The purpose of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Visa Purchasing Card Program is to establish a more efficient and cost-effective method of purchasing and paying for small dollar (best judgment) transactions. The program is designed to replace best judgment purchase orders, to eliminate use of petty cash for small dollar purchases, and to eliminate the need to have personal funds reimbursed by expense report.

The transactions limits will vary from $100 to $5,000.   Each card is assigned credit and transaction limits by your Unit Business Representative.

The Purchasing Card may be used at any merchant or service provider that accepts the card (except as noted in the RESTRICTIONS section of this manual).

The Program is NOT intended:

To avoid or bypass appropriate procurement or payment procedures. Rather, the Program complements the existing processes available,

To replace our current corporate card travel program,

For personal use or use inconsistent with campus program mission.

The PCard can be used for both in-store purchases as well as phone or fax orders.

All cards are issued at the request of your Unit Business Representative, and card usage may be audited and/or rescinded at any time.

This manual provides the guidelines under which you may use your Purchasing Card. Please read it carefully. Your signature on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement indicates that you understand the intent of the Program and agree to adhere to the guidelines established for the Program. You may begin using your Purchasing Card immediately on receipt. Please contact the Purchasing Card Administrator or your supervisor if you have any questions about card usage.

Record keeping is essential to ensure the success of the program. This is not an extraordinary requirement; standard payment and reimbursement policies require retention of receipts and other documentation. As with any credit/charge card, you must retain sales slips, cash register receipts, order forms and receiving reports for your protection. In addition, a Purchasing Card Transaction Summary (see Appendix 1) should be maintained to expedite reconciliation and approval.

You are responsible for the security of your Card and the transactions made against it. The PCard is issued in your name and any purchases made against the Card will be your responsibility. Use of the Card not in accordance with the guidelines established for this Program, such as unauthorized or fraudulent use of the card, may result in personal liability.

Merchants Who Do Not Accept the Card:

Everyone from whom you currently purchase goods or services should be considered a potential vendor in the Purchasing Card Program--even if they don't accept procurement cards today. If they are not currently participating, you should complete a Vendor Nonacceptance Form (Appendix 2) and forward it to the Purchasing Card Administrator, who will have the bank contact the vendor.

Although we do not endorse the specific card or any of its associated banks specifically, we encourage merchants to become involved in the Purchasing Card Program for quick payment and so that cardholders can use the program most effectively.

It is likely that any merchant you currently utilize as a source for products or services will accept your Card. If you are declined and feel that should not have occurred, you may contact the US Bank Cardholder Customer Service at 800-344-5696. Customer Service will be able to tell you if the merchant was blocked or if you may have exceeded the monthly credit limit or single transaction dollar limit imposed on your Card.


The program is designed to be simple and easy to use, providing you the goods needed to perform your job more quickly and with fewer steps to accomplish the task. However, appropriate controls must be maintained to insure the ongoing success of the Program.

We require you to exercise good judgment and act responsibly when using your card. The Card is issued in your name, and all activity is your responsibility. Maintain a summary of transactions and always retain your receipts!

When you receive your Card, sign the back of the Card immediately and always keep it in a secure place!Although the card is issued in your name, it is the property of the State and is only to be used for official state purchases as defined in this document.

Merchants are paid within three days of submitting your transaction to the bank. Please indicate to merchants that they must not invoice the University as an invoice could result in duplicate payment. Request merchants to give a detailed description of goods purchased on the charge slip, not just "miscellaneous".Please tell your vendor that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is an agency of the State of Wisconsin, and is therefore exempt from payment of Wisconsin sales or use tax on its purchases. (See front of card and Appendix 3.)

Random audits will be conducted for card activity and retention of receipts/sales slips and related records. Consequences ranging from suspension of Cards to appropriate disciplinary action may be invoked for improper use of the Card.

We continue to improve the way we conduct business. As with any process, it is difficult to anticipate every question or issue. Your use of this Program in conducting your daily business can help us make significant change in eliminating a variety of manual transactions. If you have any questions about the Program or need additional information, please contact your supervisor or the VISA Program Administrator in Accounts Payable at x5404.



Requesting a Card:

In order to request a card for a new cardholder or an additional card for a current cardholder, the applicant must complete an "Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement". The application must be signed by the applicant's Unit Business Representative. The application must include the cardholder's name, campus mailing address, campus telephone number, the complete line of accounting coding to be charged for purchases made on the card, and any spending (transaction or monthly) limits the Unit Business Representative wishes to impose on the card.


Cardholders Account Form and Agreement:

The cardholder is required to read the cardholder manual and sign the Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement. Purchasing cards are requested from US Bank after the Program Administrator has received a signed "Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement form" from the applicant's Unit Business Representative.

Revising "Charge-To" Information:

The default coding (with the exception of the division code) for any transaction can be changed during the eight (8) working days immediately following the close of a cycle by using the Access Online website. Please contact your Unit Business Representative for authorization to use Access Online for Transaction Management (reallocation) of Visa Purchasing Card transactions. A table showing the two week cycle begin and end dates can be accessed on Appendix 4. 

Lost or Stolen Card:

If your procurement card is lost or stolen, immediately notify the VISA Program Administrator in Accounts Payable at 414/ 229-5404 and US Bank Cardholder Customer Service at 1-800/344-5696. Your department is responsible for paying all charges resulting from stolen or misused cards until US Bank has been notified.

Card Renewal:

A card will automatically be mailed to you at the address on file before the renewal date.

Canceling Card:

To cancel a card, the card should be cut in half and disposed of in a secure manner. You must also notify the Visa Purchasing Card Program Administrator in Accounts Payable at 229-5404 to close the account. Otherwise, the account remains open and vulnerable to fraudulent activity.

Procurement Card Security:

Only the authorized cardholder may use the card. Cards and card numbers must be safeguarded against use by unauthorized individuals in the same manner you would secure your personal credit card.



The card is not to be used for personal or entertainment expenses. Certain travel expenses may be charged to the PCard in accordance with UWM travel regulations if your UBR has specifically authorized your PCard for travel expenses. Registration fees and airline tickets may be purchased on the PCard by any cardholder. A copy of the completed registration form and proof of airline ticket cost must be attached to the travel expense report.

Order and Receipt of Goods and Services:

The cardholder is responsible for ensuring receipt of materials and services and for following up with the vendor to resolve any delivery, discrepancies or damaged goods problems. The Purchasing Card may not be used for services resulting in an IRS Form 1099 reporting requirement (i.e., services provided by individuals or sole proprietors).

For telephone or catalog orders, make sure complete shipping address and instructions are given along with your name (e.g., name including last name, department name, complete street address, room number, city, state, and zip code). Ask what the shipping charges will be and note on your summary transaction sheet.

If materials are ordered by phone, ask the vendor to include a sales receipt, detailing items purchased in the package.

Sales and Use Tax:

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as an agency of the State of Wisconsin, is exempt from payment of Wisconsin sales or use tax on its purchases under s.77.(9a)(a) Wis. Statutes and federal tax imposed under Chapter 32 I.R.C. EXCEPTION: Purchases made out of state for consumption out of state may be taxable.

Information on the University's exempt status appears on the front of the procurement card. BE SURE TO REMIND THE VENDOR OF THE TAX EXEMPT STATUS WHEN MAKING A PURCHASE. For telephone orders, if the vendor asks for written proof of tax exempt status, fax/mail the vendor the letter in Appendix 3.

Record Keeping, Statements and Reconciliation:

The cardholder is responsible for keeping all credit card slips, cash register receipts, packing slips, etc. The cardholder should also maintain a summary of transactions (Appendix 1). A statement will be mailed to cardholders every two weeks. It is your responsibility to verify the correctness of the statements by comparing it to your receipts, packing slips, etc. If there are problems note them on your transaction summary and take the appropriate steps as noted in the next section. The statement with the attached credit card slips, cash register receipts, packing slips, etc. are the official transaction Record. These records must be maintained in the department's office for six years and must be made available for audit. Identify the source of funding and other accounting information on receipts when expending grant/contract funds.

SUPERVISORY REVIEW (State Accounting Manual, Section 5, Subsection 13)

The following items should be performed by the cardholder's supervisor in accordance with the information, rules, regulations, policies and procedures found in this manual and in accordance with published Purchasing procedures:

  1. Review information submitted by the cardholder. The amount of review will depend on a number of factors, but the supervisor should, at a minimum, compare receipts to the statement submitted by the cardholder.
  2. Verify purchases are for use in state business. Sign on the cardholder-submitted record to certify that purchases are for state business purposes and comply with appropriate rules and regulations.
  3. Verify travel related charges have been authorized.
  4. Verify a cross-reference to the cardholder's travel expense report (TER) for consistency and double charges, if possible.
  5. The signed statement/purchase record is to be kept with the supporting receipts and other documentation and be made available for audit purposes.


The cardholder is responsible for following up with the vendor orUS Bank Customer Service on any erroneous charges, disputed items or returns as soon as possible. Disputed billings can result from failure to receive goods/services charged, fraud, misuse, altered charges, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts, duplicate charges, credit not processed, etc. Documentation should be kept explaining each credit received for returns or exchanges.

The cardholder will contact the vendor first to resolve any outstanding issues (most problems can be handled this way).


Referring to your receipt, request the merchant to process a credit to your card account. If the item was shipped, refer to the packing slip or other shipping document you kept with your procurement card records.


A credit should be issued for any item approved for return. The credit will appear on a subsequent statement. It is your responsibility to assure that such credit does appear on your account. Any returned item purchased with the Visa Purchasing Card must be returned for credit; do not accept a cash or check refund.

Disputed Items:

If you have a disputed charge and cannot reach resolution with the vendor, follow the instructions on the back of your statement to dispute the charge with US Bank. This written notice of dispute must be received by US Bank within 60 days of the date that US Bank sent the first statement on which the disputed charge appears. US Bank's address is on the back of your statement.


The department Procurement Card is intended for best judgment purchases. All purchases with this card must comply with the guidelines in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Administrative Services Manual and with extramural funding agency restrictions. Procurement guidelines applying to low dollar orders are published in Procedure 3.2.11. The following specific restrictions are highlighted:

The Purchasing Card may not be used with those vendors that are considered ineligible for University orders and contracts due to failure to file adequate Affirmative Action plans with the State Office of Contract Compliance. See Procedure 3.3.14 for a listing of those vendors.

Mandatory contracts listed in Procedure 3.3.8 must be used regardless of enabling of card use for the contract. See Procedure 3.2.6 for products that require Institutional approval prior to purchasing.

The Purchasing Card MAY NOT be usedto purchase the following (this list may not be all inclusive). The UWM Controller’s Office may grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

1099 Services of any type


Ineligible Vendors

Non-Business Personal Items

Travel Meals & Incidentals

Alcoholic beverages


Insurance & Bonds

Re-occurring Payments


Cash Advances

Greeting cards Leases/Rentals

Services Available on Campus (i.e. Printing)

 Gift cards, gifts 

 Prizes, awards

The following items are allowable when all procurement policies and procedures are followed. Capitalized items must be reallocated to the appropriate account code. All mandatory contracts must be observed. Items marked with a * may be purchased only by departments with a legitimate use for the item.


Ebay (risk of loss must be minimized, Ebay does not allow refunds)

Memberships (only after initial fee has received appropriate approvals on a requisition or Direct Payment Form)


Flowers/Decorative Items (allowed only when placed in public areas)

Parking (hotel and airport parking only, no exceptions)

Controlled Substances/Drugs*

Gasoline (for rental vehicles only)

Radioactive Materials*

Cylinder gases

Hospitality/Food Entertainment (must meet Headquarters City requirements)