Purchasing Card

About

The Purchasing Card (P-Card) is a credit card that authorized employees may use to purchase business related, non-travel, goods and limited services under $2,500 per transaction. All P-Card transactions must have a legitimate business purpose and must comply with P-Card Policy and other University policies. The cardholder is responsible to maintain itemized receipts that document all purchases made on their P-Card. Misused of the P-Card and any violation to the University policies will result in infractions, corrective actions, or suspension. The following items have been approved for purchase using the P-Card:

  • Books
  • Subscriptions 
  • Memberships
  • Conference fees
  • Postage
  • Supplies and materials (not available at Staples)
  • Promotional items from Approved Promotional Vendors
  • Food/Meals delivered on campus (strictly delivered and consumed on campus)

If you are uncertain if the P-Card can be used for a purchase, please contact the Purchasing Team at purchasing@law.columbia.edu

Noteworthy
  • All P-Card transactions are audited on a regular basis. 
  • All transactions in excess of the monthly credit limit will be rejected by the merchant. 
  • It is strictly prohibited to split the purchase of merchandise in order to circumvent the single transaction limit.
  • Reconciliation of transactions must be completed as quickly as possible, in advance of the monthly hard close. View P-Card Hard Close Dates
  • Cardholders must adhere to the P-Card Policy to prevent disciplinary action and possibly suspension of P-Card privileges.
  • Cardholders must attempt to resolve all disputes directly with the vendor within 60 days of the transaction.  
  • The University is exempt from sales tax in some states. If charged sales tax for a P-Card purchase that should be tax-exempt, the cardholder should contact the vendor directly and request a credit. Refer to Columbia's Tax Exempt Certificates

Reconciling Transactions

Reconciliation of transactions must be completed as quickly as possible, in advance of the monthly hard close. View P-Card Hard Close Dates

  1. File all receipts and supporting documents according to naming convention in personal P-Card folder on G:/ Drive: uni-cardholder_billcycle_vendor_$amount
    • Example:  MGP203_20210422_Amazon_40.75
  2. Reconcile Staged transactions in ARC: Log into ARC
    Main Menu > Purchasing > Procurement Cards > Reconcile > Reconcile Statement
    • Add standard descriptions in “Comments” section 
    • Upload receipts with proper naming convention and supporting documents
    • Allocate every transaction to a ChartString and 5-digit account
  3. Move all fully reconciled transactions from Staged to Verified and run budget validation on save. If you receive a budget error, double check the allocation/ChartString.

Job Aid: Reconciling P-Card Transactions

Follow these steps to guide you through the process from start to finish:

  1. Cardholder determines items to be purchased are approved to be paid using the P-Card. If you are uncertain if the P-Card can be used for a purchase, please contact the Purchasing Team at purchasing@law.columbia.edu
  2. Cardholder informs the vendor the University is tax exempt (if applicable) and makes the purchase. Please refer to Columbia's Tax Exempt Certificates.
  3. Vendor charges the P-Card and provides cardholder with an itemized receipt showing confirmation of payment. Cardholder is responsible to obtain a valid receipt for reconciliation purposes.
  4. Cardholder files receipt and supporting documents according to naming convention in personal P-Card folder on G:/ Drive: uni-cardholder_billcycle_vendor_$amount
    • Example:  MGP203_20210422_Amazon_40.75
  5. Reconcile Staged transactions in ARC: Log into ARC
    Main Menu > Purchasing > Procurement Cards > Reconcile > Reconcile Statement
    • Add standard descriptions in “Comments” section
    • Upload receipts with proper naming convention and supporting documents
    • Allocate every transaction to a ChartString and 5-digit account
    • Move all fully reconciled transactions from Staged to Verified and run budget validation on save.
  6. Verified transaction will route for review and approval. Approver will notify the cardholder if correction is deemed necessary. Once the transaction is approved, it will appear under statement status "Closed."

The following is a list of common items that are not approved for purchase using the P-Card. Please refer to the Purchasing Card Policy Appendix for a comprehensive list of restricted items and do NOT purchase any of these items using the P-Card. If you are uncertain if the P-Card can be used for a purchase, please contact the Purchasing Team at purchasing@law.columbia.edu.

  • Personal items
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Entertainment (movie tickets, sporting event tickets, etc.)
  • Flowers, greeting cards, candy, fruit baskets
  • Purchases from Edible Arrangements
  • Gifts/prizes/awards of any kind
  • Gift cards and gift certificates of any kind for any reason
  • Purchases using personal PayPal accounts
  • Catering
  • Food Off Campus
  • Online auctions (i.e. eBay, Craigslist)
  • Groupon
  • Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage and File Sharing services
  • Any promotional items with University Logo or trademark or any branded product not purchased thru an approved Licensed Vendor.

Follow these steps to open an Amazon account for your department, center, or program:

  1. Create an Amazon account using your Columbia email address at Amazon.com
  2. Enroll in Amazon Tax Exemption Program and upload Columbia's Tax Exempt Certificate (New York ST-119.1)

Contact Amazon Customer Service if you have questions (888) 280-4331.

If the P-Card has been lost or stolen, the cardholder must follow these steps immediately:

  1. Notify Card Issuer by calling 1-888-449-2273 
  2. Notify the Business Office (P-Card Administrator) at purchasing@law.columbia.edu 
  3. Notify Columbia's P-Card Team at pcard@columbia.edu, or the Finance Service Center at 212-854-2122