Cardholder Responsibilities

How to Check your Balance

Please call the number on the back of your P-Card for automated information on your balance and remaining credit for the month cycle. Funds are reset on the 21st each month.

Reporting with iBuy+ Expense

At the direction of your Department/School, report your P-Card transactions in a timely manner through the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System.

All P-Card transactions will be transmitted to the iBuy Expense Reporting System under the Cardholder's account associated with the P-Card as follows: 

GW receives nightly downloads from the Bank on P-Card transactions they have received from suppliers. GW then disperses this information to the users with the designated P-Card account numbers into the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System. If the supplier has not transmitted the information to the Bank then GW has not received the information to disburse into the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System. Suppliers may take up to two weeks to transmit to the Bank. Once the transactions are visible in the Available Expenses section in the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System, they are available to be placed on an expense report.  It is suggested that Cardholders view the training on expense report creation related to the next steps.

Supporting Documentation

What Constitutes “proper” supporting documentation for Purchases and Cash Advances?  Per university policy, purchases of $75 or less do not require the submission of a receipt when submitting an expense report in the iBuy+ Expense Reporting system. It is the Cardholder's responsibility to gather and retain supporting documentation for P-Card purchases. This documentation will take the form of a supplier-produced document that contains detailed information regarding the transaction. This includes cash register receipts, charge slips, invoices, and/or computer screen printouts. The documentation should always contain the following information:

  • merchant name and address;
  • unit prices;
  • transaction total amount;
  • transaction date; and,
  • transaction details: item description(s), quantities ordered and received.

For travel and entertainment expenses, additional documentation may be required, such as hotel folios, airline flight coupons, etc. Additionally, business meals and entertainment require special notes submitted via the iBuy Expense Reporting System such as:

  • Attendees’ names, titles and affiliations (company or organization). If this is a meal for just yourself, then you must add your name as attendee; and,
  • The specific business purpose of the meal/entertainment.    

How do I repay the university for personal charges and cash advance balances? The preferred method to reimburse GW for a personal expense on a P-Card is by credit card using this link: Enter the $ amount owed and click Make Payment to go to the first screen for entering the repayment details. Since you must report the expense and include a receipt, you will be asked to provide the Report Name or Report Key as well as the P-Card holder’s name if the card charged belonged to someone else. Alternately, you can mail the check and backup documentation indicating what the payment is for to: The George Washington University AP Lockbox P.O. Box 826600 Philadelphia, PA 19182-6600

Please refer to the Travel, Entertainment and Business Expense Reimbursement Manual for more detailed information. For all other P-Card transactions, the Cardholder is required to attach images of their receipts to the expense line item when preparing or submitting their expense report. If documentation is lost, the Cardholder must contact the supplier to request a reprint.  If the supplier cannot provide documentation, the Cardholder must complete a memo in its place, outlining the details of the transaction and the reason why the original documentation was not provided.  This memo must be countersigned by the Cardholder's manager and attached as the replacement receipt inside the expense report.

P-Card is declined

Your transaction will be declined at the point-of-sale for the following reasons: 

  • The transaction exceeds the $3,500 Single Transaction Limit electronically encoded into your P-Card and you did not receive authorization for a limit increase prior to purchase. Purchases that exceed the Single Transaction Limit must be made via an Oracle on-line requisition or Blanket Purchase Order release. Splitting an order that exceeds $3,500 into multiple charges to avoid this limit is a violation of policy and transgressors are subject to disciplinary action.
  • The transaction causes you to exceed your Billing Cycle spending limit. The default spending limit is $10,000 per cycle unless the limit set by your Finance Director, Dean or Financial Manager differs from this amount. The P-Card’s Billing Cycle runs from the 22nd of one month to the 21st of the following month.
  • The supplier’s Merchant Category Code (MCC) is blocked. Every merchant that accepts a credit card has an assigned four-digit Merchant Category Code that identifies the type of goods/services provided. GW has decided to “turn off” MCC codes of vendors who sell items that are never allowed on a P-Card. If an MCC code is turned off, the P-Card will be declined. Please note: MCC blocking may not automatically prevent a purchase that is not authorized. You must always adhere to the P-Card guidance and not depend on MCC blocking to decide whether or not a purchase is authorized.  

If your P-Card is declined, contact the P-Card Office at 571-553-4267. Be prepared to provide details about the transaction. Declines can often be corrected with a call to the bank by a P-Card representative.

Note: Although not technically declined, some transactions are blocked by the vendor due to an error in the Billing Address. When asked for a Billing Address, always provide your physical office address, not the address of Accounts Payable.

Lost or Stolen

If your P-Card is lost or stolen, immediately notify the bank at 1-800-316-6056.  when calling the bank, be sure to have your GWID available.  The bank uses your GWID with a "6" instead of a "G" as your SSN when requested. Bank customer service is available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. A replacement card with a new number will be issued to you. In the event that a P-Card is found after having reported it to the bank as lost or stolen, the old card must be immediately cut in half and disposed of.

Transferring at GW

If a GW P-Card holder transfers to another department:

The Finance Director of the new department must send a request into [email protected]:

  • Requesting that the individual be moved.
  • Needs to provide the new Backup 1 and 2 (optional) approvers
  • Needs to provide the new alias for the employee. 

The employee needs to:

  • Make sure all charges from their previous department are reconciled in Concur.
  • Provide their new business address and phone number to [email protected]. At this time it’s good to also confirm your home address and cell phone.
  • That any auto billed accounts are adjusted as needed.
  • Update to their new default approver.

Please do not have the employee apply for a new card.  If a new card number is needed to assist with the transition that can be done with the current account.

Leaving GW

If a GW P-Card holder is leaving GW, the Cardholder must:

  • Email [email protected] with a cc to their Finance Director stating the GW P-Card (include the last 4 digits only) was destroyed.
    • The P-Card Department will cancel the P-Card.
  • Assign at least one individual to be your delegate in Concur for any outstanding charges or credits.
  • Submit a report clearing out any current P-Card charges.
  • Provide full back-up on any outstanding charges to their delegate and Finance Director. This information should include, itemized receipts, business reason, attendee’s names (if needed), itemizations (if needed), Oracle Alias (if charges should be assigned to another) and any other information needed for these transactions. Items without backup will be considered personal use costs and put on the employee’s year end W2.
Prohibited Purchases

P-Cards may be used to buy anything EXCEPT the unauthorized/prohibited items listed below:

  1. Any order that exceeds the established Single Transaction Limit for the P-Card holder. A transaction may consist of one or many items. Splitting a large order into multiple transactions each less than the established Single Transaction Limit for the P-Card holder is prohibited and may result in card suspension. However, transactions greater than the established Single Transaction Limit for the P-Card holder may be allowed if preapproved in writing by Finance Directors, Deans or Associate Vice Presidents. Refer to the university’s Procurement Manual for additional information about the required documentation on P-Card transactions and thresholds for competition.
  2. Services rendered by an individual or sole-proprietor LLC regardless of dollar amount due to the university’s Workers Classification Form requirement and/or the potential for tax reporting requirements.  Please consult the Tax Department's website for the exemption to the WCF requirement job classifications.  These services may be able to be paid on a P-Card.  Please contact the P-Card office for further information if your service appears on the exemption listing.
  3. Gasoline for personal vehicles.
  4. Payments to any school, department or division of GWU or the MFA cannot be made on a P-Card.  A journal entry must be used to transfer funds between various schools, departments and divisions at GW and  also at the MFA.  
  5. Laboratory Animal orders placed by anyone other than the Animal Research Facility.
  6. Goods and Services greater than $3,500 unless the P-Card is being used as the payment method to satisfy a previously executed contract. When the services are paid by the P-Card over $25,000, a copy of the executed contract with the receipt and invoice must be attached to the expense report.
  7. Prizes, awards, and gift certificates, such as gift cards and cash equivalents (GWorld debit cards) unless approved in advance in writing by the Finance Director for the School/Division. The Gift Card Request Form must be submitted in advance of purchase along with any justification documents tied to the university’s competitive thresholds. These approvals must be attached to the expense report as an additional receipt(s) related to the transaction(s). If the purchase is federally funded and greater than $3,500, then a Justification and Approval Form, executed by Procurement, must be included as part of the documentation for the purchase. Utilize the Gift Card Request form in the Concur Request module at for approval to purchase cards in advance of purchase. 
  8. Radioactive materials unless ordered by the Radiation Safety Office.
  9. Special Occasion Items for specific individuals (flowers, fruit baskets, candy, balloons, etc.), unless approved in advance by a Vice President, Dean or Associate Vice President. The approval document must be submitted with the expense report as an additional receipt related to the transaction.
  10. Any purchase prohibited by another university policy.
Security/Fraudulent Charges

P-Card Security

The Cardholder’s name is embossed on the P-Card. Cardholders must safeguard their P-Card as they would their own credit cards. Since the Cardholder is the only person authorized to use the P-Card and is solely responsible for every transaction on the P-Card, the employee should NOT allow anyone else to use a P-Card. An employee is responsible for safeguarding both the P-Card assigned to them as well as the account number against theft and unauthorized usage.

  • Remember that the account number can be found on receipts, charge slips, faxes, and invoices. If you use the P-Card to make telephone purchases, be aware that your card number may be overheard.
  • If you suspect that your account number has been stolen, contact the bank immediately to have the account closed.
  • P-Card misuse will lead to the cancellation of the P-Card account and may result in termination from GW employment and/or prosecution.

J.P. Morgan Cardholders only – If you believe an item is an error or fraudulent, you must first call JPM, 800-316-6056.  JPM will email you documentation to be filled out and returned to them.

NOTE: J.P Morgan Cardholders – When calling the bank and you are asked for your social security number, give your GWID number dropping the G and replacing it with the number 6 example: (612345678).

Security Protection by J.P,Morgan

To protect cardholders' information, J.P. Morgan continuously monitors trends in fraud, and strives to introduce new solutions to protect our J.P. Morgan commercial card program. Their newest solution is Mastercard SecureCode® and requires no action from cardholders to implement.

Below are the three common fraud areas and the solutions they've put in place to protect your card:

Fraud Type Counterfeit Account Takeover Fraud Card Not Present
What it is Criminals make fake cards by skimming the data contained on magnetic stripe. A fraudster is in possession of card information as well as personal identifiable information and uses this stolen data to impersonate the cardholder with Customer Service to override transactions or alter data. A card transaction is made when the card and cardholder are not present and easily verified (e.g., online purchases).
What we've done Replace magnetic strip cards with chip cards. One Time Passcode for high risk transaction verification.

Mastercard SecureCode - New!

Verified by Visa (2015)

Mastercard SecureCode is a fraud protection service that adds an extra layer of security to make it harder for someone else to use your Mastercard commercial card to shop online. Mastercard SecureCode is available now.

How it works:

Mastercard SecureCode will launch automatically at participating online stores for certain transactions. There is no special software to install. Cardholders will continue to shop as usual. Their Mastercard card number will be automatically recognized at checkout.  After the account number has been entered and the order submitted, a Mastercard SecureCode authentication window will appear.



PNC Cardholders only -  If you believe an item is an error or fraudulent, you must first call PNC, 800-685-4039.  Then complete this PNC form and fax it to 269-973-1688 or Email it.

NOTE: PNC Cardholders – When calling the bank and you are asked for your password, give them the last four digits of your GWID.

If you have any questions, please contact your program coordinator or the Program Coordinator Team at 1-800-207-5359.

If a transaction is declined:

Cardholders will call the phone number provided in the pop-up window to speak with customer support.


Unauthorized vs Unwise Purchases

A test of propriety should be used to evaluate whether or not an expenditure is an appropriate use of university funds. The list below contains questions designed to test the propriety of expenses by forming an evaluation framework. An expenditure of university funds will be considered proper only if it meets all of the tests of propriety.  All of the questions that follow must be answered prior to making an expenditure using university funds. In order for expenditures to be considered an appropriate use of university funds, the answer to each of the questions must be “yes.” Is this transaction:

  • For official university business?
  • In the best interest of the university?
  • The most effective way to accomplish official university business? Meaning that, without the expenses, would programmatic objectives be difficult or otherwise more costly to achieve? Or would the impact, level, or quality of the achievement be reduced?
  • In compliance with applicable policies, laws, regulations, and rules; as well as research contracts, grants, and donor restrictions including having the required approvals and authorizations by the appropriate fiscal role?
  • Within the available resources of the department/school, taking into consideration all outstanding commitments and encumbrances?
  • Directly beneficial to the department /school where it is being charged?
  • Reasonable? Meaning that the quantity and quality of goods or services being purchased is sufficient to meet the university’s identified need without exceeding it.
  • In compliance with the university's Conflict of Interest provisions? Meaning that, if an employee derives private gain, or appears to derive private gain, as a result of the transaction, then the transaction violates the conflict of interest provisions stated in the university's Conflict of Interest policies.

If any of these questions receives a “no” response, then the transaction is not appropriate for university funds. Evaluating the propriety of university expenses requires exercising a high degree of judgment and discernment. Therefore, consider the following when deciding whether or not a particular transaction is a proper use of university funds.

  • Would someone outside of the school/department- such as a student, a parent, or alum – consider the expenditure to be a reasonable and necessary expense of funds?
  • Would you want others – such as newspaper, radio, television, or other media outlets – to know and report about what you have decided?

When making a purchase, always think about whether an outsider, such as the general public or an auditor, would consider the expenditure a reasonable expense for university business and an appropriate use of university funds.

How Do I Make a Purchase

The P-Card can be used in every way that a credit card can be used: in a store, over the telephone, fax, Internet, etc. When making a P-Card purchase, a cardholder should:

  • Ensure that the purchase is not restricted by GW policy (P-Card Policy), departmental policy, or any other university policy).
  • Ensure that approvals when required have been obtained (e.g., department head, OVPR, etc.).
  • Be sure to tell the supplier that GW is tax exempt and present them with a copy of GW's Tax Exempt Certificate.
  • Gather and retain all required supporting documentation for each transaction.
  • Inform the supplier that they should forward all invoices, receipts, etc., directly to the Cardholder.
  • Invoices, receipts, etc. must be attached as images in the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System when filing an expense report.
Sponsored Research Purchases

Purchases to be made from Sponsored Research funding are restricted to those that are part of the award’s Allowable Cost Schedule. The specific terms and conditions of each award also supersede any other provisions of this policy. Using a P-Card with Sponsored Research funds requires additional diligence and oversight by all departmental participants in the program. It is your responsibility to adhere not only to P-Card and GW Policy, but also to the Allowed Cost Schedule and any terms or conditions specific to your Award(s). Any charge that is found to be in violation of ANY of these policies or restrictions will be removed from the sponsored award and charged back to the cardholder’s home department. When requesting a P-Card for use with Sponsored Research, keep in mind that:

  • All responsibility for ensuring that purchases are allowable under the terms of your Award lies with the Cardholder.
  • All responsibility for assigning each transaction the proper Oracle alias and account number lie with the Cardholder.

IMPORTANT:  If you have questions as to whether or not a purchase is allowable or to which Oracle account and alias a transaction should be properly assigned, consult your Sponsored Research Administrator.

Delegates Expense Reporting

A Cardholder may have one or more delegates who can create expense reports on behalf of the cardholder. The person processing P-Card Transactions in the iBuy+ Expense System (Cardholder or Delegate) is responsible for:

  • Verifying that when serving as a delegate for another user, the message, “You are Administering for Jane Doe” is at the top of the Expense Reporting screen. Please review Expense Training if you are unsure of this step.
  • Attaching any required transaction documentation to the monthly expense report.
  • Ensuring that each transaction has a valid Expense Type (Account) and Business Purpose.
Transaction Rules

All transactions on assigned cards must be:

  • In accordance with university policies.
  • Properly reported to the appropriate Oracle account and alias within 30 days of the transaction date.
  • Supported with ALL necessary documentation.
  • Approved at all required levels.
Cash Advance Exception

J.P. Morgan Cardholders - Cardholders requesting to have their cash limit increased over $2,500 must complete the Cash Advance Exception Request Form. This form must be completed and sent to your Financial Director for review. The FD should forward the completed form to [email protected]. The p-card office will send it to J.P. Morgan for their approval which could take up to 3-5 business days. 

PNC Cardholders wishing to have their cash limit increased should send their request to their Financial Director. The FD will send the email request to [email protected].

Vendor Problem

In the case of a problem with a purchase (damaged goods, short-shipped items, incorrect billing amount, etc.), the first call should be to the supplier (within 3-5 days of delivery) to correct the problem. Informing the P-Card department of the dispute does not result in any action towards resolution. If a credit is granted, it will be processed via the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System as a separate transaction (from the original transaction). Both the erroneous charge and the credit should be allocated to the proper Oracle alias and account on the same report. Contact Procurement at 4-2500 within 30 days of the transaction date if a vendor is unwilling or unable to correct the situation.

Delinquent Reporting

P-Card Delinquent Reporting Protocol

The protocol has multiple purposes:

  • Obtain immediate action from employees and PCard holders to submit an expense report to address the aging charges.
  • Define the escalation path when timely action by the PCard holder does not occur. At 40 days, escalation to the employee’s manager will occur.
  • Define appropriate time frame for additional corrective activity such as declining reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, suspension of PCard privileges and including the amount on the employee’s W-2.

More details regarding delinquent reporting can be found here.