University Policies

Procurement Card Policy and Procedure Guide

Administration and Finance

  1. The standard P-Card limit for each account per monthly billing cycle will be determined based on the business need of the Department as determined by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO. This limit may be adjusted at a later date for any one Cardholder or all Cardholders in a Department at the request of the Budget Manager if approved by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO.
  2. The Cardholder of a WSU P-Card will have his/her name embossed on the card and it may ONLY be used by the Cardholder. NO PERSON OTHER THAN THE APPROVED CARDHOLDER IS AUTHORIZED to use that P-Card. The Cardholder may make expenditures on behalf of others in their department based on pre-authorization in accordance with WSUs P-Card Use Policy. However, the Cardholder is responsible for all use of his/her card. The Cardholder MAY NOT give or allow any other person to use his/her card for any reason. It is the Cardholder's responsibility to safeguard the P-Card and account number to the same degree that a Cardholder safeguards his/her personal credit information.
  3. The Budget Manager is responsible for ensuring that sufficient funds are encumbered to cover the charges anticipated under all cards issued to Department Cardholders. The Budget Manager must have sufficient controls in place and routinely communicate with Cardholders to ensure that charges are not incurred (with special attention to the end of the fiscal year) that will exceed encumbered or available appropriations or other available funds for payment (or result in goods being received after the close of the Fiscal Year). Departments are encouraged to plan their P-Card spending on an annual basis based upon anticipated use and to monitor charges and payments monthly against amounts planned.
  4. P-Card Usage:
    Cardholders can use the P-card to purchase goods, services and travel expenses consistent with established policies and procedures and WSUs internal controls. All goods must ship to the Storeroom at Worcester State University. The package must be marked to your attention and you must let Central Receiving know that it is coming and there is no purchase order for it. Shipments to personal residences are not allowed. Approved business expenses generated while engaged in job related activities away from the regular place of employment may be placed on a P-Card. WSU is exempt from Massachusetts State sales and meal taxes. The exempt number is printed on the P-Card below the Cardholder’s name. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to insure that the vendor does not charge sales or meal tax on purchases. Purchases of items such as computer hardware, software, furniture, electrical fixtures or other items that require additional approvals are not permitted on the P-Cards. Charges pertaining to travel must be pre-approved on the Request for Travel form.
    Travel expenses include but are not limited to the following:
    • Telephone
    • Registration fee payments
    • Airline ticket payments
    • Vehicle rental payments
    • Gasoline for rental vehicles
    • Other transportation ticket payments
    • Hotel folio payments including business related costs such as business phone charges and business internet access.
    • Payment for food up to the preapproved amounts. (No alcoholic beverages.)
      (Note: To reap the benefit of payment efficiencies that the P-Card offers, the cardholder may not charge more than the authorized amount and “repay” the difference. The Cardholder should split the payment and only charge the authorized amount to the P-Card and pay the balance in cash or by other means.)

      An itemized receipt must be obtained for each transaction placed on the P-Card. The receipt must be legible, itemized (reflecting the good or services purchased), and contain the Vendor name, date of purchase and price of items. Receipt documentation may be paper or electronic and must be attached to the monthly statement that is submitted to the Business Office. A receipt description, which only states “Miscellaneous” or “Merchandise” or only includes a Vendor’s stock or item number, is not acceptable.
  5. All items purchased with a P-Card should be received by the Department PRIOR to the end of the monthly billing cycle of the P-Card. The items must be delivered NO LATER than June 26th of any fiscal year for payments to be made for that fiscal year. No backordering of merchandise will be allowed.
  6. The Cardholder shall inform all Massachusetts Vendors that WSU is a Tax Exempt entity of the Commonwealth and that items purchased are NOT to be taxed. The Cardholder should not accept receipts which include Massachusetts sales or meal tax. The exempt number is printed on the P-Card below the Cardholder’s name.
  7. The P-Card may not be used for personal charges even if the cardholder plans to repay the charges.

The following procedures apply to the P-Card program and have the force of policy. The Contractor, JP Morgan Chase, offers an enhanced web product for WSU managed account changes, on-line invoicing and robust reporting features.

Procedures for Department Approval of Use of WSU P-Card

Department Eligibility for Approval to Receive a WSU P-Card:
  1. P-Cards are issued upon written request of the Budget Manager and will be issued to WSU employees only if approved by the V.P Administration & Finance/CFO. All Cardholders must comply with:
  2. The WSU P-Card Policies and Procedures.
    a) The Budget Manager must institute policies and procedures for use of the P-Card.
    b) The Budget Manager agrees to review documentation when there are relevant policy modifications or at least annually.
    c) Before a P-Card may be issued to an employee, the Department must confirm that the employee (Cardholder) has been trained on how and when to use the card and how to retrieve billing statements from the Contractor’s web product.
    d) Each Cardholder signs a Cardholder Agreement Form before the issuance of the Card.
  3. P-Card Use Training.
    a) The Budget Manager must have attended P-Card training.
    b) The Budget Manager must confirm to the P-Card Administrator that the Cardholder has been trained on the Department Policies and Procedures.
    c) The P-Card Administrator must confirm that all Cardholders identified for P-Card use have been trained on both the WSU and P-Card Use Policies and Procedures and agree to comply with the terms of these policies.
    d) Cardholders will run monthly reports and statements from the Contractor’s web product.
  4. Cardholder Requirements.
    a) P-Cards under this contract may be issued solely to state employees. Contract Employees may not be authorized to use a WSU P-Card.
    b) Cardholders/Employees must be informed that issuance of the P-Card is voluntary and that they may refuse to accept issuance of a P-Card. Acceptance of a P-Card may not be made a mandatory condition of employment and an employee may not be disciplined in any manner for refusing to accept a P-Card. Departments found to have coerced, threatened or otherwise pressured employees to accept a P-Card may have their authority to receive P-Cards revoked by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO.
    c) Each Cardholder identified for P-Card use must execute a WSU Cardholder Agreement Form certifying that they have been trained on and shall comply with Policies and Procedures, including accounting and providing supporting documentation for all purchases made under the card.
  5. Funds for P-Card Payments.
    The Budget Manager is responsible for ensuring that sufficient funds are available to cover the charges made under all cards issued to Department Cardholders. The Budget Manager must have sufficient controls in place and routinely communicate with Cardholders to ensure that charges are not incurred (especially towards the end of the fiscal year) that will exceed available appropriations or other available funds for payment. Departments are encouraged to plan their P-Card spending on an annual basis based upon anticipated use and to monitor charges and payments monthly against amounts planned.
            Account Management for Department Use of P-Card 
            1. Budget Manager agrees that any P-Cards issued to its employees will be used for business purposes only and that a Department will maintain adequate internal control procedures to assure the P-Card use is limited to business purposes. P-Cards may not be used to circumvent procurement requirements for purchases outside the authorized scope of the P-Card program.
            2. All Procurement Cards remain the property of the Contractor and must be returned to the Contractor promptly upon request. The Contractor is not responsible for any Vendor’s refusal to accept the P-Card. (The Contractor agrees to treat all Cardholder information supplied by a Department as confidential and not to use this information for any purpose other than the WSU P-Card program.)
            3. Each card will be limited to the types of purchases that can be made as well as have a dollar limit per transaction, limit on the number of transactions per day and a monthly credit limit. These limits will be determined by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO and will be given to the cardholder when he/she receives his/her card. Requests for increases in any of these limits must be approved by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO.
            4. Each Cardholder will have access to a monthly statement of account in web product. The statements will show for the period covered, all currently posted purchases, charges, credits, the old balance, the new balance and the average daily balances for purchases.
            5. A Department agrees to pay all amounts incurred by the use of any P-Card and any additional charges provided for under the WSU P-Card Contract. In no event will the Contractor seek direct payment from any individual Cardholder.
            6. Once the Contractor has issued P-Cards to a Cardholder, all charges incurred by each Cardholder will be considered authorized unless and until the P-Card Administrator receives written notice from a Department that a Cardholder is no longer authorized to use a P-Card.
            7. A Department will be liable for any unauthorized use by anyone whether due to the loss, theft or other misuse of a P-Card, to the extent that the Cardholder or Department notifies the contractor of such a loss, theft or misuse. The Cardholder agrees to immediately notify the P-Card Administrator and the Contractor, first by phone, then in writing of such loss, theft, or misuse. The cardholder can file a dispute with the contractor regarding any inappropriate charges.
            8. A Department will notify the P-Card Administrator, in writing, immediately when any Cardholder is no longer employed by a Department or is otherwise no longer authorized to use a designated P-Card. A Department agrees to obtain and return the card to the P-Card Administrator.
            9. The P-Card Administrator may cancel any Account(s) at any time by notifying the Contractor in writing and returning the P-Card(s) or certifying destruction of the card(s) for the Account(s). If the Account(s) are canceled prior to the use of the P-Cards, a Department will not pay any fees associated with the Account(s). If the Account(s) are canceled after being used, a Department shall be responsible for paying for all amounts previously charged and any associated fees in accordance with the Contract.
                    Making P-Card Purchases 
                    1. The Cardholder must consider vendor tax reporting requirements, such as purchases of services. For any purchases requiring tax reporting the Cardholder must VERIFY that the selected Vendor is INCORPORATED (which means that no reporting will be required and that Vendor can be used). A Cardholder may not use the WSU P-Card for services with any non-incorporated business entities.
                    2. The Department is required to conduct a competitive procurement for non-incidental purchases as required by the WSU Procurement Policies and Procedures.
                    3. The Cardholder must verify that the selected Vendor accepts P-Cards
                    4. Vendor Refund Policy must be a credit to P-Card NOT a store credit or cash refund.
                    5. P-Card invoices, packing slips or other confirmation of P-Card purchases should include:
                      a. The date of the P-Card transaction;
                      b. The Vendor Name (and address; if available);
                      c. The Vendor order number or other identification number for the transaction;
                      d. Department name (delivery address; if shipped);
                      e. Cardholder's name;
                      f. Indicate purchase is a P-Card Purchase and has been paid in full;
                      g. Identify items purchased, prices and other charges;
                      h. ETA – expected delivery date, which must be within the payment account’s fiscal year.
                    6. Prior to signing any P-Card slip, or confirming a telephone charge, the Cardholder is responsible for verifying the accuracy of this information on the P-Card slip.
                            P-Card Returns or Disputes 
                            1. If an item is not satisfactory, received incorrectly, damaged and/or defective, duplicate order, etc., the Cardholder should make contact with the Vendor to explain the problem and arrange for return or correction.
                            2. A Cardholder must not accept cash or a store credit refund for a purchase made with a WSU P-Card but must obtain a credit to the P-card account or a replacement product.
                            3. If items purchased by the use of the P-Card are found to be unacceptable, the Cardholder is responsible for obtaining replacement or correction of the item as soon as possible. If the Vendor has not replaced or corrected the item by the date the Cardholder receives his/her monthly statement, then, upon written notification to the Contractor, the purchase of that item will be considered in dispute. (See Dispute Procedure at the end of this section.)
                            4. If the Cardholder is disputing a charge, he/she shall complete a Dispute Statement and include it with the statement package to the Budget manager. (See Dispute Procedure at the end of this section.)
                            5. If an item has been returned and a credit received, the Cardholder shall verify that this credit is reflected on the monthly statement and follow up with the P-Card Administrator until matter is resolved.

                                Dispute procedure:
                                After attempting to resolve a problem with the Vendor, the Cardholder should attempt to resolve the problem by contacting the Contractor’s Customer Service Desk; they may be able to assist in resolving the problem but cannot open a dispute over telephone. If necessary, write a STATEMENT OF DISPUTED ITEM which includes at minimum:

                                • Vendor Name and address
                                • Item Reference number from the Statement
                                • Nature of the dispute
                                • Who was contacted (individual name) at the Vendor in an attempt to resolve it
                                • Date of contact with the Vendor
                                • Vendor’s response to contact

                                Lost or Stolen P-Cards
                                If a WSU P-Card is lost or stolen, the Cardholder SHALL IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY the Contractor. The Helpline is available 24 hours a day 1-800-316-6056. Cardholder must advise the representative that the call is regarding a lost or stolen card. The Budget Manager and P-Card Administrator must also be notified immediately by the Cardholder. A P-Card that is subsequently found by the Cardholder after being reported lost or stolen must be returned to the P-Card Administrator.

                                A new card shall be issued to the Cardholder after the reported loss or theft is vetted by all parties concerned.

                                Cardholder Record Keeping and Expenditure Log Management Responsibilities 
                                1. Whenever a P-Card purchase is made, either over the counter, by telephone or Internet, the Cardholder is required to maintain documentation as proof of the purchase. This documentation should include at a minimum, the information that a Cardholder is required to verify before signing a P-Card slip or confirming a telephone charge, as outlined in the previous section.
                                2. Cardholders shall document P-Card transactions on the P-Card Expenditure Log.
                                3. Cardholders will be responsible for certifying as part of this documentation that items purchased by P-Card have been received and the date of receipt. Such documentation will be used to verify the purchases listed on the Cardholder's monthly statement of account.
                                4. At the end of each monthly billing cycle, the Cardholder shall review the monthly statement on web product to ensure the accuracy of the statement and validate that charges incurred are for approved departmental business only. The Cardholder shall check each transaction listed against his/her P-Card receipts, P-Card expenditure log and any shipping documents to verify the accuracy of the monthly statement.
                                5. Cardholders shall be responsible for timely submitting receipts, monthly Cardholder statements of account and P-Card expenditure log to the Budget Manager.
                                6. If an item has been returned and a credit received, the Cardholder shall verify that this credit is reflected on the monthly statement of account.
                                7. If purchased items or credits are not listed on the monthly statement of account, the appropriate expenditure documentation shall be retained by the Cardholder until the next monthly statement. If the purchase or credit does not appear on the statement within 60 days after the date of the transaction, the Cardholder shall notify the Budget Manager and the Vendor, in writing, and submit the expenditure documentation to the vendor for correction.
                                8. Failure of a Cardholder to timely submit monthly statements, or any other failure to adhere to the WSU or Procurement P-Card Policies and Procedures shall be grounds for cancellation of Cardholder P-Card privileges and/or disciplinary action.

                                    Monthly Account Summaries
                                    WSU’s Monthly Billing Statements listing all transactions shall be made available via the Contractor’s web product to the Business Office and other individuals as required. These listings will allow the Business Office to anticipate which approved monthly statements are due from which Cardholders.

                                    Monthly Transaction Statement Reconciliation
                                    Departments will have access to the web product software for statement information on the purchase of goods and services and all their account activity. Departments will use the web product to reconcile the monthly billing statements. The statement closing date will be the 26th day of the month. Departments must review all transactions to ensure that they are legitimate, for official University business, and that all required documentation is included. Upon completion of reconciliation, the budget line(s) must be added to the statement, a travel authorization must be in place for all travel, the Budget Manager should sign the reconciled document and then forward it to the Business Office. This must be done no later than the 3rd of the month to insure timely payments to the Contractor.

                                    Cardholder Termination or Separation from Employment
                                    Prior to termination or separation from employment, the Cardholder shall surrender the P-Card, P-Card receipts, monthly statements of accounts and current P-Card expenditure log to his/her Budget Manager. Upon receipt, the Budget Manager will review, approve and forward to the Business Office the P-Card statement, all backup documentation and the P-Card. Budget Managers are responsible for obtaining control of all credit cards PRIOR to termination from employment. If this is not possible, then the Budget Manager is responsible for immediately notifying the P-Card Administrator. The P-Card Administrator shall immediately terminate access to the credit card.

                                    P-Card Expenditure Log Management and Payments

                                    P-Card transactions should always have sufficient backup documentation that entail why, when and what goods/services were rendered, and how much was paid. If approving an amount other than the amount due on the monthly statement, an explanation must accompany the statement that explains why a different amount has been approved.
                                    1. The Budget Manager shall check each Cardholder's receipts, monthly statement, budget lines, travel authorizations and P-Card expenditure log and confirm and approve to the Business Office that:
                                      • the P-Card purchases were authorized purchases and within the Cardholder’s designated P-Card purchase limits;
                                      • sufficient supporting documentation was submitted for each P-Card purchase;
                                      • all P-Card purchase items or services were received or performed prior to the end of that monthly billing cycle for the P-Card purchase and no later than June 26th of any fiscal year for payments to be made for that fiscal year;
                                      • the correct budget line has been applied to the individual purchases;
                                      • all charges pertaining to travel have a travel authorization in place;
                                      • the credit is reflected on the monthly statement of account and monthly invoice for any returned items
                                    2. Upon approval of the P-Card purchases for the monthly billing cycle, the Budget Manager shall remit such approval to the Business Office no later than the 3rd of the month to enable reconciliation of the monthly P-Card invoice to ensure that timely payments can be made to the Contractor.

                                          Application for P-Card
                                          Departments desiring to use the WSU P-Card must identify individual Cardholder, the requested
                                          maximum transaction limit, requested maximum number of transactions per day, the requested monthly credit limit and the types of purchases anticipated on the card. These limits shall be reviewed and approved by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO.

                                          The Application includes a “WSU Cardholder Agreement” that must be executed by all Cardholders certifying that they have been trained on and shall comply with both the WSU and P-Card Policies and Procedures. This application should be signed by both the potential Cardholder and the Budget Manager and the original forwarded to the P-Card Administrator. The Application should also contain any Department P-Card Policies such as Department specific P-Card use restrictions and administrative procedures in addition to the provisions outlined in the WSU Procurement Card Policies and Procedures.

                                          Once approved, the application will be signed by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO. The maximum transaction dollar limit, the maximum number of transactions per day, the monthly credit limit and the types of purchases allowed on the card will be completed on the Cardholder Agreement and a copy given to the Cardholder.

                                          The P-Card Administrator shall be responsible for maintaining all records of P-Card Applications, requests for changes, additions or deletions of Cardholders, single purchase and cardholder credit limits and lost/stolen/destroyed card information.

                                          Adding Cardholders after Initial Application Approval Process
                                          With the exception of the cancellation of P-Cards or the reporting of lost or stolen P-Cards that must be made immediately by the Cardholder to the Contractor, applications for the addition of Cardholders must follow the same application approval process through the P-Card Administrator.

                                          Suggestions for Developing Effective Department P-Card Policy
                                          Developing an effective Internal Department P-Card Use Policy Attachment is one of the most important features of the WSU P-Card program. The WSU P-Card Use Policy sets minimum standards for use of P-Cards on a campus-wide basis. However, the development of a Department P-Card use policy enables a Department to establish additional controls and administrative procedures for the use of P-Cards for the particular needs of its Department.

                                          Departments should consider the following when developing the Department P-Card Policy Attachment:

                                          • The volume and type of incidental purchases currently made in the Department that could be made using a P-Card as opposed to the standard employee reimbursement.
                                          • The type of incidental purchases that would be authorized for the Department as a whole, and for each individual Cardholder if desired;
                                          • An estimated annual fiscal year amount of funds that will be allocated for P-Card purchases. A portion or all of this amount needs to be allocated prior to issuance of P-Cards to Department;
                                          • The opportunity to reduce or eliminate travel reimbursements;
                                          • The process for individual Cardholder training on the P-Card Policies and Procedures and any Department restrictions to the WSU Policies and Procedures;
                                          • The process that Cardholders will use to remit P-Card receipts, P-Card expenditure logs and monthly statements of account;
                                          • The process for reconciliation of P-Card expenditures, payments and other post payment audit procedures;
                                          • The process for disciplining a Cardholder who makes unauthorized purchases or carelessly uses the credit, including the type of Department disciplinary action that the Cardholder may be subject to in accordance with internal employment practices.
                                          APPENDIX A – GLOSSARY


                                          Budget Manager – A Department individual or his/her designee who will review and approve a Cardholder's monthly P-Card receipts, statement of account and P-Card expenditure log. If a reviewer finds an instance of unlawful use, possible fraud, misappropriation or mismanagement with the P-Card he/she must report such discovery to the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO and the P-Card Administrator immediately.

                                          Cardholder - An employee who has voluntarily agreed to be issued a WSU P-Card and who is an authorized signatory to make purchases in accordance with the WSU and Department P-Card Policies and Procedures. Each Cardholder identified for P-Card use must execute a WSU Cardholder Agreement. Contract Employees may not be authorized to use P-Cards.

                                          P-Card Expenditure Log – A monthly log of P-Card expenditures made by Cardholder. P-Card Expenditure logs must include all P-Card purchases made by each Cardholder.

                                          V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO – Person responsible for approving the use and limits of P-Cards for individual Cardholders.

                                          P-Card Administrator – The person responsible for managing the use of P-Cards in accordance with WSU’s and the Department’s P-Card Policies and Procedures.

                                          The P-Card Administrator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

                                          • Reviewing the compliance/practice of the P-Card program with the WSU Policies and Procedures and other applicable requirements;
                                          • Taking immediate corrective action if errors/omissions are detected;
                                          • Reporting to the Budget Manager and the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO if possible fraud and misuse of P-Card has been discovered;
                                          • Verifying potential Cardholder eligibility to obtain a P-Card on behalf of the Department;
                                          • Ensuring proper completion and submission of applications and Cardholder agreements;
                                          • Assuring monthly statements are reviewed and reconciled on a timely basis;
                                          • Ensuring Cardholders follow all P-Card policies and procedures;
                                          • Disseminating updated P-Card information to Cardholders;
                                          • Ensuring that P-Cards are cancelled and destroyed upon termination or separation from employment;
                                          • Identifying possible ethics law violations related to inappropriate activity by Cardholders and Vendors including the possession of gifts, bribes, etc.;
                                          • Addressing and establishing additional controls/policies, in a timely manner, as recommended by external or internal audits and reviews.

                                          Billing Detail - This is the monthly listing of all transactions made by Cardholders that is available via the Internet through web product by the Contractor to each Cardholder and the Business Office for reconciliation and in a consolidated format for payment.

                                          Contractor – The P-Card Contractor responsible for administering the WSU P-Card Program in accordance with the P-Card Services Contract.

                                          WSU Cardholder Agreement
                                          - A statement that must be executed by all Cardholders certifying that they have been trained on and shall comply with WSU’s, the Contractor’s and the Department P-Card Policies and Procedures.

                                          P-Card Training –The Budget Manager and the cardholder must receive training prior to receiving the P-Card. Training will be performed by the P-Card Administrator for all new enrollees into the P-Card program. The training will include P-Card and purchasing policies as they relate to P-Card utilization and ethics. P-Card will not be issued until the Budget Manager and the Cardholder successfully complete the P-Card training.

                                          Dispute – A disagreement between a Cardholder and a Vendor that has been documented, signed and sent to the Contractor either by U.S. Mail or an overnight delivery company. Once received by the Contractor, payment for the item, finance charges and late charges associated with non-payment of the disputed item are suspended until the dispute is resolved. If the dispute is resolved in the favor of the Cardholder, the disputed charge and associated finance and late charges do not apply. However, if the dispute is resolved in the favor of the Vendor, the Department is responsible for the disputed amount and finance and late charges back to the original statement date of the purchase. The Contractor must be notified in writing of disputes within 60 days of the receipt of the statement.

                                          Helpline – 24 hours/7 days per week toll free number operated by the Contractor to be used to report lost or stolen card or for other inquiries: 1-800-316-6056. Changes in card limits and issuance of new cards must be submitted through the P-Card Administrator and not directly to the Contractor.

                                          Incidental Purchase – Purchase of commodities or services that are isolated, unique, one-time, individual purchases with a total value of less than $2500.

                                          Services - The WSU P-Card must not be used for the purchase of medical services or for any services provided by any entity that is not incorporated. Departments may not use the WSU P-Card for any purchase requiring tax reporting.

                                          Single Card Limit
                                          - A dollar amount limitation of purchasing authority for a P-Card per monthly billing cycle delegated to a Cardholder. Individual transaction limits and monthly credit limits are determined by the V.P. Administration & Finance/CFO. It is a violation of policy to manipulate the ordering, billing or payment process in order to circumvent established Cardholder limits.

                                          Signatory Authority
                                          – President, Vice-Presidents and Budget Managers have signatory authority for the use of a WSU P-Card. They may also designate signatory authority upon written notification to the Business Office.

                                          Vendor - A company from which a Cardholder is making purchases of Commodities or Services. Departments may not use the WSU P-Card for purchases with any entity that is not incorporated.

                                          Web product – The Contractor’s application for Procurement Card management and reporting. Cardholders will have access to their own reports and profiles.