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Purchasing Card Manual


Key Contacts
Benefits to the Cardholder
Benefits to the University
How It Works
Purpose and Restrictions
Master Contract Compliance
How to Place an Order
Proof of Purchase Documentation
Purchasing Card Administration
Cardholder Training
Misuse of the Purchasing Card
Purchasing Card Audits
Tax Exemption
Suppliers That Do Not Accept MasterCard
Policy Summary


Related Forms

Purchasing Card Application


Key Contacts

Cardholder Customer Service

Barbara MacLean
Associate Director
Extension 3456

JPMorgan Chase
24 HOUR Customer Service Line


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Welcome to the Bentley University Purchasing Card Program.  

The Purchasing Card provides an efficient means of purchasing and paying for goods and services that cost less than $5,000.

This policy outlines the benefits of the Purchasing Card Program and provides information needed to use the card.  The Purchasing Card offers an efficient means of making low dollar purchases. 

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Benefits to the Cardholder

*Goods and services can be more easily obtained

*Purchase and payment of goods and services is significantly reduced

*More efficient use of time

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Benefits to the University

*Payment processes are significantly reduced.

*Allows Purchasing, Administrative and Services and Accounts Payable to focus on higher yield value-added activities

The Purchasing Card is designed for purchases relating only to Bentley business.  Use of the card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited.  Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services is responsible for monitoring the Corporate Card Program.  

If you have questions regarding the program, or the appropriate use of the card, contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services. 

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How It Works

The Purchasing Card simplifies the procurement process by facilitating point-of-demand purchases.  Procurement authority is delegated to the authorized cardholder to place orders directly with suppliers.

When making a purchase, the MasterCard system validates the transaction against pre-set limits established by Bentley.  All transactions are approved or declined based on preset spending limits per single purchase and cycle.

Similar to other credit cards, the authorization process occurs through an electronic system that supports the Purchasing Card processing services under Bentley's agreement with JPMorgan Chase.

In addition, Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services receives daily reports to monitor the use of Purchasing Cards.  Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services identifies opportunities to maximize Bentley’s buying power through Master Contract negotiations.

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There are no manual accounting procedures to support Purchasing Card transactions.  The specific fund, cost center, and default account number for Purchasing Card purchases will be automatically charged for each individual’s card.

Therefore, all Purchasing Card transactions are applied to a single account number. The charges will appear on your monthly Purchasing Card Statement.

If you make a purchase that will be paid for in part or whole by another cost center, please contact the Program Administrator at extension 3456 for further instructions.

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Purpose and Restrictions

Purchases of restricted commodities and purchases of $5,000 or more must continue to be processed in accordance with established purchasing policy and procedure.  

The Purchasing Card is to be used for supply purchases not exceeding $5,000, including:

*Office Furniture (purchased through Bentley’s preferred vendor)

*Office Supplies (purchased through Bentley's preferred vendor)

If you have any questions regarding a restricted commodity contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

The Purchasing Card is not to be used for the following:

*Business travel purchases; use a Travel Card

*Annual maintenance agreements

*Automotive gasoline for non-Bentley owned or leased vehicles

*Cash advances/ Travelers Checks

*Internal Catering services

*Construction and renovations

*Consulting services

*Prescription drugs and controlled substances

*Radioactive and hazardous materials

*Temporary Help; contact Human Resources

*Flowers and gifts to employees

*Individual club membership dues

See Bentley University Business Expense Policy for further clarification on restricted purchases.


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Master Contracts

Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services negotiates contracts that provide Bentley with “least total cost” arrangements for goods and services from outside vendors.

In negotiating these Master Contracts, Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services considers the vendor’s line item pricing as well as:

*Ability to provide the necessary quality, delivery, and service

*Overall pricing structure

*Compatibility with Bentley automated systems

*Financial stability

Master Contract pricing and performance are based on Bentley's overall anticipated volume of purchases during the contract period.  

In order to assure the Bentley community the “least total cost” of goods and services and to fulfill Bentley's obligation to consolidate all of its requirements with the designated supplier(s): university departments must order required goods or services when available from Bentley’s authorized Master Contract suppliers.

Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services publishes a directory of all university-wide Master Contract vendors including product, service and contact information on our departmental web site.

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How to Place an Order

The Purchasing Card may be used to purchase goods or services in person, by phone, mail, or via the Internet.  Cardholders must order required goods or services from Master Contract suppliers when available.

When placing your order, be sure to provide the following information:

*Indicate that it is a “corporate” purchasing credit card purchase

*Indicate Bentley's tax-exempt status and Tax I.D. number listed on your card

*Individual card number

*Expiration date of card

*Complete delivery address including building and room number

*Request a receipt of purchase 

Upon receipt of your order, keep the documentation received from the vendor, sales receipt or packing slip, for later reconciliation. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to collect and maintain receipts for all purchases of $40 or greater. 

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Proof of Purchase Documentation

Each month in which you use your card, you will receive a Purchasing Card Statement that will identify your Purchasing Card transactions for that month.  Upon receipt of the monthly Purchasing Card Statement, match the receipts to the charges that appear on the statement, identifying on the receipts the purpose of the purchases. In the event of a business meal, the names of the attendees and purpose of the meeting must also be included on or with the receipt.

Statements and corresponding receipts must be submitted to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services by the first business day of the month following their receipt. Failure to do this will result in card deactivation.

The Cardholder must sign the statement to verify that he/she made the purchases that appear on the statement. The statement and receipts are then given to the cardholder's Cost Center Approver for review and signing prior to forwarding to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

Upon receipt of a cardholder's monthly statement and receipts, the Cost Center Approver must review the statement and receipts to verify that all necessary receipts (for any purchase exceeding $25) are present, expenses are properly identified and documented, and the cardholder has signed the statement.

The Cost Center Approver must also sign the statement to verify that they have reviewed and approved all charges to be applied to their budget. Once reviewed and signed, the statement and receipts must be forwarded to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

Bentley pays JPMorgan Chase directly.  Use of the Purchasing Card will in no way affect, change or reference your personal credit history.

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Receiving, Returning, or Disputing an Order

Receipt of Goods and Services:

The cardholder must ensure the receipt of goods and services and follow-up with the vendor to resolve any delivery problems, discrepancies, or damaged goods. Any communications with a vendor regarding an errant charge or shipment must be documented. 

Returning Item(s):

Item(s) should be returned promptly to the vendor by whichever means the vendor requires.  The cardholder is responsible to see that proper credit is posted for any returned item(s).

Questioned Transactions:

If the cardholder is unable to reach an agreement with the vendor, the cardholder should contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services to resolve issues including: erroneous charges, failure to receive goods or services, fraud or misuse, altered charges, defective merchandise, incorrect amounts, duplicate charges, credits not processed, etc.

The cardholder will be informed of the resolution and any corrections that were made. By law, vendors are not permitted to bill your credit card for purchases until the items have been shipped.

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Purchasing Card Administration

Acquiring a Purchasing Card:

Cost Center Approvers and Bentley employees designated by Cost Center Approvers may receive a Purchasing Card after completing a Purchasing Card Application, attending a Purchasing Card Training Seminar and signing a Cardholder Agreement.  

The cardholder is required to read the Purchasing Card User’s Guide and adhere to all Purchasing Card policies and procedures. Adhering to bank policy, prospective cardholders must be present at cardholder training and may not send a proxy.

Canceling Purchasing Cards:

To cancel a Purchasing Card, the cardholder must provide written notice to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services, and destroy their card. 

Renewal of Existing Purchasing Cards:

A renewal Purchasing Card will be sent to the cardholder approximately 30 days prior to the expiration date of the card.  

Lost or Stolen Purchasing Cards:

Cardholders must immediately report a lost or stolen Purchasing Card.  Bentley is liable for all transactions until the card is reported lost or stolen.  

A cardholder must report a lost or stolen Purchasing Card by calling JPMorgan Chase at 800.316.6056. Campus Police maintains the JPMorgan Chase hotline number. A replacement card will be sent to the cardholder within 10 business days, unless other arrangements are made when reporting the missing card. 

Please call or leave a voice message for Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services at extension 3456 after you’ve reported a card lost or stolen to JPMorgan Chase.

Purchasing Card Security:

Only the individual whose name appears on the card may use the Purchasing Card.  Cards and card numbers must be safeguarded against use by unauthorized individuals within or outside Bentley.

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Cardholder Training

Prior to being issued a card, the cardholder must attend a training seminar.  The seminar instructs the cardholder in the uses and restrictions of the program.  Each cardholder will be given a copy of the manual and will be provided the opportunity to ask questions about the program.

Training seminars are regularly scheduled by Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

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Misuse of the Purchasing Card

The Purchasing Card represents Bentley's trust and empowerment of responsible employees of the university. As a cardholder, you assume the responsibility for the protection and proper use of the Purchasing Card.

The following situations are a few examples of “misuse” of the Purchasing Card:

Personal misuse:

*Purchases using the card for the sole benefit of the employee

*Assignment or transfer of an individual card to an unauthorized person

*Use of a Purchasing Card by a suspended or terminated employee

Administrative misuse:

*Lack of timely reconciliation of individual cardholder account

*Card use in direct violation of acquisition goals (e.g.: failure to use the Purchasing Card for commodities available through Master Contracts)

Misuse of the Purchasing Card will be handled promptly and uniformly for all cardholders.  The following actions will be taken:

*A written warning will be sent to the cardholder, copying the cardholder’s immediate supervisor, the Director of Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services and the Controller. The letter will include a warning for Purchasing Card revocation pending further investigation.

*Disciplinary measures including termination and legal action in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Cardholder Agreement Form as deemed necessary by the Vice President for Business and Finance. 

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Purchasing Card Audits

To ensure the continued success of the Purchasing Card Program, Bentley’s auditors will perform periodic audits.  The purpose of the audits is to ensure adherence to policy and procedure.

Audit reviews ascertain that: 

*Purchasing Cards are used for authorized purchases related to Bentley business

*Where university-wide Master Contracts exist, purchases of related goods and services are procured through the designated supplier(s)

*Bentley is not being charged sales tax for goods and services

*Documentation in the form of receipts, packing slips, etc., is maintained to support Purchasing Card transactions

*Timely reconciliation of the cardholder’s account is performed

*Supporting documentation and statements are signed by the cardholder and Cost Center Approver and forwarded to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services in accordance with Bentley policy

If you have questions regarding Purchasing Card audits, please contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

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Tax Exemption

Bentley is a tax-exempt organization.  The tax-exempt number appears on the Purchasing Card.  This number must be given to all vendors by the cardholder at the time of the purchase to exempt payment of state sales tax. 

When paying for a business meal, we acknowledge the value in not having to request tax exemption. Therefore, tax exemption is not expected or required for business meals.

If a vendor requires a Certificate of Tax Exemption, contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services and provide vendor’s mailing address, fax and phone numbers.

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Suppliers That Do Not Accept MasterCard

Occasionally, a cardholder may find a supplier that does not accept credit cards.  If this occurs you have the option of using another supplier who does accept MasterCard or completing a Check Request and forwarding it to Accounts Payable for processing.  If the supplier is interested in obtaining credit card charge accessibility, please refer them to Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services.

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Policy Summary

  1. All cardholders must sign and accept the terms and conditions of the Bentley Corporate Cardholder Agreement.
  2. All purchase transactions processed against a Purchasing Card must be made by the individual to whom the card is issued.
  3. When university-wide Master Contracts exist, cardholders must use those agreements to buy goods and services. 
  4. The Purchasing Card cannot be used for those restricted goods and services identified in this policy, nor can the card be used for purchases exceeding $5,000.
  5. Personal purchases are prohibited.
  6. Use of the Purchasing Card is governed by this policy and the Bentley Corporate Card Agreement with respect to:

    1. maintaining documentation
    2. reporting the loss or theft of a card
    3. reporting questioned transactions

  7. Violations of the Purchasing Card Policy will result in actions being taken in accordance with the procedures established in this policy and the Bentley Corporate Card Agreement.