Procurement Card (P-Card)
Quick Reference Sources
- US Bank 24-Hour Customer Service:
- P-Card website:
- P-Card Program Administrator:Bldg 15
For cards (new, reissue, transfer,
or cancel) and changes in existing limits.
- Accounting Contacts and Questions: Sponsored Programs: 6-1123
Campus Programs: 6-2224
Mariann Van Pelt
Cal Poly Corporation
Sr. Accounting Manager
- Billing Cycle: Billing Cycle ends on the 15th
of the month (*Exception: when the day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the billing cycle will end on the following business day.)
- US Bank Access Online:
View Transaction and Cardholder Activity report
- Maximum Monthly Card Limit: $5,000
- Maximum Single Purchase Limit: $1,500
A. Why Have a P-Card
Cal Poly Corporation uses a variety of methods to purchase goods and services, including petty cash, purchase orders, and direct expenses.
Processing purchase orders is not cost effective for low-dollar value goods and, occasionally, suppliers refuse to accept a purchase order.
The P-Card can be used as an option to existing methods to obtain supplies (goods), and allowable services costing up to $1500 (including tax and shipping), which are not restricted or prohibited. Cardholders are encouraged to use the P-Card for low value purchases in order to achieve cost savings and improve processing time for such items. The P-Card is for authorized Cal Poly Corporation (CPC) purchases only, and is not for personal use or for purchases belonging to Cal Poly State University or ASI.
B. Applying for a P-Card
Complete an application from our web page at:
Determine if the P-Card will be for an Individual Cardholder or Departmental Cardholder
If a departmental cardholder is chosen, a responsible party must be designated. The responsible party will have the same responsibilities as an individual cardholder, such as allocating transactions and submitting a monthly reconciliation. In addition, (s)he must keep a log of the people in the department who check out the P-Card. The required template for the departmental log is located on our webpage listed above. The responsible party will also be the contact person in the department regarding all P-Card transactions.
Select an Approving Official
An Approving Official will review and authorize the cardholder’s charges each month and should be at least one level above the cardholder. A cardholder verifies the purchases, and must get the Approving Official’s signature. The cardholders themselves cannot approve their own charges.
Determine a Monthly Spending Limit
Generally the cardholder’s Approving Official will determine the spending limit for a cardholder. The spending limit should be set to accommodate your department needs, and can be raised later if needed. The single purchase limit (what can be spent at one time with one merchant) is set at a maximum of $1,500 for all cardholders. There is a $5,000 limit for each month.
Determine a Default Account
An Org Key and Object Code must be listed as the default account on your card.Typically the administrative coordinator for your department will know what account to list. All charges on your credit card will be charged to this account, unless they are changed by you before the 25th of each month.
The application should have the signatures of the cardholder and the Approving Official.
There will be a mandatory training available on Skillsoft through your my.calpoly.edu portal. Your card will be issued only after the training has been completed. Re-training will be required every two years for as long as you hold a Cal Poly Corporation P-Card.
In order to complete the training, please follow the proceeding instructions:
- Login to the my.calpoly.edu portal
- Click on the “Staff and Faculty Training” at the top of the page
- Click on “Go to Skillsoft” in the Skillsoft portlet (on the right side of the page)
- Click on “View My Plan”
- In the “SLO – Cal Poly Corporation P-Card Training” section of the page, click on “Launch” then click “Yes”
- Turn on your volume or plug in headphones
C. Card Activation
Upon receiving your card, you will receive written instructions on how to activate your card. If you have questions, please email [email protected]. Upon activation, please remember to sign the back of your card and write SEE I.D.
for security reasons.
You are responsible for ensuring the credit card is used in accordance with the policies outlined in this handbook and all purchases are in compliance with Cal Poly Corporation P-Card procedures.
Procedures – Cardholder
Security of P-Card
You are responsible for ensuring the credit card is kept in a secure location. If kept in your office, it should be kept out of sight, and locked up when not in use.
B. Documentation of Purchases
You may go to the place of business to obtain the purchase, call and place the order, or order via the Internet. In all cases, you will need an itemized original receipt/invoice. An itemized receipt/invoice consists of the following information:
- Description of items purchased
- Quantity purchased
- Price per item
- Amount of sales tax and total amount paid
- Shipping charges, if applicable
- Name of vendor
If the receipt or invoice you receive is not itemized, you must itemize the purchases in the Description field on the US Bank Cardholder Activity report.
If you receive your invoice by email, include the vendor email and the emailed invoice with your Cardholder Activity report.
If you have lost receipts/invoices, and another invoice cannot be obtained from the vendor, attach the form “Declaration of Missing Evidence” from the CPC website.
NOTE: The P-Card will be revoked due to: misuse, excessive missed deadlines, lost receipts, or excessive transferring amounts to other
P-Card original receipts must be kept until the transaction appears on the US Bank Cardholder Activity report and is submitted to the accounting office attached to your activity report.
It is requested that individual receipts/invoices smaller than 8 1/2 x 11″ should be taped to an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper for scanning purposes and to ensure they are not lost in transit. Do not tape over any numbers or information on the receipt. PLEASE DO NOT STAPLE RECEIPTS TO THE PAPER.
C. Monthly Reconciliation Process for Transactions
At the close of each monthly billing cycle on the 15th of the month, you will receive an email notifying you that your US Bank Cardholder Activity report is available to be viewed online at
Paper statements will not be mailed to cardholders. It is the responsibility of each cardholder to review the US Bank Cardholder Activity report online.
If you have problems with logging in to US Bank, email
You will need to review the US Bank Cardholder Activity report for accuracy and reconcile the report with your receipts/invoices.
When reconciling your monthly Cardholder Activity report, you are responsible for: reviewing, updating each item description and accounting, and printing your report. You MUST complete the monthly reconciliation process no later than the 25th of the month (or the following business day if the 25th falls on a weekend). After the 25th of the
month, transactions will not be available to review or update.
Prior to submitting your US Bank Cardholder Activity report for processing, you MUST:
- Update the Description field for each purchase (do not use item numbers only; provide a description of items purchased).
- Verify vendor’s name and dollar amount for each transaction.
- Change Org Key and Object Code if necessary.
- If your transaction is travel related you must identify: who is traveling; the dates of the trip; and the destination.
- Print out the US Bank Cardholder Activity report, attach receipts, sign, and send to your Approving Official for signature.
- Send the US Bank Cardholder Activity report with approvals and receipts to your Cal Poly Corporation Accounting Contact no later than the end of business day of the 25th of the month (or the following business day if the day falls on a weekend).
After the deadline, the transactions will be loaded into IFAS and you will be able to look at them in your BOE reports.
P-Card statements that do not adhere to the Cal Poly Corporation P-Card policies and procedures will be subject to a cost recovery fee. The purpose of the fee system is to recover the cost of reconciling statements that have been processed incorrectly and need additional follow up to make corrections. These fees will be charged to the default org key provided by the cardholder on a monthly basis and will be charged via a journal entry.
The structure of the fee system is as follows:
|Item #||Cost Recovery Fee Description||Fee Value (per billing cycle)|
|1||Late reconciliation w/ out notification||$10.00|
|2||Missing receipts||$2.00 per missing receipt|
|3||Unauthorized transactions||$5.00 per transaction|
|4||Splitting transactions*||$5.00 per transaction|
|5||Missing hospitality form||$2.00 per missing form|
|6||No comments/no account reallocation||$2.00 per missing comment/reallocation|
*splitting transactions refers to breaking a single payment into smaller payments to circumvent single purchase limits.
If multiple fees are incurred over the course of one year and/or a pattern of behavior is developed, your card account may be suspended or terminated.
If you wish to dispute an item, please write “DISPUTED” in the Description field on the US Bank Cardholder Activity report, in addition to contacting US Bank customer service at 1-800-344-5696. You are responsible for contacting US Bank on questionable, defective or disputed items, which appear as a transaction on your Cardholder Activity report within 60 days after the date of the report.
Be sure to write on the Cardholder Activity report the date, time, and person you contacted next to the disputed transaction. If items purchased with the P-Card are received defective, it is your responsibility to return the item(s) to the merchant for replacement or to receive a credit on the purchase. If the merchant refuses to replace the defective item, then the purchase of this item will be considered DISPUTED and US Bank must be notified. You will be asked to complete the US Bank Dispute Form they send to you, and fax it to US Bank for resolution. Once the dispute has been
resolved, you will be notified by US Bank.
Procedures – Approving Official
The Approving Official is responsible for the following:
- Reviewing charges to ensure that purchases are appropriate and any purchase of restricted items are appropriately documented or reimbursed as necessary.
- Reviewing the completed Cardholder Activity report to be sure all invoices/receipts are included.
- Signing and dating the monthly Cardholder Activity report prepared by the cardholder.
There may be instances where it becomes necessary to replace your P-Card. It will be the cardholder’s responsibility to initiate this process. Follow those instructions below, which apply:
A. Reporting a Lost/Stolen P- Card or Replacement of Worn Out/Defective
- The cardholder will immediately contact US Bank at (800) 274-7378.
- The cardholder will also immediately notify by email
When your card is reported lost or stolen, a new card will be issued.
Replacement cards will be mailed to the P-Card Administrator. The program administrator will notify you when your card is ready to be picked up.
If a P-Card needs to be replaced because it is worn out or defective, please email: [email protected] and a new card will be requested for you.
B. Exiting the University or Transferring Departments on Campus
When a Cardholder leaves Cal Poly Corporation or Cal Poly State University their P-Card must be returned to the P-Card Program Administrator.
If a Cardholder transfers to another department, the P-Card Program Administrator must be notified in writing in order to update the Cardholder and Approving Official information. A change in the Approving Official requires that a P-Card Change Form be completed and submitted by email to
A. Monthly Limit
If you find your monthly dollar limit needs to be increased, please fill out a Change Request form, which can be found on the P-Card website and return the signed copy to the P-Card Administrator.* Increases are effective immediately after they are entered into the US Bank system. An email will be sent confirming the increase has been completed.
B. Single Purchase Limit
In certain situations, a temporary increase to a cardholder’s single purchase limit may be granted. On a case by case basis, requests for increases are evaluated by the P-Card Program Administrator. To request an increase, fill out a Change Request form, which can be found on the P-Card website and outline the specific situation surrounding this particular purchase, why you feel such an increase is needed, and the dollar amount requested.* An email will be sent to the Approving Official and Cardholder either granting or denying the request. If the request is granted, the single purchase limit increase will only be effective for a 10-day period and then will return to the prior amount up to $1,500.
*The Change Request Form can also be accessed through Docusign. Docusign is a secure digital document processing system available to all individuals with the my.calpoly.edu portal access and a link to these documents will be embedded in the P-Card website (www.calpolycorporation.com/pcard). By using Docusign, individuals can simply email any Change Request Form to their approving official for approval and the document will flow to the CPC business office for completion.
Allowed and Disallowed Purchases
Below is a list of Allowed and Disallowed purchases. Items allowed below may not be permitted on Sponsored Programs funds, please consult the Sponsored Programs office for confirmation if necessary.
A. Allowed Purchases
- Advertising with proper Public Affairs approval
- Inventory where appropriate
- Off Campus equipment repairs
- Duplication & Printing from CPSU Partner Vendors
- Professional dues and memberships
- Services (professional/contract labor/etc.)
- Subscriptions and magazines
- Supplies and materials not otherwise prohibited
- Purchases of office products available from within Cal Poly, the University Store, or Office Max should be considered first.
- Requirements for Hospitality P-Card Charges:
- Original Receipts
- Purpose of Hosting
- List of attendees
- Adherence of the Hospitality Policy
- The Hospitality Policy can be found
- Requirements for Hospitality P-Card Charges:
- Hotel Room & Internet charges only
- Conference registration
- Gasoline for rental or state vehicles
- Not allowed:
- Gasoline for personal vehicles
B. Disallowed Purchases
The use of the P-Card is strictly prohibited for the following:
- Cash advances
- Equipment over $5,000 which requires Fixed Asset Tracking
- Food purchases as outlined in the Campus Food Services Policy are not allowable purchases on P-Card
- Gasoline for personal vehicles
- Hazardous material
- Items disallowed by the Purchasing Policy
- Conflict of interest
- Guns and ammunition
- Illegal substances
- Personal Expenses- If your card is accidentally used for a personal purchase; you must reimburse the charge through your CPC liaison with a written explanation. Attach your check and letter of
explanation to your US Bank Cardholder Activity report. If excessive instances of personal purchases occur, your card will be revoked for misuse
- Other disallowable expenses
- Leases and maintenance agreements or any purchase requiring a signed contract
- Restricted by Grants & Contracts
- Software that requires a signed license/maintenance agreements
- Splitting purchases to circumvent policy
- Trademark or logo purchase as outlined by CPSU Trademark & Licensing program
This list is not comprehensive but lists typical disallowed purchases.
Any questionable purchase should be reviewed in advance by your CPC Business Office liaison or the procurement card administrator.
Rebates & Purchase Promotions
Receiving personal compensation including direct or indirect gratuities, commissions, gifts, rebates, refunds or other type of compensation for placing a purchase with a vendor or contractor using Corporation funds is strictly prohibited.
Gifts and/or bonus items (i.e. BBQ utensils, books,
etc.) should be turned over to the State University surplus department. The sales of the item should be credited back to the account that was expensed for the original purchase.
Rebates/Refunds: If a rebate or refund is associated
with a Corporation P-Card transaction, it is the Cardholder’s responsibility to deposit the full amount of the rebate/refund with a Deposit Form submitted to the Corporation Business Office cashiers. The account that expensed the original purchase is the account that should be credited the
full amount of the rebate/refund. In addition, any gift card received as a result of a P-Card purchase should be used for University purposes.
In order to view Access Online web pages as they were designed, please use Internet Explorer; do not use Mozilla Firefox. You should also make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat installed or you may not be able to view some reports.
A. Access Online Functions:
- Verify monthly limit
- Print out P-Card Cardholder Activity report
- Review current transactions in “real” time
- Update Org Key-Object Code and item description
- Review current balance and available credit remaining for the month
- View current and past transaction periods
- Review pending and declined authorizations
- Dispute a transaction
B. Accounting Issues
- The monthly transaction(s) will be displayed in your BOE reports
- P-Card Cardholder Activity report must be printed and submitted to your Accounting Contact (see Quick Reference guide).
- For questions about the payment processing email
- For new, reissue, transferring departments, or cancel cards email [email protected]
Please note the reconciliation process MUST be completed in US Bank Access Online no later than the 25th of each month.
C. P-Card Travel Guidelines
All travel expenses can be purchased on P-Card with the exception of meals, fuel for personal vehicle and hospitality. Traveler must comply with CPC Travel Guidelines.
Advances – Travel Related Purchases Prior to Travel
- A Travel Request must be on file at CPC.
- Any purchases including conference registration that is made prior to travel is considered an Advance. Card holder will enter purchases on a log. A copy of the log will be sent to CPC Travel Desk. The log will contain a brief description of charges, travelers name, travel dates and destination.
- Advances will be coded to: XXXXX-198100.
- Advances must be cleared within 10 days after completion of travel.
A Travel Claim will be submitted to clear the advance. A copy of the log showing all travel-related charges will be included with the Travel Claim.
Purchase – Any Travel Related Purchase While Traveling
- Any travel related purchases made while traveling will be included on the Travel Claim. A copy of the log will be attached to the Travel Claim. The log will contain the following information: name of traveler,
dates of travel and destination.
- All purchases will be coded to XXXXX-198100.
Travel-Related Transactions Allowed
- Hotel Room & Internet – charges only
- Conference registration
- Gasoline for rental cars only
- Not allowed: