Guidelines and Responsibilities


A cardholder is designated by the Vice President or Dean of their area to procure supplies and materials. Some cardholders may be authorized to use their p-card for University travel. The cardholder is responsible for following the guidelines in regards to purchases, travel, expense documentation, monthly reconciliation, and security of the card.

Cardholder Guide

Account Group Manager

The Account Group Manager is responsible for approving the monthly purchasing card transactions of their cardholders and to ensure that they follow Willamette University policies and procedures. The Account Group Manager will also assist in assigning cardholder spending limits and monitoring adherence to purchasing card policies and procedures. The Account Group Manager is responsible for retrieving purchasing cards in the event of termination or change in employment status of a cardholder under their supervision.

Account Group Manager Guide

Purchasing Card Coordinator

The P-Card Coordinator is designated to answer questions, address issues and oversee the administration of the program. All purchasing card requests must go through the P-Card Coordinator.

Cardholder Responsibilities

Cardholders must use their purchasing card responsibly and for University business expenses only. Misuse of the card for transactions not falling within the guidelines of Willamette University policy will result in the suspension of the card. Pre-authorization of a purchase must be completed if required within your department. If making a purchase using grant funds, the cardholder is responsible for ensuring that all granting agency requirements are fulfilled.

Monthly Reconciliation

At the end of each billing cycle, each cardholder is required to reconcile their charges online and to ensure that all transactions are properly documented. Each expense should be allocated to the proper general ledger account number(s) and a brief description of the business expense entered online through Smart Data Online ( After a charge has been reviewed and allocated, the "Cardholder Reviewed" box should be checked for that transaction. Once all of the charges for the statement period have been reviewed, an "Expense Report" should be printed, signed by the cardholder, and submitted to the Account Group Manager with the original receipts and other supporting documentation attached.

The online reconciliation MUST be completed within ten days of the billing cycle cutoff. Failure to reconcile your statement or include proper documentation for charges will result in the suspension of the card.


Always obtain an itemized receipt when using the purchasing card. It is the cardholder's responsibility to ensure that there is a receipt for each purchase. The itemized receipt must be presented for all expenses - the credit charge slip is not considered adequate documentation. If a purchase is made by mail or telephone, the cardholder should ask the vendor to include the receipt when shipping the product. If a purchase is made online, the emailed order confirmation which includes a list of the purchased items should be submitted as documentation.

If a receipt has been lost, the cardholder should obtain a duplicate copy of the receipt from the vendor. If the attempt to obtain a duplicate receipt is unsuccessful, then the cardholder should complete a P-Card Missing Receipts Form, which can be found in the Campus Use Only Forms section of the Internal Web. This form is not a substitution for proper documentation and should only be used on an exception basis. Frequent failure to submit proper documentation/receipts could result in the suspension of the card.

Restricted Purchases

The following purchases cannot be made with the Purchasing Card. The items listed below are restrictions at the University level; your department may have more specific guidelines for restricted purchases.

  • Personal Items
  • Gift Certificates/Gifts
  • Capital Items - any single item with a per unit cost over $5,000
  • Goods that require the purchaser to sign a contract that requires administrative approval (see Contract Policy)
  • Computers
  • Paper
  • Furniture
  • Items with the University Logo
  • Gasoline for personal vehicle (fleet or rental vehicles are okay)
  • Weapons, ammunition, or explosives
  • Donations
  • Cash Advances, travelers checks, money orders, wire transfers

Returns, Credits, and Disputed Charges

If there is a problem with a purchased item, service or charge, the cardholder should make every attempt to first resolve the issue directly with the vendor. Any returns must be credited to the credit card; cash refunds for returns are prohibited. The cardholder should review future monthly statements to ensure that the account is properly credited for returns, credits and disputed charges.

If a cardholder cannot resolve a disputed item directly with the vendor, they should contact JP Morgan Chase and then complete the P-Card Dispute Charge Form which can be found in the Campus Use Only Forms section of the Internal Web. The completed form should be submitted to the P-Card Coordinator with the monthly statement.

Security of the Card

The cardholder is responsible for the security of the card. The card and card number should be kept in a secure location at all times. The only authorized user of the card is the cardholder whose name appears on the front of the card.

Below are some guidelines to help guard against fraud:

  • Sign the back of your card immediately.
  • Keep the card in a secure location and guard the credit card number carefully.
  • Keep an eye on the card during the transaction, and retrieve it as soon as possible.
  • Always know where your card is. If you cannot find the card, assume the worst and have your account canceled and request a new card.
  • Be aware of what you are signing. Your signature can copy through to other slips deliberately placed underneath.
  • Review your monthly statement to ensure that all charges are legitimate.
  • Visit reputable, familiar merchants whenever possible.
  • Report possible fraud immediately to JP Morgan Chase and P-Card Coordinator.
  • Report a lost or stolen credit card to JP Morgan Chase and P-Card Coordinator.

Lost or Stolen Cards

In the event that the p-card is lost or stolen, the cardholder should immediately contact JP Morgan Chase at 1-800-316-6056. After contacting the issuing bank, the cardholder should then notify the P-Card Coordinator.

Account Group Manager Responsibilities

Account Group Managers serve an important role in the purchasing card program. They ensure that cardholder charges follow Willamette University policies and procedures and that those charges are properly documented.

Account Group Managers will:

  • Reconcile cardholder charges with matching original receipts.
  • Assign appropriate general ledger account number(s) if not already done so by the cardholder through Smart Data Online.
  • Make sure that all charges include a brief description of the business purpose for the expense. If it is a hosting expense, the cardholder should have included a list of attendees.
  • Note any missing receipts and follow-up in a timely manner by assisting the cardholder with retrieving missing receipts.
  • Assist with disputes and follow-up until the dispute is completed and closed.
  • After verifying the charges and account numbers online, the "Supervisor Reviewed" box should be checked for each reviewed transaction.
  • Make sure that the "Expense Report" has been signed by both the cardholder and their immediate supervisor. The approved Expense Report should be forwarded to Accounting with all the supporting documentation attached.