P-Card Policy

Procurement Cards: an e-Business Partnership with U.S. Bank

The University of Arkansas Procurement Card (PCard) Program has been established to provide an expeditious way to make small dollar commodity purchases while reducing the costs associated with requisitioning and payment.

The procurement card should reduce the need for blanket purchase orders, personal reimbursements and invoice attached requisitions.

University employees are entrusted and empowered with the ability to make small dollar purchases on behalf of their department. Along with this empowerment comes responsibility. Cardholders are expected to make sound business decisions in the best interest of the University and always comply with University and State polices and procedures.

The University Procurement Department is responsible for managing the program, and each Academic or Administrative department is responsible for managing its cardholder accounts.

Personal charges are strictly forbidden. The adherence to policies allows continued process savings and accountability.

PCard Policy - FAQ's

Billing Cycle: The monthly billing period. The time frame your Monthly Credit/Spending Limit is tied to. The cycle automatically resets on the 16th day of each month.

Cardholder: A person whose name is on a Procurement Card. The person given authority to make purchases on behalf of the University of Arkansas within preset limits.

Cardholder Agreement: The agreement signed by the person whose name appears on the Procurement Card. This agreement outlines the policies regarding using a Procurement Card and must be signed by all persons receiving a Procurement Card. This signed agreement will be uploaded to the imaging system by the Office of Business Affairs.

Cut-Off/Approval Date: The last day in which PCard charges can be approved by the department and costs redistributed prior to payment being made to the eBusiness partner.

Default Account: The University account code assigned to an individual Cardholder's Procurement Card. Only one Default Account can be assigned to any one Procurement Card and all charges made with the Procurement Card will be initially posted into that Default Account with the option of redistributing to other cost center numbers in the reconciliation process.

MCC: Merchant Category Code (MCC) assigned to a merchant by VISA. This code identifies the primary goods or services provided by the merchant.

MCCG: A grouping of merchants by Merchant Category Code (MCC).

Monthly Spending Limit: The maximum amount of available money a cardholder can spend within one billing cycle on their PCard. The standard Monthly Spending Limit is $5,000.00. Departments may establish lower limits on a per Cardholder basis.

Procurement Card: A Visa or MasterCard sponsored credit card issued to an employee of the University of Arkansas for the purpose of making authorized purchases on the University's behalf. MasterCard's can only be used for purchases at Sam's Club. 

Procurement Card (PCard) Administrator: The University Procurement Department employee responsible for administering the Procurement Card Program for the University and acting as the main contact between the University and the Bank. This individual is Heather Frankenberger - Phone: 479-575-6279, email: hfranken@uark.edu.

Receipt/Documentation: A merchant produced or non-University document that records the relevant details for each item purchased including quantities, amounts, a description of what was purchased, the total charge amount and the merchant's name and address (i.e. sales receipt, original invoice, packing slip, credit receipt, etc.)

Single Transaction Limit: The maximum amount of money a cardholder can spend in one transaction/charge. The Single Transaction Limit across the University is $2,500.00. A single transaction/charge may include multiple items but cannot exceed a total cost of $2,500.00. Departments may establish lower limits on a per Cardholder basis.

Transaction: A charge or credit associated with an eBusiness partner account.

Any employee for whom a Procurement Card is going to be requested must first complete an online Procurement Authorization (PA) within the BASIS system. Once this Procurement Authorization has been submitted and approved by the Cost Center managers for the default cost center, the PA request will route to the PCard Administrator to set up a cardholder account in US Banks system.

For instructions on how to enter a Procurement Authorization please see the PCard webpage, pcard.uark.edu, Training & Reference Material section.

After an Authorization has been approved, the individual will be assigned a unique account number and will be sent an email notification with details for required training and credit limits. It is important to note that regardless of whether or not a department approves the charges the employee(s) have made, the invoice will be paid. Those charges that have not been approved will be flagged and subject to audit review and possible suspension of privileges.

Prospective Cardholders MUST attend a training session and sign a Cardholder Agreement Form before receiving their Procurement Card.

Procurement Cards are not transferable outside the University of Arkansas. If someone's PCard use is discontinued, the PA Status for the Procurement Authorization in BASIS should be updated to 'X' for cancelled. Once the PA Status is changed to 'X', the Procurement Card can be destroyed.

If the cardholder is moving to a different department within the University and the new department wants the individual to retain their PCard, both the 'Tracking BU' field and the default cost center/category on the Procurement Authorization in BASIS must be updated by the new department. 

The Procurement Card is a special VISA or MasterCard credit card. It works similarly to your personal credit cards, except the charges are billed directly to the University and payment made by the University Business Office. Procurement Cards are for business use only!

The Procurement Card will display the cardholder's name along with the words: UNIV OF ARKANSAS.

A statement of activity can be printed from the BASIS-UPS system at your convenience within the JOB function using job UPJPCSTM. This statement will assist in keeping track of all purchases made using the PCard and to ensure all receipts are sent to Business Affairs. Should it be necessary to return any supplies or resolve billing disputes, this information is also needed to document University expenditures and also available for review by internal and external auditors.

More information related to retention of receipts may be found under the 'Receipts/Documentation' accordion below. Improper use of the Procurement Card will result in consequences ranging from suspension of card to termination of employment and criminal prosecution.

  1. Attending training and signing the Cardholder Agreement PRIOR to issuance of a Procurement Card
  2. Keeping their Procurement Card and Card Account Number confidential.
  3. Using the Delegation Form when it is necessary for someone other than the cardholder to use the card.
  4. ONLY USING THE PROCUREMENT CARD FOR UNIVERSITY BUSINESS
  5. Understanding that intentional misuse or abuse of the Procurement Card will result in the immediate revocation of charging privileges and possible disciplinary and criminal prosecution.
  6. Not splitting transactions to avoid maximum per transaction dollar limits.
  7. Obtaining receipts for each transaction and turning those receipts in to the departmental person responsible for approving the charges in the BASIS system.
  8. Reporting a lost or stolen Procurement Card immediately to US Bank at 1-800-344-5696.
  9. Reporting fraudulent Procurement Card charges immediately to US Bank at 1-800-344-5696.
  10. Not accepting cash in lieu of a credit to the Procurement Card account when returns are made.
  11. Accountable for all charges made with their Procurement Cards and responsible for checking all transactions against the corresponding support documentation to verify their accuracy and propriety. This check should be done regularly using the University's on-line transaction review system.

The Procurement Card may be used to purchase goods in person at the supplier site, over the phone, over secure Internet sites, or by mail. When placing your order in person you will simply give the supplier your Procurement Card as you would any credit card.

If you are ordering over the phone you should provide:

  • Account Number
  • Card Expiration Date
  • Provide complete delivery address

Confirm that the total order, including tax and freight does not exceed $2500, or the maximum amount allowable per transaction on your card.

NEVER give your PCard number to someone where the call was not initiated by you!! Beware of scams!!

Your Procurement Card CANNOT be used for the purchase of certain items. The Non-Allowable List can be viewed on the PCard webpage, pcard.uark.edu.

The following limits are the standard maximum amounts assigned and allowable for a Procurement Card. When the Procurement Authorization is requested, these amounts may be lowered by the department. For a higher Standard Monthly Spend/Credit Limit you must contact the PCard Administrator. 

  • Single Transaction Limit: $ 2,500
  • Standard Monthly Spend/Credit Limit: $5,000

Whether a purchase is made in person or via telephone, internet, fax, or mail, the Cardholder is responsible for obtaining purchase documentation from the merchant, such as:

  • Detailed receipts or invoices
  • Packing slips with final dollar amounts
  • Any other detailed document which shows the final cost, items purchased and the vendor name/address

These documents MUST be given to the administrative person in your department who is responsible for approving the PCard charges sent from US Bank. If your 16 digit account number is printed on the receipt it must be blacked out before being given to the department approver.

When charges are approved and reconciled, the document number MUST be written on the receipt. Receipts should be uploaded by the department to the imaging system via Kofax. For Kofax system access please contact the PCard Administrator.

If a cardholder does not submit the required documentation in the monthly requested time allocation, they will receive a written warning for the first offense. Habitual failure to submit documentation will result in the suspension of the card and their TARGET approver will be notified by email. To reinstate privileges, a memo from a user's TARGET approver giving adequate justification will be required and all PCard documentation to bring the cardholder’s reconciliation's up to date will be required. Upon receipt and approval of that justification, the Business Office will establish a time for the user to attend PCard training again.

Documentation/receipts MUST be provided in a timely manner to support ALL PCard transactions!! No exceptions!!

The department administrator that is responsible for approving PCard charges, should periodically run the UPJPCWOI (PCard charges With Out Images) JOB in BASIS to identify charges that do not have receipts/images. Please see the REMINDER below.

The PCard Administrator will also periodically run the UPJPCWOI (PCard charges With Out Images) JOB and contact the appropriate person in the BU to request the missing receipts. After notifying the department and providing a deadline for receipts to be provided, a notation will be made in ECRD that the department has been notified. If receipts are not received by the deadline provided by PCard audit staff, a second email will be sent to the department and cardholder asking for an explanation. The PCard may be suspended. 

REMINDER: Once your department has transitioned to Kofax, for uploading receipts, the only true way to determine if the receipt has been uploaded is to search for the D number in the Imaging System. Running the UPJPCWOI (PCard charges With Out Images) JOB or looking at the 'Image Exists' field in BASIS DOES NOT tell you if you've successfully scanned and uploaded the PCard receipt. The 'Image Exists' field will always have an 'N' until the Business Office completes their approval of the charge.

When necessary, items should be returned according to vendor specifications. The cardholder is responsible for ensuring the proper credit is posted for any returned items.

If merchandise is returned in person, the cardholder is responsible for obtaining a credit receipt from the merchant and retaining that receipt with other receipts to document the purchase and return. These receipts will then be imaged.

Receiving cash or checks to resolve a credit is prohibited. The vendor should credit the PCard.

Item exchanges are only allowed with proper documentation. The receipt for the new item must be included with the receipt for the original purchase. A note should be entered on the transaction in the extended text screen in BASIS.

Cardholders who transfer to a new position within the same department and require the use of a Procurement Card as part of their new duties should continue to use the same card.

Cardholders who transfer to another department need to update the Tracking BU and default cost center on their Procurement Authorization. They also need to update (via add/delete) any cost centers used for reconciling on the PAPC screen (pre-approved cost centers).

Prior to separation from the University, Cardholders must surrender their Procurement Card to their Manager or their Department Administrative person. Also please send any outstanding receipts for PCard charges to the Department Administrative person for reconciliation. It is preferred for the Department to update the PA Status to 'X' for cancelled in BASIS then destroy the card. 

  •  1st Offense
    • Written warning from Business Office-PCard Administrator
    • Correction of error as needed
    • Additional training will be offered
  • 2nd Offense
    • Suspension of card up to 120 days
    • Memo from cardholders TARGET approver giving justification
    • If approved by Business Office, user must attend PCard training again
    • Potential lowering of spending limits
  • 3rd Offense
    • Card suspended permanently
  • Cardholder will reimburse the University for the purchase and provide documentation proving reimbursement within 1 month
  • Written warning from Business Office-PCard Administrator
  • Additional training will be offered
  • If habitual misuse, suspension of PCard privileges

The Procurement Card MUST never be used to purchase items for personal use or for non-University purposes even if the cardholder intends to reimburse the University.

Charges for an item CANNOT BE SPLIT into separate payments to exceed a card's single transaction dollar limit. Nor can part of the cost of an item be placed on the PCard and the cardholder seek reimbursement for the remaining balance.

A cardholder who makes an unauthorized purchase with a Procurement Card, or uses the Procurement Card in an inappropriate manner, will be subject to loss of any authority to retain or use the Procurement Card. This can also result in disciplinary action up to and including termination and possible criminal prosecution and restitution.

The Procurement Card (PCard) must never be used to purchase items for personal use or for non-University purposes. A cardholder who makes an unauthorized purchase with the PCard, or uses the card in an inappropriate manner will be subject to disciplinary action including possible card cancellation, termination of employment at the University of Arkansas and criminal prosecution.

  1. If the charge is found to be inappropriate/non-allowable (i.e. should have been purchased via a requisition/PO) and it is the first offense: Written warning from the Business Office to the cardholder; additional training will be offered.
  2. Habitual inappropriate use of the card: Suspension of the card; user and their TARGET approver will be notified by email. To reinstate privileges, a memo from a user's TARGET approver giving adequate justification will be required. Upon receipt and approval of that justification, the Business Office will establish a time for the user to attend Procurement Card training again.
  3. Suspected Fraudulent Purchase: Suspension of the card; user and their TARGET approver will be notified by email. Internal Audit will be notified immediately. Possible criminal prosecution and termination of employment.

At this time, it is rare to have the need to dispute a charge. If you suspect fraudulent activity on your PCard contact US Bank at 1-800-344-5696 to report the fraud. 

If the cardholder and the supplier cannot resolve the issue of an invalid charge, a Cardholder Dispute Form must be completed and faxed directly to US Bank. Contact US Bank at 1-800-344-5696 for more instructions and to obtain the fax number. If you need additional assistance you can also contact the PCard Administrator. 

  • Regardless of the status of the dispute, payment will be made to US Bank. Adjustments will be made upon resolution.

Lost or Stolen PCards: Cardholders are required to immediately report any lost or stolen Procurement Card to US Bank Customer Service at 1-800-344-5696 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

Fraudulent PCard Charges: Cardholders are required to immediately contact US Bank Customer Service at 1-800-344-5696 or US Bank Fraud Dept at 1-800-523-9078 (any day, any time) if you suspect fraudulent charges on your account. If the fraudulent charges are in BASIS, contact the PCard Administrator for direction on the approval process and necessary documentation.

This form should only be used when a copy of the original receipt can not be obtained from the vendor. This form cannot be used for fraud charges. If use of this form becomes a recurring event with a particular cardholder, the PCard Administrator will send a warning to the cardholder about excessive use of the form.
PCard Audit Staff review receipts for following concerns:
  • Is complete account number on receipt? If so, black out number.
  • Ensure that item descriptions are on the receipt. If the receipt does not clearly show what was purchased, the employee should write a detailed description on the receipt.
  • Computer and printer purchases with suppliers other than the Computer Store
  • Charges appear to be higher than one would normally pay for the same item. (i.e. buying batteries at Harps or Radio Shack instead of Wal-Mart).
  • Specialty or other stores that don't “fit”. (i.e. Condom Sense). When one of these is found, look at the department that is purchasing. Housing or Student Involvement may have a need to buy at Condom Sense where AVCB would not.
  • Multiple purchases within a few days might represent split purchases.
  • Purchases from ‘upscale’ stores that may represent bad judgment (i.e. Masons, Banana Republic).
  • Inappropriate payment of sales or use tax (i.e. fertilizer, farm implements and services).
  • Use tax vs. purchase receipt
  • Inappropriate or Non-allowable purchases of any type (food for an employee's birthday, coffee for the office, gifts, flowers, greeting cards, etc.) See list of non-allowable purchases.
  • Is official function stated in the comments in BASIS or noted on the receipt for ALL food items? Name of official function, date, and list of attendees is required.
  • If purchase is found appropriate, PCard audit staff will enter appropriate notes in the ECRD screen in BASIS. 
  • If a problem is found, PCard audit staff will contact the cardholder via email to provide a written warning and will note this in the ECRD screen in BASIS.
  • PCard Administrator will update the 'PCard Warnings' spreadsheet to track all end users PCard warnings/violations. 

Financial analyst within the department will periodically pull data from the UA Data Warehouse to review a period of transactions by:

  • Cardholder
  • Budgetary Unit
  • Written warning from Business Office-PCard Administrator
  • Additional training will be offered

This will have to be determined by the PCard Administrator based on circumstance and previous card holder history. Notes documented in a cardholder's file (PA screen) are essential.

  • Possible suspension of the card - up to 120 days
  • User & TARGET approver notified by email
  • Required to reinstate privileges
    • Memo from cardholders TARGET approver giving justification
    • If approved by PCard Administrator, cardholder will be required to attend PCard training again
  • PCard audit staff and Procurement Manager will meet to discuss concerns
  • If concerns are valid, PCard Administrator will immediately suspend the PCard
  • The cardholder and TARGET approver will be notified via email by the PCard Administrator
  • Business Office will contact Internal Audit
  • PCard Administrator notes activity on ECRD and PAA screens in BASIS

In all cases of inappropriate card use, personal purchases, splitting transactions, etc. the PCard Administrator will document circumstances in PAA screen. This provides a continuous history of cardholder activity.

The PCard Administrator keeps data on results of post audit activities. Each month's post audit report is considered complete if the initial review of transactions is done within 30 days of the deadline for receipts to be in Business Affairs. Any transaction not completely resolved within 120 days will be escalated for action.

Revisions: 11/11/15 ,  03/18/15,  03/26/08