Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

Purchasing Card User Guide


Business and Financial Services

Purchasing Card User Guide

WHAT IS THE PURCHASING CARD?
The purchasing card is a specialized credit card that may be used to purchase low dollar value commodities that do not exceed $2,500 in cost.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A PROCARD?
Complete and mail the Purchasing Card Application and Site Manager Agreement forms to Rob Waksdahl, Main 206.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
With a purchasing card your department can deal directly with the vendor for many items. You spend less time on purchase requisitions and get your orders faster.

WHY SHOULD I USE ONE?
The best reason to use the Purchasing Card is that it puts most purchasing for your department under your control. Purchasing decisions can be made where it makes the most sense - with you and your department. The card also eliminates potential delays caused by requisition and processing problems.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS?
Because the Purchasing Card program circumvents the requisition process, it also eliminates the encumbrance process. There is the potential danger for overspending if budgets and accounts aren't monitored. It is important to remember that accounting records will not show any outstanding purchases you have made on your card.

AM I LIABLE FOR PURCHASES ON THE Purchasing Card?
The use of the Purchasing Card results in university liability, not personal liability, and the cardholder's credit rating cannot be affected. Prior to receiving the card, the cardholder signs an agreement stating that they are responsible for any intentional misuse of the Purchasing Card. This means that if your card is used for personal purchases, the university can hold you liable for those charges. A Purchasing Card is considered to be equivalent to having cash. By signing the card holder agreement, you agree to keep your card in a safe location and use it appropriately. 

WHAT IF MY CARD IS LOST OR STOLEN?
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU REPORT A LOST OR STOLEN CARD IMMEDIATELY. 
The university is liable for all purchases made on a lost or stolen card. Considering each purchase limit and the total credit limit, it is possible for an unauthorized user to charge a considerable amount in a very short time. If your card is lost or stolen, call the Purchasing Card Administrator immediately at (715) 394-8383. If the Purchasing Card administrator is unavailable, please leave a message regarding your card and then contact US Bank at (800) 344-5696. 

HOW MANY CARDS SHOULD I HAVE?
Each card is linked to one cost center on the campus general ledger. You should have a Purchasing Card for each cost center to which you will be charging commodities. One card may be used to order for a variety of cost centers, but this requires you to transfer the expenses between cost centers.

CAN SOMEONE ELSE USE MY CARD?
Your Purchasing Card should be treated with the same level of care you use with your personal credit card. Do not lend you card to anyone. The only person authorized to use the Purchasing Card is the person whose name is on the front of the card and who completed the Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement form.

HOW MUCH AM I AUTHORIZED TO SPEND?
The maximum value per transaction is $2,500. If you need to make a purchase for a larger amount, you must contact the Purchasing Card Administrator. There is also a transaction cycle limit for each card set on an individual basis.

WHAT IF THE CARDHOLDER LEAVES THE DEPARTMENT?
If an employee is leaving your department, and you want to switch purchasing responsibility to a different staff member, you must request that a new card be issued. The old card must be returned to the Purchasing Card Administrator for cancellation. It is the supervisor's responsibility to see that Purchasing Cards are collected from employees leaving their department.

WHAT CAN I BUY WITH THE PURCHASING CARD?

A/V Supplies
Books
Building/Maintenance Supplies
Classroom Supplies
Conference Registration Fees

Duplicating Services (Superior Print only)
Electrical Supplies
Freight & Shipping Costs
Hardware Supplies
Lab Supplies
Photo/Film Processing
Plumbing Supplies
Postal Services
Subscriptions
Vehicle Supplies

Most commodity purchases are allowable, assuming the cost is under $2,500. Exceptions are items that are on state contract (unless the state contract specifically authorizes the use of the Purchasing Card). For items that are on state contract, please see the section regarding those items. If you have an item that you are unsure of, contact the Purchasing Agent.

WHAT CAN'T I BUY WITH THE PURCHASING CARD?

Academic Support Services
Advertising
Alarm/Security Systems
Alcoholic Beverages
Ammunition/Weapons
Cash Advances
Computer Hardware
(USB Flash Drives Excluded)
Consulting Services

Flowers/Gifts/Awards
Insurance
Intra Agency Payments
Leases
Legal Services
Meals
Memberships
Personal Items

Pre-paid Gift Cards
Printing Services
Radioactive Material
Rentals, Repairs, and Services
Travel Expenses (unless pre-
approval provided)

 



WHAT IS THE SHIPPING ADDRESS?
University of Wisconsin - Superior
801 N 28th Street
(Department Name, Building Name & Room Number)
Superior, WI 54880-3974

WHAT ABOUT SALES TAX?
The University is tax exempt in most states. Provide the tax exempt number printed on the Purchasing Card to the vendor when you place your order or make your purchase. If a vendor requires further proof of tax exempt status, a certificate is available in the Business Office. If you accidentally get charged sales tax, contact the vendor and request the amount to be credited to your Purchasing Card. Sales tax exemption varies from state to state. Contact the Business Office for specific information.

WHAT RECEIPTS SHOULD I SAVE?
If you pick up the materials, you should get both the itemized receipt and a copy of the signed credit card receipt. Staple these together. If you order the materials by phone, fax, computer or mail, save any written documentation of the order, or print the order screen. When the materials come, attach the packing list to the pre-order documentation. If the business purpose of the purchase is not clear on the receipt, it is necessary to document the business purpose.

WHAT IF THE VENDOR DOES NOT GIVE ME AN ITEMIZED RECEIPT?
If you are unable to obtain an itemized receipt for the vendor, write a description of your purchase on the receipt that you do receive. You are responsible for providing the detail of all purchases including the item description and unit price.

WHAT IF THE VENDOR DOES NOT ACCEPT THE PURCHASING CARD?
If your preferred vendor does not accept the Purchasing Card, you can choose another vendor, or you may submit a purchase requisition to the Purchasing Agent.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT RETURNS AND REFUNDS?
If the materials can be returned in person, take the materials and receipts to the vendor. If you wish to exchange the items, use the Purchasing Card for credits and additional transactions. If you wish to return the item, do NOT accept a refund in cash or by check. If the materials must be sent back, contact the vendor to determine how to return the items. Request a credit to the Purchasing Card or shipment of satisfactory replacement merchandise from the vendor. Keep all receipts in the Purchasing Card file. Once again, use the Purchasing Card for all credit/refund transactions.

WHAT IF I HAVE A DISPUTED CHARGE?
First, contact the supplier for a resolution. If you cannot resolve the problem with the supplier, call US Bank at (800) 344-5696.

HOW IS MY UNIVERSITY ACCOUNT CHARGED, AND HOW IS PAYMENT MADE?
The University is responsible for all charges. Cost Center Managers authorize payment by accepting the card. Payment is made every two weeks for the total charges on all cards. Transactions are loaded on the campus accounting records based on the cost center assigned to each card. The Purchasing Card company provides a statement of all Purchasing Card purchases to the Business Office for audit. Detail statements are also sent to the cardholder for each card.

RECONCILING YOUR ACCOUNT
Within 30 days of receiving your statement, all receipts should be placed in the pending folder or envelope. When the biweekly statement arrives, match the receipts from the pending folder to the statement. Review all purchases for compliance with campus purchasing policies. There should be no purchases for disallowed items or vendors. If there are billing disagreements, it is your responsibility to begin working with the vendor immediately to resolve the problem. If there is missing documentation (i.e., a charge that has no receipt), circle the charge and write an explanation for what was purchased. Contact the vendor for a duplicate receipt. A pattern of missing receipts can result in loss of Purchasing Card privileges.
Attach all documentation and receipts of transactions to the statement. This includes the signed and itemized receipts or the packing slip when applicable. Have both the cardholder and site manager sign and date the statement, certifying that he or she has reviewed all transactions, and that all purchases were necessary and in compliance with the campus policy.
The statement and receipts should be filed in a secure location.

HOW OFTEN WILL MY ACCOUNT BE AUDITED?
All transactions undergo a pre-audit by the Purchasing Card administrator and the Travel Coordinator with each bi-weekly statement. Cardholders and/or site managers may be contacted for information regarding transactions. The internal auditor will audit your Purchasing Card at least once a year.

WHAT WILL THE AUDITOR LOOK FOR?
The auditor will be looking for a variety of items including:

  • Purchases that are not in compliance with campus purchasing policy.
  • Purchases that are in line with the mission of the department.
  • There is no evidence of personal transactions.
  • Purchases are made with appropriate vendors.
  • Purchases are made from state contract vendors when required.
  • There is no evidence of serial purchasing.
  • Proper documentation of purchases (original receipt, detailed receipt, item description is clear, business purpose is clear) is attached to the statement.
  • Statements have been reconciled and signed by the cardholder and site manager.
  • Disputed transactions have been followed up on.
  • Cardholder is the only person using the card.
  • No sales tax has been paid.
  • Card is kept in a secure location.
  • Files are kept in a secure location.

WHOM SHOULD I CALL FOR ASSISTANCE?
Contact the Purchasing Card Administrator for the following inquiries:

  • Questions about procedures and policies.
  • To replace a damaged card.
  • To report a lost or stolen card.
  • To report problems with a biweekly statement.
  • To request a new card.
  • To report that a cardholder is leaving the department and will be returning their card.
  • For account inquiries including cost center changes.

If the Purchasing Card Administrator is not available and it is an emergency, please contact the Director of Business Services/Controller.


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