Purchasing Card Program

The Purchasing card (Pcard) program has been established to provide authorized faculty and staff with a convenient and efficient means of purchasing regularly consumed supplies and services needed for University business. The University P-Card is a credit card issued from Commerce Bank and should be accepted by any supplier that accepts VISA. When making a purchase with a P-Card, cardholders do not need to complete and forward a purchase requisition to the purchasing department. The purchase transaction is accomplished completely between the cardholder and the supplier.

The cardholder is responsible for maintaining itemized receipts, with complete supporting documentation for all purchases on the card. At the end of each month the cardholder is responsible for verifying each charge, assigning a valid general ledger account number and business purpose in the allocation process on the Commerce Bank Control Pay Advance (CPA) website. The cardholder electronically routes the statement for approval by the department chair/administrator and/or Dean/VP  who have been designated the signature authority over the card/accounts.  The cardholder is also responsible for printing his/her statement from the CPA website, attaching all supporting documentation, obtaining any approvals not otherwise secured electronically, and forwarding the completed statement to the Purchasing Office for review. 

Purchasing Card Policy Guide

Receiving a Pcard

A complete Purchasing Card Application Form (link to Purchasing Card Application
Form) must be submitted for each prospective cardholder. This form must be signed by the cardholder, account manager/department heads, and be approved by the Dean or Vice-President. Completed forms are sent to the purchasing department of the Controller’s Office for approval. Students can not be cardholders. The Controller’s Office reserves the right to review and change (if necessary) any or all of the cardholder purchase limits. Once the application has been approved, the bank is notified to issue the card. Prior to receiving the card all cardholders must sign the Purchasing Card Agreement (link to Purchasing Card Agreement Form).

Replacement Card

University Pcards expire every three (3) years. Authorized cardholders shall be provided with a new card automatically. Upon receipt of a new card, it is the cardholder’s responsibility to destroy the expired card.

Lost or Stolen Cards

The card is University property and should be kept in a secured location. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to keep the card account number confidential. The cardholder is the only person authorized to use the card. If a card is lost or stolen, the cardholder should:

Notify the University Pcard Administrator immediately at 677-3229.

Notify Commerce Bank Cardholder Support immediately at 1-800-892-7104.

A bank representative is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Upon verbal notification of a lost or stolen card, the bank will block any further use of the card. A replacement card with a new account number will be issued.

Changes or Revision to Limits

Any revision to a cardholder’s predetermined purchase limits should be requested in writing by the department chair/administrator, and sent to the University Pcard Administrator.  The request should state the proposed limits and the specific university reason for the change.

If a cardholder or department chair/administrator requires an emergency temporary change in a card’s limit, they should contact the University Pcard Administrator at 677-3229.

Splitting a single order into multiple orders to evade the Cardholder’s transaction limit is contrary to the Pcard policy and should not be done

Cardholder Separation from the University

Prior to separation from the University, cardholders must surrender their Pcard and corresponding support documentation to the University Pcard Administrator.

Using the Purchasing Card

The Pcard is to be used solely for substantiated University business. Personal charges made on the Pcard could be considered fraudulent and are in direct violation of this policy. Use of the card must be consistent with good purchasing practices, and comply with University purchasing policies.

Acceptable Purchasing Card Purchases:  

  • Office supplies
  • Subscriptions
  • Dues
  • Publications
  • Books & periodicals
  • Conference registrations (if a travel card is not available)

Unacceptable Purchasing Card Purchases:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Cash advances
  • Cell phones
  • Consulting Services
  • Contractual Obligations
  • Furniture or Equipment over $1000.00
  • Insurance
  • Travel expenditures
  • Personal items
  • Personal services
  • Leases
  • Moving Expenses
  • Independent contractors           

A cardholder determined to have made unauthorized purchases using the University’s PCard will be held liable to the University for the total of the unauthorized purchases. Unauthorized use of a University PCard can result in revocation of the cardholder’s charging privileges.

Purchasing Card Spending Guidelines

Sales Tax

The University is exempt from sales tax when purchasing tangible personal property for organizational use. All suppliers should be notified of this exemption at the point of sale.  For this purpose, a tax exempt card is given when the cardholder is issued their Pcard. Additional copies can be obtained from the purchasing office in the Controller’s Office. Some merchants may require a copy of the official tax exempt letter. Please contact the purchasing department of the Controller’s Office for a copy of this letter. Internet purchases may also require a phone call to the merchant with the University’s tax exempt information.

Purchases Using Restricted Funds

All purchases charged to a restricted account are subject to the grant/contract terms and conditions and must be in compliance with the approved grant/contract budget. Any purchase deemed to be unallowable or not in compliance with the grant/contract will need to be canceled/returned to the vendor, charged to another University account, or paid for by the cardholder.

Receipts and Supporting Documentation

Original detailed receipts are required for all purchases. Detailed receipts must include supplier name, transaction date, total cost, and an itemized list of the items purchased. Each detailed receipt must support the entire charge amount.  A business purpose for the expenditure must be listed.

Allocating the Charges

At the end of the Commerce Bank monthly billing cycle, the cardholder will be notified by via email that the purchases within the billing cycle require allocation on the Commerce Bank CPA website. (https://controlpayadvanced.com).  The allocation process is detailed in the Pcard CPA Manual (link to CPA Cardholder Training Document).

The allocation process consists of validating all charges within the billing cycle by changing the default general ledger account number assigned during the application process to the correct account number, and by providing a specific business purpose for each transaction

Routing the statement for approval

A workflow has been established that will route the statement electronically through the approval process.  These workflows will be confirmed with the appropriate personnel at time of setup.  The statement does not require a physically signed approval as this approval is done during the electronic routing.  The exception is when a purchase is made out of a restricted account that is approved by someone other than or in addition to the chair/administrator or Dean/VP who is the established signature authority over the card.  In this case, each receipt must be approved before it is attached to the printed statement, or the statement must be manually routed to the appropriate person(s) for approval, prior to being sent to the Controller’s Office. 

All cardholders must attach the original purchase receipts to a complete printed copy of the statement of charges. Any signature of restricted accounts as discussed above must be secured.  The completed statement is then forwarded to the purchasing department of the Controller’s Office by the deadline given in the monthly email. Outstanding statements can result in revocation of the card.

Once the statement is received by the Controller’s Office it is reviewed/audited for substantiation and compliance of the program policy guidelines, and IRS rules and regulations.

Disputed Charges

Each cardholder has the right to dispute any charge they cannot identify during the allocation process. The dispute process is the responsibility of the cardholder.  The cardholder should contact the merchant involved to resolve the error, or file a formal dispute form with Commerce Bank. (Please contact the University Pcard Administrator if you cannot locate a merchant telephone number.) If a cardholder chooses to file a formal dispute, they should notify the University Pcard Administrator, and obtain a copy of the dispute form. The completed form is faxed to Commerce Bank at 402-691-7839. A copy of the form should also be attached to the cardholder’s statement to support the disputed charge.  Commerce Bank will notify the merchant. If the merchant cannot supply sufficient proof that the purchase was valid, the merchant will issue a refund for the charge.

Violations of Policy

Violations of rules governing use of the Pcard are evaluated on an individual basis and any action taken is dependent upon the nature and frequency of the violation.

Violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Purchase(s) in restricted categories without proper approval
  • Failure to allocate charges in a timely manner
  • Failure to provide proper documentation for purchases
  • Willful intent to disregard University Pcard, Purchasing, or Travel policy
  • Failure to follow Pcard procedures

 These violations can result in cardholder reimbursement of the purchase(s) in question, or revocation of the card.