PURCHASING CARD PROGRAM AGENCY PURCHASING CARD (P-CARD) MANUAL

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
PURCHASING CARD (P-CARD) PROGRAM

INTRODUCTION

The Purchasing Card program is co-sponsored by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Procurement Services and the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) Accounts Payable Division. It is designed and intended to more effectively meet your purchasing and travel needs. It streamlines and simplifies the purchasing and accounts payable functions by eliminating waste and low value activities, reducing transaction costs, and improving supplier relations. The P-Card is a tool that facilitates the timely acquisition of materials, automates data transactions for accounting purposes, supports travel services and offers flexible controls to help ensure proper usage. CGS Section 4-98

The P-Card Program reduces the time and paperwork associated with processing purchase orders, invoices and payments. Effective March 2017, P-Card transactions are managed in Core-CT. The use of purchase orders is encouraged to properly encumber funds and allow more accurate contract reporting.

The P-Card also offers an alternative to a variety of processes including petty cash, check requests, low dollar purchase orders, online purchases including conference registrations and travel reimbursement. The P-Card Program is not intended to avoid or bypass appropriate procurement procedures, but rather, to complement the existing processes available.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

WHAT IS A P-CARD?

The P-Card is a commercial MasterCard issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank. It works just like a personal credit card, but it has custom designed features and built in controls to meet the specific needs of the cardholder and your state agency. Commercial cards have pre-set limits built into the card processor and encoded into the chip and magnetic strip of each card, which can be individually customized to meet the cardholder's needs.

Controls include:

AGENCY P-CARD COORDINATOR

Each agency will have an Agency P-Card Coordinator (Coordinator). The Coordinator is responsible for card applications and issuance, card cancellation, setting card limits, entering cardholder information into Core-CT and communicating with the P-Card Administrator (Administrator). The Coordinator will receive the cards, ensure that the accounts are reconciled, and have access to the Payment Net application.

The purchasing card dollar limit may be approved for amounts up to $250,000 per transaction. The Coordinator must review the dollar limits for all cardholders and determine the proper limits for each cardholder. This decision should be based on the cardholder’s job duties, procurement requirements and agency procedures. Please contact the Administrator to adjust any cardholder limits.

Coordinator Responsibilities

Request a New P-Card

New card requests, changes to current cardholder information and account closures now flow through the Procurement Card module in Core-CT. The Agency P-Card Coordinator enters/verifies the employee information into Core-CT. The application/change request is then routed to DAS for approval. The requestor will be notified when DAS approves the application/change request.

Link to Core-CT Job Aid - Request a New P-Card

Please note that Core-CT does not manage any requests for municipalities, schools, not-for-profit organizations or for the Voyager Fuel Card.

Assigning Proxies in Core-CT

A proxy is a user that is assigned to take action for a procurement card within Core-CT. A cardholder is not an automatic proxy for their own card; the Agency P-Card coordinator must assign proxy roles to each employee involved in the P-Card reconciliation and approval process.

Link to Core-CT Job Aid - P-Card Proxy Setup

Issue P-Card to Cardholder or Card User

The Agency Coordinator will receive the new P-Card via interoffice mail from the P-Card Administrator. The Agency Coordinator will set up a meeting with the cardholder(s) so the P-Card can be issued in person. The Agency Coordinator will issue the P-Card and train the cardholder in the following steps:

PaymentNet

Payment Net allows the Agency Coordinator to view transaction information, print statements and run reports. A Payment Net account will be established for the Coordinator in each agency and a password will be provided. The Coordinator can then access information on all P-Card activity for the agency and monitor usage by each cardholder.

Payment Net statements and reports can also be run at the end of each billing cycle to determine the agency's monthly bill. Statements can be run for each cardholder and used to reconcile the cardholder's account in accordance with agency procedures. JPMorgan Chase Bank does not provide individual statements to the agency or cardholders.

Link to PaymentNet Login - PAYMENT NET

Reporting a Lost or Stolen or Compromised Card

If a Cardholder contacts you reporting that their card has been lost or stolen, the Agency P-Card Coordinator must take the following steps:

Link to Core-CT Job Aid – Requesting Replacement of a Lost / Stolen / Compromised Card

Closing a P-Card

When an employee leaves an agency for any reason, (retirement, resignation, termination, transfer or death) the P-Card must be closed using the Core-CT Procurement Card module. The card must then be destroyed by the coordinator and the coordinator should make sure the account has been reconciled by the cardholder or proxy.

If an employee is going to be on a leave of absence for an extended period of time, their P-Card should be temporarily suspended using the Core-CT Procurement Card module./p>

Link to Core-CT Job Aid - Closing or Suspending a P-Card

Agency P-Card Coordinator Resources and Links:

AGENCY CARDHOLDERS / CARD USERS

Cardholder Responsibilities

State of Connecticut Credit Card Use Policy

The State of Connecticut Credit Card Use Policy outlines the acceptable uses, limits, procedures, liability, auditing, documentation and security requirements. This document must be signed by all cardholders and card users. Signed State of Connecticut Credit Card Use Policy forms are to be retained in each agency’s business office.

Link to form on the DAS website: State of CT Credit Card Use Policy

Activating your P-Card

Receive and Get Started with Your New Chip Card:

You will be prompted for security information. (If department card, the custodian activates the card with his/her information.) The automated system will ask for:

P-Card Security

The P-Card (or Department Card) should be secured just as you would secure your own personal credit card. It should be kept in an accessible but secure location. The account number on the P-Card (or Department Card) should not be posted or left in a conspicuous place.

Cardholders and Card Users (for Department Cards) are responsible for immediately reporting lost or stolen cards. Reporting a Lost or Stolen or Compromised P-Card

Cardholders must return their P-Card to their Agency Coordinator immediately upon request or upon termination of employment (including retirement).

Authorized use of the P-Card is limited to the State employee whose name appears on the face of the card. The P-Card must not be loaned to another person. If the cardholder is going to be absent from work for an extended period of time, the card should be suspended until the cardholder returns to work. A separate card may be requested for a different State employee with purchasing authority for the duration of the absence.

The State of Connecticut is liable for the use of the P-Card by authorized users, provided that use is within the single per transaction dollar limit. The State does not accept liability for the following:

Reporting a Lost or Stolen or Compromised P-Card

If your P-Card is lost, stolen or misplaced - immediately make two phone calls:

Call JPMorgan Chase Bank:1-800-316-6056

Call and/or email your Agency P-Card Coordinator to notify of the lost/stolen P- Card.

Link to Lost/Stolen/Compromised Card procedures: Reporting a Lost or Stolen or Compromised P-Card

HOW TO USE THE P-CARD

Process

P-Card may be used as payment method when purchasing approved goods at the point of sale (swipe transactions), via the Punch-Out functionality in Core-CT (selected contract suppliers), or as payment specified on a Core-CT purchase order.

Core-CT suppliers will be set up with additional locations if they accept P-Card payments:

Core-CT Requisition: If a requester is a P-Card holder or P-Card proxy, a Card Number dropdown will appear displaying all P-Cards associated with that requester. A P-Card can be selected from the Card Number dropdown. The card's expiration date appears in the Card Expiration field on the requisition and the Use Procurement Card checkbox is selected.

Core-CT Purchase Order: Purchase orders may be created directly to the supplier. If a requester is a P-Card holder or P-Card proxy and the supplier selected accepts P-card payments, select the proper location and the Use Procurement Card link will be available. Click on this link to select the appropriate P-card number.

Link to Core-CT Job Aid - Create P-Card Requisition / Locations

1. Identify Supplier: Identify a supplier that sells the goods or services needed. Make sure the purchase meets all contract compliance requirements. Determine if the transaction total is less than the authorized transaction limit on your card. If the transaction total is less, you can use the P-Card; if not, the transaction must be completed using a purchase order. All transactions must be processed in accordance with established agency and procurement policies and procedures.

2. Place your order: There are several methods by which you can purchase the item or service you need.

In all cases, it is important to emphasize that the purchase is exempt from sales tax. Please note: the tax-exempt number is embossed on the card under the cardholder name. However, this information is not automatically passed to the supplier through the magnetic strip.

Tell the supplier that the address label/packing slip that accompanies the package must contain the following information; cardholder's name, agency name, building and room number, street and city address.

Under no circumstances should the supplier indicate the Purchasing Card number on any address label or packing list. Listing this information would threaten the security of your card.

Inform the supplier not to send a bill or invoice to the ordering department or your business office. Submitting an invoice for a charge card transaction may result in a duplicate payment.

Under no circumstances should the supplier save P-card information. The supplier should ask for account information each time a purchase is made and should not retain card number/information.

3. Record: Enter the purchase transaction information on the cardholder's Purchase Log.

COMPLETION OF A PURCHASING LOG - Cardholders must maintain a log of their purchases so spending limits can be monitored and purchasing activity can be reconciled to the transactions loaded into Core-CT and to the monthly charge card statements.   

A  purchasing log must be submitted to the Agency Program Coordinator or as agency procedures specify every month only if purchases have been made during that month.* A new purchasing log must be established at the beginning of each new billing cycle. The log contains the following information:

The Purchasing Log must be signed or otherwise acknowledged for validity by the cardholder and the cardholder's supervisor or other approver.

The Office of the State Comptroller has made available form CO-501, which has been designed to meet the needs of the Program and may be used by agencies for this purpose. 

4. Verify your purchases: It is important to confirm that the goods or services ordered match what is received. If an incorrect item is received and needs to be returned, the cardholder should contact the supplier immediately. In most cases disputes can be resolved directly between the cardholder and the supplier that provided the goods or service.

RETURNING AN ITEM - The cardholder must use the following guidelines when returning an item:

If an item needs to be returned for any reason, the cardholder should send the item back to the supplier in the manner agreed upon.

The supplier should issue a credit for items that are returned. This credit may appear on the current or subsequent charge card statement. Documentation of the return (such as a credit receipt) should be issued by the supplier. All documentation pertaining to returns must be kept on file for reconciliation to the charge card statement.

The return should be entered on the cardholder's Purchasing log. The return should be entered or carried forward on subsequent Purchasing Logs until the discrepancy is resolved. When the discrepancy is resolved, the date of the resolution should be entered on the Purchasing Log.

If the cardholder and the supplier cannot resolve an issue, the cardholder should contact the agency coordinator who will contact JPMorgan Chase Bank. The bank will investigate the dispute on the cardholder's behalf and assist in the resolution. A temporary credit will be issued pending final resolution.

DISPUTING A TRANSACTION - A Cardholder may dispute a charge that appears on their monthly credit card statement. If there is a charge that is not recognized by the Cardholder, or if it appears to be incorrect, contact the vendor and try to resolve the issue. If this does not work, use the Transaction Dispute Form, which can be called in to the bank using the number on the back of the card: 1-800-316-6056 and tell the customer service representative that you would like to dispute a transaction. You will be transferred to the dispute unit.

Purchasing Card accounts must be paid in full regardless of whether or not there is a disputed transaction. During the investigation, a credit will be issued to the Cardholder's account for the amount questioned. When the bank has completed the investigation, the Cardholder will be notified of the resolution. If the dispute is not settled in favor of the Cardholder, the account will be charged for the disputed transaction amount.

5. Reconcile

Each month the Agency Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the Purchasing Log and the JP Morgan statement are verified. Items that were returned are not to be removed from the Purchasing log. The credits are identified as separate transactions and must be included for auditing purposes.

All documentation pertaining to purchases and returns must be matched with the Card statement.

Discrepancies should be communicated to the coordinator or noted on the purchasing log for subsequent resolution. If sales tax is billed incorrectly to the Cardholder's account, please refer to the "Tax" section of this manual.

Cardholders who do not reconcile their own P-Card transactions in Core-CT must forward their P-Card statement and the Purchasing Log, certifying receipt of all purchases and returns, to their supervisor or person responsible for reconciling and approving transactions in Core-CT. This must be completed within a time frame agreed upon by the agency coordinator. The Purchasing Log must be signed by the cardholder and the cardholder's supervisor or other approver.

All supporting documentation pertaining to the purchases and returns on the statement should be kept on file by the cardholder with the purchasing log until disposition in accordance with agency policies and State records retention requirements.

Core-CT Reconciliation Process

Transactions are received from the bank and uploaded into Core-CT every day. Transactions can be reconciled on a daily basis.

When a P-Card transaction is waiting to be reconciled, it has a status of "Staged". After reconciling a transaction, the status should be updated to "Verified". On the Transaction tab, a transaction's distribution and CDF information can be viewed as well as any associated PO and contract information. On the Billing tab, any disputes, comments, and/or attachments can be added. To add a PO to a single transaction, use the Single Purchase Order Details link. To add a PO to multiple transactions, use the Apply Purchase Order to a Transaction link. To split a transaction into two or more lines, use the Split Line Transactions link.

When a P-Card transaction is waiting to be approved, it has a status of "Verified". When approving a transaction, the status should be updated to "Approved". For a single transaction, use the Status dropdown to change the status to "Approved". When selecting multiple transactions, use the Approve button. Approved Transactions will be batch budget checked and built into vouchers in the next daily Pay Cycle.

A transaction cannot be vouchered until it has met all of the following conditions:

  1. The transaction has been approved.
  2. The associated purchase order is dispatched and valid.
  3. The transaction billing date is for the current billing cycle.

Any transactions that are approved for a future billing period will be held until that billing cycle is active. Always look at the billing date on the reconciliation page to see which period the transaction is in.

If the balance of the payment is negative, no payment will be sent to J.P. Morgan. The credit will hold in CORECT until it can be applied and a positive payment balance is created. Credit balances not used by the end of the month will carry forward to the following month unless it is the end of the fiscal year. Any unused credit vouchers will be closed and will need to be recreated in the new fiscal year.

Link to P-Card Reconciliation Job Aid - P-Card Reconciliation

6. Retain

Documentation must be maintained to record the transaction according to agency procedures. Documentation must support the legitimate business purpose of all transactions made with the P-Card. Supporting documentation should include the one of the following items:

This documentation must be kept by the Cardholder for reconciliation to the charge card statement according to agency procedures.

Declined Transaction or Refusal of Card

A card can be declined for a variety of reasons:

What to do if your card is declined - you have a few options:

Automated customer service will ask for your 16 digit card number, and be prepared to verify it’s your card with any of the following personal info:

Once you find out why, you may be able to correct this on your own, but if the decline is due to a limit or authorization, the P-Card Administrator will need to be contacted.

If a vendor refuses a P-Card, contact the P-Card Administrator.