St. Olaf Purchase Card Program
Purchase Card Program
The St. Olaf College purchase card program is the most cost-effective method of paying for large volume purchases and travel expenses that do not require prior authorization, bids, contracts etc. However, do not use your Wells Fargo VISA on campus (e.g. Bookstore), because the College will be assessed fees for processing the credit card.
- About the card
- Quick Reference Guide - for Cardholders, Reconcilers and Approvers
- Monthly timeline
- Card refusal
- Enforcement/cardholder penalties
- To obtain a card
- Lost or stolen cards - call Wells Fargo immediately at 1-800-932-0036
- Dispute charges
- Wells Fargo Commercial Card Expense Reporting
- Wells Fargo website sign-on
- Sign-on instructions
- Password reset call x3406 or x3792
- Helpful Hints about using the Wells Fargo website
- Cardholder/Reconciler - Step by step instructions for monthly expense documentation
- Approver – Step by step instructions to approve a statement
- Cardholder responsibilities
- Approver responsibilities
- Credit Card monthly limits
- ATM withdrawals
- Sales tax exemption
- Required documentation
- Capital purchases
- Purchase Card Enrollment Form
- Receipt Template
- Advance Return Form
- Temporary Credit Limit Increase Form
- Minnesota Sales Tax Exemption Certificate
- Accounts Payable Office - Tomson Hall 134
St. Olaf College sponsors a purchase card program enabling employees to make business related purchases for goods and standard (not professional) services. It is a cost-effective method of paying for purchases and travel expenses. Uses of the purchase card should:
- Provide cost savings through consolidated payments (one monthly payment made by the Business Office to Wells Fargo verses multiple vendor payments)
- Reduce paperwork and processing time in the employee’s department, as well as in accounts payable
- Enhance the purchasing options available to departments
- Provide an alternative to personal reimbursements
Purchases made through this program must comply with:
- St. Olaf Purchasing procedures
- St. Olaf Travel and Business Expense Policy
- Any special requirements of projects supported by sponsored funds
The VISA card may NOT be used for:
- Personal Purchases or to loan to others
- On campus purchases (e.g. Bookstore), because the College will be assessed fees for processing the credit card
- Personal services from individuals (1099 non-employee compensation): consultants, speakers, and other personal services. These payments must be requested using a St. Olaf check request form and a properly completed IRS W-9 form.
You are asked to treat this program with the same sense of responsibility and security you would use for your personal credit cards. Violations of procedures or abuse will result in immediate deactivation of your card and possible disciplinary action.
To use the card, an individual must be on College payroll and be authorized to do so by department head, dean or designee.
Who needs to know these ProceduresThese procedures apply to all St. Olaf faculty, staff, and students who use a St. Olaf college credit card.
This VISA card is a combination purchase/travel card. There is no annual fee. VISA and Wells Fargo make their money from the discount fee charged to the merchant. Vendors accept credit cards because they get paid within three days and do not bear the risk of bad checks or unpaid accounts receivable.
The college has negotiated for this card program. The card will be a VISA card and Wells Fargo will issue the cards and also serve as the card servicer.
The card can be used for both in-store purchases as well as phone, mail, Internet, or fax orders. Each card will be tailored to your needs. This will minimize the potential for abuse should your card be lost or stolen. Unlike personal credit cards, the Wells Fargo Bank VISA Purchase Card Program is handled as a corporate liability. Your personal credit history has not been taken into account when a card has been issued in your name. While the card may be in your name, it is the property of St. Olaf College and has no bearing on your personal credit.
The Business Office is responsible for paying the Program invoice each month. The card may be used at any merchant that accepts VISA throughout the U.S.A. and internationally.
You are responsible for the security of your card and any purchases made on your account. If you believe you have lost your card or that it has been stolen, immediately report this information to Wells Fargo Bank Customer Service on 800-932-0036. Immediately after reporting to Customer Service, you must inform your Purchase Card Administrator. It is extremely important to act promptly in the event of a lost or stolen card to avoid company liability for fraudulent transactions. As with a personal charge card, you will no longer be able to use the account number after notifying the bank. A new card should be issued within 48 hours of notice to Wells Fargo Bank.
There may be occasions when you find items on your statement that do not correlate with your retained receipts. You may not have made the transaction, the amount of the transaction may be incorrect, or you may have a dispute with a vendor about quality or service.
If you believe the merchant has charged you incorrectly or there is an outstanding quality or service issue, you must first contact the merchant and try to resolve the error or problem. If you are able to resolve the matter directly with the merchant and the error involved an overcharge, a credit adjustment should be requested and will appear on your next statement. Note: Be sure to verify that correct credit has been received on the next month’s statement.
If the merchant disagrees that an adjustment is necessary, use the Dispute option available with your online statement. You will need to provide details regarding the dispute, including what corrective actions you have already taken to resolve the dispute. Wells Fargo Bank must receive any charge dispute within 60 days of the transaction date. While pending resolution, Wells Fargo Bank will credit St. Olaf’s account for the amount of the disputed transaction. Although Wells Fargo Bank acts as the arbitrator in any dispute, you should never assume that a dispute would be resolved in your favor.
If the dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction, and you believe the merchant has treated you unfairly, please notify the PCA with the relevant details. If the merchant is one of our preferred vendors, the Treasurer’s Office may take further action.
Any fraudulent charge, i.e., a charge appearing which was not authorized by yourself, must be reported immediately to your Purchase Card Administrator. Prompt reporting of such charges will help to prevent St. Olaf from being held responsible. Use the dispute option online to relate the details to Wells Fargo.
Several standard user profiles with credit limits have been established. However, we will try to tailor the card to your needs.
Your limit renews itself the day after the last Tuesday of each month.
You must review your monthly and transaction limits before major events or after budget changes. It is embarrassing to have your card declined - not to mention inconvenient. The Purchase Card Administrator (PCA) can change limits as needed. Changes should be requested online under your personal profile screen.
Credit limit changes go into effect the day after the request has been approved by the PCA. If the change request is approved on a Saturday or Sunday, the change will become effective on the following Tuesday. If an immediate credit limit change is required, notify the PCA and the PCA will have to contact Wells Fargo directly.
Temporary credit limit increases can be requested for special circumstances, such as going on a trip, by filling out the Temporary Credit Limit Increase Form. It is the College's intent to keep credit limits low to minimize our risks. We are better able to achieve this if we can minimize the limits that we have on cards, rather than authorizing large limits that are only needed on rare occasions. For large purchases or special circumstances that are out of the ordinary, you can request that Accounts Payable put the purchase on their purchase card rather than increasing the card limit.
- Cardholder = reminder 3 days and grace 3 days Wednesday through Monday.
- Approver = 4 days Tuesday through Friday.
Monthly Timeline for Cardholders and Approvers for 2013
The following timetable for the processing of billing statements must be adhered to:
Cardholder = reminder 3 days and grace 3 days Wednesday through Monday. Approver = 4 days Tuesday through Friday.
|Cardholders reminder||Cardholder grace||Approvers|
|January||Jan 30 – Feb1||Feb 2 – Feb 4||Feb 5 – Feb 8|
|February||Feb 27– Mar 1||Mar 2 – Mar 4||Mar 5 – Mar 8|
|March||Mar 27 – Mar 29||Mar 30 – Apr 1||Apr 2 – Apr 5|
|April||May 1 – May 3||May 4 – May 6||May 7 – May 10|
|May||May 25 - May 27||May 28 - May 30||May 31 - Jun 3|
|Year end is May 31.|
|June||Jun 26 – Jun 28||Jun 29 - Jul 1||Jul 2 – Jul 5|
July 4th is Thursday - during supervisor review.
|July||July 31 – Aug 2||Aug 3 – Aug 5||Aug 6 – Aug 9|
|August||Aug 28 – Aug 30||Aug 31 – Sep 2||Sep 3 – Sep 6|
|Labor Day is Monday, Sep 2 - during cardholder review.|
|September||Sep 25 – Sep 27||Sep 28 – Sep 30||Oct 1 – Oct 4|
|October||Oct 30 – Nov 1||Nov 2 – Nov 4||Nov 5 – Nov 8|
|November||Nov 27 – Nov 29||Nov 30 – Dec 2||Dec 3 – Dec 6|
|December||Jan 1, 2014 – Jan 3||Jan 4 – Jan 6||Jan 7 – Jan 10, 2014|
|New Year’s Day is during cardhold review.|
If your card is refused at a merchant where you believe it should have been accepted, you should call Wells Fargo Bank Purchase Card Customer Service to determine the reason for refusal. Automated customer service assistance is available 24 hours/day, 7days/week: 800-932-0036, option #1. This menu prompts you with options that will provide the following information:
#1 Current Balance
#2 Report Lost/Stolen Card
#3 Speak with a Customer Service Representative
Depending on the result of your inquiry, you may want to discuss the issue further with your budget manager. He/she is empowered to advise the PCA to modify the restrictions on your use of the Purchase Card.
To avoid the IRS requirement that transactions not substantiated within 60 days of when they were incurred
be considered taxable income, the following will happen:
- Cut-off date reminder when your statement is ready
- Email reminder 3 days later if the cardholder has not completed the on-line statement
- 15 day reminder (middle of next month) that the card will be deactivated at the end of the month
- 30 day reminder that the card has been deactivated
- The card will remain deactivated until all transactions are properly documented and cannot be
reinstated for a minimum period of three months after the transactions are properly documented.
Any transactions not properly documented within 60 days of when the expense was incurred will be
either reduced from the cardholder’s paycheck or added to the cardholder’s income.
- If problems continue after the card is reinstated, the card shall be canceled permanently at the
discretion of the PCA.
The College will seek restitution for any inappropriate purchases made with the card. If certain instances
of abuse, the cardholder may be subject to additional personnel disciplinary action, up to and including
1. You must read this policy in its entirety before receiving your VISA!!
2. Then complete the following:
- Cardholder Enrollment Data Form
- Cardholder Agreement (completed when you receive your card)
- Attend an orientation session
Your budget manager, the person responsible for budget oversight for a particular department, program, activity, organization or grant, must indicate approval by also signing the Enrollment Data form. Contact the PCA if you do not know who your budget manager is. Bring your completed form to the PCA in the Accounts Payable Office, where you will receive assistance with the following:
1. Dollar limits per month
2. Information reporting levels required for your situation (Faculty & Staff)
3. Cash access (Faculty & Staff) Please Note: This is only available to those individuals who travel with groups of students or internationally.
When you receive your card, sign the back of the card and always keep it in a secure place. Cards remain the property of the college and are only to be used for college purchases/travel as defined in this policy and the Travel and Business Expense Policy. VISA will automatically renew the card before it expires (generally three years).
You will receive your college Purchase Card within 7-10 business days after your application is submitted to Wells Fargo. As you use your card, please contact the PCA if you have any questions.
ATM cash withdrawals are available only to those traveling with groups of students or internationally and should be kept to a minimum. Advances should be accounted for in accordance with the St. Olaf Cash Advance Policy. Advances should not be used to pay vendors that accept VISA. Any cash received from your card will be treated as a cash advance. You will be expected to complete an Advance Return Form detailing how the cash was spent and attach all original itemized receipts. Reports are due to the Business Office within 20 days of taking the advance. IRS regulations stipulate that any advance not accounted for in 60 days is considered taxable income. As such, any advances not accounted for within 60 days of when they were incurred will result in a payroll deduction.
In Minnesota, St. Olaf is only required to pay sales tax on lodging and prepared meals. It is the cardholder's responsibility to notify the vendor that St. Olaf College is tax exempt. Our tax-exempt number is imprinted on the VISA. Review your receipt to make sure that sales tax is handled properly. You are liable for sales tax you approve for which St. Olaf is exempt. A copy of the St. Olaf exemption form is available on the Treasurer’s Web page.
Vendors may ask you for a copy to protect themselves from state sales tax auditors. Should you have additional questions regarding whether or not tax should be paid, please contact the PCA for assistance.
Helpful hint: Consider carrying a folded copy of the exemption form in your wallet or purse! Laminated wallet sized exemption cards are available in the Accounts Payable Office.
An itemized receipt or substitute documentation must support each purchase. The preferred documentation is listed below in order of preference:
An original receipt or invoice from the vendor including:
- Vendor name
- Transaction amount
- Itemized description of the item(s) purchased
- For meals, include the names of individuals at the meal or attach roster of names in attendance.
- Alcohol is only allowed for instances specified in the travel policy. If alcohol is allowed, specify names and titles of individuals for which the alcohol was served.
- Sales tax should not be paid, except for prepared meals and lodging (see sales tax paragraph above).
Copies or facsimiles of the original receipt or invoice
A packing slip, statement, or other documentation received from the vendor
A screen-print or order confirmation email, when making Internet purchases, or a copy of an order form that was mailed to a vendor to request an item.
If the cardholder is unable to obtain the above listed preferred documentation, a completed Receipt Template Form can be used to document the transaction and verify it was for official St. Olaf business.
Please note that a merchant should not reject a request for a receipt, detailing merchandise price, sales/use tax, freight, etc… be included with the goods mailed/shipped – this is a VISA policy.
Please WARN VENDORS NOT TO SEND BILLS TO ACCOUNTS PAYABLE as it may result in duplicate payment.
You are responsible for the transactions identified on your statement. You must be able to produce original itemized receipts and prove that the transactions are expenditures for college related purposes. You will be required to reimburse the college with personal funds for any activity you are unable to properly substantiate as a business expense.
Making sure that sales tax is not charged on exempt purchases
Reviewing your monthly statement online, verifying that all transactions are valid and coded correctly, entering descriptions, and hitting “review complete” by the grace period end date noted online (typically 6 calendar days from when the original email stating that statement is ready for review was received).
Obtaining original itemized receipts or other required documentation for every transaction and attaching them to a copy of your monthly statement.
Offering a copy of the monthly statement with attached required documentation to approver and verifying that approver completes online review.
- Submitting monthly statement with attached required documentation to the Accounts Payable Office by the 8th working day of the following month.
Approving the monthly statement online after reviewing descriptions and reasonableness of purchases by hitting “approval complete” button by the due date specified online (usually 4 calendar days from when the cardholder was required to complete their review).
(optional) Requesting a copy of the monthly statement with attached required documentation if the approver would like to see additional backup regarding the purchases made.
If a charge should not be approved, complete online approval and contact the PCA for possible disciplinary action, including restitution of the charge and/or deactivation of card.
If you will be making purchases with your card that are capital in nature (assets with a cumulative cost of $5,000 or more and a useful life of 5 years or more), please contact the Controller at x3502.