Procurement Card Guidelines
Learn when and how to use your P-Card to expedite the payment process.
Attention — Spending Restrictions are in place due to COVID-19.
When using your P-Card to purchase non-contract goods of $5,000 or less abide by the following guidelines.
- Purchases up to $5,000 maximum (or other limit assigned by dept. manager)
- College Store Purchases
- Catering or Food Service
- Credit Card Number must be given to caterer at time services are requested.
- If you are paying for catering at an approved function, you must include in your documentation: the names of participants, the meeting agenda, location and business purpose for all meal related charges.
- Conference registrations
- NYS (OGS) contract purchases
- Preferred Source purchases
- Supplies and materials (all paper ordered needs to be 100% recycled)
- Equipment (“Property of..." stickers required)
- Repairs of equipment not covered by maintenance agreement
- Shipping Charges (up to 10% over single per-transaction limit)
- Ferry passes that are not related to travel – departments are required to keep a log showing the use of the ferry passes
- Travel/entertainment (i.e., airline, car rental, lodging restaurant, gasoline etc.)
- Printing and/or copier services.
- Copier maintenance agreements.
- Equipment exceeding $5,000
- Personal use
- Alcoholic beverages
- Employment Advertising
- Cash Advances
- Radioactive materials and Hazardous Chemicals
- Leases, Rentals
- Items purchased separately that when purchased together (either same vendor or same commodity) in 60 days would exceed the $5,000 limit (split ordering)
- Medical services
- Gifts, Gift certificates/cards or any other cash equivalent
- Cash back (rebates) on purchases
- Cash refunds on returns
- Controlled substances (e.g. narcotics and prescription drugs)
- Specialty gases/cylinder rentals
- Financial and/or non-financial agreements requiring signature of representative of college
- Contracted services from an individual
- Bottled water is restricted due to an executive order by the governor
- Always stay within the established limits of the account. Do not "split order" to accommodate use of the card.
- Use the card for official state use only.
- Whenever possible, utilize the use of NYS Contracts, Preferred Sources and Minority/Women-Owned Businesses (M/WBE).
- Be able to substantiate reasonableness of price for items and/or services purchased.
Keep card and account information in a secure place. Never allow the use of the card or even the account number by another person. If necessary for someone else to pick up an item, you may be able to call the vendor and process the order. Let the vendor know who is picking the item up.
How to Use P-Card for Purchases
Before Placing An Order
- Make sure funds are available in the account (usually default) that you intend to make payment from. Always obtain proper written approval for the intended purchase from an individual with authority over that budget.
- When selecting a vendor, be sure to consider NYS contracts, preferred sources and NYS minority/women-owned businesses (M/WBE). Contact the OGS website or call Purchasing to verify what vendors are on contract.
- Inquire if the vendor accepts VISA prior to the purchase being made.
- Be aware of your spending limit. Do not allow a vendor to split your order into smaller units so as not to exceed your card limit. This is called “Split Ordering” and is not allowed. You may, with your supervisor, request a temporary increase in your spending limit on your card. If this happens frequently, your supervisor may request that a permanent raise in your spending limit be granted.
When Placing An Order
- Orders may be placed via telephone, fax (be sure account information going to an individual
not a general fax number), online or in person. Be prepared to provide the following
information to the vendor:
- Cardholder name and account number
- Account expiration date
- Ship to address, including "VISA" and cardholder's name and room number, should appear on the outside of the package. If shipment is to come through central receiving, please use 40 Sanborn Ave. as the delivery address. If delivery is to arrive through U.S. Mail, please use the 101 Broad Street address. Shipping costs exceeding $100 require a freight bill if not shipped using UPS, FedEx, or other common carrier.
- Federal tax exempt number is #14740026K. (Orders placed in-person outside of NYS are subject to that state's sales tax.)
- All purchases require a comprehensive itemized invoice.
- Cardholders should be prepared to collect the following information from the vendor:
- Name of person receiving the order if placed by phone.
- Cost for each item including any/all-shipping charges. If the vendor is unable to provide an exact shipping charge, please obtain an estimate.
- Anticipated delivery date that product will arrive or service will be completed.
- Itemized receipt for all purchases and packing slips for items shipped.
- Ask that a receipt be faxed or emailed to you if you place your order by phone.
- Examine any confirmations to verify that tax is not being charged. If you are charged tax on your order, it is important to let the vendor know we are tax exempt as soon as possible after the sale and that you immediately ask for a credit of the tax.
- Orders may be placed via telephone, fax (be sure account information going to an individual not a general fax number), online or in person. Be prepared to provide the following information to the vendor:
- Cardholders should keep all outstanding transactions in a pending folder until the transaction is complete. If the vendor provides a confirmation of the order, the cardholder should maintain it for backup and expediting purposes.
- Vendors are not authorized to process an order for payment against procurement card accounts until goods are in transit and/or services are completed. Pre-payments are not allowed unless they are confirmed in writing. Typically, once a product or service is processed, the charges will appear in the cardholder's statement page within 24-48 hours of being received at VISA. Cardholders may review transaction logs in order to charge them to accounts other than issued SUNY default accounts (where authorized), resolve discrepancies with vendors, and/or detect any suspected fraudulent activity.
When Receiving Goods
- Once product is delivered to and received by the cardholder, the packing slip should be carefully reviewed to ensure proper goods were received in good condition.
- If the order is received complete, the cardholder should match the packing slip to the outstanding order form and maintain it until a corresponding VISA statement is received.
- If the order is received in more than one shipment, the cardholder should keep a copy of the order confirmation or invoice as "open" with items noted as backordered. For each delivery, the corresponding packing slip should be attached behind the invoice and the transaction detail page of the certification.
- Once all items have been received, the order is considered complete.
When Making Returns
There are a few situations that may arise that require the return of an item(s) that was purchased using VISA.
First, an item(s) may arrive damaged and need to be returned for credit. A replacement may or may not be requested. A cardholder, in this situation, should follow the procedures below for returning the damaged item(s):
- Call the vendor to alert them of the damage immediately upon receipt.
- Be prepared to provide the following information to the vendor:
- Order number typically located on the packing slip
- Cardholder name and account number
- Telephone number
- A vendor will give specific instructions for returning the item(s) that may include written authorization or a return authorization number (RA or RMA number) to be referenced on the return package; packaging instructions, etc. Please follow these instructions exactly.
- When product is returned due to damage from shipping or manufacturer defect, the cardholder is not responsible for paying return shipping charges. The vendor must issue a "call tag" or pick up the item(s) at the vendor's expense. Once the vendor has received the item(s), a full credit for that item and its original shipping cost must be issued to the original credit card account. Cash refunds are not allowed!
- If a replacement item is requested of the vendor, a new charge with all new shipping costs (if applicable) should be submitted through VISA. Credit is not usually issued for a return until the item is back at the vendor.
- A cardholder may opt to return an item that is not what was expected or is no longer needed. In this situation, the above process applies with the exception of return shipping charges. The cardholder will now be responsible for paying shipping charges to return the item; will, most likely, not be refunded the original shipping charges and may be subject to a restocking fee (a percentage of the original cost for the handling of the item back into inventory by the vendor). A restocking fee may vary from minimal (1-2%) to more costly (25-30%). The cardholder must weigh the cost of the entire return against the original cost of the item(s). It may be advantageous to the department, as well as the college, to find another use within the department or college community.
When Obtaining Credit
Regardless of the circumstance for requesting a credit (returns, sales tax, incorrect/duplicate billings, etc.), the cardholder must keep a copy of the original charge attached to the credit.
If the cardholder has a problem obtaining a credit within a reasonable timeframe (minimum 1 full billing cycle), please contact the program administrator for assistance in obtaining credit due. The cardholder may email previous communication documented and with the name of a contact at the vendor to [email protected].
How We Ensure Standards
In an effort to ensure compliance with all Procurement Card policies and procedures, the accounts payable office conducts monthly reviews of selected P-Card transactions. The review is designed to ensure compliance, identify potential non-compliance and assist users with processing and purchasing improvements.
Selected Areas for Review
- Cardholder/Reconciler Sign-off: Cardholders/reconcilers must sign off on all P-Card transactions
- Supervisor Sign-off: Approvers must sign off on all P-Card transactions within each billing cycle. This includes additional steps for insuring accuracy and completeness of P-Card reconciliations.
- Review of P-Card for a Restricted Purchase or transaction limits
Reviews are conducted immediately following the month end statement closing (i.e. when the campus-wide procurement card payment is completed).
Information & Documentation Required
Accounts payable will request the following information and/or documentation for each transaction reviewed. The request will be accommodated via email:
- Original request for items or service.
- Justification for purchase
- Original receipt
- Packing slip or documentation of receipt of goods
- Proof of transaction approval (example: departmental manager indicates transaction approval by signing or initialing the invoice OR by electronically completing the Departmental Managers Certification.)
Accounts payable will typically select individual transactions, but randomly will select an entire month of activity for review.