Policy 5216 – Purchasing Card (LaCarte)
Revision Date: 10/21/2019
Last Review: 10/21/2019
Original Effective Date: 11/1/2002
Responsible Office: Purchasing Office
References: Office of State Procurement
Louisiana Tech University has entered into an agreement with the State of Louisiana and Bank of America that provides qualified employees with a Visa Purchasing Card to purchase low cost materials and services. Using the Purchasing Card benefits the University and its vendors through:
- Prompt payments to vendors
- Reduced processing costs and paper flow
- Controlled decentralization of Purchasing
The Purchasing Card will provide the University with a system which is efficient, flexible, and convenient for departments purchasing goods and services directly from vendors for transactions up to $5,000. The Purchasing Card simplifies the way in which departments may order small dollar goods and services from vendors that accept the Visa credit card. Multiple purchases may be made with the Purchasing Card for contract purchases, each day, up to but not exceeding $5,000 per contract. Purchases from contract vendors must be for each contract’s specific approved contract items.
The Purchasing Card program is designed to delegate the authority and capability to purchase small dollar items directly to the end user or department. Use of the Card will enable cardholders to purchase non-restricted items directly from vendors without the issuance of a requisition or a purchase order.
As a State agency, Louisiana Tech University is bound by the State Travel Card Policy, State Statutes, State Executive Orders, PPM49, and Federal regulations and laws. To ensure compliance with these requirements, cardholders must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the application and cardholder agreement. The policies in the application and agreement, as well as any revisions by the Purchasing Department, pertaining to the program must be followed when using the Purchasing Card.
- Account holder/Cardholder – terminology used to reference the employee that has been issued a purchasing card or account holder/authorized user of the CBA.
- Agreement Form – a form signed by a program administrator, cardholder and cardholder approver, annually, that acknowledges they have received required training from agency, completed the state’s certification requirement and received a passing score of at least 90, understands the purchasing card policies, both state and agency, and accepts responsibility for compliance with all policies and procedures.
- Approver – The cardholder’s supervisor or the most logical supervisor that is at least one level higher which would be most familiar with the business case and appropriate business needs for the cardholder’s transaction and is responsible for approving transactions on-line and signs both the cardholder’s billing cycle log and monthly statement.
- Billing Cycle – The period of time between billings. For example, the State of Louisiana P-Card closing period ends at midnight on the 5th of each month.
- Card Abuse – Use of the card for non-approved State business purchases such as for personal purchases.
- Card Misuse – Use of the card for legitimate purchases but for goods or services that are prohibited by the State or internal policy (e.g., purchases for fuel for a State vehicle when the agency participates in the Statewide Fuel Card Program).
- Cardholder – A State of Louisiana employee whose name appears on the P-Card or the person who has been assigned by the agency as the accountholder/authorizer for the CBA and is given authority to make purchases within preset limits on behalf of the agency.
- Cardholder Enrollment Form – A form that initiates the purchasing card issuance process for the cardholder.
- Controlled Billed Account (CBA) – a credit account (no plastic cards issued). These accounts are direct liabilities of the State. CBA Accounts are controlled through a single authorized accountholder/authorizer to provide means to purchase any allowed transactions/services allowed in the current State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy. Although other travel related charges are now allowed on the CBA account, the traveler should be aware that there is no plastic issued for a CBA to ensure that this will not impair his/her travel plans.
- Controlled Billed Account (CBA) Accountholder/Authorizer – Person responsible for the CBA account. The accountholder/authorizer is a specific person assigned to a CBA account with the same responsibilities as that of a cardholder. Each CBA account must have only one accountholder/authorizer.
- Cycle Limit – Maximum spending (dollar) limit a P-Card/CBA is authorized to charge in a cycle. These limits should reflect the individual’s purchasing patterns. These are preventative controls and, as such, should be used judiciously.
- Default Coding – Agency specific accounting assigned to an individual cardholder’s transaction which exports to the agency’s accounting system, if applicable.
- Department Head – An elected officer, an appointed officer, the executive head of a State agency or President of a College or University.
- Disputed Item – Any transaction that was double charged; charged an inaccurate amount, or charged without corresponding goods or services by the individual cardholder.
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – An electronic exchange or transfer of money from one account to another, either within the same financial institution or across multiple institutions.
- Electronic Signature – An electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record or executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
- Export File – Data that pushes from Bank of America WORKS into ISIS/LEO or other applicable accounting system which imports to the agency’s financial system to create the voucher for Bank of America payments.
- Fraud – Any transaction, intentionally made that was not authorized by the cardholder or not for Official State Business.
- Incidental Expense – Expenses incurred while traveling on official state business, which are not allowed on the state liability P-Card. Incidentals include, but are not limited to meals; fees and tips (porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids); transportation between places of lodging/airport such as taxi; phone calls and any other expense not allowed in the State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy.
- INTELLILINK – Visa’s web-based auditing tool which is used to assist with monitoring and managing the agency’s card program usage to ensure that card use conforms to all policies and procedures.
- ISIS – State of Louisiana’s integrated system used for accounting, financing, purchasing, and contracting functions.
- LaGov – State of Louisiana’s integrated system used for accounting, financing, logistics, human resources, procurement, travel, and data warehouse storage and reporting.
- MCC (Merchant Category Code) – A standard code the credit card industry uses to categorize merchants based on the type of goods or services provided by the merchant. A merchant is assigned a MCC by the acquiring bank.
- MCCG (Merchant Category Code Group) – A defined group of merchant category codes. MCCGs which are used to control whether or not cardholders can make purchases from particular types of merchants.
- Merchant – A business or other organization that may provide goods or services to a customer. Synonymous with “supplier” or “vendor”.
- P-Card – A credit account issued in an employee’s name. This account is direct liability of the State and is paid by each agency. P-Card accounts are an alternate means of payment for purchases of goods and services.
- P-Card/Billing Cycle Purchase Log – Paper and electronic form used in the reconciliation process for purchases/services charged during the billing cycle. The log is used to document cardholder’s approval of purchases billed by matching the paper billing statement, received from the bank, to the log and the original documentation obtained from the vendor(s). Approval of the log by the cardholder can either be by signature (paper log) or electronic signoff (through WORKS Workflow). Likewise, the designated approver’s approval can either be by signature (paper) or electronic signoff (online in WORKS Workflow). Electronic logs must be in an un-editable format such as a PDF.
- Personal Purchases – Non-work related goods or services purchased solely for the benefit of the cardholder, the cardholder’s family, or other individual(s).
- Policy and Procedure Memorandum 49 (PPM49) – The State’s general travel regulations (http://www.doa.la.gov/Pages/osp/Travel/Index.aspx) these regulations apply to all state departments, boards, and commissions created by the legislature or executive order and operating from funds appropriated, dedicated, or self-sustaining, federal funds, or funds generated from other sources.
- Program Administrator – Person responsible for administering and managing the LaCarte Program at the agency level and acts as the main contact between the agency, the State, and the issuing bank.
- Purchasing Card Profile – Unique profile associated with a cardholder that sets the card credit limit, single purchase limit, and MCCs on the cardholder’s ability to make purchases on behalf of the State. The profile name must be unique and should be set up in the following format, this is an example only- CL$20,000; STL$1,000; MCCG: csh, tvl, rest
- Receipt – A merchant-produced original document that records the relevant details for each item purchased including quantities, amounts, a description of what was purchased, the total charge amount and the merchant’s name and address (e.g. sales receipt, original invoice, packing slip, credit receipt, etc.). This must match the online transaction amount and be matched to any other related documentation regarding the transaction.
- SPL (Single Purchase Limit) – The maximum spending (dollar) limit a P-Card is authorized to charge in a single purchase. Under no circumstances will a cardholder have a SPL exceed $5,000.00. The SPL limit may be up to $5,000; however, this limit should reflect the individual’s purchasing patterns. These are preventative controls and, as such, should be used judiciously.
- Split Purchase – A practice whereby one or more cardholders or suppliers split a purchase into two or more transactions and/or purchase orders to circumvent either single transaction limits or bid requirements. This is prohibited by the Statewide Purchasing Card Policy.
- State Program Administrator – Central point of contact responsible for managing and overseeing the Statewide LaCarte Program.
- Transaction – A single purchase of goods or services. A credit also constitutes a transaction.
- Transaction Documentation – All documents pertaining to a transaction. The documentation is also used for reconciliation at the end of the billing cycle and is to be retained (and scanned) with the monthly reconciliation documentation for review and audit purposes. Examples of transaction documentation include, but are not limited to: original itemized purchase receipts/invoices (with complete item descriptions, not generic such as “general merchandise”), receiving documents, credits, disputes, and written approvals.
- WORKS – Bank of America’s web-based system used for program maintenance, card/CBA issuing/suspension/cancellation and reporting.
- WORKS Workflow – Bank of America’s online system that includes user profiles and transaction workflow.
The Office of Purchasing is responsible for the implementation and administration of the purchasing card. To ensure that purchasing card utilization is used in adherence with University budget, accounting and audit policies, the Office of Purchasing will coordinate purchasing card management with the Office of Comptroller, Office of Sponsored Projects, and Office of Internal Audit.
No Purchasing Card or CBA account shall be issued to any Program Administrator, CBA Administrator or auditor or any other roles associated with administering, monitoring or reviewing the activities of the Purchasing Card Program including the person responsible for monthly audits/reports and second level review of the University’s program. No Purchasing Card shall be issued to any non-state employee.
The Office of Purchasing has developed and will maintain an application form that contains the following information:
- Name of Cardholder
- Cardholder’s department
- Name of Cardholder’s immediate supervisor
- Email of Cardholder’s immediate supervisor
- Signature of Cardholder’s immediate supervisor
- University department codes that Cardholder is authorized to utilize
- Cardholder University address
- Cardholder phone number
- Cardholder email address (in adherence with State Travel Policy)
- Single transaction limit
- Monthly limit
- Cardholder signature
- Approver’s (Monthly Transaction Reviewer) name
- Approver’s signature
- Approver’s email
- Comptroller approval (signifying budget authority)
In most cases, Cardholders may have only one card. When the cardholder reviews transactions each month, the cardholder will assign University account and budget object code for each transaction. Grant purchases and other University fund purchases should not be made on the same card.
In case of grants administered by Office of Sponsored Projects, Office of Sponsored Projects will serve as approver.
All cardholders must have a reviewer that is at least one level of authority higher than the cardholder.
No cardholder can be their own reviewer.
The Office of Human Resources will receive notification of adverse Internal Audit findings and document in Personnel Files findings in accordance with Civil Service regulations and policies of the University of Louisiana System.
The Office of Human Resources will ensure that the Office of Purchasing is notified of the separation of any cardholder from University employment. If employee is separated from service before the card is collected, Purchasing will immediately cancel the card and notify the immediate supervisor and/or Office of Sponsored Projects to ensure that all transactions are documented in WORKS Workflow system.
Process in obtaining purchasing card
- Employee must take and pass with a minimum of 90% the State of Louisiana on-line test. Evidence of completion must be printed by employee and submitted with an application form.
- Employee’s direct supervisor must review and approve the application (supervisor must have completed on-line exam and passed with a minimum of 90%). Supervisor will route the form through all offices on the routing form. (Approving authority in Office of Comptroller and Office of Sponsored Projects must have passed the State exam with a minimum score of 90%).
- Employee requesting a purchasing card must complete and sign State of Louisiana Cardholder agreement form. The cardholder application will not be processed unless the cardholder approver form has been completed and the approver has passed the on-line exam with a 90% score. Completed application form will be kept on file in the Office of Purchasing for 3 fiscal years.
- Signed cardholder approver forms and proof of passing the on-line exam are kept on file in the Office of Purchasing for three fiscal years.
- The purchasing card program administrator agreement form will be completed by the Director of Purchasing and maintained with other cardholder information. A copy with proof of passing the on-line exam will be sent to the President and the Director of Internal Audit.
- The Office of Purchasing will receive and issue purchasing cards and maintain a database that includes the card application, date card is received, date card is issued and date card is returned by cardholder.
Monthly review process
Within 5 working days of the close of each month, cardholder will review each transaction.
- Cardholder will scan and upload into system all receipts
- Cardholder will certify that each transaction was made within University and State Travel Card Policies
- Cardholder will assign a University account & budget object code to each transaction
- Cardholder will attach original receipts to paper statement and forward paper statement to approver. Original billing statements must be signed by both the cardholder and the approver. Electronic or stamped signatures are not acceptable.
If Cardholder does not approve transactions within five working days, Approver will move the transactions up the system. Approver will counsel cardholder and determine if cardholder is to maintain the privilege of having a card.
If Cardholder will be on extended leave, the cardholder must notify their Approver and the Purchasing Office to suspend the card or reduce limits on the card to $1.00, until the cardholder returns to the University.
If sales tax is included on transactions, cardholder is responsible for obtaining a credit for the charged sales tax. Credit must be issued to card account.
- Within 10 working days of the close of each month, first level reviewer will review and approve each transaction. Should documentation, account, budget object code or any other issue need to be corrected, approver will make the correction. If purchases are to be charged to a grant, Office of Sponsored Projects will review expenditure to ensure it is in compliance with grant guidelines and restrictions.
- Approver will ensure that original statement and copies of receipts are signed, reviewed and forwarded to the Office of Purchasing. Electronic signatures in Workflow by the cardholder and the approver are required as well as a signed log matching the monthly statement.
If approver does not approve transactions within five working days, Purchasing will move the transactions up the system. Purchasing will counsel cardholder and approver and determine if cardholder is to maintain the privilege of having a card.
If cardholder has not had sales tax collection removed, approver will either require that sales tax be credited or take necessary steps to obtain a credit for sales tax.
- Within 15 working days of the close of each month, the Office of Purchasing will review each cardholder statement and approve or cause documentation to be corrected. The Office of Purchasing will review transactions and statements for adherence with purchasing regulations and purchasing card policies.
- Office of Purchasing will ensure that the original statement and copies of receipts are signed, reviewed and forwarded to the Office of Comptroller.
- Office of Comptroller will confirm University account coding and issue EFT payment prior to the end of each month.
- Hard copies of all statements will be maintained with other financial records in the Office of Comptroller.
- Office of Purchasing will run all required reports and certify to the State Office of Travel that all reports have been run and reviewed. The monthly report shall state that all findings have been investigated, documented and handled appropriately.
- Office of Purchasing will check all contract purchases to ensure purchases are for each contract’s specific approved contract items while performing monthly audit of statements.
Should approver note improper purchasing activity
- If approver is not immediate supervisor, approver shall notify the immediate supervisor.
- Immediate supervisor shall determine if activity is incidental. If activity is incidental, supervisor will counsel cardholder.
- If activity is serious, supervisor shall notify Office of Purchasing to suspend card and notify Office of Internal Audit. Office of Internal Audit shall determine if further investigation is warranted. Investigation shall follow standard University Internal Audit procedures.
- If at any time illegal activity is detected, the Office of President and the Office of Comptroller shall be notified and further notifications are made as required by law or policy. Further notifications include State Travel, Legislative Auditor, and the District Attorney. Illegal activity may result in the loss of job and reimbursement of unauthorized charges.
- Card suspension shall not be lifted without recommendation of Internal Audit and Immediate Supervisor.
Should the Office of Purchasing note improper purchasing activity
- If Purchasing determines that the activity is incidental, Purchasing shall counsel both approver and cardholder and cause any necessary corrective action to be taken.
- If Purchasing determines that the activity is serious, Purchasing shall suspend the card and notify the Office of Internal Audit. If the Office of Internal Audit determines further investigation is warranted, investigation shall follow standard University Internal Audit procedures.
- If at any time illegal activity is detected, the Office of President, Office of Internal Audit and the Office of Comptroller shall be notified. Further notifications include State Travel, Legislative Auditor, and District Attorney.
- Card suspension shall not be lifted without recommendation of Internal Audit and Immediate Supervisor.
Annual Review Process
- Office of Purchasing shall run and review all required reports and certify to the Office of State Travel.
- Office of Internal Audit will audit Purchasing card system and transactions per State Travel Requirements and Internal Audit Plan. Conducting an audit of the purchasing card program no less than once every 3 years is encouraged by the Office of State Travel.
- The Office of Purchasing will review annual card utilization to identify any cards with no use. If a card has no use, cardholder and immediate supervisor shall be contacted to determine if cardholder requires continued use of a card.
- Office of Purchasing will prepare annual report identifying individual cardholders and submit to each approver for review and approval.
- Office of Purchasing will require that each cardholder complete a new application and route the application through the approval process. The annual report shall state that all findings have been investigated, documented and handled appropriately. The Office of Internal Audit and the Office of the President shall receive a copy of this Report.
- The Office of Purchasing will ensure that an electronic copy of all transactions and reports on the WORKFLOW System are backed up for archival purposes.
- Each Year, the Office of Purchasing shall provide training on purchasing card use, WORKS Workflow system and annual changes in the system.
Purchasing card cardholder’s guide
- Louisiana “LaCarte” Purchasing Card
Louisiana “LaCarte” Purchasing Card is a Visa Card used by Louisiana Tech University employees to purchase materials and services up to $5,000 per transaction (including shipping and handling). It is the preferred purchasing tool used to purchase low cost materials and services.
- How Your Card May Be Used
Your card may be used for any purchase of materials and services provided that:
- the transaction does not exceed $5,000, including shipping and handling charges;
- the transaction does not fall within one of the merchant groups/spending categories excluded by cardholder request;
- the transaction does not involve a purchase of one of the types listed in Exhibit I.
- Purpose and Benefits of Using the Purchasing Card
- To simplify and reduce costs of the purchasing and payment process for material orders and services under $5,000 where applicable. The cardholder uses the card to make the purchase from suppliers without completing purchase orders or requisitions. All necessary service contract procedures must be followed; only the method of payment has changed.
- To simplify and reduce the number of invoices processed by Accounts Payable. One monthly invoice is paid to Bank of America versus handling large volumes of low dollar invoices.
- The Purchasing Card process pays the suppliers within two business days of requesting payment for merchandise provided.
- Purchasing Card Cycle
- Suppliers receive remuneration from Visa within two business days of requesting payment for merchandise provided.
- Adhere to all provisions herein.
- Statements are received each month. Cardholder and approver reviews statement for appropriate charges, attaches receipts for each charge, signs statement and forwards statement to the Purchasing Office.
- Louisiana Tech University remits payment to the Bank of America by the 30th business day of each month.
- Individual charge transactions are received electronically each month and down loaded into the University’s Accounting system to allow charges to be posted to each cardholders FIS account.
- Louisiana “LaCarte” Purchasing Card
- Cardholder’s Responsibilities
- General Responsibilities
The card is used for payment of materials and services under $5,000 (including shipping and handling charges). The transaction and credit limits on the card have been approved by the Approver, Comptroller, Office of Sponsored Projects (if applicable) and the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Card delegates the expenditure and purchasing authority, less than $5,000, to the authorized cardholder.
Individual transactions must be reviewed in Workflow System as described in this policy.
The Purchasing Card remains the property of Bank of America. It may not be transferred, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the designated cardholder. The cardholder will surrender the Purchasing Card upon request to Louisiana Tech University or any authorized agent of Bank of America.
Louisiana Tech University retains the right to cancel a cardholder’s privileges. Cards may be revoked for misuse or non-compliance with procedures and/or the Cardholders Agreement.
State sales tax should not be charged on card purchases. Cardholders should make every effort at the time of purchase to avoid being charged state sales tax. Please notify the vendor BEFORE the purchase is rung up that your card is tax exempt. In the event state sales tax is charged, it is the Cardholder’s responsibility to have the vendor-merchant issue a credit to the Cardholder’s account. Cardholder cannot receive cash or check as reimbursement for taxes. If the vendor refuses to reimburse taxes, cardholder should not use this vendor for future purchases. Cardholder may also be responsible for reimbursement of taxes if the tax is $25 or more.
Expiring Purchasing Cards will automatically be replaced/renewed prior to the expiration date by Bank of America. All replacement/renewed cards will be sent to the Agency’s program administrator.
The Cardholder is also responsible for maintaining the security of card data such as the account number, the expiration date, and the card verification code (CVV), the 3-digit security code located on the back of the card.
Never accept cash in lieu of a credit to the purchasing card account.
Never use the Purchasing Card for fuel or vehicle maintenance since Louisiana Tech uses FuelTrac (fuel card and maintenance program). However, in the event that the fuel program is not covered in a certain geographic area, then the purchasing card may be used for maintenance only (not fuel). Documentation of the transaction should be maintained indicating the reasons why a fuel card could not be used.
Never use the Purchasing Card to avoid procurement or payment procedures.
- Ordering and Receiving of Materials and Services
The cardholder is responsible for ensuring receipt of materials and services, and resolving any receiving discrepancies or damaged goods issues. (For disputes or questions, see item F.)
Ask the supplier if they will accept Visa.
The card is used for payments under $5,000. Ask the supplier to calculate the total value of the order, including shipping & handling charges and freight costs. If the total charge is over $5,000 the card cannot be used.
Do not split a transaction into two or more transactions to get below the single transaction limit. Each cardholder must know the monthly spending limits of your card.
The exception to this policy may require cancellation of your card.
Obtain from the supplier a sales receipt or invoice which itemizes and details the order. Retain this documentation for matching with your monthly statement.
The Cardholder shall never send a copy of the P-Card if requested by a merchant. If this is required for payment, then the cardholder must use another form of payment other than the State Liability Card.
For purchases with online vendors such as Amazon, PayPal, Ebay, etc, cardholders must have a standalone business account or registration. The account or registration cannot be combined with an individual’s personal account. By doing this, it allows approvers, Purchasing, and auditors access to view the accounts online while verifying that all purchases are business related and email receipts are not altered and that all purchases are being delivered directly to Louisiana Tech University (instead of a home address). Purchasing from these vendors is strongly discouraged.
- Telephone Orders
Provide the supplier with your complete shipping instructions including name, street address, and internal location information.
- Instruct the supplier to include in the delivery package a sales receipt, invoice, or the Purchasing Card charge slip itemizing the order.
- Instruct the supplier to send any sales receipt or invoice directly to you rather than the Accounts Payable Department. This will avoid the possibility of having the same invoice paid twice.
- If Approval is Denied
If a supplier advises that card approval has been denied, it is most likely a violation of one the established levels of authority checks.
Example – the purchase exceeds the single transaction limit of $5,000
Example – the account is over the monthly number of transactions limit and/or spending limit.
Example – the purchase is a violation of a Merchant Group/Spending Category code or a Merchant Category Code to which access is prohibited.
Example – cardholder’s purchasing card has expired and hasn’t picked up and signed for new card.
The supplier will not have information related to the reason for denial, nor does the cardholder have the authority to obtain this information. If a transaction is denied, the cardholder should contact the Purchasing Department for assistance.
The Purchasing Department will contact the proper persons, obtain information on the denial and coordinate resolution of the issue.
- Reconciliation and Approval Process
- Primary responsibility for the reconciliation and approval process rests with the cardholder of each department.
- Statements are received by each cardholder on a monthly basis.
- Compare the transactions on the statement with the actual sales receipts, invoices, credit card slips, etc. (supporting documentation).
- Verify each transaction as to date, vendor and amount by matching to the supporting documentation. Supporting documentation must be an itemized/detailed receipt (cannot be a generic receipt).
- Attach to the statement, supporting documentation for all transactions listed on the record. Also, attach Disputed Items Report (if applicable).
- Cardholder must sign statement certifying agreement with the legitimacy and accuracy of the listed transactions. The statement must also be signed by the Department Head and Dean (if applicable). These signatures will be a certification by the signers that all charges are accurate and valid University expenditures. The cardholder should retain a copy of the statement.
- Submit statement with supporting documentation, Disputed Item Report (where applicable) to the Purchasing Department within five days of receipt of memo statement.
Statements not received within 10 days will result in cancellation of card.
- For disputed or questioned items – See item F.
- Personal expenses charge on card
- Personal usage of card is NOT ALLOWED.
- Violations may result in cancellation of your card.
- Never put the full P-Card/CBA account number in emails, fax, reports, memo, etc. If designation of an account is necessary, only use of the last four or eight digits of the account is to be allowed.
- Disputed and Questioned Items
The cardholder is responsible for ensuring receipt of materials and services, and resolving any receiving discrepancies or damaged goods issues.
Cardholder is responsible for settling any disputes, clearing erroneous charges and requesting credit for returned merchandise directly with the supplier.
Cardholder should contact supplier to resolve any outstanding issues. Most billing problems can be resolved expeditiously in this manner.
If cardholder is unable to reach agreement with supplier, the Disputed Item Form must be submitted and forwarded to the Purchasing Department. Bank of America must be notified in writing of any unresolved disputed item within sixty (60) days of the date of the statement on which the questioned item appears.
Cardholder should indicate on statement that an item is in dispute and attach a copy of the Disputed Item Form.
Purchasing Department will forward Disputed Item Reports to Bank of America and assist cardholder in resolving disputes and ensuring that proper credit is given on subsequent statements.
Never make a payment directly to the bank in the event that an unauthorized charge is placed on the individual’s state corporate liability P-Card. If the payment is made directly to the bank, it will cause the monthly statement billing file to be out of balance and agency will have to determine the cause. Ultimately, it will be determined that a personal payment was made; therefore, report any unauthorized charges to your program administrator immediately.
- Lost or Stolen Cards
- To report lost or stolen cards, contact Bank of America at (888)449-2273.
- Report any lost or stolen cards immediately to the Bank first and then the Purchasing Department. The bank will immediately cancel the card and forward a replacement card within three to five business days.
To report recognized or suspected misuse of the card, contact the State of Louisiana Inspector General’s Fraud and Abuse Hotline at (866)801-2549.
Termination of Employment or Extended Leave Employees must notify the Purchasing Department in writing upon termination of employment or extended leave from the university. Please give the Purchasing Department ample notice so that your card may be cancelled or suspended if absent for extended periods. Please cut up your purchasing card and include it with your letter. Please do not send the letter and card in the campus mail.
- Fraud Purchases – any use of the P-Card/CBA which is determined to be an intentional attempt to defraud the state for personal gain or for the personal gain of others. An employee suspected of having misused the P-Card/CBA with the intent to defraud the state will be subjected to an investigation. Should the investigation result in findings which show that the actions of the employee have caused an impairment to the state service, and should those findings be sufficient to support such action, the employee will be subject to disciplinary action. The nature of the disciplinary action will be the prerogative of the appointing authority and will be based on the investigation findings and the record of the employee. Any such investigation and ensuing action shall be reported to the Legislative Auditor and the Director of the Office of State Travel.
- Non-Approved Purchase – a purchase made by a State Cardholder for which payment by the state is unapproved. A non-approved purchase differs from a fraud purchase in that it is a non-intentional misuse of the P-Card/CBA with no intent to deceive that agency for personal gain or for the personal gain of others. A non-approved purchase is generally the result of a miscommunication between a supervisor and the Cardholder. A non-approved purchase could occur when the Cardholder mistakenly uses the P-Card rather than a personal card. When a non-approved purchase occurs, the Cardholder should be counseled to use more care in handling of the P-Card/CBA. The counseling should be in writing and maintained in the employee’s file for no longer than one year unless another incident occurs. The employee should be made to pay for the item purchased inappropriately. Should another incident of a non-approved purchase occur within a 12-month period, the appointing authority should consider revocation of the P-Card/CBA.
- Merchant Forced Transactions – Commercial cards are accepted by a variety of merchants that process transactions only if approved by the issuing bank thereby abiding by the card controls in place. Processing transactions are administered as follows: Merchants processing transactions is typically a two step process:
Merchant authorizes transactions against card controls (MCC, limits, exp date, etc.) and if approved receives an authorization number.
Merchant submits the transactions for payment from the bank.
In rare instances, merchants will circumvent the authorization process and only perform step 2. This means that the merchant didn’t authorize the transaction against the card controls and therefore did not receive an authorization number.
If this does happen, the merchant has forfeited all dispute rights and the transaction can be disputed and unless the merchant can provide a valid authorization number, the dispute will be resolved in the cardholder’s favor.
Card security – Each Cardholder is responsible for the security of their card, and therefore should:
Never display their Card Account Number around their work area.
Never give his or her Card Account Number to someone else without his or her Program Administrator’s permission.
Never email full account numbers under any circumstances.
Declared Emergency Use
In the event the Governor declares a state of emergency, the Purchasing Card may be changed to allow higher limits and opening of certain MCC codes for essential employees who are cardholders that would be active during an emergency situation and not for ALL cardholders. An emergency profile will be created for those “essential employees” and shall not exceed the following limits, without prior approval from the Office of State Travel: SPL (single purchase limit) $25,000, Travel and Rest MCC Groups may be removed if determined to be necessary for group accommodations; however, Cash will never be allowed, even during emergency situations.
Higher limits do NOT eliminate the need to follow emergency procurement rules, policies, procedures and/or executive orders.
All emergency cards will be returned to their original profile once the emergency declaration has expired and/or when higher emergency limits are no longer necessary.
Corporate Business Account (CBA) Requirements/Guidelines
All CBA transactions must be in accordance with PPM49 guidelines, State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy, Purchasing Policies, Rules and Regulations, Louisiana Statutes and/or Executive Orders.
The purpose of CBA is to provide a tool to purchase airfare and payment of high dollar travel expenses only, as per current State Liability Travel Card and CBA Policy. There is not a plastic card issued for these accounts.
The account(s) are issued in the name of the department authorized to have a CBA account. The Purchasing Department will designate an administrator/authorizer per authorized account. Each administrator has the same duties, obligations and responsibilities as a cardholder, as outlined throughout this policy. Electronic Billing Cycle Logs for CBA accounts must be signed by both the administrator/authorizer and the supervisor/approver responsible for the CBA acknowledging that all transactions are for state business.
The Purchasing Department will determine the card cycle limit. These limits will reflect the department’s travel patterns. Therefore, these limits must be judiciously established and adhered to accordingly.
The CBA accounts are the direct liability of the State. These accounts are paid in full monthly with the EFT payment to Bank of America.
CBA accounts do not allow issuance of a plastic card. These are referred to as ghost accounts. If it is determined that personal or other unauthorized charges are occurring on the CBA account, appropriate steps, up to and including dismissal, shall be taken to resolve the misuse/abuse of the account.
The full CBA account number shall never be included in emails, fax, reports, memos, etc. If an account number is necessary, only the use of the last four or eight digits of the account number is allowed.
- General Responsibilities
Louisiana Tech University restrictions on card use
The purchasing card may not be used for the following purchases:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cash advances, cash instruments, cash refunds
- Computer purchases (such as netbooks, computers, iPads or other computing devices)
- Consultants and speakers fees/honorariums
- Controlled substances (prescription drugs, narcotics, etc.)
- Entertainment costs – ski tickets, tours, etc.
- Food & meals
- Personal purchases
- Travel (gas stations, lodging, restaurants, airline tickets, conference registrations, etc.)
- Gift Cards/Gift Certificates
- Fuel or vehicle maintenance
The cardholder shall:
- Assure that Purchasing Card transactions are not artificially split in order to circumvent the single purchase limit.
- Assure that the items purchased are required for bona fide University purposes (no personal expenses).
- Assure that the prices paid are fair and reasonable.
- Notify the merchant that the purchase if being made in the name of the University which is exempt from state and local taxes.
- Obtain transaction receipts from the merchant or vendor each time the Purchasing Card is used.
- Assure that all items are received (no back orders are allowed).
- Assume personal responsibility for all purchases made with the card.
- Assure that the information provided is correct in all respects.
Steps in obtaining a purchasing visa card:
- Visa applications can be picked up in the Purchasing Department or obtained on our website.
- Complete application and return to Purchasing.
- Application will be sent to Bank of America.
- Visa card will be sent directly to the Purchasing Office in approximately 3 – 5 days (if the card is sent directly to the department, please inform Purchasing immediately).
- The Cardholder will be trained prior to receipt of card.
- The Cardholder will be required to pick up their card and sign a Purchasing Cardholder’s Agreement.
- Cardholder should sign the Purchasing Card immediately upon receipt.