2023-2024 Policy Library 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2023-2024 Policy Library

Purchase Card Policy

Category: Financial Management
Title: Purchase Card Policy
Approved by:
Date Approved: July 1, 2015
History: N/A
Responsible Official: Business Office

Policy Statement

The Wells One Commercial Card Program has been established at Claremont McKenna College (“the College” or “CMC”) in order to provide a convenient, rapid purchasing process, and to reduce paperwork and handling costs. Those purchasers who have been issued Wells One Commercial Cards may initiate transactions in-person, by telephone, or over the Internet within the limits of this policy and procedure manual. This manual will provide you with the particulars of the program, including general guidelines, reconcilement and record keeping procedures, and customer service information. It is important to read the following information carefully, as you will be responsible for adhering to the CMC-established policy and procedures.


Entities Covered by this Policy



Associate Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer
(909) 607-7085

Director of Finance
(909) 607-2829



These definitions apply to these terms are they are used in this Policy:

  • PCP: Purchase Card Program
  • Vendor: A company from which a Cardholder is purchasing materials, equipment or services under the provisions of this procedure.
  • Cardholder: Personnel who have been issued Purchase Cards and who are authorized to make purchases in accordance with these procedures.
  • Delegate: Personnel who have been authorized to submit an expense report on another employee’s behalf.
  • Approving Supervisor: This individual shall review and approve a Cardholder’s expense reports.
  • Program Coordinator: The person responsible for all program details, including all Cardholder inquiries. The Business Office staff that have been designated as coordinators are the Associate Vice President for Finance and the Director of Finance.
  • Monthly Card Limit: A dollar amount limitation of purchasing authority delegated to a Cardholder on a monthly basis. This dollar limit is currently set at $5,000, but can be increased with the Approving Supervisor’s approval.



Receiving a Purchase Card

Employees may request a College purchase card by completing the “request purchase card” task within Workday.  Submitted requests will be automatically routed in Workday to the employee’s manager for approval.  Approved purchase card requests will then be routed to the Business Office who will order the card from Wells Fargo Bank.  Employees will be contacted by the Business Office once the card is available.



Authorized Purchase Card Use

The purchase card that the Cardholder receives has his/her name embossed on it and shall only be used by the Cardholder. No other person is authorized to use their purchase card. The Cardholder may make transactions on behalf of others in their department. However, the Cardholder is responsible for all use of his/her purchase card. Use of the purchase card shall be limited to the following conditions:

  • The purchase card may only be used for purchases in conducting business in accordance with the College’s mission.
  • The Cardholder must adhere to the College’s policy for reimbursement of travel, entertainment and other business expenses.
  • The Cardholder must adhere to the spending limits.

Also, the Cardholder shall inform the Vendor that all applicable materials/supplies are subject to sales/use tax for L.A. County in the State of California.

Unauthorized Purchase Card Use

The Purchase Card shall not be used for the following:

  • Personal purchases or identification;
  • Cash advances.

A Cardholder may, on occasion, incur charges that are considered to be of mixed personal and business purposes. The Cardholder must reimburse the College for all personal charges no later than the 15th day following the month in which the expense was incurred, by providing a check made payable to “Claremont McKenna College” to the Program Coordinator. Cardholders who make unauthorized purchases or carelessly use the purchase card may be liable for the total dollar amount of such unauthorized purchases plus any administrative fees charged by the Bank in connection with the misuse. The Cardholder may also be subject to disciplinary actions or termination and, if applicable, criminal prosecution.

Making a Purchase

Procurement procedures permit a purchase of tangible goods and services. It is policy to seek the lowest prices within the parameters of quality and delivery. Accordingly, whenever making a purchase the Cardholder will check as many sources of supply or services as reasonable to the situation to assure best price and delivery. All purchases funded by a Federal grant must be reasonable, allowable, and in compliance with federal Uniform Guidelines. To ensure that the College is not doing business with vendors who have been suspended or debarred from doing business with the federal government, The Claremont Colleges Services team will check all purchase card transactions charged to a federal grant source against the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS). If a vendor appears on the EPLS website, the purchase will be moved off the federal grant. It is extremely important that all material and equipment purchases be sent to the Cardholder ordering the merchandise, as this will ensure that the documents necessary for the record keeping are readily available to the Cardholder. Cardholders should also retain documentation of authorized service-related purchases. Purchase Card Returns - If an item is not satisfactory, received wrong, damaged and/or defective, duplicate order, etc., the Cardholder should make contact with the vendor to explain the problem and inquire about return policies.

Cardholder Recordkeeping

When an order is made using a Purchase Card, either over the counter, by telephone or over the Internet, documentation shall be retained as proof of the purchase. Such documentation is to be used to provide detail of the purchase and as verification that appropriate sales tax has been paid. The detail is to be scanned and attached electronically to an expense report within Workday. When the purchase is made over the counter, the Cardholder shall retain the invoice and “customer copy” of the charge receipt. The Cardholder is responsible to check that the vendor lists the quantity, fully describes the item(s), and includes sales tax, prior to the Cardholder signing the slip. Cardholders (or their delegates) are required to submit expense reports in Workday no later than the 15th calendar day following the month the expense was incurred. 

Failure to submit expense reports in Workday by the 60th calendar day following the date the expense was incurred could result in the expense being added to the Cardholder’s taxable income.

Review of Cardholder Expenses

On a daily basis, purchase card transactions are imported into Workday. The Cardholder (or delegate) is required to reconcile these transactions by completing the “create expense report” task in Workday.  It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to check each transaction listed within Workday against his/her receipts to ensure that the transactions posted are legitimate transactions made by the Cardholder.  The Cardholder (or delegate) will also be required to document the account worktags, business purpose and details of overnight travel if applicable. The IRS requires that overnight travel be carefully documented. Include the following information in the memo field:

  • Destination
  • Dates of Departure and Return

If proper substantiation is not attached to an expense report, purchases may be ruled by the IRS as income to the Cardholder or subject Claremont McKenna College to sales tax penalties by the CSBE. Repeated failure to adhere to this procedure will result in the Purchase Card being suspended or revoked. The Cardholder shall submit an expense report no later than the 15th calendar day following the month the expense was incurred.  Failure to submit an expense report by the 60th calendar day following the date the expense was incurred may be ruled by the IRS as income to the Cardholder.

Once the expense report has been submitted, it will be routed automatically to the Approving Supervisor’s Workday inbox for their approval. The Approving Supervisor may send an expense report back within Workday to the Cardholder for any clarification or changes. If changes are not necessary the Approving Supervisor will select the “approve” button. This online approval of a Cardholder’s expense report indicates that the Cardholder was authorized to make those purchases and that they were made in accordance with applicable procedures. If the Cardholder does not have documentation of a transaction, he/she shall attach an explanation that includes a description of the item(s) purchased, date of purchase, vendor’s name and reason for the lack of supporting documentation. The value of any transactions that are missing receipts and exceed $75 may be added to the Cardholder’s Form W-2 at the end of the calendar year.  If the Cardholder is disputing a charge, they shall be responsible for contacting Wells Fargo Bank to dispute the charge. If an item has been returned and a credit voucher received, the Cardholder shall verify that this credit is reflected on an expense report. If purchased items or credits are not listed within Workday, the appropriate transaction documentation shall be RETAINED by the Cardholder until the matter is resolved.

Cardholder Audits

Cardholder transactions are subject to audit at any time by the Business Office or designated representative from The Claremont Colleges Services. The Purchase Card may be suspended or revoked in the event of repeated failures to adhere to the approval and record-keeping procedures.

Card Security

It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to safeguard the Purchase Card and account number to the same degree that a Cardholder safeguards their personal credit information. The Cardholder must not allow anyone else to use their account number. A violation of this trust may result in that Cardholder having their Purchase Card suspended or revoked and receiving disciplinary action. If the Purchase Card is lost or stolen the Cardholder shall immediately notify Wells Fargo Bank at 1-800-932-0036. Representatives are available 24 hours a day. The Cardholder shall advise the representative that the call is regarding a Visa Purchase Card. The Program Coordinator shall also be notified immediately.  A Purchase Card that is subsequently found by the Cardholder after being reported lost shall be delivered to the Program Coordinator to be destroyed. 

Cardholder Separation

Prior to separation from the College, the Cardholder shall surrender the Purchase Card, and submit expense reports for all outstanding transactions. Upon its receipt, the card will be destroyed by the Program Coordinator.