The UTHealth BuyCard provides faculty & staff with an alternate method to pay for purchases of goods and services that are not available through other purchasing methods such as the eProcurement catalog. The university uses a MasterCard from Citibank. After approval of the BuyCard Account Application, the card will be issued and the cardholder will receive instructions for its use and the charge limits that are assigned to the account.
The card can be used to make purchases from any supplier who has an active vendor code within FMS. It is the cardholder's responsibility to make sure that the transaction is with an approved vendor. The card can be used at a supplier's place of business, over the telephone or on a web site. The cardholder should exercise appropriate measures to assure that the card and account number are not lost or otherwise compromised.
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Compliance Monitoring (IDEA data analysis software) Internal Controls Reporting for BuyCard
The new "Internal Controls Reporting for Buycard" includes the IDEA data analysis software whereby the data comes from Citibank with multiple data sets. The compliance monitoring software allows the Buycard team to identify relationships, patterns and anomalies as well as increase efficiency and effectiveness on Buycard program daily operations. -Daily monitoring activities include but are not limited to:
- Compare Buycard vendor with restricted items
- Detect unusual vendor based on infrequency of use
- Detect split Buycard transactions by dollar amount and vendor
- Investigate "just under limit" transactions by employee
- Identify "over the limit" transactions by employee
- Detect holiday/weekend transactions by employee
Guidelines to making Purchases from Unapproved Vendors
Before procuring items from online vendors, verify that the vendor is currently approved in the FMS database. If the vendor is unapproved and not in FMS, then please contact the vendor file team at 713-500-4700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be aware that continued utilization of an unapproved vendor without prior notification to the BuyCard team is a violation of Procurement Services payment policies.
- The single purchase limit per transaction, per supplier, per day is a maximum of $2,000.
- Splitting an order using separate transactions to circumvent the daily limit is a compliance violation and may lead to cancellation of cardholder privileges.
- The BuyCard cannot be used for any personal purchases under any circumstances.
- The BuyCard is not an authorized method for payment of travel and entertainment expenses.
- A cardholder cannot make purchases of items that appear on the List of Restricted Items.
The BuyCard can be used for purchase of all non-radioactive laboratory chemicals. In order to assure compliance please take these steps:
When entering the POS (Point of Sale) requisition into the financial management system, be very specific in the item description to include the chemical’s name, CAS # (Chemical Abstract Service number), and quantity.
Select the appropriate item category from the item category list. Make sure the requisition includes the name of the individual who will be receiving the order along with the building and room number. The following Ship To address should be used for radioactive material orders:
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Radiation Safety Division
6431 Fannin, JFB G.752
Houston, TX 77030
Attn: (Authorized User)
The Authorized User must notify the Radiation Safety Division of the intended order or receipt. This is accomplished by completing an order approval form on the electronic mail system or facsimile copy and sending it to the Radiation Safety Division. For additional information, refer to the Office of Research, Safety, Health, Environment, and Risk Management’s web site
All BuyCard transactions must be entered as a Point of Sale (POS) requisition in the eProcurement module of PeopleSoft. The State of Texas mandates that all orders placed on any BuyCard be entered immediately. Entry of the requisition will pre-encumber the funds. Once the requisition is approved a purchase order will be created which will encumber the funds to cover this transaction. Entry of the requisition must be a complete and accurate description of each item purchased.
The cardholder will be notified via email of an on-line statement of charges for reconciliation. Files are loaded from the bank on a daily basis. All statements should be reconciled within three days of receiving this notification. On the 15th day of each month, all outstanding charges that have not been reconciled by the cardholder will be automatically reconciled to the cardholder's default account.
- IMPORTANT: MATCHING THE ONLINE STATEMENT TO THE INDIVIDUAL PURCHASE ORDER LINES IN PEOPLE SOFT IS NECESSARY TO DISENCUMBER THE FUNDS AND SUBSEQUENTLY CLOSE THE ASSOCIATED PURCHASE ORDER. IT IS THE CARDHOLDER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT ENCUMBRANCE BALANCES ON POS TRANSACTIONS ARE MONITORED AND MANAGED CORRECTLY.
If you need help with this process please refer to the "Managing Encumbrances" training material or contact the BuyCard Team.
PeopleSoft has functionality that allows the cardholder to delegate another individual to "Act as a Proxy" for the purpose of entering requisitions and reconciliation of the online statements. After the cardholder makes a purchase, the receipts (and any other supporting documentation) should be given immediately to the delegated individual for POS requisition entry. This feature is especially useful for cardholders who are physicians, researchers and other non-administrative personnel. However, it remains the cardholder's responsibility to assure that requisition entry and statement reconciliation is taking place properly.
The BuyCard Team monitors bank statements on a daily basis and cardholder activity on a routine basis to assure compliance with program requirements. The compliance reviews monitor for restricted charges, splitting of charges over $2,000, lack of requisition entry, missing receipts/statements, and improper statement reconciliation.
A cardholder who is out of compliance will be notified by the BuyCard Team and is subject to probation, suspension or revocation of their cardholder privileges. Accounts that have been placed on probation and are subject to possible suspension or revocation are reviewed periodically to assure that issues with compliance have been resolved.
Questions regarding compliance probation, suspension or revocation may be directed to Johnathan Lawrence, Compliance Coordinator (713-500-8182) or Lori Hill-Thompson, Program Coordinator (713-500-4715).
In an effort to ensure proper card usage, certain supporting documentation for each cardholder is required. A credit card statement will be mailed to each cardholder during the months that they make charges. If no charges are made during a billing cycle, no statement is mailed. The following items should be attached to each Citibank monthly statement.
- Sales receipts with pricing
- Packing slip
- Transaction slips
The above documentation should be maintained in the department. The cardholder and another approving official within the department should sign each statement. Supporting documentation for BuyCard transactions must be maintained by the department for a period of seven years plus the current year.
If a cardholder has not used the BuyCard for six consecutive billing cycles (months), the card may be revoked at the discretion of the BuyCard Program Coordinator. The cardholder will be contacted in an effort to determine the explanation for non-use of this privilege. Cards that are issued, but not used present a risk of fraud and abuse to The University of Texas health Science Center at Houston.
When a cardholder terminates employment with the university, the department is obligated to reclaim the BuyCard and return it to the BuyCard Program Administrator prior to the employee's termination date.
Cardholder & Department Responsibility
- The cardholder is the ONLY individual authorized to use their card.
- The cardholder must understand the responsibilities they are assuming by having a card issued to them and accepting those responsibilities.
- The cardholder will be held responsible for any personal charges made to the card. Restitution and a full explanation are immediately required.
- The cardholder is responsible for immediately contacting the BuyCard Team in order to dispute any fraudulent or inappropriate charges that are made to the card.
- The cardholder is responsible for contacting Citibank in order to cancel a lost or stolen credit card. The cardholder is also responsible for contacting the BuyCard Team and his/hers department business manager in the event of a lost or stolen card.
- The cardholder is responsible for attempting to resolve any disputes with a supplier. If resolution is not possible, it should be reported to Citibank, the BuyCard Team and the department's business manger.
- The cardholder is responsible for signing the credit card.
- If the cardholder is out for an extended period of time, then please contact the BuyCard Team.
Each department's chief business officer is responsible for assuring proper administration of all BuyCard issued to employees of that department.
The department's chief business officer is responsible for assuring that a cardholder statements are properly reconciled each month and that charges have been reviewed and signed-off on the statement by a third party.
Report a Stolen Card
The cardholder should notify Citibank immediately if the BuyCard is lost or stolen by calling 1-800-248-4553 / outside of U.S. call collect 904-954-7314. This allows us to minimize and even prevent unauthorized access.
Please have the following information available when you call to cancel your card.
- First and Last name of the cardholder (John Smith).
- Last four digit of your employee ID (123456)
The cardholder should also notify their department's business manager and the BuyCard Program Coordinator.
Upon notification, the bank will immediately suspend your BuyCard and issue a new card. The new card will be sent to the BuyCard Program coordinator who will make the new card available to the cardholder.
IMPORTANT: You must contact the bank immediately to suspend the card if it is lost or stolen. You are responsible for all charges made on the card until it has been cancelled at Citibank.
Dispute a Transaction
You may dispute any charge that appears on your monthly statement. If there is a charge that is not recognized or appears to be incorrect, you should first contact the supplier and attempt to resolve the issue. If an agreement cannot be reached, simply complete the "Charge Dispute Form" and fax it to the BuyCard Team at 713-500-4710. Keep copy of the "Citibank Dispute Form" with applicable bank statement. A charge may be disputed up to 60 days from the bank billing date.
Documentation of the dispute should also go to the department's business manager and a copy should be maintained with the credit card statement.
Please remember, Procurement Services is your partner in helping you manage your credit card and is available to assist in any dispute resolution.