Procurement Card Purchases

What is my role as Department Head?

The University has determined that many low-dollar, high-volume transactions can best be procured through the University Procurement Card program.  The Procurement Card can be used for commodity purchases in-store, or via mail, telephone, facsimile or Internet. This program is designed to improve efficiency and convenience for our customers, reduce the number of purchase orders and checks issued, minimize invoice payment processing time and improve the purchasing procedures for low-dollar transactions by empowering the departments to research and select smaller dollar, non-bid purchases. 

  • The key role of the Department Head is to be aware of the required procedures for procurement cards, be familiar with your department’s use of P-Cards, and approve P-Card purchases in advance.   
  • Ensure that the use of the P-Card is consistent with the University’s Procurement Card Policy.  The P-Card is not intended to avoid or bypass procurement or payment procedures, and is not allowed for personal use. 
  • Make sure your department has all the original receipts in place and good documentation of your purchases in the department.  Procurement card usage is an area that is frequently audited.

What are the requirements for using P-Cards?

  • Anyone who is assigned a P-Card must go through the formal P-Card training.
  • Request for P-Card may be obtained by accessing the link below.
  • The Procurement Card can be used for commodity purchases in-store, or via mail, telephone, facsimile or Internet, but not for services rendered. Any food purchase below $100 is not allowed.  Any food/meal purchases under $100 should be purchased via employee expense report.  This helps to avoid any possible personal food purchases for the office (candy, snacks, coffee, etc.) 
  • Cardholders must retain original sales receipts and P-Card Log in the department files and timely report to the Procurement Services coordinator. 
  • On Campus event:  The Department must obtain a food service waiver from Missouri State Dining Services for any purchase over $100.  A copy of the waiver must be on file with the receipt. 
  • Off Campus event:  The Department needs to send documentation to the Procurement Services Procurement Card Coordinator prior to the event, and complete the form Food Purchases Hosting Document.
  • Any improper use and resulting obligations of the University will be re-paid by the Cardholder. 
  • The cardholder should secure the card, and never allow any other employee to use the card. 
  • Never pay sales tax for University Purchases.  Explain to the vendor that this is a tax-exempt organization.  The Sales tax exemption information for the University is on the face of the P-Card. 
  • The P-card user must always follow required Policy & Procedures, and be competent in the use of the Procurement Card System and the UMB Visa Information Management System.  Both systems must be used by the card holder. 
  • Only full time employees may be issued a P-Card. 
  • Procurement Cards for specific Grants may be used; however they should be requested via the Grant P-Card approval Form.  There are added controls for P-Cards for Grants in terms of approvals. The Grant accountant must approve the card in addition to the Principal Investigator, P-Card Coordinator, and budgetary approval.  In addition, the card will expire at the expiration date of the grant.

What are examples of items that Can NOT Allowed by P-Card?

Procurement services P-Card Administration routinely conducts reviews of documentation and P-Card activity, and formally reports to the Department Head the result of the review.  In addition to inappropriate receipts or approvals, the following items will be determined as exceptions upon review: 

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Foundation funded purchases
  • Hospitality/entertainment
  • Any food expense incurred in regard to interviewing candidates for employment
  • Bookstore purchases / any transaction that should be a budget transfer
  • Capital assets/inventoriable equipment, including computers & laptops
  • Construction, renovation, installation
  • Employee travel expenses that are reimbursable under the travel policy, except as allowed in the P-Card policy.
  • Furniture
  • Gasoline
  • Gifts, gift cards / certificates / prizes
  • International airfare
  • On-line data services
  • Postage stamps
  • State Sales Tax
  • Telecom services
  • Televisions/ PDA’s

Will my department ever be audited?

Most likely, yes. The Procurement Services Department performs P-Card Reviews on an ongoing basis.  In addition, the Internal Audit and Compliance Department conducts periodic audits of the Procurement Card Program.

Can my P-Card be cancelled for any reason?

Yes.  If the cardholder is determined to be consistently violating the P-Card policy, the cardholder and his supervisor will receive a warning.  A second violation will result in suspension of the card, and if problems continue the card may be cancelled.

Links to P-Card Policy Procedures, Forms and Help

University overall Procurement Card Policy and Procedures
P-Card Manual and Forms
Training and Help
Fiscal year end deadlines

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When would a requisition placed through Procurement Services be required?

Requisitions issued to the Office of Procurement Services shall be utilized for purchases of $3,000 and above, or for amounts under $3,000 in those instances where the Procurement Card may not be used, or when a payment request is not utilized.

  • When may Direct Pay invoices be used?

Direct pay invoices may be used for after-the-fact payment processing for purchases for approved categories in the amount of $3,000 or less.  A payment request form must be issued, and the invoice must be submitted to Accounts Payable.

  • When do we use payment requests?

Invoices for the payment of services or products previously performed or received may be submitted via a Payment Request Form to Accounts Payable.  A check will be issued for items up to $3,000.  Items over $3,000 will be directed to the Office of Procurement Services for approval, and a check will be issued by Accounts Payable if approval is granted.

Acceptable Examples

  • Advertising for telephone yellow pages
  • Athletics:
    • Payments to officials for any dollar amount.  Some without independent contractor form before game, form provided after-the-fact.
    • Training services and medical payments for athlete
    • Awards, with no supporting documentation, such as homecoming event prize winners, essay contest winners, science fair winners
  • Bookstore special orders, UPS charges, and freight charges of any dollar amount
  • Bursar:
    • Voucher payments of any dollar amount
    • BearPass Card payments of any dollar amount
  • Capital projects encumbered through Financial Services of any dollar amount
  • Collection filing requests for collection litigation from Financial Services
  • Credits/Overpayments from Accounts Receivable
  • Food meal plans and BearPass Card meals to Missouri State Dining Services for any dollar amount
  • Fuel bill for monthly vehicle expense for any dollar amount
  • Foundation payments
  • Grant awards
  • Independent contractor invoices, services completed
  • Library:
    • Invoices of any dollar amount
    • Refunds of fines, lost book payments, or refunds
  • Office supply charges from the contracted office supply vendor such as Corporate Express, campus-wide from the Office of Procurement Services, of any dollar amount
  • Performance contracts and expenses for the JKH Performing Arts Center and JQH Arena, non-requisition accounts of any dollar amount
  • Pharmacy retail invoices of any dollar amount
  • Postal service:
    • Mailing bills of any dollar amount
    • Replenishment of postage machines of any dollar amount
  • Purchases of products and services over $3,000 not involving the Office of Procurement Services
  • Refunds:
    • Cancelled events from departments
    • Financial Aid Scholarships and Perkins loans
    • Housing deposits, or housing cancellations
    • Other, such as grant refunds
  • Rent payments from the rental of facilities budget regardless of dollar amount
  • Reimbursement requests from individuals for items purchased outside of the university travel expense policy, petty cash policy, or procurement policy, of any dollar amount
  • Telephone bills
  • Transcript fee requests to universities from the Office of the Registrar
  • Travel advances, team or student group
  • Utility Bills
  • What are payments of invoices processed without an actual payment request with no dollar limit?

These are selected invoices for the payment of services or products previously performed or received and submitted without a Payment Request form to Accounts Payable.  A check may be issued for amounts of any dollar amount.  

Acceptable Examples

  • Bookstore inventory invoices approved by the Bookstore
  • Catering Services, Missouri State Dining Services
  • Garnishments of payroll
  • Loan requests for Plus Loans for checks to parents, generated from a computer printout
  • Reimbursements for CPS testing
  • Suspension refunds
  • Utility bills, city bills, or others approved by Energy Management
  • Visa payments, monthly
  • Withdrawals from class
  • BearPass Card withdrawal requests
  •  Do I need to review every P-Card transaction? 

Yes.  Per policy, the Department Head, as the budget authority, is responsible for personally approving the P-Card billing statement. In order to review every transaction, you may designate someone to help you trace the purchases to the receipts.

  • When do we use payment requests? 

If the purchase may not be processed by P-Card, and the amount is under $3K.

  • How do I prevent being audited or having the P-card cancelled? 

Audits can occur at any time.  However, to be prepared for an audit, have original receipts for all transactions well organized, approve timely and thoroughly the transactions for your department, and only use the P-Card for allowable purchases per the P-Card policy.

  • What if we cannot find an original receipt or get a copy from the Vendor? 

Complete the “Missing Receipt” form

  • What happens if I want a purchase over my transaction limit? 

Unless it is an emergency, it should not be approved by Procurement Services.  You would then be required to process the purchase through normal Requisition processing.

  • What if I want my monthly limit increased? 

This is subject to approval by Procurement Services, and must be supported by sound business justification.

  • What if we have a disputed transaction or identify fraudulent activities?  Or we lose the card? 

Notify Procurement Services immediately.

  • Are there any Timelines or Year-End Requirements I should be award of? 

Yes.  Specific Deadlines apply to the year end for 2010, for example, which is Wednesday June 30, 2010.  Please be aware of these requirements and deadlines to have a purchase processed and be captured within this fiscal year.

On a practical basis – what should I do?

  • Familiarize yourself with the online P-Card Policy & Procedures Manual.  Be aware that the purchases you make are public record and subject to audit.  Have original receipts and adequate business documentation for each purchase. 
  • Do not hesitate to contact Procurement Services for any question.
  • Make sure your P-Card holder/coordinator understands the policy and procedures and does not ask for routine “exceptions” from Procurement Services.
  • Strive to maintain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure for your department.  P-Cards are an excellent way to research the best price and quality for specific goods.
  • As Department Head, it is suggested that you either scrutinize all individual purchases on a monthly basis, or ensure that your assistant or procurement card coordinator traces the log to confirm that original receipts are in place and the transactions have sound business justification.
  • Check monthly to make sure your P-Card records, receipts and log are up to date and complete and have been reported timely to Procurement Services.

What if I have Questions?

Do not hesitate to contact Procurement Services:
Isaac Balasundaram, P-Card Coordinator
Phone:  417.836.4670    Email:  IsaacBalasundaram@missouristate.edu