within a timely manner, before the reconciliation deadline (see receipt section for details)
- ♦ Reviewing and signing the monthly transaction approval reports provided by their Coordinator
- ♦ Handling all disputes with vendors and bank, if necessary
- ♦ Providing PCard Coordinator with all information relative to the PCard transaction
- ♦ Taking steps necessary to obtain tax exempt status prior to making purchases
- ♦ Verifying service-providing vendors are incorporated
Benefits to the Cardholder
- ♦ It is easier to make purchases. The Visa card is accepted virtually anywhere, and it eliminates delays associated with asking a vendor to accept small purchase orders.
- ♦ Materials may be acquired faster.
- ♦ Complete transaction reporting is provided on a daily basis.
- ♦ Vendor information is easier to research and locate.
- ♦ Each PCard has a unique number that can default to one UNCG Banner fund/account.
Benefits to UNC Greensboro
- ♦ There are fewer computer entries and paperwork processing is minimal.
- ♦ Reduces the need for standing orders and petty cash funds.
- ♦ Provides increased security of purchases by restricting inappropriate Merchant Category Codes (MCC).
- ♦ Improves vendor relations by paying vendors 2 to 3 working days after the purchase is processed.
Benefits to Merchants
- ♦ The vendor is paid in 2 to 3 working days after the purchase is processed.
- ♦ The PCard process reduces vendor invoicing and the vendor’s accounts receivable process.
Limitations of Transaction Amounts
The following limits are the default maximum limits. If you prefer lower limits, you must put a request in writing (email is acceptable) to the PCard Office.
- ♦ Single purchase limit of $4,999.99.
- ♦ Daily purchase limit of $10,000.
- ♦ Monthly purchase limit of $25,000.
Daily and monthly number of transactions is unlimited at this time.
Splitting a purchase into two or more transactions to circumvent the $4,999.99 transaction limit is considered a misuse of the PCard and will result in the appropriate disciplinary action.
Travel booked on behalf of multiple people is not considered a split transaction. A single cardholder, such as the departmental administrator, may pay for travel charges such as airline or lodging reservations on behalf of multiple staff or students. The total charge limits are based on cost per person; which shall not exceed $4,999.99. If the total combined charges for multiple people exceeds $4,999.99, this will not be considered a split transaction as the charges were made on behalf of other individuals. The cardholder should instruct the vendor to process individual charges separately where possible and individual names should be included with reconciliation documentation and receipts. These limits do not apply to other charges such as office supplies or computers.
Limitations of Purchases
All vendors accepting VISA cards are registered with the bank under a self-proclaimed Merchant Category Code (MCC) identifying their type of business, i.e. airlines, music stores, medical services, florist, ABC stores, restaurants, office supplies, etc. The University has blocked all categories deemed inappropriate for UNCG use, such as entertainment, restaurants, ABC stores, etc. or you have exceeded the single transaction limit/daily transaction limt. If your card is declined, it is often because of a blocked MCC code. If this happens, contact the PCard Office to request to have the PCard opened temporarily to allow the purchase (if acceptable).
If the PCard is declined at a remote location (online, phone, or fax), in addition to the above, check the following items before calling the PCard Office:If the PCard is declined at a remote location (online, phone, or fax), in addition to the above, check the following items before calling the PCard Office:
- ♦ The billing address and telephone number: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402; 336-334-4104
- ♦ The card number, expiration date, and security code
In all cases, if all these items are correct, and the purchase is legitimate and allowed, contact the PCard Office to confirm that the decline is because of an MCC code, and to open the card temporarily to allow the purchase. The purchase can generally be made within 15 minutes after contacting the PCard Office. Longer wait times may be experienced because of the bank’s system or peak banking hours.
Updating Cardholder Information
Changes to personal data (address, telephone, fax, etc.) can be made by filling out a Change Form and emailing it to the PCard Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cardholders who change departments must return the PCard issued by the prior department and request a new card (if applicable) for the new department.
Purchase & Contract Policies
PCard cardholders must abide by all Purchasing policies.
Automatic Renewal of the PCard
PCards are issued with a three-year expiration date. When the renewal date arrives, a new PCard will be issued and the cardholder will be required to return their old card and sign for the new one. Cardholders are not required to renew their PCard, but must return their old card to the PCard Office to be destroyed. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to update the expiration date with vendors who have their card number on file.
PCards can be cancelled due to termination of employment, an employee transferring to another department, PCard inactivity, departmental request, PCard offenses or voluntary surrender.
- ♦ If a department wishes to cancel a PCard, it is the coordinator’s responsibility to email an official request to cancel the card or send the typed request on letterhead to the PCard Office.
- ♦ If a cardholder is transferring to another department, the existing PCard cannot transfer with the employee and must be cancelled. If the transferring employee is to use a PCard for his/her duties with the new department, the procedures for obtaining a new PCard must be followed.
- ♦ Whenever a PCard needs to be canceled, the following steps need to be taken:
• The department must contact the PCard Office immediately requesting that the PCard be cancelled.
• An official request to cancel the PCard must be submitted to the PCard Office via email or letterhead as well as the cut-in-half PCard, if the card has not already been destroyed.
Purchasing with the PCard does not change the rules and regulations required by the University or by your internal departmental procedures. All UNCG and State guidelines remain intact. The card is merely another means of payment.
Sales Tax Exemption
UNCG has North Carolina state sales tax exemption status. The University’s tax ID number is 400004. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to inform vendors of tax exempt status before making purchases and to provide them with a tax exempt letter if necessary. This letter is posted on the PCard website. Certain vendors, i.e. Wal-Mart, do not recognize the tax ID number listed above and issue their own tax ID numbers. Specific vendor information can be found on the website in our PCard How-To section.
Purchases made locally, over the telephone, online, or through a catalog, are state sales tax exempt. Refer to the tax exempt letter for further details.
If North Carolina sales tax is included in a purchase, it is the cardholder’s responsibility to contact the vendor and have the tax credited back to the PCard. Write down who you talked to, when, and the outcome of the conversation and include it in the PCard packet. If this does not occur and transactions are reconciled with sales tax included, the department may be subject to disciplinary action.
Repeatedly patronizing a vendor who does not give sales tax exemption will result in disciplinary action.
Anyone who enters into and/or authorizes a PCard transaction is accountable for such, and should act in a prudent manner, exercising good judgment as to the specific action and source of funding.
The cardholder is also responsible for determining the legitimacy of the purchase and the selection of the vendor. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of a vendor or individual, contact the PCard Office and DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR CARD NUMBER until you’re convinced the vendor is legitimate. The cardholder is the only person authorized to make purchases using the card. Giving your card or card number to another person or using someone else’s card may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to revocation of PCard privileges.
The department head or other authorized person(s) are responsible and held accountable for the financial activity and fiscal integrity of their departments.
Please refer to UNC Greensboro Purchasing Card Employee Agreement signed in the presence of the PCard Specialist or a designated agent. A copy can be found on the Purchasing website.
Use of State Funds
Use of state funds for PCard purchases should be in accordance with the Financial Services Policy 7 – Expenditure Policies. Special attention should also be paid to Purchasing Policy for Unique Purchase Items.
Purchases from Contracts and Grant Funds
The purchasing card is a purchasing tool. All grant and contract requirements to support cost allocation and document retention must be met for all PCard purchases using grant and contract funds.
The cardholder is responsible for obtaining itemized receipts with pricing for a monthly reconciliation process. The receipt must contain the vendor’s name, date of purchase, a description for all items, unit prices, payment method and a total. Packing lists can be used as a receipt only if all these requirements are met. Receipts are given to the PCard Coordinator on a regular basis to be used to reconcile the cardholder’s charges. Receipts and purchases may be tracked using the cardholder’s order log. Unique Identifier must be written on every receipt and the original receipts must be kept in the same order as the billing statement for easy review by the PCard Compliance Auditor.
There are several additional policies to consider when paying for travel-related items with a PCard. Cardholders should familiarize themselves with the Financial Services Travel Policies and Procedures, which must be adhered to when making travel purchases regardless of the means of payment.
- ♦ You should follow the proper internal procedures set up specific to your department for determining that a purchase is required and authorized.
- ♦ Determine whether the PCard is the most appropriate tool to use for the purchase (restricted item, over the single, daily, or monthly limits, etc.).
- ♦ Determine that the total amount of the purchase including shipping, handling, postage, freight, insurance, etc., does not exceed any of the limits listed above. If a limit is exceeded, the bank will automatically refuse the transaction and the vendor will reject the purchase.
- ♦ Determine that the price quoted is the best you can obtain. Be sure to request an educational discount.
- ♦ State that you are from UNCG and that you will be making your purchase on a VISA card.
- ♦ On ALL purchases, inform the vendor that UNCG is sales tax exempt before making the purchase. Our sales tax id number is 400004. If the purchase was made in person, verify that no sales tax was charged before leaving the business.
- ♦ Remember to give the supplier your name, department, phone number, and complete delivery instructions. It is recommended that purchases be shipped directly to your campus address whenever possible. Please do not use either a PO Box address or 1000 Spring Garden Street as your delivery address, as this will delay or prevent delivery.
- ♦ Obtain a receipt at the time of purchase or pickup. If an item is shipped, the packing slip must be kept if using it instead of a receipt. All receipts and other paperwork must be forwarded right away to the Coordinator so that the reconciliation process can be done in a timely manner.
Remember – the cardholder is the only person authorized to place an order. You may, when necessary, have someone else pick up the items; however, this person is not authorized to sign the credit card sales slip. Follow the applicable instructions for making purchases as described below.
Follow any applicable steps from the above instructions.
- ♦ Record the name of the person taking your order.
- ♦ Request that a receipt be faxed or mailed to you immediately showing all items as stated above in the Receipts section.
Follow any applicable steps from the above instructions.
- ♦ Retain a copy of the fax, and also the fax confirmation, for your records.
- ♦ Do not mail a copy of the order to the vendor because this increases the chance that the order will be duplicated. If the company requires the original be sure to clearly mark it “CONFIRMATION OF FAX ORDER, DO NOT DUPLICATE”.
- ♦ Remove the PCard card number from the faxed receipt before giving to your card coordinator.
Follow any applicable steps from the above instructions.
- ♦ Retain a copy of the order for your records, and request that a receipt is sent to you for your records.
- ♦ Remove the PCard card number from the mailed order before giving to your card coordinator.
Follow applicable steps from the above instructions.
- ♦ Make sure the vendor’s site is secured before entering your PCard card number.
- ♦ Your online receipt or order confirmation can serve as your receipt. Be sure to print this for your records.
- ♦ Remove the PCard card number from the online receipt before giving to your card coordinator.
- ♦ Do not use a personal account for UNCG-related purchases. Set up a dedicated business account using your UNCG e-mail address for any purchases made for UNCG.
Returns, Damaged Goods, Credits
Items purchased with the PCard may need to be returned. A few tips to make the process easier:
- ♦ You may not always receive a receipt for your returns or refunds. A Missing Receipt Form should be completed and submitted with each monthly packet.
- ♦ Always retain boxes, containers, special packaging, packing slips, etc., until you are certain that you are going to keep the items. Some items, such as software or fragile pieces, cannot be returned without the original packing materials.
- ♦ If applicable, read all enclosed instructions carefully. Often a critical phone number and other instructions are included the packing slip and/or receipt.
- ♦ In some cases there may be a restocking fee. The PCard may be used to pay this fee as long as it does not exceed any of the card limits.
Adequate receipts are required for all PCard purchases. Credits, international transaction fees, and erroneous charges seldom have receipts and must have a missing receipt form in the monthly packet in its place. Go to http://web.uncg.edu/bss/MissingReceipt to complete and print off the proper form. Please note that this form is not complete until you have submitted it online. A confirmation email is sent to the cardholder as well as to the PCard Office. If the cardholder does not receive an email, the Missing Receipt Form has not been submitted.
If you do not have a receipt for a legitimate PCard purchase, you must:
- ♦ Contact the vendor to request a receipt. Write down who you talked to, when, and the outcome of the conversation.
- ♦ If purchased online, sign in and see if you are able to view status of order and retrieve a receipt.
- ♦ As a last resort, complete a Missing Receipt form and keep a printout in your monthly PCard packet. You will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action outlined in Compliance Section.
To define and properly document the purchase and distribution of gift cards and gift certificates purchased using university or grant funds.
- ♦ Gift cards/gift certificates may not exceed fifty dollars ($50), per individual, unless approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Provost.
- ♦ They may be given for awards or recognition programs such as retirement events, employee recognition events, outstanding achievement, length of service, or participation in various studies.
- ♦ No State funds may be used to purchase these cards.
- ♦ Gift cards/gift certificates may not be used as a form of honoraria for employees. These types of payments must be processed through the payroll system.
- ♦ When gift certificates are being purchased with grant funds, the following criteria must be met: (1) the gift certificate is for research participant incentive payments only and (2) costs for research participant incentive payments are included in the researcher’s grant budget and allowable by the terms and conditions of the specific grant.
A signed “Authorization for the Purchase of Gift Cards/Gift Certificates” is required PRIOR to purchasing gift cards or certificates. This authorization is for a single intended purpose only – ie. a specific study, a specific event, etc. and must be specified in the “detailed description of intended purpose for items purchased” section on the form. It is recommended to limit the number of gift cards purchased at one time so that the disbursement documentation is more manageable. If the original intended purpose or intended vendor changes, a new authorization form must be completed.
The following information will be required:
- ♦ Purchaser’s Name
- ♦ Purchaser’s Department
- ♦ Purchaser’s Signature
- ♦ Vendor Name (where gift cards/gift certificates are to be purchased)
- ♦ Date and Amount
- ♦ Description of what’s going to be purchased (i.e., specific store cards or shopping center gift certificates)
- ♦ Description of the intent for use (i.e., a grant’s study, recognition of student employee of the month, recognition for retirement)
- ♦ Month/year cards need to be distributed
- ♦ Appropriate authorized signature and date
- ♦ Original itemized purchase receipt must be attached upon purchase
- ♦ This form must be attached to the appropriate documentation for payment (PCard receipt kept in monthly packet or BANFIN 32)
IV. Departmental Documentation
A Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log is required to record the dispensing of all gift cards purchased – even if only one card is purchased for one individual. In the event the gift cards are purchased for a study or research project where the participants are to remain anonymous, the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log AND the Confidential Gift Card Disbursement Logs must be maintained. Refer to the Gift Card Disbursement Log Tutorial for details.
- 1. Proof of original purchase and authorization form must be kept on file with the appropriate method of payment (i.e., PCard packet, BANFIN 32, etc.) The receipt must show the individual gift card numbers purchased.
- 2. Gift card/certificate numbers must be identified and entered in the “Gift Card or Certificate Number” column of the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log. Refer to How to Identify Gift Card Numbers for assistance locating the correct numbers. The amount of each card must be entered in the “Amount” column.
- 3. If cards were purchased using a PCard, enter the PC number (from PCWS) on the top of the form where indicated. The PCard Coordinator can provide this number, if unknown.
- 4. A photocopy of the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log (with the card numbers and amounts) must be kept on file with the appropriate method of payment in the department or with the PI. The original Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log is given to the person disbursing the gift cards.
- a.) The person disbursing the gift cards must update the disbursement log each time a card is disbursed:
- • Locate the card number on the disbursement log
- • Enter the name of the person receiving the card in the same line as the card number given
- • Ask the person receiving the card to sign their name in the signature field
- • Enter the date disbursed
- b.) The person disbursing the gift cards must sign the disbursement log in the issued by field.
- 5. As cards are disbursed, the person disbursing the cards must photocopy their logs to keep with the original receipt (in the PCard packet, BANFIN32, etc.) Once all cards have been given out, the photocopied log is replaced by the original, completed disbursement log.
- 6. At all times the total of the undistributed gift cards/gift certificates and the disbursement log must equal the total of all gift cards/gift certificates purchased. If the purchase was made using the PCard, and the packet is requested for audit, it is the responsibility of the department to provide the most up-to-date disbursement log, along with proof of remaining gift cards/certificates.
- 7. Confidential studies/research requires the use of a second log – the Confidential Gift Card Disbursement Log. This confidential log is kept in the department with the PI.
- • Prior to disbursing the cards, enter the card numbers in the Gift card or certificate number field on the log (as done on the Gift Card/Certificate Disbursement Log)
- • Assign each participant a unique participant ID/identifying number (you can use the last four digits of their Social Security number or University ID number, the study/research abbreviation and sequential number – such as PSYDEV01, or any other series of numbers of your choice)
- ♦ Enter the participant’s name and assigned ID number in the row containing the card number being disbursed to them
- ♦ Enter the date disbursed
- ♦ The participant must sign as an acknowledgement for receiving the gift card
The Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log must be updated with the information from the Confidential Gift Card Disbursement Log at regular intervals and at the end of the project (and remains with the payment receipt). On the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log in the row corresponding to the gift card number, enter the following for all disbursed cards:
- ♦ The participant ID/identifying number is entered in the Person Receiving Card or ID/Identifying No. field
- ♦ The Amount and the Gift Card or Certificate Numbers should already be entered
- ♦ “On file with PI” or “On file” is entered in the signature field
- ♦ The person who disbursed the card signs in the Issued By field
Policy approved and implemented April 2, 2009.
Purchases appearing on the monthly statement from the bank may be disputed up to sixty (60) days from the end date of the statement.
If a charge is not recognized by the cardholder, the first step is to contact the vendor for information regarding the charge. Contacting the vendor saves time and usually solves most issues. Write down the name of the person with whom you spoke, as well as the date and time of your conversation.
If you have a dispute and are unable to obtain satisfaction from the vendor please notify Bank of America’s customer service department at 1-800-300-3084. You will be required to describe the problem and all of the efforts you have made in attempting to resolve it.
The bank may also require that you complete the dispute form. Follow the instructions and fax the form to Commercial Card Services Operations at 1-888-678-6046. They can research the discrepancy and credit will be issued if, in fact, the charge is not valid. Research by the bank usually takes 3-4 weeks. Notify your PCard Coordinator and the PCard Office of all disputed transactions. Disputed transactions must be reconciled by the deadline date in PCWS. If it is an erroneous charge, a missing receipt form must be completed and placed in the PCard Packet in lieu of the receipt. Cardholders are not subject to disciplinary actions for disputed erroneous charges.
A copy of the dispute form should be kept on file in the department with the monthly packet.
Fraudulent charges must be reported to the Bank of America immediately at 800-300-3084. The bank will cancel the card, issue a new one, and follow up on the fraudulent transactions. Contact your PCard Coordinator immediately to advise that your card has been compromised and that you have taken the appropriate action to cancel the card and receive credit. Notify the PCard Office to request that the card be cancelled. The new card will be sent to the PCard Office and usually arrives within 7 business days.
The PCard Coordinator must still reconcile these charges by the deadline date, and place a Missing Receipt form in place of a receipt in the PCard packet. The subsequent credits will be handled the same way.
The delegation of authority to purchase goods using the card is a privilege that automatically ceases upon separation from the University or upon reassignment to another department. The PCard Compliance Office reserves the right to revoke and cancel any PCard(s) for failure to comply with the policies and procedures of the program. A PCard Compliance Reviewer in Procurement Services periodically reviews the departmental PCard purchases for propriety. These compliance reviews are meant to ensure purchases are made in accordance with State, University and PCard policies; help departments prepare for an audit; increase awareness of the PCard program among current and potential users; and implement process improvements where needed.
In addition to periodic reviews for compliance, the PCard Compliance Reviewer may identify PCard offenses and infractions and notify the cardholder and coordinator of the established disciplinary action. Other infractions, not already outlined, will be handled on a case-by-case basis by Procurement Services. Disciplinary action is taken against the offending card holder, except in the case where a coordinator’s duty has not been performed properly and/or when all cards for a coordinator are affected. In order to ensure compliance with the policies procedures of the program, the actions listed in the below chart will be taken by Procurement Services when infractions occur.
- ♦ Late reconciliation of statement
- ♦ Personal purchase that is made in error (Accidental use)
- ♦ Split transactions (to circumvent single transaction limit)
- ♦ Inappropriate and unallowable purchases*
- ♦ Failure to comply with NC State Contract Terms (without acceptable explanation)
- ♦ Using debarred vendors
- ♦ Gift Card issues (log, etc.)
- ♦ Missing or inadequate receipt
- ♦ Missing/Incorrect Signatures
- ♦ Missing 5Ws Information
- ♦ Sales Tax Issues
- ♦ Inappropriate use of funding source
- ♦ Other infractions deemed as minor by Procurement Services
Written warning or two week suspension of PCard (depends on the nature of the infraction*). PCard may stay suspended until issue is resolved and documentation of inappropriate purchases is received by Procurement Services.
Two weeks or one month suspension of PCard (Depends on the nature of the infraction*). Coordinator/Cardholder must justify in writing, as well as provide a list of actions taken to prevent future infractions from occurring, if requested by Procurement Services. PCard remains suspended until error is corrected and justification is approved Procurement Services.
PCard revoked. Cardholder blocked from new card for minimum of one to four months (Depends on the nature of the infraction*).
Self-reported accidental misuse will carry the least severe disciplinary action unless prior offenses have been committed.
*Willful misuse may result in immediate suspension of the PCard and/or termination of PCard. Infractions going beyond a third offense will be handled on a case-by-case basis and may result in the permanent cancellation of the cardholder’s PCard.
Refer to the Allowable/Unallowable tab on the PCard page.