P-Card (Procurement Card)

The Cal Poly Corporation P-Card, or Procurement Card, program makes it easy for corporation employees to purchase needed materials and supplies and pay for allowed travel expenses with the use of an issued credit card. This allows the employee to save time and the corporation to save money.

US Bank 24-Hour Customer Service


US Bank Access Online


CPC Accounting Contacts & Questions

Sponsored Programs: (805) 756-1123
Campus Programs: (805) 756-2224
All Others: (805) 756-1136

Van McCarty, Accounts Payable Supervisor
(805) 756-2218, Email Van


P-Card Program Administrator

Corporation Administration, Building 15
[email protected]

For cards (new, reissue, transfer, or cancel) and changes in existing limits.

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.


Standard Monthly Card Limit: $5,000
Standard Single Purchase Limit: $1,500

General Information

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 and allowable services costing up to $1,500 (including tax and shipping) which are not restricted or prohibited. Cardholders are encouraged to use the P-Card for low-cost purchases in order to achieve monetary savings and improve processing time. The P-Card is for authorized Cal Poly Corporation purchases only and is not for personal use or for purchases belonging to the university or ASI.

Apply for a P-Card

Complete an application:

P-Card for an Individual Cardholder or Department 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, the cardholder must keep a log of the people in the department who check out the P-Card. The required template for the departmental log is available to download here (LINK TO LOG). 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
The 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 $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. The administrative coordinator for your department should know what account to list. All charges on your credit card will be made to this account unless changes are made by 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 the 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 P-Card.

In order to complete the training, please follow the proceeding instructions:

  1. Login to the my.calpoly.edu portal
  2. Click on the “Staff and Faculty Training” at the top of the page
  3. Click on “Go to Skillsoft” (on the right side of the page)
  4. Click on “View My Plan”
  5. In the “SLO – Cal Poly Corporation P-Card Training” section of the page, click on “Launch” then click “Yes”
  6. Listen to audio

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, 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.

Cardholder's Procedures

Security of P-Card

The cardholder is responsible for ensuring the P-Card is kept in a secure location. If kept in the office, it should be kept out of sight and locked up when not in use.

Documentation of Purchases

An itemized original receipt or invoice will be needed for each purchase. 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 the invoice has been emailed, include the vendor email and the emailed invoice with your Cardholder Activity report.

If a receipt or invoice has been lost and another cannot be obtained from the vendor, attach the form “Declaration of Missing Evidence.”

NOTE: The P-Card will be revoked due to: misuse, excessive missed deadlines, lost receipts or excessive transferring amounts to other accounts.

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 the activity report.

It is requested that individual receipts or invoices smaller than 8 1/2 x 11″ 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.

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
https://access.usbank.com .
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
[email protected].

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 the transaction is travel related, the cardholder must identify: the traveler, the dates of the trip and the destination.
  • Print out the US Bank Cardholder Activity report, attach receipts, sign, and send to the cardholders Approving Official for signature.
  • Send the US Bank Cardholder Activity report with approvals and receipts to the 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 the cardholder will be able to look at them in the 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.

Fee System Structure

The structure of the fee system is as follows: 

Item Cost Recovery Fee Description Fee Value (Per Billing Cycle)


Late reconcilliation without notification $10.00


Missing receipts $2.00 per missing receipt


Unauthorized transactions $5.00 per transaction


Splitting transactions* $5.00 per transaction


Missing hospitality form $2.00 per missing form


No comments/no account reconcilliation $2.00 per missing comment/reallocation


Other infractions $5.00

*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, the card account may be suspended or terminated.

If the cardholder wishes 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. The cardholder is 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.

The cardholder should write the date, time, and person contacted on the Cardholder Activity report next to the disputed transaction. If items purchased with the P-Card are received defective, it is the cardholder’s 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. The cardholder will be asked to complete the US Bank Dispute Form and fax it to US Bank for resolution. Once the dispute has been resolved, the cardholder will be notified by US Bank.

Approving Official's Procedures

The Approving Official is responsible for the following:

  1. Reviewing charges to ensure that purchases are appropriate and any purchase of restricted items is appropriately documented or reimbursed as necessary.
  2. Reviewing the completed Cardholder Activity report to be sure all invoices or receipts are included.
  3. Signing and dating the monthly Cardholder Activity report prepared by the cardholder.

How to Replace a P-Card

There may be instances where it becomes necessary to replace a P-Card. It will be the cardholder’s responsibility to initiate this process. Follow the instructions below:

Reporting a lost or stolen P-Card or requesting the replacement of a worn out or defective card

The cardholder will immediately contact US Bank at (800) 344-5696. The cardholder will also immediately notify the Cal Poly Corporation by email: [email protected].

When a 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 the cardholder when a new 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.

Exiting the university or transferring departments on campus

When a cardholder leaves Cal Poly Corporation or the 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 [email protected].

How to increase P-Card Limits

Monthly Limit

If the cardholder finds the monthly dollar limit needs to be increased, they must fill out a Change Request Form 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.

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, the cardholder must fill out a Change Request form, and outline the specific situation surrounding this particular purchase, why 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.

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.

Allowed Purchases

  • Advertising with proper Public Affairs approval
  • Flowers
  • Inventory, where appropriate
  • Off-campus equipment repairs
  • Postage
  • Duplication and 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.

Travel-Related Transactions

  • Hotel room and internet charges only
  • Transportation
  • Conference registration
  • Parking
  • Gasoline for rental or state vehicles

Disallowed Purchases

The use of the P-Card is strictly prohibited for the following:

  • Animals
  • Cash advances
  • Clothing/uniforms
  • Equipment costing more than $5,000 which requires Fixed Asset Tracking
  • Food purchases as outlined in the Campus Food Services Policy
  • Gasoline for personal vehicles
  • Hazardous material
  • Honorariums
  • Personal Meals
  • Gasoline for personal vehicles

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:

  • Raffle/prizes/gifts
  • Leases and maintenance agreements or any purchase requiring a signed contract
  • Restricted by Grants & Contracts
  • Software that requires a signed license/maintenance agreement
  • Split purchases to circumvent policy
  • Trademark or logo purchase as outlined by CPSU Trademark & Licensing program
  • Tuition

This list is not comprehensive but is typical of 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.

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.


Viewing Access Online reports may require the latest version of Adobe Acrobat be installed.

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

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 [email protected].
  • 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.

P-Card Travel Guidelines

All travel expenses may be purchased on the P-Card with the exception of meals and fuel for personal vehicles. Traveler must comply with CPC Travel Guidelines. Advances – Travel-Related Purchases Prior to Travel

  • A Travel Request must be on file in the traveler’s department.
  • All purchases, including conference registration, made prior to travel are considered advances. Card holder will enter purchases on a log.
  • 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. Copies of the log and receipts 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. Copies of the log and receipts will be attached to the Travel Claim. The log will contain the name of traveler, dates of travel and travel destination. All purchases will be coded to XXXXX-198100.

Travel-Related Transactions Allowed

  • Hotel room and internet
  • Airfare
  • Transportation
  • Conference registration
  • Parking
  • Gasoline for rental cars
  • Hospitality

Travel-Related Transactions Not Allowed

  • Personal Meals
  • Gasoline for personal vehicles

Forms & Documents


P-Card Log Template

Use this log if you plan on having someone else use your P-Card
Size: 11.79 KB
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Date modified: 02 - 22 - 2019

P-Card Handbook

Size: 205.87 KB
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Date modified: 05 - 08 - 2019

P-Card Contract/Acceptance Letter

The contract and acceptance letter for cardholders with a P-Card expense account.
Size: 62.33 KB
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Date modified: 02 - 03 - 2020

P-Card Change Request Form

Use this form if you need to change the card limit, change the limit for a single purchase, or to decrease the limit.
Size: 63.25 KB
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Date modified: 02 - 03 - 2020

P-Card Application

Use this form to apply for a P-Card
Size: 63.25 KB
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Date modified: 02 - 03 - 2020

P-Card AccessOnline Self Registration Letter

Use this manual to register online to use your P-card.
Size: 771.10 KB
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Date modified: 02 - 22 - 2019

How to Reconcile your P-Card Statement

Use this manual to learn how to reconcile your P-Card statement each month.
Size: 312.90 KB
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Date modified: 02 - 22 - 2019

Fraud and Dispute Charges Process

Informational packet on disputing fraud charges on your P-Card.
Size: 82.70 KB
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Date modified: 04 - 19 - 2019