What is a Purchasing Card?
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Purchasing Card Program is designed to expedite the purchasing process and reduce the costs associated with processing low-dollar, best judgment orders for official University business needs. Widespread merchant acceptance and flexible purchasing power in the hands of the buyer add convenience, efficiency and value to the purchasing process.
The VISA Purchasing Card payment system is an individual bill/central payment system. You, the cardholder, receive a monthly account statement for information and reconciliation purposes only. An electronic billing file is sent centrally to the accounting system (Accounts Payable), together with a summary of all charges with supporting detail. Accounts Payable makes one payment to VISA on behalf of all cardholders. Expenditure transactions are processed through the agency’s accounting systems (PeopleSoft) and posted to the various departmental accounting code combinations.
In brief, a Purchasing Card is:
A Purchasing Card is NOT:
- Authority delegated by the Director of Institutional Support to individual university employees
- Authorized for official State use only
- Authorized for individual purchases less than $5000.
- Authorized for purchases greater than $5000 on statewide contracts where indicated and with prior approval from the Purchasing Office
- Authorized for use within certain categories of merchants and commodities
- For cardholder personal use purchases or identification under any circumstances. It cannot be used for reimbursable meal costs or other miscellaneous lodging expenses such as phone calls
- A means to avoid appropriate procurement or payment procedures
- A card to access cash or credit (ATM)
- A travel card (Corporate Card must be used)
- A right of employment
- For interagency or intra-agency use (except for retail purchases)
What are the Benefits of a Purchasing Card?
- Purchasing Card means a charge card issued to an authorized state employee through the campus purchasing card administrator, who is delegated the authority by the Department of Administration, State Bureau of Procurement, UW System Office of Procurement and the UW-Green Bay Director of Institutional Support.
- Cardholder means a specific state employee who has been issued a purchasing card.
- Purchasing Card Administrator means the individual appointed to manage, coordinate and control purchasing cards within the agency.
- Supervisor means the person responsible for approving the cardholder’s time and leave reporting.
- Original Receipt means the customer copy of the purchasing card receipt signed by the cardholder at the time of purchase. In the case of phone, fax or Internet orders, “original receipt” means the copy of the receipt sent by the supplying vendor to the purchaser with an itemized list of the goods purchased.
- Statement means the detailed bank statement that is sent to the cardholder by the purchasing card vendor (U.S. Bank).
- Billing File means the detailed bi-weekly billing that is received electronically by
UW-Green Bay Accounts Payable.
- MCC means the merchant category code assigned by the banking industry which designates the type of vendor business
- TER means Travel Expense Report
- DOA means Department of Administration
- UW-System means University of Wisconsin-System
The Purchasing Card enables cardholders, purchasing and accounting staff to perform more effectively and focus on the value-added aspects of your jobs by:
Who are Likely Cardholders?
- Reducing time needed to purchase and receive supplies
- Reducing the number of purchase orders
- Reducing reimbursements from petty cash
- Reducing the number of invoices and invoicing problems
- Reducing the number of checks issued
Anyone on the UW-Green Bay payroll system that has been approved by the head of their Department can be a cardholder. Because the Purchasing Card allows the cardholder to place orders directly with the supplier, the greatest program benefits are achieved when cards are issued to end-users. Other staff that would benefit by using a purchasing card includes (but is not limited to):
How Do I Obtain a Purchasing Card
- Field staff, who may need emergency parts or supplies
- Librarians/others who routinely buy subscriptions and books
- Program support staff who buy supplies
- Facilities Management/Maintenance staff
Personal Liability, Your Credit Rating & Misuse
- Read and complete the Purchasing Card Application & Use Agreement Form. The Purchasing Card Application & Use Agreement Form must be signed by the cardholder and their supervisor.
- The employee will receive one Purchasing Card associated with one departmental budget. Purchases on the card may be reallocated to other departmental budgets through use of on-line Transaction Management. Multiple cards with different budget numbers may be issued to one individual; however, those requests should be minimal. The card will be mailed directly to the cardholder within 10 business days after it is requested. You will be notified of the date the Purchasing Card(s) was/were requested.
- Attend a 30-minute training session. Contact the Purchasing Card Administrator, Marie Helmke at X2598 to schedule a session.
- Keep a copy of the Purchasing Card Application & Use Agreement. Forward the original, signed copy to the Purchasing Card Administrator.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay assumes full liability for the payment and campus-wide use of the Purchasing Card, therefore, a cardholder’s personal credit rating will not be affected by use of the Purchasing Card. However, all users are required to sign an agreement prior to receiving the card acknowledging attendance at a training session and their intent to use the card in compliance with the program requirements. The penalty for misuse of these cards is the same as any order which misuses State funds, which can be up to, but not limited to, dismissal. If misuse of the Card occurs, any personal or unauthorized item(s) must be immediately returned to the vendor for full credit OR the employee must repay the campus all personal amounts including any applicable state, county or city sales taxes. Even if the vendor does not charge these taxes, the campus must collect and remit the taxes to the State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue. All documents related to the Purchasing Card may be fully disclosed as a public record to the extent provided by the Open Records Law. The US Bank/VISA Purchasing Card Program provides liability protection to the State once notification of any loss, theft or fraudulent use is made. However, the same level of liability protection does not apply to cards that have been shared by multiple users. It is imperative the Purchasing Card be used only by the person whose name appears on the Card. If the card is deliberately given by the cardholder to another person who uses it inappropriately, the cardholder is responsible for reimbursement from personal funds for all charges and loss of the privilege to retain the card.
Guidelines for Card Use
The Purchasing Card is to be used to purchase low-dollar value items with the total amount of any purchase not to exceed $5000. These items may include:
Examples of items that may not be purchased with the card:
- subscriptions for business use sent to the University address
- membership fees/dues
- conference registrations/NOTE: it must state on the Travel Expense Report
that the purchasing card was used for the registration fee. A copy of the
conference brochure must be attached to the TER or it will be returned.
|Academic Support Service Agreements (ASSA)
|Alcoholic beverages, drugs or pharmaceuticals
|Capital equipment or component parts
- The Purchasing Card may not be used for cash advances (ATM machines)
or to purchase non-business (personal) items/services.
Merchant Category Code Standards
Vendors are assigned a Merchant Category Code (MCC) by their bank, which designates the type of business they conduct (ex. hardware store, liquor store, etc.). All Purchasing Cards are encoded with specific MCC exclusions (ex. tattoo parlor). Attempting to buy from these merchants will cause your transaction to be denied. Occasionally, a bank may have wrongly assigned a vendor’s MCC. If you run into a situation where your transaction is rejected for an appropriate purchase, contact the Purchasing Card Administrator at X2598.
Use of Purchasing Card with Statewide Contracts
The Purchasing Card may be used on statewide contracts ONLY when the contract or subsequent amendment indicates that card use is allowed. The procedures for use on contracts are subject to change at any time. Contact the Purchasing Card Administrator if you are aware of a contract vendor who accepts credit cards and the contract documentation indicates card use is disallowed. Be sure to consult the relevant contract before making any purchase with the card.
- Agrees that the card will be used only by the person whose name appears on the card.
- Before a University employee can be issued a purchasing card, he/she will:
Order necessary supplies and services in accordance with the UW-Green Bay
Purchasing Policies & Procedures.
Ensure appropriate receipt of materials and services and follow-up with vendor to
resolve any discrepancies.
Maintain all receipts, invoices, packing slips, order confirmation screens, etc (see
source documentation qualifications listed below).
Reconcile source documentation with the transactions listed on the bi-weekly
bank statement. If there are discrepancies, note them on the statement and take the appropriate steps to resolve them.
Attach documentation to the back of the bank statement it pertains to; apply
cardholder signature to attest that all purchases are for official University business and comply with appropriate rules and regulations. Forward to the supervisor/reviewer for their review and signature.
Be prepared to respond to random audits in which card activity and
documentation is reviewed by the Purchasing Card Administrator and DOA.
- Attend training by the Purchasing Card Administrator
- Read and sign the User Agreement Form acknowledging his/her understanding of the restrictions on the use of the card and possible actions if he/she violates the conditions of DOA and UW-System policies on use of the card.
- Review information submitted by the cardholder. At a bare minimum, the
supervisor should compare receipts to the bank statement submitted by the
Cardholder no less than quarterly. Sign bank statement to acknowledge review.
- Verify purchases are for University business. Apply signature to bank statement
to certify the purchases are for University business purposes and comply with
appropriate rules and regulations.
- If it is determined that personal or other unauthorized charges are occurring on
the card, then appropriate steps, up to and including dismissal, will be taken to resolve the misuse/abuse of the card.
- The supervisor is responsible for notifying the Purchasing Card Administrator of
accounts that must be closed due to departure of the cardholder.
General Instructions for Card Use
- If the transaction value is greater than your assigned value (single transaction limit), either use traditional purchasing procedures (enter a purchase order for purchases $5,000 or more or process a direct charge for lesser amounts) or contact the Purchasing Card Administrator at X2598 to request a temporary increase on your card limits.
- If the transaction value is assigned value or less:
- Assuming the item is not on a mandatory state contract you may use best judgment (under $5,000) to determine an appropriate vendor for the materials desired. You must obtain a minimum of three quotes on orders exceeding $1,500, but less than $5000. These quotes must be attached to the purchase receipt from the low bidder. Orders exceeding $5000 must be bid by the Purchasing Office. Consult VendorNet for mandatory contract vendors or view online on the Purchasing website.
- The State of Wisconsin and UW-Green Bay are committed to the involvement of minority business enterprises in the state’s procurement program by attempting to ensure that a minimum of 5% of the total dollars spent in a fiscal year, are paid to minority businesses. Check the Purchasing website for a listing of the approved minority vendors. Approved minority vendors are given a 5% award of preference (if their bid is within 5% of the lowest bid obtained, the order should be given to the minority vendor.)
- There is a listing of vendors that are not eligible to conduct business with the
State/University. Vendors doing business with State agencies are declared ineligible if they do not comply with the Wisconsin sales and use tax OR if they do not submit acceptable affirmative action information. According to Wisconsin law, state agencies, the University of Wisconsin and their employees are prohibited from making purchases from these vendors.
- Vendors and their affiliates who are not properly registered and remitting Wisconsin sales or use tax will be declared ineligible under s.16.75 10m) and 77.66, Wis. Stats. These vendors are listed at: http://vendornet.state.wi.us/vendornet/wocc/certlist.pdf
- Vendors who fail to submit acceptable affirmative action information are also ineligible. A vendor remains ineligible until s.16.765, Wis. Stat and ADM 50, Wisconsin Administrative Code information is submitted. These vendors are listed at: http://vendornet.state.wi.us/vendornet/wocc/wocc.asp
- Give the vendor your Purchasing Card number and expiration date or present the card at the point of sale. If your transaction is declined, contact Customer Service at the 800-number on the back of your card. You may also contact the Purchasing Card Administrator at X2598 to determine the reason. Reasons a Card may be declined include:
- exceeding the single/monthly transaction limit established for your Card.*
- vendors Merchant Category Code (MCC) is incorrect and therefore
transaction is restricted.
- vendor enters incorrect expiration date when processing authorization.
- vendor’s equipment is not working properly.
*If you feel the established single/monthly limits are not appropriate, contact or email Marie Helmke requesting a revision, along with justification for the request approved by your supervisor. A response approving or denying the request will follow. Raising credit limits is preferred as opposed to the vendor “splitting” charges in order to remain under the established credit limits.
- Tell the vendor that the State is exempt from State sales tax.
NOTE: Tax exempt number is ES 40706. A copy of the Sales & Use Tax
Certificate of Exempt Status is located in the back of this booklet, as well as on
the Purchasing website. The certificate may be photocopied as needed.
- If the material will be shipped or delivered, instruct the vendor to enclose or mail a copy of the receipt/invoice with the shipment. Emphasize to the vendor that the receipt must be mailed to the cardholder and not Accounts Payable or the
Purchasing Office. Ask the vendor to mark it “paid” to avoid duplicate payments.
To assure timely delivery, ask the vendor to address the shipment as follows:
Cardholders Name and Dept. Name/Mail Stop
Also, ask the vendor to put the following word (or something to its effect—ex. Purchasing Card, VISA) on the shipping label where there would normally be a purchase order number: the letters “CHARGE”. This will notify Central Receiving personnel that the shipment is related to a Purchasing Card transaction and delivery to you will be made much quicker.
Receiving Dept. /CHARGE
2420 Nicolet Dr.
Green Bay, WI 54311
If the material is picked up, be sure to obtain the itemized receipt indicating the purchase price. Ensure the merchant specifically identifies what is purchased and does not use a description such as “miscellaneous merchandise”.
Purchases in Person: Must have a signed, detailed receipt at the time of purchase clearly identifying each item purchased.
Phone/Fax Orders: The original invoice or packing slip sent with goods shipped. If the packing slip doesn’t have the itemized detail, write it on by hand.
Internet Orders: Print a copy of the order or confirmation screen that shows what was purchased and the dollar amount. Use extreme care when sending Card numbers over the Internet. Make sure the website has some type of security alert box OR a secure site statement along the bottom of the order page before submitting the final order.
- Maintain a Purchasing Card receipt file:
- Obtain and file receipts for all transactions for reconciliation purposes.
What qualifies as source documentation
The original supporting documentation must be retained in the Purchasing cardholder’s file, attached to the bank statement it pertains to. A bank statement is generated on a bi-weekly basis and mailed to the cardholder if transactions occurred in the billing period.
Supplies/Services Documentation Requirements
- Itemized invoice (required)
- Packing Slip (optional)
- Order/confirmation screen (required)
- Cash register receipt (required)
- Registration form (required)
- Missing receipt form (required when no other document is available)
Attach the enclosed invoice when the merchandise is received. The packing slip often times does not have the price of the item included; therefore, it does not meet the requirements of supporting documentation for this program.
Print and attach a copy of the order and/or confirmation screen. The confirmation screen, if available, is preferred over the order screen.
Point of Sale/Pick-Up Orders
Attach the cash register receipt and/or invoice. If the itemized detail is not on the receipt, write it in by hand.
Recurring Monthly Charges without Invoices
Attach the original contract or service agreement to the bank statement that reflects the first monthly service fees. A memo justifying the need for the service should also be attached. Each month thereafter, the recurring fee should be noted as such, since there may not be a monthly receipt or additional documentation to attach.
Subscriptions & Memberships
- The subscription or membership may be sent via email or regular mail to the University address.
- The same subscription, membership or registration cannot be paid twice in one fiscal year.
Attach a copy of the registration form. Make a second copy of the form to attach to the traveler’s TER. The registration is noted in the Direct Billed Expense column of the TER.
Missing Receipt Form
If unable to obtain any type of documentation at all, complete the Missing Receipt Form located at http://www.uwgb.edu/purchasing/purchasingCard/index.htm It is intended for occasional use only.
Transaction Management/Reallocation of Charges (Optional)
- Transaction Management is available for those cardholders that wish to reallocate charges to other departmental budgets than the one associated with the Purchasing Card. It also allows access to view bank statements online and the ability to print them. Use of Transaction Management eliminates the need to process a chargeback. Contact the Purchasing Card Administrator for further information.
- A bank statement for each account is mailed to you, the cardholder. An electronic billing file is sent to Accounts Payable for payment processing.
- It is your responsibility as the cardholder to verify the charges on the statement
against all receipts. Attach receipts to the corresponding statement. If there are inaccuracies and/or erroneous charges, complete the Card Member Services Corporate Disputes Form (located in back of the manual and online). This form gets faxed directly to U. S. Bank with a copy to the Purchasing Card Administrator.
- Sign by “Cardholder Signature” on the card statement to document review and submit it to your supervisor for their review no less than quarterly. The supervisor must also sign the Card statement verifying the charges were appropriate and for University business purposes.
- The cardholder is responsible for record retention and ensuring documentation is available for reviews/audits. Maintain file of signed statements with attached documentation in a secure location for a period of seven (7) fiscal years (6 plus the current). After this time, the documents can legally be destroyed; be sure to obtain authorization from the Archival Administrator (X2539) before submitting the documents for confidential destruction.
Returns, Credits or Disputed Items
The cardholder is responsible for following up with the merchant or bank on any erroneous charges, disputed items or returns as soon as possible. Disputed billings can result from failure to receive the goods charged, defective merchandise, incorrect dollar amounts, duplicate charges, credit not processed, as well as fraud and misuse.
If you have a problem with a purchased item or a billing resulting from use of the Purchasing Card, you should first try to reach a resolution with the supplier that provided the item. In most cases, disputes can be resolved directly between the cardholder and the supplier. All errors, disputes, returns, fraud and pending credits should be noted on the source documentation.
Referring to your receipt, request from the merchant that a credit be placed on your card account. If the item was shipped, refer to the shipping form you kept with your Card Statement.
A credit should be issued for any item that the supplier has approved for return. The credit should appear on a subsequent statement. Any item purchased with the Purchasing Card that is returned must be returned for credit. Do not accept a refund in cash/check format or as an in-store credit.
Make sure you keep documentation of credits, returns and exchanges with your Card Statement.
If you are disputing a charge and cannot reach resolution with the supplier, complete the Card member Services Corporate Disputes Form (copy located at the back of this manual and online) and fax to U. S. Bank Financial Services along with a copy to the Purchasing Card Administrator (fax #465-5649). The written notice of dispute must be received within 60 days of the date the transaction occurred.
Who Has The Signatory Authority to Sign Agreements & Contracts
The Director of Institutional Support has signatory authority for procurement agreements
and contracts, however, individual cardholders are considered to have delegated
authority to sign certain confirmation documents when less than $5000 (ex. coach bus
confirmation). Documents that require signatures to confirm arrangements are
permitted to be signed by individual cardholders when the department confirms a
simple transaction committing the University to pay a specific sum in return for specific,
clearly defined product/services. Such documents cannot:
- Exceed the cardholder’s single transaction limit
- Exceed one year in duration
- Have any automatic renewal language
- Have penalty clauses for termination
- Require the University to “waive” any rights
- Contain any “limits of liability clauses”
- Contain any “hold harmless”, “indemnification” or “arbitration” clauses
Credit Card Security
Your Purchasing Card should be treated with the same level of care you use with your personal credit cards.
- The card should not be loaned to another person. The only person authorized to use the Purchasing Card is the person whose name is on the front of the card or who completed the Purchasing Card Application/Use Agreement.
- Your Purchasing Card account number should be guarded carefully. Do not post it or write it in any location that is accessible to others.
- Use extreme care when sending your Card number over the Internet; be sure you are using a safe, secure and trusted site.
Reporting Lost or Stolen Cards
Unlike personal credit cards where cardholders are responsible for paying the first $50.00 if the card is stolen or misused, US Bank will hold the University (and ultimately, your
department) responsible for paying all charges resulting from stolen or misused cards until they have been notified.
Contact US Bank immediately at (800) 344-5696 to report a lost/stolen card. This number is available 24 hours/7 days a week. At the first available opportunity, report the same information to the Purchasing Card Administrator at X2598.
Your card will be automatically renewed and mailed to your campus address at the end
of the month preceding the expiration date embossed on the current card
Changing Card/Account Information
All changes to a cardholder account must be submitted to the Purchasing Card
Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org Requests for permanent changes to the single or
monthly limits require documentation of the supervisor’s approval.
How to Cancel a Card
When a cardholder leaves the department, cancellation of the card is to take place on or immediately following the cardholder’s last day of employment. Timely cancellation of the card is an integral part of maintaining the integrity of the program. If all items on the card have been received prior to the cardholder’s departure date, the cardholder is to cut up the card and turn it into their supervisor to begin the cancellation process. The supervisor is responsible for notifying the Purchasing Card Administrator of account cancellation.
If ordered items remain outstanding or backordered, the cardholder is to cut up the card and turn it over to their supervisor. Once the outstanding orders have posted to the account, the supervisor is responsible for canceling the account with the Purchasing Card Administrator.
Under no circumstances should the department continue to use the card to order supplies and services after the cardholder’s departure date. Departments must acknowledge the fact that the cardholder is ultimately responsible for all orders placed on the card and continued use of the card after the cardholder’s departure date should not be requested or expected. Whenever possible, complete the Purchasing Card Application & Use Agreement Form to obtain a card for a new employee or interim replacement cardholder prior to the current cardholder’s departure date.
A card cannot be transferred from one individual to another. If you leave the University or transfer to another department within the University, you must return your Purchasing Card to the Purchasing Card Administrator who will cancel the card. Returned Purchasing Cards are not reissued to other employees for use. Before returning a canceled Purchasing Card, cut the card in half.
Note: If you have established accounts with vendors that have your Card number hard-coded into their system, please note that these will also need to be canceled and re-established as a new account with your successor (ex. monthly cell phone billing).
The UW-Green Bay Purchasing Card Administrator, Internal Auditor, as well as the State Bureau of Procurement and the State Controller’s Office, will conduct random audits of Purchasing Card use. The primary purpose of these audits is to ensure the Purchasing Card program procedures are being followed and that:
Consequences of Failure to Comply with Policy Guidelines
- Purchase volume appears reasonable
- Use of mandatory contract vendors is being complied with
- Transactions appear to be appropriate purchases from State funds
- The card is being used for appropriate & legal (not personal) transactions
- Documentation is complete (receipts attached, reconciliation taking place, etc)
Any misuse of the card or other failure to comply with these procedures will result in the following cardholder consequences:
- Revocation of Card
- Disciplinary measures, if appropriate
- In addition, if the misuse involves personal transactions, the cardholder must repay to the University all personal amounts, including any applicable state, county or city taxes.
- “Three strikes and you’re out” rule. Three separate instances of misuse will result in temporary or permanent termination from the program
The following contacts are available to provide assistance, answer questions, or help solve any problems that arise:
University Purchasing Card Administrator
Marie Helmke, 920-465-2598
US Bank Customer Service: (800) 344-5696
- To apply for a Purchasing Card
- For questions about policies and procedures
- To replace damaged cards
- For assistance with suppliers
- For account inquiries
- For billing information
- If you didn’t receive your monthly statement
- To report a lost or stolen card
- To determine reason card transaction was denied
- To report lost or stolen cards
- For questions about your statement