Purchase Card (PCard)

A PCard is a Visa credit card issued to an individual university employee to provide a convenient means to manage the purchase of approved items or payment of approved services.

PCard Fundamentals

As a Cardholder, be mindful of the following fundamental agreements regarding a PCard:

  • Used for small purchases of goods and services, under $5K, external to the university*
  • Do not have items shipped to a home address
  • Do not allow others to use your PCard as the Cardholder is responsible for all purchases
  • Always identify as a state employee and request sales tax exemption.  The NC State sales tax exemption number (400021) is located on the PCard.  It is recommended to present the NC State Certificate of Exemption (Form E595E) at the time of purchase
  • Make sure to familiarize yourself with the list of allowable and unallowable PCard purchases
  • Purchases are subject to university Spending Guidelines
  • No purchases are allowed from Debarred Vendors

*Splitting payments to make a purchase appear to be for less is a violation of purchasing policy

Apply for a PCard

An employee can apply, with prior approval from their supervisor, for a PCard via MyPack Portal – Employee Self Service.  

Please reference the PCard Program SOP for detailed instruction on how to apply.

Important PCard Deadlines

There are two very important deadlines related to the use of the PCard that must be adhered to each month:

  • Final Statement Approval Internal Deadline: PCard Statements must be approved, at all levels, by the 15th of each month.
  • Final Date for PCard Transaction Reconciliation: All PCard transactions (detailed/itemized receipts and supporting documentation REQUIRED at this time) in the current billing cycle must be reconciled* on the 22nd of each month, by 5 p.m. unless the 22nd falls on a weekend – see PCard Billing Cycle Calendar.

*Reconciler must view each transaction to be certain the expense is being charged to the correct Project ID and Account Code so that financial reporting is accurate.

One-time Transaction Limit Increase

A Cardholder is able to request a temporary increase to PCard transaction limit in order to make a one-time payment.  Please allow 3-4 business days for processing.

Advance approval is required and obtained by following BOTH steps below.

  1. Complete the Increase Request Form in its entirety and email to the PCard Administrator, as instructed on the form.
  2. Complete Step 6 as outlined on the form:  Enter an increase request through the NCSU Card Center (MyPack Portal) for College level approval.  Choose “Administrator Defined Limits” and note in the comments box that this is a “one-time payment.”

A one-time payment is generally allowed for:

  • Travel related purchases
  • Catering
  • Approved contracts (with an authorized signature)

Guidelines & Process

Cardholders will:

  • Make only an allowable purchase per university guidelines:
    • Specify tax-exempt status: Exemption # is on card and/or provide a copy of Exemption Letter for all appropriate purchases.
    • Obtain detailed/itemized receipt.
    • If sales tax is present, you must ask the Cashier or contact the Vendor to request a refund on the sales tax amount.
  • Complete Procurement Request Form (see Forms):
    • Complete Section I of form.
      • Note: if the transaction is a refund/credit, please be sure to include the Original CPS#.
    • Complete Section II of form only if:
      • Purchase included food (dine in, carry out, catering or food items from store): Obtain Department Head signature w/date and include printed Name of Department Head.
      • AND/OR Purchase included alcohol: On-Campus Events – attach pre-approved permission form w/Dean signature; Off-Campus Events – Obtain Dean signature w/date in Section II of form.
    • Note: Cardholder is responsible for obtaining Supervisor, Department Head and Dean Signature where required.
  • Within THREE business days of the posted transaction date, upload documentation via the PCard Center:
    • Select Business Purpose from Dropdown Menu.
    • Comment bubble is NOT required for communication of business purpose or other information.
    • Upload the following to corresponding transaction:
      • Detailed/itemized receipt;
      • Procurement Request Form;
      • Other pertinent documentation:
        • Attendee List – to include name (first and last) and status/business relationship of each person served a meal.
        • Recipient List – must include Name (first and last) as well as Employee – Employee ID#; Non-Employee – Address of the recipient; NCSU Student – Student ID#.
        • Travel Related Expense: AP104 for Non-Employee – to include students or non-resident aliens when not traveling as employees (with required signatures); Email or Letter of Invite for Candidate/Visitor; Email, Letter of Invite, Flyer or Website Announcement for Guest Speaker.
        • Contract/Agreement with University signature.
        • Oanda Currency Converter.
        • PCard One-time Increase Email Approval from PCard Administration.
      • View attachment(s) to make certain legible.
  • Be responsive to correspondence from Office of Business Services (OBS) Reconcilers. If the documentation provided is incomplete, the Cardholder will be contacted no later than Friday of each week in order to remedy.
  • Review and approve PCard Statement within five business days from the date the OBS Reconciler initiates the approval routing.

Office of Business Services (OBS) will:

  • OBS will be responsive to questions from cardholders and supervisors regarding all PCard matters.
  • OBS Reconcilers will review all active transactions on a weekly basis.
  • OBS Reconcilers are responsible for reconciling all PCard transactions prior to the University deadline as well as submit/initiate PCard Statements into approval work flow generally within five business days of availability.
  • OBS Reconcilers will ensure all transactions are compliant with University and college policies and verify funding is available and appropriate.
  • OBS statement approvers will review and approve policy compliance and funding source by the monthly deadline and route to supervisor for approval.

Supervisors will:

  • Review transactions for appropriateness with department and college mission as well as funding source.
  • Work with OBS for any discrepancies or issue arising with PCard transaction compliance.

Irregular Occurrences

Disputed or Fraudulent TransactionAn unauthorized transaction must be addressed immediately with the vendor and the PCard Administrator. For detailed instruction, see Disputed or Fraudulent Transactions.
International Transaction FeeThis is a bank fee (usually 1% of purchase amount) for overseas currency conversion and a receipt is required. Simply match or upload the same receipt used for the original purchase.
Missing ReceiptThe Cardholder should make a reasonable effort to get a duplicate receipt from the vendor but if that is not possible, a Missing Receipt Form must be completed and signed by the Cardholder and their Supervisor.

Note: Use of this form is an exception, not the norm.
Refund/CreditIf a refund or credit is issued, documentation is required and should include the original charge transaction number and the original documentation, in addition to the credit documentation.

Please reach out to the PCOM Business Office if you have questions.

Restaurant (Dine In or Carry Out)/Non-Travel Meals

All of the items below must be uploaded/attached to the transaction in the PCard Center:

  • Include both the itemized receipt (includes food selection and beverages) and the captured transaction receipt (includes total, tip and signature)
  • Business purpose must be clearly stated on the receipt or supporting documentation*
  • Attendee list (First and Last Name)*
  • Signature required on the receipt – Supervisor for meals and Department Head for catering
  • If purchase involves alcohol, Dean’s signature is also required

*not via the PCard center Comment Section/Speech Bubble