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Cell Phone Allowance Request(pdf)

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Purchasing Card Application(.doc)

Lost/Stolen Purchasing Card Notification(.doc)

Travel Expense Form(xls)





Purchasing Card User Guide

Table of Contents


Intended Use of Card Fraud/Disputes
How the Program Works Quality of Service/Product
How to Apply for a P-Card Lost/Stolen Cards
Cardholder Responsibilities Card Reconciler
Prohibited Card Use Card Coordinator
Making A Purchase Dean/Director/Department Head
Receipts Program Administrator
Declined Transactions Audits
Returning Items Card Cancellation
Transaction Approval/Review Closing a P-Card Account
Contact Information


Intended Use of Card

The purpose of the DU Purchasing Card Program is to establish a more efficient, cost-effective way for departments to make purchases of less than $3,000.

Using the Purchasing Card will be a benefit to the University, its suppliers, and your department. The University will save time and money by consolidating paperwork, suppliers will receive payment more  quickly, and your department will get its supplies without unnecessary delays.

You are being entrusted with the ability to make small-dollar purchases on behalf of the University. If authorized, you will also be trusted to pay travel and entertainment expenses with your card.  Along with this trust comes responsibility. Cardholders are expected to make sound business decisions in the best interest of the University, and always comply with the policies and procedures as set forth in this User Guide and the University Purchasing Manual.

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How the Program Works

DU Purchasing Cards are for business use only. This means absolutely no personal purchases! The card is a special VISA credit card. It works like a personal credit card, except that the charges are billed directly to your department. The Purchasing Card displays the cardholder's name and "The University of Denver." The phrase "tax exempt" and the University's tax-exempt number are embossed on the card.

Purchases are charged directly to the cardholder's department monthly. Each card has specific spending limits of $3,000 per transaction; ten transactions per day; and a pre-set maximum of $10,000 for each 30-day billing cycle. Cardholder may not split single transactions over $3,000 into smaller transactions.

Each time you use your card, an electronic process verifies that your purchase is within these limits. If your purchase violates the limits, the supplier will not accept your order. Each cardholder will be responsible for reviewing his or her charges monthly. Improper use of the purchasing card will result in consequences ranging from suspension of cards to termination of employment.

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How to Apply for a P-Card?

Any appointed University employee who has the responsibility for making purchases on behalf of his/her department may apply for a purchasing card. Please print, review, and sign the Purchasing Card Application (.pdf). You may want to create a copy for your records. Submit the original to your Card Coordinator and he/she will gain the necessary approvals for the application, identify a default departmental FOAP number for your charges, and forward your application to Shared Services. Upon receipt in Shared Services, you will receive an email invitation to complete an online P-Card training via Canvas.  When this requirement is fulfilled, and the card is ready, you will receive a follow-up email notification.  The P-Card will be forwarded using inter-campus mail to your Card Coordinator.


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Cardholder Responsibilities

Read and abide by the policies and procedures found in this User Guide. Keep your card in a secure location and keep your card number confidential.  Exercise caution in sharing your account information. Ensure that sales tax is not charged when making a purchase. The University's tax-exempt number is printed on the face of the card.  If you are inadvertently charged sales tax, you may be asked to contact the vendor for a sales tax credit.

Obtain and keep your receipt for each card transaction. YOU MUST HAVE AN ORIGINAL  RECEIPT FOR EVERY CARD TRANSACTION. Receipts are critical to the integrity of the DU Purchasing Card Program.

Maintaining a log of your purchases is also required. Contact Ashley Davis x14630 for instructions on using the online transaction log in Access Online (US Bank). This log must be signed and must match both your statement and the receipts you submit.

At the end of the billing cycle (the 20th of each month or first business day thereafter) you must:

    1.  Print your statement from the Access Online (US Bank) system (click here for instructions).
    2.  Edit all of your transactions in Access Online adding comments and verifying accounting codes. When complete print the transaction log (click here for instructions).
    3.  Attach an original receipt for each transaction.
    4.  Submit this packet to your Card Coordinator by the 25th business day of each month (or first business day thereafter).

Always try to obtain the best possible value for the University with your DU Purchasing Card.

 Resolve all incorrect charges and product returns with the merchant as quickly as possible.

 IMMEDIATELY call Access Online  (US Bank) at 800.344.5696 if your card is lost or stolen.  Also, notify the Card Program Administrator (x14630) in the Shared Services office.

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Prohibited Card Use

Card misuse is serious. Any violation will result in disciplinary actions that may include immediate termination of employment. The purchasing card may not be used for any of the following categories:

  • Personal charges even with the intent of reimbursing DU
  • Honorariums
  • Payroll Expenses
  • Computer and fixed asset purchases
  • Cell phones and electronic devices with cell phone capabilities
  • Colorado sales tax
  • Interdepartmental purchases
  • Cash advances or cash refunds for returned card purchases
  • Travel and Entertainment expenses except as allowed per Board of Trustee policies.
  • Consulting or contract employee services that require contracts
  • Donations and contributions
  • Purchases requiring a specific contract requiring special routing through University Counsel or Purchasing Services
  • Purchases prohibited by the University's purchasing policies
  • Gifts, prizes, and awards (including gift certificates)

Gifts and Awards are generally given to students (and, in rare cases, staff members) as recognition of academic achievements.

Students: A check in recognition of some academic achievement should be processed with a direct pay. The student may or may not have had a position paid through Payroll. The award is not taxable.

Employees: All cash payments and recognition should be made through the University's annual merit and bonus processes. In the rare event that an award is given and approved outside of this process, the payment must be made through Payroll. These awards will be taxable.

Professional Development Grants: Funds given to staff as reimbursements for travel and conference expenses are legitimate University business expenses, and are not taxable. All supplies and equipment purchased with professional development or internal grant funding are the property of the University.

Outside Recipients: The payment may be made through Accounts Payable with appropriate documentation (including a W-9). The award will reportable on a 1099. This includes honorariums.

Violation of this or any other Purchasing Card policy will result in (at minimum) suspension of card privileges within five business days.  Repeated violations will result in revocation of the Purchasing Card, and may include further disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.

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Making a Purchase

If your purchase is $3,000 or less, and is an approved University purchase, find a vendor who accepts VISA and provides the best value to the University. Ensure that your purchase does not include sales tax. When making a telephone order, tell the vendor that you are calling from The University of Denver and that you are making your purchase with a VISA purchasing card. Emphasize that your purchase is tax exempt. Give the vendor your card name, card number, expiration date, tax-exempt number, and delivery address.

Using a complete delivery address is critical. If you do not include your building and room number, Central Receiving will not know where to deliver your merchandise. Since these transactions are not posted in the Banner purchasing system, Receiving will also have no way to research a delivery location!! Upon delivery, inspect your order to verify order accuracy, quality, and price. 

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Obtain a receipt from the vendor for each transaction. Receipts include charge slips, cash register receipts, or printouts of e-mail or web page transaction confirmations. For subscriptions, the original renewal notice or initial subscription request is a receipt.

Receipts must include the following information:

  • Vendor name
  • Itemized description of items purchased
  • Transaction date
  • Grand total

Receipts that do not clearly list the items purchased will not be considered adequate documentation. You must get a replacement receipt or a more detailed receipt from the vendor for lost receipts, and receipts missing adequate documentation.

If the deadline for submitting receipts occurs before your replacement receipt has arrived, you may submit a Purchasing Card Missing Receipt Form (.docx) with the required information. This form is a "placeholder" for the receipt until it is received. When the original receipt is obtained write your name on it and submit it to Shared Services.

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Declined Transactions

If your purchase is not approved by VISA, you can call US Bank at 800-344-5696 to determine the reason, or ask the Card Program Administrator (x14630) to research the problem for you. If it is determined that you have exceeded your standard spending limits, you may ask your division budget officer to request a temporary increase in your spending limits on a case-by-case basis.

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Returning Items

For an in-person purchase, return the item directly to the supplier and obtain a credit receipt. Cash refunds are absolutely prohibited. If you made the purchase by phone, mail, or fax, contact the vendor for return instructions. Get a return reference number from the supplier, e.g., a Returned Material Authorization (RMA) or credit number. NOTE: Some suppliers may charge a restocking or handling fee. Be sure to check subsequent statements to verify you have received credit for the returned item.

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Transaction Approval/Review

The statement period ends on the 20th day of each month, or the first business day thereafter. Periodically through out the month, you should check the accuracy of your charges on the web at Access Online (US Bank).  Compare your charges to your receipts. Watch for:

  • Amounts that are higher than your log or receipts (after allowing for shipping charges)
  • Items on the statement that you did not purchase

If you find a discrepancy, follow the steps in "Disputes" below.

Your Card Program Coordinator may move charges to appropriate account codes (FOAPs).  Your card statement cycle ends on the 20th of each month.  You have 1-5 days to print and review your statement and submit all required paperwork to your Card Coordinator (see Cardholder Responsibilities).  You will receive a P-Card calendar update on, or around, the 17th of the month outlining the upcoming due dates.  At the end of the month, your charges will be posted to a default FOAP, or the chosen FOAP if changes were made.  FOAP changes after the end-of-the-month close must be made with Transfer Vouchers.

Remember, you must submit your printed statement, log, and original itemized receipts for each transaction as your P-Card packet by the due date on the calendar update.  Your printed statement must match the total from the log and each receipt must match the individual transaction totals.

Sign the log at the bottom.. Your signature affirms that:

  • The charges are correct with exceptions noted
  • All receipts are attached
  • All purchases are properly authorized business purchases
  • You have not been reimbursed for any of these purchases by any other method

Forward signed log, statement, and receipts to the Card Program Coordinator in your department. He/she will review and electronically approve your monthly charges, approve the log, and forward the information to Shared Services. Statements and receipts must be kept on files for 7 years.

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Fraud and Disputes


If fraud is suspected on your P-Card, immediately call the number on the back of your card 800-344-5696.  Enter this number in your cell phone so that you can easily report a lost or stolen card and request a replacement.  If US Bank suspects fraud on your card your transactions will be blocked.  Call the number on the back of your card for help with completing a transaction on a blocked card.

US Bank will cancel the card and issue you a new one if fraud is confirmed.  We will contact your office when the replacement card arrives.

Disputing a Charge

If you find an item on your statement that is incorrect, contact the vendor immediately to resolve the disputed charge. If the vendor does not resolve the discrepancy within 30 days, either dispute the transaction in Access Online Transaction Management  or call US Bank at 800-344-5696. Disputes will usually be resolved within 60-90 days.

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Quality of Service or Product

All vendors have a right to "cure" a problem with a purchase within a reasonable period of time. Thus, when you receive either an incorrect or defective item, you must allow the vendor a reasonable amount of time to either replace the product, resolve the service issue, or issue you a credit before turning the matter over to Access Online (US Bank). Follow the "Incorrect Charges" dispute process if the vendor is unwilling to work with you on resolving the issue.

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Lost/Stolen Cards

Immediately call US Bank at 800-344-5696 as soon as you realize your card has been lost or stolen. Representatives are available 24 hours a day. Note the name of the person who takes your call and the exact time you called.

Within 24 hours, inform Shared Services of the theft or loss by calling the Program Administrator at 303-871-4630, or sending an email message to the Program Administrator. A new card will be issued when you report the loss to US Bank. The new card will arrive in Purchasing within 5-7 business days.

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Card Reconciler

  • Employees who reconcile P-Card transactions for cardholders should be issued a User ID of their own in Access Online
  • Submit a reconciler application for reconcilers in your department
  • Additionally, cardholder-reconcilers can have additional cards added to their view for easier access and to reduce credential sharing

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Card Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Complete Coordinator Application
  • Attend mandatory Card Coordinator training session
  • Explain the DU Purchasing Card program to interested employees
  • Get necessary approvals and forward completed card applications to the Program Administrator
  • Assure that each month you  receive, from each Cardholder in your area,
           - a printed statement 
           - a transaction log completed and signed by the Cardholder
           -  original itemized receipts that match both the statement and log
  • Review receipts for compliance with University policies. This includes verifying that, to the best of your knowledge, charges are necessary and reasonable.
  • Report violations to the Dean or Department Head, and to the Program Administrator.
  • Sign the transaction log certifying that the paperwork is accurate and complete, and that the charges have been audited.
  • Obtain the approval signature of a higher level authority.
  • Make Cardholders who fail to supply complete and accurate paperwork within the deadline aware of the suspension and cancellation penalties (see "Audits," below).
  • Forward the completed packet to Purchasing Services by the due date specified in the monthly calendar email

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Dean/Director/Department Head Responsibilities

Decide which employees should receive purchasing cards, and approve their card applications. Cards will not be issued to independent contractors or temporary employees. Select someone to verify and approve monthly statements. This Card Program Coordinator must be trained to use the automated purchasing card system. The Coordinator will typically be the department's senior Administrative Assistant or Budget Officer.

Ensure that cardholder statements have been verified. Statements must be verified monthly. Exception reports will be generated and reviewed by Internal Audit and the Coordinator. 

Ensure that cardholders abide by the policies and procedures governing the Purchasing Card Program, as well as University purchasing policies and procedures.

All transaction logs must be signed by the "Higher-Level Approver." This signature, which may be a Department Head, a Budget Officer, or a Dean or their designee, verifies expenditure appropriateness for that cardholder. List the Higher-Level Approver's name on the cardholder's application.

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Program Administrator Responsibilities

  • Manage the flow of information into the automated departmental purchasing card system
  • Review applications and establish Cardholders with Access Online
  • Answer questions and solve problems pertaining to the program
  • Maintain the Cardholder database
  • Manage and maintain the Access Online Reporting Systems

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University personnel will periodically audit departments for compliance with purchasing card policies and procedures. The following non-compliant situations will result in suspension of card privileges, and may result in cancellation of a department card:

  • Inadequate documentation in support of purchases
  • Inappropriate purchases
  • Monthly Statements that have not been reconciled and signed by the Cardholder and Coordinator

Cardholders may be subject to disciplinary action, including termination, for the following non-compliant situations:

  • Personal use of the card
  • Not reporting a lost or stolen card
  • Other excessive violations of purchasing card policies

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Card Cancellation

In the event it is necessary to cancel a purchasing card, the cardholder must return the card to the Card Program Coordinator. The Coordinator will forward the card on to the Card Program Administrator, who will notify Access Online (US Bank) of the cancellation.

Reasons for cancellation include:

  • The University no longer employs cardholder
  • Cardholder goes on leave without pay
  • Cardholder is requested to surrender the card due to a violation of policies

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Closing a P-Card Account

All P-Cards are the property of the University of Denver and must be returned by the cardholder upon leaving

    1. Turn in your P-Card to your card coordinator as soon as possible to stop further use of the card and allow final transactions to post
    2. Complete the P-Card Account Maintenance Form and turn it in to your card coordinator
    3. Work with your card coordinator to move any recurring charges to another P-Card in your department
    4. Enter transaction notes for posted transactions
    5. Submit a signed Account Activity Report to your card coordinator
      1. Use the correct cycle close date if possible
      2. Use the ‘Open’ cycle date only if the cardholder is leaving before the first day of the new cycle
    6. Submit all receipts with the Account Activity Report
    7. Print the Cardholder Statement if not leaving before the first day of the new cycle

Compile and submit a final P-Card packet

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Contact Information

To report a lost or stolen card (24 hours a day): Access Online (US Bank) at 800-344-5696

For questions about your card account: Access Online (US Bank) at 800-344-5696

For questions about the Purchasing Card Program: Program Administrator 303-871-4630

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