Purchasing Card News – July 2021

Spread the Word!

This communication was distributed to the UW-Madison Purchasing Card Site Manager and Purchasing Card Cardholder lists.  To ensure all users stay informed, please forward this email to other staff as appropriate.  We appreciate your assistance!

UWSA Office of Internal Audit Continuous Purchasing Card Review

The UW System Administration Office of Internal Audit completed a review of UW Madison purchasing card activity between 06/27/2020 and 12/28/2020.  This audit included a review of 186 transactions and resulted in a total of 18 audit findings.  The most common audit findings include:

  • Lack of an Adequate Business Purpose: Many transactions are reconciled merely with itemizations listed as the business purpose. A proper business purpose includes a detailed explanation of how a purchase is used to conduct UW business.
  • Personal Purchases: Accidental personal use of a purchasing card stored in an online consumer profile accounts for many of our audit findings and compliance warnings. It is recommended users create separate online profiles (e.g. Amazon) for business-use only prior to entering any card information.
  • Statement Approvals: Policy requires statements be signed within 30 days of the billing cycle close date. Many statements are missing signatures and/or dates or are signed outside of the 30-day requirement.

Greeting Cards

In the most recent UWSA Office of Internal Audit Continuous Purchasing Card Review, we received two audit findings for purchasing business-related greeting cards because, per the UWSA Purchasing Card Manual, greeting cards of any nature are seen to be personal in nature and are, therefore, not allowable expenses on the purchasing card.  UW-Madison leadership agreed there are multiple valid situations in which it would be appropriate to use University funds to purchase a greeting card for a business-related use.  As of June 2021, the “greeting card” referenced in the list of Purchasing Card Frequently Questioned Purchases has been removed.  Greeting cards are now allowable provided a UW business purpose is documented on the supporting documentation.

Note: Greeting cards for employees must continue to adhere to the requirements in UW-3075: Official Functions and Expenses.

Purchasing Card Delivery Addresses

Since the COVID-19 telecommute began, the Purchasing Card Program Manager has been requesting alternate delivery addresses from card applicants to ensure card delivery to the most appropriate location (e.g. one’s personal residence).  After campus reopens on August 1, 2021, this process will cease and cards will be delivered to the address submitted on the Purchasing Card Automated Application & Agreement.  Address information defaults based on the applicant’s Net ID; however, the fields are editable.  If an employee is working remotely, a home address may be used.  Please note the card delivery address is the same as the account’s “billing address.”  If preferred, please contact the Purchasing Card Program Manager after the card is received to update the address to a campus location, but keep in mind, any subsequent replacement cards will be delivered to the current system address.

Purchasing Card Module Update

The implementation of the Purchasing Card Module of PeopleSoft is now scheduled for Fall of 2021.  Further communication and training will be forthcoming.

Purchasing Card Counts and Credit Limits

In the spring of 2021, all UW-Madison schools, colleges, and auxiliaries participated in a UW System Administration-directed effort to reduce the number of purchasing cards and overall credit limit for each campus purchasing card program.  Between 06/01/2020 and 06/01/2021, the overall number of purchasing cards on the UW-Madison campus decreased from 2,656 cards to 2,492 cards (6% decrease) and the overall credit limit decreased from approximately $32 million to approximately $25 million (20% decrease).  We appreciate your assistance in this effort and are pleased with the progress we have made thus far; however, acknowledge we still have work to do.  We will continue to monitor idle accounts and unused credit as well as analyze purchasing card spend to identify purchases more appropriately procured through ShopUW+.

UW Travel Webinars

UW System Administration and the UW’s contracted travel agencies, Travel Incorporated and Fox World Travel, have scheduled a few “Open Houses” to reintroduce travel for individual travelers and those arranging group travel.  For more information and registration, click here.

New Travel & Card Student Intern

We are excited to welcome Chloe Thorpe to the Travel & Card Team as our first student employee since March 2020.  Chloe is a sophomore at UW-Madison studying Accounting and Finance.  She will be assisting with purchasing card maintenance and other daily tasks.  While you may receive communication directly from Chloe, please continue sending your requests/questions to meghann.grove@wisc.edu for review and approval.


If you have questions, please contact pcard@bussvc.wisc.edu.