Policy on PCard Program

Summary of Policy:

To allow for the direct procurement of low to moderate value purchases by the end-user through the use of a credit card. 

Dept. or Position Responsible for Policy:  Dir. of Accounting & Business Operations

Date of Last Revision:  Approved by President’s Cabinet on November 15, 2010.


The College’s Purchasing Card Program is designed to allow for the direct procurement of low to moderate value purchases by the end-user through the use of a credit card.  Our intent is to eliminate a sizeable number of requisitions, purchase orders (both regular and “Speedy” purchase orders), cash advances/clearings, accounts payable vouchers, and checks.  We aim to simplify and accelerate the purchasing of goods and services, while maintaining adequate checks and controls over the process.  The result of the process should reduce total paperwork, improve vendor relationships, and provide Budget Officers with greater flexibility in managing their budgets.  Cardholders will have the ability to initiate transactions in-person, over the phone, by FAX, or on the WEB.  The card will clearly be identified as a College Purchasing Card including the College’s State Sales Tax Exemption number.  Payments to vendors will be made via the VISA settlement system.


I.                    Program Administrator(s)

The Program Administrator(s) is responsible for the day to day operation of the purchasing card program.  This person will be the main link between you (the cardholder) and PNC Bank for such tasks as cardholder name and address changes, overriding of controls on the accounts, changes in limits, etc.

Betty McKim, Purchasing Assistant, Mifflin Street—I.Harvey Brumbaugh House, Ext 3196

Erika Slocum, Accounts Payable Assistant, Mifflin Street—I.Harvey Brumbaugh House, Ext 3193

II.             Treasury Officers

The Treasury Officer if the primary contact regarding the overall account.  This individual is the person responsible for the entire purchasing card program.  A secondary treasury officer will be the secondary contact should the treasury officer be unavailable.

Treasury Officer: Karla Wiser, Controller, Mifflin Street—I.Harvey Brumbaugh House, Ext 3301

Secondary Treasury Officer: Lauren Perow, Bursar —I.Harvey Brumbaugh House, Ext 3302

III.           Account Directors/Budget Officers

Account Directors(Budget Officers) are those individuals responsible for managing budgets or cost centers for a given area or areas.  The Account Director identifies their employees as candidates for a purchasing card, oversees the use of the card, appoints assistants to manage PCards, assures that sufficient funds are available in a specified account designated for each purchasing card and reviews the reconciled statements of cardholders that report to the directors.

IV.           Approved Designees

Approved Designees are those individuals that an Account Director can designate to approve and review online, either their charges andor those charges of the card holders under them.  A list of Approved designees will be held on file with the Program Administrator.  Approved Designees are subject to approval by the Treasury Officer

V.             Cardholders

Cardholders are those employees who have been designated by an account director to be provided a card based on their need to purchase business-related goods and services and/or travel for the institution.  General responsibilities of the cardholder are listed below:  (Specific responsibilities are in the section “Cardholders Procedures” and found in the “Employee Purchasing Card Usage Agreement Form”)

-initiates and authorizes purchases

-obtains return authorization

-contacts and resolves problems with the supplier

-retains accurate records of all transactions

-performs monthly reconciliation with the online card statement

-notifies the Program Administrator of any problems with suppliers

-disputes – 60 days and must be done in writing contact Administrator on policy

Approved Designees can approve cardholder transactions at the direction of the Account Director.


All cards are issued at the request of the Account Director/Budget Officer.  The Cardholder, Account Director/Budget Officer, and the Program Administrator must complete a “Cardholder Request Form”.   Your signature on that form verifies that you understand the College Purchasing Card guidelines outlined on the agreement.  Your Account Director/Budget Officer will sign the form and forward back to the Program Administrator.  Email requests are also acceptable.  Additional budget account information will be gathered along with the transaction and credit limits to be established.  That information will be sent to the bank and a card will be issued in your name.  All Purchasing Cards must be picked up from the Purchasing/Accounts Payable Department, I.Harvey Brumbaugh House, Mifflin Street.   At this time, an “Employee Purchasing Card Usage Agreement” will be completed and signed by the Cardholder, Account Director, and Program Administrator.  A copy of this form will be kept on file in both the Employees personnel file and the Accounting Services department.  Sign the back of the card as soon as you receive it.  


A cardholder must surrender the card to a Program Administrator upon termination of employment (i.e. retirement or voluntary/involuntary termination) or when the cardholder has transferred to another department.  It is the Account Director/Budget Officer’s responsibility to notify a Program Administrator of impending surrenders.


1.       Account Directors/Budget Officers, in consultation with the Program administrator, will determine the necessity and number of cardholders for each account they are responsible for.  They will then complete(with the cardholder), the “Cardholder Request Form”.  Once completed, this form is to be submitted to the Program Administrator. 

2.       The Account Director in consultation with a Program Administrator will establish card limitsbased on budget authority.

2.1    Maximum transaction limit:

Must be requested by the Account Director/Budget Officer and approved by the Program Administrator.

2.2    Monthly Spending limits will be determined by the Account Director/Budget Officer in conjunction with the Program Administrator

2.3    Certain MCC codes(Vendor Identity) are excluded College wide.  Exceptions to this exclusion are determined by the Account Director/Budget Officer in conjunction with the Program Administrator.

3.       Account Director/Budget Officer Auditing

3.1    The Account Director/Budget Officer or their Approved Designee will access their account(s) via the visa website no later than the three business days after the cycle end date each month.  The cycle end date is either the 27th or the first business day following the 27th.  They will review all charges and verify their accuracy.  However, charges can be made through midnight on the 27th. Their accounts should be reviewed, paying special attention to the following:

a)       Ensure that the transaction(s) were initiated by approved cardholders.

b)       Ensure the merchandise was received or the service performed.

b)       Ensure the charge was recorded to the proper general ledger account

d)       Ensure that all documentation pertaining to the transaction is on file.

e)       If credits are due, make sure they were received.

3.2    Ensure that the cards issued under your authority are properly utilized.

3.3    The Program Administrator must be notified IMMEDIATELY if there are any discrepancies, or if there are any changes in an employee’s status (i.e. employee leaving the College, employee changing departments, etc.)

3.4    If an Approved Designee is used, that Designee will review all charges.  A summary of all charges along with all appropriate paperwork to back up those charges will be forwarded to the Account Director/Budget Officer.  The Account Director/Budget Officer will sign and date the summary report thereby providing final approval.

4.       Purchasing Card Security

4.1    ANY changes involving the cardholder’s status (i.e. termination, transfers to other department, limit changes, etc.) must be communicated immediately to the Program Administrator.

4.2    After examining monthly charges, if the Account Director discovers any kind of discrepancy or misuse relating to the purchasing card, the Account Director must contact the Program Administrator immediately.

4.3    All printed monthly reports and/or receipts must be kept in a secure location to

4.3.1           ensure the security of the individual card numbers.

4.3.2           For audit verification and Accounting Services inquiry.


1.       Each cardholder is responsible and accountable for their own Purchasing Card(s).  An Approved Designee is not responsible for the card.

2.      A transaction limit and a monthly credit limit have been established for each card.  Purchases must be within these established limits or the vendor will reject the purchase.

3.       Purchasing card transactions should not be split to divide a larger purchase that is over the cardholder’s single purchase limit.  (An exception to this is for hotel accommodations that may, after several days, exceed the single transaction limit.)

4.      The cardholder shall maintain a record of all purchases made and retain a copy of the charge slip, sales receipt, packing slip or any other information related to the purchase.  Each slip should be initialed by the cardholder and dated, prior to submission to the Account Director/Budget Officer, unless a signature and date already appear on the information.

5.       Use the Purchasing Card only for purchasing items in accordance with all other College policies.

5.1    The card is to be used for college purchases ONLY.

a)       Card use for PERSONAL purchases is prohibited, unless you have received prior approval from your VP or the Treasury Officer

b)       NO cash advances unless prior arrangements have been made for international travel.

5.2    Failure to comply with these policies and procedures may result in revocation of use privileges or disciplinary action up to and including employment termination.

5.3    All questions regarding the appropriate use of the card should be addressed to the Program Administrator.

6.       Cardholders will utilize the “checklist” below when making a purchase.  It is the responsibility of all who have been given the authority to commit College funds through the purchasing card to adhere to the College’s purchasing policies.

6.1    Assure that the item to be purchased is in keeping with the type of products or services that are to be used by your area.

6.2    Make sure you use the College’s tax exempt status (The tax exempt number is located on the front of your card) if the product or service you are purchasing is educationally related.

6.3    Order Placement

a.       The cardholder will contact vendor via phone, FAX, in person, or on the internet(from a secure site) and provide the following information:

1)       Name, PNC Bank Purchasing Card Number, and the Card Expiration Date.

2)       A complete description of the item including stock/catalog numbers where applicable.

3)       Inform the vendor that the College is PA Sales TAX-EXEMPT.  Juniata College’s Tax Exempt number is 75-077-584.  If the vendor requires a Tax Exempt form, you will need to contact the Purchasing Department.  Please provide the complete name and address of the vendor for mailing purposes.

4)       Ship-To-Location & Individual’s Name, if different from the cardholder’s mailing address.

5)       Ask vendor to include the word “VISA” on all mailing and purchasing information.

b.       If ordering by FAX, the cardholder must still specify on the fax transmittal the above information with the EXCEPTION of the Purchasing Card Number.  The cardholder must request the supplier to call to obtain the card number upon receipt of the fax transmittal.  Under NO circumstances should a card number be written on a FAX order.

7.       After cardholder receives product and/or service, they should also receive a sales receipt or a packing slip.  All information concerning the purchase should be verified, stapled together, initialed and dated if no signature or date exists

8.       Reconciliation/Auditing:

8.1    Cardholder or Approved Designee must log on to the visa website, prior to the 27th and verify the information concerning their purchase.  Any incorrect information (FD-SUBGP/OBJECT combination) should be changed.  Other information that is incorrect or missing should be reported to the Account Director/Budget Officer.

8.2    It is the responsibility of each cardholder to ensure that any credits due from vendors are received.  (Note:  a credit may not appear immediately; it may appear in the next statement period.  The cardholder should make a special note if this occurs to ensure that the credit is received.)

8.3    After verification of the charge/credit on the website, all documentation pertaining to the transactions should be forwarded to the Account Director or Approved Designee.  The Account Director or Approved Designee should have in their possession, prior to the 27th, any information necessary to reconcile the transactions on the account.

8.4    All receipts and documentation pertaining to each transaction will be maintained in the Account Director or Approved Designee’s office.  It is important that all transaction information be submitted to the Account Director or Approved Designee on a timely basis.  Receipts should be stored in a secure location for three years and then destroyed.  It is the responsibility of the Account Director/Budget Officer to keep these records orderly and safe for possible review by Accounting Services and/or Auditor’s.

8.5    It is important to remember that each cardholder is responsible for the validity of the purchases.

8.6    The Program Administrator should be notified IMMEDIATELY if there are any exceptions or discrepancies.

9.       Returns, Credits, and Disputed Items.

9.1    Returns:    If the purchased item needs to be returned for any reason, returns should be processed, indicating the reason for the return, on a standard shipping order.

9.2    Credits:    The vendor should issue a credit for any item that has been returned.  The credit will appear on a subsequent statement.

9.3    Disputed Items:    If there are any discrepancies, the cardholder should first contact the vendor to resolve the problem.  If problems cannot be resolved, the cardholder should contact the Program Administrator on the policy for disputes.

10.    Purchasing Card Security

10.1 Card security should be treated with the same level of care as a personal charge card.

a.       Keep the card in view after you give it to a clerk.  Get it back promptly after they have swiped it.

b.       Destroy all carbons and voided receipts (when a mistake was made).  If the clerk has to keep a voided receipt for the store’s accounting system, be sure to get a copy.

c.        Do not give your card number over the phone unless you are dealing with a company you are sure is legitimate.

10.2 Storage of the card should be in a secure location, accessible to only the cardholder.

10.3 The card account number should be secured and not posted at a desk or any other location.

10.4 Use of the card by anyone other than the person whose name appears on the card is discouraged.

a.       The cardholder, whose name appears on the card, may make purchases for any employee within the cost center, if approved by the Account Director/Budget Officer.

b.       The card should not be given to anyone.  If the cardholder is going to be absent for an extended period of time, the Account Director/Budget Officer may request that a new card be issued to a different person for the duration of the absence.  The Account Director/Budget Officer must direct the request to the Program Administrator.

10.5 If the card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must IMMEDIATELY notify the Program Administrator and PNC Bank at 1-800-685-4039.

Quick Questions and Answers


An employee who is authorized by the department Account Director/Budget Officer or Vice President.