Responsibilities & Policies
- Maintains purchasing card(s) (p-card) in a secure location.
- Notifies the Purchasing Card Administrator when employment status changes (transfer to another department/campus, is leaving the University).
- Initiates all p-card transactions in compliance with all relevant university policies and procedures including the Purchasing & Business Services Policies & Procedures Manual (PUR) , the Purchasing Card – A Guide for Users and the Financial Services Polices & Procedures Manual (FIN) as well as any department specific internal policies and/or processes.
- Maintains supporting documentation for all transactions.
- Attaches required and/or relevant documentation to receipts, invoices etc.
- Ensures that the business purpose of each purchase is either clearly evident, or documented.
- Reviews their monthly p-card statement to ensure all transactions are accurate and valid.
- Attaches documentation (e.g. vendor invoices, receipts, business meal forms) to support each transaction on the statement.
- Ensures that no charges have been split in order to circumvent p-card daily or transactional spending limits.
- Signs the P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet, signifying their review.
- Forwards the signed P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet with supporting documentation to the reviewer, maintaining a copy for their records. The cardholder needs to have the documents to the reviewer within 1 or 2 weeks of receiving the statement so that the secondary review can be performed timely. Failure to submit info timely to the reviewer may result in cancellation of the p-card.
Reviewer Duties (Basic Review)
Reviewer duties are best performed by someone in a business manager or related position who has a complete knowledge of ASU policies and procedures, and who has the authority to question transactions of others (reviewer should not be a direct report of the cardholder). A reviewer cannot function in this capacity for their own p-card statement. Review duties are:
- Maintains a control list of all p-cards that have been issued in the area for which they have ‘p-card reviewer’ responsibility.
- Reviews the control list to make sure a monthly statement is received for each card that has been issued. Statements are not issued when there are no transactions charged to the card during a particular month. If no statement is received, the reviewer asks the cardholder to confirm whether or not there were any p-card transactions for the month. (Departments can also run a financial data warehouse query to see if there were any transactions for a particular cardholder during a particular month. Your Financial Services accountant can assist you with this query.)
- Reviews each P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet to make sure the cardholder has signed it.
- Reviews the statement to ensure that supporting documentation is attached for each purchase, and the documentation adequately supports the charges, including the business nature of the transaction.
- Requests additional documentation for any transaction that appears to be personal in nature, and is not fully explained in the provided documentation.
- Is knowledgeable of PUR, Purchasing Card, and FIN policies and procedures and confirms that all transactions appear to follow all relevant university policies and procedures, are of an appropriate nature to be charged to a p-card and are allowable based on the type of account the card is tied to (state vs. local vs. sponsored, etc.).
- Signs and dates each P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet, signifying their review.
- Forwards the signed P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet to the appropriate departmental area for filing.
- Financial Services also strongly recommends that the department seek a third-level review from a senior management/business official within their area to help ensure that transactions are allowable, supported by a public purpose, within budget and appropriate for the department, etc.
If the Cardholder is not able to appropriately support or explain a questionable transaction:
- The reviewer contacts the appropriate administrator for guidance on next steps. This should at a minimum be a dean’s office or director’s office.
- Purchases that cannot be fully documented as to having a valid ASU business purpose must be immediately and fully reimbursed by the cardholder into the account that is linked to the p-card incurring the expense. Documentation of the reimbursement (including the cashier’s receipt from ASU Cashiering Services) needs to be filed with the P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet that included the original expense which is being reimbursed. Note: Expenses that have no ASU business purpose cannot be reimbursed with funds on deposit at the ASU Foundation, or any other ASU affiliated organization such as the Sun Angels Foundation or ASU Alumni Association.
Repeated instances of personal use by a cardholder must be reported to the Purchasing Card Administrator, and may result in the cancellation of the cardholder’s p-card. It is important to remember that the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) has stressed that accountability for adherence to policies and procedures rests not only with the cardholder, but also the designated reviewer. If inappropriate and/or personal transactions have occurred that were not detected and reported through the regular performance of the reviewer’s duties, then the reviewer and cardholder may both be subject to disciplinary action.
Centralization of Purchasing Card Documents
Financial Services recommends areas file all purchasing card statements and support in a central administrative area, rather than with each cardholder. This allows for and promotes a third-level review beyond that of the p-card manager or designated secondary reviewer. It also facilitates reviews by outside parties or periodic “audits” performed by senior management of that department/area. If that is the preference of the area, cardholders need to maintain a copy of their statements and supporting documentation (see #11 under cardholder duties) until receipt of the original statements and documentation by the central administrative area has been confirmed. This confirmation needs to be maintained by the cardholder and serves as their receipt that the ownership of the statements and documentation has been transferred, per departmental policy. Responsibilities of the central administrative area include:
- Maintaining control of all p-card statements and supporting documentation for a minimum of 5 years. Please check with Grants & Contracts Accounting for retention requirements for cards linked to a sponsored grant or contract account.
- Ensuring that each P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet is timely signed by both the cardholder and secondary reviewer. Performing reviews of supporting documentation to ensure that charges are appropriate and supported by a public purpose. Indicating review by signing each P-Card Statement Reconciliation Worksheet as “third reviewer”.
- Providing copies of requested statements and/or support to areas performing reviews (Financial Services, Purchasing & Business Services, Office of the General Counsel) or audits (University Audit and Advisory Services, Arizona Board of Regents Internal Auditors, State of Arizona Office of the Auditor General (AG’s Office)). Please note, Financial Services acts as the liaison between ASU departments and the AG’s Office. Requests for documentation for AG’s Office audits or reviews will typically come from Financial Services. If a request comes directly from the AG’s Office, we ask that you notify Financial Services.
Advanced Review Techniques
Another useful tool for monitoring p-card transactions is JPMorgan’s online system, PaymentNet. Purchases post first to PaymentNet based on the vendor’s Merchant Category Code (MCC) and a mapping application to place the item in a default expenditure code. Each transaction stays in PaymentNet for five business days prior to posting to Advantage, allowing for users to add a sub-org and/or change the expense to the most appropriate expenditure code before it hits ASU’s financial system. Utilizing PaymentNet not only avoids the need for processing transfers in Advantage (IX or JV transactions), but it allows for timely identification of errors and/or fraudulent charges. By reviewing PaymentNet regularly (such as at least weekly), questionable transactions can be identified and formally disputed with JPMorgan much more timely. The purchasing card administrative team can set-up cardholders and/or reviewers with the appropriate PaymentNet access levels, as well as train them on the queries and reports available.