Each cardholder is responsible for

Transaction Rules, All transactions on assigned cards must be:

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.

P-Card Security/Fraudulent Charges/Card Security Access

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).

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.

            

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 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?

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.

Prohibited Purchases

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. Laboratory Animal orders placed by anyone other than the Animal Research Facility.
  5. 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, a copy of the executed contract with the receipt and invoice must be attached to the expense report.
  6. 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. A copy of the Gift Card Purchase Request Form is available on the Procurement website at https://procurement.gwu.edu/forms
  7. Radioactive materials unless ordered by the Radiation Safety Office.
  8. 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.
  9. Any purchase prohibited by another university policy.

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.

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.

What to do if your 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 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 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.

What to do if your P-Card is 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.

P-Card transaction and using the iBuy+ Expense Reporting system

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 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.

Delegates and 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.

Resolving a Problem with a Vendor

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.

Supporting Documentation

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, 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.

Escalation Procedure for Exceptions

Notification Protocol for Delinquent Reporting

NOTE: Please review the iBuy Expense Reporting Frequently Asked Questions located on the GW iBuy site for more information about expense reporting. 

 

What is the purpose of the protocol?

The protocol has multiple purposes as described below.

  • 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.

 

Why is the protocol being implemented?

The protocol is being implemented to promote timely submission of expense reports and timely recognition of the related expenses.

 

Who is included in the protocol?

The protocol includes all purchasing card (PCard) holders, without exception.

 

When will the charge privileges be revoked?

Revocation of charge privileges will occur when charges remain unsubmitted at 60 days from the card’s transaction date. In addition, the charges will be reported on the employees’ Form W-2 at 60 days, if no action is taken. Once charges are added to an employee’s W-2 form, the related expenses will not be reversed and the W-2 will not be amended.

 

When will charges be reported on employees’ W-2 forms?

Charges will be reported on employees’ W-2 60 days after the transaction date if no action is taken to address them through the submission of an expense report. Once charges are added to an employee’s W-2, the related expenses will not be reversed and the W-2 will not be amended.

 

Will card privileges be reinstated when the expense reports are submitted or the charges are included on the employee’s W-2?

Once PCard privileges are revoked, the PCard holder will be barred from reapplying for a PCard for a year.  An employee can request a PCard, which will be reviewed by the finance director and Procurement, after one year from the suspension.   If privileges are revoked a second time for delinquent reporting, the suspension will be permanent.

 

Can I apply for a new PCard if my charge privileges are revoked?

After 60 days without action, an employee will be barred from reinstating the revoked PCard for a year. An employee can request a PCard after a year, and that request will be reviewed by the finance director and Procurement. If privileges are revoked a second time for delinquent reporting, the suspension will be permanent.

 

How is the aging of a transaction being calculated?

Aging is calculated by using the transaction date reported by the card company and the current date.

 

What if I submit an expense report but approval does not occur in a timely manner?

The aging of the PCard transaction stops when it is included in a submitted expense report. The employee will not be impacted by a submitted expense report pending approval by management, OVPR, Accounts Payable or others involved in the approval process.

 

What if the aged charges are related to fraudulent activity?

No aging of fraudulent charges should occur. Employees who have a university PCard have a responsibility to review charges in a timely manner for accuracy and validity. If a fraudulent charge occurs, timely reporting of the charge to JP Morgan, the card issuer, must occur. Once the fraudulent charge is reported, JP Morgan will issue a provisional credit. The charge and the credit should be submitted on the same expense report.  If an employee through inactivity allows a fraudulent charge to remain unreported to the card-issuing company, he or she is responsible for the aged transaction pursuant to this protocol.

 

What if I submit an expense report but it is returned to me by one of the approvers?

Unsubmitted transactions are defined as transactions not yet included on an expense report or included on an expense report but not yet submitted for approval.

 

What if I cannot locate a receipt for one of the aged charges?

Contact the merchant and request a copy of the itemized, detailed receipt. Most merchants, including hotels, car rental agencies, and restaurants, will provide a copy of a receipt upon request.

If a copy of the receipt cannot be obtained from the merchant, either the Missing Receipt Affidavit form accessed by the Attach Receipt button within your report or the Missing Acknowledgement and Approval Form must be uploaded as the receipt.  Delegates must use the Missing Receipt Acknowledgement and Approval Form.

Please note that only expenses above $35.00 must be reported. The form must be completed in its entirety, signed by the employee and approved by the management representative to whom the employee reports. Note that the form is not intended to replace a missing/lost receipt on a consistent basis.  Lost/missing receipts should be infrequent and unusual, as most receipts can be reprinted or easily requested (i.e., hotels, catering, restaurants if the date is provided) from the merchant, and they should generally be for small dollar amounts.

 

What if I am on extended business travel with limited access to the internet and cannot submit my expense report?

Expense reports must be submitted as often as access to the internet is available. Alternatively, an option is to make arrangements through your finance director to assign a delegate who can submit the report(s) on your behalf while you are on travel. This requires, however, providing the delegate with the receipts and the pertinent information to allow him/her to accurately create and submit a timely report on your behalf. Although a delegate is assigned, it does not diminish your responsibility for the expense reports’ timely completion and accuracy.

 

When will new employees be aware of the protocol?

Any new employee who will hold a PCard will receive training on the protocol as part of the PCard training. The PCard training is required before a PCard is issued.

 

When can I submit an expense report?

Employees are encouraged to submit expense reports as frequently as possible to ensure timely recognition of the related expenses and to prevent PCard transactions from aging. Therefore, an employee who is on extended travel should submit reports during the travel and not wait until his/her return to the office. Travelers can use tools such as the Concur Mobile App for smartphones to facilitate uploading receipt images and submitting expense reports at home or while traveling.

 

I purchase tickets and other travel costs 60 days or more ahead of a trip to get good prices. If we can’t submit expenses until after the trip is over; how do we avoid an issue with the 60 day policy?

Out of pocket transactions should be submitted within 60 days following the completion of travel.  Conversely, travel purchased on a P-card should be submitted within 30 days of the transaction date.  It’s recommended that costs be put on a P-Card whenever possible and not a personal card.

 

My out of pocket expenses are only for purchases and not travel.  What date do I use for the under 60 day requirement? 

The transaction date on the receipt.

 

What do I do if my PTA number is not available in time to submit within the 60 days.

 

Please reach out to Donna Ginter to assist if your trip is nearing the 60 day time frame. Alternatively, you may assign any expense to your R or C fund, and then transfer the charge to the PTA once established.  We cannot take action on awards until which time OVPR has built them within the Grants module.

Transferring Departments or Leaving GW

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: pcard@gwu.edu
  • 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:  pcard@gwu.edu
  • 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.