PROCUREMENT CARD POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The Procurement Card Program offers the university a way of doing business by providing Visa credit cards to end users in the departments. The cards provide an easy, familiar purchase method that will greatly improve customer service by reducing order time for small dollar purchases (under $5000 per transaction) for both commodities and services.
The program helps to lower the overall administrative costs for processing small dollar purchases from order through payment. For every purchase that is made using the card, the processing time and effort the department, Purchasing, and Office of the Controller put forth individually to pay for that order is reduced.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
This policy is required for the effective communication of university policies regarding procurement cards.
Who Needs to Know This Policy
All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.
Website Address for this Policy
Anyone wishing to obtain a procurement card must complete the Procurement Card Application at https://www.usm.edu/procurement-contract-services/p-card-manual-and-forms and send it to Becky Holder, Procurement and Contract Services, Box 5003, Phone: 266-4131; E-mail: K.Holder@usm.edu; Secondary Contact: Sandra Reiter, E-mail: Sandra.Reiter@usm.edu
The billing period for the procurement cards is from the first to the last calendar day of the month.
Procurement and Contract Services has implemented a software program that will be used to manage the P-card program here at Southern Miss. The program is called “Resolve” and will allow cardholders to manage their accounts online while also reducing the paper flow and manual entry work.
The program requires that cardholders/proxies attach their receipts electronically in one of two ways; by scanning the receipt into the program or by faxing the receipt to an 866 number which will handle converting the receipt to a PDF and e-mail it to a pre-determined e-mail address so that it can be uploaded to your voucher.
Upon receipt of the overall account statement, Accounts Payable will remit payment to Regions for the entire balance.
I. Getting Started
The department must complete the following steps to participate in the Procurement Card Program.
a. Monthly statements
b. Supporting documentation
c. Copies of cardholder agreement
d. Copies of cardholder application
The documents may be requested by auditors or other official persons and must be readily accessible.
II. Challenges to Be Aware Of
The following is a list of guidelines for avoiding problems and obstacles often faced during card use. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in delayed processing or issuance of a Violation Notice.
Please note that all departments will be subject to random and surprise audits from the university's Internal Audit Department and/or the Office of the State Auditor.
The following points are closely scrutinized during audits:
IV. Use of the Procurement Card
Following are the minimum conditions/instructions/limitations required for all transactions utilizing The University of Southern Mississippi Small Purchase Procurement Card:
If any of the policies or conditions of Procurement Card use are not met, a Violation Notice may be issued to the cardholder. Copies of an issued Violation Notice will also be forwarded to the vice president of Business and Finance, the Internal Auditing Department, the Purchasing Department, and the cardholder's supervisor. The Violation Notice serves as a first time warning; if another violation occurs on a particular card, the card may be revoked.
The university implemented the Resolve P-card Management system in July of 2010 to help cardholders manage their p-card transactions online, as well as, to improve the functionality of processing those transactions to the G/L each month. All cardholders at USM are required to process and manage their P-card Transactions with this tool.
Cardholders are required to attend a training session to learn how to use the Resolve program prior to making purchases with their cards.
As mentioned earlier, the billing cycle for all purchases with a university-issued P-card is from the first to the last day of each month. The Controller’s office sets a date each month for all financial transactions from the prior month to be entered so that the prior month can be closed in SOARFIN. Procurement Services will generally set the deadline to manage all p-card transactions in Resolve approximately two (2) days prior to the deadline established by the Controller’s Office. This is necessary to allow time to resolve budget check issues of transactions that post late in the billing cycle. The Controller’s Office generally sets the deadline for the close of financials on or around the 7th or 8th of the month, therefore, the deadline for P-card transactions will generally be around the 5th of each month. Once the Financial Close date is known, the P-card Administrator will send an e-mail to all cardholders notifying them of the deadline to have all prior month p-card transactions managed in Resolve.
There are three (3) processes that must be completed in Resolve for every p-card transaction.
(1) Expense Account(s) must be assigned; (2) receipt(s) and any other required forms must be uploaded; and (3) the budget authority, Procurement, and SPA (if a grant expenditure) must approve the transaction. All of these things should be accomplished prior to the deadline established to manage the prior month’s transactions in Resolve. Online tutorials are available on the Procurement website for cardholders who may need a refresher of how to manage or approve a transaction in Resolve.
It is important to understand that until an expense account is assigned and a receipt has been attached, the transactions will not move to approvals so that it can be approved by the appropriate people. Therefore, you should not wait until the last minute to assign accounts and upload receipts, as it may not give approvers time to approve the transaction before the deadline.
It is also important to understand that while you can log in and upload receipts, as well as, approve transactions after the close process has been run, you cannot assign an expense account after that point because the system expenses the transaction to your default budget string when we run the close process. The only way to correct the expense account at that point is with a paper voucher, which is required.
The following procedure is provided to assist cardholders in closing each month’s billing cycle:
VI. Prohibited Purchases
The following purchases are prohibited with the Procurement Card:
VII. Allowable Purchases
The following purchases are allowable with the Procurement Card:
The Director of Procurement and Contract Services is responsible for the review of this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
Forms available at https://www.usm.edu/procurement-contract-services/p-card-manual-and-forms
Amendments: Month, Day, Year – summary of changes
11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.
02/20/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.