The University of Hartford (the “University”) has administered a Purchasing Card (“P-Card”) Program since 2001, to offer an alternative to the existing procurement processes and provide a cost-effective and convenient method of purchasing and paying for small dollar purchases of regularly consumed supplies and services. The University P-Card is a MasterCard obtained from Bank of America that is designed to purchase items directly from vendors that accept MasterCard. Payments for all transactions incurred with the P-Card are made directly to suppliers by the bank. The University subsequently makes a single monthly payment to the bank.
The P-Card Program is to be used for the purchase of most supplies and services less than $995 in value in lieu of a purchase order. Items valued at more than $995 should be procured through the issuance of a purchase order. Splitting a single order greater than $995 in total value into multiple orders to evade the $995 P-Card transaction limit is contrary to University policy and should not be done. Cardholders may charge up to $8,000 in a single month. Individual Cardholders can be extended monthly credit limits based upon their needs.
The benefits of the P-Card to the Cardholder and the University are significant and include:
P-Card services must be obtained through the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the P-Card Program and user compliance with the procedures outlined in this policy manual.
The Approving Authority is a business manager, supervisor or department head who is at the next level of authority to verify and approve the Cardholder’s transaction.
A cardholder is a full time University faculty or staff member who has fulfilled this policy’s requirement for obtaining a P-Card.
The Cardholder Statement is the P-Card statement received from Bank of America on a monthly basis. The Cardholder Statement should be reviewed, reconciled, and signed off on by the Cardholder and the Approving Authority.
The P-Card’s weekly cycle is from Saturday through the following Friday. Transactions through that Friday must be reviewed and coded in SDOL by 5pm on the subsequent Thursday (i.e. if the weekly cycle ends on Friday the 6th, all transactions through that day must be reviewed and coded in SDOL by 5pm on Thursday the 12th).
Department Head is the head of any department in which the Cardholder is employed.
A Fund is a University-designated number, in the Banner system, which represents the appropriate fund from which the Cardholder purchases a specific commodity or service.
An Orgn is a University-designated number, in the Banner system, which represents the appropriate organization or department from which the Cardholder purchases a specific commodity or service.
The P-Card Financial Administrator is a Financial Accounting Services Department employee whom the University has designated to review and post the University’s P-Card transactions.
The P-Card Program Administrator is a Purchasing Department employee whom the University has designated to administer the University’s P-Card program.
SDOL is the web-based Smart Data On-Line purchasing administration tool that stores all details of each P-Card transaction. SDOL should be used by the Cardholder on a weekly basis to review and code P-Card transactions.
A Sub-Account is a University-designated number, in the Banner system, which represents the appropriate account from which the Cardholder purchases a specific commodity or service.
Termination includes any end to a Cardholder’s employment at the University.
The P-Card is to be used for official University purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted and in conjunction with the purchasing contracts, policies and procedures. Each Cardholder and Department is responsible for the financial control and stewardship of the University’s P-Card Program. A Department is responsible for ensuring that each Cardholder performs purchasing duties with competence and honesty, and to monitor the effectiveness of the program’s accountability structure. With these controls, the department can:
The following steps apply in obtaining a P-Card.
The University in coordination with Bank of America issues each P-Card. To apply for a P-Card, a University employee must contact the P-Card Program Administrator @ x5514/4007 or obtain appropriate forms from the Purchasing website - http://uhaweb.hartford.edu/purchase/#.
Each P-Card will include the Cardholder’s name, along with the University’s name and tax ID number (E3588), with the expiration month and year embossed on the front of the card.
The Cardholder must complete a Purchasing Card Application (“P-Card Application”) as set forth in Exhibit A, and its accompanying Purchasing Card Cardholder Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (“P-Card Acknowledgement”) as set forth in Exhibit B signifying both the P-Card and General Expense and Travel policies have been read.
Before a P-Card can be ordered, Cardholder must have each preceding document approved and returned to the P-Card Program Administrator.
The University issues a P-Card only to a Cardholder who has completed an applicable training class, and whose Approving Authority has also completed an applicable training class.
Each new P-Card is available for the Cardholder’s in-person-only pick-up at the P-Card Program Administrator’s office.
The University assigns to each Cardholder an appropriate credit limit. The standard dollar limit is $995 per transaction, and up to $8,000 per month. The University reserves the right to lower a credit limit if deemed necessary.
The default credit limits set by the University are detailed below:
If the default credit limits are not in line with a Department’s anticipated volume, the Department Head may send a written request to the P-Card Program Administrator, documenting the justification for the increase or decrease in credit limit. After review of the request, the P-Card Program Administrator has the discretion to approve or reject the request.
The P-Card Program Administrator has authority to set and enforce University P-Card policies and procedures. Upon sufficient business justification, the P-Card Program Administrator has discretion to grant an exception to this policy upon written request from a department. The P-Card Program Administrator also has discretion to impose any requirement that is stricter than is stated in this policy.
The P-Card Program Administrator’s responsibilities include, without limitation, the following:
issuing any additional P-Card;
closing any P-Card account as necessary;
changing each applicable reporting-hierarchy record;
assisting in resolving any disputed billing, only after determining that timely resolution with an applicable vendor and Bank of America has been unsuccessful;
authorizing each cardholder spending limit; and
reviewing any cardholder misuse and rectifying accordingly;
The P-Card Financial Administrator is responsible for the review and posting of the SDOL downloaded P-Card transactions into the Banner system.
The P-Card Financial Administrator’s responsibilities include, without limitation, the following:
P-Card transactions should generally post to Banner within two weeks of the weekly cycle end date (i.e. if the weekly cycle ends on Friday the 6th, P-Card transactions should generally post to Banner by Friday the 20th). Delays may occur during peak seasons, such as year-end, audits or financial closings.
Each Department must establish internal controls that are sufficient to regulate that Department's P-Card activities and prevent any erroneous or fraudulent use. Both a Cardholder and the Approving Authority are responsible for a P-Card’s appropriate use. The department must include in its internal controls, without limitation:
P-Card responsibilities of each administrative head of a school or department include, without limitation:
Responsibilities of each Approving Authority under this policy include, without limitation:
Responsibilities of each Cardholder under this policy include, without limitation:
Each responsibility described below applies to any purchase made with a P-Card.
Cardholder is responsible to review transactions weekly in SDOL. Cardholders have up until Thursday 5PM of each week to review and code transactions through the prior Friday (i.e. for charges through Friday the 6th, the Cardholder has until 5pm on Thursday the 12th to review and code transactions in SDOL). Cardholders should code each transaction to an applicable and correct Fund, Orgn, Sub-Account, and include the business purpose of the expense in the Expense Description Field. The business purpose should state the following, where applicable:
Who attended, or who the expense was charged by/for
What was the nature of the business
Where did the event take place
When did the event take place (including date range for multiple days)
The University determines a Sub-Account based on a corresponding vendor classification that the University has assigned to each vendor type. For example, a local grocery store chain is a vendor type that equals Sub-Account 68500 (Food). Any vendor that is not definable defaults to Sub-Account 66666 (P-Card holding expense), which Cardholder must change per each purchase on SDOL.
Upon realizing that an incorrect Fund, Orgn or Sub-Account has been charged, Cardholder is entitled to change that charge on the SDOL system before the subsequent Thursday’s 5pm download from SDOL occurs.
Cardholder must charge to Sub-Account 66666 (P-Card holding expense) any transaction that is fraudulent, under dispute, or charged in error and to be fully credited by a vendor. Upon receiving the credit, Cardholder must post the credit to Sub-Account 66666 to offset the original charge.
If SDOL coding data contains any incorrect information downloaded to BANNER, then Cardholder must use an Inter-Departmental Transfer (IDT) Form to make any necessary edit.
The University assigns a default Sub-Account 66666 to any weekly transaction that Cardholder or the Approving Authority has not properly reviewed and approved. Proper review includes assigning each Fund, Orgn and Sub-Account number and detailing a business purpose of each expense (including who, what, when, and where information) in the Expense Description field.
If P-Card transactions post to the 66666 Sub-Account, the Cardholder must complete an IDT to remove all dollars that have been posted in the account, and transfer those dollars to the appropriate expense Sub-Accounts. The Cardholder or the employee responsible for the affected budget must complete each IDT and the supervisor must approve each IDT.
Financial Accounting Services post each IDT to the ledger no later than two weeks after receiving the IDT.
Note: Sub-Account 66666 should always have a zero balance in YTD activity. NEVER use a budget revision in transferring any dollar amount from this Sub-Account. ALWAYS process an IDT.
Upon determining that Cardholder/supervisor has failed to fulfill the above requirements, the Budget Office notifies the Cardholder and the immediate supervisor of the need to generate these IDTs within a one-week period. If neither the Cardholder nor the immediate supervisor complies with this request, then the Budget Office notifies an appropriate Officer to ensure that corrections are made within the next week.
Cardholder must maintain a receipt or substitute documentation to support each purchase. If a receipt shows a limited amount of information or only has part numbers, then Cardholder must provide additional information upon request.
The required documentation is listed below:
In the rare event when the required documentation cannot be provided, the following documentation, in order of preference, may be acceptable depending on the individual facts and circumstances:
Cardholder must keep Transaction Logs and receipts each current year plus each applicable year during the preceding seven–year period.
Below is a listing of transaction types that require either special documentation or pre-approval before P-Card use for purchases.
Cardholder must itemize, with the business purpose of the expense, each sales slip and receipt, specifically including any receipt that lacks detailed information related to a purchase.
Cardholder must obtain a duplicate to replace any lost receipt.
Cardholder must document any unattainable receipt through a Purchasing Card Missing Receipt Form.
The University reserves a right to disable any P-Card for a Cardholder whose instances of lost receipts the University determines to be excessive.
Cardholder must limit on-line purchases to secured web sites, which are identified by a key or lock in either bottom corner of an applicable web page display.
Cardholder must make a copy of the order acknowledgement that Cardholder receives for purchases on-line, to serve as a sales receipt for the Transaction Log.
Cardholder is responsible to follow-up with the applicable merchant about any purchase’s problem relating to delivery, damage, item count or invoice.
Cardholder is responsible to ascertain each applicable merchant’s return policy.
Cardholder must reference any applicable Vendor Return Authorization Number or other Return Authorization Form in processing any return of purchased goods.
Restocking or shipping charges may apply to any purchase.
Cardholder must comply with each merchant’s requirements for returning purchased goods.
Cardholder must record each anticipated goods-return charge or credit in the Transaction Activity Log,
As of the date that a P-Card charge is shown as posted on the SDOL system or Cardholder Statement, Cardholder has a 60-day deadline to file a dispute with Bank of America.
Cardholder is responsible to follow-up with the bank and the P-Card Program Administrator regarding the progress of the dispute’s resolution.
The issuing bank may require Cardholder to use a specific dispute form, which Cardholder must obtain from the bank.
Bank of America MasterCard issues any reimbursement payable as a purchase credit (not cash). Full credits should be coded to Sub-Account 66666 in SDOL.
If a merchant denies any attempted purchase, the Cardholder should request an explanation by calling Bank of America MasterCard at 800-822-5985.
Upon determining that a P-Card is lost or stolen, Cardholder must immediately call Bank of America at 800-822-5985, P-Card Program Administrator at 860-768-5514/4007 and Public Safety at 860-768-7985.
Upon determining that a P-Card either requires emergency card replacement or has expired, Cardholder should contact P-Card Program Administrator at 860-768-4007 or 860-768-5514. P-Card Program Administrator then notifies Cardholder upon receiving an updated or replacement P-Card.
Before the date that any termination or interdepartmental transfer is to take effect, Cardholder, to the extent practicable, must notify P-Card Program Administrator in writing (fax or e-mail) and return any applicable P-Card to P-Card Program Administrator.
If terminating, Cardholder must complete and submit to P-Card Program Administrator a P-Card Cancellation letter.
Upon determining that any applicable P-Card information has changed, Cardholder must obtain from Purchasing and complete a Cardholder Account Add/Change/Close Form with appropriate approval signatures to provide any needed information update for the P-Card.
P-Card purchases that are prohibited include, without limitation, any:
Personal purchases charged in error to a P-Card should be corrected as follows:
The University is tax exempt and typically does not pay sales tax. Some states other than Connecticut recognize the University’s tax exemption and related identification notation. For a listing of states that recognize that exemption, contact Purchasing. Instruct any supplier that requests a copy of the University’s tax exemption documentation to contact Purchasing. Cardholder is responsible to ensure that a vendor does not charge sales tax at the time of purchase, or to contact the vendor to request a refund if it charges sales tax by mistake.
Any individual who rents a vehicle contractually assumes individually any liability that might apply to the University – for any loss or damage to that vehicle – irrespective of fault. A rental car agency offers collision damage liability coverage (CD/LDW) in exchange for a daily fee, the P-Card offers coverage (see Exhibit E for MasterCard coverage and procedures), or the University's self-insured program, already provides substantially comparable coverage for any University-authorized vehicle rental.
The University’s Risk and Insurance Management department recommends that Cardholder should always use the P-Card for any University-authorized vehicle rental in order to obtain physical damage coverage at no cost to the University. The University's self-insured program pays for a rental car’s physical damage if Cardholder fails to use the P-Card for a University-authorized vehicle rental. Vehicle rental agency age requirements apply to any University-authorized vehicle rental.
Cardholder immediately must report to each appropriate campus contact any accident involving a University-authorized rented vehicle, irrespective of the amount of damage or extent of injury. Cardholder to the extent practicable must cause each report to be initiated by the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, or a passenger if the driver is incapacitated, and submitted to the employee's department as soon as possible following the accident.
Also to the extent practicable, Cardholder must notify University’s Department of Public Safety (if accident is on campus) and/or Local Police Department immediately after the accident occurs to ensure a timely and appropriate response, and submit to Purchasing the following items:
Purchasing forwards the preceding report and related items to the University's third party claims administrator listed below no later than 72 hours after an applicable accident:University of Hartford
Cardholder should contact Purchasing with any related question or request for additional information on reporting accidents, or any other policy regarding insurance.
Note: Each department is responsible to verify on any TEV that any claimed transportation expense was NOT charged to a P-Card.
Cardholder is responsible for and accountable to the University for each purchase made with a P-Card and to adhere to each University and Department policy regarding the card’s use. Cardholder must ensure that each P-Card purchase is for official University business only.
If an applicable University department and the P-Card Program Administrator determine and document in writing that Cardholder has misused the P-Card, the Cardholder is subject to penalties from the issuing bank and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The University reserves the right to seek restitution for any inappropriate purchase that is made with the P-Card.
Despite any preliminary steps listed below, an Approving Authority or P-Card Program Administrator has discretion to effect immediately a disciplinary action including a P-Card’s permanent suspension based upon an incident’s severity, as solely determined by that Approving Authority or P-Card Program Administrator. Otherwise, for any policy violation by a particular Cardholder, either that the Approving Authority identifies during any monthly transactions review or that the P-Card Program Administrator identifies during any department review, the identifying official is to undertake the following preliminary steps as appropriate:
P-Card Program Administrator has discretion to impose an appropriate penalty for any following occurrence:
When a personal charge is not identified in a timely manner, generally within three billing cycles, it may be interpreted as fraud, which is a violation of policy and law. Cardholders should protect themselves by knowing all applicable policies, not making any personal charges on the P-Cards, and by personally reviewing their charges in a timely manner.
In some instances, it may be in the best interest of the University to allow for exceptions from this policy. In such cases, the appropriate Vice President or Provost should request a written approval of any exception from the President or Vice President of Finance and Administration prior to the expense being incurred.