Purchasing Office - P-Card Polices and Procedures  
  1. P-Card Forms/Information

The P-Card program has been established to provide a convenient means with which to make purchases and at the same time reduce the costs associated with initiating and paying for these purchases.  The Purchasing Office is responsible for managing the program and each academic department or administrative office is responsible for managing its cardholder accounts. Other forms of payment including invoice billing, check requests and petty cash transactions should be used only when payment by a P-Card is not accepted by the vendor.  The University has partnered with JP Morgan Chase Bank to issue the purchasing card and with Paymentnet, a subsidiary of Chase Bank, for web site maintenance.

  1. Definitions
    • Purchasing Card (P-Card) – A Visa card issued to an employee of the University for the purpose of making authorized purchase of supplies and services on the University’s behalf including travel arrangements and/or entertainment expenditures.  The University will process a monthly payment for all p-card charges directly to Chase Bank.
    • Cardholder – University employee whose name appears on the P-Card and is accountable for all charges made with the card.
    • Contract Administrator – The Purchasing Office employee(s) responsible for administering the P-Card program for the University and acting as the main contact between the University and the bank.
    • Transaction Limit – A dollar limit assigned to the p-card for each purchase made.  A single purchase/transaction may include multiple items but the total cannot exceed the transaction limit.  The transaction limit is established on a per cardholder basis by the appropriate vice-president.
    • Monthly statement – A listing of transactions (purchases) posted to the cardholder’s account during the month.
    • Purchasing Card Documentation Envelope – an envelope used by the cardholder to hold all P-Card documents including the monthly statement.  Each cardholder must have one envelope per month signed and approved by the chair/director or by the appropriate vice-president (if required).  An envelope is not required for a month in which no transactions were posted to the cardholder’s account.
    • Default departmental account number:  The University budget account number and object code assigned to the cardholder’s P-Card.  Only one budget account number and one object code can be assigned to a card.
    • Post Date:  Date transaction is posted to the cardholder’s P-Card account on Paymentnet.  (Transactions usually post two (2) to three (3) days after purchase is made:  Transaction Date). 
    • Month-end close:  The last day in which a cardholder can change the account number and/or object code of a transaction on-line (Paymentnet.com).  The month-end close usually occurs at the end of the work day on the second-work day of the month (except in January and May).
  1. Receiving the P-Card
    • All prospective cardholders must attend a policy and procedure session prior to receiving the P-Card.
  1. Authorized Card Use
    • Cardholders are authorized to use the P-Card to purchase merchandise or services and for travel related expenses required as a function of their duties at the University.  A cash advance feature is not an option with the P-Card. 
    • The P-Card must never be used to purchase items for personal use or for non-University purposes even if the cardholder intends to reimburse the University.  
    • A cardholder who makes unauthorized purchases with the P-Card or uses the card in inappropriate manner will be subject to disciplinary action by the University.
  1. Using the P-Card
    • When making a P-Card transaction a cardholder should check as many sources as reasonable to assure best price, quality, and delivery. 
    • Confirm the vendor accepts Visa, if not choose another vendor or process a departmental purchase order ensuring University purchasing policies and procedures are followed.
    • When making a purchase in person make sure the merchandise total does not exceed $1,000 or the purchase will be declined at the point of sale. Inform the salesperson that Trinity University is tax-exempt.  Keep all receipts for month-end reconciliation.  Receipts must contain relevant details for each item purchased including quantities, description of the item(s) purchased, the price of each item, total charge amount and the vendor’s name.
    • When making a purchase by phone or fax the vendor will request your Visa account number and expiration date (some vendors may require you give them the three-digit security code number located on back of the card).  Request that the vendor mail, or include with the order, a paid invoice/receipt for your documentation.
    • When making a purchase via internet, you will need to document the item(s) purchased and the final cost.  You may print the screen at the end of the transaction or if the vendor sends you a detailed confirmation email you may use it in lieu of a receipt or invoice for documentation purposes.
    • It is the cardholder’s responsibility to ensure he/she has a receipt or paid invoice for each transaction on his/her P-Card.
    • Cardholders must instruct the vendor to ship merchandise to Central Receiving. Central Receiving will accept delivery  but the cardholder or his/her designee is responsible for inspecting all packages to determine if the order is correct and bring any discrepancies to the attention of the vendor.  The ship to address is as follows:

Trinity University
Central Receiving
607 Kings Court
San Antonio TX  78212

  1. Using the P-Card for Travel
    • Cardholders may use the P-Card for any travel related expenses including airfare, registration, car rental and hotel expenses but all University travel policies must be adhered to. 
    • Upon completion of a trip, list all expenses on the University Reimbursement envelope (as required by University travel policy) including expenses made with the P-Card.  Keep the P-Card receipts with your documentation envelope and only include the out of pocket receipts in the travel reimbursement envelope that is sent to the Business Office.
    • For proper accounting purposes, notify the program administrator of any travel transactions that post to your account in the current fiscal year but the travel begins or ends in the new fiscal year.
    • The cardholder or designee must change the object code to the travel object code (54300) before month-end close.
  1. Non-Departmental Account Charges
    • If transactions are to be charged to another department’s University budget account, the cardholder must obtain the permission of that department’s head before incurring the charge.
    • When using the P-Card for employment recruitment expenses (airfare, hotel, entertainment, etc.) Human Resources (staff) or Academic Affairs (faculty) must be notified.
  1. Merchandise Returns and Exchanges
    • The cardholder is responsible for contacting the vendor when merchandise purchased with the P-Card is not acceptable (incorrect, damage, defective, etc.) and arranging a return for credit and exchange.
    • The cardholder is responsible for obtaining a credit receipt from the vendor for merchandise returned or exchanged and retaining the receipt with the support documentation for that purchase.  Receiving cash or check to resolve a credit is not allowed.
    • The cardholder is responsible for making arrangements to return merchandise to the vendor for exchange and obtain the replacement.  Documentation supporting the proper resolution of the exchange is to be retained with the original documentation for the purchase.
  1. Record Retention
    • The cardholder is responsible for obtaining documentation from the vendor (paid invoices, receipts, detailed emails, etc.) to support all purchases made with the P-Card.
    • It is highly recommended that the cardholder record the details of each purchase in a transaction log.
    • All completed P-Card documentation envelopes are due in the Purchasing Office on the last work day of the new month.  For example:  June is due July 31st (or last work day of July); July is due on August 31st (or last work day of August) and so forth.  Cardholders not complying with this request will have their P-Card privileges suspended.  Cardholders that frequently turn in their documentation late will have their P-Card cancelled.
    • All P-Card envelopes will be stored in the Purchasing Office for a period of five (5) years.  If an envelope from a previous month or fiscal year needs to be reviewed, the cardholder must make arrangements to do so in the Purchasing Office.  No envelope can leave the office once it has been processed by Purchasing.
    • Cardholder (or designee) obligations:
      • Weekly:  Log in to Paymentnet, review transactions and make any necessary changes to account number and/or object codes.

      • Monthly:  Reconcile statement with receipts and include in signed documentation envelope and forward signed envelope to department chair or office director for his/her approval.  (In the event that the cardholder is the department chair or office director, the envelope must be signed by the appropriate vice-president.)   Please note:  Statements will show only transactions that posted on Paymentnet the previous month.  For instance; if a purchase is made late in October the transaction may not post in Paymentnet until November and will appear in the November statement so the documentation must be included in the November documentation envelope.  Turn in envelope to Purchasing by deadline.
  • Department chair/office director and vice-president’s (or designee) obligation
    • Monthly:  Review cardholder’s transactions for appropriateness and sign documentation envelope.  Return to cardholder.
  1. Cardholder Verification of Charges
    • Cardholders are accountable for all charges made with their P-Card and are responsible for checking all transactions against the corresponding documentation (sales receipts, packing lists, order forms, etc.) to verify accuracy and propriety.  On-line reconciliation must be made at least once a week and before month-end close.
    • Verification of charges and changes to account number or object code must be made by the cardholder or designee before Paymentnet month-end close.  Usually, Paymentnet month-end close is on the second workday of the new month except in January and June.  Cardholders will be notified via email in the event a close is to be delayed.
    • Changes not made before Paymentnet month end close, require a journal entry to make the correction to the department’s University budget.  To request a journal entry email a request to the Purchasing Office with the following information:  Post date, vendor, amount, account number and object code to be credited and account number and object code of account to be debited.  A $10 fee is assessed and charged to the requesting department/office budget.
    • If a credit does not appear on your P-Card account within 60 (sixty) days after issuance of credit by the vendor, the cardholder must notify the Purchasing Office.
    • If a charge is disputed, the nature of the dispute and final resolution must be documented.
  1. Cardholder Charge Dispute Resolution

In the case of a disputed charge, the cardholder must try to resolve the dispute directly with the vendor.  If a resolution cannot be reached the cardholder can file a dispute by filling out a Dispute Form (on-line in Paymentnet).  The dispute form must be processed within sixty (60) days from the transaction post date.

  1. Audit of Cardholder Transactions

On a random basis, the contract administrator or the internal auditor may perform an audit of a cardholder’s records to ensure proper procedures are being followed.

  1. P-Card Security
    • It is the cardholders responsibility to safeguard the P-Card and card account number at all times.

    • Cardholders’ must not allow non-university or unauthorized personnel to use their P-Card or account number.
  1. Lost, Stolen or Damage Card
    • If a P-Card is lost or stolen notify Paymentnet immediately at 1-800-270-7760.  Representatives are available 24/7. 
    • Cardholders must also notify the contract administrator the same day or the next workday if the loss is during non-working hours.
    • The cardholder will receive a replacement card (with a new Visa account number) within three (3) working days.
    • A P-Card found after being reported lost or stolen must be cut in half and forward to the contract administrator.
  1. Cardholder Separation from the University

Prior to separation from the University, the cardholder must surrender the P-Card and any documentation envelopes accumulated to date to the contract administrator.

  1. P-Card Cancellation

The P-Card may be cancelled at the request of the cardholder, chair, or any administrative officer of the University.



Questions or comments?
purchasing @trinity.edu


Purchasing Office
One Trinity Place,
San Antonio, Texas 78212-7200
(210) 999-8226
(210) 999-8229 fax