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Purchasing Card Use


The purchasing practices of Wenatchee Valley College shall be in compliance with all applicable state regulations.

Purchasing for all state agencies is the statutory responsibility (RCW 43.19) of the Washington state Department of General Administration, Office of State Procurement (OSP). Authority has been delegated to Wenatchee Valley College for the purchase of certain goods and services under guidelines established by OSP. As prescribed by state statue (RCW 43.19), only the designated purchasing officer of a state agency is authorized to pledge the credit of the state for goods and services. All equipment, supplies and services must therefore be ordered through the college purchasing office. RCW 43.19.185 authorizes the college to use a purchasing card for making purchases under rules established by GA. Campus departments shall be delegated the authority to purchase supplies and equipment using the purchasing card under the procedures outlined below. Each employee using the purchase card must ensure that all purchases comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Purchases not conforming to these procedures shall not be considered binding upon the college and any obligations arising from the unauthorized purchase will become the responsibility of the individual placing the order. The purchasing officer retains the authority to manage the purchase card program within the college and to take appropriate disciplinary measures for misuse or noncompliance.


The program that the state of Washington has chosen and Wenatchee Valley College has decided to use is U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems VISA card.

This program is designed to improve efficiency, flexibility and convenience in purchasing low dollar amount goods and services for Wenatchee Valley College. Purchases from suppliers that accept the VISA credit card may be charged to the purchase card. Some examples of purchases intended for this program include:

  1. Audio and video tapes.
  2. Subscriptions.
  3. Books.
  4. Conference Registrations*.
  5. Maintenance and repair materials.
  6. Consumable supplies.

* Prior travel authorization completed before using card.

Please note: This card cannot be used for personal purchases or as personal identification under any circumstances.

A lost or stolen card must be reported immediately by calling U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems Customer Service at (800) 344-5696 and notifying the purchasing officer in fiscal services and the card custodian for your department.

The purchase card can only be used for WVC business transactions. The card does not replace the existing purchasing regulations, it is a tool to enable the purchasing process, and the use of a state contract that would normally apply is still applicable. The card may not be used to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies restricted by contractual agreements or policy. Credit limits will apply for individual and aggregate purchases, and split transactions (dividing purchases to avoid reaching single purchase limit) are in violation of these procedures.

There are Merchant Category Code (MCC) restrictions on all college purchasing cards that specifically prevent the purchase of vehicle rentals, airline tickets, cash advances and travel (lodging, restaurants, etc.) using the purchasing card. The following restrictions also apply.

  1. The WVC purchasing card cannot be used to purchase the following items:
    1. Advertisements/recruiting other than through community relations and human resources.
    2. Alcohol.
    3. Beverages/food.
    4. Capital equipment (single item costing more than $300.00).
    5. Cash advances.
    6. Commencement or convocation expenses.
    7. Computers/hardware/software/accessories other than through TIS.
    8. Consultants/speakers/honorariums/performers/independent contractors.
    9. Controlled substances (prescription drugs, narcotics, etc.).
    10. Deposits for rental of meeting facilities (lodging, etc.).
    11. Donations.
    12. Entertainment costs – tickets, tours, etc.
    13. Fines, late fees or penalties/interest/finance charges.
    14. Flowers.
    15. Gases, compressed or liquid.
    16. Live animals.
    17. Lobbying costs.
    18.  Maintenance agreements.
    19. Office furniture.
    20.  Personal purchases.
    21. Split transactions (dividing purchase to avoid reaching single item or transaction limit).
    22. Telephones – cellular or desk.
    23. Travel (lodging, restaurants, airline tickets, etc.).
    24. Vehicle rental.
  2. Limits
    The WVC purchasing card program has the following specific default limits:
    1. Single transaction limit: $800.00 including shipping, handling and tax, regardless of the number of items.
    2. Monthly purchase limit: The maximum per card per billing cycle is $2,500.00.
    3. Daily limit: 3 transactions per day. This prevents a lost/stolen card from “going wild” and reduces fraud losses.

These limits may be increased for a limited period for specific purchases.


  1. Administration
    The purchasing officer shall maintain the master list of all cards assigned, provide orientation, review department purchasing practices to ensure proper procedures are being followed, and retain authority to take appropriate measures when policies or procedures have been violated. The purchasing cards will be reset to $1.00 purchasing limit on the date set yearly for purchasing cut-off in order for invoices to be received by our fiscal deadline. No further charges may be made on the cards after that date for the remainder of the fiscal year.

    The department administrator is responsible for the following.
    1. Designating the card custodian.
    2. Establishing authorization controls for the card custodian. This includes limits on the types of purchases, dollar limit per transaction, or other controls the department administrator establishes for that department in addition to the WVC limits and controls.
    3. Establishing procedures for maintaining security of the card.
    4. Delegating authority to card custodian to issue cards to authorized departmental employees and maintaining the list of authorized users.
    5. Reviewing and approving payments and ensuring timely reconciliation of monthly statements.
    6. Assuring compliance with purchasing procedures. Misuse of the card or failure to follow proper procedures will result in the termination of credit card privileges for the department for a minimum of three months.
  2. Card Custodian
    The card custodian will insure that employees using the card are aware of the limitations placed on its use, and will be responsible for the following procedures in controlling the use of the card:
    1. Keep the card in a locked, secure place, and treat it as cash.
    2. Maintain a check-out log to record the following information:
      1. Date/time of check-out.
      2. User’s name/initials.
      3. Description of purchase/approx. cost.
      4. Account code.
      5. Check-in date and time.
      6. Check-in initialed by card custodian.
    3. Before issuing the card for use, obtain a completed credit card purchase authorization form from the requestor.
    4. Record the information on the checkout log and issue the card to the requestor.
    5. When the card is returned, obtain the sales slip, telephone order form, fax or email confirmation, compare to the authorization form, and complete checkout log entry.
    6. Maintain a monthly charge activity log to have user record the following information:
      1. Order date.
      2. Supplier/contact.
      3. Description and quantity.
      4. Account number.
      5. Price per item/refund.
      6. Delivery cost.
      7. Tax.
      8. Total transaction amount.
      9. Delivery date.
      10. Signature of card custodian/signature of administrator.

        Attach all receipts and order confirmations to activity log.

    7. At the end of the billing cycle, the purchasing office will send a copy of the monthly statement to the department for reconciliation. Failure to reconcile monthly statements in a timely manner will be grounds for termination of credit card privileges for the department.
    8. Confirm on a regular basis that the card(s) assigned to your department are accounted for and immediately report a missing card to the bank (800 344-5696) and the purchasing officer. Failure to report a missing card immediately will be grounds for termination of credit card privileges for the department.
    9. Notify the department administrator promptly of any known or suspected inappropriate use of the purchasing card.
  3. Purchaser
    Determine whether the purchasing card is the most appropriate tool to use for this purchase and ensure regulations and procedures are being followed (check for restricted items or state contracts prior to use). Be certain the total amount will not exceed the card’s single purchase limit; the total must include all handling/shipping charges and tax. Washington state use tax will be added to any applicable purchase which does not include sales tax, so always add 8.4% tax when computing the total sale. The purchaser is ultimately responsible for purchases made with the card.

    Keep the card in a secure place at all times while in your possession. Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately by the user to the bank (800-344-5696), purchasing officer and card custodian. Failure to report a lost card immediately could result in the department being responsible for unauthorized charges and will be grounds for termination of credit card privileges for the department.

    Do not submit a purchase requisition or voucher for purchases made with the purchasing card; it is unnecessary and in could result in duplication of the order.
  4. To make a purchase using the card:
    1. Complete a credit card purchase authorization form and have signed by administrator.
    2. Submit the completed form to your department’s card custodian.
    3. Cards may be used to charge purchases either in person, by phone, fax or secure Internet site.
    4. Obtain a receipt, complete the phone order form, or print out the on-line confirmation at the time of purchase and turn it in when you return the card; send a copy to receiving, (facilities building), so that they are aware of the order coming in and will know where it should be delivered.
    5. Remember to give the supplier your name, department name, phone number and complete delivery instructions if you are not picking up the goods. If your name is not on the shipment, central services will have no means to identify that it is your order. Orders that cannot be identified will be returned to sender. Have goods delivered to:

      ATTENTION: Your Name
      Wenatchee Valley College
      1300 Fifth Street
      Wenatchee WA 98801-1741

    6.  Fill out the purchasing card monthly activity log at the time you turn in the card and receipt.

      When receiving the goods, retain all boxes, containers, special packaging, packing slips, etc., until you are certain there is no problem with the order and you are going to keep the goods. The purchaser is responsible to inspect the goods upon arrival.
  5. Purchasing by phone
    Follow the instructions for making purchases, including the purchasing card authorization form. A written record must be made when placing a telephone order. Fill out the purchasing card telephone order form and give the form to the department card custodian when returning the card.
    1. When you call in an order, state that you are calling from Wenatchee Valley College and that you will be making your purchase with a VISA card.
    2. Record the name of the person taking the order.
    3. Place the order and give the supplier your purchasing card number and expiration date.
    4. Give the supplier your name, department name, phone number and complete delivery instructions, and state that your name must be clearly identified on the shipping label.
    5. Request that a receipt and/or packing slip be sent with the purchase. Submit this to your department card custodian to attach to your telephone order form.
  6. Using mail, FAX or on-line:
    Follow the steps for purchasing card use and applicable steps for phone orders. Retain a copy of any order forms used, with the address it was sent to. Return the order form copy along with order confirmations or receipts to the card custodian when you return the card. Send a copy to receiving.

    When using the card to make purchases via the Internet, care must be taken in at least these areas:
    1. Make sure that the company is a bona fide company (i.e., suppliers you have done business with previously or that have an established reputation).
    2. When supplying the card number via the Web, be sure it is encrypted in an acceptable manner. If the information is not encrypted, or if you are not comfortable giving the card number, many companies offer the option of placing the order via the Web and then giving the card number via telephone after the order has been received (preferably you call them instead of them calling you). If you are not sure the site is encrypted, contact the technology helpdesk for assistance.

      Note: WVC has corporate accounts with several vendors and the corporate account must be used when placing orders online, e.g.: and Office Depot. Card custodians should contact the purchasing officer to have their department’s card registered with these accounts. Orders not placed through the corporate account may be disallowed. Corporate accounts will be added as they become available and card custodians notified
  7. Returns, Damaged Goods, Credits
    If goods purchased with a purchasing card need to be returned, the purchaser should work directly with the supplier.
    1. Always retain boxes, containers, special packaging, packing slips, etc. until you are certain you are going to keep the goods. Some items cannot be returned without the original packaging materials.
    2. Read all enclosed instructions carefully. Often a phone number and other instructions are included on the packing slip and/or receipt.
    3. Many suppliers require that a “Return Authorization Number (RAN)” be acquired BEFORE you return an item. If you neglect to get this number, the return may be refused by the supplier and no credit issued to the college.
    4. Enclose a copy of the packing slip, mark the item being returned, and note why it is being returned. Supply complete information on how to contact you.
    5. Write the “RAN” number on the packing slip and outside of the box in the manner specified by the supplier and label the box clearly.
    6.  A restocking fee should not be charged if the problem is completely the responsibility of the supplier or the shipper. However, if they are not fully responsible for the return, you may have to pay the fee and the purchasing card may be used.
    7. Take your prepared shipment to the service center for shipping. If you need help in packaging goods for return, assistance may be available through the service center.
    8. Keep all records showing the return shipment and confirm that the item does not appear on the monthly statement or has been credited properly.
  8. Disputed Transactions
    Purchaser should immediately notify the card custodian of any items in dispute so that the monthly reconciliation will reflect the proper information.

    The card custodian is responsible for insuring that only received and accepted items are approved for payment. Disputes over a billing can result from failure to receive goods, fraud, misuse, incorrect charges, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts, duplicated charges and credits not processed. The purchaser is to attempt to resolve any problems directly with the vendor. If you cannot resolve the problem with the vendor, immediately call U.S. Bank customer service (800-344-5696) for assistance. You will be required to document the dispute and send a form letter to U.S. Bank Customer Service within 60 days of the first statement on which the disputed charge occurred. Disputed items will be reflected in the outstanding balance, but will not be included in the total amount due. When a disputed item has been resolved, a line item credit will be shown on the statement.
  9. Monthly Billing Statement
    A monthly reconciliation statement will be sent to each department that has been issued a purchasing card. The card custodian must verify the accuracy of the monthly billing statement, supply specific budget numbers each purchase is to be charged to, and fill in the portion of the purchasing card monthly log pertaining to the reconciliation. As part of the review process, the card custodian will compare the transactions on the statement with the source documentation (sales slips, credit slips, invoices) and approve for payment items that have been received, accepted and correctly billed. The card custodian will enter the appropriate budget code on the statement and initial each approved item. (Remember: only those budgets directly under your authority may be used for these charges.) Any disputed item will also be noted on the statement.

    After the card custodian has signed off on the monthly activity log, the log and all source documentation is presented to the card custodian’s supervisor for approval and signature. The signed original monthly log is then forwarded to the purchasing officer. Effective July 1, 2007, all documentation will be attached to the log and forwarded to the purchasing officer. A copy of the log and all back-up documentation is kept on file in the department and kept for the period required by the records retention schedule. As often as necessary, a person from the fiscal services department will request a review of the monthly activity log(s) and other documentation.

    Failure to reconcile monthly statements and forward to the purchasing officer in a timely manner will be grounds for termination of credit card privileges for the department.

    After accounts payable has received the activity logs from the purchasing officer, all approved purchases will be coded to the appropriate budget, and the statement paid. Your department’s monthly budget status report will show these charges as “Pcard #___ Name of Vendor.”

Originally approved: 10/31/00
Revised and approved by the president’s cabinet: 5/1/07, 2/11/14
Presented to the board of trustees: 5/16/07, 2/26/14
Last reviewed: __/__/__
Procedure contact: Administrative Services

Related policies and procedures
None identified at this time