Welcome to the University of Massachusetts Amherst ‑ Procurement Credit Card Program (UMass Procard). The Procard is a procurement tool, which offers an alternative to the existing University procurement/payment processes and provides an efficient and effective method to purchase and pay for consumable commodities and some select services of low dollar value. The card is a MasterCard credit card, backed by Citibank, and hereinafter referred to as ʺCiti.ʺ This User Guide outlines the benefits of the Procard program to you (the Cardholder) as well as to your department and the University. It also provides you with the information that you will need to use the card. The Procard concept is designed to delegate authority and responsibility, to enable you to quickly and conveniently make small purchases of approved commodities directly from those vendors that accept the MasterCard credit card. This program was created with the help of many staff and faculty members, who participated in the original Procard Pilot Program, and is designed to meet your needs and those of the University.
The Benefits of the UMass Procard to you and the University are significant:
Benefits to the Cardholder:
- Eliminates the need for blanket orders for small purchases of consumable supplies and select services.
- Allows you to obtain small purchases of consumable supplies and select services much faster and easier than with the traditional purchase/payment methods.
- Allows you to be more efficient, thereby enabling you to better focus on the value added aspects of your job.
- Eliminates the need for you to obtain vendor codes.
Benefits To The University:
- Enables Procurement and Accounts Payable to focus on higher yield, more value added activities, such as the creation of more and improved contracts and the timely processing of invoices and payments.
- Dramatically reduces the number of purchase orders, invoices, and checks.
- Saves the costs associated with mailing purchase orders and payments.
- Reduces the number of vendors in the University’s Vendor File.
The Procard is designed to be used for purchases of consumable supplies and select services related to University business only. Use of the card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. The Procurement Department and Controllers Office are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the Procard Program. If you have any questions regarding the program or the appropriate use of the Procard, please contact the Procard & Travel Card Program Manager in the Procurement Department at 545‑1748.
How it Works:
The Procard simplifies the process for the purchase and payment of goods. Purchasing authority is delegated to the authorized Cardholder, thus enabling the Cardholder to order materials directly from the supplier. When the goods are received, the Cardholder saves the packing list (or whatever documentation is available from the vendor to show the proof of purchase (itemized). Once a month, the Cardholder will access their monthly statement from the bank online system. The Cardholder will reconcile the receipt documentation to the monthly statement and forward to the records manager for safe keeping. It’s that easy!
The Authorization Criteria:
Authorization criteria is built into the Procard and is checked by the MasterCard system when the vendor scans the card, or enters the Cardholders card number, at the point of sale. The following are the authorization criteria and the preset limits (Standards) that have been established by the University for Procard use. All transactions are approved or declined (instantaneously) at the point of sale based on the Procard authorization criteria:
- Monthly Spending Limit ( $5,000)
- Single Purchase Limit ($1,000)
- Number Purchases Monthly (100)
- Number of Purchases Daily (20)
The Account Administrator may increase or decrease on the Cardholders card. The single purchase limit (currently defaults to a maximum of $1,000 ) for an individual Cardholder. Each time a card is used, that counts as a transaction. If the transaction limits established for the card are exceeded, the card will reject. The Cardholder may make as many purchases as (s)he wishes from the same vendor in a single day, as long as the total of the combined purchases from that vendor does not exceed their single purchase limit. When a cardholder intentionally splits an order/charge with a single vendor in the same day resulting in a combined dollar amount of purchases from that vendor which exceeds the assigned daily spending limit, this is considered “dovetailing.”
Having discussed the standard limits, we want to make this card work for you. If you have an emergency supply order that cannot be purchased through the BuyWays procurement System, you can ask for a one-time exception or need to purchase a restricted item on a Procard. Email Procard [at] umass.edu and provide the vendor name, a detailed explanation on why you need the exception including a list of what you plan to purchase with the unit and total costs including any shipping and handling, and have a person within your department that has financial signature authority approve the email. The person holding financial responsibility for the budget your card is attached to must approve the change in an email. Once you send the email, follow‑up with a call, if time is critical. If approved, the Procard Department will temporarily increase your limit to allow the purchase to go through. Typically, you are allowed one week to process the charge before your limit reverts back to your normal dollar amount. A temporary increase can also be requested for your monthly limit. You are instructed to place the charge immediately and you must keep a copy of the email response with your Procard records to document the temporary allowance.
It is your responsibility to monitor your charges and be aware of the limits for your card. It is against Procard policy to intentionally split charges to get around your limit. This is called dovetailing and is prohibited on Procard. Instead, ask for an exception when needed.
Intentionally splitting an order whether using the Procard of one or more cardholders is considered dovetailing and prohibited. See Chapter 4, Post Audit/Oversight
It is the Cardholders responsibility to ensure that the limits assigned to his/her card are not exceeded and that there are sufficient funds in the card account to cover the purchase(s).
Instances occur when a cardholder’s limits need adjustment based on spending needs. If a cardholder needs a temporary limit increase, please send an email to the Procard Department (Procard [at] umass.edu) with an explanation on why you need the temporary credit increase, the vendor name, the item that is being purchased, item amount and the email must be approved by someone in the department that has financial signature authority. A copy of this request must be kept by the cardholder and placed in the Cardholders records file maintained by the department Procard Records Manager. Any permanent change to a cards limits need to be authorized by the person responsible for the card budget account (Account Administrator, Principle Investigator or Business Manager). This request can be forwarded to the Procard Department via email (Procard [at] umass.edu) or by using the Procard Application & Update Form. A copy of this request must be kept by the cardholder and placed in the Cardholders records file maintained by the department Procard Records Manager.
The authorization process occurs through an electronic system that supports the Procard processing services under the University’s agreement with Citi. In addition, Procurement and Controllers Office have the capability to view a large selection of reports to effectively monitor the use of Procards.
The Procard may be used for the purchase of most consumable commodities and with some select service vendors, with the exception of those contained in the list below. Cardholders will be informed of any changes to policy, as they may occur.
Purchases of restricted commodities, all purchases that may be inappropriate for the account assigned to your card, and any purchase that totals more than $1,000 (including shipping), must continue to be processed in accordance with other established procurement and accounting methods that are appropriate for the particular type of purchase. Please keep in mind that absolutely no personal purchases are allowed.
The Procard shall not be used to purchase the following commodities:
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Animals (Live)
- Carpet that is to be Installed (area rugs are OK)
- Cash Advances of any type
- Catering * (See exception 1 below)
- Construction and Renovations
- Contract Agreements of any type that require a signature
- Deposits of any kind
- Entertainment Related Expenses
- Firearms of any type
- Food, Beverages consumed at vendors location
- Gasoline, Automotive
- IT Equipment (Computers/Tablets/Laptops) - You may purchase Computers, Tablets/ laptops if you have an IT Waiver
- Items that you have imprinted with the University Logo/Trademark unless purchased from a campus printing contract vendor
- Leases and Lease‑Purchases
- Maintenance Service/Repairs
- Memberships (Professional and Institutional memberships may be charged on the Procard)
- Moving Services
- Over the counter medications ‑ these items are restricted and not allowed to be purchased for department use or first aid kits
- Personal purchases (including individual memberships with personal benefits)
- Prescription drugs and controlled substances
- Radioactive and Hazardous Materials
- Reimbursements of any Type
- Rentals of any Type
- Services of any Type
- Time Payments of Any Type
- Travel of Any Type (including conference or training registration, airline, hotel, etc.)
1. Exception: Takeout Food and non‑alcoholic beverages can be purchased using a Procard. Catering is allowed as long as vendor does no more than prepare/deliver the food. The vendor can't serve/set up or clean up food. The Expense Approval/Business Expense Form shall be completed if the purchase was for a staff event.
*Some services are now allowed, please check to see if the vendor you are using is listed at the Services
*Awards and Gifts: Awards and gifts including, gift cards/gift certificates, employee non cash award (such as flowers), and prizes/awards to students are only allowable to the extent described in the Business Expense Policy. Please be sure to review the business expense policy and include the required documentation with your Procard purchase.
If you have any questions regarding a restricted commodity, or if you have an emergency that requires immediate attention, please contact the Procard & Travel Card Program Manager in Procurement at 545‑1748.
While the Procard is a procurement tool, it does not change policy regarding compliance with the use of University contract suppliers. If the desired item is available on an established Campus, University, State, or MHEC contract, it must be purchased from the contract vendor.
The Procurement Department is authorized to bid for, and issue, contracts that will provide the University with ʺleast total costʺ arrangements for consumable supplies required from outside vendors. When bidding such contracts, Procurement considers not only the vendorʹs line item pricing for the products, but also the vendorʹs:
- Ability to provide the necessary quality, delivery and service;
- Overall pricing structure;
- Warranty & service policies;
- Compatibility with University automated systems;
- Financial stability;
- Other organizational requirements.
Supplier contract pricing and performance are normally based on the University’s overall anticipated volume of purchases during the contract period. In order to assure the University community of paying the ʺleast total costʺ for goods, and to fulfill the University’s obligation to consolidate all of its requirements with the authorized contract supplier(s), all University departments are obligated to order the required consumable supplies from those vendors who are authorized contract suppliers to the University (State, University and MHEC), if the desired items are available on contract.
Circumventing the use of contracts may realize some savings for you initially, but repeated circumvention of contracts dilutes their value, discourages vendors from bidding in the future, and eventually drives prices up, to where no discount is offered. This will eventually negate any savings that may be realized from the use of the Procard system. Keep in mind that many of the vendors who might offer you a lower price may have bid on, and lost, a Campus, MHEC, State, or University contract, and then intentionally try to circumvent contract pricing to gain your business. Please do not fall prey to this ploy. And, when you request pricing, make sure that you identify the appropriate contract against which the pricing should be applied. Failure to do so could result in your being given higher, non‑contract pricing.
If the item is not covered by a contract, or, if the contract vendor is not yet ready to accept MasterCard, you may, of course, use any vendor that will accept MasterCard.
Departments may furnish to the Procurement Department the names and addresses of suggested vendors, together with the product types that they sell, for inclusion in future contract bids.
How to Activate Your Procard/Authorized User:
You must got to the Citi website to activate your credit card before you can use it. Citi will verify your identity, to ensure that you are indeed the legitimate Cardholder. Remember that only the named Cardholder is authorized to use a Procard. Please note, the credit limit on your Procard is set at 1.00. In order have your credit limit raised, you will need to sign an Procard Agreement Form. You are responsible for all activity against the card and may not share your Procard with anyone.
How To Order/Ship Goods:
The Procard may be used to purchase consumable supplies in person at the supplier site, over the phone, by web, fax or mail. Prior to placing the order, check the Contract Supplier Listings for contract suppliers for the product or service you are about to order. Again, remember that all Cardholders are obligated to order their required goods from those suppliers who are authorized contract suppliers to the University if the desired item(s) are available on contract.
When placing your order, please be sure to provide the vendor with the following information:
- Identify yourself as a University of Massachusetts Amherst employee.
- State that you wish to make a University purchase using a University of Massachusetts MasterCard.
- State that the University is tax exempt and give the vendor the University’s tax exempt number, which is listed on the front of the card (043‑167‑352).
- Provide your name (Cardholder name).
- Give your Procard Number (located on the front of the card).
- Furnish the expiration date of your card.
- State the appropriate contract that the purchase is being made against (Campus, University, State, or MHEC), if applicable, to insure that you will receive contract pricing.
- State the quantities and descriptions of the consumable supplies that you require.
- Furnish any other information that is necessary to make the purchase.
- Verify the total cost of the purchase with the vendor and be sure that it falls under your card single purchase limit.
Note: Your Procard account address is the billing address.
Tell the vendor that the address label/packing list that accompanies the package(s) must contain the following information:
University of Massachusetts
Requestor Name, Dept., Bldg., Rm.
Campus Street Address
Amherst, MA 01003 – zip extension for your building location
For Information concerning the standard mail address format visit Mail Services
Address labels/packing lists that do not contain this information will delay the delivery of your goods. Under no circumstances should the vendor indicate the Cardholder’s Procard number on any labels that are external to the package, which would threaten the security of the card. See Chapter 2, Procard Records Management, for details on how to record and reconcile Cardholder transactions .
Please note that, by law, vendors are not permitted to bill your credit card for purchases until the items have been shipped and the transaction will not go against your card until that time. In most instances, your card account will be debited within 48 hours after the vendor ships your merchandise.
Responsibility for Receipt of Goods:
The Cardholder is responsible for ensuring receipt of goods and follow‑up with the vendor to resolve any delivery problems, discrepancies or damaged goods.
Upon receipt of your goods, keep the documentation received from the vendor (typically a sales receipt or packing slip) for later reconciliation (see Chapter 2, Procard Records Management.)
Responsibility for Returning Item(s):
Item(s) should be returned directly to the vendor by whichever means the vendor requires. The Cardholder is responsible for ensuring that proper credit is applied to the card account for any returned item(s) and that evidence of the return is maintained. (If any issues exist in having a credit applied, the cardholder should contact Citibank at 1‑800‑248‑4553 to initiate a dispute for the transaction.)
Fisher Chemical Stockroom Purchasing:
To insure authorization is current for Procard charges at the Fisher Chemistry Stockroom located in the LGRC, the following procedures must be followed:
1. Each academic year any Procard holder that wants to allow Grad Students and/or University staff to utilize their Procard for purchases in the Fisher Chemistry Stockroom to pick‑up supplies for their area must complete a Chemistry Stockroom Registration Form.
2. The completed registration form is sent to the Fisher stockroom by the cardholder on or before the time the designated person requests supplies for the 1st time.
3. Fisher will utilize the Chemistry Stockroom Registration Form as required under this Policy and Procedure for the proper use of University Procards by Staff/Faculty/Grad Students in the Fisher Chemistry Stockroom.
4. No purchases will be allowed for anyone that is not on a current registration form. If Fisher allows purchases to an unauthorized person, the University will not be liable for the costs of the items.
5. Failure to abide by this policy will be considered a breach of Procard policy and reason to revoke the individuals Procard.
The Procard may be used for departmental purchases of consumable supplies up to your card single purchase limit ($1,000 max) from the University Store. Purchases can be made over the phone or in person. All orders must be picked up. The Cardholder must be present when picking up a phone order or when making a purchase in person and must present his/her Procard to the sales clerk and sign for the purchase. Remember that the Procard is not to be used for personal purchases. Please remind the cashier/clerk that this purchase should be processed as tax exempt.
When calling in an order or making a purchase in person, please provide the sales clerk with the following information:
- Identify yourself as a University of Massachusetts Amherst employee making a departmental purchase.
- State your name, department name, and department address.
- Provide your MasterCard Procard number and expiration date.
- Indicate that the University is tax‑exempt and furnish the tax‑exempt number listed on the front of the card.
- Give any other information necessary to make the purchase.
Failure to emphasize that you are making a departmental purchase may result in you not receiving the 30% University Contract discount on qualified items
How To Dispute A Transaction:
The Cardholder is responsible for following up with the vendor for any erroneous charges, disputed items or returns, within 15 days of review of the Citi Cardholder statement. A Cardholder may dispute a charge that appears on his/her monthly credit card statement. Disputed charges can result from failure to receive goods, use of the card by an individual other than the Cardholder to commit fraud, altered charges, defective merchandise, incorrect billing, duplicate charges, credits not processed, etc. The Cardholder should contact the vendor first to resolve any outstanding issues. Most issues can be resolved this way.
If the Cardholder is unable to reach agreement with the vendor, then the cardholder should contact Citibank at 1‑800‑248‑4553 to initiate a formal dispute. (Exception: Sales tax will not be disputed and must be resolved by the Cardholder. Neither the bank nor the University will get involved with such disputes)
All disputed transactions must be submitted to Citibank within 30 days of the monthly cycle date. When Citi has completed its investigation, the Cardholder will be informed of the resolution and any corrections that were made.
Credit Card Administration
How to Acquire a Procard:
Only employees of the University (including student employees), as designated by the Account Administrator (the individual who has fiscal responsibility for the card speed chart) may receive a Procard. (See Chapter 3, The Procard Default Speed Chart and Lines of Authority). An individual may only receive his or her card after submitting a Procard Application/Update Form, which must be fully completed then signed by Account Administrator; by completing Procard Training; and by signing the Cardholder Agreement Form.
Note: If the prospective cardholder is also the Account Administrator, then the Procard Application/Update Form must also be signed by their Reporting Authority.
The Cardholder is required to be familiar with the Procard User Manual and adhere to all Procard policies and procedures.
How to Cancel A Procard:
To cancel a Procard, the Cardholder must email the Procard & Travel Card Program Manager in the Procurement Department, who will give the Cardholder instructions as to what needs to be done, depending on the circumstances. (Exception: Cancellation if the card is lost or stolen. See How to Report a Lost or Stolen Procard, below).
Renewal of an Existing Procard:
A renewal Procard will be sent directly the cardholder, 15 days prior to the expiration date of the card.
How to Report A Lost or Stolen Procard:
It is the responsibility of the Cardholder to immediately report a lost or stolen Procard. The Cardholder must report a lost or stolen Procard by phone directly to Citi at 800‑248‑4553. The 800 number is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A replacement card will be sent through campus mail to the cardholder.
Only authorized Cardholders may use the Procard. Cards and card numbers must be safeguarded by the Cardholder against use by unauthorized individuals within or outside the University. Use of the Procard will not affect the Cardholders personal credit in any way. The contract agreement that enables the University to authorize individuals to use the Procard is between the University and Citi/MasterCard. Unlike personal credit cards that limit liability to $50 for a lost or stolen card, the Cardholders speed chart, not the Cardholder personally, is liable for all charges made to the Procard, up to the monthly transaction limit that is set on the card .
If a card is misplaced, lost or stolen, it is imperative to report this to Citi immediately (800‑248‑4553) to minimize any chance for fraud.
Consequences of Improper Use of the Procard:
The Procard represents the University’s trust in you and your empowerment as a responsible employee of the University to safeguard and protect the University’s assets. As a Cardholder, you assume the responsibility for the protection and proper use of the Procard.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is exempt from paying Massachusetts State Sales Tax, and, in most instances, from paying the state sales tax of any other state. The tax‑exempt number appears on the front of each Procard. This number must be given to all vendors by the Cardholder at the time of the transaction, to exempt payment of state sales tax.
If sales tax is billed incorrectly to the Cardholders account, it is the responsibility of the Cardholder to dispute the charge with the vendor directly. Neither Citi/MasterCard nor the University will become involved with such disputes.
If a vendor requires a tax exemption certificate, it is the responsibility of the Cardholder to provide it.
Keep in mind that meals tax is essentially the same as sales tax. Meals tax is applied to any prepared food purchase or take‑out from an area restaurant. Meals tax is not an acceptable charge on Procard.
Policies & Procedures
For every procard issued, one individual will be responsible for records management and retention (hereinafter referred to as the Procard Records Manager) for that card. A cardholder may choose to be his/her own records manager. If a cardholder chooses to be his/her own record manager, a supervisor’s must also sign the monthly card statement. At least two signatures are always required.
All record managers are required to take an online training to demonstrate that they understand record manager responsibilities prior to being assigned to a card as a records manager. Cards are not issued without an assigned record manager who has completed the online training.
It is imperative that all cardholder records be maintained in the same manner, as outlined herein, for audit and reporting purposes.
When goods are received, the cardholder shall:
Retrieve the original support documentation (sales receipt, itemized cash register receipt, vendor order form, packing list, etc.). All receipts must contain an itemized description of the items purchased.
The procard log is a useful tool to help cardholders track procard purchases and receipts.
If the cardholder has a missing receipt or if a receipt reflects only totals, the cardholder shall contact the vendor for an itemized receipt. If an itemized receipt cannot be obtained from the vendor, a missing receipt affidavit can be completed.
In no way, is the missing receipt affidavit considered to be a substitute for an itemized receipt and good record keeping. The missing receipt affidavit must be authorized by the cardholder’s supervisor.
When there is activity on the account, the cardholder should receive an email from Citibank that their statement is available. The cardholder shall:
1.) Log into the Citibank and download their statement and reconcile the statement to their supporting documentation.
- Make a note of any discrepancies between what appears on the statement and what was actually received.
- Contact the vendor to resolve any outstanding issues such as failure to receive goods, fraud, incorrect billing, misuse, incorrect amounts etc. Most disputes can be resolved directly with the vendor. If the cardholder has never heard of the vendor, then it's possible that the card was charged in error, or, that fraud has occurred.
- If the cardholder is unable to resolve the dispute with the vendor, then they should contact Citibank at 1-800-248-4553 and file a dispute for the transaction.
- All documentation regarding the disputed transaction should be maintained with the monthly statement.
2.) Sign and date the statement upon completion of the reconciliation process. The reconciled statement with all the supporting documentation should be signed by the cardholder and dated by the 15th of the month following the statement date.
3.) Put the support documentation with the monthly statement and submit it to the cardholder’s supervisor, Principal Investigator (PI), and/or records manager for review and signature (see signature requirements matrix below). A second signature with the date of the review should be clearly stated. Some statements may require three signatures.
4.)The cardholder will keep track of his/her available funds and may not over-expend his/her budget, nor exceed the spending or transaction limitations assigned to their card.
Records Manager Responsibilities
- Record managers should have a thorough understanding of the Amherst Campus Fraud Policy located on the Controllers website.
- Maintain a copy of the card application and agreement forms.
- If any change activity occurs on the card such as limit adjustments or speed type funding changes, maintain a copy of that documentation.
- Review the cardholder statements and supporting documentation to ensure that they are complete. This includes verifying that all of the necessary signatures, authorizations, and business expense documentation (if required) have been obtained. The business expense form is available to use whenever an item can be viewed as personal/dual use (takeout food, campus catering, flowers, gift cards etc.).
- Once verification is complete, sign and date the statement to indicate review has been done.
- Use the chart below for help in determining the necessary statement sign offs. One chart is for cards attached to Grant funding and the other is for cards attached to non‑Grant funding.
|Procard Monthly Statement Signature Requirements- Procard attached to Grant Funding|
|Cardholder||Records Manager||Supervisor||Principal Investigator||Number of Signatures Required|
|Cardholder is PI and own Records Manager||Yes||Yes||2|
|Cardholder is PI but not Records Manager||Yes||Yes||Yes*||2 (or 3*)|
|Cardholder is not PI and own Records Manager||Yes||Yes||2|
|Cardholder is not PI and not Records Manager||Yes||Yes||Yes||3|
|Procard Monthly Statement Signature Requirements- Procard attached to non-Grant Funding|
|Card holder is own Records Manager||Yes||Yes||2|
|Cardholder is not Records Manager||Yes||Yes||Yes*||2 (or 3*)|
*Any Month Cardholder total spend exceeds $5,000.00
7.) Maintain the cardholder statements and support documentation in a designated space in a locked steel filing cabinet. Files should be maintained on a fiscal year basis for archiving purposes. Maintaining files as detailed herein will allow for timely retrieval for auditing purposes.
8.) Send a memorandum/email to the cardholder’s supervisor if the cardholder does not submit his/her reconciled statement and support documentation to the Procard Records Manager by the 15th of the month following the statement cycle date, or, if the cardholder submits inadequate support documentation. A copy of the memorandum must be submitted to the Controller’s Office, Procard Auditor, and to the Account Administrator (if other than the cardholder).
9.) Retain the records for the current and the previous fiscal year. Records older than the previous fiscal year must be archived to the Controller’s Office. Records will be retained per the statewide retention schedule, during which time they will continue to be subject to audit.
10.) Archive all records with the Controller’s Office upon cardholder’s employment termination immediately upon departure from the University or when a cardholder transfers to another department. While it is not a requirement, it is recommended to archive files whenever record managers change for a card.
Cardholders may keep the current year’s statements/documents and one previous fiscal year in their department. All other records must be turned in to the Controller’s Office.
Exceptions: Records must be archived immediately when an employee is terminated/departs from the University or when a cardholder transfers to another department. It is also “recommended” that files are archived when an assigned record manager changes on a card.
Record managers can choose to archive on a monthly or more regular basis.
Scanning/Emailing (Most Common/Preferred) -
- Email pdf to: procardaudit [at] admin.umass.edu
- Subject Line: Archive Files
- Scan signed monthly statement and receipts *. The credit card statement should be the first pages of the PDF document followed by the receipts and all other required documentation (such as a business expense form). Redact the credit card number that appears between the Citibank logo and the account number box using the ‘Mark for Redaction’ feature in Adobe Acrobat under Tools - Protection.
- Ensure that all documentation is legible
Please save the PDF file with the following information employee id#_Last 4 Digits of the Card #_Last Name_First Name_Year_Month. For example (no spaces): 10054321_1234_Smith_John_2018_July.
*If you need to combine 2 or more pdfs for one month’s archive file: Open with Adobe Acrobat, Tools: Combine files into pdf. Drop files into field arrange and “Combine files”
Disposal of Records which are Scanned and Emailed to the Controller’s Office-Archiving.
- Once hard copy records have been scanned and emailed, they can be shredded once you have received confirmation that archiving is received by the Controller’s Office.
Original documents may be submitted to the Controller’s Office annually by card number accompanied by the Procard Archive Submission Form. Records must be organized by month and all supporting documentation should be prepared for scanning. It is to the benefit of the cardholder/records manager to hand carry archiving to the Controller’s Office along with the original and a copy of the submission form. The Controller’s Office can sign off on the submission form and provide it to the department as a receipt.
Policies & Procedures
The University of Massachusetts Procurement Credit Card Program (UMass Procard) has been designed by your administration to accommodate low dollar value purchases of consumable supplies. Credit cards are a straightforward method of purchasing supplies that takes advantage of today's technology. Card use eliminates most of the paperwork that is required to buy and pay for something, and it is as easy to use as a personal credit card. This program is beneficial to the entire University System.
A major objective of the University's Procard Program is to move the University from a highly centralized, highly controlled environment to one that is more decentralized, with control and authority vested at the unit level. One way to accomplish this is to assign as much purchasing authority and responsibility as possible to the individual who makes the purchases, while maintaining the existing lines of authority.
To this end, the responsibility for the proper use of the card rests first with the Cardholder; second with the Account Administrator of the speed chart assigned to the card (if other than the Cardholder); and third with the next higher level of authority to the Account Administrator (usually the individual to whom the Account Administrator reports), hereinafter referred to as the "Reporting Authority." This chain of responsibility runs concurrently with the existing lines of authority.
Each Procard will have a default speed chart/account code assigned to it by the issuing department at the time the Card Application form is prepared and approved by the Account Administrator. If the prosective cardholder is also the Account Administrator for the funds the card will attach to, then the application must be signed off by the Reporting Authority. The Reporting Authority is often the Department Head.
The Card Account:
- The speed chart/account code will be assigned directly to the card, and when supplies are purchased using the card, that speed chart/account code will be charged automatically unless the charge is reallocated. Authorized individuals ("reallocators") in each cardholding department will have 30 days from the date that the transaction is fed to the University's PeopleSoft System to go into the system to move those charges to other departmental speed chart/account codes. See Chapter 5, the Procard Reallocation Program.
- If charges remain on the card speed chart/account code, there must be sufficient funds in the speed chart/account to cover them, the charges must be appropriate for the speed chart/account, and the speed chart/account must be active. Should one or more charges on the card speed chart/account not meet these criteria, the Reporting Authority will be notified by email and will need to identify another speed chart/account that can appropriately accept the charge(s).
CHAPTER 4: POST AUDIT/OVERSIGHT
Who performs post audits?
It is the responsibility of the University to monitor procard usage, to insure that cardholders are in compliance with the policies and procedures outlined in the procard manual and that procard records are maintained in accordance with the procedures outlined in Chapter 2, Procard Records Management. To this end, cardholder records will be reviewed on a periodic basis by staff from the Controller’s Office Post Audit Review Team (PART), to check for adherence to the policies and procedures outlined in the procard manual. Cardholder records are also subject to review by various other internal and external auditors.
The PART is available to assist the cardholder/records manager:
The members of the University’s PART are authorized and sanctioned by University Administration to conduct post audit reviews, to explain and interpret procard policy, to request appropriate documentation for any post audit finding, and to make recommendations to University Administration for possible action to be taken against the cardholder’s procard for instances of non-compliance. The University’s PART staff are not adversaries. They are there to assist cardholders and records managers, to insure that they have a clear understanding of procard policy and that adequate records are maintained.
How will I know when I’m to be audited?
A member of PART will email the records manager and the cardholder of any pending post audit review to be conducted. Post audits may be conducted by a member of the PART, or by an internal or external (state, federal, private) audit firm. Record managers and cardholders will make themselves available to respond to any post audit questions or concerns. Advance notice of post audits to be performed by the PART will be made up to 10 days in advance unless it is imperative to conduct an immediate review. Post audits performed by the University’s internal auditors, or by an external audit firm, will be performed with up to 24 hours advance notice. It is imperative that cardholder records be kept up to date at all times.
Instances of non-compliance are called “findings.”
When a member from PART suspects that an instance of non-compliance exists, they will request additional work/explanation from the cardholder and record manager. The Procard Explanation/Justification Affidavit will be used by the cardholder to explain, justify and/or acknowledge any instance of non-compliance identified by PART. Cardholders and records managers will be given a reasonable amount of time to respond to any suspected instances of non-compliance.
When instances of non-compliance are identified they are called “findings.” The cardholder or the records manager, depending on where the finding lies, will have acknowledged the error and adherence of policy requirements going forward.
Some examples of non-compliance is:
- Use of procard for personal purchases;
- Use of the procard for the purchase of restricted commodities;
- Use of the procard for the purchase of items that are available on Campus, University, State, or MHEC Contract from a vendor other than an appropriate contract vendor;
- Use of the procard by an unauthorized individual (someone other than the "official" cardholder);
- Use of the procard in excess of assigned cardholder limits (dovetailing) or available budget, after the expiration date of a grant or contract account, or for purchase(s) that are inappropriate for the Speed Type/Account Code charged;
- Failure to comply with the procedures outlined in Chapter 2, Procard Records Management, as outlined in the procard manual.
Disputes over audit findings:
Should a cardholder disagree with an audit finding made by the PART, the cardholder may write to the Audits and Grants Compliance Manager, in the Controller’s Office dstorm [at] admin.umass.edu to dispute the finding. The cardholder should include a copy of the correspondent letter that was provided by the PART to the cardholder with the finding, and a complete and clear written explanation of the cardholder’s reason for the dispute. The next level of dispute would be to the Controller for Administration and Finance.
Fraud or personal purchases:
In cases where it is proven that fraud has occurred, or that the cardholder has used the card for personal purchases that do not benefit the University, disciplinary and legal action, up to and including termination of employment and the repayment to the University of any improper charges, may be required, based upon investigation by University Administration and any other parties that are deemed appropriate. Suspected instances of fraud will be turned over to the University’s Internal Auditors immediately for their review and possible action.
Non-compliance with Procard policy:
Non-compliance with procard policy may result in a reduction in the cardholder’s spend limits or in the cancellation of the procard depending on the severity of the non-compliance issue. Files must be properly maintained and available for audit within the requested amount of time or cardholder’s cards may be temporarily suspended. The most common reason cards are suspended is when records are not provided as requested for post audit on time (typically within 10 business days of request).
Why all the fuss?
Findings against the procard by an outside audit firm could seriously jeopardize not only the privilege of the employee to have a procard, but also the University’s entire procard program. Please remember that this is a public institution, funded, in part, by the taxpayers. As such, we are subject to the scrutiny of all types of audits, as well as the press. This is not a lecture, just an explanation of why we must be so careful.
Oversight (In Summary)
- The PART will review the cardholder/records manager’s procard files against the procard manual.
- The Team will revisit cardholders/records managers whose purchase transactions/records do not comply with procard policy more regularly until the Team is satisfied that the instances of non-compliance have been rectified.
- The cardholder/records manager will be required by PART to complete the Procard Explanation/Justification Affidavit for certain instances of non-compliance such as purchasing from the restricted list, dovetailing, using a non-contract vendor when a contract is available etc.
- Action may be taken against the cardholder’s procard (reduction in spending/transaction limits or cancellation of card), depending on the severity of the instance(s) of non-compliance and the cardholder’s history of non-compliance with procard policy, if any. Said action may be taken by the Controller’s Office or upon request by the department.
- Cardholders/Records Managers/Account Administrators/Reporting Authorities, as may be appropriate, will be kept informed of audit results and of any action that might be taken against a procard as a result of non-compliance with policy.
- Questions about records retention or procard audit should be directed to the Procard Auditor, Controller’s Office, at 545-1429 or alf [at] admin.umass.edu.
The Procard Reallocation Program allows Procard users (or their designees) to have some control over which funding account is charged for Procard purchases. When the University sets up a new Procard, we tie the expenses to a funding account against which the Cardholder’s Account Administrator has indicated purchases should be charged. Each time a purchase is made with the card, the bank sends the University a record showing the amount of the purchase, the card number, the merchant, and other information about the transaction.
Unfortunately, there can be only one account (budget) associated with each procurement card. From time to time, a purchase made with a Procard needs to be charged to an account other than the card account. And, sometimes it may be appropriate to split a particular purchase and charge parts of it to more than one account. The Procard Reallocation Program was created to allow this to happen.
Each purchase transaction is automatically allocated to the card account and is then available for reallocation for a period of time. Usually, this will be 30 days from the date the bank sent the University the record of the purchase. An authorized user may use the Procard Reconciliation Panels on the Finance System to move all or part of the charge from the Speed Chart/Account Code to other valid UMass Speed Chart/Account Codes for which the reallocator has authorization to access.
Journal entries are created to reduce the balance in the funding account by the amount of the purchase following the "30" day window allowed for reallocation, or when a charge is reallocated and/or approved during the reallocation period.
Each person who wishes to use the Procard reconciliation system must have authorization to access the records of the credit cards for which they are authorized to reallocate, and security access on the Finance System to the reconciliation panels. for the budget areas that they are allowed to use. The Procard & Travel Card Program Manager in the Procurement Department maintains the access to the cards and provides training for this process. The Campus Security Administrator in Administrative Systems for A&F manages the security access on the Finance system. Please contact the Procard & Travel Card Team in the Procurement Department for instructions on how to become an authorized reallocator.
Reallocation Procedures -
Follow the steps detailed in the Procard Reallocation Job Aid found on the Procard Forms & Guides page
Please direct any questions that you might have concerning the reallocation process to the Procard & Travel Card Team in the Procurement Department at 545-1748 or by email at procard [at] umass.edu..