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last updated: 24th October 2011

The procurement card is designed for use with low value purchases and provides an efficient method of paying for the ordered goods or services. In general, there should be evidence supporting the use of the card such as a request by someone with the authority to commit funds from the cost centre or project that will, ultimately, pay for the goods/services.

The cards are frequently used to pay ‘on-line’ for goods that have been selected and placed in a ‘shopping basket’.  The web site will provide detailed costing for the goods orders and the subsequent order confirmation should be printed off as evidence of what was ordered. This will also act as a check list when the goods are received.

User actions
When placing an order the usual procedure is to tell the supplier the institution’s name; your (the cardholder’s) name; the 16 digit card number; the card expiry date and (depending on how your system is set up) the charge code ie the cost centre (or project) and detail code to which the purchase will be charged. In the case of the charge code (also 16 characters) if you are relying on the this code to enable automatic recharging to the appropriate cost centre, it is important that you ensure that the supplier has noted this down correctly otherwise you will have to identify the appropriate internal details when it is time to complete the monthly procurement card reconciliation. 

Some institutions have found it easier to record the internal recharging information for their procurement card log (often a spreadsheet) and asking the supplier to record a simpler reference number. In other cases the internal charging information (cost centre and detail code) is longer than 16 characters and an alternative way of handling the recharging had to be found.

Supplier actions
The supplier should be asked to provide a VAT invoice the procurement card (Visa, Barclaycard etc) voucher and delivery note directly to the cardholder.  There documents should be filed with the procurement log as evidence of the transaction. The invoice should be clearly marked paid using procurement card. Note: the documentation provided by the supplier should not quote the full purchase card number as this it a major risk as someone else could obtain the card number and use it inappropriately.

For further consideration of the VAT issues please click here

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