Purchasing Card Policy

This policy supports the use of Purchasing Cards (P-Cards) for appropriate business transactions while assuring that the use of the P-Card adheres to Research Foundation (RF) guidelines and policies as well as any special requirements of the project supported by the sponsored funds.

RF guidelines and forms are available here.

What is a P-Card

A P-Card is a debit card with a one-time limit that allows a principal investigator (PI) or authorized project staff to purchase goods and supplies for sponsored projects with a $2,000 or more budget. Each project requires a separate, completed, and approved P-Card application. Once completed and signed by the PI, please share the P-Card application with the Grants Officer assigned to the project for review and signature.

The number of purchases on a P-Card is limited to 8 per day unless a request is made to a PI’s project administrator to increase the number for particular circumstances. The limit of any single transaction is $5,000 unless a request is made to RF for careful assessment of policy adherence. P-Cards are not for personal use and cannot be shared between individuals or projects.

Unallowable Purchases

There are limitations to P-Card uses. The following is a list of items you may NOT use the P-card to purchase.

  • Late fees, fines, and penalties;
  • Chemicals or hazardous materials as defined by federal, state, and city laws.
  • Hazardous materials may include compressed gases, radioactive materials, nucleotides, peptides, growth media, controlled substances, restriction enzymes, or biological organisms.
  • Cash advances, gift cards, and prepaid debit/credit cards;
  • Donations or contributions (including gift certificates, gifts for employee morale, or gifts for services);
  • Costs incurred for, or in support of, alumni activities or fundraising activities.
  • Entertainment costs, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities);
  • Alcohol is never allowed.
  • Lodging or meal charges that exceed per diem rates when in travel status.

The PI is responsible for all purchases made with P-Cards on their account.

P-Card Reconciliation

The P-Card reconciliation uses the SAP Concur system, available through this link.

Reconciliation must include the business purpose of the item, justification of the expense, and receipts. Pay particular attention to items that may be used for personal purposes (e.g., CDs, videos, mobile electronics, meals, etc.). P-Card purchases are exempt from New York, New Jersey, Florida, Missouri, and Tennessee State sales tax (NYS tax-exempt ID is located on the P-Card). If a vendor will not grant sales tax exemption, note the vendor’s refusal on the receipt.

Please note that the P-Card holder is responsible for reconciling P-Card expenses. P-card transactions must be reconciled within 35 days of the purchase.

P-Card Expiration

P-Cards have an expiration date of three years from issuance, and the expiration date is on the card. A new card will be sent to the current address if the card expires on an active account. If the grant ends before the physical expiration date, the card will become inactive on the grant end date. The cardholder must request a card renewal/extension if the project associated with the P-Card has been extended or renewed. The cardholder should notify the P-Card team they are destroying the card due to the project ending or separation from the College.

Additional Resources

P-Card Application