Purchasing Card Program
The purpose of the Saint Michael’s College, JPMorgan Chase Purchasing Card Program is to establish a more efficient, cost-effective method of purchasing. The purchasing card is designed to streamline the procurement process from beginning to end allowing card holders to use the Purchasing Card to virtually eliminate the use of traditional purchase orders, and in many circumstances, the need for check requests or petty cash. The College benefits from reduced paperwork and processing time by the user and in the Purchasing and Accounts Payable functions. This savings of time and money can be substantial. In addition, we will be able to reduce the number of checks processed to multiple suppliers by issuing one payment each month to JPMorgan Chase Bank "JPMorgan", our Corporate Purchasing Card provider. All cards are issued at the request of the appropriate Vice President, Department Chair or Director. Card usage may be audited and/or rescinded at any time by the Purchasing Card Administrator. Record-keeping will be essential to ensure the success of this program. This is not an extraordinary requirement- standard reimbursement policies require retention of receipt, etc. The College’s Travel Policy, Credit Card and Reimbursement Policy and Procedures are applicable to this program.
Obtaining a Card
To apply for a Purchasing Card, please complete the Purchasing Card Application.
The Saint Michael’s College Corporate Purchasing Card is a VisaCard credit card issued by JPMorgan. In order to obtain a Purchasing Card, an applicant will need to complete a Cardholder Application and receive signature approval from the appropriate supervisor. Additionally, the applicant will need to read through the policy and procedures manual and complete the Saint Michael’s College Purchasing Card Agreement. Both the completed Cardholder Application and the Purchasing Card Agreement forms are to be forwarded to the Purchasing Card Administrator, who will submit your application to JPMorgan. Once your application is received by JPMorgan, you should receive your Saint Michael’s Corporate Purchasing card in a week or two. Prior to receiving your card, the Purchasing Card Administrator will provide training on the purchasing card program and the use of the card.
Upon receipt of a Card, the cardholder has been delegated the authority to make appropriate purchases for College purposes only. Intentional use of a card for personal purchases or purchases not in accordance with these procedures may result in card cancellation and disciplinary action up to and including termination. The cardholder is liable to the College for any personal purchases, which are intentionally or inadvertently placed on the card.
The Purchasing Card is a corporate charge card, which will not affect the Cardholder’s personal credit. However, it is the Cardholder’s responsibility to ensure that the card is used within the stated guidelines of this Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures Manual as well as policies and procedures relating to the expenditures of College funds.
Cardholders should always treat their Purchasing Card with at least the same level of care as one does their own personal credit card. The card should be maintained in a secure location and the card account number should be carefully guarded.
Types of Purchases
The intent of the Purchasing Card is to assist in the purchase of and payment for business related goods and services within stated transaction dollar limits (i.e. transaction limits, daily limits, monthly limits, etc).
With regard to the purchasing function of the card, the initial spending limits are as follows:
- $1,000 per occurrence
- $2,500 daily limit
- $5,000 monthly limit
All purchases must be for College related purchases only. Non business related purchases should be avoided.
Reconciling Your Monthly Statement
The billing cycle with JPMorgan ends the 22nd of each month or the next business day. Your monthly statement will be available electronically through PaymentNet from JPMorgan the following business day after the end of the billing cycle. The electronic statement is not a bill; it is for your information and reconciliation purposes. You have three (3) business days from the statement date to perform the electronic reconciliation. You have five (5) business days to return the reports and receipts as detailed below.
Here is how it works:
- Maintain a separate envelope for each billing cycle
- In each separate envelope, keep the corresponding Purchasing Card sales slips and itemized receipts.
- Make sure that you have reviewed all your monthly transactions, for correct general ledger accounting, add notes as necessary, and check off the review box. (See “Cardholders: Reviewing Transactions” on the PaymentNet Placemat.)
- Reconcile your Transaction Detail Report with Account Codes and Notes "Transaction Detail" with the monthly Purchasing Card statement printed by you. Review each charge on the monthly statement to verify it is correct and agrees with the actual receipt.
- The College Travel, Credit Card and Expense Reimbursement Policies and Procedures must be followed. Attach appropriate documentation to the receipt and place in the reconciliation envelope. The policy can be found on the SMCVT web site. Documentation must include business purpose for expenditure, names and business relationships of individuals other than yourself for whom expenditures were made, name and place of the expenditure.
- The Purchasing Card Statement must be signed by the person incurring the charges as well as the person who has authority on the budget(s) charged by the transactions listed. If charges have been allocated to accounts other than those for which the cardholder has budgetary authority, the cardholder must have that budget manager sign the transaction detail report or attach an e-mail providing evidence of approval for that charge.
- Send the “Transaction Detail” and Purchasing Card Statement to the Purchasing Card Administrator within 5 days of the Statement date. The Program administrator will review the transactions and retain the information for seven years.
- Be certain to keep track of returns, credits, or disputed items for future statement reconciliation. In cases of returns, credits, or disputed items, the Purchasing Card holder is responsible for coordinating with the supplier and Visa.
- After reconciliation of each billing statement, resolve any discrepancies.
Returns, Credits and Disputed Items
If you have a problem with a purchased item or billing resulting from use of the Purchasing Card, you should first try to reach a resolution with the supplier that provided the item. In most cases, disputes can be resolved directly between the cardholder and the supplier.
Remember that you as the Purchasing Cardholder are the buyer for the college and are primarily responsible for resolving any returns, credits, and disputed items. Resolve these issues directly with the supplier. Disputed billing may result from failure to receive the materials ordered, fraud or misuse, altered charges, duplicate charges, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts, credits not processed, etc. Ensure the supplier issues a credit for any returned items or the resolution of any quantity ordered vs. quantity received questions. The credits may appear on the subsequent month’s statement based on the billing cycle and the timing of the resolutions. It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to ensure credits are given by the vendor or Visa Card for returned or disputed items. You should not hesitate to contact the Purchasing Card Administrator for whatever assistance you may need. Vendors will issue all credits to the individual Purchasing Card account. Under no circumstances should a Cardholder accept cash in lieu of a credit to the purchasing card account.
If you need to return a purchased item for any reason, request a “Return Goods Authorization Number” from the supplier, record that number on the supplier’s merchandise return form and send it directly to the supplier. Keep a copy of the return form with your purchase receipts in case further follow-up is required.
The supplier should issue a credit for any item that has been discussed and agreed to for return. Request a copy of the credit slip from the supplier. Retain with your Purchasing Card receipts to reconcile with your “Transaction Detail”.
For reconciliation purposes, keep in mind that the charge for the merchandise and the credit for a return item may not be on the same banking statement. Submit receipts for the original charge for the cycle in which it appears. If you need the original receipt because you are making a return, enclose a photocopy of the receipt and enter a note in the PaymentNet Transaction Notes field. Please submit the original receipt when the issue has been resolved. Submit the credit receipt when it appears on the statement cycle.
If you have a disputed charge and cannot reach resolution with the supplier, JP Morgan will send you the Billing Inquiry Form to complete within thirty (30) days of the date that it first appeared on your monthly statement. This must be faxed to JPMorgan. Submit a copy with the “Transaction Detail” on which the disputed item appears.
Audits and Controls within Saint Michael’s
To ensure the continued success of the Purchasing Card Program, audit requirements must be adhere to. Review of transactions will occur when the reconciliation envelopes are received by the Purchasing Card Administrator. A review will be performed to determine compliance with the College’s Travel, Credit Card and Expense Reinbursement Policy and Procedures and to ensure transactions are valid college expenditures.
You must return the Purchasing Card to the Purchasing Card Administrator upon request, transfer to another department, retirement, or termination of employment by the College. To cancel a card, notify the Purchasing Card Administrator, cut the card in half and return it to the administrator. Misuse or noncompliance with the procedures contained in this manual or failure to comply with any of the above responsibilities may result in permanent revocation of your Purchasing Card.
The Purchasing Card is a special type of credit card. Saint Michael’s has the ability to control its use in the following ways:
- Maximum dollar amount of a single transaction- default of $1,000
- Total spending limit per cycle per cardholder- default of $5,000
The purchasing card software can generate extensive usage reports to help manage the purchasing transactions and to help assist in understanding how the College is using the Purchasing Cards.
Purchasing Card and the Accounting System
As noted above, ensure that your transactions have been allocated to the correct general ledger account numbers. There may be accounts available on PaymentNet that are not on your current budget reports, if they better describe the transaction they may be used. If new accounts are used, we will ensure that they are properly reported in Datatel.