Number: ADMIN 170
Effective: March 22, 2016
Last Reviewed: February 23, 2023
Department: Finance and Business
Last Revision: February 23, 2023


This policy provides guidelines for the proper use of CWI’s Purchasing Card Program (“P-Card Program”).


This policy applies to all departments and P-card holders.


Purchasing Card (“P-card”): A CWI credit card provided as a means for authorized personnel to make small dollar purchases.

P-Card Administrator: The Business Office staff member designated as CWI’s primary contact for the P-Card Program.

Cardholder: a permanent CWI staff or faculty member who has been issued a CWI P-card by the Business Office.

Access US Bank (On-line Banking system): The current on-line banking system utilized by CWI to manage and administer the P-Card Program.


This policy governs CWI’s P-Card Program and the expectations of staff and faculty who utilize the program to purchase goods and services on behalf of CWI.


For audit purposes, purchases made prior to the latest revision of this policy are subject to that version of this policy in effect at the time the purchase process was initiated. Purchases made after the latest revision date of this policy are subject to this policy as amended.

P-Card Issuance:

  1. Cardholders must be a permanent CWI staff or faculty member.
  2. All requests for P-card issuance must be authorized by a Budget Officer of the department of the person requesting the P-card.
  3. The P-card application must be mailed to the P-Card Administrator at
  4. Once all approvals are received, it takes 7-10 business days to receive the card.
  5. All P-card holders must read the P-card Training Guide and sign the Acknowledgement of Responsibility form (located at the end of the P-Card Training Guide) before the card is given to the cardholder.

Cardholder Responsibilities:

  1. Cardholders are responsible for the security of the card and account number, and for all transactions charged against the account.
  2. Cardholders are required to review and understand the P-card policy and the P-card Training Gruide regarding the proper use and what constitutes an authorized and unauthorized purchase with the P-card.
  3. Cardholders are responsible for managing their own accounts, which includes reviewing and reconciling transactions in the Access U.S. Bank on-line system and timely submitting the required documents to the P-card Administrator.
  4. In the event a Cardholder is asked to make a purchase outside of his/her normal budget area, the Cardholder must have approval from the appropriate Budget Officer. Approval may be obtained with a Pcard Purchase Request Form or an e-mail from the Budget Officer authorizing the charge, with the applicable General Ledger (G/L) string noted. Documentation of approval described above must be submitted with the P-card packet at month end.
  5. Cardholders are strictly prohibited from allowing others to use their P-card. The only authorized user of the P-card is the individual whose name appears on the face of the P-card.
  6. Cardholders are required to immediately report a lost or stolen card through the U.S. Bank on-line system customer service or, if available, using the on-line system. The Cardholder also must notify the P-Card Administrator as well as their direct supervisor via email. Forwarding the email notification from U.S. Bank is preferred.

Authorized P-Card Purchases:

P-cards are intended for small-dollar purchases of products, supplies, and approved business travel expenses. P-cards can be used at any merchant that accepts Visa.

Certain vendors and commodities have been “blocked” from usage in the P-Card Program. If the P-card is presented to any of these blocked merchants, the transaction will be declined. If the P-card is declined, contact the P-Card Administrator for clarification.

All purchases must comply with the guidelines set forth in CWI’s purchasing policy. See ADMIN 100 - Procurement Policy.

Unauthorized Purchases:

Any purchases not approved by the appropriate managers in advance, any purchases above the account limits, or purchases not allowed by CWI’s purchasing policy are unauthorized.

CWI reserves the right to hold a Cardholder accountable for any misuse of CWI’s P-Card Program. Cardholders or others in violation of the P-Card Program will be so notified by their supervisors. All CWI employees responsible for approving P-card purchases must carefully review all transactions to ensure compliance with this policy.
Depending upon the severity of the violation, progressive disciplinary action, up to and including termination, can occur.


CWI recognizes the need for the President of the College to host or attend official events that advance and promote the reputation, status, and economic position of CWI.

Card Limits:

Default limits on each P-card are as follows:

  1. Single Transaction Limits are not to exceed $1,999.99, depending upon department supervisor requests. Purchases will be declined if the limit is exceeded. Purchases over $2,000.00 require a purchase order (PO) form with all the appropriate approvals before purchasing with a P-card.
  2. Monthly Limits cannot exceed $3,000.00 unless approved by the department's Budget Manager.
  3. One-time purchases exceeding $1,999.99 can be made with the Accounts Payable P-card, as set forth below. This card is used in case of emergencies or one-time purchases.
  4. Exceptions: Exceptions to the transaction limits described above may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions are subject to completion of the P-Card Maintenance form and approval of the supervisor and Business Office.

Splitting Purchases:

  1. Any action taken to bypass the card limits set forth above is strictly prohibited.
  2. Vendors should not be asked to “split” a purchase. Deliberate splitting of purchases may result in the suspension or revocation of the P-card.
  3. Use of the P-card to “split” purchases to avoid the public bidding process is a violation of state law and CWI’s purchasing policy. Actual or suspected use of the P-card in this fashion may result in revocation of the P-card.

Disputed or Fraudulent Charges:

Any disputed items, erroneous charges, or returns are the responsibility of the Cardholder. Among other things, disputed billing can result from failure to receive goods and services, fraud, misuse, altered charges, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts charged, duplicate charges, or unprocessed credits. The Cardholder is expected to contact the merchant to resolve any outstanding issues. Cardholders must immediately inform the P-Card Administrator and their direct supervisor by email of any disputed or suspected fraudulent charges. It is preferred that the Cardholder forward the email notification from U.S. Bank to both individuals noted above. The P-Card Administrator can assist the Cardholder if necessary and will be expected to follow-up with the Cardholder to ensure resolution.

NOTE: Disputes must be reported or resolved to the bank within sixty (60) days from the time of purchase. After sixty (60) days, the ability to dispute charges expires, so CWI is obligated to absorb the charges.

If the merchant disagrees that an adjustment is necessary, immediately contact both the P-Card Administrator and the U.S. Bank Customer Service number on the back of the P-card (1-800-344-5696). U.S. Bank will require complete details of the dispute in writing in order to research the issue or log-on to the Cardholder’s account and register the dispute. This will give you a reference number and record in the system. The details of the dispute as well as the paperwork evidence must be placed on the back of a completed P-Card Dispute Form or Unauthorized Use Form and turned into the P-Card Administrator as soon as possible. If further assistance is needed with any dispute, please contact the P-Card Administrator.

Documentation and Reconciliation of P-Card Transactions:

  1. All purchases made on or before the 25th of each month will fall in that current months’ billing cycle and must be received by the 1st day of the following month. If the 25th falls on a weekend or holiday, the statement cycle will remain open until the next business day.
  2. Itemized receipts and approval paperwork must be emailed to the P-Card Administrator and the originals must be sent to this person via interoffice mail. Missing receipts are considered a non-compliance issue and may result in no reimbursement of the expense. In the event the Cardholder is asked to make a purchase outside of his or her normal budget area, the Cardholder must have approval from the appropriate Budget Officer. Approval may be obtained with a P-card Purchase Request Form or an e-mail from the Budget Officer authorizing the charge. This approval must be submitted with the P-card packet at month end.
  3. Management of the Cardholders’ transactions is completed using Access US Bank, including but not limited to, verification of each purchase by the Cardholder, approval by a designated approver, accounting review, P-Card Administrator review, and the reporting of fraudulent charges and lost cards.

For more detailed instructions, please refer to the P-Card Training Manual.

Changes to Account Information:

If a Cardholders’ account information must be updated, including but not limited to a name change, e-mail address, permanent card limits, or replacing damaged cards, Cardholders must complete and forward a P-Card Maintenance form to the P-Card Administrator or Business Office. For additional instructions related to a name change, please refer to the P-Card Training Manual.

Document Retention:

Scanned documents and all original P-card paperwork submitted to the Business Office will be retained for four (4) fiscal years, pursuant to Idaho State Historical Society/Financial Records Retention Schedule/series# SG0610.

Accounts Payable P-Card:

Accounts Payable (AP) in the Business Office holds a P-card with a higher credit limit (“AP P-Card”). This can be used at the discretion of the Vice President of Finance or Comptroller. At times, this card may be utilized to purchase authorized items in lieu of temporarily charging individual Cardholders’ credit limits.

All of the approval paperwork must accompany the request for purchase. When all of the appropriate paperwork and approvals are received, the Sr. Accounts Payable Coordinator will complete the transaction with the AP P-Card. Once the transaction is finalized, an accountant will review and approve all transactions completed with the AP P-Card and the Manager II, Fixed Assets, Payroll & Payables will be the final approver. With each step of this process, signatures or initials must be on the paperwork before it is considered complete.


Departments and Cardholders are responsible for providing all the required documentation to the P-Card Administrator on a timely basis.

P-card transactions will be audited by sampling a fixed number of transactions on a monthly basis for timely review. This will confirm compliance with applicable CWI policies.

In the event of any significant violations, the Cardholder and the Cardholder’s department head will be notified. If the violation is severe or continual, the Human Resources department, the Cardholder’s department head, and other designees will determine the appropriate level of disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Account Closure:

  1. In the event of an employee separation, or when a P-card account is no longer necessary, the terminating employee or the department to whom the card is issued is responsible for completing a P-Card Maintenance Form to request account closure.
  2. In the event of an employee separation, the Cardholder, or the Cardholder’s department head, is responsible for providing all the necessary P-card documentation to the P-Card Administrator on or before the terminating employee’s departure date to cancel the account.
  3. In the event of an employee separation, the Cardholder must reconcile all transactions and submit all appropriate documentation before his/her date of departure to the Business Office, their direct supervisor, or the P-Card Administrator.
  4. The Cardholder’s department head must notify the P-Card Administrator if a Cardholder is placed on an extended leave or if a situation warrants immediate account suspension or termination.
  5. If Cardholders fail to complete all of the necessary documentation to close out of the account, they may be held personally liable for unsupported transactions at the discretion of CWI.