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HLS PCard Policy, Effective November 1, 2014

University PCard Website

The Purchasing Card offers an extremely efficient method of purchasing and paying for goods. The Purchasing Card Program will enable you to conveniently purchase commodities directly from any vendor that accepts MasterCard.

This program, which was created with the help of staff and faculty members, is designed to meet your needs and those of the University. The benefits of the Purchasing Card are as follows:

Benefits to the Cardholder

  • Eliminates the need to use personal funds and obtain reimbursements
  • Provides convenience, security and flexibility
  • Allows you to obtain goods faster

Benefits to Harvard

  • Reduces the number of invoices, checks and purchase orders
  • Enables Administration to focus on value-added activities
  • Saves Money – A PCard transaction costs Harvard 88% less than cutting a check to a vendor or employee

Please be aware of Harvard’s policies and restrictions prior to using the card. The Purchasing Card is to be used only for purchases related to Harvard business. Use of the card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited and subject to disciplinary action.

How to Obtain a PCard

In order to obtain a Purchasing Card, a Harvard University employee needs to complete a PCard Application and return it to the Financial Office for processing.

Using Your PCard

The Purchasing Card may be used to purchase goods in person at the supplier site, over the phone, via fax, or by mail. Suggested use of PCard includes:

  • Standing orders for office services, e.g. water/coffee delivery; FedEx; DataShredder; off-site storage
  • Books and course materials
  • Local business meals and entertainment expenses
  • Recurring expenses, such as business-use cell phone and data charges, newspaper subscriptions, etc.
  • Annual professional organization memberships

PCard Responsibility

Purchasing Card transactions are posted to the PCard Settlement System on the following business day. Designated users must log onto the Settlement System and provide correct account coding and a clear and concise business purposes for each expense. Expenses are then “swept” into the general ledger, usually every Thursday at 3:00pm.

Receipts for all expenses over $25 must then be sent to your Financial Office contact — receipts are due the week of the sweep on which the expense occurred. 

Cardholders who repeatedly fail to review PCard charges and submit receipts on time may lose their PCard purchasing privileges.

PCard Training

Before you can receive your Purchasing Card you must complete the online training in full. Please call your contact in the Financial Office with questions or to set up a training time at 495-4607.