Purchasing Card Questions and Answers

Why was the purchasing card program implemented?
To provide departments with a widely accepted method of ordering small dollar and petty cash type items. Departments will now have another choice beyond the purchase order and petty cash options.

Are departments required to use the purchasing card for their purchases under $2,500?
Yes. The card can be a more convenient and efficient way of ordering items under $2,500. Departments are required to use the purchasing card if the vendor will accept it as a means of payment. If the vendor does not accept credit cards, a check request should be issued. Purchase orders will only be issued for purchases over $2,500.

How are additional cards obtained?
Card applications must be obtained from the Purchasing Department. The individual completes the application form, obtains the appropriate signatures and returns the application to the Controller's Office.

How long will it take to receive the card?
The Card will be delivered to NMU Purchasing in approximately 7 to 10 business days.

Can the card be used for personal purchases if the department is reimbursed for the charges?
No, and as noted in the Card Agreement, non-adherence to this procedure may result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

What do I do if my card is lost or stolen?
Notify Bank of America at 888-449-2273, NMU Public Safety and Police Services (227-2152) and the NMU Purchasing Department (227-2360). The department is responsible for any and all unauthorized use.

What is NMU's federal I.D. number?
NMU's federal I.D. number is #38-6029206.

May a department use the card for reimbursable and personal expenses, to include travel, hotel accommodations, entertainment, cash and meals?
No. Contact the Controller's Office for appropriate travel procedures.

May I use the card for "cash" advances for travel?
No. This purchasing card was designed for specific commodity purchases only.

May a department use the card for printing/copying?
No. In order to ensure compliance with the university printing and publications guidelines, those types of purchases are to be processed on a purchase requisition.

May departments use the card for repairs?
Yes, if the total repair cost is under $2,500. For computer repairs you must first contact Micro Repair; if they are unable to repair, you can use the purchasing card according to procedures. All other repairs may be handled under the purchasing card system.

May departments use the cards for advertising purchases?
Yes. You can use credit cards for advertising as long as university policy is followed. All position ads must be approved by Human Resources prior to placement; Academic Affairs positions must also be approved by the provost and vice president prior to placement.

Can the card be used to purchase laboratory chemicals and cleaning supplies?
Yes, provided the Hazardous Material Management Policy is followed.

Can the card be used to pay for cell phone services?
Yes.

Can this card be used for phone orders?
Yes. However to avoid delivery delays, all shipping labels must be addressed as follows:

Northern Michigan University
Central Receiving
2073 Sugarloaf
Department/Individual Name
Marquette, Michigan 49855

How will payments be processed to the bank?
Upon receipt of a monthly billing statement from the bank to Accounts Payable, one monthly payment will be automatically processed for the University. The purchases made on each cardholders purchasing cards during that billing period will be able to be viewed in Concur. Cardholders should verify and reconcile all credit card charges through Concur.

How should the department handle charges it does not recognize?
The department has 30 days to contest any charges. If there is a problem with any charges, notify Bank of America Customer Service at 888-449-2273.

Should a department request a refund or credit from a vendor?
If you return something, you must request the credit be applied to your card.

How do I know if my card statement has been paid?
Verification payment information will appear on your accounting reports under account code 7136.

Can card charges be applied to account codes other than 7136?
Yes. Departments may request a different account code when applying for a purchasing card. This request needs to be approved by both the Purchasing Department and the Controller's Office.

What tax exempt information should I provide a vendor if they question NMU's tax exempt status?
In most cases, Northern Michigan University is exempt from sales tax. Provide the vendor with the following number: Michigan Sales Tax Number #69-035-001.

What is the last date of the monthly billing period?
The end of the billing period will be the last day of the month.

Will departmental purchases be subject to audit?
Yes. The Purchasing Department will review monthly itemized statements from the credit card company to ensure compliance with procedures. Unauthorized usage will be flagged and violation notices  sent to those cardholders that have used their cards. Repeated violations may result in the suspension or termination of the card.

Is it possible to obtain more than one card per account?
Yes, but each card must have a separate number.

Can the card be used to purchase, for example, file cabinets, office chairs or printers?
Yes, as long as the item is under $2,500. However, please contact the Purchasing Department as special contract pricing may be available.

What happens when our cards reach the expiration date?
New cards will be issued automatically through the  Purchasing Department.

Can departments request a credit card company other than Master Card?
No. At this time there is no other option.

What is the maximum liability to the card holder's department if the purchasing card is stolen?
Departments are liable for any charges made to the card up to the date and time the card is reported as lost and/or stolen.

May the card be used for business entertainment and meals?
Yes. Departments must follow guidelines indicated under item No. 6 of the Purchasing Card Procedures.