Purchasing Card Basics: Cardholder's Responsibility

Activity: Purchasing Card Basics: Cardholder's Responsibility
Financial Policy: University Policies - choose Purchasing in the introduction paragraph
Related Policies: N/A
Additional Forms: N/A

Things to Know:

  • Under no circumstances should an IU employee use their own discount/loyalty/reward cards for any IU purchases. (Examples: Marsh, Kroger, Staples, Best Buy, etc.). University Policy FIN-PUR-3.3, State Conflict of Interest for Procurement Transactions states, “No university employee may use his or her purchasing authorities for personal gain.” When a rewards card is used, the purchaser receives coupons, store points with value, gift cards, or in some cases, cash. Hence, the use of Personal Rewards Card with an IU P-Card is prohibited.
  • The university procurement card (P-Card) is intended to be used for small transactions (generally under $1,000) with vendors not available in KFS. Using the card will provide quicker placement of orders, greater flexibility in ordering, and reduced paperwork processing. The purchasing card concept is designed to delegate the authority to purchase low-cost items directly to the person to whom it most matters - YOU, the end user.
  • The following lists clarifies the proper use of P-Cards:


  • Small dollar transactions under $1,000 and not on the “Not Appropriate” list (shown below)
  • One time purchases to suppliers that are not in KFS.
  • Suppliers that do not accept purchase orders (for example, web-based vendors)
  • Conference registration fees

Not Appropriate

  • If purchase can be made in the Shop Contracts section of B2B
  • If paying an IU department (payments to IU departments should be completed in KFS)
  • If item is on the restricted list

Recurring monthly charges

Split or “stacked” transactions (dividing large purchases into smaller payments to avoid the $1,000 limit). Direct questions or comments to the P-card manager at the appropriate campus location 

  • Although the card has many built-in controls, there are certain steps that you as the cardholder must take to ensure the responsible use of University funds. You should first become familiar with the Principles and Standards of Purchasing Practice. This is the code of ethics that was developed by the National Association of Educational Procurement. The IU Purchasing Department operates in accordance with this code and as you conduct business using the IU Purchasing Card, you will be expected to abide by these standards as well. Secondly, you must keep in mind that IU is a publicly funded University and that we, as its employees, have a duty to ensure that its resources are spent in a responsible and efficient manner.
  • IU Purchasing Card program uses both internal management controls, as well as, extensive reports to manage and audit the process to ensure that procedures are followed. The card is a privilege granted to you by the University and it is expected that you will use it responsibly. The University will seek restitution for any inappropriate charges made to the card. Fraudulent or intentional misuse of the card will result in revocation of the card and/or possible criminal charges.