PCard Program Information

Join the PCard Program

PCard Use

Card Management

Join the PCard Program

Criteria for Department Participation

To participate in the University of Arizona PCard program, the department/unit must ensure compliance to the following:

  1. The unit must be able to ensure that institutional policies and state and federal regulations governing the use and protection of the PCard will be followed, acknowledging that the PCard is not a personal credit card, thus is not protected from fraudulent use in case of loss, theft, or misappropriation of institutional funds. To ensure that these types of activities are protected, the University banking partner must be notified by the end of the month in which the fraudulent activity occurred on a PCard.
  2. The department head or equivalent administrator is empowering an employee within the unit to act as a PCard Liaison for purposes of reporting PCard policy violations or any other misuse of the card. This employee will need top level authorization and ongoing support from department leadership.
  3. The department head is able to take immediate, appropriate action upon learning of card misuse. A PCard can be suspended temporarily, individual and monthly purchase limits may be adjusted, or the PCard can be canceled, based on the degree of misuse.
  4. The department/unit has staff that provide prompt and reliable reconciliation and approval of PCard transactions. Both Reconcilers and Fiscal Officers should be identified within the unit. Note: Reconcilers may be Cardholders but cannot reconcile their own transactions or Departmental PCard for which they are the Responsible Cardholder.

Getting Started

When your department/unit meets the criteria described above, follow the steps below for getting started. (If your unit wants to participate even though it does not have sufficient staff to provide for a Reconciler, an Approver, and backups for them, contact the Account Payable PCard team).

Step 1Submit a PCard Liaison Application/Assignment Form. This includes determining who will be the PCard Liaison between the cardholders and the Accounts Payable PCard team. The Department Head or designee will be required to authorize and sign a PCard Liaison Agreement for their department to join the PCard Program.

Your department may already have a designated PCard Liaison. Who is my PCard Liaison?
Step 2Submit a PCard Workgroup or Account Change Request and assign Reconcilers.
Step 3

Identify potential Cardholders by applying the following criteria:

  • An employee of the University of Arizona with an active paid status in UAccess Employee; responsible and reliable in following the institutional policies on the use and protection of the card.
  • The Cardholder will be responsible and reliable in timely submission of financial documentation, including order forms, invoices, receipts, etc. to the Reconciler or attach appropriate documentation in UAccess Financials to the PCDO eDoc.

Consider the possibility of requesting a Departmental PCard for a centrally located employee to place orders for those who might need to make these kinds of purchases infrequently.

Step 4

Identify individuals that meet the criteria to manage a University PCard and direct them to complete the PCard training located in EDGE Learning and provide the PCard Liaison with certificate to be retained in employee personnel file. 

  • Complete an Individual or Department PCard New Cardholder Application for each employee.
    • If requesting a Departmental card, identify the responsible person or Responsible Card Holder (RCH) who will administer the card. The card name may not exceed 35 characters. The Accounts Payable PCard Team can assist with determining a department name for the card.
Step 5Department/unit must establish an internal system for handling and archiving paper financial documentation, including order forms, receipts, invoices, packing lists, etc., and follow Record Retention Guidelines. NOTE: The department is solely responsible for maintaining detailed documentation for audit purposes inclusive of attaching appropriate documentation in UAccess Financials to the PCDO eDoc. See also Guidelines for PCard Documentation.
Step 6Financial Services determines the maximum threshold of the PCard spending limit at $10,000 per transaction. The department determines the PCard spending limits based on individual use of the PCard and the level of purchases/payments issued by the individual or department PCard. Refer to the Spending Limits section below. The PCard Program adheres to the Financial Services Manual and Purchasing Policies Manual for purchasing guidelines and policies.
Step 7The physical card will be mailed to the cardholder/department based on the mailing address on the PCard Application. The cardholder is responsible for activating the card for usage upon receipt via a website portal.

PCard Use

Use of the PCard

The PCard may be used wherever Visa is accepted, following University of Arizona Purchasing Policies and Financial Services Policies. This convenient payment tool may be utilized in-person at storefront points of sale, or for remote purchases via phone or online. Suggested uses include operating supplies, lab equipment, computer equipment, conference registration fees, dues or memberships to professional organizations and associations; as well as non-contracted services such as utility bills and equipment repair. The PCard is to be used for University of Arizona business only, not for personal use. All transactions made utilizing the PCard must benefit and support the University’s mission of education, research and public service, and be supported by a receipt/invoice and a valid University business purpose. Fraudulent or intentional misuse of the card will result in cancellation of the card and/or possible criminal charges.

PCard Types

The University of Arizona PCard is a Bank of America Visa credit card issued in the name of an individual employee or a University department. Individual PCards are embossed with the employee's name on the card. Departmental PCards are embossed with the department's name on the first row and "University of Arizona" on the second row. A Responsible Cardholder (RCH) is assigned to oversee Departmental PCards.

Both Individual and Departmental PCards will have a "General Purchases" spending profile with the option to add a "Travel & Entertainment" profile that allows for additional expenditure types.

Placing Phone Orders

The PCard may be utilized to place orders over the phone by providing a vendor with the PCard number, expiration date, CVC code, quantity and description of goods to be ordered and detailed instructions on delivery. In addition, the Cardholder must request that an itemized receipt/invoice complete with sales tax information be provided to the Cardholder/department email address. Please instruct vendor not to send PCard invoices to Accounts Payable.

Sales/Use Tax Information and Itemized Invoices

The University of Arizona is not a tax-exempt organization for Arizona State and local Sales Tax. The University is required to pay sales tax to Arizona in-state vendors unless the purchase is tax-exempt for resale or research purpose. The University also self-assesses the application of Use Tax on items that are purchased from an out-of-state vendor and used in Arizona, unless the out-of-state vendor possesses an Arizona Tax (TPT) License and charges tax accordingly.

For complete tax information refer to Tax Services.

The Cardholder is responsible for requesting from the vendor an itemized receipt, invoice, bill, or other related document that includes itemized tax. All documentation including, but not limited to, receipts, packing slips, invoices must be submitted immediately to the department Reconciler. With the documentation for each purchase, the Cardholder must include information about the UAccess Financial account(s) to be charged. Please refer to any internal PCard policies and procedures within your own department for specific instructions.

Vendor Customer Numbers

Customer numbers are the vendor/merchant's method for associating a billing and shipping addresses in their records. If a merchant asks you for your customer number, tell them they must set up a new one, complete with your billing and delivery address. Please tell them not to use any other customer number that they have in their file for the University of Arizona. Make a note of the customer number the vendor assigns to you; giving it to them when you order from them again will speed the ordering process.

Delivery Instructions

Cardholders must provide the vendor with detailed instructions for delivery. All goods must be shipped directly to the department not to Central Receiving. Please note that different addresses are used if the goods are shipped via US mail or a commercial carrier. A PO Box number must be used for shipping through US mail. Street addresses must be used by campus departments for shipping by a commercial carrier. Cardholders must ask the vendor which shipping method will be used. Examples follow.

US MailCommercial Carrier
(UPS, Federal Express)
Joe Zona
Any Department
Destination Building, Room 601
P.O. Box 2100xx
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721-00xx
Joe Zona
Any Department
Destination Building 77,
Room 601
140 East M Street
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

Billing Address Information

Some vendors may ask for your billing address, which may be located within UAccess Financials for the PCard details assigned to the specific card.

After obtaining your billing address, the vendor may call the bank and verify the information as an additional check that you are a valid Cardholder.

Warning: As a form of fraud protection, the bank may decline the sale if the vendor gets one character in the address incorrect. They will not assist the vendor in getting it right; their position is that they protect your information and do not share it.

Disputing Transactions

Disputed transactions are errors in billing between the merchant and Cardholder. Some examples include multiple billing, billed wrong amount, billed without receiving merchandise, or billing on a cancelled order. This is not the same as an unrecognized/unauthorized transaction. Refer to the PCard Security and Fraud section below.

The Cardholder should contact the merchant to try to resolve the error directly before issuing a dispute on the card. If the Cardholder is unable to resolve the error with the merchant, they should inform their PCard Reconciler and/or Approver who will then contact Accounts Payable via email with the details of the dispute and work with the University banking partner to resolve. The dispute process does not stop or delay the payment of the charge. The merchant has been paid if the charge appears in UAccess Financials as a PCDO transaction, which needs to be reconciled and approved. The Bank of America dispute department may request information directly from the Cardholder. It is important that the Cardholder respond to the Bank of America dispute department within the specified time frame if they wish to continue disputing the charge.

Help for Vendor Problems Completing Transactions

If a vendor has difficulty processing a PCard and the Cardholder is unable to resolve the problem, please first contact the Accounts Payable PCard team at 520-621-9097 or FNSV-Accounts-Payable@arizona.edu for assistance. Cardholder assistance is also available directly with Bank of America Customer Service at 1-888-449-2273.

Transaction Flow

  • Cardholder makes a credit card purchase or department PCard is checked out by an employee for use.
  • Cardholder attaches receipt/invoice to the PCDO eDoc in UAccess Financials or Department PCard user provides Reconciler with the invoice/receipt to attach to the PCDO.
  • Reconciler within the Reconciler Workgroup scrutinizes itemized receipt and reconciles charge in UAccess Financials. (Note: The Reconcilers/Fiscal Officers have 14 calendar days to both reconcile and approve)
  • PCard Transactions in UAccess Financials may not be disapproved as the expense has already occurred.
    • If the Fiscal Officer and/or cardholder identify a violation of policy a PCard Self-Report Violation form should be attached to the PCDO.
  • The Fiscal Officer scrutinizes itemized receipt/invoice, reviews reconciliation and approves charge. (The Reconciler/Fiscal Officer(s) have 14 calendar days to both reconcile and approve)
  • Fiscal Officers & Reconcilers review UAccess Analytics Dashboard weekly for any missing documentation and follow up to ensure all PCDOs meet audit requirements.
  • Accounts Payable performs monthly Post-Transaction reviews to ensure compliance with the PCard Program and University Policy.
  • PCard transaction documentation is retained by Financial Services within UAccess Financials for 10 years.

Card Management

Cardholder Application and Management

The PCard Liaison must submit the New Cardholder Application. This application establishes the issuing department's default UAccess Financials account for each Cardholder, the Cardholder's purchase limit, and identifies the Reconciler Workgroup for this PCard. Upon submission of the application, a PCard Cardholder Agreement will be routed for signature by the Accounts Payable PCard team to comply with all applicable terms and conditions, including, but not limited to:

Delegation or Assignment

  • Individual PCards MAY NOT be delegated or assigned to others.
  • Departmental PCards MAY be checked out to other staff by the Responsible Cardholder and Responsible Cardholder must authorize use of the card for each transaction. The card should be suspended during the absence of a Responsible Cardholder.
  • All PCards are the property of the University of Arizona and Bank of America.

Assignment of Account Numbers and Object Codes

During the PCard Cardholder Application process, each PCard is assigned a default UAccess Financials account number and object code. Sponsored Projects Account numbers (range of 3-00000 - 4-99999) cannot be used as default account numbers for a PCard. The account number and object code may be changed during the reconciliation or approval process. To change or split fund an account number, or to change an object code on a single transaction, the Cardholder must notify their Reconciler when documentation is handed in for each transaction.

Agency account numbers (range of 9-00000 - 9-39999) are restricted and cannot be used with the PCard Program.

Any request to change the default account must be submitted by the assigned PCard Liaison using the Account Change Request form.

Transactions that are not reconciled by the Reconciler Workgroup, and/or not approved by the associated Fiscal Office on the account number the transaction was reconciled to within 14 calendar days starting from the eDoc create date, will auto-approve to the default account numbers (if not reconciled) or to the account/object code that transaction was reconciled to (but not approved).

Refer to the Expenditure Object Codes or consult your department Fund Accountant for further information.

Spending Limits

The department may set the credit limit (CL) and single transaction limit (STL) for each card. The University of Arizona monthly billing cycle ends on the 6th of each calendar month unless:

  • The 6th falls on a Saturday, the billing cycle ends on the 8th Monday
  • The 6th falls on a Sunday, the billing cycle ends on the 7th Monday

The monthly limits refresh on the day following the billing cycle date.

It is recommended that the lowest limit practical be set to minimize risk. Should a Cardholder wish to increase or decrease any of these limits after they have been set, they should confer with their supervisor and the Department PCard Liaison. The Liaison must submit an Account Change Request to make any spending limit changes.

PCard Security and Fraud

Physical cards must be safeguarded at all times, and each Cardholder/Responsible Cardholder must know where the physical PCard is located. The physical Departmental PCard should be located under dual control in a secure location within the business office.

PCard credit card numbers should not be shared by email, fax, paper, or other unsecured methods. Online PCard purchases should only be made through secure encrypted websites, applications, or payment portals. If unsure, contact the merchant directly by phone to complete a transaction. Refer to the Placing Phone Orders section above.

The PCard Cardholder must call Bank of America Customer Service at 1-888-449-2273 to report loss, theft, or fraudulent transaction. In case of loss or theft of the card, or misappropriation of the card account number, the bank will initiate recovery for fraudulent charges on the PCard ONLY if they are notified within 60 days from the billing statement date in which the charge appears in UAccess Financials. If the bank is not contacted within the notification period, fraudulent charges could become the liability of the Cardholder's department, or if denied by the department, the liability of the Cardholder. EVERY CARDHOLDER MUST KEEP THIS PHONE NUMBER SOMEWHERE SEPARATE FROM THE CARD FOR EASY ACCESS IN CASE OF LOSS OR THEFT.

The Accounts Payable PCard team must also be notified of any loss, theft, or fraud on any PCard. University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD) must be notified by the Cardholder/Responsible Cardholder on all fraudulent PCard transactions, and a case number should be obtained for any fraudulent PCDO transaction in UAccess Financials.

Cardholders/Responsible Cardholders: SAFEGUARD YOUR PCARD!

It is strongly recommended that if a Cardholder finds the use of the card to be extremely infrequent, they turn in their card to their PCard Liaison for cancellation or storage in some secure central location within the department, with the limit set to $1, to prevent loss of the card. Limits can be raised or lower at the request of the department PCard Liaison.

Activating the Card

Refer to the PCard Activation instructions for information on activating the PCard.

Card Renewal

The PCard is valid until the last day of the month in which it expires. The PCard will automatically be renewed before the expiration date. Bank of America will mail the replacement PCard directly to the Cardholder department business address. The Cardholder must call the toll-free number on the sticker of the PCard to activate the card.

Canceling a Card

Individual and Departmental PCards: Upon termination of employment or transfer to another department, the Cardholder or Responsible Cardholder must return the card to the PCard Liaison. The Liaison must then submit an Account Change Request to close the account, and properly destroy and dispose of the physical plastic card.

Departmental PCards are not transferrable to a new Responsible Cardholder. The Liaison must submit a New Cardholder Application to obtain a new Departmental PCard. The new PCard can have the same department name as the previous one and will arrive within 7 to 10 business days.

Monthly Oversight of PCard Documentation

Reconcilers and/or Fiscal Officers should ensure all PCard documentation has been attached to the PCDO eDoc in UAccess Financials to ensure institutional audit requirements are met. In addition, a valid business purpose should be documented within the PCDO. A UAccess Analytics dashboard is available to assist with managing this process: UAccess Analytics > General > Purchasing Card > Action Items.

  1. Select the PCard Organization Name and click on Apply.
  2. Click on the box labeled Missing Supporting Documentation to view a list of documents with missing documentation.
  3. Select "Go to more transactions with No supporting documentation" to view additional PCDOs with missing documentation. Be sure to select the correct time for the starting and ending date to ensure you are getting the full day of documents to review.