Finance Director Responsibilities

Determining Which Staff Members Should Have a P-Card: Setting the Thresholds for Single Transactions and Monthly Spend

Any GW employee or student (provided that they are working on behalf of the University) is eligible to apply for a P-Card. In determining need, do the following situations apply:

  • Is this person regularly required to transact business or complete transactions on behalf of the University?
  • Will this person be responsible for adhering to policies and procedures?
  • Are there already other Cardholders within the department that could make purchases for this person?

Should changes in single transaction thresholds or monthly spend be required, only the Finance Director* or authorized Backup* named in the P-Card Enrollment Form shall be allowed to make changes.  Changes should be made via a P-Card Program Maintenance Request Form or by email from the Finance Director to the P-Card Office. Please review the rules below.

Remember: P-Cards are not departmental P-Cards and may not be shared among coworkers. The only person authorized to use a P-Card is the person whose name is embossed on the P-Card. Departments may have as many Cardholders as they require.

Please note:  An administrative cardholder may place their card information within the iBuy+ Travel profile of faculty and staff within their Division/School. The cardholder then is responsible for all charges made on that card for individuals booking tickets through iBuy+ Travel. The Cardholder must remain in possession of the card at all time.

PCard Rules

Who is Authorized to request the follow?

Financial Director* Backup1 (Required) & Backup2 (Optional) *
Request new PCard for Employee via the Enrollment Form Yes No
Assign a FD Backup1 & 2 User Yes No
Card deactivation Yes Yes
Card Limit Increases/Decreases Yes Yes
Request PCard Reports Yes No
Resubmit FD Reports w/ Changes Yes No

NOTE: No deviation beyond the stated P-Card responsibilities will be considered.

Ensuring That All Policies and Procedures Have Been Followed

To ensure that your Cardholders are making authorized purchases and charging to the correct Oracle alias and account, you must be familiar with the GW Travel and Entertainment Policy. Remember the importance of having every transaction supported by appropriate documentation. If you find that a Cardholder has made an unauthorized purchase, notify the P-Card department immediately.

It is the at Financial Director/Manager's discretion as to how closely a cardholder needs to be monitored. It is your responsibility to both safeguard the budget and to ensure that card usage is following GW policy. It is recommended that BPR's be routinely reviewed to ensure that all P-Card transactions are being posted to the proper Oracle account and alias.

A Departmental Correction Form is used to correct an error in the P-Card/Oracle Allocation process. The Office of Research Services must approve Departmental Correction forms for charges to sponsored projects. Excessive use of the Departmental Correction Form to correct budget allocations may lead to the closure of that P-Card.

Expense Reporting Process

The expense reporting process is the link between what was charged on the P-Card and where that charge appears on your Budget Performance Report (BPR).

On a monthly basis, the Finance Director will review expense reports for all assigned Cardholders who made purchases, and should take any appropriate actions for violations.

 

Transferring Departments or Leaving GW

If a P-Card holder is transferring departments or leaving GW, he/she is not able to keep their assigned GW P-Card.

Transferring

If a GW P-Card user transfers to another department, they must contact the P-Card Department prior to their final day in their old position via email only, addressed as follows:

  • Email to:  pcard@gwu.edu
  • CC to: your Financial Director
  • Subject: Cancel P-Card Account

The P-Card user must include the following information in the body of their email: Indicate that the GW P-Card (include the last 4 digits only) that was assigned  was destroyed. They must indicate what transactions are outstanding and not reconciled with Accounts Payable. The P-Card holder will be responsible for reconciling these and any transactions they incurred for GW. The P-Card Department will then cancel their assigned P-Card and their Financial Director (who must be CC'ed) will be responsible for any additional information on the email.

To obtain a new P-Card, a separate transaction/email is needed from the user and FD with a new P-Card enrollment form filled out.

Leaving GW

If a P-Card holder is leaving GW, they must notify the P-Card Office prior to leaving GW via email only, addressed as follows:

  • Email to:  pcard@gwu.edu
  • CC to: your Financial Director
  • Subject:  Cancel P-Card Account

The Cardholder must include the following information in the body of the email:  Indicate that the GW P-Card (include the last 4 digits only) that was assigned  was destroyed. Include the information of any outstanding transactions that are not reconciled with Accounts Payable. This information should include 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 the assigned P-Card and the Financial Director (who must be CC’ed) will use the additional information to reconcile the outstanding transactions. The FD must then email the P-Card Department indicating a Delegate (GW Employee) who can be assigned to this employees account in order to finished any unreconciled P-Card transactions that are outstanding.  The Expense Report Administrator will assign this Delegate to the account and will notify the FD when complete. At that time, the Delegate is responsible for reconciling the former employee's P-Card transactions and the FD is responsible for ensuring that the Expense Report is submitted in a timely manner.

NOTE: For your protection and GW’s it is required that this information is done via email to the P-Card department and your Finance Director/Manager as opposed to verbal notification.  These steps are taken to ensure the integrity of the P-Card Office, in keeping with the fiduciary duty of Procurement.

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.