Procurement and purchasing cards at UW-Whitewater


Application, Manual, Pro-Card Billing Cycle Calendar

Expense Summary Log Form

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Procurement Card Program was established to provide departments with a simple, cost-effective, and convenient way to make low dollar purchases.  The program is designed to replace most low dollar purchase orders and blanket orders.

 The Program is NOT intended:

  • To avoid or bypass appropriate procurement or payment procedures, but to be a complement to existing procedures.
  • For personal use.

The procurement card may be used at any merchant or service provider that accepts the card, subject to the limitations described in Appendix A.

The procurement card may be used in much the same manner that personal credit cards are used for in-store purchases and for mail, telephone, internet, or fax orders.

This manual provides the guidelines for using your procurement card, so please read it carefully.  Your signature on the Procurement Cardholder Agreement (Appendix A) indicates that you have read and understand these guidelines and that you agree to follow them.

Accurate record keeping is essential to the Program's success.  There are no extraordinary requirements -- merely that you retain all sales slips, receipts, etc. that document the purchase. You are responsible for your procurement card's security and for the transactions made with your procurement card.  The procurement card is issued in your name, and purchases made with it are your responsibility.  Do not allow others to use your card.  Use of the card outside these guidelines and procurement policy may result in personal liability.

Finally, remember that you have been entrusted with University funds through your card, and this responsibility should not be taken lightly.

Resolving procurement card problems is very similar to the process you would follow with a personal credit card, except that Procurement will be involved if initial contacts do not settle the problems.  Disputed billings can result from failure to receive goods or services charged, fraud or misuse, altered charges, duplicate charges, or unprocessed credits. 

If you suspect fraud, contact US Bank customer service at 1-800-344-5696 immediately.  US Bank will cancel your existing account and issue you a new card.   Also contact Business Services so that we are aware of the situation and are able to provide assistance if necessary

The cardholder is responsible for initially following up with the vendor or US Bank, as soon as possible, on any erroneous charges, disputed items, or returns.

The cardholder should contact the vendor first to resolve any outstanding issues, and this should settle most problems.

If the cardholder is unable to reach agreement with the vendor, the next step is to contact US Bank at 800.344.5696.

US Bank must also be notified of any disputed item within sixty (60) days of the billing cycle in which the item was purchased. If notification is not made within this period, the transaction is considered valid.

If initial contacts with the vendor and US Bank do not settle the dispute, contact Procurement Department.

Documentation should be kept for credits received and for returns or exchanges.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is exempt from Wisconsin sales and use tax on its purchases.  It is also exempt from federal taxes.  You may, however, be required to pay sales tax to other states for purchases made in those states, depending upon their laws.

If you get asked to complete a tax exemption form please contract Procurement Department, as we should have a current one on file. The tax exempt number for UW System is ES 008-1020421203-13. This number should be the one provided when making a claim for tax exemption within Wisconsin.

If sales tax is charged to your card, it will be listed on your statement.  At that time you should contact the vendor to obtain a credit to your card account.

You should report all tax exemption problems to Procurement Department so that action may be taken to prevent future occurrences.

When you receive a new card, you will have to activate it before it can be used.  A sticker on the card will provide activation instructions, and during the activation process you may be asked for the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN).  You do not provide your SSN, you must provide four digits the Program Administrator will issue you.  Please call the Procurement Department at 262.472.1633 for those digits.

This list is not all-inclusive, and there may be some exceptions. Please remember that all purchases may be fully disclosed as a public record to the extent provided by the Open Records Law.

The Purchasing Card is to be used to purchase low-dollar value items with total amount of any purchase not to exceed $5,000. Certain exceptions to use of the Purchasing Card apply:

Examples of items that may not be purchased with the card
Insurance Alcoholic beverages
Flowers/gifts Ammunition/weapons
Gasoline/fuel Printing
Leases/rentals Radioactive materials
Legal Services Tax reportable services
Motor vehicles Travel/meals/entertainment
Ineligible vendor

Certification for Collection of Sales and Use Tax Vendor Directory

Wisconsin Office of Contract Compliance Vendor Directory(Eligible/Ineligible)

NOTE: Attempting to buy from merchants that provide these goods/services will cause your transaction to be denied.

Other exclusions:

  • Cash advances (ATM or other)
  • Items, subscriptions and services for personal, non-business use.
  • Commodities and services available on mandatory State Procurement Operation Bulletins (unless otherwise noted on the bulletin)
  • Purchases from Work Centers

Your agency purchasing and accounting offices, as well as the State Bureau of Procurement and the State Controller's Office, will conduct random audits of Purchasing Card use. The primary purpose of these audits is to ensure that the Purchasing Card program procedures are being followed and that:

  • Purchase volume appears reasonable
  • The card is being used for appropriate transactions
  • Documentation is complete

The Purchasing Card enables card holders, purchasing and accounting staff to perform more effectively and focus on the value-added aspects of your jobs by:

  • Reducing time needed to purchase and receive supplies
  • Reducing the number of requisitions and purchase orders
  • Reducing reimbursements from petty cash
  • Reducing invoicing problems
  • Reducing the number of checks issued

Any misuse of the card or other failure to comply with these procedures will result in the following card holder consequences:

  • Revocation of card.
  • Disciplinary measures, if appropriate.

"In addition, if the misuse involves personal transactions, the cardholder is subject to criminal prosecution and held responsible for making full restitution."

  1. If the transaction value is greater than $5,000, use traditional purchasing procedures and follow your agency-established process.
  2. If the transaction value is $5,000 or less:
    • Using best judgment, determine an appropriate vendor for the materials desired
    • Give the vendor your Purchasing Card number and expiration date or present the card at the point of sale.
    • Tell the vendor that the State is exempt from State sales taxes.
  3. NOTE: The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is issuing a tax exempt number for each state agency. This number may appear on the third line of em bossing on your card. If you have a card issued before the tax exempt numbers were assigned, ask your Coordinator for your agency number and make a note of it to provide to merchants as necessary. New cards will be issued as determined by the Coordinator.
  4. If the material will be shipped or delivered, tell the vendor to enclose or mail a copy of the receipt/invoice with each shipment. Have the vendor mark it "Credit card order - paid" to avoid duplicate payments.
    • If the material is picked up, obtain the itemized receipt indicating the purchase price.
  5. Maintain a purchase record log.
    • Save the original receipts/shipping invoices in an envelope.
  1. The following resource persons are available to provide assistance, answer questions, or help solve any problems that arise:
    University Purchasing Card Administrator: 472-1210

    • To apply for a Purchasing Card.
    • For questions about policies and procedures.
    • To replace damaged cards.
    • For assistance with suppliers.
    • For account inquiries.
    • For billing information
    • If you don't receive your monthly statement.
    • To report a lost or stolen card.

    Elan Card holder Customer Service: 800/393-3526

    • To report lost or stolen cards.
    • For questions about your statement.

The use of the Purchasing Card results in agency liability, NOT a personal liability for the card holder. Your credit rating will not be affected. However, remember that you sign an agreement with your agency prior to receiving the card and as such you are responsible for any misuse of the card as outlined in this manual.

If you leave your agency or transfer to another unit within the agency, you must return your Purchasing Card to your supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for contacting the Agency Purchasing Card Coordinator, who will cancel the card. Returned Purchasing Cards are not re issued to other employees for use. Before returning a canceled Purchasing Card, cut the card in half.

In addition to purchasing staff, other staff will benefit from being card holders, such as:

  • Field staff, who may need emergency parts or supplies
  • Librarians/others who routinely buy subscriptions and books
  • Program support staff who buy supplies
  • Mechanics, engineers

You must notify the University Purchasing Card Administrator immediately when you discover your card is lost or stolen.

Unlike personal credit cards where card holders are responsible for paying the first $50.00 if the card is stolen or misused, the Purchasing Card program holds the agency responsible for paying all charges resulting from stolen or misused cards until Elan has been notified.

On weekends or after agency business hours, you should report a lost or stolen card or other emergency situation, by calling Elan at 800/393-3526. At the first available opportunity, report the same information to your University Purchasing Card Administrator.

  1. Contact your Agency Purchasing Card Coordinator at 472-1633
  2. Complete a Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement.
    Your participation must be approved by management at the level required by your college to grant purchasing approval for transactions $5,000 and under.
  3. Attend a training session.
  4. The Purchasing Card Account Setup Form provided by Elan/VISA must be completed and signed by your designated agency authorizers.
  5. Keep a copy of the Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement. The Coordinator keeps the original application.

You are responsible for following up with merchant or bank on any erroneous charges, disputed items or returns as soon as possible. Disputed billings can result from failure to receive the goods charged, defective merchandise, incorrect dollar amounts, duplicate charges, credit not processed, as well as fraud and misuse.

If you have a problem with a purchased item or a billing resulting from use of the VISA Purchasing Card, you should first try to reach a resolution with the supplier that provided the item. In most cases disputes can be resolved directly between the card holder and the supplier.


Referring to your receipt, request from the merchant that a credit be placed on your card account. If the item was shipped, refer to the shipping form you kept with your purchase record.


A credit should be issued for any item that the supplier has approved for return. the credit will appear on a subsequent statement. Any item purchased with the VISA Purchasing Card that is returned must be returned for credit. Do not accept a refund in cash or check format. Make sure you keep documentation of credits, returns and exchanges with your purchase record.

Disputed Items

If you have a disputed charge and cannot reach resolution with the supplier, complete the Elan Visa Purchasing Card billing Inquiry Form and send it to Elan Financial Services with a copy to your Agency Purchasing Card Coordinator. This written notice of dispute must be received by Elan within 60 days of the date that Elan sent the first statement or transaction file.

Your Purchasing Card should be treated with the same level of care you use with your personal credit cards.

  • Do not lend your card to anyone. The only person authorized to use the Purchasing Card is the person whose name is on the from of the card and who completed the Purchasing Card Application and Use Agreement.
  • Guard your Purchasing Card account number carefully. Do not post it or write it in location that is accessible to others.
  1. You will receive a statement for your account directly from the card company. (an electronic billing file is sent to the University for payment processing.)
  2. It is your responsibility as the card holder to verify the correctness of the statement against your purchase record and receipts.
  3. The cardholder will then sign the record to attest that all purchases are for official state business and comply with appropriate rules and regulations. The cardholder will then forward the signed record with original receipts to his/her supervisor for their review and signature. A post audit will be performed by the University agency-designated reviewer.
  4. Purchase card charges must be verified against the General Ledger via WISDM as part of the reconciliation process. Maintain WISDM verification with your purchase record.

Not all suppliers accept Purchasing Cards. If this happens:

  • Choose another supplier or:
  • Complete the transaction using traditional purchasing procedures, then:
  • Ask the supplier if they are interested in accepting VISA. If yes, refer them to the Agency Purchasing Card Coordinator for information about signing up as a VISA merchant.

The University is tax exempt within the State of Wisconsin. Therefore, employees who travel on University business are tax exempt on all sales and use tax in all Wisconsin cities, towns and localities including local tax on food and beverages, exposition taxes and car rentals. This also includes Wisconsin sales and use tax on the purchases paid by the University Procurement card or on purchases paid by an employee who then seeks reimbursement. Employees should carry this card with you as some vendors need to keep copies for their files.

For information on tax exemption outside of Wisconsin see the UW-System US States' Sales & Use Tax Exemptions page.

To obtain a card or if you have questions, please either contact your department chairperson or campus business representative.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, as an agency of the State of Wisconsin, is exempt from payment of:

  1. Wisconsin sales or use tax on its purchases under s. 77.54(9a) (a) Wisconsin Statues.
  2. Personal property tax on property owned, including beneficial ownership under lease/purchase agreements, under s. 70.11 (1), Wisconsin Statues.
  3. Federal tax imposed under Ch. 32, I.R.C. Registration No. 39-73-1021-K was issued to the State of Wisconsin by the Internal Revenue Service. This number is on file with the District Director, U. S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Purchases for taxable property or services may be made by purchase order or by use of a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater purchasing card.

UW employees, while traveling in Wisconsin on UW/State business, are exempt from paying state, county, and local taxes on lodging and should avoid such tax by furnishing the retailer with their UW-System tax exempt card and a university ID. Cards can be obtained from the employee's home department.