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Policies and Procedures

General Policies and Procedures

  1. Purchasing Cards will only be issued to individuals in the individual's name (there are no departmental cards).
  2. Only one Purchasing Card may be issued to an individual.
  3. Purchasing Cards will not be transferable between individuals.
  4. The Cardholder must be an employee of the University of South Carolina.
  5. Purchasing Cards will be available to employees on all campuses.
  6. The Purchasing Card prohibits the use of purchasing food and other items for personal consumption.
  7. A default account and object code will be assigned to each Purchasing Card.
  8. Each department may have up to two department liaisons.
  9. Cardholders will be linked to their department by their default account code.
  10. Department Liaisons will be responsible for all Cardholders listed in their department.
  11. Department Liaison may be a liaison for him/herself, but all card transactions must be approved by the department head. 
  12. The Purchasing Card Administrator resides in the Purchasing Department.
  13. The employee's Department Head must approve the request for a card, assign the default account and object code, assign department liaisons and submit this information to the Purchasing Card Administrator.
  14. The employee's department head must provide notification to the Purchasing Card Administrator once a change in department liaisons occur.
  15. The Department Head approval delegates transaction authority to the Cardholder.
  16. Bank of America is paid once a month.
  17. Departments (cardholder, liaison and department head) are responsible for assuring the accuracy of credit card charges.



Roles and Responsibilities

Agency – the University of South Carolina arranges with the card issuer, Bank of America, for the issuance of purchasing cards to designated employees and agrees to accept liability for the employees' use of the cards.

Cardholder – an employee of the University of South Carolina who is approved by his or her department head to use the purchasing card to execute purchase transactions on behalf of their department.

Card Issuer – Bank of America's services were contracted for/by the State of South Carolina, to issue Visa purchasing cards to University of South Carolina employees, to bill the University of South Carolina for all purchases made on the cards and to collect payment from the University of South Carolina on behalf of the vendors.

Department Head – a University of South Carolina official must approve an employee's request for a procurement card, assign department liaisons, designate default account and object codes for purchases on the purchasing card and submit applications to the purchasing card administrator. Department head approval delegates transaction authority to the cardholder.

Department Liaison – an employee in each department or college responsible for proper use of the purchasing card within their assigned department containers. Each cardholder will be assigned to department liaison(s) by means of their department container and the liaison will be responsible for reviewing transactions of individual cardholders to make sure the transactions are classified as an appropriate expense.

Purchasing Card Administrator – the central coordinator located in the purchasing department who coordinates the purchasing card program and acts as an intermediary in correspondence with the card issuer.

Vendor – the merchant from whom a cardholder is making a purchase.

The Cardholder must only use the Purchasing Card for legitimate business purposes. The Purchasing Card may not be used for food, travel, registration fees (that involve food and/or travel), entertainment, cash (gift cards, incentives and postage (stamps) are not allowed) and other categories as included in the Blocked Merchant Category Code list included in these policies and procedures. Misuse of the card will subject the Cardholder to disciplinary action in accordance with University of South Carolina Policies and Procedures relating to disciplinary action and termination for cause. The Cardholder responsibilities and procedures include:

  • Ensuring the purchasing card is used only for legitimate business purposes.
  • Maintaining the purchasing card in a safe, secure location.
  • Ensuring the Purchasing Card is only used by the approved cardholder. Use by anyone other than the cardholder is strictly prohibited.
  • Adhering to the purchase limits and restrictions of the Purchasing Card and ensure the total transaction amount of any single transaction does not exceed $4,999.99 inclusive of shipping/handling, taxes and any other applicable fees.
  • Obtaining all back up documentation for the p-card to include sales slips, register receipts and/or Purchasing Cards slips and timely provide information for reconciliation and allocation of transactions in the Peoplesoft application.
  • Electronically approving and signing monthly expense report in Peoplesoft. The approval certifies the purchase meets the University guidelines for payment approval. Approvals should be completed within thirty (30) days after the end of the billing cycle.
  • Timely notifying Department Liaison if the default account and/or object code should be changed on a transaction.
  • Attempting to resolve any disputes with vendor and/or Bank of America within sixty (60) days of the posting date. Note: 60-day period for resolution of disputes.
  • Ensuring an appropriate credit for the reported disputed items(s) or billing error appears on a subsequent Cardholder's Statement.
  • Not accepting cash in lieu of credit to the Purchasing Card account.
  • Immediately reporting a lost or stolen card to Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).
  • Immediately notifying Department Liaison and/or Purchasing Card Administrator of a lost or stolen Purchasing Card at the first opportunity during business hours.
  • Returning the Purchasing Card to Department Liaison upon terminating employment with the university. If transferring to a different department, contact the Purchasing Card Administrator to coordinate the change and provide instructions for retaining the Purchasing Card.

If changing departments within the University of South Carolina, please contact the purchasing card administrator to coordinate the change and provide instructions for retaining purchasing card and approvals for new department.

Purchasing Card Request Form [pdf]

Each Department Head may designate a maximum of two Department Liaisons for each department. A Department Liaison may also be the liaison for his/her own card. If the department liaison(s) is also a Purchasing Cardholder, it will be the responsibility of the liaison to have the monthly charges incurred on his/her purchasing card reviewed by the department head in Peoplesoft. The liaison responsibilities and procedures include:

  • Attending all required training sessions. 
  • Viewing vendor receipts from Cardholders and reconciles to Bank of America billing statement.
  • Verifying itemized receipts for audit by internal and external auditors.
  • Reviewing and approving expense reports in PeopleSoft.
  • Approving and/or updating account and/or object codes and cost-sharing information on electronic billing distribution of individual Cardholder account within the specified deadline using PeopleSoft Expense Report Module.
  • Identifying and updating transactions that require the submission of use tax and/or account changes using Peoplesoft, My Wallet.
  • Perform documented monthly reviews of all transactions for assigned Cardholders to verify that there have been no non-allowable transactions.
    • i.e., no prohibited transactions, no split transactions, purchases are made from contract vendors when available, no deliveries to other than the business address(s), no blocked MCCs, etc.
  • Creating a journal entry to correct the necessary charges that require a change in account code, fund, class or cost share. Journal entries should be submitted directly to the university's Controller’s Office.
  • Notifying Purchasing Card Administrator of default account chartfield information changes for individual cards as needed. 
  • Notifying Purchasing Card Administrator of lost or stolen cards.
  • Sending immediate request to Purchasing Card Administrator to cancel a Cardholder's card e.g. (terminated employees, loss of purchasing card privileges) as approved by the Department Head. Collecting cards from Cardholders, cutting the card in half and forwarding to Purchasing along with the Card Cancellation Form. This includes when cardholders transfer to jobs not requiring a P-Card.

Purchasing Department Liaison Request Form [pdf]

The Purchasing Card Administrator is responsible for the overall Purchasing Card program. Responsibilities include:

  • Providing a single point of contact with Bank of America for the University of South Carolina Purchasing Card Program.
  • Utilizing Bank of America’s General Ledger System (WORKS) and PeopleSoft Expense Module for expense reporting. 
  • Reviewing department approved applications for completeness of required information.
  • Submitting completed applications to Bank of America for processing. 
  • Training Department Liaisons and Cardholders before releasing Purchasing Cards.
  • Ensuring Cardholder sign the Purchasing Cardholder Agreement after training, signifying agreement with the terms of the Purchasing Card Program.
  • Handling disputed charges/discrepancies not resolved by Cardholder or Department Liaison.
  • Initiating change of Purchasing Card default accounting chartfield information upon request of Department Liaison.
  • Securing revoked Purchasing Cards and submitting information to Bank of America.
  • Reviewing Bank of America's corporate monthly statement and preparing for payment.
  • Reviewing usage of Purchasing Card data for appropriateness.
  • Analyzing purchasing card spend for management review. 

The criteria to obtain a Purchasing Card is as follows:

  • Applicant must be a full-time employee of the University of South Carolina.
  • Applicant's request for a Purchasing Card must be approved by his/her Department Head.
  • Employee must attend a training session before he/she may be issued a Purchasing Card.
  • Each individual Cardholder must sign a Cardholder agreement and return it to the program administrator. 

The Purchasing Card is a corporate purchasing VISA charge card, which will not affect the Cardholder's personal credit. However, it is the Cardholder's responsibility to ensure that the card is used within stated guidelines of the Purchasing Card Cardholder Manual as well as University of South Carolina Policies and Procedures relating to the expenditure of University of South Carolina funds. Failure to comply with program guidelines may result in permanent revocation of the card, notification of the situation to management and further disciplinary measures that may include termination.

Cardholders are required to immediately report any lost or stolen purchasing card to Bank of America toll-free at 1-888-449-2273 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The cardholder must also immediately notify his or her department liaison and/or the purchasing card administrator about the lost or stolen card at the first opportunity during normal business hours.


Using the Card

The Purchasing Card is to be used only for the purchase of supplies. University of South Carolina spending parameters for each Visa purchasing card issued is set at $4,999.99 to include the shipping, sales/use tax and any other applicable fees per transaction with a standard maximum of $10,000 per month per card. The University of South Carolina, through the Purchasing Department, will adjust limits as determined by demonstrated need. All such requests will be reviewed and approved by the Director of Purchasing. Requests for cardholder increased monthly limits should have a minimum of six months Visa history and no exceptions for the entire unit. Written justification from the department head/dean/chair to include time/date parameters must be submitted in writing to the Director of Purchasing for approval. Cardholder spending limits must be reviewed at least annually to determine that actual usage is consistent with spending limits.

Should the Purchasing Card be declined by a vendor, the Cardholder should immediately contact the Purchasing Card Administrator for assistance. If purchase is being made outside normal business hours, the employee must find an alternate payment method or terminate the purchase and contact the Purchasing Card Administrator during normal business hours.

Emergency transactions over $4,999.99 may not be handled with the Purchasing Card due to State procurement regulations. For any transaction that does not meet the spending controls assigned to the card, the Cardholder must contact the Purchasing Office for assistance.

Vendors will issue all credits to the individual Purchasing Card account for any item they have agreed to accept for return. This credit will appear on a subsequent statement. Under no circumstances should a Cardholder accept cash in lieu of a credit to the Purchasing Card account.

Rebates for University purchased supplies are the property of the University and must be deposited back to the appropriate University account.

The Cardholder is responsible for contacting the vendor to resolve any disputed charges or billing errors. If the matter is not resolved with the vendor, the Cardholder should:

  • Contact Bank of America by phone at 1-888-449-2273 directly.
  • Mail or fax to Bank of America at 1-888-678-6046 a signed Dispute Form to document the reason for the dispute, if form is requested.
  • Contact the Purchasing Card Administrator for assistance if an acceptable resolution is not obtained.

Note:  The total amount billed by Bank of America will be charged to the individual department accounts and credits for disputed transactions will be posted to department accounts when the credit appears on the Bank of America billing. Cardholder has sixty (60) days from the posting date to report to Bank of America.


Card Administration

Purchasing Cards
The card should be maintained in a secure location and the card account number should be carefully guarded. The only person entitled to use the card is the person whose name appears on the face of the card. The Purchasing Card cannot be used by another person for any reason.

Program Documentation
The Department Liaison assigned to each department unit will review and audit the Cardholder's vendor itemized receipts, packing slips and any other related documentation. All other documentation concerning the Purchasing Card program will be maintained by the Purchasing Card Administrator located in the Purchasing Department. This documentation includes, but is not limited to, applications, Cardholder agreements, agency billing statements.

All contact with Bank of America for card set up, maintenance and closure (except for reporting lost or stolen cards) is handled by the Purchasing Card Administrator who is located in the Purchasing Department (777-4115).

Card Set-Up

  1. University of South Carolina employee completes a Purchasing Card application and submits to his/her Department Head for approval.
  2. Department Head signature approval delegates transaction authority to the Cardholder.
  3. The approved application is forwarded to the Purchasing Department.
  4. Purchasing Card Administrator reviews application for completeness and verifies employment status.
  5. The Purchasing Card Administrator will contact applicant to complete the pre-requisite exam on Blackboard and conducts a training session with the Cardholder prior to issuing.
  6. Cardholder signs Cardholder Agreement signifying agreement with the terms of the Purchasing Card
  7. The program administrator submits application to Bank of America for processing.

Card Maintenance

  • Purchasing Card Administrator will use all available tools of Bank of America's General Ledger System (Works) and Peoplesoft Expense Reporting Module for the maintenance of


  • Lost or Stolen Cards – Cardholder must immediately report the lost/stolen card to Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273. Cardholder must also notify the purchasing card administrator, who will follow up with Bank of America, if replacement procurement card is not received.
  • Terminated Employees – Department liaison is to secure purchasing cards from terminated employees. The department liaison will immediately notify the purchasing card administrator by phone of the termination. A request for closing the cardholder account will be submitted to Bank of America by the purchasing card administrator within two days of receiving the notification. All purchasing cards are to be returned to the purchasing card administrator for disposal.
  • Other Card Revokes/Closures – Purchasing card administrator will notify Bank of America immediately of all revokes and closures.
  • Purchasing cards will be reviewed in January of each year. Any card with no activity for the previous 12 month period will be canceled and the liaison will be notified that this action has occurred.
  • Purchasing Card Cancellation Form [pdf]

Receipt and Payment of Bank of America Billing

  • Bank of America will electronically bill the University of South Carolina within seven (7) days after the close of the billing cycle on the 27th of each
  • Purchasing Card Administrator will prepare a wire transfer request and submit to Accounting for payment to be issued to Bank of America. Wire transfer request will be prepared within five (5) days after receipt of the Bank of America bill and processed so that payment will reach Bank of America no later than 25 calendar days after the close of the billing cycle of the previous
  • Department Liaisons will identify transactions requiring payment of use
  • Department Liaisons will be notified via e-mail each time a transaction is posted from the Bank and allows for immediate reconciliation in lieu of waiting for the statement at the end of the month to reconcile the account.
  • Department Liaisons will assemble and retain Cardholders statements and receipts for audit by internal and external auditors. Receipts for purchases made from Federal funds must be maintained for seven (7) years and all other receipts for three (3).
  • The total amount billed by Bank of America will be charged to the individual department accounts and credits for disputed transactions will be posted to department accounts when credit appears on the Bank of America.
  • Purchasing Card Administrator will reconcile the detailed electronic billing statement to amount paid to Bank of America.

Allocation of Purchasing Card Charges to Departments 

A default account and object code will be assigned to each purchasing card issued. Bank of America will submit monthly an electronic billing statement to the University of South Carolina and all purchasing card transactions will be charged to the default account number unless adjustments are made as follows:
  • Department liaisons will change account and/or object codes as necessary.
  • Department liaisons will add analytical information for cost sharing, if necessary.
  • Department liaisons will identify transactions requiring payment of use tax.
  • Department liaisons will be notified via email each time a transaction is posted from the bank, allowing for immediate reconciliation in lieu of waiting for the statement at the end of the month to reconcile the charge.
  • Department liaisons will assemble and retain cardholders statements, charge slips and receipts for audit by internal and external auditors. Receipts for purchases made from federal funds must be maintained for seven (7) years and all other receipts for three (3) years.
  • Purchasing card administrator will process upload of the department charges to Accounting for proper charging of individual departments.
  • The total amount billed by Bank of America will be charged to the individual department accounts and credits for disputed transactions will be posted to department accounts when credit appears on the Bank of America billing.
  • Purchasing card administrator will reconcile the detailed electronic billing statement to amount paid Bank of America.

The University of South Carolina's internal control policies and procedures. 

Cardholder will:

  • Upload vendor itemized receipts, invoice, packing slip, monthly statement and any other additional supporting documentation to the expense report.
  • Provide Missing Receipt Affidavit Form to the expense report for those receipts unable to obtain and or receive duplicate copies. Must also be signed by the immediate supervisor. Repeated use of this method will subject Cardholder to loss of card.
  • Indicate alternate cost center, object code, and/or cost share account code for purchases to be charged if different than the default assigned by Purchasing.
  • If the Cardholder is also the liaison, it is a requirement that the department head approver also approve the transactions of the liaison in the PeopleSoft Expense Module.
  • Reconciles the monthly statement with the expense report. 

Department Liaison will:

  • Reconcile the Cardholder receipts to monthly statement.
  • Enter alternate cost center, object code and/or cost share account code when applicable.
  • Enter analytical for cost sharing to grants when needed
  • Identify transactions requiring the payment of use.
  • Retain all receipts and vouchers for audit by internal and external auditors. Receipts for purchases paid from Federal funds are to be maintained for seven (7) years. All other receipts to be maintained for three (3).
  • Electronically approves the expense report in Peoplesoft. 

Purchasing Card Administrator will:

  • Make periodic audits of procurement card use and charges for appropriateness through the use of Bank of America’s WORKS on-line reporting system and PeopleSoft Expense Reporting Module. Areas to be monitored include, but not limited to, compliance with SC Consolidated Procurement Code, compliance with Purchasing Card regulations, compliance with University of South Carolina regulations and sales and use tax charges. Nonuse of card by Cardholders will also be
  1. Bank of America issues cards with a five-year expiration date. All cardholders are trained prior to receiving a procurement card. Upon expiration of the cards, all cardholders will be required to complete an online refresher examination before the new card can be activated.
  2. Renewal cards are automatically mailed to cardholders. In order to remain active, refresher training is required.
  3. The test will be administered through the Blackboard software program maintained by Division of Information Technology.


  1. The P-Card Administrator will receive a card status report.
  2. The P-Card Administrator will verify the e-mail address and network ID.
  3. A group distribution notification will be sent to all liaisons with cards expiring within the next 30 calendar days, notifying the affected cardholders of their impending expiration.
  4. Cardholders will receive a notice instructing them to complete an online test using the Blackboard system prior to the expiration date.
  5. Cardholders must take the test. If a cardholder does not take the test, the new card will not be activated.
  6. If a cardholder fails the test, the cardholder will be required to attend refresher training with the P-Card Administrator and to retake the test.

The University of South Carolina has adopted the State of South Carolina's Blocked Merchant Category Code List with some allowable adjustments. Transactions will be blocked at the point-of-sale level at the types of vendors on the Blocked Merchant Category Code List attached to these procedures.


Blocked Merchant Category Code List

Code Category
3000 - 3299 Airlines
3501 - 3722 Hotels and Motels
4011 Railroads
4111 Local/Suburban Commuter Passenger Transportation, Including Ferries
4112 Passenger Railways
4121 Taxicabs/Limousines
4411 Steamship/Cruise Lines
4511 Airlines, Air Carriers (not elsewhere classified)
4582 Airports, Flying Fields, Airport Terminals
4722 Travel Agencies
4723 TUI Travel
4761 Transportation/Travel-Related Arrangement Services-Mail or Telephone Order (excluding travel agencies)
4784 Toll and Bridge Fees
4789 Transportation Services (not elsewhere classified)
4821 Telegraph Services
4829 Wire Transfer – Money Orders
5172 Petroleum and Petroleum Products
5271 Mobile Home Dealers
5309 Duty-Free Stores
5541 Service Stations (with or without ancillary services)
5542 Automated Fuel Dispensers
5598 Snowmobile Dealers
5681 Furriers and Fur Shops
5812 Eating Places, Restaurants
5813 Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) Bars, Taverns, Cocktail Lounges, Nightclubs, Discotheques
5921 Package Stores – Beer, Wine and Liquor
5933 Pawn Shops
5960 Direct Marketing Insurance Services
5962 Direct Marketing Travel-Related Arrangement Services
5963 Direct Selling Establishments/Door-to-Door Sales
5966 Outbound Telemarketing Merchant
5993 Cigar Stores and Stands
5997 Electric Razor Stores - Sales and Service
6010 Financial Institutions – Manual Cash Disbursements
6011 Financial Institutions – Automated Cash Disbursements
6012 Financial Institutions – Merchandise and Services
6051 Non-Financial Institutions – Foreign Currency, Money Orders (not wire transfer) and Travelers Checks
6211 Security Brokers/Dealers
6300 Insurance Sales and Underwriting
6381 Insurance Premiums
6399 Insurance (not elsewhere classified)
6611 Overpayments
6760 Savings Bonds
7011 Lodging – Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Central Reservation Services, (not elsewhere classified)
7012 Timeshares
7230 Barber and Beauty Shops
7273 Dating and Escort Services
7276 Tax Preparation Service
7277 Counseling Service – Debt, Marriage, Personal
7278 Buying – Shopping Services, Clubs
7280 Hospital Patient Personal Funds Withdrawal Accounts
7295 Babysitting Services
7297 Massage Parlors
7298 Health and Beauty Spas
7321 Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies
7361 Employment Agencies, Temporary Help Services
7392 Management, Consulting and Public Relations Services
7393 Detective Agencies, Protective Services and Security Services, including Armored Cars and Guard Dogs
7512 Car Rental Agencies (not elsewhere classified)
7519 Motor Home and Recreational Vehicle Rentals
7524 Express Payment Service Merchants – Parking Lots
7542 Car Washes
7833 Express Payment Service Merchants – Motion Picture Theaters
7929 Bands, Orchestras, Entertainers
7995 Betting (including Lottery Tickets, Casino Gaming Chips, Off-Track Betting and Wagers)
7997 Membership Clubs (Sports, Recreation, Athletic), Country Clubs, Private Golf Courses
8011 Doctors
8021 Dentists, Orthodontists
8031 Osteopaths
8041 Chiropractors
8042 Optometrists, Ophthalmologists
8043 Opticians
8044 Optical Goods and Eyeglasses
8049 Chiropodists, Podiatrists
8050 Nursing and Personal Care Facilities
8062 Hospitals
8111 Legal Services, Attorneys
8211 Elementary and Secondary Schools
8241 Correspondence Schools
8244 Business and Secretarial Schools
8249 Vocational and Trade Schools
8351 Child Care Services
8675 Automobile Associations
8931 Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services
9211 Court Costs, including Alimony and Child Support
9222 Fines
9223 Bail and Bond Payment
9311 Tax Payments
9411 Government Loan Payments
9700 Automated Rental Service
9751 UK Supermarkets – Electronic Hot File (for regional use only)
9752 UK Petrol Stations – Electronic Hot File (for regional use only)


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