Each cardholder is responsible for
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.
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).
NOTE: PNC Cardholders – When calling the bank and you are asked for your password, give them the last four digits of your GWID.
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 pcard. 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 pcard.
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 (PDF), 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.
P-Cards may be used to buy anything EXCEPT the unauthorized/prohibited items listed below:
- Goods or services for personal or non-university use.
- Travel insurance
- Gasoline for personal vehicles
- A purchase that exceeds $3,000 unless an exception has been granted for the purchase as evidenced by a higher single transaction limit on the card. As a standard practice, orders over $3,000 should go through the Procurement Department, regardless of the unit price unless the card is being used as a settlement tool for an underlying agreement. Transactions greater than $3,000 may be allowed if pre-approved by Finance Directors, Deans or Associate Vice-Presidents.
- Splitting a large order into multiple transactions each no more than $3,000 is not allowed. The $3,000 limit includes all fees (shipping, handling, or set-up).
- Prizes, awards, gift cards, gift certificates and other cash equivalents.
- To originate a new lease or contract that commits the university to a series of recurring payments such as leases or other contractual agreements regardless of the cost. Cards may be used to make payments on these agreements once properly reviewed and vetted through the Office of General Counsel.
- Radioactive materials (order via the Radiation Safety Office).
- Hazardous chemicals (contact Risk Management Office of Lab Safety and Compliance).
- Laboratory animals (unless ordered via the Animal Research Facility).
- Professional Services unless the P-Card is being used as a payment method to satisfy a previously executed agreement.
- Special occasion items for individuals unless approved in advance by a Vice President.
- Any purchase prohibited by another GW policy
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.
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.
Your transaction will be declined at the point-of-sale for the following reasons:
- The transaction exceeds the $3,000 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 $3,000 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 $5,000 per cycle unless an increase was approved by your Finance Director, Dean or Financial Manager. The P-Card’s Billing Cycle runs from the 21st of one month to the 20th 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 3-4267. 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.
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.
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 the Available Card Charges section in the iBuy+ Expense Reporting System, then 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.
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.
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.
What Constitutes “proper” supporting documentation for Purchases and Cash Advances? Per university policy, purchases of $35 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? Please 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 and Entertainment Policy (PDF) 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.
As Accounts Payable Services is responsible for ensuring that the program complies with university policies and procedures, P-Card documentation submissions are reviewed for accuracy, completeness, and propriety of expenditures. Exceptions to GW policies are pursued with the cardholder for resolution. When resolution cannot be attained, the issues are escalated to a higher level, as follows:
|Type of Exception||1st Offense *||2nd Offense *||3rd Offense|
|No report submitted||45 Days after transactions date: Cardholder and Approver are notified and P-CARD SUSPENDED.|
|Processing error (1)||Cardholder notified||Escalated to Approver||Escalated to Approver's Supervisor. If not resolved within 5 working days, P-CARD SUSPENDED.|
|Error in judgment (2)||Cardholder and Approver notified||Escalated to Approver and Approver's Supervisor||P-Card Department will escalate to Executive Director of Procurement and Travel Services for further action|
|Potential fraud by Cardholder||Procurement will escalate this directly to the Finance Director and AVP for Financial Management.|
*1st and 2nd Offenses not resolved within 5 working days are automatically escalated to the next level.
(1) This includes items such as missing receipts, reports not completed, unsigned documents, etc.
(2) These are violations of policy as well as the “unwise” transactions discussed in the above section.
These steps are taken to ensure the integrity of the P-Card Program, in keeping with the fiduciary duty of Procurement
If you are transferring departments or leaving GW, you are not able to keep your GW P-Card.
If you transfer to another department, you must contact the P-Card Department prior to your final day in your old position via email only, with the following information:
- Email to: email@example.com
- CC to: your Finance Director/Manager
- Subject: Cancel P-Card Account
Include the following information in the body of your email: Indicate that the GW P-Card (include the last 4 digests only) that was assigned to you was destroyed. You will be responsible to reconcile these and any transactions you incurred for GW. The P-Card Department will then cancel your assigned P-Card and your Financial Director/Manager (who must be CC'ed) will use the additional information to reconcile the outstanding transactions.
To obtain a new P-Card, a separate transaction/email is needed from you. Please fill out a new P-Card Enrollment Form (PDF) to obtain a new GW P-Card for the new department.
If you are leaving GW, you must notify the P-Card Office prior to leaving GW via email only with the following information:
- Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- CC to: your Finance Director/Manager
- Subject: Cancel P-Card Account
Include the following information in the body of your email: Indicate that the GW P-Card (include the last 4 digits only) that was assigned to you was destroyed. Include the information of any outstanding transactions that are not reconciled with Accounts Payable. This information should be the dates of these transaction, 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. All receipts for these transactions must be included as attachments. The P-Card Department will then cancel your assigned P-Card and your Financial Director/Manager (who must be CC’ed) will use the additional information to reconcile the outstanding transactions.
NOTE: For your protection and GW’s it is required that this information is done via email to the P-Card Department along with your Financial Director as opposed to verbal notification. These steps are taken to ensure the integrity of the P-Card Program, in keeping with the fiduciary duty of Procurement.