Obtaining a Procurement Card (P-Card)

p-cardGeneral
Setting Up Your Department
Budget Limitations
Separation of Duties
Cardholder Eligibility
Applying for a Procurement Card
Cardholder Purchase Limits
Card Security
Card Sharing
Lost, Misplaced, or Stolen Procurement Card
Cardholder Liability

General

For the purposes of efficiency in administration and management, only approved and trained department VISA Procurement Cardholders are authorized to make purchases of materials, supplies, and non-capital equipment directly from the vendor when the dollar value of the purchase is $1,999.99 or less including freight. University Cardholders do not have to contact Procurement Services before placing an order using the Procurement Card for these small purchases. All University policies and procedures for the expenditure of funds must be followed. If the department wishes to route the purchase through Procurement Services, normal procedures for processing a Requisition must be followed.

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Setting Up Your Department

The organizational structure for your success with the Procurement Card already exists within your department(s). Directors / Deans / Department Heads and Budget Managers have some liberties available to them within program parameters when setting up their own Procurement Card Programs. More than likely those employees who are currently responsible for placing orders should be Cardholders in the VISA Procurement Card program. More than likely those employees who are responsible for processing payments on purchase orders should be Department Reconciler. A Reconciler can also be a Cardholder. An Approving Official must be designated to sign the reconciled monthly Cardholder report.

There are two types of funds available on the Cardholder's card: discretionary funds or incremental funds. Discretionary funds are automatically available on a Procurement Card (up to the Cardholder's monthly limit) and do not require the Cardholder to submit a Purchase Request to their Approving Official to access the funds. Incremental funds require the Cardholder to obtain a request to purchase approved by their Approving Official before the requested amount is available on the Procurement Card. This fund type must be used for travel. Usually an incremental buffer (% of the requested amount) is loaded onto the Procurement Card.

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Budget Limitations

Each Director / Dean / Department Head and Budget Manager will have the ability to customize each Procurement Card according to the budget limitations of his/her department.

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Separation of Duties

A separation of duties must be followed with the Procurement Card Program, as with any other financial transaction. The person placing the order and/or reconciling it must not be the same person who ultimately approves all VISA transactions listed on the Bank of America monthly statement and Reconciliation Report.

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Cardholder Eligibility

The criteria to receive a Procurement Card are as follows:

  • Individual Applicant must be employed by UAHuntsville.
  • Applicant's request for a VISA Procurement Card must be approved by his/her Director, Department Head, Dean, or Budget Manager.
  • Applicant must be assigned a Department Reconciler selected by his/her Director, Department Head, or Budget Manager.
  • Employee must attend a training session for policies and procedures and pass the quiz.
  • Each individual Cardholder must sign a Cardholder Agreement prior to receiving the VISA Procurement Card.

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Applying for a Procurement Card

  1. The Dean's Office, Director, Department Head, or Budget Manager will decide who should receive a card. The Approving Official will forward a Cardholder Application Form to authorized user applicants.
  2. The prospective Cardholder will complete the application for a Procurement Card. A default, departmental Fund, Organization, and Program must be assigned, and a monthly spending limit must be determined.
  3. The Dean, Director, Department Head, or Budget Manager with budgetary responsibility for the account will approve the monthly spending limit for the Cardholder.
  4. The Dean, Director, Department Head, or Budget Manager must sign the Application for the Procurement Card and agree to the Cardholder Agreement.
  5. The Approving Official should verify the information and forward the signed and approved Cardholder Application Form to the Procurement Card Administrator in Procurement Services.
  6. The Procurement Card Administrator will review the Application and, if in order, transmit the information to the Bank.
  7. The VISA Procurement Cards will be delivered to the Procurement Card Administrator in Procurement Services. Upon completion of the University Procurement Card training program, the Cardholder will be asked to sign the Cardholder Agreement prior to receiving the VISA Procurement Card.

Note: The Department Budget Manager and the Procurement Card Administrator must approve any exceptions requested or granted concerning the list of allowable purchases in the Cardholder Manual and monthly / single purchase limits.

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Cardholder Purchase Limits

Cardholder monthly purchase limits as noted on the Cardholder Application Form should be carefully decided according to the funding source or contract associated with the card and monthly spending requirements. Single transactions must not exceed $1,999.99 including freight charges. Cardholder limits will be monitored and adjusted as needed.

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Card Security

Each department must determine how to secure their cards. In some cases, it may be appropriate for individuals to carry the cards in their own personal wallets. In other cases, the cards may be stored in a secure place within the department and checked out as needed. In either case, the Procurement Card numbers should be protected as any blanket or department purchase order number would be. The individual's name that appears on the card bears the responsibility for all purchases made with that particular card.

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Card Sharing

It is not permissible for a Cardholder to share his/her card with another individual.

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Lost, Misplaced or Stolen Procurement Card

Cardholders are required to immediately report any lost or stolen Procurement Card directly to Bank of America toll-free at 1-888-449-2273 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The Cardholder must also notify his/her Department Reconciler and the Procurement Card Administrator about the lost or stolen card at the first opportunity during normal business hours.

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Cardholder Liability

The Procurement Card is a corporate charge card which will not affect the Cardholder's personal credit; however, it is the Cardholder's responsibility to ensure that the card is used within stated guidelines of the Procurement Card Program Manual as well as University of Alabama in Huntsville Policies and Procedures relating to the expenditure of University funds. Failure to comply with program guidelines may result in permanent revocation of the card, notification of the situation to management, and further disciplinary measures that may include termination. The Procurement Card must never be used to purchase items for personal use or for non-University purposes even if the Cardholder intends to reimburse the University. A Cardholder who makes an unauthorized purchase with the Procurement Card or uses the Procurement Card in an inappropriate manner will be subject to disciplinary action including possible card cancellation, termination of employment, and criminal prosecution. If a University employee is in a position to obligate the University, that employee is entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the University from harm.

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