Accounting - Purchasing Card Procedures

This document outlines the implementation of campus's UW-3013, Purchasing Card Policy.

Applying for and Obtaining a Purchasing Card

Employees must submit and complete an Automated Purchasing Card Application and Agreement. The application is routed to the assigned site manager and Dean's Office for approval. After approvals and required training, cards will be distributed to new cardholders.

Cardholders may activate their accounts online or by phone. Cardholders must also activate their account in Access Online, with a secure user ID and password provided after training has been completed. This ensures any email notifications for card statement notifications and real-time alerts. For more information, see 3013.1 Purchasing Card Application, Activation and Registration Procedure.


The cardholder should be knowledgeable of the credit limit and single purchase limit of their purchasing card. This information can be obtained from the site manager. The best judgement purchase limit is currently $5,000.00. The purchasing card may not be used to make purchases that exceed this limit. 

For more information on the things to consider before using the purchasing card to buy something, please refer to Procedure 3013.2, Purchasing Card Use and Account Management Procedure

Bi-weekly Statements

The purchasing card billing cycle is two weeks. A cardholder statement is automatically generated, and the cardholder will receive an email notification when the statement is available. The cardholder must log into Access Online to view the statement.

The cardholder must complete the end-of-cycle reconciliation of all transactions by attaching the appropriate supporting documentation, indicating the funding the transactions will be paid from, and the business purpose of those expenses. 

All purchases made using the purchasing card require supporting documentation. Vendor documentation may include an invoice, itemized receipt, or a confirmation with pricing detail. For a complete list of allowable documentation and dealing with missing receipts, refer to Procedure 3013.2, Purchasing Card Use and Account Management Procedure.  

The cardholder will sign and date the cardholder statement, then forward the statement and all documentation to the site manager. Please allow sufficient time for the site manager to review, allocate, and approve the transactions prior to the bi-weekly deadline that is one week after the cycle close date.

For more information on completing a cardholder statement, please refer to Procedure 3013.2, Purchasing Card Use and Account Management Procedure.  

Site Manager Duties

A site manager is the individual who oversees the purchasing card program at the departmental or divisional level. The site manager is responsible for reviewing cardholders' bi-weekly statements, monitoring for policy compliance, entering funding information into the Access Online system, retaining purchasing card records, and assisting auditors with post-payment purchasing card reviews.

The main duties of a site manager are to review and reconcile bi-weekly cardholder statements for accuracy, documentation, and valid funding while following the calendar for deadlines to allocate expense funding in the Access Online system, which works with central campus accounting to post expenses to departmental and project accounts.

To become a site manager, employees must complete the Site Manager Form, which is approved at the departmental and divisional level. All site managers must complete training on Purchasing Card Policies and Procedures and Purchasing Card Site Manager Training. The entire process to become a site manager can be found in 3013.4 How to become a Purchasing Card Site Manager Procedure.

Site Manager Resources


Purchasing card site managers are responsible for reviewing purchasing card activity and identifying non-compliance. Examples of non-compliance include using the purchasing card for personal/non-UW business-related purchases, inappropriately using university funds, serial purchasing, and failure to provide required supporting documentation. When a site manager identifies non-compliant use of a purchasing card, the site manager must complete the following steps:

  • Contact the cardholder and identify any action items (e.g. turn in missing receipt, provide business purpose, reimburse University with personal check).
  • If the previous step is not completed by the edit deadline, a Purchasing Non-Compliance Form must be completed by the site manager and routed to the cardholder to respond. 
  • If the response from the cardholder is acceptable, the Non-Compliance Form is kept with the site manager. If the response is not acceptable, the Dean's Office will review the form and documentation and recommend a course of action. This can include a written warning, temporary suspension, or cancellation of the card account.
  • The course of action will be sent to the purchasing program manager at UW Business Services to review and take  action.

For further details on non-compliance, see 3013.10 Purchasing Card Site Managers – Address Non-Compliance Procedure.

Record Retention

Site managers must retain purchasing card records, including supporting documentation, for six years plus the current year in a central storage area that can be accessed by others in the department in the event of a change in site manager assignment. Electronic files containing all relevant documentation can be considered the official record provided the following requirements are met:

  1. All scanned documents are reviewed at the point of creation to ensure they are readable and unaltered. This review can be performed by the person scanning the document (e.g., the cardholder). Redaction of sensitive information in electronic records (e.g., credit card numbers) is considered an acceptable altercation.
  2. Quality control procedures are performed to verify that scanned records are readable and unaltered. Verification must be completed by someone other than the person who scanned the document (e.g., the site manager).
  3. Controls are in place to provide assurances that the electronic record cannot be altered without detection.
  4. The original paper records are kept a minimum of 30-90 days after scanning is complete to allow for any errors to be detected and corrected, if necessary.

For records retention information see 3013.5 Purchasing Card Site Manager Review and Reconciliation Process Procedure.

Keywords:pcard, purchasing card, bank, credit card, cardholder, purchase, purchasing, site manager,   Doc ID:109545
Owner:Colleen G.Group:Nelson Administrative Hub
Created:2021-03-05 11:09 CSTUpdated:2021-03-05 14:05 CST
Sites:Nelson Administrative Hub
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