Purchasing Card Guide

As a purchasing card holder, you are accepting the terms and conditions that are required for its use. Cardholders are stewards of university funds and should purchase responsibly. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to allot sufficient time to reconcile their Pcard report each month. Refer to each section in the sidebar for additional guidance.

1.0 Purchasing Card Program General Information

The Purchasing Card (Pcard) Program is offered to simplify the way in which some goods and selected services are purchased. The Pcard Program is not intended to avoid or bypass appropriate purchasing or payment procedures and approval processes. All purchases made on a Pcard must be for official use only.

Key Roles

  • Cardholder – responsible for making purchases, maintaining required documentation and signatures, ensuring timely reporting of transactions in the online banking system.
  • First Level Approver – responsible for reviewing allocations made by Cardholder in online banking system to ensure transactions are coded properly and Dept ID/Proj ID information is correct.
  • Cost Object Approver – responsible for authorizing the use of Pcards in their department(s), ensuring sufficient funds are available for purchases and ensuring that all guidelines for proper use of the Pcard are followed. Has budget authority on Dept ID/Proj ID for which approval is given.
  • Pcard Program Coordinator – administers the Pcard Program for all institutions with the UNT System, conducts periodic reviews on Pcard transactions, and maintains documentation for the Pcard activities within the UNT System.
  • The following delegation of roles must be followed to ensure checks and balances:
    • The First-Level Approver and the Cardholder must be different individuals.
    • The First-Level Approver and the Cost Object Approver must be different individuals.
    • The Cardholder and the Cost Object Approver must be different individuals.

1.1 How to Apply

Cardholders must be eligible according to the following criteria:

  • Must be a full-time employee delegated authority by a department head or project director with signature authority.
  • Must be able to dedicate adequate time to Pcard transaction reconciliation. The time required to accurately reconcile Pcard purchases is determined by a cardholder’s purchase volume.
  • Must successfully complete the Pcard Training Program and renew said training annually.
  • To apply:
    1. Complete the Application for a Purchasing Card (all fields must be complete).
    2. Submit the application to Pcard@UNTSystem.edu along with the certificate of completion for the PCard Holder & Approver training.
    3. Once your application has been processed, you will receive your card within 10-14 days.

1.2 Purchasing Considerations

  • Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs): The Board of Regents is committed to a good faith effort to increase business with HUB vendors consistent with the State’s goal to build a solid foundation for economic prosperity. It is strongly encouraged to compare pricing among several vendors, including HUB vendors, to obtain the best value. Contact HUB@untsystem.edu for assistance in locating vendors that provide the goods or services needed.
  • Texas Institute for the Blind and Handicapped (TIBH): Cardholders must be aware that all institutions under the UNT System follow the state guidelines for procurement of goods and services from persons with disabilities. In accordance with State statutes, purchase products and services offered by TIBH to the greatest extent possible.
  • Best Value: all purchases shall provide the best value to the institution. In determining what the best value is, consider the following factors: price, delivery time, freight terms/cost, vendor reputation, quality of the goods, long-term costs, etc. Confirm with the vendor if any UNT System discounts are available.
    • The best value is not always from the most convenient vendor. Shop around for quotes from multiple vendors, including HUB and TIBH vendors.
    • Amazon should be considered last when making office supply, computer peripherals/equipment, electronics, and furniture purchases.
  • Vendors with catalogs in the UNT System Marketplace should be utilized for goods and services they provide whenever possible. Always check the Marketplace before purchasing items elsewhere.
  • Preferred vendors: The following vendors should be utilized for goods and services whenever possible:
    • Business Essentials – Office Supplies
    • Preferred Business Solutions – Office Supplies
    • Vendors with catalogs in the UNT System Marketplace
  • Spending limits: To increase your spending limits, please email a completed and signed Exception Request to PCard@untsystem.edu. Exception Requests must be attached to all related purchases (including blanket exceptions). Standard PCard limits are currently:
    • $5,000 per single transaction
    • $25,000 per month

1.3 Funding Sources

  • State Funds – Funds appropriated by the Texas Legislature in the General Appropriations Act, whether held inside or outside the state Treasury. Includes general revenue, special line items, Higher Education Funds (HEF), Advanced Research Program/Advanced Technology Program (ARP/ATP) funds, and other funds designated as “state” funds. All state funds must follow state expenditure guidelines.
  • Local Funds – Funds collected at the university for goods or services, provided by non-state grants or contracts, or provided by donors, as opposed to funds appropriated by the Texas Legislature in the General Appropriations Act.

For additional information regarding your chart of accounts or funding sources, contact your college budget officer or your institution’s Budget Office.

1.4 Liability Requirements

A Cardholder making a personal purchase will be held personally liable to reimburse the University for the purchase. Lost or stolen cards shall be reported to Citi Bank and the Pcard Program Coordinator immediately. Fraudulent activity should be reported to Citi Bank and the Pcard Program Coordinator as soon as it is discovered.

  • Citi Bank Customer Service: 1 (800) 248-4553
  • Citi Bank Cardholder Portal: Citi Manager
  • Purchasing Card Program Coordinator: Pcard@untsystem.edu or (940) 369-5500, option 1, option 4

1.5 Transaction Reconciliation

Purchasing card reports are due between the 6th and 10th of each month. To prevent late submission of your report, you should reconcile transactions on a weekly basis. An overdue Pcard report may result in a lowered limit and/or the suspension of your Pcard account. You can find Concur resources here.

1.6 Post Transaction Reviews

The Pcard Program Coordinator will perform routine reviews of transactions and Pcard accounts. The objective of post transaction reviews is to determine compliance with the Pcard Program Guidelines and record keeping requirements. Multiple violations or occurrences of misuse may result in the suspension or closure of the offending Cardholder’s account.

1.7 Program Noncompliance

Non-adherence to the Pcard Program Guidelines may result in a Pcard sanction: the temporary revocation of Cardholder privileges or permanent closure of the Cardholder’s account. Sanctions may include any combination of the following:

  • Temporary suspension of purchasing card account
  • Revoked purchasing card privileges
  • Lowered transaction limits
  • Required retraining
  • Notification of supervisor/department head
  • Permanent revocation of Pcard privileges

NOTE: Personal use of the Pcard is always considered a major work-rule violation and the employee will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination and possible criminal prosecution. Full restitution to the University will be required immediately for any personal purchase once discovered by the Cardholder, Approver, the Pcard Program Coordinator, and/or Internal Audit.


2.0 Purchasing Card Guidelines: Restricted and Allowable Purchases

All goods and services under $5,000, unless restricted, should be purchased using a Pcard. Restricted items, controlled assets, goods/services to be paid with State funds, and goods/services available via the UNT System Marketplace should not be purchased using a Pcard.

2.1 Risk and Liability

Using a Pcard for the below items may result in suspension of your purchasing card account and/or revoked purchasing card privileges:

  • Business Consulting Services
  • Chemicals/Hazardous Materials
  • Controlled/Capital Assets
  • Foreign Vendors/Sales Tax
  • Fraud
  • Gift Cards – Create a requisition and your UNT System Buyer will purchase any needed gift cards
  • Shipping to unapproved non-UNT address

2.2 Institutional Compliance

Using a Pcard for the below items will require retraining and may result in suspension of your purchasing card account:

  • Unapproved Contracts/Click Wraps
  • Gifts/Awards/Prizes
  • Consulting Services
  • Goods/services to be paid with State funds
  • PayPal (send exception request and W-9 to PCard@untsystem.edu)
  • Venmo/Cash App/Apple Pay
  • Individuals/Independent Contractors

Failure to perform a vendor hold search before a transaction is complete will require retraining and may result in suspension of your purchasing card account. Vendor hold searches may be completed up to 7 days in advance of a payment but are not considered valid if completed post-payment. A screenshot should be taken of the vendor hold search, with all details visible, and uploaded to the transaction on your Pcard report. Refer to the links below for guidance on how to perform and document a vendor hold search.

2.3 Cardholder Responsibilities

Failure to meet purchasing card program requirements and responsibilities may require retraining and may result in suspension of purchasing card account. Using a pcard for employee travel expenses may also require retraining and may result in suspension of purchasing card account.

  • Cardholder Negligence
  • Lost Purchasing Card
  • Missing Receipts
  • Late Submission of Purchasing Card Reports
  • Purchase of Employee Travel Expenses

3.0 Acceptable Purchases with Additional Prior Approval

The purchase of the below items is allowable on a purchasing card with prior approval from the specified departments:

  • Accreditation Fees
    • Exception request required
  •  Advertisements
    • Marketing
  • Alcoholic beverages
    • Exception request required
    • Must include the statement "no one under the age of 21 will be served alcohol."
  • Awards/Gifts/Prizes
    • Awards/Gifts/Prizes over $100 are considered taxable income and must be reported to the Tax Office and/or Payroll
    • Exception request required
  • Copier Leases
    • Contracts
  • Data Processing Services
    • Exception request required
  • DJ/Entertainment Services
    • Vendor must provide W-9
    • Contracts
  • Donations/Contributions
    • Exception request required
  • Faculty/Staff job postings
    • Human Resources/Provost
  • Goods/Services with Contracts/Terms/Agreements
    • Contracts
  • Hotels for non-employees
    • Exception request required
  • Insurance Premiums
    • Risk Management
  • Internet Services
    • Telecom
  • Legal Services
    • Exception request required
  • Medical Services
    • Exception request required
  • Photography Services
    • Vendor must provide W-9
    • Exception request required
  • Stamps
    • No more than 100 stamps may be purchased at one time
    • No more than 100 stamps may be on hand at any time
    • Exception request required
  • Technology Software and Systems
    • Technology Acquisition Questionnaire submitted via ServiceNow
    • UNT System IT Compliance
  • Translation Services
    • Exception request required
  • UNT-Branded Merchandise and Apparel
    • Denton campus: University Brand Strategy and Communications (UBSC)
    • HSC campus: Office of Marketing and Communications
    • Dallas campus: Marketing and Communication
    • System: Office of Marketing and Communications
  • Utilities
    • Facilities
  • Video and Recording Services
    • Vendor must provide W-9
    • Exception request required

*Proof of prior approval must be attached to the transaction on your Pcard report. Unless otherwise stated, no exception request is required.

3.1 Allowable Purchases without Additional Prior Approval

The purchase of the below items is allowable on a purchasing card without additional prior approval (no exception request is required):

  • Audio/Visual Equipment under $500
  • Books
  • Booth and Storage Rentals
  • Cameras under $500
  • Coffee and Water Services
  • Conference Registrations
  • Computer Peripherals/Equipment
  • Digital/Film processing
  • Drones under $500
  • Employee Training Programs
  • Equipment Rentals
  • Flowers (as condolence gifts)
  • Flowers and plants (as office décor)
  • Food – Catering, Carry-out, Delivery, Dine-in (must have a legitimate business purpose)
    • If 10 or fewer attendees, the names of attendees must be attached to your PCard report
  • Gratuity (up to 20%)
  • Ground Transportation Services for non-employees (Uber, Lyft, limos, buses, etc.)
  • Maintenance and Repairs (non-capital)
  • Memberships
  • Non-Branded Uniforms
  • Moving Services (non-contracted)
  • Parking
  • Printing Services
  • Projectors under $500
  • Promotional Items
  • Publication Fees 
  • Shipping/Freight/Postage (no stamps)
  • Smart Phones under $500
  • Sponsorships (local funds)
  • Subscriptions
  • Supplies
    • Lab Supplies (non-chemical)
    • Custodial Supplies (non-chemical)
    • HVAC Supplies
    • Instructional Supplies (non-chemical)
    • Medical Supplies (non-chemical)
    • Office Supplies
    • Security/Life Safety Supplies
  • Team building expenses
  • Televisions under $500
  • Temporary Agency Workers (payment to the agency only)
  • Tolls/Road Charges
  • Used Equipment (best value)
  • Warranties (with initial purchase only)


PCard Contacts

Webpage: PCard Program Website

Email: PCard@untsystem.edu

Phone: 940.369.5500, option 1, option 4


Resources: Links and Forms

UNT System Forms Library

Technology Acquisition Questionnaire

HSC IT Compliance

UNT Asset Classification

Vendor Hold Search

Amazon Business Prime - SSO    

Purchasing Card Holder and Approver Trainings - UNT Bridge Learn HSC

Citi Manager

Concur SSO

UNT System Concur User Group    

Report Purchasing Card Abuse

Policy 05.041 Procedures for Employee Awards, Gifts, and Prizes



Application for Purchasing Card

Controlled Item Code Equipment Form

Purchasing Card Exception Request

Missing Receipt Affidavit     

PCard Quick Reference Guide

Tax Exempt Certificate - UNT

Tax Exempt Certificate - UNT HSC

Tax Exempt Certificate - UNT Dallas

Tax Exempt Certificate - UNT System    

Purchasing Card Abuse Form