P-Card Policy


The Purchasing Card (P-card) program provides a convenient means to make authorized purchases while reducing the costs associated with initiating and paying for these purchases.  The Business Office, Accounts Payable team is responsible for administration and oversight of the program.  The University’s card provider is JP Morgan Chase.


  • Purchasing Card (P-Card):  A company billed, company paid Visa card issued to an employee, department, or program of the University for the purpose of making authorized business related purchases.
  • Department Card: A purchasing card that is issued in the name of a department, program, or project instead of an individual and which the use is restricted for that particular department, program, or project. Department cards will be available for use by multiple individuals, but will be assigned to one “Cardholder of Record”.
  • PaymentNet: The online system through which p-card accounts are managed and transactions are processed.
  • Cardholder:  University employee whose name appears on the P-Card and is responsible for all charges made with the card. In the case of department cards, a “Cardholder of Record” is assigned ultimate responsibility for the shared card.
  • Cardholder Envelope: An envelope submitted for each monthly cycle with card activity in which to store and submit the card's receipts, supporting documentation, and printed statement.
  • Card Administrator:  The Card Administrator in the Business Office is responsible for administering the P-Card program.
  • Transaction Limit:  Dollar limits assigned to each P-Card. Limits apply to single transactions (Single Transaction Limit), daily and monthly use (Daily and Monthly Limit).
  • Default departmental account number:  The University budget account number and object code assigned to the cardholder’s P-Card.  Only one default budget account number can be assigned to a card at a time, however, transactions may be allocated to a different account in PaymentNet before the close of the monthly cycle.
  • Post Date:  Date the transaction is posted to the cardholder’s P-Card account which determines the statement the transaction is on. Transactions usually post two (2) to three (3) business days after a purchase is made.
  • Month-end close: Throughout the month, transactions that have been processed will be posted to the general ledger once per week. With occasional exceptions due to holidays, month-end close occurs at the end of the  third work-day of the new month. At this time, previous month account changes can no longer be processed in PaymentNet, and all remaining unprocessed transactions will be posted to the general ledger. 

​Receiving the P-Card

  • Each prospective cardholder must submit a completed card application, approved by the director/chair of the department (or supervisor), and the Card Administrator.
  • The Card Administrator will schedule a card orientation meeting with each new cardholder at which time the card will be distributed. 

Authorized Card Use

  • Cardholders may use the P-Card for authorized business expenses, including merchandise, services, and business entertainment expenses.  The University has a separate Travel Card program for travel related expenses. Employees whose departments have been implemented to the Concur system for travel expense management may apply for a Travel Card, or otherwise use personal funds up-front and be reimbursed after the trip.
  • The P-Card may not be used to purchase items for personal use or for non-University purposes even if the cardholder intends to reimburse the University.
  • A cardholder who violates these policies or uses the card in an inappropriate manner maybe subject to disciplinary action by the University.

Using the P-Card: Transaction and Documentation Requirements

  • All Trinity University Purchasing Policies and Procedures apply to purchases made with the P-Card.
  • When making a P-Card transaction a cardholder should check as many sources as reasonable to assure best price, quality, and delivery.
  • Confirm the vendor accepts Visa, if not choose another vendor or process a Payment Request Form.
  • When making a purchase make sure the merchandise total does not exceed your single transaction limit (which you may verify in PaymentNet or with Accounts Payable) or the purchase will be declined at the point of sale. (Please note:  Splitting of transactions into multiple payments to circumvent the single transaction limit is strictly prohibited). 
  • Inform the salesperson that Trinity University is exempt from state and local sales tax in the state of Texas. Trinity is also exempt from hotel occupancy taxes in the state of Texas.
  • Receipts must contain relevant details for each item purchased including quantities, description of the item(s) purchased, the price of each item, total charge amount, and the merchant’s name. Undetailed receipts need descriptions of items purchased attached. A stated business purpose should accompany the receipt.
  • When using the P-Card to pay for University business meal/entertainment expenses which include guests, record the name of guest(s), their business, and the business purpose of the expenditure. If a group contains five or more people, you may describe the group in lieu of providing individual names.
  • When using the P-card for business travel expenses, document the travel control number on the receipt or simply include a copy of the e-TAAR in the cardholder envelope.
  • When making a purchase by phone or fax the merchant will request your Visa account number and expiration date (some vendors may require a security code – the three digit number located on back of your card).  Request the merchant send an invoice or receipt to you by mail, email, fax, or with your order.  You will need this invoice/receipt for your documentation.
  • When making a purchase online, you will need to document the item(s) purchased and the final cost. If a traditional receipt is not emailed, you may either print the screen at the end of the transaction or a detailed order confirmation.
  • It is the cardholder’s responsibility to ensure a receipt or paid invoice is obtained for each transaction made with the P-Card. Transactions under $25 with no receipt will not require a Missing Receipt Form, unless it is being charged to a Grant or Sponsored Project.
  • Cardholders must instruct the merchant to ship merchandise to Central Receiving.  Central Receiving will accept delivery but the cardholder or a delegate is responsible for inspecting all packages to determine if the order is correct and bring any discrepancies to the merchant.  The ship to address is as follows:

    Your Name and Department
    Trinity University
    607 Kings Court
    San Antonio, TX  78212

Using the P-Card for Travel

  • Departments which have been implemented to Concur for Travel Expenses may apply for and use a Trinity Travel card for their business travel expenses, or otherwise use their personal funds up-front and claim reimbursement after the trip.
  • Only departments which have not yet been implemented to the Concur system may use a P-card for business travel expenses.
  • P-cards may be used for travel arrangements made for guests of the University.

Charges made for Another Department

  • If transactions are to be charged to another department’s budget account, the cardholder or department admin must obtain documented permission from that account’s budget manager before incurring the expense. The cardholder must retain the permission documentation and budget account number with the paid receipt/invoice.

Merchandise Returns and Exchanges

  • The cardholder is responsible for contacting the merchant when merchandise purchased with the P-Card is not acceptable (incorrect, damage, defective, etc.) and for arranging a return for credit or exchange. Documentation supporting the proper resolution of the exchange is to be retained with original documentation for the purchase.
  • If the product was damaged in transit, all packing materials including the original box/package are to be kept while the claim is being processed.

Record Retention

  • The cardholder is responsible for obtaining documentation from the merchant (paid invoices, receipts, detailed emails, etc.) to support all purchases made with the P-Card.
  • Documentation (paid invoices, receipts, detailed emails, etc.) is to be maintained within the department throughout a monthly cycle. Departments are responsible for reconciling each monthly statement, ensuring all required receipts, necessary supporting documentation, and the card’s printed statement are provided in a monthly cardholder envelope. A reconciled and approved monthly cardholder envelope for each card with activity are due to Accounts Payable no later than the last business day of the new month.
  • Documentation not received in Accounts Payable by the last business day of the new month may result in P-Card privileges being suspended for a period of time designated by the Accounts Payable Manager.  
  • Statements and documentation will be stored for a period of five (5) years.  If a receipt from a previous month needs to be reviewed, contact Accounts Payable.

Cardholder Obligations

  • Cardholder (or delegate obligations):
  1. Detailed receipts must be obtained from the vendor for all university-funded transactions over $25. All Grant/Sponsored project transactions require a receipt, regardless of amount.
  2. Supporting documentation, such as the business purpose, attendee/guest information, and/or approvals for the use of budget accounts outside the approval authority of the department, must be retained with the receipt. Submitting accurate and thorough documentation is crucial for audit substantiation.
  3. Any necessary account number/object code changes must be processed in PaymentNet prior to month-end close.
  4. Receipts must be reconciled to the statement and submitted to Accounts Payable in a cardholder envelope by the last business day of the new month.

Cardholder Verification of Charges

  • Cardholders are accountable for all charges made with their P-Card and are responsible for checking all posted transactions against the corresponding documentation (sales receipts, packing lists, order forms, etc.) to verify accuracy and propriety.  

Cardholder Transaction Dispute

  • In the case of a disputed transaction, the cardholder must first try to resolve the dispute directly with the merchant.  If a resolution cannot be reached, the cardholder must consult with Accounts Payable to determine appropriate further action, such as initiating a dispute. If a dispute is filed, the cardholder will need to verify information with the bank. A dispute must be initiated within sixty (60) days from the transaction post-date.

P-Card Security

  • It is the cardholders’ responsibility to safeguard the P-Card and card account number at all times.
  • Cardholders must not allow non-university or unauthorized personnel to use their P-Card and should never share their account number with anyone other than a merchant.

Lost, Stolen or Damaged Card.

  • If a P-Card is lost or stolen, notify JP Morgan Chase immediately at 1-800-316-6056.  Representatives are available 24/7.
  • Cardholders must also notify Accounts Payable the same day or the next workday.
  • Accounts Payable will receive a replacement card with a new Visa account number and expiration date in (up to) ten (10) business days, and will notify the cardholder for pick-up.

Cardholders Separation from the University

  • Prior to separation from the University, the cardholder must surrender the P-Card and all outstanding documentation to Accounts Payable.

P-Card Cancellation

  • The P-Card may be cancelled at the request of the cardholder, department chair/director, or an administrative officer of the University.
  • The P-Card may be suspended for a period of time or cancelled by the Accounts Payable Manager if it is determined that the cardholder is not meeting obligations set forth by this policy