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Purchasing Card Program Administrative and User’s Guide

Section 1 – Introduction

Section 2 – Assignment and Control of the Purchasing Card

Section 3 – Cardholder Use of a Purchasing Card

Section 4 – Process Review & Compliance

Section 1 – Introduction

1.1 What is a Purchasing Card

The Purchasing Card is a Visa® credit card issued by Bank of America for the State of Georgia. The State of Georgia Purchasing Card is the property of the State of Georgia and is only to be used for State business purposes. Gordon State College is responsible for purchases made with the card, which will then be charged back to the specific division/department budget. Although the card is issued in an individual's name, its use does not affect personal credit in any way. One should be aware that abuse of the Purchasing Card or failure to follow the procedures established for Gordon College’s Purchasing Card Program may result in revocation of Purchasing Card privileges or other disciplinary action.

The State of Georgia entered into an agreement with Bank of America and Visa®. Under this program, Bank of America will provide Gordon State College with purchasing card services through the use of the internationally accepted Visa® credit card and WORKS™ Payment Manager that is Web-based technology that connects payment management automation with the global Visa® payment network. A number of unique features have been developed for the program that do not exist in a traditional credit card environment, such as real-time card administration and exception-based transaction processing. These features ensure that the card can only be used for specific purposes and within specific dollar limits.

1.2 What is a Purchasing Card Program

Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program has been designed to allow the Cardholders to directly purchase small dollar items or services. It should be viewed as a supplemental tool for approved expenses to buy products which are more efficiently bought with a Purchasing Card or to buy from vendors who routinely only do business via credit cards or cash. Using this system will reduce the time and paperwork normally associated with these types of purchases. In addition, Gordon State College will recognize savings in administrative time and effort spent to process such transactions.

1.3 Overview

This Guide has been developed to provide step-by-step instructions for use of the card and document Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program activity while anticipating questions that may arise as use of the card begins. All authorized Cardholders and their immediate supervisors should review the material in this Guide and adapt it to their specific needs while being consistent with the Purchasing Card Program Policy. Please be aware that in addition to reviewing the Guide, the Purchasing Card Administrator and Coordinator, Reviewers, and Cardholders must attend Cardholder Training that will highlight and supplement the information provided in this document.

Parties Involved

The various parties involved in Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program are as follows:

Card Issuer: Bank of America was selected as the State of Georgia’s Purchasing Card Provider. Bank of America’s services include issuing Visa® Purchasing Cards to Gordon State College employees, providing electronic transaction authorizations, and billing Gordon College for all purchases made on the cards.

State of Georgia State Purchasing: The State of Georgia Purchasing Card Program Manager coordinates with the Card Issuer and the Gordon State College Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to have Purchasing Cards issued to employees approved to receive them. State of Georgia State Purchasing provides oversight to the Statewide Purchasing Card Program and in-depth training to ensure program understanding and compliance. Their mission is to enable each agency, including Gordon State College, to adequately maintain oversight and control of Purchasing Card purchases while realizing a significant reduction in administrative costs.

If you have any questions regarding state purchasing guidelines you can contact Cindy McCard at 678. 359. 5054, visit the Department of Administrative Services’ purchasing website at

http://statepurchasing.doas.georgia.gov/02/doas/osp/home/0,2469,35226973,00.html or the Board of Regents System Procurement Office website at http://www.usg.edu/fiscal_affairs/procurement/.

Purchasing Card Program Coordinator: Gordon State College’s point-of-contact with regard to all things related to purchasing. This person is ultimately responsible for setting the agency cumulative credit line for the Purchasing Card Program, determining the appropriate credit limit by which all individual card limits are apportioned, and establishing Gordon State College’s internal procedures for use of the contract. All procedures must be within the scope of the terms and conditions of the Purchasing Card Program Policy as well as best business practices and controls. The Purchasing Card Program Coordinator approves all credit limit changes, but the State Purchasing Card Program Manager approves all single-transaction limit changes. The Purchasing Card Program Coordinator will manage the day-to-day operations of the Purchasing Card Program. This person will serve as a central point of contact to address all issues and changes relating to the Purchasing Card Program, and to coordinate such changes with Bank of America, the State Purchasing Card Program Manager, and informing Gordon State College participants. In addition, Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program Coordinator will work as the “lead” contact when implementing new Program enhancements. The person designated as Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program Coordinator is Cindy McCard. Some of the duties of the Gordon State College Purchasing Card Program Coordinator include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Interacting with Bank of America to assure compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract agreement.
  2. Reviewing and evaluating for acceptance Purchasing Card applications from Gordon State College faculty and staff.
  3. Arbitrating disputed charges, adding and deleting Purchasing Card users, establishing and adjusting control codes.
  4. Establishing reporting requirements and coordinating the electronic interface needs.  The electronic interface involves merging information from WORKS Payment Manager into the People Soft accounting software.
  5. Implementing distribution and receipt of Purchasing Card Bank of America data within established timelines to ensure appropriate retrieval of statistical data. 
  6. Conducting Purchasing Card orientation/training sessions for all new Purchasing Card recipients, including coordinating and conducting group sessions and individual sessions for refresher training when necessary.  State Purchasing Division (SPD) will provide training guidelines for Gordon State College to follow and implement. 
  7. Maintaining a policy and procedures manual for the Gordon College Purchasing Card Program, Cardholders, and program participants. 
  8. Reviewing and analyzing reports and statistical data to evaluate user activity and assure compliance with the policy and regulations governing the use of the Purchasing Card.  These activities include monitoring inconsistencies within the report data and ensuring corrections occur.
  9. Developing and maintaining auditing standards for individual Cardholders to include scheduling and implementing routine reviews of Cardholders and participating in review processes with other auditing agencies and statewide audits.  (Note:  It is essential that the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator do early reviews of new Cardholders to ensure proper use and compliance before six months of card use have occurred.)
  10. Serving as the point-of-contact for Gordon State College, Bank of America, participating departments and/or divisions, and organizations or businesses within and outside of Gordon State College. 
  11. Assisting Gordon State College management with program review and analysis and suggesting changes and adjustments for improvements.  These reviews should extend to departments and divisions as they establish their programs.
  12. Assisting departmental and unit business officers in establishing internal and approval procedures for the Purchasing Card transactions.
  13. Interpreting College and program policies and procedures for College faculty and staff.

Cardholder: Each division or department within the College will determine who is eligible, based on the College’s needs for Purchasing Card privileges, and will take the appropriate steps to process the Purchasing Card request form (See EXHIBIT A). Purchasing Cards are only distributed to those who are knowledgeable of State Purchasing and Purchasing Card User’s Guidelines and who have attended Cardholder training as required by the College. In addition, Cardholders are required to sign the State of Georgia Cardholder Purchasing Card Agreement (See EXHIBIT B) prior to card distribution. Cardholder responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Using the Purchasing Card for State business purposes only, not personal use.
  2. Abiding by and making each purchase in accordance with the State Purchasing and Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program Administrative and User’s Guidelines.
  3. Ensuring that the Purchasing Card is issued in the Cardholder’s name and signed in ink on the back of the card.
  4. Ensuring that all purchases made on the Purchasing Card are made by the Cardholder and the card is not used by other employees.
  5. Holding and keeping secure the Purchasing Card, the card number, and all transactions made with it.
  6. Adhering to the purchase limits and restrictions assigned to the Cardholder’s Purchasing Card.
  7. Ordering supplies, materials, equipment, and one-time services, as directed in the Georgia Procurement Manual, that are needed and required by Gordon College.
  8. Receiving and inspecting all ordered supplies, materials, equipment, and one-time services, reporting discrepancies to vendor. Sales tax should not be included as a charge since the State is sales and use tax exempt.
  9. Obtaining, validating and reconciling all sales slips, register receipts, and/or Purchasing Card slips and providing them to the Cardholder’s designated “Reviewer” for reconciliation, approval, and allocation of transactions to Bank of America’s Cardholder Statement (manual or electronic) within the time periods specified within Gordon State College’s policy.
  10. Approving monthly statements (manual or electronic), and certifying charges prior to submission to the Cardholder’s reviewer. The Cardholder shall personally sign off every invoice, transaction log, or the monthly Bank of America statement (manually or electronically).
  11. Documenting attempts to resolve disputes or billing errors directly with the vendor.  If the attempt to resolve the dispute is unsatisfactory, the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator, with the assistance of the Cardholder, is responsible for submitting Bank of America dispute forms to the bank in a timely manner (See EXHIBIT C).  
  12. Ensuring that an appropriate credit for the reported disputed item or billing error appears on a subsequent Cardholder Memo Statement.
  13. Immediately reporting a lost or stolen Purchasing Card to Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).
  14. Immediately notifying the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator of a lost or stolen Purchasing Card at the first opportunity during normal business hours.
  15. Remitting a compromised Purchasing Card to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator for destruction.
  16. Knowing the approved types of vendors with which the Cardholder can use the Purchasing Card.
  17. Contacting the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator if a vendor does not accept the State Purchasing Card.
  18. Not accepting cash in lieu of a credit to the Purchasing Card account in the event of a refund for any reason.
  19. Not using the Purchasing Card for entertainment or cash.
  20. Not purchasing restricted items.
  21. Ensuring that the appropriate purchasing or payment procedures are followed and not bypassed.
  22. Ensuring that split transactions are not performed.

Reviewer: Each Cardholder will report all Purchasing Card transactions directly to a designated Reviewer. The Division Chair or Department Director to whom the Cardholder reports will be designated as the Cardholder’s reviewer. Reviewer responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Becoming familiar with State Purchasing policies and procedures and Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program Administrative and User’s Guide.
  2. Ensuring that Cardholders abide by and make each purchase in accordance with State Purchasing policies and procedures and Gordon State College’s Purchasing Card Program Administrative and User’s Guide.
  3. Signing off on Cardholder’s monthly reconciliation.
  4. Immediately reporting any misuse of the Purchasing Card to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.
  5. Ensuring that the reconciliation and supporting documentation are submitted in a timely manner to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.

The Purchasing Card Program Coordinator will include additional responsibilities as needed for particular environments.

Section 2 – Assignment and Control of the Purchasing Card

2.1 Who is Eligible for a Card

Purchasing Card privileges may be given to permanent employees of Gordon State College who have job responsibilities that require the purchase of certain types of supplies, materials, equipment, and services under current small dollar purchase guidelines. Purchasing Card request forms must be approved by Division Chairs or Department Directors and the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.

2.2 How to Obtain a Card

State Purchasing Cards shall be requested via a Gordon College Cardholder/Profile Change Request Form to include a process and procedure defined by Gordon State College (See EXHIBIT A). Requests for Gordon State College Purchasing Cards must be approved by the Division Chair or Department Director. It is recommended that the Purchasing Card Program Administrative and User’s Guidelines are read in their entirety before a request for a Purchasing Card is made.

When the Division Chair or Department Director authorizes a Cardholder, is satisfied that the Cardholder understands the guidelines, and has identified how the division or department will use the Purchasing Card for Gordon State College business purposes, the Division Chair or Department Director will submit the Cardholder/Profile Change Request Form to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to process. The Purchasing Card Coordinator will provide assistance with processing the application.

Each Purchasing Card purchase transaction, regardless of the number of items ordered, will be limited to fewer than $5,000. Higher limits for specific cases may be approved if requested in writing to the State Purchasing Card Program Manager (See EXHIBIT D). In addition, a monthly (30-day) credit limit is selected by the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator for each Cardholder based on the needs of the Cardholder and the budgetary limitations of his/her division or department.

Cardholder training and the signature of the Cardholder on the Gordon State College Purchasing Card Agreement (See EXHIBIT B) are required prior to Purchasing Card distribution. When the Purchasing Card is issued, the reverse side of it includes a space which the Cardholder must sign. This should be done as soon as the Purchasing Card is received to prevent unauthorized use. Purchasing Cards should be kept in a secure place at all times.

Upon receipt of the Purchasing Card, the Cardholder shall call the toll-free Customer Service number to activate the account. The Cardholder will be required to acknowledge the assigned Single Transaction Limit, the telephone number, and the zip code listed for the account. Once the Cardholder acknowledges receipt of the Purchasing Card, the account will be activated for immediate use.

The Purchasing Card will be issued in an individual's name, not Gordon State College’s. The Cardholder is accountable for all purchases made with the assigned Purchasing Card.

Although the Purchasing Card is issued in an individual's name, it is the property of Gordon State College and is to be used only for State business on behalf of Gordon State College.

2.3 Changes

If the Cardholder changes divisions or departments or leaves the employment of Gordon State College, the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator must be notified immediately and the Purchasing Card must be returned to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator for cancellation and destruction.

If the Cardholder’s name changes or there is a need to change the profile, changes should be presented to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator with the Cardholder/Profile Change Request Form (See EXHIBIT A). If determined necessary for the Cardholder to obtain a new Purchasing Card for his/her new division or department, that Division Chair or Department Director must complete a new Gordon State College Cardholder/Profile Change Request Form.

2.4 What Can and Cannot be Purchased with the Visa® Card

The Purchasing Card is to be used to purchase supplies, goods, or services used solely for Gordon State College business purposes. Under no circumstance is the Purchasing Card to be used to buy motor vehicle fuel, professional services (i.e., doctors, lawyers, etc), personal purchases, cash advances, gift cards, or travel and entertainment expenses. Allowable travel and entertainment purchases may include airline tickets purchased on or off a statewide contract, rental car payments on statewide contract, and pre-approved team and/or student pre-approved travel for authorized travelers.

It is important to note that purchase transactions may not be split into two or more transactions to avoid the single transaction limit. Such activity constitutes an improper use of the Purchasing Card and may result in revocation of Purchasing Card privileges or other disciplinary action.

2.5 Card Limits

The Purchasing Card Program Coordinator, with assistance from the Division Chair or Department Director and Associate Vice President for Business Affairs, determines the appropriate Purchasing Card monthly limit based on Gordon State College’s delegated purchasing authority when the Purchasing Card Program is established. The Purchasing Card Program Coordinator establishes appropriate limits for each Cardholder based on Gordon State College’s established Credit Card Limit, the needs of the Cardholder, and the budgetary limitations of his/her division or department. Division Chairs or Department Directors may request lower limits, and in exceptional cases, may request a larger limit. If a larger limit is required, the department will request a credit line increase through the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator. Departmental participation in developing the credit line for each Purchasing Card is essential.

Whenever an increase in the single-transaction limit (≥ $5,000) is required, this request must go through the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to the State Purchasing Card Program Manager for approval (See EXHIBIT D).

Suggested Credit Card Transactions

  • Airline Tickets
  • Books, Magazines, Subscriptions
  • Computer Supplies, Accessories, Appropriate Software Applications
  • Conference/Seminar Registration Fees
  • Professional Memberships and Professional Training/Development Programs
  • Pager, Cell Phone, and Internet Services Consistent with Gordon State College Expense Policy
  • Newspaper Ads
  • Printing and Duplicating Services (including reprint charges)
  • Shipping, Freight Charges
  • Maintenance Charges for Entity Vehicles
  • Photographic Service/Supplies
  • Car Rentals (on Statewide Contract Only)
  • Items on Statewide Contract under $5,000 (If items purchased on statewide contract exceed the $5,000 single transaction limit, seek prior approval through the State Purchasing Card Program Coordinator in writing.  However, no capital assets may be purchased with the Purchasing Card.) (See EXHIBIT D)
  • Non-Recurring Equipment Rentals
  • Licenses
  • Utilities
  • Service Calls for Equipment Maintenance or Repair (Copiers, etc)
  • Local Supply Stores Providing Stationery, Hardware, and Computer Peripherals
  • Building Rentals

The overall goal of the Purchasing Card program is to provide operational efficiency without sacrificing cost or control. In addition, State Purchasing will continue to look for opportunities to negotiate contracts with high volume vendors to secure favorable prices. If you have any questions about the State of Georgia Purchasing Card Program or use of the Purchasing Card, please contact Cindy McCard at 678. 359. 5054.

Section 3 – Cardholder Use of a Purchasing Card

3.1 Making a Purchase

Cardholder expectations while making purchases are as follows:

  1. Be certain the transaction is consistent with the applicable rules for Purchasing Card usage.
  2. Telephone, fax, or visit the supplier. Purchases of appropriate items using the Purchasing Card may be made from any supplier who accepts the Visa® card. To receive any applicable discounts, be sure to inform the supplier that the purchase is for the State of Georgia. Notify the supplier that the purchase is exempt from Georgia State sales tax and provide the supplier with a copy of the exemption certificate.  A copy of this form can be found at the State Department of Revenue website.   This tax exempt certificate certifies that your purchase is for State business.   (Note: All ordered materials must be shipped by the supplier before it bills any costs to Gordon State College under your Purchasing Card.  Prepayments for items are not permitted.  Partial orders shipped may not be paid in full.  Payment is only allowed for the portion shipped.)
  3. Verify the total amount to be charged with the supplier.  Be sure to have the supplier identify and list all charges related to the transaction prior to signing a charge slip or authorizing the purchase by telephone.  Any charges for shipping and handling must be separately identified from the price of the item being purchased prior to signing the purchase slip or authorizing the transaction by phone.
  4. Inform the supplier of the proper delivery address and shipping instructions. Unless the transactionoccurs at the point-of-sale (i.e., pickups), all shipping costs (UPS, FedEx, etc.) MUST be prepaid and included with this purchase. Have the supplier separately identify any shipping and handling costs to be added to the transaction amount. The Cardholder must retain receipts and other documentation for record-keeping and reconciliation purposes.
  5. Record all transactions, as well as any transaction that does not have a receipt, in a transaction log (See EXHIBIT E). The transaction log is an ongoing record of information about purchases as well as transactions that do not have receipts and is an excellent form of record-keeping.

Typically a transaction log will mirror a “check register” to include a separate line for each transaction or each item purchased. Any shipping charges should be included in each line total. Another reason for using a transaction log is to easily record any comments that are directly attributable to the purchase. For example, if the supplier refuses to waive the state sales tax, make a note on your transaction log.

Another reminder: All Purchasing Card purchases are tax exempt.

All receipts or other supporting materials available to document the transaction should be attached to the transaction log. Each log, however, will probably include transactions not yet billed by the bank, as there is lag time between the closing of its billing cycle and the receipt of bills. It is recommended that Cardholders record unbilled transactions into the next billing cycle log in an effort to maintain ongoing records on a basis that parallels the bank.

3.2 Approving Transactions in WORKS™ (Not yet utilized by Gordon College)

WORKS™ Payment Manager is a Web-based technology that connects payment management automation with the global Visa® payment network. Transactions can be approved on-line as follows:

  1. The Cardholder will receive an email notification when a transaction is pending approval. The frequency of the email notifications can be controlled by the Cardholder.
  2. Each transaction needs to be opened and reviewed. The review should consist of verifying validity of transaction, check/modify the G/L coding (specifically account code, fund code, and project grant number). Cardholders who have the need to charge transactions to projects or sponsored funds outside of their own departments should communicate this to their Reviewers.  This shall be indicated on transaction logs.
  3. The description section of the transaction log should be modified to include specific details not provided by vendor (level three information) through the Bank of America network.
  4. Each transaction must be verified and submitted in WORKS™ by the Cardholder and approved by his/her Reviewer. The reconciled transaction log and all supporting documentation must be manually signed by both the Cardholder and Reviewer and forwarded to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.

Further WORKS™ training documents and/videos can be found at http://training.works.com/pm30

NOTE: In the case where a Division Chair or Department Director is the Cardholder, the reconciliation must go to his/her immediate supervisor for approval. This approval can be done electronically in WORKS™ and manually on the transaction log.

Additional transaction reconciliation and approval tips can be provided by Cindy McCard, Purchasing Card Program Coordinator, cindym@gordonstate.edu or 678. 359. 5054.

3.3 Paying the Bill

Bank of America will make arrangements for a payment which covers all Purchasing Card activity for all Cardholders during the billing cycle at the onset of each new program. Cardholders will receive a monthly Cardholder statement for reconciliation as described below. Under no circumstances should a Cardholder or departmental representative send a payment to Bank of America; all payments will be handled by Business Affairs.

3.4 Record Keeping

To facilitate reconciliation and approval of the monthly Cardholder Statement of account, it is MANDATORY that the Cardholders obtain and retain supplier documentation for purchases. Examples of supplier documentation are as follows:

  • Itemized supplier sales receipts
  • Itemized packing slips with itemized prices
  • Purchasing Card charge slips with itemized description of products purchased
  • If Cardholder orders subscriptions, usually a copy of order form will suffice as a receipt.

IMPORTANT: The business purpose of each transaction must be notated on the supplier documentation unless it is obvious or intuitive. Please remember that restricted expenditures include items for personal consumption or benefit such as meals, food, cash, motor vehicle fuel, professional services, gift cards, entertainment and travel.  (Reference:  OCGA 50-79 & 80)

3.5 Reconciling Monthly Statements (Manually or Electronically)

Once a month, Bank of America will send each Cardholder a Statement of account which details all charges billed during the previous 30-day billing cycle. Gordon State College’s 30-day billing cycle ends on 27th day of each month and Cardholder Statements are mailed within 5 working days after the end of the billing cycle. This Cardholder Statement will contain the transaction date, supplier name, and the total amount charged for each transaction made by the Cardholder during that billing cycle. There will not be any item description, breakdown of individual items, or cost. Cardholders are responsible for the transactions identified on their Statement.

Expectations for Cardholders reconciling manually are as follows:

  1. Review the Purchasing Card Statement for accuracy.
  2. Attach original supplier receipts and any other supporting documents including the transaction log to the Statement. Ensure that the business purpose is noted on each receipt and/or log as required under Record Keeping above. Note: if anitem was purchased and later returned, the original receipt copy of the credit voucher should also be attached.
  3. The Cardholder must sign the Statement indicating that the individual transactions have been verified and submitted (electronically or manually) to his/her reviewer for approval.
  4. A Reviewer’s approval can be done electronically in WORKS™ or via manual signature on the reconciled paper Statement. Reviewer approval indicates that the individual transactions have been reviewed and verified for compliance with Gordon College policy.
  5. If approved electronically in WORKS™, the reconciled Statement and all supporting documentation should be approved by the Cardholder and Reviewer and forwarded to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator no later than ten days after receipt of statement.
  6. If approved on paper, the reconciled Statement and all supporting documentation signed by both the Cardholder and Reviewer should be forwarded to the Purchasing Card Program Administrator no later than ten days after receipt of statement.
  7. All Purchasing Card records will be maintained for at least five (5) years by the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.

3.6 Resolving Errors and Disputes

Problems with merchandise delivery or incorrect billing may occasionally arise. It is the Cardholder's responsibility to initiate action to resolve all such issues.

Cardholders must contact the supplier directly when a billing problem or a problem with merchandise or services is first noted to attempt to resolve such problems directly with the supplier. When appropriate, ask the supplier to provide a credit to your Purchasing Card account. Under no circumstances should there be a direct refund from suppliers for Purchasing Card transactions.

If a Cardholder is unable to resolve the problem directly with the supplier, the Cardholder should notify the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to assist in resolving or filing a Bank of America dispute form. (See EXHIBIT C).

Important Note:

All disputes must be filed within 60 days of the transaction date.  Do not use vendors who are not resolving errors within 30 days of the cycle date following the error or dispute.

3.7 Lost or Misrouted Products

If a sufficient amount of time has elapsed without receiving the ordered product, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Contact the supplier to determine when the product was shipped, by what carrier (i.e., UPS, FedEx, US Mail, etc.), and to what location.
  2. If there is no record of the shipment by the carrier, call the supplier and request a proof of delivery.
  3. If the supplier cannot supply this documentation, the supplier should acknowledge that no product was actually delivered and credit the account or re-process the shipment.
  4. If satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with the supplier within a 30-day period, contact your Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to file and process a dispute.  There are only 60 days from the date of the transaction to file a dispute.

3.8 Incorrect Quantity or Defective Product

The Cardholder must always check any incoming order as soon as it is received to ensure the product/service matches what was ordered in terms of quantity, description, and quality. If there are discrepancies, e.g., damage or defects, the Cardholder should proceed as follows:

  1. Contact the supplier directly to resolve the issue over the telephone. This should be sufficient to resolve most discrepancies.
  2. If satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with the supplier, contact Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to file and process a dispute. 

3.9 Cardholder Statement Discrepancies

If discrepancies are noted on the monthly Cardholder Statement (for quantity, price, duplicate billing, no credits from prior transaction, billing for item not received, etc.) the following steps should be taken:

  1. Contact the supplier directly and attempt to resolve the discrepancy. Make a note on the transaction log. Keep a record of all communications to the supplier.
  2. If satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with the supplier, contact Purchasing Card Program Coordinator to file and process a dispute. 

3.10 Sales Tax Charged by a Supplier

As previously detailed in the Making a Purchase section of this Guide, Gordon State College is exempt from paying sales tax on purchases of goods and services. Accordingly, sales tax should not be billed by suppliers. In the event sales tax is charged by a supplier and appears on a Cardholder statement, the following steps need to be taken by the Cardholder:

  1. Contact the supplier directly and request that a credit be processed for the amount of the sales tax charged.
  2. Maintain written records of communications with suppliers regarding credits for sales tax.
  3. If the supplier refuses to issue a credit or does not issue a credit within the next billing cycle, please notify theCard Program Coordinator concerning your attempts to obtain a credit for the sales tax billed. DO NOT place any further orders with the supplier. The Purchasing Card Program Coordinator will notify all other Cardholders to refrain from doing business with the supplier.

Recovering charged sales tax requires time and effort that is not very productive for anyone. It is therefore essential that divisions and departments make vendors aware that Gordon State College is exempt from sales tax.

3.11 Restocking Fees

When goods are returned through no fault of the supplier, the supplier may charge a restocking fee. If this occurs, the restocking charge can be noted on the transaction log to reconcile the charge with the monthly Cardholder Statement.

3.12 Making Returns/Exchanges

CARDHOLDER:

  1. Cardholders usually prepare a shipping order for all returns/exchanges of merchandise purchased using a Purchasing Card. Be sure to indicate on the shipping order this was a Purchasing Card purchase and state the credit due for the returned item. In some instances, a vendor may supply a return authorization (RA) which should be noted on the shipping order.  If the supplier provides a material return authorization number, be sure to include that number on the shipping order.
  2. A copy of the shipping order should be kept with the transaction log to verify return and show the credit amount to be provided by the supplier.
  3. All return credits must be applied to the Purchasing Card account and must not be taken in cash.
  4. Be sure to note the shipping arrangements on the documentation, i.e., if the supplier or state paid for the freight.

It is the Cardholder's responsibility to follow up and obtain a credit for any recoverable amounts.

Section 4 – Process Review & Compliance

State Purchasing, Office of Process Improvement, and the Purchasing Card Program Manager will review various reports provided by Bank of America on a monthly basis to ensure that Purchasing Card transactions appear within reasonable parameters. In addition, random reviews of Purchasing Card Statements, Cardholder activity/transaction logs, and appropriate processes will be conducted by the State Purchasing, Office of Process Improvement.

The primary purpose of these reviews is to ensure the program policies and guidelines are being followed. Findings of failure on the part of the Gordon State College Purchasing Card Program Coordinator, division, department, or Cardholder to properly implement stated procedures for use of the Purchasing Card may result in revocation of Purchasing Card Program privileges for Gordon State College.

A secondary purpose for conducting reviews is to identify opportunities for improvement within the purchasing card program. State Purchasing welcomes suggestions from Gordon State College to ensure continued success of the Purchasing Card Program.

4.1 Purchasing Card Violations

The Department of Administrative Services, State Purchasing, expects every individual Cardholder to strictly adhere to the policies and guidelines governing use of the State Purchasing Card. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Additionally, such failure could result in prosecution to the fullest extent of the law, including financial restitution and criminal prosecution.

Violations of policies and procedures governing use of the Purchasing Card can be classified as minor or major. The action taken is dependent upon the type of violation and the number of previous Cardholder violations. The Purchasing Card Program can suspend a Cardholder’s privileges with or without input from the division or department; however, the division or department will be notified of any such action. All other actions are determined at the appropriate level. Any alleged violation or questionable transaction could result in an immediate suspension of Purchasing Card privileges pending a review to determine what, if any, action is appropriate.

Listed below are suggested guidelines that will be followed by Gordon State College with regard to disciplinary actions for Purchasing Card violations:

Minor Violations

Minor violations include delinquent reconciliation processes and instances that are “accidental” and without willful intent. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • Using the wrong credit card when doing personal shopping and usually includes immediate discovery and notification to the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.
  • Purchases with the Purchasing Card that should be made through the Gordon State College requisition system or some other means.
  • Failure to reconcile and return the Statement (manually or electronically) in a timely manner. 
  • Failure to ensure that state sales tax is not charged on any purchase.

Major Violations

Major violations are instances that show “willful intent” to disregard established policy and procedures. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Purchasing unauthorized or restricted items.
  • Splitting orders to avoid the single transaction limit.
  • Allowing others to use the Purchasing Card.
  • Knowingly making personal purchases with the Purchasing Card.

Any major violation will result in immediate temporary suspension of the Cardholder’s privileges and notification of the department. If deemed appropriate, Bank of America, Gordon State College Public Safety, and the Attorney General will also be notified. Fraudulent activity will result in immediate termination of Cardholder’s employment.

Adoption and enforcement of any disciplinary actions should be coordinated through the Purchasing Card Program Coordinator.  If Purchasing Card misuse (intentional fraud by the Cardholder) is discovered, the following steps MUST be followed: (Gordon College Purchasing Card Program Coordinator duties)

  1. Cancel the Purchasing Card.
  2. NOTIFY STATE CARDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR, John Thomason, 404-656-5344, or John.Thomason@doas.ga.gov.
  3. Notify Walter D. Green, Assistant VP/Controller, 678-359-5733, walterg@gordonstate.edu OR Kristen Albritton, Vice President for Finance and Administration, 678-359-5041, kristena@gordonstate.edu.
  4. Cardholders who violate the State Purchasing Card Program by committing fraudulent activity against the State must be immediately terminated.  (Coordinate through appropriate levels with the minimum of director level involvement.)
  5. Bank of America will coordinate the filing of appropriate liability waiver documents (insurance claim to recover losses).  Notify Bank of America when employee is terminated.  Please be aware that Bank of America will provide corporate liability protection under Visa®’s Liability Protection Coverage; however, certain conditions apply.  The principal condition is that the employee has been terminated and Bank of America is notified of the termination within TWO DAYS of its occurrence.  Bank of America will rely on and shall be protected in acting on issuance requests or other requests or instructions which the bank believes to be genuine and to have been signed by a State of Georgia Purchasing Card Administrator.