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Procurement Cards

If you receive a request from the Office of Audit and Compliance for information regarding a charge to your procurement card, please contact Ashley Howdeshell at

We will be glad to pull invoices or receipts and work with you to provide other requested information. We will also file a copy of the response with your card file for an audit trail.

Dates to Remember

  • 1st of 2nd day of each month: Statements printed
  • 10th of every month: DUE in CSW Business Office
  • 25th of every month: Charges distributed and approved

Procurement Cards are used to provide a more efficient, cost-effective alternative for departments to make purchases costing less than $10,000. The use of the procurement card will help the university, vendors, and departments by saving time and money with the consolidation of paperwork, quick payment to vendors and departments will receive goods and services without delays. The use of the procurement card should be used in a business-like manner and purchases made within card spending limits and comply with policy and procedures.

All purchases made with the procurement card are tax exempt unless out-of-state, i.e. expo’s, and cannot be used for personal use. Cardholder(s) will be held responsible for any purchases made outside the normal university policies.

  1. Unauthorized Purchases. Procurement cards are for business use only. The following purchases are prohibited:
    • Personal use · Transactions that violate the university’s bid limit. Consult Fiscal Policy FI0405 (PDF) – Procurement for more information regarding the bid limits and the prohibition of split transactions and purchases of $10,000 or more from the same vendor in one calendar year, unless the items being purchased are from an existing framework order or term contract
    • Assets totaling $5,000 or more. Equipment costing between $1,500 and $4,999 is permissible provided that an asset record is created and linked to the transaction during the procurement card reconciliation process.
    • Cash advances
    • Cash refunds from returned card purchase
    • Gift cards
    • Motor Vehicles
    • Personal service contracts or those contracts that are processed through the Contract system
    • Credit card convenience fees in excess of $100 that are added to the invoice solely because a credit card is being used
    • Entertainment purchases costing more than $1,000 per function unless pre-approval from the chief business officer has been received. Entertainment purchases are subject to the approval and documentation requirements of FI0715 – Entertainment, Group Arranged Events, Food and Housing Purchases for UT Sponsored Conferences and Seminars and Arranged Events, Food and Housing Purchases for UT Sponsored Conferences and Seminars and Arranged Events, Food and Housing Purchases for UT Sponsored Conferences and Seminars. Note: The card is blocked for restaurants, hotels and other travel vendors.
    • Travel, including airlines, hotels, automobile expenses, and meals (see FI0705 (PDF) – Travel for details)
      Note: Registration fees are acceptable. Receipts along with the conference agenda must be submitted with the employee(s) travel reimbursement request and marked as company paid in IRIS. Fees for events held at the university should be paid via transfer voucher and not through a procurement card. Also, meal per diems for team travel may be paid through the University’s pre-paid card solution. Travel for groups can also be paid for cards issued for this sole purpose (See the Group Travel Card section below for additional information.),
    • Cellular telephone equipment and service
    • Purchasing club membership such as Sam’s Club, Costco, and Barnes and Noble where the membership is in the name of the employee unless approved in writing by the chief business officer or designee. The savings to the university for such a membership should be documented in the request.
    • Amazon Prime memberships are not permissible. The University pays for a System-wide membership and employees receive the free shipping on University purchases through the UT Market Place.
    • Purchases from other university departments, including university-owned bookstores.
    • Purchases prohibited by university fiscal policy on purchasing (see FI0405 (PDF) – Procurement for details)
  2. Spending Limits. Purchases are charged to the cardholder’s department. Each card has specific spending limits: $9,999.99 per transaction and a preset maximum for each 30-day billing cycle, typically $20,000. Each time the card is used, an electronic process verifies that the purchase is within these predetermined limits. If a purchase violates these limits, the vendor will not accept the order.
  3. Departments may not split single transactions in excess of $9,999.99 into smaller transactions. (See University of Tennessee FI0410, 1.) To stay within the spending limit, departments may not make multiple purchases of or request multiple invoices for single purchases of identical goods or modular components from the same vendor, unless these items are under an existing framework order or term contract. Although not an all-inclusive list, the following situations represent split transactions and are prohibited by this policy.
    • Requesting a vendor to invoice items separately to avoid the spending limit.
    • Making partial payments against a single invoice to avoid the spending limit.
    • Purchasing items in groups and making multiple purchases for a single purpose to avoid the spending limit.
    • Purchasing like items on a regular basis which would exceed the spending limit if purchased together, unless purchased on a current contract.
    • Procurement cardholders in the same department should attempt to communicate purchases of items that will be procured on a regular basis to their department heads and departments should attempt to monitor orders placed to the same vendor on different cards to determine if these purchases should be bid.

  1. Complete the Procurement Card Application.
  2. Read and abide by these policies and procedures and complete the Cardholder Agreement. (Refer to K@TE)
  3. Obtain best possible value for the university.
  4. Secure card and keep card number confidential.
  5. If at all possible, don’t share account information.
  6. Ensure that state sales tax is not charged when making a purchase. The university’s tax-exempt number is printed on the face of the card.
  7. Ensure that an asset record is created for any sensitive minor equipment that is purchased with the card.
  8. Must maintain and keep a valid receipt for each purchase with as much detailed information about the purchase.
  9. Upon receipt of the monthly statement, review the statement for accuracy, attach valid receipts, distribute charges to appropriate cost center/WBS elements with correct G/L accounts, sign the statement, and forward to FIO for processing by the 10th of every month.
  10. Resolve all incorrect charges and product returns with the merchant/vendor in a timely manner.
  11. If the card is lost or stolen, please notify the FIO office immediately.

Amount of Purchases

Please contact the CSW Business Office regarding expense limits.

Prior to Purchase

  • Complete and submit an Order Request Form (ORF) (PDF)
    IMPORTANT: Download the ORF and open in Adobe DC or Adobe Reader DC (do not open in your browser) so that you may use the signature boxes. When opening in a browser, the signature boxes do not appear.

Reimbursement Procedures and Required Receipts

The Petty Cash Reimbursement Request Form (T-44) (PDF) must be used to request reimbursement for petty cash expenditures. (IMPORTANT: Download the PDF and open in Adobe DC or Adobe Reader DC (do not open in your browser) so that you may use the signature boxes. When opening in a browser, the signature boxes do not appear.) When completing this form, please include proper justification of purchase. No items considered personal will be reimbursed. Each request should be accompanied by itemized receipts. Please note sales tax can be added to the receipt by the vendors. This tax can be included when requesting reimbursement for expenditures.

One of the following types of receipts is required to support petty cash purchases. In order of preference, these receipts are (1) vendor’s invoice, (2) detailed cash register or other vendor receipt.

Other Important Information

All goods/items purchased must be shipped to a University address. All receipts must have proof of payment reference somewhere on the receipt(s). Funds cannot not be used to purchase items from a vendor that UT currently has a contract through UT Marketplace (ex. Staples, Amazon, etc.). If you have any questions, please contact the CSW Business Office.

  1. Complete and submit the CSW Order Request Form (ORF) (PDF)
    IMPORTANT: Download the ORF and open in Adobe DC or Adobe Reader DC (do not open in your browser) so that you may use the signature boxes. When opening in a browser, the signature boxes do not appear.
  2. If the intended purchase is less than $10,000, find a vendor who accepts VISA and provides the best value to the university.
  3. Ensure vendor can provide a proper receipt.
  4. Obtain a receipt for each purchase.
  5. Make sure the receipt doesn’t contain sales tax.
  6. When ordering over the telephone or internet, vendor should be told the purchase is for the University of Tennessee and you will be using a VISA Procurement card. The vendor should be given the card name, number, expiration date, and delivery address. A receipt and confirmation number should be obtained at this time. Emphasize with the vendor the purchase is exempt from state sales tax.
  7. Verify order to ensure accuracy, quality, and price.

  1. Cash refunds are prohibited. For a purchase made in person, return item to vendor and obtain a credit receipt.
  2. For returns by phone, mail or fax, the vendor should be contacted for return instructions, obtain a return authorization number or credit number and then return the item.
  3. On the original receipt, note the date of the return and check future statements to ensure credit was applied.
  4. If an item on the monthly statement is incorrect, contact the vendor immediately and resolve the disputed charge. If not resolved within 30 days, complete the Disputed Transaction Form (PDF) and call the provider at (800)-344-5696. The card provider will issue a temporary credit until the dispute is resolved, usually within 60-90 days. Vendors have a right to solve a problem with a purchase within a reasonable period of time. Thus, when either an incorrect or defective item is received, the cardholder must allow the vendor a reasonable amount of time to either replace the product, resolve the service issue, or issue a credit before turning the matter over to the card provider.
  5. If a purchase is not approved by MasterCard, the vendor can call the card provider directly to determine the reason, or the cardholder may call the card provider at (800)-344-5696.

Acceptable receipts include the following:

  • Vendor invoices
  • Charge slips
  • Cash register receipts
  • Packing slips
  • Printout of E-mail or web page transaction confirmation

They must all include the following information:

  • Itemized description of goods or services purchased; including unit price
  • Vendor name
  • Transaction date
  • Transaction total


  • Order forms are usually not an acceptable receipt.
  • Subscription renewal forms or initial request is considered a receipt. The receipts should include the inclusive dates of the subscription.
  • Transaction detail from the UT Market Place is an acceptable receipt, since this is a University system and all relevant information is retained and available through this system.

  1. In the event it is necessary to cancel a procurement card, the cardholder must return the card to the department head. The department head will forward the card to the campus or unit coordinator with an explanation of why it is to be canceled. The campus or unit coordinator will cut the card in half and notify the program administrator that it should be canceled. The program administrator will notify the card provider of the cancellation.
  2. A procurement card should be canceled if any of the following conditions arise.
    • Cardholder suspects the card number has been or may be used without authorization (i.e., stolen).
    • Cardholder has transferred to another university department.
    • Cardholder seldom or never uses the card.
    • Cardholder is no longer employed by the university.
    • Cardholder goes on leave without pay.
    • Cardholder is requested to surrender card due to violation of policies.
    • Cardholder/department decides to no longer participate in the program.
    • In addition, the university has the right to cancel the card of any employee at its discretion.

The cardholder should immediately call the issuing bank as soon as he or she realizes the procurement card has been lost or stolen. Representatives are available 24 hours a day. Note the name of the bank employee who takes the call and the exact time called. Record this information on the LOST/STOLEN/COMPROMISED CARD NOTIFICATION FORM. Then notify the campus or unit coordinator and the program administrator. Within two days of calling the bank, fax a completed LOST/STOLEN CARD NOTIFICATION FORM to the program administrator at (865) 974-2701. The bank will block further use of the existing card and issue a new card and account number.

Monthly statements are available in IRIS on the first or second business day of the month. Departments responsible for distributing charges in IRIS should print the statement and verify accurate charges. Valid receipts should be attached, statement signed, and charges distributed to appropriate cost center/WBS Element and G/L accounts in IRIS. Upon completion, statements should be forwarded to CSW Business Office by the 10th of every month for verification and filing.


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