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P-Card Procedures 

The Purchasing Card (P-card) system provides a convenient and cost effective way to purchase University business-related items. Most P-Card approvals and control features occur after the purchase has taken place. Examples of after-the-purchase controls include:

  • Support Documents for each P-Card transaction: Transactions reported by the bank provide very little information about purchases. The name of the vendor is listed, but what was purchased is not. Support documents such as itemized receipts, however, provide detailed information about the purchase.

  • Reconciling P-Card Transactions: Reconciling itemized receipts to transactions reported allows the Cardholder to make sure that all purchases have been reported, that any credits have been received, and provides the opportunity to resolve any discrepancies.

  • Wells Fargo Bank Controls: Certain merchant codes are blocked so that P-Card transactions are automatically declined. Wells Fargo Bank provides access to all transaction data generated by Cardholders to the P-Card Program Administrators who review declined transaction reports on a weekly basis as well as unusual or irregular transactions.

There are three types of P-cards available:

  • Regular P-Card: allows for the purchase of general business-related items

  • Travel P-Card: allows for the purchase of business-related travel expenses to be paid in advance of travel

  • All-Card: allows for the purchase of general business-related items as well as business travel-related items. Delegated users are not allowed on an All-Card.

For questions regarding P-Cards, please contact:

           Misty Andrus: 435-797-0589 |

            Jill Hansen: 435-797-9683 |

This reference is not all-inclusive. Pleased refer to the P-Card Procedures for additional information.





(in advance of travel):


  Food, Meals & Entertainment


  Authorized Travel Expenses

  Employee Gifts & Awards

  Travel Agencies

  Employee Gifts & Awards

  Gift Cards


  Gift Cards


  Shuttle Service


  Equipment & Computers

  Bus Service

  Equipment & Computers

  Membership & Dues


  Membership & Dues

  Conference Registration


  Conference Registration




  Personal Purchases 

  Personal Purchases 

  Personal Purchases 

  Travel Purchases

  Purchases not related to travel

  Fuel for Personal or Courtesy Vehicles


  OCC's (except University Inn)

  Professional Services

  Professional Services

  Rental Cars


  Research Animals

  Food & Entertainment

  Research Animals

All-Card: A Visa credit card issued to a Cardholder for making authorized purchases on the University's behalf. All-Cards have a set three-year life, but they can be renewed, reissued, or revoked. The University pays Wells Fargo Bank and charges the assigned index number for All-Card purchases.  The All-Card allows the Cardholder to make general business-related supply purchases as well as authorized travel purchases.

Approval Levels:
There are five approval levels in P-Card Service Now. Each level has a specific job to be completed: either attaching a receipt, reviewing a transaction, or approving a transaction.

Level 10- Receipt Attacher
Level 100- Cardholder
Level 200- Business Services
Level 300- Department Approval
Level 400- Dean/VP Approval

Assigned Default Index Number: The department’s Business Services group or Cardholder assigns a default index number to a P-Card. If errors occur, reallocate charges from the default index to other indexes within Service Now. If the “default” index needs to be changed please contact the P-Card Program Administrator at 797-0589 or email:

Business Services: The department's Business Services group reviews and approves at level 200 in Service Now.

  • Business Services ensures that P-Card transactions are the appropriate index number and account code in Service Now. Business Services ensures all receipts and support documentation are attached in Service Now for each transaction.

  • Business Services relays information between departments and the P-Card Program Administrator. For example, Business Services notifies the P-Card Program Administrator of any assigned index number changes or closures for P-Cards.

  • Business Services must notify the P-Card Program Administrator if an employee has transferred to another department or has ended employment with the University.

Cardholder: The individual whose name appears on the P-Card and who is responsible for all charges made with the card. (Approval level 100 in Service Now)

Cardholder Training Session: Cardholders and delegated users are required to complete P-Card training regardless of type when applying for their first P-Card and every three years after. All P-Card training is available online. Cardholders must review the online training Purchasing Card (P-Card) Training for Cardholders and Delegated Users and turn in a P-Card Cardholder and Delegated User Training and Agreement Form (available at the completion of the online training) to the P-Card Administrators as proof of training.

Delegated Card User: This is a person who has been selected by a Cardholder to use the Cardholder’s P-Card. Cardholders are responsible and accountable for all charges whether made by themselves or by their delegated users. A completed Delegated Card User Form must be on file in the department listing each delegated card user by P-Card.

Delegated Users can view the online training at or the previously trained Cardholder/Department may provide the training to the Delegated User.

Department Approver (formerly Administrative Reviewer): The Department Approver is a person who has budgetary responsibility. The Department Approver may delegate the role of approving transactions but maintains the responsibility for budgetary oversight. The Department Approver, or Department Approver Designee, ensures that all transactions are appropriate business expenses. (Approval level 300 in Service Now)

Department Approver Designee (formerly Delegated Administrative Reviewer): The Department Approver Designee is any person assigned to approve transactions on behalf of the Department Approver at level 300 in Service Now. The designee cannot report directly to the cardholder. The designee is to report any concerns about transactions to the Department Approver.

Group Travel: Two or more people traveling together for authorized University business. This could include: employees, students, or employees and students.

Off-Campus Transactions: Any transaction involving a non-University vendor. The 16 digit number is associated with each charge made. Keep the card and number secure.

On-Campus Transactions: Each P-Card is issued has a unique On Campus Card (OCC) number. This number allows Cardholders to use their P-Cards to make purchases from on-campus vendors, such as the Bookstore, without the University incurring transaction fees from Wells Fargo Bank. On-campus vendors require customers to present their P-Card when purchases are made in person. (Note: There may be USU departments that do not use OCC numbers, but accept P-Cards for purchases.)

Purchasing Card (P-Card): A Visa credit card issued to a Cardholder for making authorized purchases on the University’s behalf. P-Cards have a set three-year life, but they can be renewed, reissued, or revoked. The University pays Wells Fargo Bank and charges the assigned index number for P-Card purchases.

P-Card Program Administrator: The employee who administers the P-Card program for the University and acts as the main contacts between the University and Wells Fargo Bank. The P-Card Program Administrator may sample, test, and question P-Card transactions, verify appropriateness, and inspect support documents.

P-Card Receipt Attacher/ Reconciler: The Cardholder, or their designee, who attaches the receipt for every transaction in Service Now. (Approval level 10 in Service Now)

P-Card Renewals: P-Cards automatically renew every three years as long as training is current.

P-Card Transaction: Transactions occur when Cardholders use their P-Card to make authorized purchases. These transactions are also known as “credit card charges” or “charges.” They are "On- or Off-Campus" charges reported through Service Now.

P-Card Transaction Review: Business Services,P-Card Program Administrator, Internal Audit Services, and Wells Fargo Bank review card usage. Any misuse of the card may result in card cancellation, disciplinary action, termination of employment, and legal action by the University.

Qualified Approval: An approval at the Department or Dean/VP level indicating the transaction does not comply with P-card procedures. Examples include; personal purchases that need to be reimbursed to the University via cash/check, or other inappropriate transactions. (refer to 2.5, Prohibited Purchases)

Reallocation Period: Generally speaking, transactions post into Service Now within 24-48 hours after a purchase. You may reallocate  P-Card charges from the default index to other indexes during the P-Card approval process or after-the-fact using standard journal entry processes.  Note: ensure equipment purchases using a P-Card have the correct equipment account code. Equipment Account codes can be viewed, here.

Record Retention: Xtender retains images of receipts and related support documents.

Service Now: Service Now is the system process for submitting all P-Card transactions for approval. It is used to attach the receipts and support documentation to each transaction. It is a software application that is a document management system used in conjunction with Banner INB to store and look up documents. 

Support Documents: Documents that “support” and provide information about P-Card transactions. Since transactions submitted into Service Now provide very little information about purchases, support documentation is required. Examples of support documents include itemized receipts, itemized invoices, packing slips, and the use of the Additional Information Form.

  1. All transactions require support documentation providing the following information:

      1. Description of purchase,

      2. Price item and quantity per item purchased,

      3. The total amount charged,

      4. The date, and

      5. The name of the company.

Sales Tax Exemption:
Most purchases made within the State of Utah are tax-exempt, however, lodging is an example of a purchase that currently is not exempt unless the amount is for a $1,000 or more or the vendor has a negotiated contract. P-Cards have the University’s Sales Tax Exemption number imprinted on them. Unless specifically stated by policy P-Card users should not pay Utah Sales Tax. Please let vendors know that your card is tax-exempt. Although penalties are not assessed for Utah Sales Tax charged to your purchase, if the amount is material, your department may want to pursue a sales tax credit from the vendor.

Substitute Receipt Form:
If an itemized receipt is not available, use the Substitute Receipt Form instead.

Transaction Limits:

Individual Transactions: The standard limit for a single off campus P-Card transaction is $5,000, however, departments may establish lower limits for a given P-Card. There is no limit for on-campus P-Card Transactions.

Monthly Transactions: The current limit for monthly transactions is $15,000. If you need a higher limit, please contact the P-Card Program Administrator.

University Business-Related Expenses:
Expenditures (purchases) that support the mission of the University. All P-Card transactions must qualify as University business-related expenses. If a P-Card transaction "may be viewed" as a personal purchase to someone not directly involved,write a brief explanation on the itemized receipt and in the comments section of Service Now, or the Additional Information Form should be completed and attached to the P-Card transaction in Service Now.


2.1 Obtaining a P-Card

  • Training must be completed to obtain a P-Card. Complete the online Purchasing Card (P-Card) Training for Cardholders and Delegated Users. Additional cards for other accounts/indexes may be issued if training is current (within the past three years).

  • Complete the online P-Card Application Form and e-mail to the P-Card Administrator at (Plan on 10 business days after you submit your application before your card is available.)

  • You will be notified by the P-Card Administrator if you need to complete training.

2.2 Cardholder Responsibilities

  • Be familiar with allowable transactions

  • Understand what you CAN and CANNOT buy with your P-Card.

  • Understand how University Policies impact your P-Card use.

  • Understand that all card use is subject to review and audit.

  • Obtain and submit itemized receipts/invoices for EVERY purchase; use the Substitute Receipt form if necessary.

  • Ensure that Utah State Sales Tax is not charged on purchases made within the State of Utah.

  • Each transaction receipt must be manually signed or electronically approved within Service Now.

  • Understand the requirements for Delegated Users if you choose to have them.

  • Accept responsibility for monitoring the proper use of the P-Card by any Delegated Users.

  • Agree to notify the P-Card Administrator if you change departments or end employment with the University.

Cardholders must complete the online training: Purchasing Card (P-Card) Training for Cardholders and Delegated Card Users.

2.3 P-Card Transaction Reconciliation

P-Card reconciliation will take place in Service Now. Within 24-48 hours after a transaction has occurred, the Bank file will be submitted into Service Now. The following steps must be followed to ensure documentation is attached, reallocations are made for each transaction (if necessary), and the transactions are approved.

2.3.1 The Receipt Attacher (Level 10) is responsible to:

  1. Notify the cardholder when a transaction is submitted into Service Now and no receipt has been given to the receipt attacher.

  2. Attach all itemized receipts and support documentation to the transaction in Service Now.

  3. Answer all questions regarding the transaction such as:

    • Is there an itemized receipt or a Substitute Receipt form?

    • Does the transaction need to route to the cardholder?

    • Is the transaction a meal or entertainment?

      • Was alcohol purchased?

    • Is the transaction for membership or dues?


2.3.2 The Cardholder (Level 100) is responsible to:

  1. Submit all itemized receipts or a Substitute Receipt Form to the Receipt Attacher

  2. Dispute any charges with the vendor or Wells Fargo within 60 days of the transaction.

  3. Either manually sign or electronically approve each receipt, indicating that the charges are correct, authorized by the cardholder, compliant with University Policies, and consistent with departmental budget and grant guidelines.

  4. Ensure any inappropriate purchase is immediately reported to your cardholder's supervisor, arrange for repayment of funds to USU, and receive appropriate retraining as needed.


*Terminated Cardholder Transactions:
When a Cardholder's employment is terminated and there are still transactions in the system

A. If the transaction is at Level 10:

     The level 10 should complete the needed information and bypass the Cardholder, making a comment that the cardholder is no long employed. 

     The 200 Business Services Level will confirm with a comment that the Cardholder is no longer employed and that the department accepts the transaction         as a legitimate business expense.

B. If the transaction is at Level 100:

     E-mail notification should be sent to When this documentation is received the P-Card Administrator will return the transaction to the       level 10 and attach the e-mail documentation.

     Once the transaction is returned to level 10, please refer to step A.

2.3.3 Business Services (Level 200) is responsible to:

  1. Ensure all support documentation is attached and all information is entered into Service Now.

  2. Reallocate from the index default account code if necessary.

  3. Verify that all University Policies are followed and the transaction is within budget.

  4. As directed, ensure inappropriate purchases are reimbursed and cardholders are retrained where needed.


2.3.4 The department approver (Level 300) is responsible to:

  1. Verify that the transaction is an appropriate business expense.

  2. Verify that all required support documentation is attached

  3. Approve the transaction, or if you question a purchases appropriateness, give a "Qualified Approval".

    1. When a qualified approval is chosen, the transaction will post to Banner but additional steps need to be taken:

      If the transaction requires a reimbursement, make payment directly to the department via cash/check. The department then makes the deposit at the Cashier’s Office and attaches the deposit receipt to the original transaction in Service Now.

      Include explanations and documentation for other inappropriate transactions.

  4. Address inappropriate transactions with the cardholder.


2.3.5 The dean/vice president approver (Level 400) is responsible to:

  1. Verify that the membership or dues is in accordance with Policy 522 Membership and Dues.

  2. Verify that the alcohol purchase is in accordance with Policy 516 Meals and Entertainment.

  3. Approve the transaction, or if you question a purchases appropriateness, give a “Qualified Approval”.


2.4 Examples of Authorized Purchases

  • Regular P-Card

    • Office, lab, and classroom supplies

    • Conference registrations, including seminars and workshops

    • Publications and periodicals (University Business-Related)

    • University Inn (USU Logan Campus)

    • University business-related Meals and Entertainment (in accordance with Policy 516)

    • Employee Gifts and Awards (in accordance with Policy 505)

    • Tools and equipment

    • A purchase where a vendor requires that a P-Card number be kept on file (i.e.

    • Printing – both on campus and off campus

      • Off campus Printing – if your print job contains a University logo, please contact Public Relations (797-1351) for approval (Trademark Licensing Policy 510)

    • Monthly recurring charges for non-contractual obligations are only authorized if the corresponding receipts/invoices are included in the documentation

    • Gift Cards (following the Gift Card/Certificate Procedures), USU Dining Cards (requires a Meals and Entertainment Form)

  • All P-Card

    • Same as regular P-Card, plus:  

      • Authorized business-related travel expenses

  • Travel P-Card 

    • Only authorized business-related travel expenses to be paid in advance

2.5 Restrictions

Regular P-Card

  • NO personal purchases

  • NO employee travel expenses (exception: conference registrations)

  • NO personal cell phones or personal cell phone services

  • NO gasoline or diesel fuel for personal vehicles or courtesy cars

  • NO construction or remodeling

  • NO research animals

  • NO radioactive chemicals or isotopes

  • No splitting orders to remain under the single transaction limit

All P-Card

  • NO Delegated Card users

  • NO personal purchases

  • NO personal cell phones or personal cell phone services

  • NO gasoline or diesel fuel for personal vehicles or courtesy cars

  • NO construction or remodeling

  • NO research animals

  • NO radioactive chemicals or isotopes

  • No splitting orders to remain under the single transaction limit

Travel P-Card

  • NO purchases except authorized business-related travel expenses to be paid in advance

2.6 Examples of Authorized-Contractual P- Card Purchases

  • University Internet/Data Plans- These transactions require a contract to bind the University.  Authorized University signatures are required to avoid personal liability.  If the approved contract contains an Authorized University Signature, P-Card payments are allowed; however, a copy of the signature page must be attached. (Does not include a data plan in an individuals name.)

  • Storage rentals- These transactions require a contract to bind the University. Authorized University signatures are required to avoid personal liability.  If the approved contract contains an Authorized University Signature, P-card payments are allowed; however, a copy of the signature page must be attached.

  • When paying for a professional service (independent contractor, performer, honorarium, medical service, attorney or accountant) with a P-card, if a contract is required; the properly completed and authorized contract must be attached to the P-card transaction in Service Now.

 Reporting Changes on a P-Card

If you need to report a change on an existing P-Card, please e-mail the P-Card Program Administrator with the information. Please include ONLY the last 4 digits of the card’s account number. Changes can include:

  • New Index

  • Address Change

  • Name Change

  • Single Transaction Limit

  • Monthly Spending Limit

  • Card Closure

The e-mail must be copied (cc’d) to the Department Head, the Card Manager and the Card Holder to indicate authorization before changes will be made by the Program Administrator.

P-Card Program Administrator e-mail address: 

2.8 Lost Cards

All P-Cards are the property of Utah State University. If a card is lost or stolen, please do the following:

  • Immediately notify the P-Card Program Administrator (by phone, (435) 797-0589 or email, and Wells Fargo Bank Customer Service (1-800-932-0036)

Wells Fargo Bank will block additional use of a lost/stolen card upon telephone notification. Prompt action in these circumstances can reduce the University’s liability for fraudulent charges.

2.9 Improper Use of a P-Card

If you have a question regarding whether a P-Card can be used for a certain type of purchase, please contact the P-Card Program Administrator for assistance (435)797-0589

The P-Card Program is administered in accordance with policies and procedures established by the Controller’s Office and Purchasing Services. The Controller’s Office and Purchasing Services are authorized to suspend or cancel P-Card privileges for cardholders considered to be in violation of University and P-Card policies and procedures.

2.10 Review Process

All P-Card transactions are subject to review by the Controller's Office or Internal Audit Services. They may also be subject to formal audits conducted by Internal Audit Services.

3.1 Shipping and Receiving

Cardholders are encouraged to receive their own shipments. Regardless of who receives the shipment, the Cardholder remains responsible for obtaining all documentation (packing slips, mail order form copies, etc.) related to the purchase and verifying that the documentation complies with the requirements for support documents.

Address for Central Receiving:

Utah State University
Receiving Department
1295 East 700 North
9200 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-9200

Utah State University
Central Receiving
530 North 300 East
Price, UT 84501

Utah State University
San Juan Campus
Central Receiving
639 West 100 South
Blanding, UT 84511

3.2 Merchandise Returns and Exchanges

The Cardholder is responsible for contacting the vendor when merchandise is not acceptable (incorrect, damaged, defective, etc.). Be aware that some vendors may assess a restocking fee.

  • Merchandise Returned for Credit: If merchandise is returned for credit, the Cardholder is responsible to obtain a credit receipt from the vendor and keep it as support documentation for the returned purchase. The P-Card should be credited. USU prohibits receiving cash, checks or in-store credit to resolve a credit.

  • Merchandise Exchanged: If merchandise is exchanged, the Cardholder will return the merchandise to the vendor and keep documentation supporting the transaction

3.3 Disputes

If the Cardholder disputes a charge, document the dispute and the final resolution so that it can be retained with the disputed transaction.

  • Vendor Resolution: Whenever possible, the Cardholder should try to resolve disputed charges directly with the vendor. Most vendors prefer to resolve the dispute themselves and are willing to provide help. If the vendor agrees that an error has been made, the vendor will process a credit to the P-Card account. Make sure that credits due are posted to the P-Card account.

  • Wells Fargo Bank Resolution: If the dispute cannot be resolved with the vendor, the Cardholder should contact Wells Fargo Bank at 1-800-932-0036 to complete and turn in a Cardholder Dispute Form. You only have 60 days from the transaction date to dispute a charge with Wells Fargo Bank.

If you have questions regarding specific P-Card purchases related to the topics below, please review these policies to ensure compliance.

Policy 505 – Employee Gifts and Awards

Policy 516 – Meals and Entertainment

Policy 522- Memberships and Dues

Gift Card Procedures