FIN-044: Use of the University Travel and Expense Card

Date: 03/13/2012 Status: Final
Last Revised: 08/12/2016
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Finance
Applies To: Academic Division and the College at Wise.
Reason for Policy:

The University Travel and Expense Card provides a means for authorized individuals to make official University purchases of small dollar goods and services and travel. This policy establishes the guidelines for the use of the University Travel and Expense Card.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Approver:

    The employee who has the authority and knowledge to approve the expenditures on the account.

  • Authorizer:

    An individual assigned to approve travel and expense card applications, changes to card limits and restrictions, and cardholder purchases. This individual is the applicant's or cardholder's supervisor; for non-employees, this is a University department sponsor. A supervisor can designate someone else to approve on his/her behalf. The individual should not be the cardholder and, in general, should not be asked to approve for an individual to whom they report.

  • Card Administrator (Program Administrator):

    A University employee registered with the Card Provider and the Virginia Department of Accounts (DOA) as the only person authorized to make changes (e.g., add or cancel cards, change card controls, etc.) to the card program.

  • Cardholder:

    An individual who holds the University Travel and Expense Card.

  • eVA:

    The Commonwealth of Virginia's electronic purchasing system.

  • Local Funds:

    Restricted and unrestricted resources composed of gifts, endowments, and endowment income. Some exceptions to State and Sponsored Program limits can be processed using these funds.

  • Non–Contract Vendor:

    A vendor that has not been awarded a term agreement. A purchase of $5,000 or more from a non-contract vendor requires competition. 

  • Preparer:

    The employee who performs the monthly detailed reconciliation and prepares documentation for approval.

  • Recon@UVa System:

    A system that provides an electronic solution for the documentation of reconciliations for all organizational units at the University of Virginia (including all academic schools and departments).

  • Sponsored Programs:

    Programs funded by revenue derived from grants and contracts. Most of the state limits apply to payments and reimbursements made from these sources. Exceptions are noted in the text of this policy or may be included in the terms of the grant or contract in question.

  • State Funds:

    Restricted and unrestricted resources generated from tuition and fee revenues, Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost recoveries, state tax dollars, sales and services activities, grants and contracts, and auxiliary activities.

  • Student Organization:

    A general term that refers to all Contracted Independent Organizations (CIOs), Fraternal Operating Agreement Organizations (FOAs), and Special Status and Agency groups.

  • University Travel and Expense Card:

    A credit card issued to an authorized individual to make official purchases of small dollar goods and services, travel, meals, and entertainment (that do not require competitive bidding) quickly and directly.

  • UVA Market Place:

    The University’s primary purchasing system for entering electronic catalog and non-catalog orders and creating requisitions for purchase by Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS).

  • Visiting Faculty and Staff:

    An individual working on a temporary basis at the University and not receiving compensation from the University's academic division.  (Examples of visiting faculty and staff include, but are not limited to: visiting research assistants, visiting scholars and ROTC.)

Policy Statement:

The University Travel and Expense Card (Card) may be used only for purchases related to the conduct of official University of Virginia business. The University Travel and Expense Card may not be used for personal expenditures or to obtain store credit. All items purchased with University funds remain the property of the institution.

The University offers a "one-card" solution that allows the cardholder to make small dollar purchases of goods and  services, and pay for travel expenses. Cardholders are responsible for following all rules governing the use of the University's Travel and Expense Card.

Employees who violate University Travel and Expense Card policy and procedures may have their cardholder privileges suspended or permanently revoked, and may face additional disciplinary action, which could include termination of employment.

Students and non-employees (e.g., visiting faculty and staff, ROTC) who violate University Travel and Expense Card policy and procedures may have their cardholder privileges suspended or permanently revoked, and may face additional disciplinary action.

The University Travel and Expense Card Program is managed by Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services.

  1. Eligibility for a University Travel and Expense Card:
    To obtain a card:
    • an Academic Division employee must secure his/her supervisor's or Authorizer's (as documented and filed with Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services) approval;
    • a Student Resident Assistant must acquire approval from the University's Housing and Residence Life Office;
    • A Medical Center employee, University student acting on behalf of a student organization, and a non-University employee must be sponsored by a University department.
  2. Obtaining a University Travel and Expense Card:
    All entities noted in Section 1 above, except Student Resident Assistants, must submit a card application with the required approval. Student Resident Assistants should see the Housing and Residence Life Program Administrator to obtain a card.

  3. Training Requirements:
    New cardholders must complete training and agree to the program’s terms and conditions before receiving a Card. Cardholder training is required annually to retain the Card.

The Authorizer for the University Travel and Expense Card is required to certify annually that he/she understands and commits to follow the University's policies and procedures that govern the Card.

The Preparer is required to attend training before access is granted to the Recon@UVa system and certify annually that he/she has reviewed the University'sTravel and Expense Card policies and procedures. The Approver is required to certify annually that he/she understands and commits to follow the University's Travel and Expense Card policies and procedures.

  1. Types of Purchases:
    In general, the Travel and Expense Card should be used only for eVA-excluded purchases. [See list of eVA exclusions.]
    The Card may be used for purchases that are not eVA-excluded under the following conditions (department will incur the full eVA fee):

(See the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services' website for purchases that require payment by the Travel and Expense Card and other allowable and restricted purchases.)

The Travel and Expense Card may NOT be used to buy goods or services from a non-contract vendor that total $5,000 or more annually (excludes commodities that do not require competition). This type of purchase requires the submission of a Purchase Requisition. A list of contract vendors may be found on the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services' Contracts website.

  1. Spending Limits and Restrictions:
    Cardholders must comply with the University procurement, payment, and travel regulations.
    1. Spending Limits:
      The University has established standard limits of $4,999 per transaction and $10,000 per month for the Travel and Expense Card.

    Each Card has individually established limits on how much can be spent per transaction and how much can be spent per month. All cardholders will not have the same spending limits. Limits are established on a case-by-case basis by the cardholder's Authorizer and the University's Card Administrator.

    A cardholder may NOT make purchases that exceed the established transaction and monthly spending limit for their Card. Splitting orders among multiple smaller orders for the purpose of circumventing transaction limits is NOT allowed.

    The cardholder may request that the monthly spending limit be increased. This request must be approved by the Authorized Approver and should be made by completing the "Change per Transaction/Monthly Limit" form.

    A cardholder may request in advance a special waiver when a single transaction exceeds the cardholder's established transaction limit. This procedure is described on the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services' website.

    Travel and Expense Card limits and restrictions should be reviewed at least annually by departments to ensure they are appropriate.

    1. Spending Restrictions:
      The Travel and Expense Card has certain restrictions which are based on:
      • specific types of commodities that may be purchased with the Card; and
      • the vendor with whom the Card can be used.

      A detail of the above purchase restrictions can be found at University Travel and Expense Card -- Restricted Purchases.

    Requirements for competition prior to purchasing with the University Travel and Expense Card are generally based on the dollar value of the order, and all purchases are subject to the Guidelines for Competition (see the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services website). Regardless of competition requirements, it is expected that cardholders will make prudent and necessary purchases.

    Additional restrictions may be placed on the Travel and Expense Card depending on the cardholder's status. For example, additional restrictions may be established at the departmental level or as part of the terms of a grant. Resident Assistants are subject to additional restrictions established by the University's Housing and Residence Life Office.

  2. Merchandise Returns:
    When a cardholder returns merchandise, the original receipt must be provided and the vendor requested to credit the return to the Card. "Store credit" must not be accepted for returned items. If a vendor refuses to credit the Card for returned items, the cardholder must notify the University's Card Administrator.

  3. Card Security:
    The Card may only be used by the person to whom the Card has been assigned. A cardholder may not lend his/her Card to another person.

    A Cardholder must not:

    • fax or e-mail the complete Card number (more than the last 4 digits), or include it in an email or email attachment; and
    • place orders over the Internet unless the security of the vendor's website can be verified. [See Responsible Computing at the University.]

    Cardholders should consult Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services' website for guidance.

  4. Card Reconciliation and Documentation:
    Travel and Expense Card transactions must be documented and reconciled monthly according to the "Documenting Purchases and Monthly Reconciliation" procedures, accessible on the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services' website.

  5. Exemption from Virginia Sales Tax:
    As an agency of the Commonwealth, the University is exempt from Virginia sales and use tax on all goods and services except for purchases of lodging if: (i) the goods and services further the mission of the University; (ii) payment comes directly from the University rather than from an individual reimbursed by the University; and (iii) for meals only, the University determines the place, time and recipients of the meal. Also, University purchases are not subject to many Federal excise, Communications (e.g., wireless and cellular phone services), and transportation taxes. If a vendor requires proof of exemption, the Commonwealth of Virginia Sales and Use Tax Exemption Form and Communications Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption Form are located on the Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services' website. For tax exceptions with other states, see the State Tax Exemption Certificate database on the University Controller’s website to determine the University’s exemption status. The cardholder is responsible for claiming an exemption when using the Travel and Expense Card.
Procedures:

Using the Travel and Expense Card

Forms:
Travel and Expense Card Application
Change per Transaction/Monthly Limit
Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Exemption Forms

Related Information:

eVA Allowed Travel and Expense Card Use
FIN-004, Travel, Meals, and Entertainment Expenses Incurred on Behalf of the University
The Guidelines for Competition (to determine if the purchase requires competition, other processing by Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services, or may be ordered directly.)
Recon@UVa, the University's on-line financial reconciliation system.

Major Category: Finance and Business Operations
Next Scheduled Review: 01/07/2019
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 03/13/2012
Revision History: Updated 8/12/16, 1/7/16.
Supersedes (previous policy):
FIN-017, University Travel Card Program; VII.C.3, Use of the University Purchasing Card