60.5.6 Procurement Card
Approval Authority: Controller
Responsible Executive: Procurement Director
Responsible Office: Office of Finance
Originally Issued: February 16, 2006
- Policy Statement
Use of a Procurement Card (P-Card) is a means of streamlining the traditional purchase order and payment processes for low value transactions, as well as replacing most of the out of pocket expenses previously reimbursed through petty cash. The Procurement Card Policy is intended to efficiently support Procurement?s and Accounting?s efforts to increase efficiency while maintaining the same level of cost control through the elimination of paperwork and the consolidation of supplier invoices into one billing statement.
- Reason/Purpose for Policy
This policy is intended to provide a clear and consistent understanding of Stevens?s Procurement Card policy and process. This policy is intended to provide guidelines for the appropriate use by staff and faculty, to define the role of procurement, and to define the approval and payment process.
- Who Should Read Policy or Policy Applies To:
This policy applies to all Stevens faculty and staff.
- Related Documents
- Director of Procurement
- Office of Finance
- P-Card Administrator
- The Policy
The Procurement Card Program is intended to provide a simple, efficient, cost-effective means of purchasing lower cost goods. Several major features of the program are that it enables departments to be self-sufficient, eliminates redundant and/or no value added processes.
Studies performed have estimated the cost of processing a traditional transaction (requisition to purchase order to invoice to payment) is approximately $65.00, whereas the average P-Card transaction is estimated to cost about one half that amount.
The Procurement Card (P-Card) is an AMEX credit card, which can be used for purchases up to $250.00. Exceptions to this dollar limit are considered on a case by case basis and must be made in writing by the Department Head or Dean to the Procurement Director. The P-Card should be used in place of Blanket Orders, Business Expense Reimbursements and Petty Cash. The P-Card provides a faster, more efficient way to purchase low value goods.
Guidelines for the Procurement Card Usage:
- Use of the Stevens P-Card by someone other than the individual named on the card is strictly prohibited.
- Use of the Stevens P-Card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited.
- No cash access is allowed on the Stevens P-Card.
- The use of the Stevens P-Card is authorized for items defined in the Policy only. Exceptions to usage categories are reviewed on a case by case basis; requests (approved by the Department Head or Dean) should be made in writing to the Procurement Director.
- Transactions are processed when the supplier verifies the Stevens P-Card Account number with the P-Card vendor (American Express). Spending limits are enforced by the P-Card vendor. These spending limits are checked by the P-Card Administrator systematically against Institute policy.
- All procurement cards have monthly spending limits ($1,000) as well as single transactions limits ($250). These limits may be changed if the business needs of the department change; requests (approved by the Department Head or Dean) should be made in writing to the Procurement Director for consideration and approval.
- Charges will be declined at the time of purchase if the purchase exceeds the spending limit on the card member?s Steven?s Procurement Card.
- Monthly statements must be reconciled to receipts by the card member and the card member must resolve all disputed charges by contacting the supplier directly or through American Express. You will not receive a credit until it is processed by AMEX. The P-Card administrator must also be notified of disputed charges.
- The card member?s monthly activity will be charged to the budget account/cost center supplied on the employee acknowledgment form. Accounting needs to be advised of any change in account allocation.
- Any credits from resolution of disputed items will not be credited to the budget account/cost center supplied by you until it is received from AMEX.
- Card member is required to forward all reconciled monthly statements and original procurement card receipts to the P-Card Administrator within 10 days of receipt of statement.
- In the event of a lost or stolen P-Card, it is the card member?s responsibility to notify AMEX immediately at 1-800-492-4920, and notify the program administrator the next business day.
Possible Uses Include:
- Dues and Subscriptions
- Conference Registration Fees
- Office supplies when ordered through the preferred vendor
- Misc. Supplies
- Computer Peripherals and Software
- Equipment Repairs
- Petty Cash Items
Procurement Cards are assigned to individual employees and cannot be transferred to, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the designated employee. Use for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. Fraudulent and/or misuse of the card is grounds for revoking Procurement Card privileges and may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Temporary employees are not eligible for Procurement Cards.
The Procurement Card is not to be used as payment for the following items:
- Airline tickets
- Alcoholic beverages
- Automotive gasoline
- Capital Equipment
- Cash advances
- Cellular Phones
- Computer systems, Laptops
- Construction and renovations
- Consulting services
- Items intended for personal use
- Laboratory animals
- Office Equipment and furniture
- Prescription drugs or controlled substances
- Radioactive materials
- Travel and entertainment related expenses
The Procurement Card should not be confused with the Institute?s Corporate Card (American Express), which is a separate program.
Keeping your Card Secure
Always keep your card in a secure place. Just as you would your personal credit card, treat it as if it were cash.
The Procurement Card is a Stevens card. There will not be a personal credit check and use of the card will not impact your personal credit history.
Applying for a Card
Setting up a New Cardholder
To obtain a Procurement Card there are a few simple steps that need to be followed:
- Fill out a Stevens Procurement Card Request Form
- Attend a mandatory cardholder training session conducted by the P-Card Administrator.
- Sign a procurement card cardholder agreement form at the end of the training session
Procurement Card Application
The Procurement card application must be completed and forwarded to the P-Card Administrator, Procurement Department. The Procurement card application requires confidential information from the cardholder that is used to identify the cardholder and verify credit card ownership when a card is activated or canceled. All information requested of the cardholder will be kept confidential. Failure to provide such information will prevent the issuance of a card.
Prior to being issued a card, the cardholder must attend a training session. During this session, the cardholder will be instructed in the uses and restrictions of the program.
The purpose of the training session is to ensure that the cardholder is familiar with the policies and procedures and to answer any questions the cardholder may have regarding use of the card.
Cardholder Agreement Form
The cardholder must agree that they will adhere to proper polices and procedures. An applicant will not receive a card if they do not attend a training session and sign the cardholder agreement form. An applicant may not send someone else in his or her place.
Making Changes to a Procurement Card
Contact the P-Card Administrator
Contact the P-Card Administrator or Accounts Payable.
Each individual P-Card has preset control limits built-in. There is a single transaction limit of $250 and a monthly total transaction limit of $1,000.
Making a Purchase
Most employees are already familiar with making purchases using a credit card. The process for placing an order using the Procurement Card is very similar to those used when making a purchase with any commercial credit card. When making a purchase the following steps should be followed:
- Confirm that the purchase is appropriate for the P-Card by checking the list of restricted items.
- Confirm the total cost (including shipping and handling) will not exceed present transaction limits.
- Make sure you are obtaining the best possible price. Any cardholder should contact the Procurement Department to ask if there is a preferred/contracted vendor to use.
- All purchases for Stevens Institute of Technology allow employees access to educational discounts if available.
- Record the name of the person taking the order in case subsequent problems/issues arise.
- A requisition is completed for those items requiring a requisition indicating that the form of payment will be PCard.
- Upon receipt of the item, retain copies of the charge slip, sales receipt, vendor statement, and/or packing slip. Receipts must be submitted with the monthly statement to the P-Card Administrator. Improper documentation may result in loss of the Pcard.
- Stevens is a tax-exempt entity. Whenever possible purchases, including on line purchases, should be made using our sales tax exempt number. The P-Card Administrator will provide sales tax exempt forms if the vendor used does not have one on file from Stevens.
When placing an order using the P-Card, you must provide the vendor with specific delivery instructions including the user's name, department, building, and room number. If specific delivery instructions are not included on the packing slip, the receiver will refuse the package and it will be returned to the vendor. Items returned will be at the department's expense.
Returns, Damaged Goods, Credits
The cardholder is responsible for inspecting all goods upon arrival. If goods purchased with a Procurement Card need to be returned, the cardholder should work directly with the supplier. Here are some helpful guidelines:
- Always retain boxes, containers, special packaging, packing slips, etc. until you are certain you are going to keep the goods. Some items, such as software or fragile pieces, cannot be returned without the original packaging materials.
- Read all enclosed instructions very carefully.
- Many suppliers require you to obtain a "Return Authorization Number" before they will accept a return. If you neglect to get this number when it is required the package may be refused and/or no credit issued to your account.
- In some cases there may be a restocking fee (usually a percentage of the purchase price). If the supplier is completely responsible for the error or problem, you should not have to pay this or any other fee. However, if they are not fully responsible you may have to pay it. You may use the Procurement Card to pay this fee as long as it does not exceed any of your limits.
- Lastly, make sure that the charge for the returned items does not appear on the procurement card statement. If there is a timing issue and the item is charged make sure the credit is included in your next statement.
If your credit card is declined, the cardholder should contact AMEX at the phone number on the back of the Procurement Card.
Lost or Stolen Cards
It is the cardholder's responsibility to report lost or stolen cards immediately. After notifying AMEX, the cardholder must report the lost card to the P-Card Administrator, Procurement Department.
Disputing a Transaction
A cardholder may dispute any charge that appears on the P-Card statement. If there is a charge that is not recognized by the Cardholder or appears to be incorrect, the Cardholder must follow the procedures outlined by AMEX.
Documentation and Record Keeping
Cardholders must submit all original receipts for all transactions to the P-Card Administrator. P-Card documentation is subject to audit; therefore it must be maintained and easily accessible. The audits will be conducted periodically by the Internal Auditor, and on occasion by our external auditors.
Cardholders are responsible for obtaining all documentation necessary to support the business purpose of the purchase. If the business purpose is not clear, a notation should be made on the receipts.
Canceling a Card
The reasons for canceling a card are:
- Termination of employment
- Request by an authorized person (Supervisor, Procurement Department, etc.)
- Transfer to another department (cardholder may reapply in new department)
The P-Card Administrator is responsible for canceling cards.