Policy Owner:    Financial Services
Approval Date:  November 7, 2019
Approved By:    Shane Webster – Financial Services Managing Director
Last Revision:    November 7, 2019

Purpose

To provide standards, guidelines, and directions for the issuance to and usage of credit cards by employees for University-related expenses.

Policy 

University credit cards are the preferred payment method for expenditures within approved spending limits. Credit cards are made available to full-time and part-time (non-student) employees upon proper approval. Expenditures exceeding card limits require proper advanced approval based on established procedures.

Employees who travel or purchase on behalf of the University should apply for a University-issued credit card to pay for their expenses. The use of personal credit cards to make purchases for University expenses is generally not approved.

Cardholders are responsible for the following:

  • Security and proper use of the card and associated personal identification number (PIN)
  • Reconciling each transaction according to current procedures - including while away from the University for extended periods of time 
  • When returning an item purchased with the card, ensuring the refund is processed on the same card that was originally used for the purchase

Cost Center Managers have primary responsibility for reviewing transactions allocated to their cost center to ensure purchases are appropriate and applicable procedures are followed.

Procedures  

  1. Employees apply for the appropriate card through Financial Services. Each application requires the approval of the employee’s supervisor and the Financial Services Managing Director or designee.
  2. Standard card limits are $2,500 per transaction, $10,000 per month.
  3. Financial Services orders the appropriate card through the Issuing Bank.
  4. Cards are sent by the Issuing Bank to Financial Services for distribution.
  5. Once the employee has received his/her card, it should be used in place of other payment methods to purchase items (e.g., supplies, subscriptions, professional memberships, and other goods) and pay for University-related travel expenses unless restricted below. Misuse of the card may result in disciplinary action or termination from employment. 
  6. The card should not be used to purchase trackable computer equipment or software which is normally acquired by Information Technology (IT).
  7. The card must not be used to make personal purchases. 
  8. The card cannot be used at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
  9. Cardholders should not split a single purchase into multiple transactions to circumvent the transaction limit.
  10. If a one-time increase in limits is needed, the cardholder’s supervisor requests the increase by emailing Financial Services and explaining the reason for the increase and the amounts needed. If approved, the card limit will be increased temporarily.
  11. Permanent increases must be approved by completing the appropriate form available from Financial Services.
  12. Each cardholder should obtain a receipt or other documentation for each charge to be attached to the corresponding transaction in the Financial System. If the card is used over the phone or by mail where no receipt is available, other documentation and an explanation of the charge should be attached to the transaction. If a receipt is lost or unattainable, a "Lost or Missing Receipt Affidavit" form must also be completed and attached to the transaction. 
  13. The balance due on all cards is paid each month by the University with the detail of all transactions forwarded electronically to the Financial System once the transaction is posted by the Issuing Bank. 
  14. Cardholders are required to reconcile and attach legible, detailed receipts for transactions in the Financial System and ensure the appropriate Cost Center Managers have approved all transactions.
  15. Cost Center Managers are required to review and approve all expenses charged to their accounts.
  16. If transactions are not reconciled and approved by the 15th of the following month, the cardholder’s department will be charged $10 and the card limit will be frozen until reconciliation is complete. If the card limit is frozen multiple times in a six-month period, the card limit may be frozen for one month in addition to any financial penalties. Continued infractions may result in the card being closed permanently.
  17. Charges for a particular transaction will not be recorded in the financial system until the transaction has been reconciled.
  18. Accounting Services will ensure all transactions are reconciled within the timeframe above. Accounting Services will also select a sample of transactions each month for review to ensure proper policies and procedures are followed and that purchases appear to be appropriate. 
  19. The cardholder is responsible for promptly initiating action to correct any errors or questionable transactions. The cardholder first contacts the merchant directly. If the dispute cannot be resolved with the merchant, the cardholder contacts the Issuing Bank using the phone number on the back of the card or by contacting Financial Services. The disputed charge should still be reconciled within the Financial System and the cardholder should ensure the appropriate credit is received.
  20. If the card is lost or stolen, the cardholder should immediately contact the Issuing Bank and Financial Services.

Specific to Department Cards

  1. Department Cards may be used by other authorized students and employees in the department.
  2. Department Card stewards are responsible for knowing who had possession of the card at various times during each month in order to track its use in the case of questionable transactions.
  3. Department Card stewards are responsible for the above procedures as if they had made any charges themselves.
  4. Travel-related purchases are generally not allowed on Department Cards.

Specific to Fuel Cards

  1. Fuel Cards may be issued to a department that is authorized to have its own vehicle or needs a card for drivers to use that typically wouldn’t have their own University credit card.
  2. Fuel Card stewards are responsible for knowing who had possession of the card at various times during each month in order to track its use in the case of questionable transactions.
  3. Fuel Card stewards are responsible for the above procedures as if they had made any charges themselves.
  4. Non-fuel related charges are not authorized on Fuel Cards.

Specific to Group Travel Cards

  1. In addition to the standard card approvals, the approval of the appropriate Vice President or Designee is required.
  2. The Group Travel Card should only be used for group-travel related charges.
  3. Automated Teller Machine (ATM) access is available upon proper approval.
  4. Any cash advances must be reconciled per travel policies and procedures.
  5. Additional training provided by Accounting Services should be completed prior to using the card.
  6. The cardholder should contact Financial Services upon completion of the group travel to notify them that the card limit can be decreased until it is again needed.

Definition Section

  • Issuing Bank – Financial institution that issues the credit cards for the University.
  • Post Date – Date the card transaction is recorded by the Issuing Bank.
  • Transaction Date – Date the card is used at the merchant.
  • Split Transaction – Multiple transactions to a single merchant meant to circumvent single transaction limits.