P-Card Program

Corresponding Policy:  See ‘Procurement Card' policy.
Corresponding Forms:  P-Card Signature Sheet, P-Card Account Maintenance, P-Card Missing Receipt Memo, P-Card Log
Process:  Finding Out all About the Procurement Card Program

What Are All These Cards For? Which One is Right for Our Department?

Procurement Card: Program where cards are issued to departments within the University to provide authorized faculty and staff with a cost-effective and convenient method of procuring small dollar purchases of regularly consumed supplies and other items under $5,000. Card users are expected to make sound business decisions in the best interest of the University and always comply with the policies and procedures set forth below.

Group Travel Card: Program where cards are issued to departments within the University to provide a more effective mechanism for procuring travel arrangements for Student Groups, Athletic Sport Groups and other departments who have travel which meets the guidelines of Group Travel.  As with the Procurement card, policy and procedures are to be followed as outlined below.

Fuel Card: Program where cards are issued to departments within the University to provide a more effective mechanism to pay for fuel expenses. These fuel cards may only be used for University related travel and can only be used on rental cars or vehicles owned by Portland State University. The fuel cards may not be used on personal vehicles. As with the Procurement card, policy and procedures are to be followed as outlined below.

Selecting the Merchant

Ask the following questions when selecting the merchant for each transaction:

  • Is there a State Price Agreement or other contract available to the University?
    If yes, you should use the Price Agreement or contract vendor.  Contact Contracting & Procurement Services Team for more information on contracts.  

  • Is there an emerging, minority or women-owned business that could supply your goods?  The use of ESB/MBE/WBE vendors is encouraged.  Contact the Contracting & Procurement Services Team for additional information.

  • Does the vendor accept Visa?  If not, you will need to choose a different vendor, or choose another purchase method (purchase order, direct pay invoice).

Placing the Order

You may place your order in person, by phone, mail, fax or internet.  You should use caution sending your card number over the fax or internet to place an order.  Always use “secured connections” on the internet and be familiar with a vendor’s reputation before placing an order.

Using the Card to Make a Purchase in Person
When using any of the cards to make a purchase in person, present the merchandise and the card to the cashier.  Inform the cashier that the merchandise is being purchased for use by Portland State University.  Be prepared to show your Portland State University ID card for verification.  The cashier should then process the sales transaction and present the PSU employee with an itemized transaction receipt to sign for the net value of the merchandise being purchased.  This receipt must be returned to the Card Custodian and retained to document the transaction.  The receipt may also be needed should it be necessary to return or exchange the merchandise purchased or resolve any billing disputes.

Using the Card to Make a Purchase by Telephone (Does Not Apply to Fuel Card)
After confirming the price, availability and specifications of the needed merchandise, the Custodian or Designated User should advise the supplier’s representative that they wish to place an order using a Portland State University Visa Card.  The Cardholder should inform the supplier not to charge the Card until the item(s) being purchased is actually shipped.

Provide the merchant with the appropriate card account number and expiration date.  Also advise the merchant the merchandise being purchased is for use by the University and that the purchase is exempt from sales tax.  If the merchant requests a Social Security Number, please call PSU Visa Card Program Administrator.  If the merchant requests a billing address, they may be attempting to verify your card by matching information on file at the bank with the information you give. The address you should give is the address where your p-card statement gets sent. Your Card may be declined if the exact address is not given.  Contact the PSU Visa Card Program Administrator if you have billing address questions.  Confirm the final total price of the transaction with the merchant including the cost of the item(s) being purchased and any shipping charges.

Advise the merchant that all packages/packing slips must identify the Card Custodian’s name, Department and University address.  Contact the PSU Visa Card Program Administrator if you have questions about the ship to address.

Vendors should be advised not to send separate invoices for the item(s) purchased to the University’s Campus Accounting Services Office.  The merchant will receive payment directly from US Bank.

Using the Card to Make a Purchase by Mail (Does Not Apply to Fuel Card)
Occasionally, it may be necessary or convenient to place an order through the US Mail.  In instances of this kind, any required card information e.g., account number, expiration date, etc., should be mailed to the supplier in a sealed envelope.  To protect the confidentiality of the Cardholder’s card, this information should never be sent by postcard.

Using the Card to Make a Purchase by Fax (Does Not Apply to Fuel Card)
Occasionally, it may be necessary or convenient to place an order by fax.  This means of ordering is discouraged.  It is very easy to compromise a Cardholder’s information using this means of ordering.

Using the Card to Make a Purchase by Web (Does Not Apply to Fuel Card)
Access the merchant’s web site and select desired item(s).  Enter your card account number and card expiration date.  Print and retain the Web site order, or other information verifying price, and file in the Monthly Statement Packet.  Make sure you have recorded the order on the Activity Log. 

The risks involved in using the card over the Internet are similar to the risks involved when using the Card by other methods.  In all cases, the Cardholder trusts a merchant with the Procurement Card information.  Whether the transaction is made in person, by phone, mail, fax or Web, the merchant could retain the Card information for a personal fraudulent use.  Card Custodians and Designated Users must exercise caution when determining who shall be trusted with the Procurement Card information.  It is recommended that departments purchase over the Internet with reputable companies only. 

Declined Transactions
Transactions may be declined by “blocked” merchants, certain classes of merchandise, or for transactions that exceed the dollar limits of a Card.  If a Cardholder thinks a transaction should not have been declined, they should contact the Procurement Card Program Administrator in Campus Accounting Services.  The Administrator will research and in some instances discuss the matter with US Bank.

Card Activity Log

The Activity Log is required for monthly reconciliations for each card and provides an additional method for expenditure tracking while using the card.  Each Card Custodian must maintain a log for each month’s purchases. The Custodian must start a new log for each cycle of dates for the card.  The Activity Log shall be filled out as each order or purchase is made, not at the end of the month.  The log should be kept along with all receipts and other documents supporting each purchase. For fuel purchases made on either the Group Team Travel or Fuel Card, a copy of the vehicle rental invoice or other documentation which shows proof of rental must be attached to the fuel receipt.   This information will prove helpful in future reviews and in keeping track of all purchases made using the Procurement Card should it be necessary to return any item or resolve billing disputes.  The log is also critical for tracking purchases should your department’s Card ever fall victim to fraudulent use.  At the end of the month, the Activity Log needs to be reviewed along with statement and receipts and signed by both Card Custodian and Budget Authority. For more information pertaining to monthly review of transactions, please see the P-Card Checklist.

Documenting Each Transaction
Regardless of the method of purchase, all card transactions must be supported with back up documents.  Receipts include charge slips, cash register receipts, packing slips, order forms for allowable dues/memberships, or print out of e-mail or web page transaction confirmation.  For subscriptions only, a copy of the renewal notice or initial subscription request is a receipt.

Receipts must include the following information: 

  • Vendor identification (merchant name)

  • Date the purchase was made

  • Description and quantity of each item purchased

  • Total cost of the order

  • Ship to address.  All ordered items must be shipped to PSU address.

Receipts that do not clearly list the items purchased will not be considered adequate documentation.  If an original receipt is lost, the Custodian must note the charge on the Visa statement, and then attaches the Missing Receipt Memo. This information should then become part of the Monthly Statement Packet and be approved at month end by the Budget Authority.  A pattern of incomplete log entries or missing original charge documents may result in revocation or suspension of the card for your department.  Suspension or revocation of the cards will also be an action taken if fuel purchases on either the Travel or Fuel card are placed on personal vehicles.

Receiving the Goods

Inspect all goods promptly upon receipt.  If there is a problem with the order, contact the merchant immediately.  Keep notes on problems and their resolution including names, dates, and conversation results.  Please note: all purchases on any of the cards must be shipped to PSU addresses only. Products may not be shipped to personal addresses or locations other than PSU without the consent of a member of the P-Card team.

Reviewing and Reconciling Monthly Statements

Each Card Custodian will download a monthly statement from US Bank.  This statement will identify each transaction made with the card during the previous billing cycle.  If there was no activity on the card during a billing cycle, no statement will be received.

Items should not appear on the statement that has not been shipped by the supplier, as the supplier has been instructed to enter an item for payment only after it has been shipped. 

Each month, the Card Custodian must reconcile the monthly bank statement with their receipts and monthly log of card transactions.  If you find a discrepancy, follow the steps in Incorrect Charges below. 

Once the review and reconciliation is complete Custodians must do the following:

  1. Attach all applicable supporting documents and log to the monthly statement in the same order as they appear on the statement.

  2. Sign and date the statement and the log.

  3. Route the log and the statement to the Budget Authority for review and signature indicating their approval on the log and the statement. 

  4. Once approved, file the monthly statement packet so it is readily available for future reviews by the P-Card Team. Send a copy of the signed monthly statement to the P-Card email in box which is pcard@pdx.edu within 21 business days of the cycle date.

Monthly statements with all card supporting documents and logs must be batched at fiscal year- end (June 30) and kept on file for six (6) years.

Incorrect Charges
There may be occasions where purchase transactions listed on a department’s monthly statement do not correspond to the Card Custodian’s records.  Should such an instance occur, the Custodian should first contact the supplier involved to resolve the error.  If a supplier agrees an error has been made, it will credit the Visa card.  Do not accept cash and or coupons back from the vendor when an item is returned or credit is due.

If a supplier does not agree that an error had been made, the Custodian should process the dispute using the method available through the US Bank website.

The Custodian must notify US Bank in writing within sixty (60) days of the first statement on which a disputed charge has occurred.  US Bank will research the disputed charge and make any necessary adjustments.  A disputed charge will remain a part of a Custodian’s account balance until the dispute has been resolved. Retain all correspondence involving disputes in your Procurement Card file.

Defective Items

If an item purchased with the Procurement Card is found to be defective, the Card Custodian has the responsibility to alert the merchant and to obtain a replacement item as soon as possible.  If a merchant refuses to replace or correct a defective item, then the purchase transaction will be considered to be in dispute.  If such a situation arises, the Card Custodian must complete the Dispute Form on-line and submit to US Bank.

Returning an Item Purchased with the Card

For an in-person purchase, return the item directly to the supplier and obtain a credit receipt.  Cash refunds are absolutely prohibited.
If you made the purchase by phone, mail, fax or internet:

  • Contact the vendor for return instructions

  • Get a return reference number from the supplier, e.g. Returned Materials
    Authorization (RMA) or credit number

  • Take item to Shipping & Receiving Department in Facilities for assistance in returning item to vendor.

On the bank statement where the original charge appears, note the date of the return.  Be sure to check subsequent statements to verify you have received credit for the returned item(s).

Payment and Account Distribution in Banner

Campus Accounting Services will remit payments to US Bank for all identified charges on the master invoice, and card transactions from the bank will be fed daily into Banner. The Card Custodian and Business Manager will receive an email when departmental transactions are waiting in Banner for distribution to the appropriate account codes. For step by step instructions on how to distribute transactions, please see the P-Card Banner Distribution In addition, please attend training either online through the UFS intranet or during monthly trainings. Transactions should be distributed to appropriate account code as soon as possible. All transactions must be distributed by the 3rd working day of the following month. If the amounts are not distributed on a timely basis, the Custodian will receive warning emails, the Budget Authority will be notified and the cards may be revoked at the discretion of the University Financial Services.

*Please note some items purchased by either the p-card/group travel/fuel card will need additional text added to them depending on the account code used. Please see P-Card Additional Text Requirements for specific text needed.

Card Reviews

Purchases made using the card are subject to review and audit by the P-Card Team in Campus Accounting Services. Normally you will receive notification of a review in advance; however the P-Card team may arrive at times to conduct a review with no prior notification. The card reviews will check the following procedures:

  1. Your card will be examined for wear and to verify it is being stored in a locked and secured environment.

  2. The Visa Procurement Card/Fuel Card Signature Sheet will be examined to ensure that signatures are accurate.

  3. The Card Activity Log will be reviewed for the following items:

    1. Date of transaction

    2. Vendor name

    3. User’s first and last name

    4. Adequate description of purchase(s) and or business purpose

    5. Correct amount

    6. Travel period (if using the Group Team Travel Card or Fuel Card)

    7. Destination (if using the Group Team Travel Card or Fuel Card)

    8. Rental invoice number (if using the Group Team Travel Card or Fuel Card)

    9. Log signed by both Budget Authority and Card Custodian

  4. User’s first and last name will be examined for any discrepancies that would indicate that someone other than Designated Authorized Users used the card.

  5. Amounts will be examined to insure that they have been updated to show actual amount including returns, etc.  The Custodian should note that items were received or returned.  If items were received, then the Custodian needs to contact the vendor to determine status of payment.  If items were returned, a comment needs to be added to the log.

  6. You will be asked to verify that you as the Custodian are reconciling the statements.  Monthly Visa statements need to have current receipts stapled to the back of the statement. If fuel is purchased, a copy of the rental invoices or other proof of rental also needs to be attached.  Check marks should be made next to the dollar amounts indicating that the Custodian has reconciled the statement with receipts.

  7. The Budget Authority’s and Card Custodian’s signature should be on the statement and the log with all supporting receipts attached.  This signature indicates that the Department Head is aware and has approved the current charges.  This step also fulfills the required “segregation of duties” step that the auditors must see in all financial transactions.

Procurement Card List Serve
In order to communicate urgent or important information to Key Card Individuals in a timely manner, Campus Accounting Services requires all Budget Authorities, Business Managers and Card Custodians to be subscribed to the Procurement Card List Serve PSU P-Card.  Designated Users are welcome to join the list if they wish Contact pcard@pdx.edu.

P-Card Quick Tips

Processing Transactions


  • The Feed Date is when the transaction will post. Backdate transactions for a prior month to the last day of the month during a closing period

  • Assign Vendors only to 1099 reportable transactions. Make sure you do not assign a vendor that has been terminated. If you have questions, please contact Campus Accounting Services

  • Use FOATEXT to add any additional text required

  • Contact the Foundation (preferably via email) when you are charging to the Foundation Fund to get prior approval. Indicate that you have contacted the Foundation and received approval in FOATEXT. In addition you will want to list the foundation six digit account code in FOATEXT and put in a check request to the Foundation immediately.

  • Do not change the Bank Code

Banner Reports

ZFARUDST- Undistributed Transactions
ZFARRCON- P-Card Reconciliation – (Shows distributed and undistributed transactions by fiscal period)
ZFARCOMP- Complete Transactions Report- (Shows distributed and undistributed transactions by date range)

US Bank Access Online

If you need to get access to US Bank Online, please contact pcard@pdx.edu.