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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 CFO

Responsible Officer: Senior Director of Contracting & Procurement

Adopted: 04/11/2016

Last Revision: 08/05/2016

Last Reviewed: 08/05/2016



This policy outlines use of the 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 Senior Vice President for Finance and CFO, the Senior Director of the Office of Contracting & Procurement (OCP) shall implement this policy. 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 Office of Contracting & Procurement 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. 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 SCT Banner Purchasing Systems 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 Office of Contracting & Procurement Department office 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 monthly logs are completed.
    2. University "GRANTS" are not eligible for UPC program participation.
  4. General UPC Controls
    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.
      • The Standard card allows for specific commodity codes, but does not include travel or entertainment purchases.
      • The Executive card allows for an expanded list of allowable codes that includes Travel and Entertainment purchases.
    2. Spend Limits
    3. UPCs are issued with one of three basic spend limits:
      • Standard                    $500.00/transaction            $2,000.00/month
      • Executive                   no transaction limit              $5,000.00/month
      • Modified Executive    no transaction limit               $3,000.00/month
    4. The OCP reserves the right to adjust the limits (transaction and monthly) based on the intended use of the UPCs.
    5. 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.
    6. All departmental budgets must be taken into consideration while using the purchasing card.
    7. New Jersey State and University procurement and budget procedures must also be followed.
    8. Certain purchases require additional approvals including but not limited to receptions and entertainment and travel.
  5. The cardholder or owner (department cards) will secure and retain receipts that provide complete detail to support each purchase charged to the UPC and make an appropriate entry on the UPC transaction log.
  6. Each cardholder will receive a monthly billing statement. Upon receipt of the billing statement, the cardholder will compare the billing statement to the receipts and will reconcile the billing statement as evidenced on the log noted above. The Cardholder/owner submits monthly log with the statement and receipts to the OCP.
  7. 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. Cardholders 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 card 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. Providing central administration for the UPC Program.
  2. Receiving applications from the departments for new purchasing cards.
  3. Creating and maintaining account information for each card issued.
  4. Closing cards which are lost, stolen, or no longer needed by departments.
  5. Maintaining card inventory.
  6. Maintaining a list of cardholders and card reviewers.
  7. Receiving and reviewing monthly logs.
  8. Review purchases for compliance of University policies and procedures.

Department Card Reviewer

  1. Maintaining control of the UPC issued to the department.
  2. Collecting and reconciling charge receipts with charges on statements.
  3. Reviewing purchases for compliance with University policies.
  4. Documenting and reporting policy violations to the approving officials and the OCP.
  5. Reporting lost or stolen cards to the OCP.
  6. Notifying the OCP and Accounts Payable Department (AP) if leaving the departmental position or if the department transfers the responsibilities of the card reviewer to another employee.
  7. The department is responsible for ensuring that the OCP and AP are notified of any changes to the departmental card reviewer.

Cardholder and Card Reviewer

  1. Understanding and complying with rules for use of the UPC.
  2. Reporting lost or stolen UPCs to the customer service number listed on the card and the Purchasing Card Administrator.

Department Card Approving Official/ Department Director

  1. Reviewing UPC charges monthly.

  2. Providing expenditure authority for card charges by signing the monthly transaction log.
  3. The Dean or Vice President in the Division is responsible for approving applications for departmental UPCs.

Purchasing Card Company

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


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