A procurement, or purchasing, card is used like a credit card and is suited to low value transactions. It differs from your personal credit card in a number of ways:
- the card can be blocked so that it cannot be used for specific types of expenditure such as hospitality or fuel
- it will have an individual transaction limit, for example, £500 meaning that it may only be used for individual purchase transactions up to the stated level
- it will have a monthly transaction limit, for example, £5,000 meaning that it may only be used for transactions totalling that amount during the monthly period
- the monthly bill must be settled at the end of the accounting period ie there is no extended credit period as with a conventional credit card
- the monthly bill must be reconciled against the card’s transaction log to ensure that all charges are correct
The decision to introduce and use a procurement card will rest at institutional rather than departmental level, thus, if you are located in a department and do not have a procurement card you should contact your Head of Procurement, in the first instance.
When implementing, or indeed using, a procurement card the following issues should be considered:
- Who should have and use a procurement card?
- Financial limits (individual transaction and monthly)
- When to use them (contracted suppliers only or any supplier)
- What categories should be blocked
- Control issues
- Day-to-day Policies and Procedures
- Transaction log (to track the use of the card and provide an audit trail)
- Monthly reconciliation (also refer to the Free eSolutions software below)
- Recharging transactions
- Appoint a procurement card administrator
Details of the CCS's ePurchasing Card Solution framework agreement.
Several Case Studies based on actual college implementations of GPC have been developed as guidance and points of contact for other colleges, select below.
- Leicester College (East Midlands)
- South Nottingham College (East Midlands)
- Stafford College (West Midlands)
- Selby College (Yorkshire and Humberside)
- City of Sunderland College (North East)
- Derby College (East Midlands)
An important step for any college is to gain approval for the use of GPC by the Senior Management Team. To assist with this process here are some example business cases:
- SMT - GPC proposal Document (College)
- SMT - Increased usage justification (College)
- City University - Viability Study for P-Cards