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Purchasing


Participants and Responsibilities

Agency - the University of South Carolina arranges with the card issuer, Bank of America, for the issuance of purchasing cards to designated employees and agrees to accept liability for the employees' use of the cards.

Cardholder - an employee of the University of South Carolina who is approved by his/her department head to use the Purchasing card to execute purchase transactions on behalf of their department.

Card Issuer - Bank of America's services were contracted for/by the State of South Carolina, to issue Visa Purchasing Cards to University of South Carolina employees, to bill the University of South Carolina for all purchases made on the cards, and to collect payment from the University of South Carolina on behalf of the vendors.

Department Head - University of South Carolina official must approve employee's request for a Procurement card, assign department liaisons, designate default account and object codes for purchases on the Purchasing Card, and submit applications to the Purchasing Card Administrator. Department Head approval delegates transaction authority to the Cardholder.

Department Liaison - an employee in each department/college responsible for proper use of the Purchasing Card within their assigned department containers. Each cardholder will be assigned to department liaison(s) by means of their department container and the liaison will be responsible for reviewing transactions of individual cardholders to make sure the transactions are classified as an appropriate expense.

Purchasing Card Administrator - the central coordinator located in the Purchasing department who coordinates the Purchasing Card Program and acts as an intermediary in correspondence with the card issuer.

Vendor - the merchant from whom a cardholder is making a purchase.

The Cardholder must only use the Purchasing Card for legitimate business purposes. The Purchasing Card may not be used for food, travel, registration fees, entertainment, cash (gift cards, incentives and postage are not allowed) and other categories as included in the Blocked Merchant Category Code list included in these policies and procedures. Misuse of the card will subject the Cardholder to disciplinary action in accordance with University of South Carolina Policies and Procedures relating to disciplinary action and termination for cause.

The Cardholder must:

  • Ensure the purchasing card is used only for legitimate business purposes.
  • Maintain the purchasing card in a secure location at all times.
  • The purchasing card is not transferable.
  • Ensure that the Purchasing Card is only used by the approved cardholder. Use by anyone other than the cardholder is strictly prohibited.
  • Adhere to the purchase limits and restrictions of the Purchasing Card and ensure the total transaction amount of any single transaction does not exceed $4,999.99.
  • Obtain all sales slips, register receipts, and/or Purchasing Cards slips and provide to Department Liaison reconciliation, approval and allocation of transactions.
  • Cardholder signature required on monthly statements.
  • Notify Department Liaison if the default account and/or object code should be changed on a transaction.
  • Attempt to resolve disputes or billing errors directly with the vendor and notify Bank of America if the dispute or billing error is not satisfactorily resolved.
  • Ensure that an appropriate credit for the reported disputed items(s) or billing error appears on a subsequent Cardholder's Statement.
  • Not accept cash in lieu of a credit to the Purchasing Card account.
  • Immediately report a lost or stolen card to Bank of America at 1-888-449-2273 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).
  • Immediately notify Department Liaison and/or Purchasing Card Administrator of a lost or stolen Purchasing Card at the first opportunity during business hours.
  • Return the Purchasing Card to Department Liaison upon terminating employment with the University of South Carolina.
  • If changing departments within the University of South Carolina, please contact the Purchasing Card Administrator to coordinate the change and provide instructions for retaining purchasing card and approvals for new department.

Each Department Head must designate a maximum of two Department Liaisons for each department. A Department Liaison may also be liaison for his/her own card. However, if the department liaison(s) is also a Purchasing Cardholder, it will be the responsibility of the liaison to have the monthly charges incurred on the liaison's purchasing card reviewed and signed on the billing statement by their immediate supervisor or department head. An approver within the Bank of America’s Works software application is also required for the liaison. The department liaison must attend all required training sessions and will be notified of these by means of e-mail notification and broadcast messages on Works.

Responsibilities include:

  • Collecting vendor receipts and purchasing card receipts from Cardholders and reconciling to Bank of America billing statements.
  • Retaining all charge slips and receipts for audit by internal and external auditors.
  • Signing monthly statements.
  • Approving and/or updating account and/or object codes and cost-sharing information on electronic billing distribution of individual Cardholder account within the specified deadline using WORKS web-based application.
  • Identifying and updating transactions that require the submission of use tax and/or account changes within the specified deadline using WORKS web-based application.
  • If a change in account and/or object code, cost share, use tax needs to be made after the specified deadline, the Department Liaison is responsible for creating a journal entry to correct the necessary charges. Journal entries should be submitted directly to the USC Controller’s Office.
  • Attempting to resolve any disputes with vendor and/or Bank of America not resolved by Cardholder within sixty (60) days of the posting date. Note: 60 day period for resolution of disputes.
  • Notifying Purchasing Card Administrator of default account and/or object code changes for individual cards as needed. Especially important for upcoming expiring grants.
  • Notifying Purchasing Card Administrator of lost or stolen cards.
  • Requesting Purchasing Card Administrator to cancel a Cardholder's card e.g.(terminated employees, loss of purchasing card privileges) as approved by Department Head.
  • Collecting canceled cards from Cardholders, cut in half and forwarding to Purchasing Card Administrator along with a cancellation request memo.
  • Department Liaisons are responsible for making sure that they are receiving messages from WORKS.

The Purchasing Card Administrator is responsible for the over-all Purchasing Card program.

Responsibilities include:

  • University of South Carolina's contact with Bank of America.
  • Utilizing WORKS application from Bank of America.
  • Reviewing department approved applications for completeness of required information.
  • Submitting completed applications to Bank of America and receiving Purchasing Cards from Bank of America.
  • Training Department Liaisons before releasing Purchasing Cards.
  • Training Cardholders before releasing Purchasing Card.
  • Having Cardholder sign Purchasing Cardholder Agreement, signifying agreement with the terms of the Purchasing Card Program.
  • Handling disputed charges/discrepancies not resolved by Cardholder or Department Liaison.
  • Initiating change of Purchasing Card default account and/or object code upon request of Department Liaison.
  • Securing revoked Purchasing Cards and submitting information to Bank of America.
  • Processing upload of bill to accounting for charging individual departments.
  • Reviewing Bank of America's invoice, preparing for payment and submitting to Accounting for EFT payment.
  • Reconciling accounting statements as to payments to Bank of America and charges to individual departments.
  • Reviewing usage of Purchasing Card data for appropriateness.

The criteria to obtain a Purchasing Card is as follows:

  • Applicant must be an employee of the University of South Carolina.
  • Applicant's request for a Purchasing Card must be approved by his/her Department Head.
  • Employee must attend a training session before he/she may be issued a Purchasing Card.
  • Each individual Cardholder must sign a Cardholder agreement in the presence of the Purchasing Card Administrator. 

The Purchasing Card is a corporate purchasing VISA charge card, which will not affect the Cardholder's personal credit. However, it is the Cardholder's responsibility to ensure that the card is used within stated guidelines of the Purchasing Card Cardholder Manual as well as University of South Carolina Policies and Procedures relating to the expenditure of University of South Carolina funds. Failure to comply with program guidelines may result in permanent revocation of the card, notification of the situation to management, and further disciplinary measures that may include termination.

Cardholders are required to immediately report any lost or stolen Purchasing Card to Bank of America toll-free at 1-888-449-2273 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The Cardholder must also immediately notify his/her Department Liaison and/or the Purchasing Card Administrator about the lost or stolen card at the first opportunity during normal business hours.