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Purchasing Card Guidelines

Table of Contents

  1. Allowable Purchases
  2. Allowable Purchases with Restrictions
  3. Prohibited Purchases
  4. Reconciliation
  5. Audit Process
  6. Tax Management

I. Allowable Purchases

  1. Conference and Seminar Registrations
  2. Non-capital equipment (but excluding computers) under $5,000 not available through Smart Source.
  3. Dues, memberships, licenses, application fees
  4. Airline, hotel, bus, rail, rental car and meals for University related business travel.
  5. Books, publications, periodicals, subscriptions, newsletters, videos
  6. Interlibrary loans to external libraries.
  7. Meals and entertainment for business purposes, including incidental purchases of alcohol in connection therewith.

II. Allowable Purchases with Restrictions

  1. Gasoline for Drexel University Vehicles and Drexel Preferred Rental Vehicles only.
  2. Purchases made with third party payment providers (e.g., PayPal, Square, etc.); Receipt must include full legal name of supplier/seller in transaction notes.
  3. LinkedIn Premium Membership (Business use only for promotion, marketing or other Drexel-related business purposes).
    1. Cannot be used for personal networking.
  4. The following SEPTA services
    1. SEPTA One Day Convenience Pass
    2. SEPTA Quick Trip (One-Way Ticket)
    3. SEPTA Travel Wallet (only enough to cover necessary business travel)
    4. SEPTA Regional Rail Tickets (Single & Roundtrip)
  5. The following PATCO, Amtrak, NJ Transit services:
    1. One-Way Ticket
    2. Roundtrip Ticket
  6. The following Uber services:
    1. Black Car
    2. Taxi
    3. Uber X (Recommended)
    4. SUV
  7. The following Lyft services:
    1. Lyft (Recommended)
    2. Lyft Plus
    3. Lyft Premier
    4. SUV
  8. Airline Convenience Fees
    1. In-flight Wi-Fi for business purposes only.
    2. Seat upgrades to Business or First Class for flights longer than 5 hours with prior written approval from the Senior VP, VP or CFO of the applicable department.
    3. Baggage fees for business purposes only.
  9. Airbnb
    1. Drexel University neither prohibits nor recommends the use of Airbnb. In determining appropriate travel accommodations, the traveler should consider all relevant factors, such as cost, location, accessibility, safety, security, and reliability. Use of Airbnb is purely a personal choice, provided that the cost is comparable to or less than a moderately priced hotel in the same location. It is the responsibility of the traveler to provide pricing of comparable hotel lodging in order to substantiate the Airbnb expense. Because lodging on Airbnb is provided by individual property owners, the traveler is solely responsible for booking the accommodations and for any issues associated with the Airbnb rental.
  10. Purchases made from a personal account including, but not limited to, E-bay, NewEgg, Car Services, Kindle.
    1. Purchases for Drexel use can be made through a personal account provided that the Drexel P-Card may not be saved to the personal account.
    2. Purchases for personal use made through personal accounts are subject to discipline in accordance with P-Card Policy and Guidelines.
  11. Public Bike Share (e.g., Indego, Citi Bike, DC Bike, etc.)
    1. Approval for the costs of bike share programs used for local business travel, including local business travel by employees working or based outside the United States, is at the discretion of each individual department. Employees opting to use this form of transportation do so at their own risk.

III. Prohibited Purchases

The following list serves as a guide for Prohibited Purchases and is nonexclusive. As financial stewards of Drexel University funds, Cardholders and Expense Approvers are responsible to review and confirm that all purchases made with the P-Card comply with all University Policies and Guidelines, including the P-Card Policy. Any exceptions to the Prohibited Purchases list must be approved in writing by Procurement Services through the P-Card Prohibited Purchases Exception Form, which must be submitted to pcard@drexel.edu and sourcing@drexel.edu for review prior to purchase.

  1. Any product that is available through the Smart Source marketplace, subject to the following exceptions for products which are cheaper from third party suppliers than through Smart Source hosted or punchout catalogs:
    1. $500 or less: You may purchase the product(s) with the P-Card. Provide substantiation of the price discrepancy in your P-Card transaction notes at the time of reconciliation.
    2. Greater than $500: Submit the P-Card Prohibited Purchases Exception Form prior to purchase.
  2. Services (For example: Contractors, consultants, data consultants, laborers, etc.)
  3. Gift Cards
    1. Gift card purchases should be made through National Gift Card Corp available in Smart Source. If unavailable, the Prohibited Purchases Exception From should be submitted.
    2. Visa gift cards should be purchased through Treasury (see Gift Card Policy).
  4. Personal charges of any kind
  5. Capital Equipment (as defined in the P-Card Policy)
  6. Employee Parking at a normal work location
  7. Parking / Moving / Vehicle Violations
  8. Hotel incidentals except meals covered under Travel Policy.
  9. Gasoline for personal vehicles
  10. Furniture
  11. Computers
  12. Cash advances or cash withdrawals
  13. Faculty clubs, unless approved as an allowable business meal expense (see Business Meals Expense Guidelines).
  14. Cell phones (see Cell Phone Policy)
  15. Any purchase that requires a separately signed contract or agreement unless specifically authorized by Procurement Services.
  16. Sponsorships and Donations (see Policy Regarding Sponsorship of External Non-Profit Organizations)
  17. Any purchase that requires installation, hard-wiring, plumbing or assembly.
  18. Purchases with a potential risk or exposure to liability for the University such as items that present special health, safety, occupational or environmental risks (e.g., hazardous/radioactive material, animals, controlled substance, ammunition, firearms, tobacco, etc.).
  19. Stringing/Splitting (see P-Card Policy Definitions)
  20. Amazon Prime Membership
  21. Luggage purchases, except for department use
  22. Airline club fees or airline memberships without prior approval.
  23. TSA Precheck/Global Entry
  24. Any airline convenience fees (personal baggage fees, seat upgrades, Airline club access) unless outlined in Section II.8. (Allowable Purchases with Restrictions)
  25. Smart Devices (SmartWatches, SmartPens, Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, ALEXA etc.)
  26. Personal travel items
  27. Airplane snacks/food for travel except meals covered under Travel Policy.
  28. First Class Airline/Rail/Bus Tickets without prior written approval from the Senior VP, VP or CFO of the applicable department.
  29. Uber LUX, Lyft LUX, and private luxury car services (preferred suppliers for private car services can be found here in conjunction with the Travel Policy).
  30. SEPTA Weekly Transit/Trail Passes, SEPTA Monthly Transit/Rail Pass
  31. NJ Transit Weekly, Monthly, Ten-Trip Tickets, Patron Pass, Student Monthly Pass, Student Weekly Pass
  32. Amtrak Six-Ride, Amtrak Ten-Ride and Amtrak Monthly Passes
  33. Prescription and over-the-counter medicine
  34. Any supplier that the University and/or the P-Card Office communicates as prohibited and listed on the Procurement Services website.
  35. Services that involve personal banking transfers (e.g., Venmo).
  36. Alcohol, except as otherwise expressly permitted by the P-Card Policy and Guidelines. Alcohol purchases for Drexel events must comply with the Events with Alcohol Policy.

IV. Reconciliation

Online reconciliation is due the last business day of every month for the prior cycle. Note that JP Morgan cycle ends on the 20th of every month.

Transaction Allocation Reports are due to the P-Card office by the 2nd Friday of every month for the prior cycle.

Reconciliation due dates are posted annually on the Procurement Services website.


V. Audit Process

1. Tier One Audit

To ensure compliance with the P-Card Policy and Guidelines, the P-Card Office may conduct a tier one audit on the following items for compliance:

  • Timely submission of the Transaction Allocation Report;
  • Transaction Notes for each transaction listed in the Transaction Allocation Report; and
  • Appropriate signatures from both the Cardholder and the Cardholder's Expense Approver on the Transaction Allocation Report.

2. Tier Two Audit

To ensure compliance with the P-Card Policy and Guidelines, the P-Card Office may conduct monthly random in-house audits of Cardholders' Transaction Allocation Reports. An "Audit Findings Report" will be sent to the Cardholder, Expense Approver and Budget Owner if there are any questions, deficiencies, inconsistencies or other concerns.

  • Each transaction must have clear and complete Transaction Notes.
  • All purchases must be made in compliance with the P-Card Policy and Guidelines.

3. Tier Three Audit

To ensure compliance with the P-Card Policy and Guidelines, the P-Card Office may conduct monthly random on-site audits of Cardholders' Transaction Allocation Reports. An email will be sent to the Cardholder informing them that they have been selected for a random audit. The email shall indicate the statement cycle(s), date and time of audit. Audits include documenting the departmental internal controls related to the Cardholder approval process, authorized P-Card purchases of goods and travel, use of preferred vendors, sales tax exemptions, and proper storage of Transaction Allocation Reports and receipts.

The department is required to provide a response to any audit findings, including corrective action that will be taken to assure future compliance. A follow-up audit will be conducted as needed to ensure corrective actions have been performed.


VI. Tax Management

Cardholders are required to have sales tax removed on all applicable transactions in those states that Drexel maintains tax exemption. Please see a complete list of the states that Drexel holds exemption via the employee tab in DrexelOne. Further information regarding sales tax exemption can be found at the Office of Tax Compliance. If the sales tax listed on the receipt and PaymentNet transaction do not match, Cardholder must reconcile (please review the Editing Sales Tax from J.P. Morgan PaymentNet instructions).

If sales tax is charged on a transaction, the Cardholder is responsible for having the tax on the transaction credited.

  • When reconciling, the credit should be allocated to the same cost center as the original transaction. The transaction ID number of the credit should be referenced in the Transaction Notes of the original transaction.
  • If the Cardholder is not successful in having the tax on the transaction credited, detailed notes, including all steps taken, should be listed out in the Transaction Notes in the Reconciliation Portal.

Examples of acceptable Transaction Notes are below:

  • Tax was charged on dinner at ABC Restaurant but was not noticed until the next day. Called ABC Restaurant at 555.555.0000 and spoke to Deborah Smith who advised the tax could not be credited once charged.
  • Tax was charged on equipment purchased from XYZ Corporation. Emailed tax exemption certificate to info@xyzcorp.com on 12/5 and followed up on 12/13, but have not received a response. Called XYZ Corporation at 800.222.5000 and spoke with Bob Thomas who is still waiting to hear back from his accounting department.

Examples of unacceptable Transaction Notes are below:

  • Called vendor, didn't answer
  • Bought lunch, asked vendor not to charge tax and they said no

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