Thirty-day window is the focus in P-card policy updates

Procurement services implemented new procedures July 1 for employees using university-issued procurement (P) or travel and hospitality (T&H) cards. The changes are intended to ensure cardholders complete transactions and expense reports in Workday within the 30-day window as required in their cardholder agreement -- and avoid having their cards temporarily or permanently suspended.

Procurement services director Cory Harms said most cardholders meet their transaction deadlines and use their cards appropriately. However, a small minority of employees take longer to provide the required information -- as long as eight months, in some cases.

Grace period

Cardholders have until July 31 to complete any outstanding transactions. Charges more than 60 days old will not be moved to a cardholder's U-Bill until Aug. 1.

Harms identified several reasons for diligence about meeting the 30-day deadline:

  • Within 60 days, procurement services is able to dispute a transaction, but after 60 days it's very difficult to get a refund from a vendor. For example, in the case of a fraudulent transaction or damaged equipment, by hitting the 30-day deadline, the problem is caught and there's time to correct it.
  • Some cardholders incorrectly believe not completing the transaction in Workday prevents a vendor from being paid. Actually, it only prevents procurement services from reconciling its internal accounts. The vendor is paid within days of the transaction, Harms said.
  • The longer a cardholder waits to submit receipts, the more likely it becomes to lose or misplace them.
  • It consumes procurement services and finance service delivery staff time to repeatedly contact cardholders to ask them to submit receipts or otherwise complete paperwork.

Help is available

Dave Baker, assistant finance manager in improved service delivery, worked with Harms to strengthen support for the card service. He said procurement and expense specialists in finance service delivery are available to answer cardholders' questions or reconcile transactions for them via ServiceNow. Cardholders should email, include a Worktag, transaction description and business purpose and attach a receipt, and the trained team will complete the financial record for them. Cardholders can email their questions to the same address. Baker said specialists also send an email to a cardholder when transactions exceed 30 days and action is needed to keep a card active.

Check your transactions

Not sure of the status of recent card uses? Harms reminds cardholders they can run their own reports in Workday to see what's outstanding. Click on the procurement icon, find "cardholder reports" in the right column and select P-card transactions not completed or T&H card transactions not expensed. Unless employees have turned off the function, they also should receive notifications in Workday when card purchases need their attention.

Fewer travel receipts required

Effective July 1, T&H cardholders need to provide receipts only for items that exceed $75.00. This also applies to transactions that occurred prior to July 1 and remain outstanding. Previously, receipts were required for all purchases and expenses.

Avoid suspension: Rules to keep your card privileges

Harms said the new emphasis on the 30-day requirement is intended to improve efficiency and help cardholders keep their P-card or T&H card privileges. The new rules include:

  • Failure to provide information within 30 days so transactions can be reconciled may result in suspended card privileges. A suspension is lifted when all outstanding transactions are reconciled.
  • On a third card suspension, the cardholder permanently may lose card access.
  • If unreconciled transactions pass the 60-day mark, they will be moved to the cardholder's personal U-Bill. This can be waived if a cardholder faces unavoidable circumstances that prevent them from verifying the transaction(s) -- and they contact procurement's card services for assistance.
  • The same suspension/loss of card terms apply when cardholders misuse their cards, for example, sharing a card with a colleague or splitting a transaction that exceeds the card's limits.