Skip Navigation
Schools

Policy Manual

6426 - Purchasing Cards

Introduction to P-Card

The District P-Card Program is designed to simplify and streamline the procurement process for small dollar purchases, travel, and other authorized uses. This program is an alternative approach to utilizing purchase orders and is in alignment with Best Business Practices.

The goals of the program include:

 

A.

providing an efficient and cost effective method of purchasing and paying for goods and services required by schools and departments;

 

B.

reducing the use of petty cash;

 

C.

ensuring procurement and P-Card purchases are in accordance with District policies, Florida statutes, and Florida Administrative Code Rules;

 

D.

reducing the time and money spent processing high volume, low dollar transactions.

Compliance

Use of the P-Card does not relieve the cardholder from complying with Federal, State, local laws, ordinances, regulations, or School Board policies and procedures.

A cardholder may be required to substantiate necessity or official use.

Misuse of the P-Card shall be subject to the immediate payment of all improper charges by the cardholder and revocation of P-Card privileges.

Resolution of situations involving improper use of the P-Card will be handled by the appropriate authority in accordance with School District policies and procedures.

Misuse may result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination, and legal prosecution.

Benefits

There are many benefits to using the P-Card for small dollar purchases including:

District Benefits

 

A.

Simplifies the purchasing process for the large volume of small dollar purchases.

 

B.

Lowers the overall transaction processing cost per purchase.

 

C.

Reduced cost of goods and services.

Cardholder Benefits

 

A.

Convenience of purchasing without entering requisitions.

 

B.

Expedites the delivery of goods.

Merchant Benefits

 

A.

Expedites payment to the merchant.

 

B.

Reduces paperwork.

Ethics

The cardholder, as an authorized purchaser for the District, must comply with the regulations relative to ethical conduct.

In any involvement (direct or indirect) with outside purchases, the P-Card holder’s only legitimate interest must be the best interest of the District.

Cardholders must not give, or even appear to give, a preference to anyone at the expense of the District. Showing personal favoritism to any supplier always has the potential effect of damaging the District’s reputation.

Our suppliers are, in a sense, our business partners. Their imagination and creativity supplement the skills of our District employees. We ask for, and expect, quality products and top performance from our suppliers, and they have every right to expect fairness, honesty and courtesy in return.

Roles

Cardholder

 

A.

Attends mandatory training to qualify for a District P-Card.

 

B.

Safeguards the P-Card and P-Card number.

 

C.

Reports lost, stolen, or compromised card immediately to the bank and to the District P-Card Manager within twenty-four (24) hours.

 

D.

Receives required authorization prior to purchase.

 

E.

Checks budget availability with Site Card Manager prior to making a purchase.

 

F.

Informs vendor of tax-exempt status prior to processing sale transaction.

 

G.

Receives and inspects all ordered materials and verifies services rendered.

 

H.

Promptly submits signed and dated original receipts to the Site Card Manager.

 

I.

Reports discrepancies and unauthorized transactions to vendor.

 

J.

Notifies Site Card Manager of any disputed transactions.

 

K.

Reviews/verifies charges on monthly Signature Report with the Site Card Manager.

 

L.

Signs and dates monthly Signature Report.

Site Card Manager

 

A.

Maintains original receipts, packing slips and other supporting documentation as required.

 

B.

Verifies budget availability and assigns account codes in the District’s P-Card Accounting Software.

 

C.

Reviews the monthly cardholder Signature Report with cardholder.

 

D.

Attaches receipts to reviewed Signature Report.

 

E.

Submits reviewed Signature Report to Principal/Site Administrator for signature and date.

 

F.

Assists in the handling of disputed transactions.

 

G.

Notifies District P-Card Manager of unresolved disputed transactions.

 

H.

Maintains spreadsheets with all gift card serial numbers, student names and signatures and attaches to P-Card monthly Signature Report.

Principal/Site Administrator

 

A.

Designates Site Card Manager.

 

B.

Informs District P-Card Manager of Site Card Manager.

 

C.

Requests P-Cards and oversees appropriate limits.

 

D.

Evaluates the need to cancel or reissue cards.

 

E.

Collects revoked cards from cardholders and destroys or remits to District P-Card Manager as instructed.

 

F.

Promptly submits written communication to District P-Card Manager on any changes to a cardholder’s employment status.

 

G.

Reviews and accepts all P-Card transactions in the District’s P-Card Accounting Software.

 

H.

Reviews and signs all monthly cardholder Signature Reports.

Area/General Director

Review and sign all Principal/Site Administrator Signature Reports.

Internal Auditor

 

A.

Recommends improvements to existing controls.

 

B.

Assists in ongoing program reviews.

 

C.

Insures compliance with all School District policies.

 

D.

Conducts periodic audits and reports findings.

Regions Bank

 

A.

Issues and maintains Visa P-Cards at the request of the District.

 

B.

Insures spending limits set by the District are enforced.

 

C.

Pays vendors.

 

D.

Provides twenty-four (24) hour service for lost/stolen card - (1-888-934-1087).

District P-Card Accounting Software

 

A.

Receives all P-Card transactions from Regions Bank.

 

B.

Allows Site Card Manager to assign account codes.

 

C.

Allows Principal/Site Administrator to review and accept transactions.

 

D.

Updates Lawson Cost Center with P-Card expenditures.

 

E.

Receives and displays current balances from Lawson Cost Center.

 

F.

Provides transaction reports.

 

G.

Provides Monthly Signature Report.

Obtaining and Maintaining Cards

Requesting a P-Card

All requests for P-Cards must be submitted by the Principal/Site Administrator to the District P-Card Manager on a Cardholder Application& Acceptance Form.

Only an original application will be accepted. A faxed copy of the application will not be accepted.

The application will be reviewed and, if approved, a card will be requested from the bank.

No personal credit checks will be made.

The cardholder must attend a mandatory training session and will receive the P-Card Program Guidelines and Procedures Handbook.

Note: Utility only P-Card holders are not required to attend formal P-Card Training.

Activating a P-Card

The card must be activated prior to use by calling the number on the front of the card.

When prompted for a Social Security or other identification number, enter the last four (4) digits of the cardholder’s Lawson Employee number.

District P-Cards do not require the cardholder’s signature. The signature strip is pre-printed "PLEASE SEE ID".

Reporting a Lost or Stolen P-Card

If a card is lost or stolen, the cardholder must immediately notify Regions Bank Customer Service at 1-888-934-1087.

The cardholder must provide the bank with the following to report the card lost or stolen:

 

A.

Cardholder’s name

 

B.

Last four (4) Digits of the cardholder’s Lawson ID #.

 

C.

P. O. 3408, Tampa, Fl 33601

 

D.

School District is the master account

 

E.

If available, the sixteen (16) digit card number

The District P-Card Manager must be notified within twenty-four (24) hours at 813-272-4921.

The Principal/Site Administrator decides if a replacement card is needed and requests a replacement card from the District P-Card Manager.

P-Card Controls

 

A.

Spending limits.

 

B.

Merchant Category Codes (MCC).

 

C.

Daily number of transactions.

The P-Card monthly and single transaction limits are determined by the cardholder’s job duties.

P-Card Merchant Category Codes (MCC) limits card use to authorized merchants determined by the cardholder’s job duties. See Appendix B

Modifying P-Card Permanent Limits – Card Maintenance

All requests for permanent modifications to cardholder limits must be submitted by the Principal/Site Administrator to the District P-Card Manager in writing using the P-Card Maintenance Form. (Form can be found in IDEAS Desktop > Business News > P-Card folder)

Required Approvers for Elevated Credit Limits

Transaction Limit

Monthly Limit

Required Approver

 

 

 

Over $10,000

Over $50,000

Deputy Superintendent

Over $10,000

Over $50,000

Division Chief

Over $5,000

Over $25,000

Area Director/General Manager

Over $3,000

Over $10,000

Principal/Site Administrator

Temporary (up to thirty (30) days) increases for special needs can be approved by the District P-Card Manager with proper documentation from the Principal/Site Administrator.

Employee Termination or Transfer

The Principal/Site Administrator or Site Card Manager will:

 

A.

immediately notify the District P-Card Manager, by e-mail, of any P-Card requiring cancellation

 

 

Include card holder name, last four (4) digits of card, and reason for cancellation.

 

B.

obtain the P-Card from the terminated or transferred employee;

 

C.

Retrieved P-Card(s) must be destroyed.

Tax Exempt Status

The District is exempt from paying sales tax on all purchases within the State of Florida. The District is not exempt from airfare and parking garage sales tax, and hotel resort taxes.

All cards are imprinted with the District sales tax exemption number and if requested, the cardholder must supply the Tax Exempt Certificate.

It is the responsibility of the cardholder to make the vendor aware that the transaction will be tax exempt prior to processing the sale.

Most stores will require verification of sales tax exemption at the customer service desk prior to checkout.

 

A.

If the vendor charges sales tax, the cardholder must contact the vendor and obtain a credit equal to the amount of the sales tax.

 

B.

It is not permitted for a cardholder to accept cash to settle a sales tax error.

A copy of the Sales Tax Exemption Certificate is posted in First Class IDEAS > Business News > P-Card.

If there is a problem with any vendor regarding sales tax, contact the District P-Card Manager.

Prohibited Purchases

The P-Card is to be used for District authorized purchases only.

The following supplies and services shall NOT be purchased with the P-Card:

 

A.

annual contracts

 

B.

beautification and decorative accessories (plants, pictures, etc.) (excluding frames for student art)

 

C.

cash advances

 

D.

equipment

 

E.

furniture

 

F.

gifts for employees

 

G.

items stocked in the District Warehouse

 

H.

inventory items (Maintenance Department)

 

I.

legal services

 

J.

maintenance and lease agreements

 

K.

meals or entertainment

 

L.

memberships in personal name

 

M.

personal items

 

N.

personal telephone calls

 

O.

purchases from non-bid vendors when a District bid is in place

 

P.

salary, honorariums, and stipends

 

Q.

supplies or services that are prohibited by the Principal/Site Administrator

 

R.

taxes, late penalties, fees, and interest charges

 

S.

textbooks

Note: A P-Card cannot be used for transactions with vendors requiring a 1099 form.

Restricted Purchases

The following items shall not be purchased with the P-Card unless the stated requirements have been met:

Item

Requirement

 

 

Capital outlay expenditures

must be pre-approved by the District P-Card Manager

 

Capitalized software

must be pre-approved by the District P-Card Manager

 

Computers

must be pre-approved by the District P-Card Manager

 

Federal and/or grant funded expenditures

refer to Appendix C

 

Food

refer to Appendix D

 

Gift cards for student incentives

maintain a spreadsheet for all gift cards with: vendor name, gift card serial number, dollar amount, students name, and signature with approved budget

 

Gas and oil products

acceptable only if being purchased for a rental vehicle used for out-of-county travel (must have Site Administrator approval)

 

Printing by outside printers

must be pre-approved by the District P-Card Manager

Exceptions to item restrictions may be authorized by the District P-Card Manager for specific programs or projects

Emergency Use during a Natural Disaster

P-Card limits and restrictions can be adjusted to make the card available for use in emergency situations.

In emergency situations that involve the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the use of emergency P-Card(s) must be in accordance with FEMA regulations.

Only the Superintendent or a member of the Superintendent’s staff can authorize the increased limits for emergency purchases.

Violations

 

A.

Purchases of items identified as prohibited.

 

B.

Purchases of restricted items without meeting requirements.

 

C.

Purchases that exceed the P-Card limits.

 

D.

Not reporting a lost or stolen card.

 

E.

Allowing someone other than myself to use my P-Card.

 

F.

Purchases from vendors that create a conflict of interest (i.e., purchases from companies owned or operated by School District employee(s) and/or their relatives, etc.).

 

G.

Acceptance of cash in lieu of a credit.

 

H.

Splitting a purchase to exceed the single transaction limit.

 

I.

Inadequate record keeping and/or documentation of purchases.

 

J.

Failure to complete monthly reconciliations.

Violations to the P-Card Program will result in action in accordance with District Disciplinary Procedures.

Revocation of Card

P-Card privileges may be revoked upon the cardholder’s failure to follow the P-Card Program Guidelines and Procedures Handbook and District policy.

The Principal/Site Administrator, the Site Card Manager and the District P-Card Manager will coordinate the revocation of P-Cards.

Revoked cards must be destroyed.

Funding

The cardholder must ensure that sufficient appropriate funds are available prior to making a purchase.

The District’s P-Card Accounting Software will update available budget balances on a daily basis.

The software has been programmed to allow expensing transactions only to valid P-Card accounts.

Federal/Grant Funds

See Appendix C.

Funding Exceptions

Exceptions to funding restrictions may be authorized by the District P-Card Manager for specific programs or projects.

Small Business Enterprise Encouragement Program (SBE)

When purchasing items not on an existing District bid, cardholders should seek out District certified SBE vendors for competitive pricing. Follow the Procurement Department guidelines for obtaining necessary bids based upon established dollar thresholds.

(Information can be found in IDEAS Desktop > Business News > Procurement > Purchasing Guidelines > Purchasing Thresholds)

The Office of Supplier Diversity maintains a directory of certified small businesses which is available on their website at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/osd/VendorDirectory/.

Purchases

Placing an Order

The P-Card may be used to purchase goods at the supplier’s site, by telephone, fax or secured internet website.

When placing your order:

 

A.

Ensure you are buying from the awarded vendor if the item(s) are on bid.

 

B.

Identify yourself as a District employee.

 

C.

Inform the supplier that you are using a District P-Card.

 

D.

Provide the tax exempt status and tax exempt number listed on the front of the card.

 

E.

Provide the cardholder’s name, card number and expiration date.

 

F.

Provide the delivery address including building and room number.

 

G.

Provide a description of goods to be ordered and confirm prices.

 

H.

Backorders should not be billed until the item(s) are delivered to the site.

 

I.

Confirm that the total order including shipping and handling does not include sales tax.

 

J.

Confirm that the total order does not exceed your single transaction limit.

 

K.

Provide any other information necessary to complete the purchase.

NEVER PROVIDE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.

Travel Purchases

The P-Card can be used for travel related expenses:

 

A.

Registration

 

 

Attendee registration fees for conferences, workshops, seminars, conventions, etc.

 

B.

Airfare

 

 

Airfare is restricted to coach airfare for business related purposes.

 

C.

Hotel


 

 

1.

Reservations should be made directly with the hotel to avoid payment in advance and prevent cancellation charges – do not use Travel agencies.

 

 

2.

Hotel accommodations, when traveling on business, must be budget/moderate price range hotels/motels.

 

 

3.

Rooms are to be standard hotel rooms.

 

 

4.

Only charges for the room are allowed on the P-Card (any additional charges are to be placed on the travel form for reimbursement).

 

 

5.

All applicable additional fees must appear on the hotel invoice presented at checkout.

 

 

6.

Sales tax should not be charged on hotel accommodations in the State of Florida. The District is not exempt from resort taxes.


 

D.

Rental cars


 

 

1.

Rental cars are restricted to a midsize or smaller car.

 

 

2.

A larger vehicle can be rented if a group is traveling together or the rental car company upgrades the vehicle at no additional cost (Site Administrator’s approval required before renting a vehicle).

Conference brochures, itineraries, or other reference material must be maintained to document the cost of travel expenses.

Federal/Grant Fund Travel Expenditures

See Appendix C.

Declined Purchases

The District P-Card Manager should be contacted when transactions are declined.

Information provided to the District P-Card Manager must include the cardholder name and the last four (4) digits of the card number.

Transactions may be declined for the following reasons:

 

A.

Exceeded Spend Limit – The cardholder has exceeded the designated transaction or monthly limit.

 

B.

Blocked Merchant Code – The merchant has been blocked based upon the cardholder’s job description.

 

C.

Incorrect Card Number – An incorrect card number or expiration date was entered on the website or recorded over the telephone.

Receiving Purchases

Inspect all goods immediately upon receipt.

Sign and date receipts/packing slips and submit to the Site Card Manager.

If there is a problem with the order, contact the vendor immediately and document any conversations including names, dates, and resolutions.

Documentation

For all transactions, the cardholder must submit the original signed, dated receipt/packing slip to the Site Card Manager for daily reconciliation.

For travel expenses copies of an approved Travel Authorization Form and original receipts must be submitted.

All P-Card documentation must be maintained at the site for five (5) years.

Missing Documentation

Where supporting documentation is missing, the cardholder must contact the vendor and request a duplicate receipt. If the duplicate receipt is a fax, it must be signed and dated by the person who received the merchandise.

If the cardholder is still unable to obtain documentation, the cardholder must complete a Missing Documentation Form.

The Missing Documentation Form is used in lieu of missing receipts and should only be a last resort. This form should be used only after every reasonable attempt to obtain an original or replacement receipt has been made. (Form can be found in IDEAS Desktop > Business News > P-Card folder)

Failure to provide adequate documentation will result in disciplinary action and employees may be required to reimburse the District for unsupported transactions.

Discrepancies

The cardholder must attempt to resolve problems directly with the vendor.

The vendor should issue a credit for billing errors, sales tax, defective items, unacceptable services, returned items, or canceled orders.

Under no circumstances can the employee accept cash to settle a disputed amount, a credit must be issued to the P-Card.

If necessary, the cardholder should seek the assistance of the Site Card Manager.

The District P-Card Manager should be notified, if the Site Card Manager and the cardholder are unable to resolve the issue with the vendor.

The P-Card Department will contact the vendor and affect a resolution. The Site Card Manager will be notified of the resolution.

Erroneous Bank Charges

An erroneous bank charge is a charge that appears in the District’s P-Card Accounting Software as a result of a banking error or fraud.

As soon as the error is discovered, immediately notify the P-Card Department.

Note: Provide the transaction number when notifying the P-Card Department.

The P-Card Department will assist the cardholder in contacting the bank to affect a resolution. The Site Card Manager will be notified of the resolution and any further action required.

Reconciling P-Card Purchases

The District uses an online P-Card accounting software to receive and reconcile all purchases made using the P-Card.

This software provides the ability to assign account codes, verify available budget balances, review information from P-Card transactions, and run reports.

District requirements are that account codes must be assigned daily so that:

 

A.

Cost Center accounts are updated;

 

B.

balances in the District’s P-Card Accounting Software are refreshed.

 

 


This assures that purchases are charged against available budgets on a regular basis.

Expenditures using Federal Grants or Title I funds will require prior approvals by those departments.

 

A.

Daily the Site Card Manager must:


 

 

1.

verify that all purchases and credits are correct;

 

 

2.

apply account coding;

 

 

3.

accept and save each transaction.


 

B.

Twice a week the Principal/Site Administrator must:


 

 

1.

certify that all transactions have been made according to District guidelines;

 

 

2.

quick accept or accept and save each transaction.


 

C.

Monthly the Cardholder must:


 

 

1.

print signature report (statement);

 

 

2.

verify and attach all receipts to the signature report;

 

 

3.

sign and date the signature report for all that have activity for the month.


 

D.

Monthly the Principal/Site Administrator must review and sign the signature report. Signature Stamps are unacceptable.

 

E.

Area Directors must review and sign all Principal’s signature reports, including those without activity for the month.

 

F.

General Directors must review and sign Site Administrator's signature reports, showing activity for the month.

Note: With the exception of those belonging to Principals, signature reports without activity for the month do not require signatures. They must still be filed each month for audit purposes.

Additional Information

 

A.

Board Policy Manual - Policy 6424 Purchasing Card

 

B.

P-Card Conference - IDEAS > Departments > Accounting Services > Resources > Business News > P-Card Department

Best Shopping Practices

These best shopping practices were developed from information obtained at the Better Business Bureau website (www.bbb.org):

 

A.

Do not use a P-Card unless the environment is secure.

 

B.

Never send your P-Card number through email.

 

C.

Investigate the business before placing an order.

 

D.

Use secure web sites that provide contact information for the company, as well as warranty, return and refund policy.

 

E.

Do not provide personal information such as social security or bank account numbers.

 

F.

Check website for government or education pricing.

 

G.

Understand prices, shipping and handling charges, and expected delivery date.

 

H.

Always print and retain a copy of each online purchase order with a confirmation number attached.

 

I.

Direct delivery to your school or department. Never direct a shipment to your home.

P-Card Tips

 

A.

Keep the P-Card separate from personal credit cards to prevent accidentally charging personal items on the P-Card.

 

B.

Remember not to purchase items prohibited by Florida statute, Florida Administrative Code or School District policy.

 

C.

If a District bid vendor is not available, ask the vendor if they have a contract with the State of Florida. Ask to receive the contract price for these items.

 

D.

Vendors should be instructed not to process the transaction until the commodities are delivered or the services are rendered.

 

E.

Vendors should not charge a credit card fee. Notify the District P-Card Manager if a fee is charged.

Appendix A - Definitions

 - A District employee selected by a Principal/Site Administrator who attended mandatory P-Card training.

Appendix B – Sample Cardholder Profiles

Cardholder's Job Description

Authorized Purchases

Transaction Limit

Monthly Limit Not to Exceed

Cash Advance


 

 

 

 

Superintendent, Superintendent's staff, GM of Maintenance

Travel/Goods/ Services

$5,000

$10,000

No


 

 

 

 

Board Members

Travel/Goods/ Services

$10,000

$10,000

No

 

 

 

 

 

Directors, Managers, Supervisors, Administrators, DRT, CTSO, DOE

Travel/Goods/ Services

$3,000

$5,000

No

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers, Media Specialists

Goods/Services

$750

$750

No


 

 

 

 

Bookkeepers, Principal’s Secretaries, Department Heads

Goods/Services

$1,000

$10,000

No


 

 

 

 

Maintenance Storekeepers

Goods/Services

$3,000

$10,000

No


 

 

 

 

Head Custodians

Goods/Services

$200

$200

No


 

 

 

 

Procurement

Utilities

$25,000

$50,000

No


 

 

 

 

IT Data Center Manager

Travel/Goods/ Services

$10,000

$10,000

No


 

 

 

 

SNS Site Managers (Higher limits as required)

Goods/Services

$750/Elem

$1,000 Middle

$1,500 High

$3,500 E

$5,000 M

$10,000 H

No


 

 

 

 

Emergency Use (i.e., Hurricanes)

Travel/Goods/ Services

USE BY SPECIAL PERMISSION ONLY

Yes

Appendix C – Appropriate P-Card Use for Special Funds

Appropriate Use of P-Cards in Grant-Funded Projects

For State, Federal, or foundation grant-funded projects, P-Card usage should adhere to the guidelines listed below.

Examples of allowable P-Card usage would be: hotel, airfare, and registration for required meetings or trainings held out of State. Other allowable purchases would include postage and charter bus transportation for students. Office Depot, School Specialty and Fisher-Scientific are approved third level vendors and may be used for P-Card purchases. All other grant expenditures should be handled through normal Lawson purchase order procedures.

Examples of non-allowable P-Card usage would be: purchases of equipment and goods or supplies from vendors other then Office Depot, School Specialty and Fisher-Scientific.

Note: All grant expenditures must adhere to each grants specific rules and regulations. If you have questions or concerns about P-Card related expenditures, please contact your grant administrator.

Appendix D - Food Purchases

Basically food can be purchased on P-Card providing the purchase meets one of the following criteria:

 

A.

Food purchases are allowed from the School Advisory Council when designated in a Board approved project.

 

B.

Food purchases are allowed for the direct use in Family Consumer Science, Culinary Arts, or other technical and career training programs when required.

 

C.

Food purchases are allowed as a teaching supply for a classroom who is preparing food as part of the classroom curriculum.

 

D.

Food purchases are allowed from local grants, if specifically indicated in the grant application for instructional purposes.

 

E.

Food purchases are allowed as a classroom supply for ESE Incentives.

 

F.

Food purchases are allowed for snacks from FEE-based projects, as necessary. An example of this would be the Hillsborough out of School Time (HOST) project.

Approved 6/07/17

© Hillsborough 2017

Schools
Search for School
Find a School
School Locator

Locate your attendance area school

School Locator