Individuals participating in one of the UA Little Rock Credit Card Programs will abide by the procedures below unless a prior written exception is requested and approved by the P-Card or Travel administrator. No policy and procedure statement can include all possible outcomes. Exceptions will be addressed and resolved as circumstances and prudent business practices warrant on a case-by-case basis.
P-Cards should only be used to purchase commodities/services that are not governed by other agreements and/or policies and when securing quality products and/or services at a competitive price without compromise. These procedures ensure that we are diligent in safeguarding our funds and performing our respective duties in an ethical manner.
CTS Accounts and T-Cards should only be used to make travel-related purchases. More specifically, T-Cards should be used to make travel arrangements and purchases on behalf of the cardholder for their specific travel needs. CTS Accounts and department T-cards, on the other hand, may be used to make travel arrangements and purchases on behalf of employees within that department.
Cardholders should abide by all policies outlined in the Credit Card Policy. Failure to follow the policies can have serious consequences for cardholders and liaisons that could result in one or more of the following:
- Verbal or written warning
- Suspension or cancellation of the credit card
- Disciplinary action (including loss of employment)
- Civil or criminal penalties
Instances of non-compliance and violations are addressed as outlined below.
Policy Compliance Procedure
When issues are identified with a verification or expense report, cardholders are given up to three notices before their credit card is suspended for non-compliance. Unless extenuating circumstances exist, which should be reported to the credit card administrator or the Assistant Director of Travel and Card Services, credit card business processes should be submitted for approval within one week of being sent back to the initiator. The following procedures will be followed in the event of possible non-compliance:
- The first send back is considered the cardholder’s first notice for issues identified.
- Cardholders that do not submit transactions for approval by the deadline outlined on the Submission Calendar will receive their first notice via email.
- The second send back is considered the cardholder’s second notice.
- If the cardholder does not resubmit the verification or expense report by the deadline given in the original send back, the second notice will be sent via email to the cardholder and their manager or cost center manager as listed in Workday.
- The third and final send back is considered the cardholder’s suspension warning.
- If the verification or expense report was not submitted via Workday or was not resubmitted for approval, and the cardholder has made no attempt to contact Procurement Services or the credit card administrator, the third and final notice will be sent via email.
Three suspensions for credit card non-compliance in one year will result in a six-month suspension and a required re-training session. The credit card will not be reinstated until retraining is completed by the cardholder. Procurement Services will track notices and suspensions for each cardholder.
Repeated non-compliance for the same issues and repeated second and third notices or send backs may also result in a strike against the cardholder’s status.
Policy Violation Procedure
Violations include, but are not limited to, split purchasing, non-allowable purchases, sharing of credit cards, and the repeated contravention of restricted purchase procedures. In the event of a violation, a written warning will be issued followed by “strikes” against the cardholder’s status for repeated and additional violations:
- First violation: a written warning is issued by Procurement Services to the cardholder and to their supervisor. Additional training will be offered.
- Second violation and first strike: a violation notice is issued by Procurement Services to the cardholder and to their supervisor. A strike is placed against the cardholder’s status and the credit card is suspended for 30 days.
- Third violation and second strike: a violation notice is issued by Procurement Services to the cardholder and to their supervisor. A strike is placed against the cardholder’s status and the credit card is suspended for 60 days and retraining is required.
- Ongoing non-compliant activity and third strike: habitual violations will result in the irrevocable loss of credit card privileges.
Procurement Services will track violation warnings and strikes against a cardholder’s status. Once a strike is added to a cardholder’s file, it will last for three fiscal years before being removed.
Each P-card has a default single transaction credit limit of $500 (including shipping/freight and taxes) and a monthly expenditure limit of $2,500 unless otherwise specified on the P-Card Employee Agreement Form.
Each T-card has a default single transaction credit limit of $3,000 (including shipping/freight and taxes) and a monthly expenditure limit of $10,000 unless otherwise specified on the T-Card Employee/Department Agreement Form.
The single transaction and monthly limits are the dollar limits that the department chair/head establishes, or will allow, for the individual listed on the CTS Account Employee Agreement Form to spend per transaction and per month.
Limits for all credit card types may be increased or decreased, with written approval, depending on unit requirements, and to accurately reflect the spending level in accordance with authority and spending history.
Permanent limit increase: Requests for a permanent increase to the single transaction limit and/or the monthly credit limit requires completion of a new Employee Agreement Form (see above links). The completed form would then be submitted in Workday using the Create Request business process.
Temporary limit increase: For a temporary increase to the single transaction and/or monthly credit limits require written supervisory approval in the form of an email from specific managerial levels based on the amount of the increase.
- Temporary increase between $501 – $5,000 – Department Chair or Director
- Temporary increase between $5,001 – $15,000 – Dean, Assistant Vice Chancellor, or Assistant Provost
- Temporary increase $15,001 and above – Associate Provost, Associate Vice Chancellor, or Vice Chancellor
If a transaction is declined, the cardholder should call or email either the P-Card or Travel administrator for assistance. The most common reasons for declined purchases include:
- Monthly spending limit exceeded
- Restricted supplier or Merchant Category Code (MCC)
- Single transaction limit exceeded
All commodities ordered via P-Card needing to be shipped must be delivered to an official UA Little Rock address or verifiable off-site location due to a special project or grant activity. This internal process is necessary for preventing fraudulent activity and reducing the risk of theft.
Disputing Transactions and Fraudulent Charges
The transaction dispute process in US Bank allows cardholders and liaisons to withhold payment of transactions until the dispute is resolved.
Disputable transactions are merchant errors, errors in billing between the merchant and cardholder or liaison, or fraudulent charges. These can include multiple charges, being billed the wrong amount, merchandise lost in transit, or being billed for a canceled order. If a charge is disputable, access US Bank and begin the dispute process.
A fraudulent charge is defined as unauthorized use of a university-issued credit card or CTS Account made by someone other than the cardholder or liaison. If fraudulent charges occur as a result of lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised credit card or account information, it is the cardholder’s responsibility to immediately contact US Bank at 800-523-9078 to report the activity and dispute any charges made as a result of fraud. The cardholder must communicate with the issuing bank to receive a new card or CTS Account. The cardholder should then notify their direct supervisor and the appropriate expense team member in Procurement Services.
Procurement Services recommends frequently reviewing all transactions to identify fraudulent charges as soon as possible. Detecting fraudulent charges promptly allows the bank adequate time to efficiently conduct their investigation process.
It is understood there may be situations and needs that fall outside of the established policy and procedures that require the use of a P-Card. Requests for exceptions to any or multiple policies and procedures must be made in writing to Procurement Services via email (email@example.com) with the P-Card administrator as a cc recipient. Procurement Services will review any and all requests and notify the requester of the approval or denial. Any and all copies of documentation pertaining to said request should be kept on file in the department and attached to the transaction in Workday as supporting documentation submitted as supporting documentation with the purchase receipt and activity log. The exception request must be made prior to the purchase.
Non-Allowable P-Card Purchases
There are items that may not be purchased with the P-Card due to existing state contracts, restrictions imposed by Constitutional Amendment 54, and university policy.
Three Strikes. If ANY non-allowable item is purchased on a P-Card, it will result in an immediate strike on the cardholder’s status, as follows:
- First strike: Card will be shut down for 30 days.
- Second strike: Card will be shut down for 60 days.
- Third strike: Card will be shut down indefinitely and the cardholder may not reapply for a university-issued P-Card.
In the event that ANY purchases appear to be fraudulent in nature, the P-Card administrator reserves the right to immediately shut down the card and contact university administrators to alert them to potential fraud.
Non-Allowable Items (not a comprehensive list)
Procurement Services has developed the following list to make users aware of non-allowable items. The list does not include all non-allowable items and is subject to change.
- Printing. Printing is restricted by Constitutional Amendment 54, and therefore, the P-Card should never be used for printing purchases of any type. Contact UA Little Rock Printing Services for all printing needs.
- Decorative items (for non-public areas). Items such as wall-hangings, plants, lamps, clocks, etc., that are intended for use in non-public areas. Faculty and staff offices and employee break rooms are not considered public areas.
- Items for personal/staff use. Items for non-university use are not permitted. For example, narcotics, prescriptions, and other over-the-counter medications; party and holiday decorations, greeting cards, supplies and food for birthday, retirement, or other celebrations; personal office supplies such as flowers, plants, and personalized office supplies; small appliances such as microwaves, toasters, refrigerators, coffee makers; candy, soft drinks, juice, coffee, etc.
- Cash advances.
- Fuel. Excluding bulk fuel purchases for the campus.
- Travel expenses. Any expenses related to travel, such as airfare, lodging, rental cars, etc., with the exception of registration fees.
- Hazardous materials. Radioactive, biohazard, explosive, or any other hazardous materials.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Prescription or over-the-counter medication
- Gifts, contributions, sponsorships, and pledges.
- Other. Construction, remodeling, or capital equipment.
This list may be adjusted and re-evaluated from time-to-time.
Non-Allowable T-Card and CTS Purchases
T-Cards and CTS Accounts are solely for the acquisition of travel-related services and needs. A T-Card or CTS Account cannot be used to make purchases that can otherwise be acquired using a P-Card or purchase requisition with the exception of registration payments.
Memberships. The purchase of memberships or memberships attached to registrations is strictly prohibited. All memberships must either be purchased with a P-Card or a requisition.
Food, meals, and beverages. Food (grocery store), meals, and beverages may be allowed only with prior approval from Procurement Services or by an approved Special Meeting Form prior to travel and it must be attached to the Spend Authorization. Meals on T-Cards may be purchased for a Guest of State or Student Travels is allowable on a case by case basis.
Add-Ons and Special Accommodations. Add-ons are only allowable with included justification stating how the additional feature is beneficial to the traveler and more economical to the State and University.
Fuel for Personal Vehicles. Fuel may not be purchased for a traveler’s personal vehicle. Mileage is reimbursed to the traveler when traveling by their personal vehicle.
Questions or Assistance
Please direct any questions, inquiries, or problems regarding credit cards to Procurement Services at 501-916-3144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reimbursing the University
Some purchases require the reimbursement of university funds by a cardholder for a myriad of reasons. Each instance of reimbursement to the university will follow the steps below:
- Contact the Cashier’s Office and inform them of the amount needing to be reimbursed to the university.
- The Cashier’s Office will provide further instruction for the reimbursement process.
- The receipt from the Cashier’s Office must be attached to the verification or expense report.
On the verification, the Personal Expenses spend category should be used and an additional statement added to the memo explaining how overages will be prevented in the future.
For travel expenses that had to be reimbursed to the university, the Personal Expense box in the itemization must be checked.
Procurement Services will track purchases requiring university reimbursement. Repeated occurrences will result in the suspension of the credit card and the cardholder must attend retraining for credit card reinstatement.
It is understandable that mistakes do happen and a university-issued credit card may accidentally be used for a personal purchase. If a personal purchase is made, an explanation of what occurred and how personal purchases on the university-issued credit card will be prevented in the future should be included in the memo.
Exceeding per diem or gratuity
In the event that the GSA daily per diem rate or the maximum allowable gratuity (tip) is exceeded on a meal purchase, the cardholder must reimburse the university using steps 1-3 outlined above for reimbursing personal purchases.
Other purchases requiring university reimbursement
Non-allowable purchases that cannot be refunded by the supplier may become the responsibility of the cardholder and they will be required to reimburse the university. This includes partial refunds; the cardholder would be responsible for any remaining amount that was not refunded by the supplier.
Purchases made for employee convenience must be reimbursed to the university.
Restricted P-Card Commodities (may require additional action)
Mandatory state contract items. Items covered by mandatory state contracts may not be purchased using the P-Card unless the purchase is from the state contract vendor at or below the state contract price. Procurement Services can provide written documentation about state contract vendors willing to accept the P-Card. For example, office supplies, paper products, such as paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue, copy paper, etc., must be purchased as allowed by state contract. For ease of purchase, many of these items are carried by UA Little Rock Central Stores. The state contract number must be included in the memo of the credit card verification.
Non-mandatory or cooperative contract items. Items covered by non-mandatory or cooperative contracts may be purchased using the P-Card if purchasing from a contract vendor. The cooperative contract number must be included in the memo of the credit card verification.
Promotional items. Promotional or novelty items requiring an approved UA Little Rock logo/brand or an approved logo/brand of a specific program may not be purchased with a P-Card unless the item(s) are approved by the Office of Communications, ensuring branding and design meet university specifications and standards. All purchases for promotional items, regardless of cost or method of procurement, must be processed with a competitive quote bid, cooperative contract, or formal bid. Refer to Procurement of Promotional Products on Procurement Services’ website for comprehensive information on this process.
Food, meals, and beverages. Food (grocery store), meals, and beverages may be allowed only with prior approval from Procurement Services. Approval is rare. A Special Meeting Form and/or Sodexo waiver may be required prior to authorization to use the P-Card for these purchases.
Furniture. Purchase of small furniture items is allowed on the P-Card without prior approval. However, large furniture purchases (i.e., purchases that exceed bid limits or if an office is being outfitted) should follow the normal requisition and purchase order process to ensure that state contracts are used and the best price is obtained.
Gift cards. Any gift card purchase must be pre-approved via email by the Director of Procurement Services. The approval request should include:
- The number of gift cards needed.
- Amount of the gift cards.
- Their purpose and the event associated with the purchase (if applicable).
- Who will be receiving the gift cards.
Computers, laptops, and tablets. Any information technology-related purchase must be pre-approved by IT Services, per the Technology Purchases Procedures. Additionally, approval to use the P-Card must be granted by the IT Services Procurement Specialist. Low-cost cabling or connectivity-related cords and devices are an exception to this provision.
Fixed Assets. Items that require an inventory tag.
Note: Technology vendors are required by Arkansas law to complete a Voluntary Products Accessibility Template (VPAT) prior to any information technology-related purchase. This form certifies that the purchased technology is accessible to visually impaired or blind individuals. Procurement Services and IT Services will ensure that the VPAT form is in place prior to purchase, which is the purpose of the pre-approval process outlined above and further detailed in the Technology Purchase Procedures.
Cardholders are required to store credit cards and CTS Account information in a safe, secure location. Only the approved cardholder or liaison is allowed to make purchases using the university-issued credit card or account information and is prohibited from allowing anyone else to use their credit card or CTS account.
If a credit card or CTS Account information is lost or stolen, the cardholder/liaison must immediately report the loss to the issuing bank, their direct supervisor, and the appropriate expense team member. If the occurrence happens after business hours, the cardholder should immediately call the issuing bank to report the loss or theft. An email can be sent to immediate supervisors and the Expense Team member the next business day. The bank’s telephone number is located on the back of credit cards and should be recorded and stored in an alternative location for accessibility in case of emergency.
All items purchased must abide by UA Board of Trustees policy and/or UA Little Rock policy. Some purchases may require accepted terms and conditions adhering to the approval process and an official UA Little Rock signature. The cardholder should never, under any circumstances, be involved or associated in such scenarios and should never execute a purchase using their university-issued credit card without the consent of Procurement Services (e.g., the supplier asks you to sign an agreement as a condition of the purchase).
Split purchasing is the splitting or fragmenting of a purchase greater than the single transaction limit on the card or $20,000, whichever is lower, and paying for the item(s) in separate payments of less than the single transaction limit on the card or $20,000, whichever is lower over an interval of time, to allow for a larger purchase on the P-Card or to exceed the bid threshold. Individual purchases to any merchant may not exceed the single transaction limit on the card or $20,000, whichever is lower. Purchases exceeding the single transaction limit on the card or $20,000, whichever is lower, must be purchased utilizing the requisition to purchase order process. Intentional splitting of a purchase to circumvent UA Little Rock procurement policies and procedures will result in cancellation of the P-Card (in addition to any other disciplinary action) and may result in civil or criminal penalties.
New cardholders and coordinators are required to attend instructor-led training, whether it be virtual or in person, before receiving their credit card or the CTS Account information. New managers must also attend training.
Existing cardholders, coordinators, cost center managers, and managers are required to complete retraining annually as set out in UA Little Rock’s Procurement Cards Policy 308.6. This training may be online or face-to-face.
Verification (see Verify Transactions for process details) is required for all transactions made using a university-issued credit card or CTS Account. If a transaction has not been reconciled, Procurement Services will send out a notification of possible non-compliance. If the requested documentation is not submitted to Procurement Services within the noted time frame, the P-Card will be suspended until such time as the documentation is submitted and has satisfied the requirement per the Compliance Process listed below.