3215 Yale Purchasing Card

Responsible Official: 
Controller
Responsible Office: 
Office of the Controller
Effective Date: 
July 1, 1998
Revision Date: 
July 1, 2018

Policy Sections

3215.1 Requesting & Obtaining a Yale Purchasing Card

3215.2 Use of the Yale Purchasing Card

3215.3 Yale Purchasing Card Noncompliance

3215.4 Mandatory Cancellation of a Yale Purchasing Card

Scope

This policy establishes the rules and guidelines for appropriate use of the Yale Purchasing Card.  It applies to all Yale employees and departments applying for or holding a Yale Purchasing Card.

Policy Statement

The Yale Purchasing Card facilitates the purchase of small dollar goods and services for University business.  Yale Purchasing Card cardholders must comply with all applicable requirements.

Reason for the Policy

Yale recognizes the importance in providing flexibility and discretion when purchasing goods and services for University business.  This policy promotes discretion in spending and establishes the rules and guidelines for appropriate use of the Yale Purchasing Card.  This policy informs the Yale community of the University’s expectations regarding the use of the Yale Purchasing Card and emphasizes proper stewardship and judgment when utilizing Yale’s financial resources.

Definitions

Yale Purchasing Card (“PCard”)

The Yale Purchasing Card (“PCard”) is a corporate-liability payment card.  Yale University pays directly to the bank that issues the card the balance for all charges incurred by cardholders.  Yale only issues PCards to approved University employees or departments, and PCards must only be used for University business. 

Yale Purchasing Card Cardholder (“cardholder”)

A Yale Purchasing Card cardholder (“cardholder”) is a University employee or department approved to hold and use a Yale PCard. 

Yale’s Expense Management Solution

Yale’s expense management solution provides an electronic platform for the processing, creation, and submission of expense reports for the following expenditures: travel and business-related expenses and miscellaneous small dollar purchases incurred on a Yale PCard or with personal funds (cash out-of-pocket (“OOP”)).

Policy Sections

Yale University only issues PCards to approved University employees or departments.  Yale issues each individual PCard to a specific employee, and that person assumes responsibility for the PCard.  Yale issues department PCards to a department, but one primary user assumes responsibility for the PCard.

To acquire a Yale PCard, interested employees or departments must first apply and obtain approval.  See Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure for detailed information on the application process.

Upon approval, all prospective PCard cardholders must read and sign the Yale University Purchasing Card Cardholder Agreement.  By signing this agreement, each cardholder agrees to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement, the requirements of this policy, and the requirements of all other applicable University policies and procedures.

The Yale PCard is a corporate-liability payment card.  Yale University pays directly to the bank that issues the card the balance for all charges incurred by cardholders.  Accordingly, cardholders must use discretion and good judgment when making purchases and/or incurring expenses, and must only use PCards for University business. 

All PCard cardholders must adhere to the following:

  • All purchases made with a PCard must comply with all applicable laws, regulations, sponsor requirements, if applicable, and University policies and procedures;
  • All purchases made with a PCard must only be for legitimate University business;
  • All cardholders must, when required, provide documentation supporting the legitimate business purpose of PCard charges;
  • All cardholders must only make PCard purchases within their dollar and transaction limits;
  • All purchases made with a PCard must comply with the Permitted Commodities and Prohibited Commodities lists maintained in Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure, unless the cardholder receives prior approval from the Controller’s Office;
  • All cardholders must immediately notify their business office, the University Purchasing Card Office, and the issuing bank if their PCard is lost or stolen;
  • All cardholders must exercise reasonable diligence to prepare expense reports documenting PCard transactions (charges and credits) in a timely manner.  All cardholders must prepare expense reports within sixty (60) days of incurring a charge or receiving a credit, or within ten (10) days of returning from a business trip, whichever is later, unless they receive prior approval from the Controller’s Office;
  • All cardholders must not use a PCard to make a purchase from a supplier if they have, or a member of their immediate family or partner has:
    • a family relationship or business affiliation with the supplier; or
    • a financial interest or other interest in, or a tangible personal benefit from, a PCard transaction with that supplier;

Such an action may be considered a Procurement Conflict of Interest.  All PCard purchases must comply with the University’s statement on Purchasing Conflicts of Interest, as fully described in Policy 3201 General Purchasing;

  • All cardholders must not share their PCard with anyone else;
  • All cardholders must not use their PCard to purchase any of the restricted commodities listed in Policy 3220 Purchase of Restricted Items;
  • All cardholders must not use their PCard to make purchases from or issue payments to any individuals or companies in an embargoed country (i.e., Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, or the Crimea region of Ukraine/Russia), unless they receive prior approval from the Director, Export Control Licensing; and
  • All cardholders must not claim for reimbursement through another means (e.g., OOP expenses) any charges expensed to a PCard; and
  • All cardholders must not split transactions in an attempt to circumvent single purchase dollar limits.

Yale PCard cardholders, as with all University purchases, are expected and required to use the preferred purchasing method(s) and supplier(s), as defined by commodity, in the University Buying Guide.

Yale University may terminate the privilege to use a Yale PCard at any time, for any reason. 

Improper use of the Yale PCard may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

The circumstances under which Yale may suspend or cancel a Yale PCard include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • the cardholder violates any of the requirements of Section 3215.2;
  • the cardholder leaves PCard transactions (charges and credits) unprocessed for more than sixty (60) days;
  • the cardholder shares a PCard with someone else;
  • the cardholder uses the PCard for personal expenses or for any other charges outside of policy;
  • the cardholder consistently does not provide necessary receipts;
  • the cardholder uses the PCard for contract suppliers when the preferred purchasing method is requisition/purchase order; or
  • the cardholder uses the PCard for any prohibited commodities without receiving prior approval.

Unprocessed charges left outstanding longer than 120 days may also result in a deduction from the cardholder’s pay.

For further detail on PCard suspension, cancellation, and other disciplinary processes, refer to Procedure 3215 PR.01 Yale Purchasing Card Procedure.

Yale University may terminate the privilege to use a Yale PCard at any time, for any reason.  In addition, a cardholder’s lead administrator, or designee, is authorized to request the cancellation of a PCard at any time.

A cardholder’s lead administrator must request the cancellation of a PCard if:

  • the cardholder is transferring to a different department within the University;
  • the cardholder is leaving the University; or
  • the cardholder’s position no longer requires use of a purchasing card.

Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Controller’s Office, in consultation with the Provost’s Office, General Counsel, or an Officer of the Corporation, as appropriate.

Roles & Responsibilities

Cardholders

  • Cardholders are responsible for exercising sound judgment and discretion when making purchases with their PCard.
  • They are responsible for being familiar with, and for complying with, this and all other University policies and procedures.

Lead Administrators and Business Offices

  • Business offices, at the direction of lead administrators, are responsible for maintaining a sound and adequate system of internal controls and processes for the use of PCards and the processing and approval of PCard transactions. 
  • Lead administrators are responsible for requesting suspensions and cancellations of PCards belonging to cardholders in their units, when appropriate.

Controller / Controller’s Office

  • The University Controller is responsible for the content and oversight of this policy.
  • The Controller approves exceptions, where appropriate.
  • The Controller monitors the issuance, use, suspension, and cancellation of PCards.
  • The Controller determines if and when PCards are issued, suspended, and cancelled.
  • Where appropriate, the Controller delegates authority to perform any function ordinarily performed by the Controller.

eCommerce Department/PCard Office

  • The eCommerce Department/PCard Office, with oversight from the Controller, is the central process owner for the Yale Purchasing Card program.
  • With oversight from the Controller, the eCommerce Department / PCard Office monitors the issuance, use, suspension, and cancellation of PCards.
  • At the direction of the Controller, the eCommerce Department/PCard Office issues, suspends, and cancels PCards.
  • The eCommerce Department/PCard Office is responsible for training all faculty and staff on the proper use of PCards.