Purchasing Card Policies & Procedures
Iona University Purchasing Card Program (“P-Card”) is designed to provide a more efficient means of making routine low dollar high-volume purchases and payments by reducing paperwork, allowing for more control and responsibility at the department level, and streamlining the purchasing cycle. This manual outlines the benefits of the program, describes the responsibilities of cardholders and Approvers and Vice Presidents, and enumerates the program's policies.
Cardholders use the P-Card to purchase allowable goods and services and to centralize the billing and settlement. All transactions are loaded into the accounting system, thus reducing the need for purchase requisitions, check requests, and petty cash. To ensure proper account information, the cardholder and designated department administrator must routinely review and approve transactions and make needed adjustments to accounting information and descriptions using a web-based application.
- Minimize out-of-pocket T&E expenses.
- Streamline the processes for small dollar orders and payments.
- Enable employees to be more efficient and focus on their core missions.
- Reduce paperwork and processing time in the employee's department as well as Business Services and Accounts Payable.
- Provide cost savings through consolidated payments (one (1) monthly payment to Bank of America versus multiple vendor payments).
Credit Card Company
Iona University utilizes a Visa card issued by Bank of America. Bank of America’s system, WORKS, offers a web-based software solution that simplifies and accelerates the approval and reconciliation process.
Effective controls provide departments with reasonable assurance that institutional objectives have been achieved through sound financial management. The Program Administrator is available to assist departments with training, technical assistance and financial/operational reviews regarding the purchasing card program.
Reason For The Policy
Responsibility for financial control and stewardship of the purchasing card program rests with each department. The department is responsible for ensuring that each cardholder is performing their duties with competence and honesty, and for monitoring the effectiveness of the accountability structure. Through effective controls a department can:
- Safeguard College assets.
- Prevent, detect, and correct errors and irregularities.
- Ensure reliability of financial information.
- Ensure compliance with purchasing card policies and procedures.
- Maintain appropriate records in a safe and secure location.
Responsibilities Of Cardholders
- Participate in College P-card training and sign the Cardholder Agreement to acknowledge the responsibilities of the use of the P-card.
- Abide by all P-card policies and procedures when making purchases.
- Abuse or misuse of this privilege can subject the cardholder to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University.
- Ensure the physical security of the P-card and protect the P-card number.
- To notify Bank of America prior to excessive use or any travel to avoid interruption of service.
- Immediately report lost or stolen cards to Bank of America, Assigned Approver, Vice President, and the Program Administrator.
- A Detail Report must be printed for each cardholder for each billing cycle. Mandatory information on the report includes:
- Transaction Number
- Purchase Date
- Post Date
- Vendor Name
- Vendor Address
- Source Currency
- Item Description
- Cost Center
- Accounting code
- Billing Cycles run from the 26th business day of the month to the 25th day of the next month. The cardholder needs to reconcile each transaction in the system within five days after the close. A receipt should be included for each transaction. A copy of the statement with original receipts must be given to the Assigned Approver or Vice President after they have reconciled for further review and approval. All transactions, reimbursements, statements, invoices, receipts, and supporting documents should be forwarded to the Program Administrator by the 10th day after the close of the Billing Cycle.
- Identify incorrect or overbilling (such as tax or duplicates), contact merchant directly to resolve issue, and if the issue cannot be resolved enter as a “Dispute” into WORKS.
- Upon termination of employment, surrender card immediately to your Assigned Approver or Vice President.
- Upon the resignation of employment or transfer to another position in the University that no longer assumes duties requiring a P-Card, discontinue use of the purchasing card and return the purchasing card to the Assigned Approver or Vice President. Additionally, review and reconcile all outstanding purchasing card transactions prior to your departure or transfer.
Responsibilities Of Assigned Approvers And Vice Presidents
- Monitor the purchasing card activity of cardholders.
- Ensure compliance with purchasing card policies and procedures.
- Report any abuse or misuse of purchasing cards to the Program Administrator.
- Designate cardholders.
- Ensure that employees who will be issued a purchasing card or have been delegated responsibilities under the purchasing card program meet all program requirements and have duties commensurate with the established spending limits.
- Review, reconcile and “sign off” on all cardholder statements in WORKS. Adjust accounting codes charged, if applicable. Question any items on a transaction. All Assigned Approvers or Vice Presidents must Approve all charges and are required to date and sign the monthly Detail Report as verification that the cardholder's transactions were appropriate and in accordance with policies and procedures no later than the tenth (10) business day after the close of the Billing Cycle.
- Track incorrect and overbilling to ensure proper credit is received. Any discrepancies in billing must be addressed with the merchant directly to resolve the issue.
- Follow-up on “Disputes”. “Disputes” are issues that could not be resolved with the merchant.
- In case of employee termination, resignation, or where the employee will no longer assume duties requiring a P-Card (i.e., internal departmental transfer or transfer of duties), ensure the cancellation of the purchasing card, email/notify the Program Administrator, and deliver canceled P-Card to Program Administrator.
Issuance Of Purchasing Card
- The University in coordination with Bank of America issues the purchasing card.
- The purchasing card will include the name of the cardholder and Iona University.
- Assigned Approver or Vice President must forward email request to Program Administrator approving new card issuance for the employee, including the correct spelling of employee name, monthly credit limit, Assigned Approver, and cost center.
- Cardholders must participate in the training given by Program Administrator or Assigned Approver.
- Cardholders must pick up the purchasing card in person at the Program Administrator’s office and sign a cardholder agreement.
- Cardholder must be a full-time Iona University faculty, administrator or staff member.
- Cardholder's approving officials or other designated persons must have participated in training and have Internet access to WORKSto review and approve monthly cardholder transactions.
Purchasing Card Limits
Dollar limits will be set on a case-by-case basis based on need and budget availability. Limits may be increased if a business need exists. Any requests for an increase in dollar limits must be submitted to Program Administrator by an email approving the increase by the Assigned Approver or Vice President.
Purchasing Card Security
Cardholders are responsible for the proper use and safeguarding of cards issued to them. The card number, the card itself, and all documents related to the card transactions must be treated with security at all times. The only person authorized to use the purchasing card is the cardholder whose name appears on the face of the card. Under no circumstances may a cardholder allow another individual to use his or her purchasing card.
Lost, Stolen Or Misplaced Cards
In order to protect the University's interest, lost or stolen purchasing cards must be reported to Bank of America, at 1-800-822-5985 (when prompted the 16-digit card number must be entered) 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and the cardholder's Assigned Approver or Vice President, and the Program Administrator.
Cardholder Termination Or Transfer
Cards must be canceled immediately for employees who resign from the University, transfer to another department or assume different duties that do not require the use of the purchasing card. Cards must be canceled immediately upon termination for employees terminated for disciplinary reasons. The supervisor must collect the card at the time that the employee leaves and immediately notify the Program Administrator. An email must be sent to the Program Administrator along with the destroyed card.
The authority to set and enforce purchasing card policies and procedures lies with the Controller’s Office and Program Administrator. When a business justification exists, exceptions to the purchasing card policies and procedures may be granted upon request from a department in writing approved by the respective vice president and with written approval from the Program Administrator.
All purchases must be made in accordance with established College policy, refer to College’s Business Travel and Expense Policy. All purchases made with the purchasing card must be for expenses associated with official College business. Use of the purchasing card for unauthorized, inappropriate, or personal items may result in penalties as indicated in the University Purchasing Card Policy Manual. (Section 4: Penalties.)
The purchasing card is designed to be a tool for making both purchases and payments. At times, there may be a benefit to the University to expand the use of the card to make purchases or payments, which may require an exception to the purchasing card policies and procedures, such exceptions must be pre-approved in writing by the Assigned Approver or Vice President.
The following is a partial list of items that CANNOT be purchased with the P-Card. This list is not all-inclusive. If there are any questions about whether or not the P-Card can be used for a particular product or service, please contact the Program Administrator. Exceptions to the partial list will be handled on a case by case basis.
- Cash Advances, Money Orders
- Charitable Donations
- Gift Cards
- Leases/Rentals requiring a signed agreement
- Maintenance/Service Agreements requiring a signed agreement
- Motor Vehicle Violations
- Narcotics and other Drugs
- Personal Purchases
- Professional and Consulting Services
- Sales Tax
All expenses must be evidenced by valid receipts or invoices showing proof of purchase. A receipt or substitute documentation must support each purchase. If a receipt shows a limited amount of information or only has part numbers, added information from the Cardholder is beneficial.
The preferred documentation is listed below in order of preference:
- An original receipt from the vendor including:
- Vendor Name
- Transaction Amount Date
- Itemized description of item(s) purchased
- Copies or facsimiles of the original receipt.
- A packing slip or other documentation received from the vendor.
- A print-screen or order confirmation e-mail, when making Internet purchases, or a copy of an order form that was mailed to a vendor to request an item.
- If a cardholder is unable to obtain the above listed preferred documentation, a completed Replacement Receipt Form shall be completed documenting the transaction and verifying it was for official business. Missing receipts and other pertinent backup documentation of more than three times in one fiscal year can lead to card use suspension.
Sales Tax Exemption
The University is tax-exempt and should not pay sales tax. Some suppliers may request a copy of the tax-exempt form. Tax exemption forms for New York are distributed by the Accounts Payable Department.
Cardholders are responsible for and accountable to the University for all purchases made with the purchasing card and they must adhere to all College and department policies regarding its use. All P-card purchases must be for official College business only. Cardholders may not make non-College travel arrangements with the P-Card. Any employee who fails to use the P-card properly or abuses the use of the purchasing card shall be subject to the cardholder penalties listed in section 4.2 and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. The University will seek restitution for any inappropriate purchases made with the card. All cases of misuse or abuse of the P-card must be documented by the department and the Program Administrator shall be informed in writing.
When policy violations by a particular cardholder are identified during the Assigned Approver or Vice President review of the monthly transactions, the following process shall be followed:
- If a single abuse occurs by a particular Cardholder, issue a warning and inform the Program Administrator in writing.
- In the second instance of abuse, notify the Program Administrator and suspend the card for at least one (1) billing cycle.
- If problems continue after the card is reinstated, the card shall be canceled.
- Assigned Approver or Vice President can skip all of the steps if the incident is severe enough and suspend or cancel the card permanently.
- The Program Administrator can impose the same penalties stated above if problems are found during department reviews. If warnings are issued by the Program Administrator, the Cardholder and the approving Assigned Approver or Vice President will be notified.
Please reach out to Nunzia (Nancy) Morano or Todd Baker with questions or to obtain a copy of the Purchasing Card Program Replacement Receipt Form.
Nunzia (Nancy) Morano
Program Administrator, Sr. VP of Finance Office
Office: McSpedon Hall
Phone: (914) 633-2494
Fax: (914) 633-2411
Controller, Sr. VP of Finance Office
Office: McSpedon Hall
Phone: (914) 633-2008
Fax: (914) 633-2411
Bank of America
Cardholder Customer Service
Phone: (800) 822-5985