Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Procurement Cards

Code Embed: Cannot use CODE2 as a global code as it is being used to store 4 unique pieces of code in 4 posts

(See: F10530 Procurement Cards)

Procurement Cards are used to provide a more efficient, cost-effective alternative for departments to make purchases costing less than $10,000. The use of the procurement card will help the university, vendors, and departments by saving time and money with the consolidation of paperwork, quick payment to vendors and department will receive goods and services without delays. The use of the procurement card should be used in a business-like manner and purchases made within card spending limits and comply with policy and procedures.

All purchases made with the procurement card are tax exempt unless out-of-state, i.e. expos, and cannot be used for personal use. Card user(s) will be held responsible for any purchases made outside the normal university policies.

Limitations on the use of the Procurement Card:

   1. Unauthorized Purchases.  Purchases are to be made for business use only. The following purchases are prohibited:

     • Personal Use

     • Assets totaling $5,000 or more. Equipment costing between $1,500 and $4,999 is permissible provided that an asset’s record is created and linked to the transaction during the procurement card reconciliation process.

     • Transactions of $10,000 or more from the same vendor, including multiple like or unlike purchases unless the items being purchased are from an existing framework order or term contract (for details see 3 below).

     • Cash advances

     • Cash refunds from returned card purchases

     • Gift Cards

     • Motor vehicles

     • Personal service contracts or those contracts that are processed through the Contract system

     • Entertainment purchases costing more than $1,000 per function. The card may be used for entertainment items exceeding $1,000 but less than $10,000 if pre-approval has been obtained from the chief business officer. Note: Entertainment-type items $1,000 or under per function may be purchased with the procurement card, subject to the approval and documentation requirements for entertainment purchases. Such purchases may be made only from vendors that accept the card (i.e., the card is blocked at restaurants, hotels, and other travel-related vendors). The invoice must contain the date of the function, number of individuals being entertained, price per unit meal, ticket, and total amount due. The purpose of the function must be written on the invoice or an attachment. The cost center/WBS element and the general ledger account to be charged (446200, 449200, or 449300) should also be documented on the invoice.

     • Travel, including airlines, hotels, registration fees, automobile expenses, and meals (registration fees for webinars at local station may be paid with P-card).

     • Cellular telephone equipment and service

     • Purchasing club membership such as Amazon Prime and Barnes & Noble where the membership is in the name of the employee unless approved in writing by the chief business officer or designee. The savings to the university for such a Membership should be documented in the request.

     • Purchases from other university departments, including bookstores.

     • Purchases prohibited by university fiscal policy on purchasing (see F10405 for details).

   2. Spending Limits. Purchases are charged to the card user’s department. Each card has specific spending limits: $9,999.99 per transaction and a preset maximum for each 30-day billing cycle, typically $20,000. Each time the card is used, an electronic process verifies that the purchase is within these predetermined limits. If a purchase violates these limits, the vendor will not accept the order.

    3. Departments may not split single transactions in excess of $9,999.99 into smaller transactions. (See: Fiscal Policy FI0405). To stay within the spending limit, departments may not make multiple purchases of or request multiple invoices for single purchases of identical goods or modular components from the same vendor, unless these items are under an existing framework order or term contract. Although not an all-inclusive list, the following situations represent split transactions and are prohibited by this policy:

     • Requesting a vendor to invoice items separately to avoid the spending limit.

     • Making partial payments against a single invoice to avoid the spending limit.

     • Purchasing items in groups and making multiple purchases for a single purpose to avoid the spending limit.

     • Purchasing like items on a regular basis which would exceed the spending limit if purchased together, unless purchased on a current contract.

     • Procurement cardholders in the same department should attempt to communicate purchases of items that will be procured on a regular basis to their department heads and departments should attempt to monitor orders placed to the same vendor on different cards to determine if these purchases should be bid.

Card User Responsibilities

   1. Read and abide by these policies and procedures and complete the Procurement Card Questionnaire.

   2. Obtain best possible value for the university.

   3. Secure card and keep card number confidential.

   4. If at all possible, don’t share account information.

   5. Ensure state sales tax is not charged when making a purchase. The university’s tax exempt number is printed on the face of the card.

   6. Must maintain and keep a valid receipt for each purchase with as much detailed information about the purchase.

   7. Upon receipt of the monthly statement, review the statement for accuracy, attach valid receipts, distribute charges to appropriate cost center/WBS elements with correct G/L accounts , sign the statement, and forward to the Business Services Office for processing by the 10th of every month.

   8. Resolve all incorrect charges and product returns with the merchant/vendor in a timely manner.

   9. Report a lost or stolen card immediately to Bank of America (888) 449-2273. Note the name of the bank employee and date/time called. Record this information on the lost/stolen/compromised card notification form and fax to Program Administrator at (865) 974-2701.

Making a Purchase:

   1.If the intended purchase is less than $10,000, find a vendor who accepts VISA and provides the best value to the university.

   2. Ensure vendor can provide a proper receipt (see Acceptable Receipts).

   3. Obtain a receipt for each purchase.

   4. Make sure the receipt doesn’t include sales tax.

   5. When ordering over the telephone or internet, vendor should be told the purchase is for the University of Tennessee and you will be using a VISA Procurement card. The vendor should be given the card name, number, expiration date, and delivery address. A receipt and confirmation number should be obtained at this time. Emphasize with the vendor the purchase is exempt from state sales tax.

   6. Verify order to ensure accuracy, quality, and price.

Acceptable Receipts:

Acceptable receipts include the following:

   • Vendor invoices

   • Charge slips

   • Cash register receipts

   • Packing slips

   • Printout of email or web page transaction confirmation

They must all include the following information:

   • Itemized description of goods or services purchased, including unit price.

   • Vendor name

   • Transaction date

   • Transaction total showing Paid by Visa


   • Order forms are usually not an acceptable receipt.

   • Subscription renewal forms or initial request is considered a receipt. The receipts should include the inclusive dates of the subscription.

   • Receipts that are not originals or do not obtain any of the information above are not considered valid receipts. Therefore, a Supplemental Receipt should be completed and attached to the receipt.

   • A Supplement Receipt alone is not considered an adequate receipt. It must be replaced within 60 days with an adequate receipt.

Returning a Purchase, Incorrect Charges, and Declined Charges:

    1. Cash refunds are prohibited. For a purchase made in person, return item to vendor and obtain a credit receipt.

    2. For returns by phone, mail or fax, the vendor should be contacted for return instructions, obtain a return authorization number, also referred to as Returned Material Authorization (RMA) #, or credit number and then return the item.

    3. On the original receipt, note the date of the return and check future statements to ensure credit was applied.

    4. If an item on the monthly statement is incorrect, contact the vendor immediately and resolve the disputed charge. If not resolved within 30 days, fax a completed Disputed Transaction Form to Bank of America bank at (888) 678-6046 (Fax). The bank will issue a credit for the disputed purchase until it is resolved within a timely manner. Vendors should be given a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue, replace the product, or issue a credit.

    5. If a purchase is not approved by VISA, the vendor can call the bank directly to determine the reason, or the cardholder may call the bank at (888)449-2273 (Phone).

Distributing Charges:

Monthly statements are available in IRIS on the first or second business day of the month. The Business Services Office is responsible for distributing charges in IRIS and will print the statement and verify accurate charges. Valid receipts will be attached, statement signed, and charges distributed to appropriate cost center/WBS Element and G/L accounts in IRIS.

For more information about Procurement Cards, please visit the UT Policy & Procedures Web page

If you still need assistance or have questions, please contact Richard Johnson at 974-7794 or