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Purchasing Card (P-Card) Program Overview

What is the P-Card Program?

The Purchasing Card program is co-sponsored by the Department of Administrative Services Procurement Services and the Office of the State Comptroller. Using the P-Card streamlines and simplifies the purchasing and accounts payable functions by eliminating waste and low value activities, ultimately, reducing transaction costs, and improving supplier relations. It serves as a payment tool that facilitates the timely acquisition of materials, automates data transactions for accounting purposes, supports travel services and offers flexible controls.

How does it work?

The P-Card is a MasterCard issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank. It works much like a personal credit card. However, it is a commercial card and each card has custom designed features, with pre-set controls built into the magnetic strip, to meet the specific needs of the cardholder and the organization.

The Payment Process

Each agency reconciles and approves cardholder transactions in CORE-CT; these approved transactions will be budget checked and vouchered by the CORE-CT system.

Flexible Controls

The P-Card offers the buyer more flexibility than traditional buying practices. It sets limits and standards allowing each card to be customized with a:

  • Monthly spending limit
  • Single purchase transaction limit
  • Limit to the number of transactions daily and monthly
  • Restrictive or permissive commodity classification

Purchasing Card Manuals

P-Card Forms

Memorandum

Effective July 1, 2011, all payments for purchases under $1,000 by state agencies are to be paid with a State of Connecticut Purchasing Card (P-Card). Refer to the Office of the State Comptroller’s Memorandum at http://www.osc.ct.gov/2011memos/numbered/201111.htm  for additional information.


Frequently Asked Questions

The Procurement Process

Q. How will the agency encumber funds?
 A. The requirement to encumber funds has not changed and agencies must encumber funds prior to ordering goods and services. Purchase orders can be issued directly to suppliers using the PCARDPOS or the PCARDOPTIN supplier location, or can be issued as a blanket PO to JP Morgan Chase.

Q. What about services rendered by another state agency? Can they accept the P-Card?
A
. Direct payments to another state agency should only occur on a transfer invoice (giro payment). P-Card should not be used to make payments to another state agency.

Q. What about tracking controllable assets?
 A.
If the asset is coded properly it will move to the asset module in the same way it would on any PO. If there are different types of assets purchased they would require a separate line of coding for the different asset types. If an asset is not properly entered the agency will have to add it through the basic add feature.

The Payment Process

Q. What if a supplier charges a fee to accept payment by P-Card?
A. Suppliers who charge a service fee for paying by credit card should not be paid with the P-Card.

Other Concerns

Q. What impact will there be on records retention?
A.
State records retention schedule for most financial records is three years or until audited.

Q. Do Personal Service Agreements have to be paid with the P-Card?
A.
No, suppliers on Personal Service Agreements do not have to be paid with the P-Card.

General Questions on the Purchasing Card can be directed to: Office of the State Comptroller, Account Payable Services Division, (860) 702-3400 or email with the subject line P-Card Questions.

Office of the State Comptroller
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