UCR Policies and Procedures

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Campus Policy Number: 750-70

Procurement Cards (ProCard)
Policy Owner: Campus Purchasing
Effective Date: 02/02/2010



This section outlines policy and procedures governing use of Procurement Cards for University of California, Riverside low-value purchases. The Procurement Card provides benefit to UCR through an efficient, cost-effective method of purchasing and paying for small dollar value transactions within established limits. The Procurement Card program is designed to supplement other purchasing options, such as low-dollar value purchase orders (LVPA program) and reduce the need for incidental/petty cash transactions. Additional benefits include: 1) prompt payment to vendors thereby reducing vendor inquires to Accounting and Purchasing offices; 2) elimination of purchase orders and invoices; 3) reduction of personal out-of-pocket expenses thereby reducing reimbursement requests; 4) built-in controls to restrict inappropriate purchases and; 5) nearly universal acceptance by vendors.
The Procurement Card is a "Visa" corporate procurement card issued through USBank to designated University employees for the purpose of low dollar value purchases conducted in accordance with University policies and procedures (see Section 750 of UCR's Policy and Procedures Manual). Although the ProCard resembles and essentially functions like a personal credit card, there are significant differences. Full liability rests with the University for payment to the bank for all transactions. It is assigned by the bank to a specific University employee, but is issued in the name of and on behalf of the University.
The ProCard is NOT intended:
·         To bypass procurement or accounting policies (Sections 750 & 200 of UCR Policy and Procedures Manual)
·         For entertainment purchases
·         For travel purposes
·         For personal use
The Procurement Card Coordinator is located in the Campus Purchasing Department and may be reached at 951-827-3008.
Issuance of a Procurement Card indicates an employee has been given the privilege to use the ProCard to conduct official University financial business. This privilege is requested through the Departmental Financial Manager. Each Cardholder must sign an Employee Agreement Form which indicates their agreement to use the Procurement Card in accordance with Purchasing and Procurement Card Policies and Procedures. This privilege is conditioned upon the employee's agreement to first obtain Purchasing and Procurement Card specific training.
A Cardholder's ability to utilize the Procurement Card in accordance with campus policies and procedures will be routinely monitored. In order to minimize the risk or threat to the University's financial resources, it may be necessary to immediately suspend a Cardholder's Procurement Card privileges if irregularities are detected. Campus Purchasing, in consultation with other appropriate parties, may temporarily suspend a Cardholder's privileges based on irregularities and reinstate them following reasonable explanation. Cardholder privileges can be denied, suspended, or permanently revoked if it is determined that an employee is incapable of complying with, disregards, or intentionally circumvents campus policies and procedures. Any violation of local, State, or Federal laws may carry the additional consequence of prosecution under the law where judicial action may result in one or more of the following: specific fines, imprisonment, litigation costs, and payment of damages.
1.       Selection
Selection of cardholders shall be done at the departmental level, in consultation with Campus Purchasing. Cardholders must follow Low Value Purchase Authorization (LVPA) Policies, Procedures and guidelines (UC Riverside Policies and Procedures, Section 750-39). Cardholder must be a UC career employee, capable and eligible for delegated purchasing authority.
2.       Training
Cardholders must complete a Procurement Card Training Program. Annual ProCard “refresher” training is also required and is available on-line. ProCard training requires an assessment score of 80% or greater to be successful.
3.       Application
a.        Intended cardholders must complete and submit a Cardholder Application form.
b.       The appropriate department Financial Manager must also complete a Department Reason Form which identifies the need to have ProCard privileges granted to the intended Cardholder.
c.        Additionally, Cardholders must sign an Employee Agreement Form, and accept its Terms and Conditions. In the event an application is submitted without the Employee Agreement Form, the intended Cardholder must complete the form at the time the ProCard is issued.
Only after successful completion of training will a Procurement Card Low Value delegation be granted and the ProCard issued.
1.       Department Financial Manager's Responsibilities
a.        Departmental Card Administrator (DCA) - Appoint a department employee as DCA whose responsibility is to manage the Procurement Card program within the department.
b.       Separation of Duties - Ensure that no one employee, including a manager, is in a position to take both unauthorized action (or make an error) and permanently conceal it. Duties must be separated and transactions must be independently reviewed and reconciled by someone other than the person conducting the purchase.
c.        Monitor Selection - Ensure the selection of cardholders follows Low Value Purchasing Authorization delegation (UC Riverside Policies and Procedures 750-39). Selection of Cardholders must be approved by the department business/financial manager.
d.       Cardholder Application/Employee Agreement Form - Ensure that all appropriate signatures and accounting information are secured before submission to Campus Purchasing. Assigned dollar limits are not to exceed LVPA.
e.       Training - Ensure that authorized Cardholders, Departmental Card Administrators and they themselves are trained in the proper use of the ProCard and have attended the Procurement Card Training class, and that annual refresher training is successfully completed on a timely basis.
f.         Monitor Use – Monitor ProCard activity to ensure the Procurement Card is being used only for allowable purchases as outlined in Low Value Purchase Authorization policies and procedures (UC Riverside Policies and Procedures, Section 750-39).   Maintain a list of all Cardholders within the department.
a.        Separation of duties - Ensure that all Procurement Card transactions are independently reviewed by someone other than the Cardholder. If the departmental unit is too small to provide an independent confirmation of receipt other than the Cardholder, an authorized individual from an outside unit may perform this task.
b.       Training - Ensure that cardholders and they themselves are trained in the proper use of the ProCard and have attended Campus Purchasing’s Procurement Card specific training class.
c.        Purchasing Policy - Ensure compliance with Low Value Purchase Authorization policies and procedures (UC Riverside Policies and Procedures, Section 750-39).
d.       Accounting Issues -
1.       After receipt of PAN notifications ensure redistribution of ProCard transactions to the appropriate FAUs are made within sixty days of posting or by the end of the fiscal year, whichever occurs first.
2.       Ensure use of the ProCard follows all current accounting policies and procedures.
e.       Reconciliation -
1.       Make certain that required supporting documents are on file in the department for five years.
2.       Ensure accurate reconciliation of bank charges with Financial Transaction Detail Report is completed within thirty days following the final Transaction Detail Report.
3.       Ensure that cardholders submit required documentation within ten days.
f.         Transaction Log - Ensure that Cardholders submit a ProCard Transaction Log Receipt for any transaction where no supporting documentation of the purchase is provided by the vendor.
g.        Credit Log - Department is to maintain a credit log and follow up on requests for credit to a satisfactory completion. All requests for credit must be resolved within sixty days of transaction posting. Credits must be monitored until received.
h.       Termination, Changes, Deletions and Additions - Notify the Procurement Card Coordinator immediately, in writing, of any needed changes, deletions or additions to the Procurement Card including changes to the FAU, transaction limits or information displayed on the Procurement Card itself.
1.       Delegation of Authority
a.        The Director of Materiel Management delegates limited authority to departments to permit utilization of authorized procurement methods according to UC Riverside Purchasing Policies and Procedures, Section 750-63.
b.       USBank, the University's ProCard partner, or UCR may suspend or cancel Cardholder privileges. Materiel Management may terminate Procurement Card delegation for violation of any applicable Purchasing Policies and Procedures.
2.       Compliance with Existing Policy - Adherence to UC Riverside Purchasing policies and procedures, as well as federal and state regulations must be observed for all transactions. (UCR Policy & Procedure Manual, Section 750 and UC Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-43 )
3.       Ownership of the Procurement Card
a.        Following current Low Value Purchasing Authorization guidelines, the Cardholder whose name appears on the ProCard may make authorized purchases in accordance with campus policies for any employee within their department.
b.       The Procurement Card may not be transferred to, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the Cardholder to whom it was issued.
c.        Procurement Cards may not be lent to another person for any reason.
d.       During the absence of a cardholder, the department may purchase or requisition items using other authorized procurement methods.
4.       Restrictions
a.        Procurement Cards may NOT be used for the following:
·         Travel-related expenses
·         Entertainment
·         Personal Use
·         Inventorial Equipment
·         Cash Advances
·         Goods in excess of departmental Low Value Purchase Authorization (LVPA) limits or $2500, whichever is less.
·         Restricted purchases and purchases requiring special approval (UC Riverside, Purchasing Policies and Procedures, Section 750-63)
b.       Each Procurement Card has preset spending limits, as determined by the Director of Materiel Management, and will adhere to Low Value Purchase Authorization (UC Riverside Purchasing Policies and Procedures, Section 750-39). ProCards are pre-set at a dollar amount per transaction, total amount per day, and total amount per billing cycle (30 days). The Procurement Card will be declined at the point of sale when the vendor (merchant) category falls within the restricted use areas (such as a travel agent).
5.       Unauthorized Use
a.        Misuse of the Procurement Card is to be reported in accordance with University policy. See Whistleblower and Whistleblower Protection Policies.
b.       Use of the Procurement Card or Procurement Card account number, after notice of cancellation, will result in revocation of low-value delegation/authorization and may result in disciplinary action (see E. 5. c. 1-4 below)
c.        Violations of policy will be investigated and may result in the following actions:
1.       Verbal reprimand
2.       Written reprimand to Cardholder and Departmental Financial Manager/Business Officer
3.       Termination of Procurement Card privileges
4.       Termination or Criminal Prosecution
6.       Security & Protection
a.        Each department must ensure Procurement Cards are kept secure. In some areas it may be appropriate for the Cardholder to carry the ProCard. If not, the ProCard must be stored in a secure place, such as a locked cabinet.
1.       The employee whose name appears on the Procurement Card is responsible for protecting the account number.
2.       Account numbers may not be provided to vendors for use on a standing or blanket basis. ProCards are to be used for single transactions only.
7.       Lost or Stolen ProCards - If a Procurement Card is lost or stolen, a Cardholder or DCA must notify USBank immediately. USBank's 24-hour phone number is (800) 344-5696. Notification must also be made to their department head (or designee) and the Procurement Card Coordinator.
8.       Disputed Transactions, Returns and Credits
a.        It is the Procurement Cardholder's and DCA's responsibility to follow up on any erroneous charges, returns, or adjustments and to ensure proper credit is obtained.
b.       Disputed Transactions: USBank must be notified within 60 days of the last day of the billing-cycle during which a transaction is charged if that transaction is or will be disputed. A dispute form may be downloaded from Purchasing's website. The last day of the billing-cycle for UCR is the 27th of each month.
c.        Returns and Credits: If resolution cannot be reached between the vendor and Cardholder, contact the USBank Dispute Representative/Fraud Investigator at (800) 523-9078 or UCR’s Procurement Card Coordinator at (951) 827-3008. Disputes are to be resolved completely within sixty days of the transaction posting.
1.       Source documentation (receipts) from the vendor must provide sufficient information to permit validation by an individual other than the cardholder. This documentation can be itemized receipts or itemized packing slips.
2.       Cardholders must submit documents to their respective DCA as soon as possible following purchase, and no later than ten days following purchase.
3.       Documentation/Receipts must be reviewed by each department to verify that all transactions follow low value purchasing authorization and Procurement Card policy and procedures. Persons performing the department's reconciliation function have specific review responsibilities including: reviewing receipts, invoices, or packing slips against financial journal entries.
a.        Purchases Made in Person - To document purchases made in person, a credit card slip (customer copy) or a cash register tape, signed by the Cardholder normally is acceptable. If the merchandise purchased is not itemized on the signed document, the purchaser must request and obtain a cash register tape or a manual itemized receipt from the vendor. This must be done at the time of purchase. Additional documentation must be provided if the cash register tape or other receipt provided by the vendor does not provide sufficient detail to permit verification by a person other than the Cardholder of the items purchased.
b.       Mail, Telephone or Internet Orders - To document purchases made via mail, telephone or Internet, departments must obtain a copy of the vendor’s order confirmation/acknowledgement, packing slip or vendor invoice. These documents must contain sufficient information to permit proper reconciliation of charges.
1.       When using the Procurement Card for Internet purchases, Cardholders must be sure a secure site (URL - https) is used.
1.       Campus Purchasing shall conduct random audits to ensure appropriate policies and procedures are being followed, including: appropriateness of purchase, separation of duties, and source documentation records.
2.       It is the responsibility of Audit and Advisory Services to perform sample audits of departmental records to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are being followed.
1.       Use Tax
a.        Use tax on Procurement Card transactions from out-of-state vendors will be automatically calculated and added to the amount of the sale. Some out-of-state vendors will collect such tax. DCA's must ensure that they notify Accounts Payable of all out-of-state vendors who have already collected CA tax on a receipt. When notified, Accounts Payable will add these vendors to a table, which will override the use tax accrual in the future.
b.       Ensure all copies of out-of-state receipts, where sales tax has been collected, are sent to Accounting in order to correct the duplicate tax.
2.       Sales Tax
a.        Is due and payable at time of purchase of tangible goods. The State of California requires payment of state sales tax on all purchases, except those which are tax-exempt. The following types of services are generally not taxable: Labor, advertisements and freight.
b.       At times, a transaction may require a combination of goods and services that are both taxable and non-taxable. In such cases, obtain a specific breakdown of the vendor's charges in each category and the appropriate tax.
I.         CONTACTS
For further information, contact the UC Riverside Procurement Card Coordinator at (951) 827-3008.
·         UCR Procurement Card Guidebook is available on Campus Purchasing’s website or email Dana Allen dana.allen@ucr.edu  or Gae Purvis gae.purvis@ucr.edu .
·         UCR Policy and Procedure Manual Section 750, Purchasing & Management of Supplies and Equipment.
·         UC Business & Finance Bulletin BUS-43, Materiel Management
·         UCR Policy and Procedure Manual, Section 200 - Accounting & Financial Management
·         UC Policy and Procedure Manual, Whistleblower Policy
·         UC Policy and Procedure Manual, Whistleblower Protection Policy
Why would I want a Procurement Card?
The ProCard is a corporate Visa Card. It is a convenient way to purchase goods and materials for University-related business. It benefits the employee and their department because it is simple to use and eliminates some of the documentation required for other types of purchases. It benefits the Accounting department by eliminating checks to many individual merchants. It benefits the merchant by providing payment within 2-3 days, thereby eliminating phone calls to departments and Accounting. Furthermore, it can be used for merchants who do not accept Purchase Orders.
Who is eligible to obtain a Procurement Card?
The Procurement Card may be obtained by any career UCR employee who has been delegated purchasing authority by their department. They must complete training, submit the necessary paperwork, and accept responsibility for following campus policies and procedures.
How do I get my own ProCard?
The first step is to obtain pre-approval through the department Financial Manager. After completing the required training and submitting the appropriate forms, Campus Purchasing will submit the request to USBank for your ProCard. Campus Purchasing will notify you when it is received from USBank - it does not come directly to your department.
What kind of training is provided?
Centralized training sessions are available through the Human Resources class schedule, and will also be offered on a case-by-case basis to individual departments as needed. This training must be attended by the potential Cardholder, the department Financial Manager and DCA. A guide is given to those involved in the Procurement Card program as a reference.
Will my ProCard have spending limits?
Yes. The Procurement Card has pre-set default limits for non-restricted purchases of up to $2,500 per transaction, 99 transactions per day, $10,000 in total purchases per billing cycle and 999 transactions per billing cycle. Your Financial Manager may set these limits lower, but never higher, and should determine the most appropriate limits for each specific Cardholder.
Can my ProCard accommodate other special spending arrangements?
Yes. There is an option to select a variable period for the date range that the ProCard is valid. There is also an option to select limits for the total number of transactions and/or the total dollar amount spent. These limits, as well as the spending limits, can be modified with the appropriate documentation through the PCC, (not to exceed preset maximum limits) without having to obtain a new ProCard. These limits can be changed by the PCC for a short period of time to accommodate a specific circumstance, and then changed back.
Can my department share one Procurement Card or can someone else use the Procurement Card issued to me?
No. The Procurement Card is non-transferable and can only be used by the person whose name is embossed on the ProCard. Violation of this policy can result in revocation of the ProCard.
Will my personal credit history be checked when I apply for a Procurement Card?
No. Your personal credit history will not be checked or affected when applying for or using the Procurement Card.
Can a Procurement Card transaction be stopped?
No. Once the charge has been made, your account will be billed. The Cardholder must make arrangements directly with the merchant to obtain a credit.
Can I use my Procurement Card to make purchases on the Internet?
Yes. However, you should make sure that you use secure web sites (HTTPS) and that the commodity being purchased is allowed according to policy.
Will merchants know what a UCR Procurement Card is?
No. Tell the merchant that you will be purchasing with a corporate Visa Card.
When using my Procurement Card, can the distribution of charges be split among more than one account?
Yes. Charges can be split or divided among accounts/funds when your department carries out the ProCard Cost Transfer (PCT) function to redistribute the expenses.
What do I do with my Procurement Card when I change departments or leave UCR?
Cut the ProCard in half and submit it to your department Financial Manager, who will advise the Procurement Card Coordinator in Campus Purchasing to close the Cardholder's account.
Can I use the Procurement card on campus (i.e. Storehouse, Campus Store/CompUCR, Printing & Reprographics, CA Museum of Photography, UNEX, etc)?
No. These are campus recharge units. Use of the Procurement card doesn’t allow the recharge units to differentiate between personal credit card purchases vs. actual University business.
L.        DEFINITIONS - to be added in a future update