Important P-Card Contact Information
Wells Fargo Customer Service
(Lost or Stolen Cards)
Office: (781) 736-4266
Cell: (781) 760-6488
Brandeis University Purchasing Card Policies and Procedures Users Guide
The P-Card Program is intended to provide a simple, efficient, cost-effective means of purchasing non-repetitive low dollar items. The P-Card is a Wells Fargo Commercial Card. It can be used for buying goods and services on behalf of Brandeis University and travel expenses when traveling on official Brandeis business. This guide will outline the benefits of the program, as well as the benefits to you and the University. It will also provide you with the information you will need to use the card.
Benefits to the Cardholder
- Eliminate the need for Purchase Orders for small purchases.
- Allows you to purchase items much faster and easier than traditional purchase/payment methods.
- Eliminates the need to obtain a Vendor ID for every purchase.
- Eliminates the hassle of using your personal credit card and getting reimbursed.
Benefits to the University
- Enables staff to be more productive on more value added activities
- Reduces the number of Requisitions/Purchase Orders, invoices and checks.
How it Works
The P-Card simplifies the procurement process by facilitating point-of-demand purchases. Procurement authority is delegated to the authorized cardholder to place orders directly with suppliers.
When making a purchase, the Visa system validates the transaction against spending limits and Security Profiles set for each Cardholder. All transactions are approved or declined based on those restrictions
As a default, P-Card limits are $5000.00 for a single purchase limit and $10,000.00 for a monthly limit. In some circumstances exceptions will be made for individual cardholders upon Procurement Services review.
Security Profiles have been set up by the University and Wells Fargo. These profiles help determine what type of vendors are approved or restricted for each Cardholder. Depending on the type of purchasing you will do or type of position you hold will determine the Security Profiles which you will have access too. (i.e if you regularly travel on Brandeis business you will have access to the Travel profile, if you book Travel for other you would have the Department Administrator Profile). The University has made an effort to ensure that the vendors/suppliers used during the normal course of business are not restricted. For any questions with Security Profiles, or if your card is declined at a merchant you feel it should be accepted at, contact the Program Administrator.
How to Activate your P-Card
Follow the instructions on your Wells Fargo P-Card to activate. Wells Fargo will ask you for unique identification. The Program Administrator will provide you with that information.
No Personal Purchases
The P-Card is designed to be used for purchases related to University business only. Use of the card for purchasing personal items is strictly prohibited.
Policy and Contract Compliance
The P-Card is a purchasing tool, but it does not warrant a change in purchasing policy. The Cardholders must agree to follow Brandeis University Policies, including the Procurement, Travel and Business Expense Policies. Cardholders will strive to obtain the best value for the University and therefore will use Brandeis preferred suppliers and Brandeis Contracts. If goods and/or services cardholders wish to obtain are available by a contracted supplier the cardholder agrees to purchase items from those suppliers. For information on University Contracts as well as the information on preferred suppliers please contact Procurement Services at 781-736-4500.
Purchasing with funds from Federal Grants
Expenditures made under Grants must comply with all of the requirements of the grant agency. For example, federal grants require compliance with 2 CFR Part 220 - Cost Principles For Educational Institutions (OMB Circular A-21). Principal investigators should familiarize themselves with these requirements in advance of any expenditure. All items purchased under grants are under the ownership or stewardship of Brandeis University, which delegate’s responsibility for the care and operation of the equipment to the principal investigator.
How to Order
The process for placing an order using the P-Card is very similar to those used when making a purchase with any commercial credit card. When making a purchase the following steps should be followed:
- Confirm that the purchase is appropriate for the P-card by referring to the list of restricted items.
- Confirm the total cost (including shipping and handling) will not exceed present transaction limits.
- Confirm that you have the correct Security Profiles for the type of purchase you are trying to make. For any question relating to Security Profiles, please contact the Program Administrator.
- Make sure you are obtaining the best possible price. Any cardholder can contact Purchasing to ask if there is preferred/contracted supplier to use. (see Contract Compliance section)
- Brandeis University is a non-profit organization and therefore tax exempt (see Tax Exemption section)
- Record the name of the person taking the order and the order/confirmation number, should subsequent problems/issues arise.
- Upon receipt of the item, retain copies of the charge slip, sales receipt, statement, and/or packing slip. Receipts must be readily available for audit. Improper documentation may result in loss of the P-card. (see Cardholder Record Management)
Current Restricted Commodities
(unless approved by Procurement)
- Cash Advances
- Personal items
- Financial or Consulting Services
- Hazardous and Radioactive Materials
- Lease or Lease to Purchase
- Computer Hardware
- Construction and Renovation services
- Office Supplies
- Controlled Substances as determined by the Research Administration department
Future Restricted Commodities
The following commodity categories are not yet restricted, however these categories will be upon future phased policy implementation
- Maintenance and Repair Services
Brandeis University is a tax-exempt organization. The tax-exempt number appears on the Purchasing Card. This number must be given to all vendors by the cardholder at the time of the purchase to exempt payment of state sales tax. Cardholders will have access to use the Brandeis University Tax Exemption and understand that it is to be used for Brandeis Purchases only.
If a vendor requires a Certificate of Tax Exemption please contact Pcard@brandeis.edu.
Billing Address Information
When using the P-Card and asked for the Billing address of the P-Card Cardholders should always use:
415 South St.
Waltham, MA 02453
Do not use any mailstop or additional information for the billing address as it may result in P-Card being declined by certain vendors
The vendor should know that the address label/packing slip must contain the following information:
415 South St.
Cardholders name, Building name and room number
Waltham, MA 02453
Unlike personal credit cards, the Wells Fargo Commercial Card program is handled as corporate liability. Your personal credit history has not been taken into account when a card has been issued in your name.
The Accounts Payable Department is responsible for paying the P-Card invoice each billing cycle.
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.
Return of Goods
Item(s) should be returned 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.
Disputed or Fraudulent Charges
If there is a discrepancy in your transaction receipts and your statement, it is imperative that the issue is addressed immediately. Depending on the type of discrepancy, you will need to contact the merchant or complete the online dispute form to resolve the disputed transaction.
If you believe the merchant has charged you incorrectly or there is an outstanding quality or service issue, you must first contact the merchant and try to resolve the error or problem. If you are able to resolve the matter directly with the merchant, and the error involved an overcharge, a credit adjustment should be requested and will appear on your next statement.
If the merchant disagrees that an adjustment is necessary, you will complete the online dispute form. The details of the disputed transaction will be entered online and followed up on by Wells Fargo Bank.
Wells Fargo Bank must receive any charge dispute within 60 days of the transaction date. While pending resolution, Wells Fargo Bank will credit the company’s account for the amount of the disputed transaction. Although Wells Fargo Bank acts as the arbitrator in any dispute, you should never assume that a dispute will be resolved in your favor.
Any fraudulent charge (i.e. a charge appearing which was not authorized by you) must be reported immediately to your Program Administrator. Prompt reporting of any such charge will help to prevent the company from being held responsible.
Cardholder Record Management
It is a requirement of the program that you keep all receipts for all expenses over $25. (Maintaining receipts for less than $25 is also encouraged for ease of reporting.) . For orders placed via phone, fax or mail, or online, you must request that a receipt, detailing merchandise price, freight, etc., be included with the goods mailed/shipped. (Note: a merchant should not reject this request, as it is a Visa policy). It is extremely important to request and retain purchase receipts.
The following are examples of supporting documentation:
- Itemized packing slips
- Itemized sales receipts
- Itemized copies of vendor order forms or applications
- Itemized cash register receipts
- Itemized emails/order forms detailing internet orders
All records must be matched up to the statement and attached to the transaction expense report within MarketPlace+.
The current and six previous years will be kept and available for viewing.
A few things to note about supporting documentation:
- Original receipts or invoices should be submitted.
- Expenses for food/meals must include detailed receipt as well as the charge receipt detailing tip amount.
- If detailed receipt is not available, a certification stating whether alcohol was purchased must be inlcuded.
- Meals including alcohol must be split to charge alcohol cost to specific alcohol account code.
- Expenses for food/meals must include purpose and a list of attendees.
- If documentation is missing, an explanation must be submitted
As P-Cards will be audited from time to time, it is essential to adhere to the above record keeping guidelines.
You are responsible for the following
- Retaining all receipts for items purchased with the P-Card. (see Cardholder Record Management section)
- Ensuring all transactions posted are legitimate purchases made by you on behalf of the University
- Ensuring that your are adhering to all budgetary restrictions
- Reclassifying all transactions to the proper account, chartstring and if applicable, project or grant*
- Listing a reasonable description of the purchase*
- Scanning all receipts/documentation and attaching to the transaction as it posts in MarketPlace+.
*These functions will all be done in MarketPlace+ in the Expense Module. For any questions on how to use the Expense module, please reach out to Procurement Services.
It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to safeguard the P-Card and account number to the same degree that a Cardholder safeguards his/her personal credit card.
The Cardholder must not allow any unauthorized individuals to use the P-card or the number. A violation of this trust may result in the Cardholder having his/her card withdrawn and/or disciplinary action for the Cardholder and/or the unauthorized individual.
If the P-Card is lost or stolen, the Cardholder must immediately notify the Bank by calling 800-932-0036. Representatives are available 24 hours a day. The Cardholder must advise the representative that it is a University P-Card. The Program Administrator must also be notified at Ext 6-4266 or by email at Pcard@brandeis.edu
A new P-Card will be promptly issued, by the Program Administrator to the Cardholder after the reported loss or theft.
Cardholder Separation from University
Should a Cardholder terminate employment with the University or transfer between departments, the Cardholder’s Department has the specific obligation to reclaim the P-Card, notify Procurement of the termination, and return the P-Card to Procurement. The P-Card must be cut in two before it is sent to the Procurement. The Cardholder may request a written receipt for the card, which may be in the form of a memorandum from the individual accepting the return of the card.
It is the responsibility of the University to monitor P-Card usage, to insure that Cardholders are in compliance with the policies and procedures outlined in the User Guide and that P-Card records are maintained accordingly. Cardholder records will be reviewed on a monthly basis to check for adherence to internal controls and to the policies and procedures outlined in the Guide. Cardholder records are also subject to review by various other internal and external auditors.
How P-Card Oversight Works – Overview
Non-Compliance with P-Card policy may result in a reduction in the Cardholder’s transaction limits or in the cancellation of the P-Card. Examples of issues of non-compliance follow:
- Use of the P-Card for the purchases of restricted commodities.
- Use of the P-Card for the purchase of items that are available under University, contract and are purchased from a vendor other than an appropriate contract.
- Use of the P-Card by an unauthorized individual (someone other than the “official” Cardholder);
- Use of the P-Card in excess of assigned Cardholder limits or available budget, after the expiration of a grant, or for purchase(s) that are inappropriate for the account/object code charged.
- “Splitting” or dividing a purchase which totals more than the transactional limit.
In extreme cases (instances 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 action and possible legal action up to and including termination of employment and repayment to the University of any improper charges may be required based upon an extensive investigation by University Administration and any other parties that are deemed appropriate. Suspected instances of fraud will be turned over to the area’s Vice President immediately for their review and possible action.
Should a Cardholder disagree with an audit finding, the Cardholder may to dispute the findings. The Cardholder should include a complete and clear written explanation of the Cardholder’s reason for the dispute.