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Welcome to the Valley City State University Purchasing Card Program. The purchasing card is meant to replace the current purchase order or voucher (request for payment) process for applicable purchases. This manual is designed to present the framework for participation in the program. It contains the hands-on detail that VCSU management and individual cardholders need to know to make the program work effectively. The VCSU Purchasing Card Administrator will be responsible for administering the purchasing card program. The VCSU Purchasing Card Administrator is Erica Buchholz at 845-7235.

The purchasing card program delegates the authority and capability of purchasing low dollar items directly to designated cardholders, allowing them to purchase goods and services faster and easier than before. The basic program authorizes the use of a purchasing card for individual transactions up to and including $1,000. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis after consultation with the supervisor.

Use of the purchasing card does not exempt VCSU or its employees from the purchasing/procurement requirements of the State of North Dakota and VCSU policy.

What is a Purchasing Card?

The purchasing card is a MasterCard issued in the name of the VCSU employee. Employees will be designated by VCSU management to make purchases within assigned spending parameters for official VCSU business needs. The purchasing card will enable employees to purchase goods more efficiently and eliminate the preparation of purchase orders or vouchers (request for payments) to make applicable purchases.

The purchasing card payment system is an individual bill/central payment system. The cardholder receives a monthly account statement for information and reconciliation purposes only. VCSU Business Office obtains a consolidated electronic billing file and makes payment to JPMorgan on behalf of all cardholders. Expenditure transactions are processed and posted to the appropriate departmental fund using the default or modified accounting string assigned to each purchasing card.

Individual credit limits, including card and cycle limits, vary as determined by VCSU. To assure the effectiveness of the program, the policy and procedures in this manual must be followed. Failure to use the purchasing card in accordance with applicable policies and procedures may result in revocation of the purchasing card and may involve appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination and possible criminal prosecution.


Policy and procedure violations include, but are not limited to:
  • Purchasing items with the card for personal use
  • Failure to return the card when reassigned, terminated, or upon request
  • Failure to submit original itemized receipts/invoices to the appropriate person in a timely manner
  • Transferring assignment of the card to another individual
  • Using the card on Internet Auctions sites, such as EBAY
  • Repeatedly allowing sales tax to be charged when the purchases are tax exempt. Whenever the card is used, please inform the vendor that it is a tax exempt sale. NOTE: VCSU's tax exempt number is embossed on each purchasing card
A purchasing card is:
  • Purchasing authority delegated by VCSU management to individual VCSU employees
  • For official Valley City State University use only
  • Authorized for purchases of $1000 and under, some exceptions apply
  • Authorized for use with only certain categories of merchants
A purchasing card is NOT:
  • A means to avoid appropriate procurement or payment procedures
  • A means to access cash or a line of credit
  • For use with interdepartmental billing (IDB)
  • A right of employment
  • For personal use

What are the benefits of a Purchasing Card?

Department Benefits
  • Eliminating purchasing delays
  • Reducing employee out of pocket reimbursable expenses
  • Reducing the number of purchase orders created and processed
  • Reducing the number of vouchers (request for payments) created and processed
  • Reducing the number of invoice discrepancies
  • Fewer calls from vendors looking for payment
  • More time to perform other tasks
University Benefits
  • Significant reduction in data entry
  • Reduced postage costs
  • Improve vendor relations, vendors receive payment right away

Cardholder Responsibilities

Each cardholder is responsible for the following activities:
  • Safeguard the purchasing card.
  • Sign the purchasing card immediately upon receipt.
  • Activate your purchasing card by
    • Calling the Purchasing Card Center Customer Service Department at 1-800-270-7760.
    • Select '1' for english
    • Enter 16 digit card number
    • Enter the last 4 digit employee ID#
  • Keep original itemized receipts from each purchase.
  • Print Statement of Account report to attest that all purchases are for VCSU business and in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.
  • Forward the signed purchasing card envelope with coding, JPMorgan electronic statement and original itemized receipts to your supervisor.
  • Notify the Purchasing Card Administrator and the supervisor immediately in the event of a lost or stolen purchasing card.
  • Shred your expired purchasing card in the Business Office.
  • Give the purchasing card to the supervisor or Purchasing Card Administrator when employment is terminated.
  • Resolve transaction disputes in a timely manner with JPMorgan Customer Service. The Purchasing Card Administrator should be notified of any disputed items that the cardholder has not been able to resolve.

Credits, Returns and Disputed Items

The cardholder has the responsibility for following up with the vendor or bank (JPMorgan Chase) on any erroneous charges, disputed items or returns, as soon as possible. Disputed billings can result from failure to receive the goods charged, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts, duplicate charges, credit not processed, as well as fraud and misuse.

Credits: To request a credit to be applied to the purchasing card account from the vendor, refer to the cardholder receipt. If the item was shipped, refer to the packing slip.

Returns: The vendor should issue credit for any item that has been approved for return. The credit should appear on a subsequent statement. Any item returned, that was purchased with the purchasing card must be returned for credit. Do not accept a refund in cash or check.

Disputed Items: If the cardholder has a problem with a purchased item or a billing resulting from the use of the purchasing card, the cardholder should first try to reach a resolution with the vendor that provided the item. In most cases, disputes can be resolved directly between the cardholder and the vendor.
If you have a disputed charge and cannot reach resolution with the vendor, contact JPMorgan Chase Cardholder Support Team at 1-800-270-7760.
Disputed items must be resolved or reported within 60 days of the date that JPMorgan sent the first statement or transaction file.

Make sure you keep documentation of credits, returns, exchanges and disputed items.

Supervisor Responsibilities

The following items may be performed by the cardholder's supervisor, the Purchasing Card Administrator, or another designated employee (other than cardholder).
  • Review the information submitted by the cardholder. The amount of review will depend on a number of factors, but the supervisor should, at a minimum, periodically compare receipts to the Statement of Account report submitted by the cardholder.
  • Verify purchases are for business use.
    • The card must not be used for personal transactions.
    • If it is determined that personal or other inappropriate charges are occurring on the purchasing card, appropriate steps, up to and including repayment, cancellation of card, dismissal, and possible criminal prosecution may be taken to solve the misuse/abuse of the purchasing card. Repayment will include any applicable sales tax.
  • Sign the purchasing card envelope to certify that purchases are for business purposes and are in compliance with appropriate rules and regulations to the best of the supervisor's knowledge.
  • Forward the signed the purchasing card envelope, JPMorgan electronic statement and all original itemized receipts to the VCSU Business Office. Departments may keep a copy of the Statement of Account report on file within their department.
  • Return the purchasing card of a terminated employee to the Purchasing Card Administrator.

Purchasing Card Security

  • The purchasing card is to be treated with the same level of care that is afforded personal credit cards.
  • Do not lend the purchasing card to anyone. The only person authorized to use the card is the person whose name appears on the front of the card and who has completed the Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement forms.
  • Do not post or write the purchasing card account number in any location that is accessible to others.
  • Take additional care when using the card to purchase thru the Internet. Only use internet sites that have an indication that they are a secure sight, such as the padlock located on the lower right. Purchasing card can not be used on Internet Auction sites, such as EBAY.

Failure to Comply with Program Guidelines

Any misuse of the purchasing card or other failure to comply with the applicable policies and procedures will result in the following:
  • Revocation of the purchasing card
  • Appropriate disciplinary actions which may include termination
  • Repayment, including any applicable taxes, for transactions resulting from personal use of the purchasing card.
  • Possible criminal prosecution.

Termination of Employment or Transfer to Other Division

If the cardholder's employment is terminated with VCSU or if the cardholder transfers to another department within VCSU, the cardholder must return the purchasing card to his/her supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for contacting the VCSU Purchasing Card Administrator, who will cancel the card. Returned purchasing cards are not reissued to other employees for use. Before returning a canceled purchasing card, the card should be cut in half by the supervisor.

Key Contacts

The following resource persons are available to answer questions, solve purchasing card problems, or provide assistance in the areas listed:

Purchasing Card Administrator:
701-845-7235
  • To apply for a purchasing card
  • For questions concerning policies and procedures
  • To replace damaged cards
  • For assistance with vendors
  • For account inquiries
  • For billing information
  • To report a lost or stolen card
  • For assistance with JPMorgan
JPMorgan Cardholder Support Team:
1-800-270-7760
  • To report a lost or stolen card
  • For questions concerning monthly statements
  • To report disputed items
  • For authorization assistance

Commonly Asked Purchasing Card Questions

Tips to Avoid Sales Tax being Charged and Business Accounts

Helpful Hints