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Finance Procedure - Corporate Credit Cards

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Finance Management Policy and prescribes the use of the University’s corporate credit cards.

Scope

(2) This procedure applies to all cardholders, their supervisors and delegated approvers for travel and purchase credit cards as utilised by Charles Sturt University (the University).

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Section 2 - Glossary

(3) In this procedure:

  1. Cardholder - means the authorised holder of a University corporate card whose name appears on the credit card.
  2. Corporate credit card - means a University corporate card used for either purchasing or travel expenses.
  3. Delegated approver - means the employee responsible for monitoring and approving credit card activity against an approved University budget.
  4. Expense management system – means the University system which manages the reconciliation of corporate card transactions.
  5. Private transaction - means any transaction or part thereof that is not related to the University's business operations.
  6. Purchase card - refers to the card to be used for purchasing and payment of transactions that are generally low value (< $3,000). 
  7. Travel Card - refers to the card issued to eligible staff members who require a card to facilitate travel and associated costs while undertaking University business.
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Section 3 - Policy

(4) See the Finance Management Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Corporate credit card programs

(5) The University operates two types of corporate credit cards, managed through the expense management system to monitor, approve and reconcile all credit card transactions:

  1. Travel cards - for the payment of travel and entertainment expenses.
  2. Purchase cards - for the payment of general purchases of small value goods and services.

Application and eligibility

(6) Eligibility for a corporate credit card is:

  1. for a travel card, normally individuals who travel for University business at least once per quarter or as otherwise approved by the Chief Financial Officer or their delegate, or
  2. for a purchase card, employees who have a purchasing role or, in exceptional circumstances, other individuals on a case by case basis following an assessment and approval by the Chief Financial Officer or their delegate.

(7) All applications for a corporate credit card must be:

  1. supported by the employee’s supervisor,
  2. authorised by the delegated approver for their budget centre,
  3. approved by the Chief Financial Officer (or their delegate), and
  4. approved for issue by the delegated authority stated in Delegation Schedule C - Finance.

(8) Application forms can be found on the Division of Finance Corporate credit cards website.

Training

(9) The Division of Finance will provide training for cardholders and delegated approvers.

(10) Cardholders must complete any training relevant to the type of corporate credit card:

  1. before the card is issued or, where a card has been restricted or cancelled for misuse, re-issued, and
  2. as otherwise determined by the Chief Financial Officer.

Responsibilities

(11) Cardholders are responsible for:

  1. acknowledging and complying with the conditions, guidelines or agreements for corporate credit card use agreed to when completing the application form, or when notified of amendments to these by the Division of Finance,
  2. the safe custody of their card to prevent loss, theft or misuse (e.g. cards must not be left on desks, in unlocked drawers/cabinets or otherwise accessible to any unauthorised persons),
  3. the security of their card information,
  4. spending University funds prudently in accordance with budgets available and the rules set out in the Finance Management Policy, Travel Policy and supporting procedures,
  5. reconciling their purchase card expenses within the prescribed timeframes and providing appropriate tax invoices and receipts, providing all relevant travel card receipts to Charles Sturt Travel and Expense Management on completion of travel,
  6. returning their University corporate credit card(s) when they:
    1. leave their employment or engagement with the University, or
    2. no longer require the use of the corporate credit card as part of their University duties, and
  7. reporting the loss or theft of a corporate credit card immediately to the Division of Finance and/or to the relevant bank as directed on the Corporate Cards website.

(12) Delegated approvers are responsible for:

  1.  monitoring the use of credit cards within their budget centre/organisational unit and ensuring that only allowable and appropriate transactions are approved,
  2. ensuring compliance with delegations, the Finance Management Policy, Travel Policy and associated procedures,
  3. approving transactions within the prescribed timeframes, and
  4. reporting details of suspected misuse of corporate credit cards to the Division of Finance.

(13) Staff within the Division of Finance will:

  1. review card transactions and approvals and report on unreconciled transactions or potential misuse of corporate credit cards,
  2. make determinations to suspend or cancel corporate credit cards for misuse (the Chief Financial Officer or delegate), and
  3. recommend or commence, as relevant, disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct and/or criminal or legal proceedings (the Chief Financial Officer).

Liability

(14) Liability for charges incurred with the card rests with the University and not the individual cardholder, provided the requirements of the Finance Management Policy and supporting procedures are followed.

(15) The use of the card by the cardholder will not affect an individual's personal credit rating, provided the requirements of this procedure are followed.

(16) The cardholder will be liable to repay to the University all costs for transactions that are of a private nature or are not otherwise authorised or permitted under this procedure.

Card usage

(17) For all corporate credit cards, the following conditions apply:

  1. The card must only be used for transactions for University business and purposes in accordance with the Finance Management Policy, the Travel Policy and other relevant University policies and procedures.
  2. The card must only be used by the employee whose name appears on the card. The cardholder must not allow any other person to use their card for any purpose (including their assistant or other support staff).
  3. All purchases made using the card are to be substantiated with appropriate receipts and/or tax invoices.
  4. Authority to use a corporate credit card does not on its own confer the cardholder with authority to commit or expend University funds. All purchases and expenditures on a corporate credit card must be approved by a delegated approver.
  5. No person may approve the issue or an increase to the limit of their own card or authorise the acquittal of their own expenses.

(18) For purchase cards, the following conditions apply:

  1. Purchase cards are intended to complement the procurement processes for minor purchases and should only be used where the supplier will not accept a purchase order, payment is required prior to delivery of the goods or service, or otherwise where the use of a purchase order is not practicable.
  2. The purchase card is generally limited to $3,000 per transaction and this amount must include the purchase price, delivery fees, visa transaction fees, GST (if applicable), and any other charges.
  3. Individual monthly credit limits are established for each cardholder by the delegated approver within the Division of Finance, having regard to the anticipated usage of the card and the likely expenditure to be incurred.
  4. Cardholders may apply to have a credit limit or transaction limit increased, as set out on the Corporate Cards website.

Card reconciliation

(19) Corporate credit cards must be reconciled as set out:

  1. for travel cards, in the Travel Card Agreement and on the Charles Sturt Travel and Expense Management website, or
  2. for purchase cards, in the Purchase Card Guidelines on the purchase cards website as approved by the Chief Financial Officer from time to time.

Expenditure approval

(20) Delegated approvers must approve transactions (or escalate if clause 21 applies) as set out:

  1. for travel cards, in the Travel Policy and on the Charles Sturt Travel and Expense Management website, or
  2. for purchase cards, in the Purchase Card Guidelines on the purchase cards website as approved by the Chief Financial Officer from time to time.

(21) Approvals must be consistent with the expenditure rules stated in the Finance Management Policy. Notwithstanding their expenditure delegations or budget centre authority, a delegated approver must not approve:

  1. transactions made using their own corporate credit card, or
  2. transactions made by a cardholder in a position senior to the delegated approver.

Misuse of cards

(22) Cardholders who inadvertently use their corporate credit card for a private transaction must reconcile the transaction as ‘private’ within the expense management system and notify the Division of Finance as soon as possible. An invoice will be issued to the cardholder for the charge.

(23) Cardholders who deliberately misuse their corporate credit card will be required to repay costs incurred and may have the card suspended or cancelled, face disciplinary action and/or legal (including potentially criminal) proceedings, as set out in the Finance Management Policy.

(24) Misuse includes the following:

  1. A private transaction such as personal purchases or purchases for the sole benefit of the cardholder (see the Finance Guidelines - Expenditures for more examples of personal expenditure).
  2. University business expenditure for:
    1. purchase of fixed assets (> $10,000),
    2. contractor payments,
    3. establishment of recurring direct debits,
    4. payment of fines,
    5. loyalty memberships including airline frequent flyer memberships,
    6. cash advances, automated teller machine (ATM) withdrawals or purchasing bank cheques, foreign exchange (cash or traveller cheques), or
    7. cash-like transactions, such as gift cards or vouchers, unless pre-approved by the delegated approver.
  3. Assigning the University credit card to another person or permitting its use by another person.
  4. Using a University credit card after the cardholder's employment or engagement with the University has been suspended or terminated.
  5. Using a University credit card, without authorisation, when the user of the card is not the cardholder named on the card.
  6. Not complying with the processes specified for the expense management system, for example, not reconciling the card transactions within the required timeframe or producing receipts when required or requested to do so.
  7. Use of a purchase card where a purchase order should have been issued.
  8. Splitting transactions to circumvent expenditure delegations. 
  9. Other noncompliance with the Travel Policy, Finance Management Policy and supporting procedures.

(25) See the Division of Finance Corporate credit card website for more information about corporate credit cards.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(26) The Finance Guidelines - Expenditures support this procedure.