Purchasing Card

Program Description

Through an agreement with U.S.Bank, Babson College provides qualified employees with a VISA Procurement Card (PCard) to purchase goods that do not require a Babson College purchase order. Babson College strongly encourages PCard use for certain small dollar purchases and for Travel, Meals and Entertainment expenses because the PCard provides convenience and improves efficiency by:

  •  Simplifying the ordering process
  •  Decentralizing purchasing responsibility for small dollar orders
  •  Facilitating prompt payment to vendors
  •  Reducing overall processing costs

Cardholders may use the PCard for Babson College business only and in accordance with the Babson College Policy on Appropriate Use of Funds. Use of the card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. Violations may result in revocation of cardholder privileges and possible disciplinary action.

Babson College pays U.S. Bank directly for all PCard purchases. Applying for and using a PCard in no way affects the cardholder’s personal credit history. Babson College assumes full corporate liability for PCard use. Personal information is used only for tracking and administration purposes.  

Purchasing Card Administration - Obtaining a PCard

Full-time and part-time employees of Babson College are eligible to apply for and receive PCards. The Purchasing Office will order a PCard from U.S. Bank after the applicant and his/her department head have completed the application form. Upon receipt of the PCard the applicant signs a Babson College Procurement Card Agreement. The application form can be found online on the Purchasing Office website or at: K:\Perm\Business Forms\Procurement Card Application.doc.

For the cardholder’s protection, he/she must sign the PCard immediately upon receipt. After each use, the PCard should be returned to the cardholder and the cardholder should retain or destroy transaction carbon sheets. The cardholder is responsible for keeping the account number confidential and preventing unauthorized use of the PCard.

The PCard remains the property of U.S. Bank. Only the assigned cardholder whose name appears on the card may use a PCard.  

Suspension and Cancellation of the Purchasing Card

U.S. Bank and Babson College have the right to suspend or cancel cardholder privileges at any time. In the case of suspension the cardholder must surrender the PCard at the request of Babson College or any authorized agent of U.S. Bank.  Upon cancellation, the PCard must be cut in half and forwarded to the Purchasing Office. Use of a PCard or account after notice of its cancellation may be considered fraudulent and could result in U.S. Bank taking legal action against the cardholder.  

Renewal Cards

Prior to a PCard’s expiration date, U.S. Bank will send a new card to the Purchasing Office. Purchasing Office staff will send an email notification to the cardholder and forward the new card. Upon receipt the cardholder should immediately sign and activate the new card.

Lost or Stolen Purchasing Credit Cards

Should a PCard be lost or stolen, the cardholder must immediately notify the Purchasing Office. If the cardholder cannot reach a Purchasing Office staff member, he/she should call U.S. Bank at 1-800-344-5696. In the event the cardholder calls U.S. Bank directly, he/she is still responsible for confirming notification to the Purchasing Office on the next business day. Babson College is liable for all active PCard transactions until the card is formally reported as lost or stolen to U.S. Bank.

Spending Limits

Babson College assigns a user profile to each cardholder. Each profile has spending limits that reflect cardholder’s needs and his/her departmental purchasing requirements. If the spending limits are exceeded the vendor will decline use of the PCard.

Each profile includes three spending limits and one transaction limit:

  • Single -- Maximum dollar amount for a single transaction
  • Daily -Maximum dollar amount that can be spent in one day
  • Monthly -- Maximum dollar amount that can be spent in one month
  • Daily Transactions # -- Maximum number of transactions that can be completed in one day

There are four user profiles: Extra Light, Light, Medium, and High. To change a PCard profile or spending limit a cardholder must obtain approval from the appropriate department head and submit a request to the Purchasing Office. A cardholder’s profile can be changed temporarily during a monthly cycle (from the 26th of one month to the 25th of the next month) upon approval of the cardholder’s supervisor and/or division director.

Before traveling, cardholders should contact the Purchasing Office to confirm their spending limits and determine whether their profile needs to be changed temporarily. Purchasing Office staff will notify U.S.Bank of temporary changes to prevent difficulty with out-of-area card use.

Cardholders should always be aware of their profiles and limits, as well as the provisions of the Babson College Procurement Card Agreement.  

Prohibited Items

As noted, cardholders may use PCards for Babson College business only. Cardholders may not use PCards to purchase the items listed below. Purchases of prohibited items may result in PCard deactivation.

  • Alcoholic beverages, except when purchased as part of a restaurant meal or with the approval of the appropriate division director and the Purchasing Office
  •  Items redeemable for cash, including gift cards that are redeemable for cash (e.g., American Express, Visa, MasterCard)
  • Gasoline for personal automotive use
  • Printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines
  • Insurance
  • Hazardous materials
  • Animals
  • Precious metals
  • Travelers’ checks
  • Cash advances
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Prescription drugs
  • Personal items

Gift Cards

Babson College does not allow the use of PCards to purchase gift cards for faculty, staff, or student employees and encourages faculty and staff to reward employees and students with tangible items such as books, flowers, etc. However, PCards may be used to purchase gift cards to be used as thank you gifts for non-employee guest speakers or student volunteers; gifts, prizes, or rewards for non-employee students for campus-wide academic or co-corricular achievements, contests/competitions, as well as to provide incentives for participation in activities and events.

Note:  Students who also happen to be employees may accept gift cards or certificates as long as they are "outside of the employee relationship" at the time of receipt (e.g. contest or raffle at a student event).  College funded expenditures for gift cards or gift certificates to student employees as a token of appreciation for their work are not acceptable, per IRS regulations.

Gift Cards for Non-Employees (Guest Speakers, etc)·

  • The maximum gift card amount is $100.
  • The gift card cannot be redeemed for cash (e.g., American Express, Visa, MasterCard).
  • The name of the gift card recipient is included on the PCard Cost Allocation Report
  • The department/division maintains a list of gift card recipients and amounts and submits a Non-Employee Gift Card Report to the Purchasing Office (available online from the Purchasing Office website).

Gift Cards for Non-employee Students·

  • The maximum gift card amount is $250. ·
  • The gift card cannot be redeemed for cash (e.g., American Express, Visa, MasterCard).
  • The cardholder purchasing gift cards is on the Student Gift Card authorization list maintained by the PCard Office.
  • The department/division maintains a list of gift card recipients and amounts and must submit a Student Gift Card Report to the Purchasing Office (available online from the Purchasing Office website) with the Cardholder's Cost Allocation Report.  Note:  Gift Card Reports do not have to be submitted in situations where gift cards are arbitrarily handed out or awarded to students at student events, raffles or contests.
  • If a non-employee student receives more than $600 in gift cards in a calendar year Babson College will report the income to the IRS on Form 1099-MISC.
  • A student employee MAY NOT recieve a gift card or gift certificate as a "thank you" recognition for a job "well done", or as a going away gift.


Transactions > $10,000

PCard transactions costing more than $10,000 require a Babson College purchase order, and must comply with Purchasing Office requirements for bidding or sole source authorization. Please contact the Purchasing Office for information on purchase order requirements.

Personal Items

Cardholders may not use a PCard to purchase personal items. Use of a PCard for personal purposes will result in card deactivation.

Accidental/Inadvertent Charges

 If a cardholder accidentally or inadvertently charges a personal item or another prohibited item to a PCard, he/she should complete a Cash Receipts Form, attach a check made out to Babson College, and submit the form and the check to the Business Office with a copy of each to the Purchasing Office. The form is available online on the Purchasing Office website and at K:\Perm\Business Forms\Cash Receipts Form.pdf.  

Pcard Accounting

All PCard transactions are charged to the budget account number for the cardholder's department.  All transactions appear in Breago and on a monthly detailed bank statement sent to each cardholder by U.S. Bank.

   Journal Entries

Reallocation of PCard transaction expenses is required to be done electronically using the Access Online™ system. If a reallocation cannot be completed online by the 5th business day after the 25th of the month, a Journal Entry Form should be used. This form is available online on the Purchasing Office website or at K:\Perm\Business Forms\Journal Entry Form.pdf. Completed forms should be sent to the Business Office.

Cost Allocation Reports

At the end of each month cardholders receive a PCard Cost Allocation Report from the Purchasing Office. Completed reports must be returned to the Purchasing Office within 30 days. Submissions should include receipts and U.S. Bank  statements. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to obtain transaction receipts from the vendor each time he/she uses the PCard. Print-outs and copies are acceptable forms of receipts. The cardholder should compare the sales receipts to the entries on the monthly Cost Allocation Report. Failure to submit Cost Allocation Reports and receipts within 30 days will result in PCard deactivation.

 For auditing purposes, the Cost Allocation Report should include a brief (1-2 sentences) explanation of the business purpose for the transaction types listed below. The business purpose statement can be included on the report, or entered using the electronic Access Online™ system.

  • Travel, Meals and Entertainment (including a list of attendees for restaurant meals)
  • Babson College Bookstore, Reynolds kiosks, Olin kiosks
  • Supermarket and pharmacy purchases
  • Subscriptions
  • Recurring expenses

The Cost Allocation Report includes information on each transaction as well as the account to which the transaction is charged. The top row of the report shows the different categories.  

Missing Receipts

As noted above, cardholders are responsible for providing originals or copies of all receipts. In the event a receipt is lost or missing, the vendor will often be able to provide a new receipt or a copy of the original (with possible exceptions such as parking garages, restaurants, or taxis). If the cardholder has contacted a vendor, and still cannot produce a receipt, she/he should submit a Missing Receipt Form to the Purchasing Office. The form is available online on the Purchasing Office website and at: K:\Perm\Business Forms\Missing Information Form.docx.

Access Online™

The Access Online™ program is a web-based application that facilitates online, real-time PCard administration, accounting, and reporting. For example, Access Online™ includes online processes for approval and reconciliation that enable cardholders and department finance staff to review transactions as they are processed rather than waiting for the close of a billing cycle. Access Online™ also includes a function that allows cardholders and department finance staff to run PCard Cost Allocation Reports at any time during the monthly cycle.  All PCard transactions should be entered to the correct account numbers and a detailed description of the expense should be entered in the comment field of the Access Online system by the 5th business day, after the 25th of each month.

Access Online™ transactions are posted to Breago by the 5th business day, after the 25th of each monthe. Once transactions are swept and posted, charges cannot be reallocated on the Access Online™ system. For more information about Access Online™, to get access to training tools, or to be set up on the system, please contact the Purchasing Office or the PCard Administrator.

Exceptions Exceptions to the policies and requirements in this manual must be approved by the appropriate division director or department head and the Purchasing Office.

Disputed Items

It is the cardholder’s responsibility to follow up on any erroneous charges, returns, or adjustments and to ensure that the vendor applies the proper credit on subsequent statements. The cardholder must contact the vendor to identify the problem and attempt to resolve the issue. If an agreement cannot be reached between the cardholder and the vendor, the cardholder must notify the Purchasing Office.

The Purchasing Office may require the cardholder to complete a Disputed Transaction Form. Purchasing Office staff will submit the completed form to U.S. Bank, which must be notified of a disputed item within 60 days of the original transaction. A disputed item can result from a number of causes including failure to receive the goods or services billed, receipt of defective merchandise, incorrect shipment quantity, fraudulent PCard use, incorrect billing, duplicate billing, non-posting of credit, etc.

Upon notification of a disputed transaction, U.S. Bank will immediately credit the account for the amount of the disputed charge. The bank will then investigate the transaction, and within 90 days determine a resolution. If U.S. Bank rules in favor of the cardholder, the credit remains permanent. If not, the bank re-instates the charge.

Fraudulent Charges

If U.S. Bank identifies a possible fraudulent transaction, it will place a temporary hold on the PCard in question and notify the cardholder. If U.S. Bank is not able to contact the cardholder, it will contact the Purchasing Office. The Purchasing Office will then check the transaction with the cardholder. If the charge is deemed to be fraudulent, the card will be cancelled, and U.S. Bank will issue a new card in 3-5 business days.

If a cardholder does not recognize a PCard transaction on a statement, it is her/his responsibility to contact the vendor. If the cardholder cannot resolve the issue with the vendor, she/he should immediately contact the Purchasing Office.

Tax Exemption

As a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, Babson College does not pay Massachusetts sales tax. Each PCard is embossed with Babson College’s state tax-ID number: 04-2103544. Vendors should not include sales tax in any charges. In the event that sales tax is included, it is the responsibility of the cardholder to ensure that the vendor credits the tax payment back to their PCard account.