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Title: University Purchasing Card
Subject: Contracting and Procurement
Policy No: FIN: 2016:05
Applies: University-Wide
Issuing Authority: Senior Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Officer: Senior Director of Contracting & Procurement
Adopted: 04/11/2016
Last Revision: 10/31/17
Last Reviewed: 10/31/18


This policy outlines use of the Rowan University Purchasing Card (UPC) Program which authorizes employees to make purchases using a University issued credit card to benefit and support the University’s mission of education, research, and public service.


Under direction of the Vice President for Finance, the Senior Director of the Office of Contracting & Procurement (OCP) shall implement this policy. The Provost, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Chairs and Department directors shall ensure compliance with the policy.


 This policy applies to all authorized University departments and personnel who accept responsibility for use of a University issued UPC.


  1. Purchasing Card Administrator – OCP personnel responsible for issuance/disbursement of UPCs and managing internal controls for the program.
  2. Purchasing Card Reviewer – Designated party responsible for paperwork/follow-up for UPCs issued in the name of a department
  3. Purchasing Cardholder – UPC is issued in an individual’s name
  4. UPC – University Purchasing Card


  1. Rowan University Policy: Receptions and Entertainment
  2. Rowan University Policy: Reimbursements for Travel Related University Business Expenses
  3. All purchases made with a UPC are subject to all appropriate procurement statutes, regulations and policies as noted on the pages of the OCP website.


  1. The University Purchasing Card (UPC) Program is a tool to be utilized by employees to provide authorized University personnel with the ability to make purchases using a credit card when necessary, to benefit and support the University’s mission of education, research, and public service.
    1. UPCs are the property of Rowan University, and are to be used for University business purchases only.  The University is responsible for the purchases made with the UPCs.
      1. Neglect or abuse of UPCs will result in cancellation of the card.
      2. Fraudulent use of the card will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
  2. Rowan University receives various discounts from numerous vendors for products and services. The use of UPCs, in most cases, voids discounts and tax exempt status. All UPC cardholders should use the Banner Purchasing System as the first choice for procurement. The UPC should only be used as a supplement to the purchase order process or in emergency situations.
  3. Completed applications for a UPC must be forwarded to the OCP for approval. Cards can be issued in an individual employee’s name or in the name of the department according to the specific needs of the department.
    1. If the card is issued in a department’s name, the department must designate an individual in the department as an “owner” who will be responsible for ensuring the cards are kept secure, all purchases are acceptable and accounted for, and the necessary purchase documentation is completed.
    2. University “GRANTS” are not eligible for UPC program participation. Purchases for grants cannot be made on a Pcard. If this does occur, the University will require out of pocket reimbursement from the account holder.
  4. General UPC Controls
    1. A combination of intended use, employee responsibilities/regular job duties, MCC blocking schemes, card limits and transaction limits are all taken into consideration when determining the proper card model assigned to each UPC. Card models are Standard, Executive and IT with modified versions of each as needed. The models are defined primarily by blocking scheme and spend limit.
      1. Blocking schemes have been developed to govern the use of Standard Cards and Executive Cards, utilizing Merchant Commodity Codes (MCC). These codes are set by the individual vendors based on their goods or services.
        1. The Standard Card allows for specific commodity codes, but does not include travel or entertainment purchases.
        2. The Executive Card allows for an expanded list of allowable codes that includes Travel and Entertainment purchases.
        3. Specialized purchases such as Information will have cards issued for a very limited set of MCCs to be utilized when the vendor will only accept credit cards.
    2. Spend Limits
      1. UPCs are issued with one of three basic spend limits:
        • Standard                    $500.00/transaction     $2,000.00/month
        • Modified Executive   no transaction limit      $3,000.00/month
        • Executive                  no transaction limit      $5,000.00/month
      2. The OCP reserves the right to adjust the limits (transaction and monthly) based on the intended use of the UPCs.
    3. Purchase transactions may not be split into multiples spends to avoid the single transaction limit. Such activity is illegal and constitutes improper use of the card and will be subject to UPC suspension and/or termination.
    4. All departmental budgets must be taken into consideration while using the UPC.
    5. New Jersey State and University procurement and budget procedures must be followed. 
    6. Certain purchases require additional approvals including but not limited to receptions and entertainment, and travel.
  5. Purchase Documentation and Reporting
    1. The Accountholder will secure and retain receipts that provide complete detail to support each purchase charged to the UPC.  All receipts for UPC purchases must be detailed and itemized and uploaded to Works®.
    2. Accountholders must submit (in Works®) the required documentation and information as outlined in the UPC guide in a timely manner.
    3. Once submitted by the Accountholder, transactions are reviewed and approved by the Approver.
    4. After transactions are approved by the Approver, they are reviewed for procurement compliance by the Accountant.
  6. Errors regarding incorrect billing may occasionally occur with the UPC. When errors are found on a statement, it is imperative that the problem be resolved in a timely manner. The University has limited time from the date of the statement to notify the bank of a disputed transaction. Accountholders or owners should try to resolve the issue with the specific vendor as noted on the statement or other documentation available. If the issue cannot be fully resolved, the Pcard administrator in the OCP should be contacted as soon as possible.


  1. Attachment 1 - Assigned Responsibilities
  2. Attachment 2 - Prohibited Uses of the UPC




Office of Contracting & Procurement

  1. Provide central administration for the UPC Program.
  2. Receive applications from the departments for new purchasing cards.
  3. Create and maintain account information for each card issued.
  4. Close cards which are lost, stolen, or no longer needed by departments.
  5. Maintain card inventory.
  6. Maintain a list of cardholders and card reviewers.
  7. Review purchases for compliance with University policies and procedures.


  1. Understand and comply with rules for use of the UPC.
  2. For cards issued in a department name, maintain control of the UPC issued to the department.
  3. Report lost or stolen UPCs to the customer service number listed on the card and the UPC Administrator.


Accountholder and/or Proxy Reconciler

  1. Collect and reconcile charge receipts with UPC charges.
  2. Review purchases for compliance with University policies.
  3. Document and reporting policy violations to the approving officials and the OCP.
  4. Report lost or stolen cards to the OCP.
  5. Notify the OCP if leaving the departmental position or if the department transfers the responsibilities for the department card to another employee.


  1. Review UPC charges as submitted for approval.
  2. Provide expenditure authority for card charges by approving transactions submitted by Accountholders and Proxy Reconcilers.
  3. The Dean or Vice President in the Division approves applications for departmental UPCs.


  1. Review transactions processed by the Approver for procurement compliance.
  2. Batch all approved transactions for final charge against the approved FOAPALs.

Purchasing Card Company

  1. Issuing UPCs.
  2. Receiving reports of lost and stolen cards.
  3. Receiving reports regarding disputed invoices.
  4. Provide technical assistance.



UPCs will not be used* for the purchase of:

  1. Information Technology (Hardware or Software)
  2. Furniture
  3. Hazardous/Radioactive materials
  4. Personal Charges – even with the intent of reimbursing the University
  5. Payment of Stipends, Honorariums or any contracted professional service
  6. Traveler’s Checks or cash withdrawals from ATM machines
  7. Purchases presenting significant potential risk or exposure to liability for the University. For example: items or services that represent special health, safety, occupational or environmental risks or arrangement whereby the University is required to sign any type of agreement or contract.
  8. Any purchases prohibited by University Policies or not related to University business.

*At the discretion of the OCP individual cards may be approved for specific purchases as described in section D.1.c.


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