Procurement Card Policy

Procurement Card Policy


Mission Statement

The goal of the Procurement Card (P-card) Program is to increase purchasing efficiency by enabling the direct purchase of low dollar, high volume commodities, as well as limited services and authorized travel expenses. The P-card shall only be used for official state business.


The CSU’s authority to procure goods and services is granted through the Board of Trustees. Procurement and Contracts administers the Procurement Card Program for the campus. The P-card Administrator within Procurement and Contracts processes applications, issues cards, conducts training, monitors policy compliance, and assists cardholders with any questions related to the program.

Conflict of Interest

All cardholders are required to complete and submit a Statement of Economic Interest (Conflict of Interest Form 700each year. Please contact Human Resources for more information at or 310-243-3771


The P-card program is available to CSU employees only (faculty, staff and annual renewable hires).  Temporary staff, whether from agencies or via emergency hire program, retired annuitants, volunteers, students and student assistants are NOT eligible for the P-card program.

Issuing a P-Card

Eligible employees requesting a P-card should follow the steps below:

  1. Submit a completed Procurement Card Application Form [PDF] signed by the card requester, approving official, and division head, to Submissions can be electronic or hard copy.
  2. Complete Conflict of Interest Training, which is available online via Skillport. Submit the Conflict of Interest Form 700 to Linda San at
  3. Complete and submit a Request Access to PeopleSoft Financial Application Form to Campus IT to gain access to CFS for monthly reconciliation. 
  4. Once the above steps are completed, please notify the P-card Administrator, so your mandatory training can be scheduled. Please note the requester and approver (if a new approver) must complete this training in order to receive the card.
Roles and Responsibilities

Cardholder Responsibilities


It is the cardholder's responsibility to ensure their P-card is used in accordance with the procurement card program policy.  Cardholder is reminded that revisions can be made throughout the year and shall periodically review the campus policy for full compliance. When placing orders for delivery to campus, cardholder shall provide vendor or supplier with complete address information including department delivery location and cardholder name.

Home deliveries are strictly prohibited.  


The cardholder is responsible for the proper security and usage of their P-card. The P-card may only be used by the cardholder and shall not be shared with or delegated to other individuals at any time. The cardholder is responsible for all transactions conducted using the card. The P-card Administrator must be notified immediately whenever a cardholder transfers to another department or separates from the University.


The cardholder is responsible for completing the monthly reconciliation of the P-card as detailed in the Procurement Card Reconciliation Handbook. The completed reconciliation packet must be submitted by the due date announced to all cardholders each month by Accounting Services. If the cardholder is absent or on vacation during the period in which monthly submittals are due, the approving official is responsible for ensuring timely submittal of the cardholder's packet. Please refer to the Handbook below for step-by-step instructions.


P-card training and acknowledgement of the Cardholder Agreement is mandatory for all cardholders and approvers, and must be completed before a P-card will be issued. Training includes online SkillPort Conflict of Interest training, and P-card training, which includes the monthly CFS Reconciliation process. 

Approving Official Responsibilities

The approving official is the administrator sponsoring the cardholder. Responsibilities of the approving official are:

  • Attend mandatory P-card training
  • Review and approve all charges made on the P-card
  • Ensure that no prohibited items are purchased
  • Ensure all charges are appropriate and pertain to official university business
  • Ensure that all monthly reconciliation packets are complete and submitted timely 
  • Retrieve P-cards from employees who change departments or separate from the university
  • Ensure lost P-cards are immediately reported to the P-card Administrator
  • Submit final reconciliation upon separation or transfer of the cardholder if cardholder is not available
Restricted and Prohibited Items

Authorized P-card Purchases

Authorized commodities and limited services up to the cardholder's single purchase limit may be purchased using the P-card. 

Prohibited Purchases

The P-card may not be used for the following:

  • Splitting purchases to circumvent cardholder's single purchase limit
  • Personal expenses
  • Equipment
  • Services (except upon prior written approval by Procurement and Contracts)
  • Cash advances
  • Firearms
  • Narcotics and controlled substances
  • Furniture (excluding individual chairs) 
  • Meal expenses while traveling on official university business

Restricted Purchases

The P-card may be used for restricted items upon written approval by the P-card Administrator or designee. Requests for restricted items shall be submitted in writing via email and include a justification for the purchase. If approved, the written approval shall be included in the monthly reconciliation packet when submitted. 

The following items are restricted:

  • Hazardous Materials (i.e. chemical, agents, gases). See Restricted Purchases - Hazardous Materials for more details. 
  • Hospitality: Approval must be obtained for any food, beverage, award or promotional item in accordance with the Hospitality Policy, dated March 25, 2019. Submit the completed Hospitality Authorization Form to your appropriate administrator. For more information refer to the Hospitality Policy Documents on the Accounting webpage.
  • Equipment valued at over $500 is highly restricted on P-card and should be purchased via purchase order. In special circumstances, consideration may be granted for a one-time purchase on P-card. Cardholders should submit a quote or pro-forma invoice to for review and approval.
  • Appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, coffeemakers, etc., require special justification and cannot be purchased using general funds. Cardholders should submit a quote or pro-forma invoice to for review and approval.
  • Services are highly restricted, however consideration may be granted for a one-time purchase on P-card. Cardholders should submit a quote or pro-forma invoice to for review and approval.
  • Furniture purchases must meet established ergonomic guidelines, ADA compliance requirements, and commercial grade standards with typical 5-10 year warranties for a higher education environment (it is important to note that most home and office retailers do not sell commercial grade furniture or fabrics with the smoke/flame spread ratings required for institutional use). For modular furniture orders, Procurement and Contracts ensures proper departmental coordination with Facilities Services for space planning, removal of existing furniture, and scheduling of new installations.  For these reasons, furniture is highly restricted on P-card and should be purchased via a purchase order.  In special circumstances, consideration may be granted for a one time purchases on P-card for single or a small number of items such as chairs, tables, desks, etc. which do not require installation or setup of any kind. Cardholders can submit a quote or pro-forma invoice to for review and limited approval. For more details review the Furniture Purchases process.
  • IT purchases (i.e. software, hardware & peripherals, and online services) and services require four layers of approval. Cardholders should begin by obtaining the first three approvals below by following the Accessible Information and Communication Technology Procurement Process. After receiving IT, ATI, and Security approvals, cardholders shall forward final approval request to the P-card Administrator requesting to use the p-card for that specific transaction.
    1. Information Technology (I.T.) – Required depending on the impact the purchase/contract or renewal may have on the Information Technology Division or the campus. The cardholder may need to answer additional questions throughout the approval process. The Information Security and Compliance team will connect the cardholder with the appropriate I.T. department to obtain additional information to facilitate this process. I.T. may also require direct communication with the vendor to verify their technical documents and specifications. 
    2. Compliance (ATI) – Section 508 requires that Information and Communication Technology developed, used, maintained, or procured be accessible to people with disabilities. The cardholder will be asked to answer questions such as the number of users accessing or using the software/hardware/system, what type of data will be stored/transmitted, and who is the functional owner of the system. Additional questions may be asked depending on the specific request.
    3. Security Review – The Security review and approval ensures requests are appropriately assessed for managing the risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive institutional information and the PII of constituents. Depending on the type of the data stored/transferred with your system, InfoSec office will require additional security reports.
    4. P-card Administrator – Cardholders shall submit a quote or pro-forma invoice to for review and approval. The P-card Administrator will conduct a risk assessment and may grant an exception for a one-time purchase on P-card. If exception is not granted the cardholder will be instructed to enter a requisition.

For further information on I.T., ATI, or Security approvals visit the Information & Communication Technology Procurement (ICT).

Authorized on P-card (No approvals required)

Examples of the most common products and services that do not require approvals are listed below.  When in doubt please send an email to to confirm if approval is required.  

      • Apple iCloud storage
      • Monitors (under $500)
      • Digital and Video Cameras
      • Fax Machines
      • Webcams
      • Keyboards
      • SD Memory Cards
      • Mouse
      • Listening devices: Headsets, earphones, ear buds, speakers
      • Microphones
      • Cables and Cords
      • USB portable storage/thumb drive/flash drive
      • Wi-Fi Adapters
      • Cases for laptops and phones
      • Docking stations
      • Mounting Equipment

NOT authorized on P-card

The following are not authorized on P-card. Cardholder must submit a requisition.

1. Software or Services

      • Operating Systems
      • Application Software
      • Installation Programs
      • Software Tools
      • Kiosk
      • Computer Based Training Programs
      • Web/Cloud Applications
      • Website Platforms/Web Subscriptions
      • Hosting a Virtual Conference or Performance
      • Purchasing Virtual Services (examples: Consulting, Training)
      • Free Software/Web Subscription/Applications
      • Web Hosting
    • 2. Hardware
      • Computer components interior to the machine
      • Desktop Computers
      • Laptop Computers
      • Notebooks, Tablets, and iPads
      • Monitors (over $500)
      • Printers
      • Copiers
      • Large Screen Displays 
      • Scanners
      • 3D Equipment of any kind
      • External Hard Drives
Monthly P-Card Reconciliation Process
  • After a purchase transaction is completed, cardholder shall retain the itemized receipt to submit with the reconciliation statement. The receipt should have a clear description of the item being purchased, cost of the item, merchant name, merchant address, merchant phone number, method of payment, and net zero amount owed. Packing slips, quotes, itineraries, and confirmation notices are not considered valid receipts.
  • The billing cycle ends every 25th day of the month. The charges should be uploaded and available to reconcile in CFS 3‐4 days after the billing cycle closes. Accounting Services will send an e‐mail to all cardholders providing the reconciliation packet due date.
  • The cardholder will review each transaction in CFS, change the default chartfield as appropriate, and enter the proper description for each transaction. The "disputed" box must be checked for disputed transactions. The "tax" box must be checked for purchases where the card holder was not charged tax.  
  • The reconciliation page must be printed and signed by both the cardholder and their approver. If the current approver is unavailable to sign, the department Dean, VP, or designated EIC may be an alternate signer. The EIC authorization must be included with the reconciliation statement submittal. the signed reconciliation must be submitted to

Cardholder Checklist

  • Login to CFS to verify charges
  • Enter detailed descriptions for each charge
  • Review and edit (if necessary) Account number, Fund, Department, and Program
  • Print report in landscape orientation
  • Attach original receipts in order of the charges on the report
  • Attach Hospitality Forms if applicable
  • Attach IT and Procurement approvals where applicable
  • Submit by due date

Approver Checklist

  • Verify original receipts are attached for each charge
  • Verify Account, Fund, Department, and Program
  • Verify Travel related charges adhere to CSU Travel Policy
  • Verify Hospitality charges adhere to CSU Hospitality Policy
  • Verify all charges adhere to the CSUDH P-card Policy

The P-Card reconciliation should be sent as one complete PDF file to Alternatively, P-Card reconciliation packet may be sent to Accounts Payable WH A-430:

Accounts Payable
Welch Hall A‐430
Attn: Procurement Card Reconciliation

Policy Violations

Unauthorized transactions may result in reimbursement to the university and a written warning to the cardholder. Unallowable state expenditures charged to the P-card may be reimbursed with personal funds, or by submitting a check request to the Foundation made payable to the individual to reimburse the University. The P-card holder shall then forward a copy of the deposit receipt to the Accounts Payable department for record keeping purposes confirming the reimbursement.

Three violations in a six month period will subject the cardholder to a thirty (30) day suspension. The cardholder will be required to attend a P-card Refresher Training to reinstate P-card privileges. Continual violation of any part of the policy may result in the revocation of P-card privileges and card cancellation. P-card violation notices will be issued at the conclusion of each cycle closing. The following will constitute issuance of a P-card violation:

  • Personal Purchases
  • Splitting Purchases
  • Missing Approvals
  • Cash Transaction
  • Restricted/Prohibited Purchases
  • Missing Documentation
  • Late Reconciliation
  • Missed Reconciliation

Timely reconciliation submittal by the cardholder to will not be subject to a violation, but cardholders must ensure that the below Monthly P-card Reconciliation Process is followed.

Using the P-card to commit or facilitate an act that is in violation of state or federal law will result in the immediate cancellation of the card.


All campus business travel MUST be pre‐approved. Before a travel expense can be incurred using P-card, a Travel Request Form must be completed and submitted to Accounting Services. A travel number shall be issued to the traveler, and this travel number must be indicated on any charge related to that travel instance in the description section of the reconciliation. All charges must be made in accordance with CSU and CSUDH travel policies. Reference the Travel page here for more information.

When travel expenses are charged to both the P-card, and a personal card, the Travel Expense Claim Form must list items charged to both cards, and identify items not being reimbursed. A duplicate copy of the P-card purchase receipts must be included in the Travel Expense Claim packet.

Any travel related purchase that is not allowed by CSU or CSUDH travel policy is considered an unauthorized purchase, will count as a violation, and is reimbursable to the University.

For travel related question please email


Approval must be obtained prior to purchase for any food or alcoholic beverage, gift, award or promotional item in accordance with the Hospitality Policy dated March 25, 2019, Hospitality Policy. Submit the completed Hospitality Authorization Form to your division fiscal officer or college academic resource manager. For more information refer to the Hospitality Policy Documents on the Accounting web page.

Campus Catering

Food & beverage from campus catering services may be procured using the P-card, in accordance with Hospitality Policy. For more information refer to the Hospitality Using Campus Catering page.

**Off-campus catering must be approved by Catering Services prior to purchase by submitting the Catering Exception Form.

Account Numbers

An account number is part of the chartfield assigned to each purchase, and should be selected from one of the categories below:

660003 – Supplies and Services
606001 – In‐State Travel
606002 – Out of State Travel
660009 – Training and Professional Development
660042 – Recruitment

General Information

Lost Receipt
If the cardholder loses a receipt, a duplicate copy should be obtained from the merchant. If the merchant cannot produce a duplicate copy, the cardholder shall complete a Certificate of Receipt of Goods, which shall be included with the monthly reconciliation packet.

Fraudulent Charges
If a fraudulent charge(s) is discovered, the cardholder must immediately contact U.S. Bank and report the charge by calling (800) 344-5696.  If U.S. Bank discovers fraudulent activity before the cardholder does, it will:

  1. Place the card under fraud referral status which suspends the card and makes it unusable.
  2. Attempt to contact the cardholder via phone. If the caller is unavailable, a message shall be left only if the cardholder's voicemail identifies them. If the voicemail does not identify the cardholder, no message shall be left and the bank may or may not attempt to reach the cardholder at a different time.

The P-card Administrator also runs a daily report of all cards placed on fraud referral status and will contact the cardholder to notify them of such status, at which time cardholder shall immediately contact the bank for further instructions. The bank will require the cardholder to sign an affidavit attesting to the fraudulent charge(s). It is important that this documentation be completed and returned to the bank as soon as possible as it is the basis upon which the university is reimbursed for fraudulent charges. A copy of the affidavit must also be submitted with the monthly statement. No merchant contact is required in fraud cases.

Disputed Charges

Disputed charge(s) are amounts the cardholder believes to be incorrect or where goods and/or services were not delivered. If a disputed charge appears on the monthly statement, it must be flagged as “Disputed” by checking that box. The cardholder is required to contact the merchant for a dispute resolution of the charge. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to monitor and continue the dispute resolution process through application of appropriate credit.  

In both dispute and fraud instances, the P-card Administrator must be notified as soon as the charges are discovered. Please contact the P-card Administrator with any questions. 

Returns and Exchanges

The cardholder shall make arrangements with the merchant before returning any items. If a replacement item is sent, the merchant will credit the returned item and charge a new transaction, unless there is an exchange of like items. A refund should NEVER be issued in cash; it is a merchant violation to issue cash refunds and a cardholder violation to accept cash refunds.

If there is a problem with an order or goods are returned or exchanged, the cardholder shall maintain sufficient documentation of the transaction, including names, dates, and conversation results. This information may be needed for formal dispute resolution.

Declined Transactions

If an attempt to purchase was made and the transaction was declined, the cardholder shall contact the U.S. Bank 24Hour Customer Service line at (800) 344‐5696 for information. The most common reasons for a declined transaction are:

  • Cardholder did not activate the account.
  • Cardholder has reached their monthly transaction/credit limit.
  • Merchant is classified under a merchant category code (MCC) that is blocked from use.
  • Billing address information provided by the cardholder does not match that which is on file with the bank.
  • Merchant has incorrectly noted the card number and/or expiration date.
  • The transmission between the merchant and the bank is down.

Note: The cardholder should contact U.S. Bank Customer Service to determine why the card was declined. Depending on the problem, the cardholder may need to contact the P-card Administrator for additional assistance.

U.S. Bank: (800) 344‐5696
Outside the U.S.: (701) 461‐2070 collect

Replacing Lost/Stolen Procurement Credit Cards

If a P-card is discovered to be lost or stolen, immediate action is required. The cardholder must contact U.S. Bank, the P-card Administrator, and the approving official (during business hours) as soon as the discovery is made. 

Report a lost or stolen P-card in this order:

  1. Immediately notify U.S. Bank 24‐Hour Customer Service at (800) 344‐5696.
  2. Immediately notify P-card Administrator via email.
  3. Immediately notify approver via email.

If a replacement P-card is needed due to wear or is defective, the cardholder shall email the P-card Administrator, copy the approving official, and request a replacement card.

Policy Implementation Date: August 1, 2014
Latest Policy Revision Date: May 11, 2021
Policy Owner: Procurement and Contracts, Division of Administration & Finance