P-Card Basics

How to apply for a P-Card

  1. Complete the training by following this link Percipio Course Introduction to the UMB PCard Program. Retain a copy of the training course completion certificate.
  2. Set up the UMB PCard Reallocation role in Quantum by completing the Quantum Financials User Authorization form.
  3. Complete the Cardholder Application
  4. Email the training certificate (from step 1) and application (from step 3) to pcard-admin@umaryland.edu

How to use the Purchasing Card

The cardholder is the only person authorized to make purchases using their card. Giving the card or card number to another person to make a purchase, using someone else’s card, or making unauthorized purchases may result in disciplinary action (including, but not limited to, revocation of card and/or termination of employment). The cardholder is liable to UMB and the State of Maryland for the proper use of the card.

In some cases vendors may assess a credit card surcharge. Surcharges are capped at 4% and must be disclosed upfront. Convenience fees, unlike surcharges, may be imposed only when accepting credit cards is an alternative payment channel for the business (i.e, paying by phone or website vs. the vendor’s usual face to face business model). Know your choices and make informed decisions. If you believe that a fee is questionable please notify the Assistant Director, Business Development Programs.

Please see Buying with the Core Values in Mind for UMB Socioeconomic programs. 

Purchases in Person

  1. Follow any internal departmental procedures and ensure there is a legitimate business purpose before making purchases.
  2. Determine whether the PCard is the most appropriate tool to use for the purchase (ensure there are no restricted items, and determine whether a State or UMB contract is available).
  3. Be certain the total amount of the purchase will not exceed your card’s single purchase limit or any other limits that your department may have set.
  4. Determine that the price quoted is fair and reasonable.
  5. Advise vendor that UMB is tax exempt.
  6. Obtain a detailed receipt at the time of purchase clearly identifying each item purchased.
  7. Record the purchase using the Cardholder Transaction Log, and keep all receipts with the log in a secure place. 
  8. Retain original packaging until you are certain you are going to keep the goods. We recommend you keep the packing slip as part of the documentation needed to support the purchase and delivery of the goods. The cardholder is responsible for verifying quantity and condition of the goods upon arrival. 
  9. Do not sign any vendor contract agreement or accept any terms and conditions when using the card. Refer all such documents to the appropriate Buyer in SSAS. However, payments for such contracts may be made using the card once the contract is signed by SSAS. 

Purchases by Telephone, Fax, Mail or Internet


  1. A written record must be made when placing a telephone order. The transaction log shall be used to record this information. This information is required to reconcile your account and must be available for compliance reviews.
  2. Only the cardholder is authorized to place a phone order. 
  3. Follow the applicable instructions for making purchases in person, with the following additions:
    1. When you call, state that you are calling from UMB and that you will be making your purchase on a Visa Card.
    2. Record the name of the person taking the order, place the order, and give the supplier your PCard number and expiration date.
    3. Give the supplier your name, department name, phone number, and complete delivery instructions if you are not picking up the goods. Goods shall be received at a UMB business address.
    4. Request an itemized receipt and/or packing slip with itemized pricing be sent with the purchase. Retain this receipt/packing slip with your record of the purchase. Advise the vendor not to send an invoice to Accounts Payable.
    5. Be certain the total amount of the purchase including all shipping, handling, postage, freight, etc. will not exceed your card’s single purchase limit or any other limits that your department may have set.

Internet, Fax and Mail

Follow the applicable steps above. For internet purchases, make sure the Internet site is secure prior to submitting your card information. Retain a copy of the order as faxed or mailed and the fax confirmation (if available) for your records.

Returns, damaged goods and Credits

  1. Always retain boxes, containers, special packaging, etc. until you are certain you are going to keep the goods. Some items, such as software or fragile pieces, cannot be returned without the original packaging materials.
  2. Read all enclosed instructions carefully. Often a phone number and other instructions are included on the packing slip and/or receipt
  3. Many suppliers require you to obtain a “Return Authorization Number” before they will accept a return. A vendor may refuse the package and/or not issue a credit to your account if this number is not properly obtained.
  4. In some cases there may be a restocking fee (usually a percentage of the purchase price). If the supplier is completely responsible for the error or problem, you should not have to pay this, or any other fee. However, if they are not fully responsible you may have to pay it. You may use the PCard to pay this fee as long as it does not exceed any of the limits.
  5. Record the credit amount on the transaction log. Review your monthly statement to ensure the credit was issued for the returned item. If a credit is not issued on that month’s statement, carry the credit amount forward to the next month’s transaction log. Continue this process until the credit is received. 
  6. If return is not authorized or if it is not properly credited, see Disputed Transactions (Link this), for instructions for resolving the problem.


Reconciliation Instructions

Record Keeping

  • An itemized receipt is required for each transaction.
  • Transactions must be recorded on a Cardholder Transaction Log as they occur, not at the end of the month when the Visa statement is received. The business reason for each purchase must be clearly documented. A brief description in the “Business Purpose” log column is often sufficient; however, it may be necessary to include additional detail with the supporting documentation if the purchase is unusual and/or the justification is complex. The log will be used to reconcile against the monthly Visa statement. Maintaining a transaction log is a requirement; failure to maintain a proper transaction log may lead to the cancellation of a cardholder’s card.
  • A monthly statement will be sent to each cardholder after the cutoff on the 25th of the month (this is not a bill). Cardholders should obtain an electronic copy of the statement from the US Bank online system. The cardholder is responsible for reconciling the monthly cardholder statement to the transaction log; each transaction on the bank statement must be traced to the transaction log and marked appropriately in the “Reconciled to Bank Statement” log column. Discrepancies between the statement and log must be promptly investigated. Cardholders must attach all receipts/invoices, sign and date both the bank statement and transaction log (initialing any additional log pages) and forward the package to their authorized reviewer within seven (7) days of receipt of the monthly statement.
  • The authorized reviewer must review the monthly documentation package and document their review by signing and dating on both the bank statement and transaction log (initialing any additional log pages). The signature of the authorized reviewer attests that all receipts/invoices are attached and the transactions are appropriate and allowable.

Purchasing Card Documentations

  • Documentation is required for all purchases and credits. Acceptable documentation includes the following items:
    • Itemized sales slip showing the purchase price of the item
    • Itemized packing slip showing the purchase price of the item
    • Itemized cash register receipt showing the purchase price of the item
    • Itemized repair order showing the purchase price of the item
    • Itemized hotel receipt showing all charges associated with the stay
  • If documentation is missing, reasonable attempts should be made to obtain a copy of the appropriate documentation from the vendor. Document attempts made to acquire the documentation.
  • A pattern of missing documentation will result in the loss of card privileges.

Authorized Reviewers

Monthly review and approval of the PCard transactions are required at the department level. The authorized reviewer performs this review. The authorized reviewer shall be either the cardholder’s immediate supervisor or Business Manager (or staff member with equivalent responsibilities). In no instance shall the authorized reviewer be subordinate to the cardholder. Authorized reviewers are responsible for reviewing all transactions to ensure appropriateness of purchases, completeness of documentation (reconciled statement and detailed receipts) and signing and dating the transaction log and Visa statement.

It is the responsibility of the cardholder and authorized reviewer to immediately submit an Account Maintenance Form and Authorized Reviewer Form when the cardholder’s authorized reviewer changes for any reason.

Disputed Transactions

Disputed transactions fall into two broad categories: those resulting from a supplier’s refusal to take back a defective or mis-shipped item and those related to discrepancies between the cardholder’s records and the monthly Visa statement. Every effort should be made to resolve the problem directly with the vendor. If no resolution can be reached with the vendor, contact US Bank at (800) 344-5696 to dispute the transaction. Disputes must be initiated no later than sixty (60) days after the appearance of the item on the cardholder bank statement.


During US Bank’s investigation the PCard account in question will not be required to pay the disputed amount. When the investigation is complete you will be notified of the resolution and the account will be credited, if appropriate. If you are not satisfied with this resolution, please contact the Assistant Director, Business Development Programs immediately.

Use of the UMB Financial System

Quantum, the UMB Financial System, is a web-based software application that allows online access to your Visa transactions as they are received daily from US Bank. The transaction data will not fully post to the general ledger until each transaction is reallocated and approved in Quantum. Specifically:

  1. The cardholder (or delegate) must log into Quantum and reallocate transactions from the default account combo (assigned to each PCard during the application process) to the appropriate accounts for each transaction. In order to accomplish this, transactions must be added to an “Expense Report”. Expense Reports must be submitted at least monthly (to correspond with each billing cycle), but may be completed more often.
  2. Itemized receipts must be attached and the business purpose/description must be clear for each purchase. A copy of the transaction log and bank statement should be included with the attachments for at least one Expense Report each billing cycle.
  3. The process is complete when the Expense Report is approved in Quantum by the cardholder’s authorized reviewer. If missing documents or other concerns are noted during the review process, the reviewer may reject the Expense Report, recycling it back to the cardholder for correction. The transactions from each billing cycle should be approved by the 25th of the following month.

Reallocation access must be requested via the online Quantum Financials User Authorization Form. Departments may choose to designate additional “delegates” with reallocation access by submitting the Delegate Access Form in conjunction with the Account Maintenance Form. These forms should be forwarded to the Assistant Director, Business Development Programs. Assistance with Quantum may be obtained through help@umaryland.edu.

Record Retentions

Transaction logs, receipts and statements are to be retained for three (3) years after fiscal year end or until audited, whichever comes later. Refer to the Management Advisory Services (MAS) website for audit dates. Associated grants or contracts may require a longer retention period. Records should be kept secure in the cardholder’s department or departmental archives.

Reviews/ Audits

In addition to the monthly reviews by the authorized reviewers, reviews of each cardholder’s records (i.e. transaction log, receipts, and reconciled statements) may be performed by personnel from MAS, Financial Services and SSAS. Audits may be conducted by any or all of the entities currently performing such functions on behalf of UMB, the University System of Maryland, State of Maryland and the Federal Government. 

The purpose of these reviews is to ensure compliance with all of the guidelines, policies, and procedures governing this program. These guidelines are derived from the State of Maryland, UMB, and US Bank.

Credit card accounts will be reviewed every 6 months for activity. Cardholders whose accounts have not been used during the 6-month period must justify to the PCPA why the card is needed. If the cardholder cannot justify an ongoing need for the card, the account will be closed and the card must be turned in to SSAS.

For more guidelines, acceptable items to buy on the P-Card please see Guidelines or refer to the User's Guide or Quick Tips.