Pcard Usage and Policy

All cardholders are responsible for understanding the parameters of the College’s pcard program and individual pcardholder requirements. For questions on this topic contact Purchasing and Payables.

How It Works

Corporate credit cards are available to employees who are authorized to purchase goods and services for the College or who travel routinely on College business. See Pcard Start Up & Requirements to obtain a pcard. Our brand of corporate liability card is a VISA Chip & PIN revolving credit card issued by PNC bank, administered by Financial Services, and managed by cardholders with VISA/PNC's web-based software.

An application for a new account takes about 2 weeks to process. The applicant is provided with program materials and is notified when their card is ready. Cardholders activate their account and set up their PIN with VISA and may then initiate purchases. When a purchase is made, the transaction is systematically validated against the preset limits and restrictions established for the account and approved or declined at the point-of-sale. Cardholders review/reconcile all transactions on their account regularly online. Approvers provide monthly oversight. All transaction data is swept monthly and posted to the general ledger.

Credit cards issued through our program differ from personal credit cards in several important ways:

  • Each card is issued with specific fixed purchasing limits and purchasing parameters as detailed further below
  • None of the College issued cards provide access to cash
  • Use of a card will not affect a cardholder’s personal credit history 
  • All cards have enhanced fraud protection
  • Cash rebates on purchases paid to the College create additional revenue

How to Use

Merchants presently accepting VISA as a form of payment for goods or services should readily accept the College’s purchasing card. While actual use of the College card closely resembles using one's personal credit card, be aware that the card is a corporate card and some merchants may have to take several extra steps at their terminals in order to process the transaction.

Preparing to Purchase

  • The card may be used to purchase in person at a vendor site, by phone, by fax or online. Merchant terminals may differ. When placing your order you should be prepared to supply the following information:
  • Identification as a Gettysburg College employee
  • Cardholder name
  • Individual card number
  • Expiration date of the card
  • 3 digit security code on back of card
  • PIN
  • Tax-exempt status and number
  • Shipping address
  • Billing address: At all times use 300 N. Washington St.

Credit Limits

As you initiate a purchase please be mindful that your purchasing card has two pre-set limits. Your single transaction limit is the cap or ceiling on any one individual purchase. Your monthly transaction limit determines your spending limit for any one month. These fixed parameters are requested by the cardholder, approved by the supervisor, and should reflect the cardholder's usual business requirements. Expenses in excess of cardholder’s limits that must be paid with a credit card, can be processed by contacting the pcard administration team in Financial Services.

Tax Exemption

Gettysburg College is exempt from a grouping of taxes imposed by Pennsylvania, the most commonly known one being sales tax. Our PA sales tax exemption number is embossed on the card for convenience. Our Pennsylvania Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate may be copied and given to any vendor requiring it. The College is also exempt from similar taxes in other states when the goods or services are purchased for use in that state. All available exemptions must be utilized whenever possible.

Expense Policy

All purchases made with a College purchasing card must adhere to the College’s Expense Policy and also the Specific Restrictions below:

Specific Restrictions

  • Individual name purchasing cards may not be physically presented to a merchant for payment by anyone whose name is not embossed on the card.
  • Merchants may not be asked to split a transaction to circumvent the single transaction limit on the account.
  • Purchasing cards may not be used for:
    • Purchases at College owned venues including dining, the bookstore or the Majestic Theater.  These purchases should be facilitated via department charge.  
    • Charitable contributions
    • Fuel for an employee's personal vehicle
    • Any purchase that is both business and personal (typically combined at the point of sale such as personal preference travel upgrades or partner travel).
  • Purchasing cards issued in the name of a Department are for online, phone, or fax orders placed from campus and local Point-of-Sale use only.

Additional Restrictions

The College has blocked card usage with some groups of VISA merchants for our own protection. Card transactions with vendors registered with VISA under the following classifications will be rejected at the point of sale:

  • Charitable, social, political organizations
  • Insurance payments
  • Real estate rental payments
  • Judicial fees and fines
  • Medical and legal services
  • Numerous Other Specialty/Consumer/Retail Merchants

Record Keeping

The authority to purchase includes the responsibility to obtain adequate documentation for all card transactions. Documentation includes both printed and /or electronic material from the merchant relative to the details of the transaction as well as a statement regarding its business purpose. This information is a requirement of the program as explained in further detail within.

Managing Transactions & Cards

Managing your card transactions is similar to personal online banking. It is simple process and the software is easy to use. Each time you use your card the transaction will post to an online account which has been established for you in the VISA/PNC solution Spend Clarity. You will have been provided with access information. You are responsible for logging into your Spend Clairity account regularly and taking one or more of the following steps:

  1. Acknowledging that the transaction was initiated by you
  2. Verifying that it posted in the correct amount
  3. Assigning the correct budget codes to the transaction
  4. Entering a explanation of business purpose
  5. Uploading the supporting documentation to the transaction 

Monthly Requirements

The purchasing card program is on a monthly billing cycle, ending on the last day of each month. Notifications are sent to cardholders during the month to prompt review/reconciliation activities for completion by the close of business on the first business day of the new month. After this date, transaction data can no longer be modified in the system and Approvers are notified of their window for approving.

All charges from all accounts are paid by Financial Services from a central bill.

Proof of Purchase

Whether a purchase is made in person or via telephone, internet, fax, or mail, the cardholder must obtain vendor produced evidence of the purchase. Original documentation must support the legitimate business purpose of all transactions made with the purchasing card.

Supporting documentation must be uploaded into Spend Clarity for all transactions above $25. Support documentation for transactions of $25 or less are not required to be uploaded unless the transaction is being coded to an external grant or sponsored project. Cardholders should retain receipts for purchases of $25 or below that are not uploaded to Spend Clarity for two years. Documentation must include the name of the supplier, location, date and dollar amount. The following are examples of supporting documentation:

  1. Detailed sales receipts 
  2. Itemized receipts 
  3. Packing slips with a dollar amount
  4. Subscription or dues forms
  5. Conference registration forms
  6. Online ordering or booking confirmations
  7. Repetitive postings of long term contracted services should be supported with a copy of the contract at its inception and entries in the Narrative Details field as mentioned below, or by separate memo.
  8. For purchases where no receipt is generated (e.g., flowers ordered by phone), an accompanying memo or explanation in the Narrative Details field will suffice.

Travel and entertainment expenses, including meals, car rentals and hotel lodging above $25 must be substantiated by itemized receipts and not just confirmation of amount paid. An itemized receipt shows all items included in the order.

Business Purpose and Attendees

Cardholders are also responsible for ensuring that the business purpose for each transaction is clear from the proof of purchase paperwork, or that notations explaining the business purpose for the expense are written on the documentation prior to receipt image uploading or added to the Narrative Details field within the system.  Attendees must be listed for meals and events.

Internal Review

All cardholder transactions are subject to monthly review by Financial Services. Cardholders will be contacted directly if transaction records are incomplete, require clarification, or if any of the following is determined:

  1. Original documentation not uploaded in the system.
  2. Business purpose not provided or not clear from documentation
  3. Unclear reimbursement status for accidental personal use
  4. Unclear third party reimbursement status
  5. A credit needs to be obtained from a merchant. This may be excessive sales tax, billing error, etc.
  6. List of attendees for meals or events is not included.

Administrative Actions

Transaction review procedures are applied consistently to all accounts. Financial Services is authorized to act as follows to manage program compliance:

  1. Procedural infraction - suspend card use if monthly transactions are not satisfactorily reviewed/reconciled in Intellilink by cardholder. Suspension to extend through satisfactory submission of hard copy monthly records packet and Financial Services’ review.
  2. Procedural infraction - termination of account after three suspensions
  3. Policy infraction - termination of account if card usage violates policy more than three times in a fiscal year

Problematic Transactions

Most problems with orders and billing can be resolved by the cardholder contacting the vendor and monitoring the account for corrective action. In the event a problem such as an erroneous charge, failure to receive goods, altered amounts, credits due not processed, duplicate charges, or suspected fraud cannot be resolved at the cardholder level, the cardholder may dispute a charge and thereby engage PNC to initiate an action against the merchant. This process is an important safeguard to the College against fraudulent activity. It is not to be misused for usual transactions that derailed for internal reasons. VISA/PNC Billing Inquiry Form. Cardholders should call the # on the back of their card to report unauthorized use and initiate the replacement/reissue/dispute process.

Need to Know

Lost or Stolen Cards

Cardholders should immediately notify PNC (1-800-685-4039) and the card administration team if a College credit card is lost or stolen. A replacement card will be issued immediately and sent directly to the card administrators who will contact the cardholder to pick up the new card.

Expiring Cards and Replacement Cards

All renewal cards will be sent automatically to the card administration team several weeks prior to the expiration date of the card, who will contact the cardholders directly to exchange their cards.

Direct Billing Relationships

If the account number or expiration date on a card changes, the cardholder is responsible for updating the accounts receivable records of any vendor with whom a direct billing relationship has been established. Failure to do so may result in the inconvenience of declined transactions which may lead to an interruption of services.

Extended Absence and Leave from Gettysburg

Cardholders on leave from the College, the nature of which does not include College business, should notify the card administration team of departure and return dates so that the account may be deactivated as a safeguard.

Termination of Employment

It is the responsibility of the cardholder to return their card to the College immediately upon notice of termination of employment with partial month's records packets. Some employment circumstances may require a cardholder to keep their account active until their departure date. Notice to the card administration team will avoid premature closure of an account.

Insurances for Travelers

Please review the card envelope enclosures for more information. VISA Travel Benefits

Travelers are entitled to various insurances and benefits when their College credit card is used for the related expense. These include:

  1. Travel Accident - $200,000
  2. Trip Delay Reimbursement - $300
  3. Hotel/Motel Burglary - $1,000
  4. Lost Luggage Reimbursement - $3,000
  5. Travel and Emergency Assistance Services

Foreign Travel Alert

Our corporate card partner and issuing bank, PNC, is mindful of and concerned with growth in international credit card fraud. When it occurs, it is much more difficult to resolve than domestic transactions and, resolution notwithstanding, travelers can encounter difficult problems. Accordingly, all cardholders intending to travel internationally on College business are asked to call PNC Customer Service 1-800-685-4039 to advise account managers of plans so foreign transactions will be allowed to process without verbal approval from the cardholder or the card administration team. Additionally, travelers should always have an alternate method of payment available to them. Lastly, traveling cardholders are asked to utilize web access to review their card activity online to ensure validity of all postings