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 (PDF). 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

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:

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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