Purchasing Card Frequently Asked Questions


Who can get a Purchasing Card?

The P-Card is available to all Iowa State University faculty, staff, and graduate assistants with the approval of the cardholder’s manager and the department’s cost center manager. To learn how to apply for a card, please reference this Card Application Knowledge Base Article.


What is the billing address for my card?

If the supplier asks for the statement or billing address, it is generally the cardholder’s office address, including room, building, and street. Contact the Card Services team at 515-294-7024 or cardservices@iastate.edu for specific information.


How long after I make a purchase will the transaction be viewable in Workday?

It will take at least 2 business days for the transaction to show in Workday. The cardholder will receive a notification in Workday and an email to let them know there is a transaction ready to be verified.


What documentation is required for P-Card transactions?

A legible, itemized receipt is required for all purchasing card transactions.

It is the responsibility of each cardholder and their Procurement and Expense Specialist (PES) to attach receipts to the Procurement Card Verification (PCV) in Workday.

Documentation MUST support an authorized (acceptable) business purpose for all transactions made with the P-Card. 


Receipt documentation might include the following:


Transactions will be subject to audit by the Procurement Services Department, the Controller’s Department, Internal Audit and State of Iowa auditors.


What do I do if I am unable to complete my transaction verification within 30 days?

Cardholders who have extenuating circumstances or supplier issues that prevent them from completing the transaction verification should contact the Card Services team for assistance.

It is the cardholder’s responsibility, within thirty days of the transaction posting to Workday, to attach legible, itemized receipts and enter the business purpose, Worktag(s), and transaction description information to the Procurement Card Verification document (PCV) for their transactions, OR to provide that information to their procurement and expense specialists (PES) at finance_delivery@iastate.edu or through ServiceNow.  Failure to enter or provide this information within thirty days of the post date will be grounds for suspension of card privileges.

Weekly reminder messages will be sent by e-mail to cardholders when transaction Procurement Card Verifications (PCVs) have not been completed within 30 days of the transaction post date.  Cardholders may review their transactions via the report My Procurement Card Transactions in Workday. 


How do I contact my Procurement and Expense Specialist (PES)?

You can contact your PES at finance_delivery@iastate.edu or submit a Service Request to help complete your P-Card transactions.


Why was my card declined when I tried to make a non-restricted purchase?

Make sure that the amount of your purchase is not above your transaction limit or that you have not exceeded the monthly cycle limit for your card (remember that the cycle begins on the 12th of the month). If the transaction falls within your limits, the transaction may be declined because the supplier's Merchant Category Code is blocked on your card configuration. Contact the card services team at 515-294-7024 or cardservices@iastate.edu for assistance.


The supplier charged tax on my purchase. What do I do?

First, consider the time and effort to obtain a credit. If the amount of tax charged is small, it may be more cost-effective to pay the tax and save yourself the time it would take. However, if you decide it is worth your time, contact the supplier and ask for a credit in the amount of tax charged. Iowa State University is exempt from Iowa sales tax and sales tax in other states listed on the Sales Tax page. If the supplier requires a university sales tax-exempt certificate, you may complete a request for an exemption certificate.


Can I use my P-Card for hospitality expenses?

Hospitality expenses should be made using the Travel and Hospitality (T&H) card. The expenses will need to go through on an expense report to collect the appropriate information.

More information about the Travel and Hospitality Card usage is available on the T&H Card website on the Using the Card page under Meeting, Event, and Hospitality Usages.

Information on which card to use for what types of transactions can be found here


How can I tell the difference between my Travel and Hospitality Card and my Purchasing Card?

The Travel and Hospitality Card has corporate written on it, whereas the Purchasing Card has purchasing written on it. 


Can I use my P-Card at the University Bookstore?

Yes, the Purchasing Card is accepted at the University Bookstore.


How do I process credit transactions?

If you have a transaction against which you will receive full or partial credit, the cardholder or the Procurement and Expense Specialist (PES) will need to process the credit the same way the original transaction was processed.  The same Worktag and spend category should be used on both the original transaction and the credit transaction.


What do I do if I don't recognize the supplier name on a transaction?

If you cannot identify the supplier or the transaction, contact the card services team at 515-294-7024 or cardservices@iastate.edu for assistance.

Unauthorized transactions to unknown suppliers should be reported to the card services team (515-294-7024 or cardservices@iastate.edu) immediately.  If transactions are determined to be fraudulent, the card services team will notify U.S. Bank fraud prevention. 

For unrecognized or incorrect transactions, the cardholder should first seek resolution with the supplier. If resolution cannot be achieved with the supplier, the cardholder shall contact the card services team, within 30 days of the post date, with supporting information.  The card services team will investigate the transaction, and, if appropriate, initiate a dispute through U.S. Bank.  Once the charge is disputed, U.S. Bank will request documentation from the supplier.  If the supplier fails to provide suitable documentation supporting the charge, the disputed amount will be credited back to the cardholder’s account.

Transactions sixty (60) days past the cycle date cannot be reported as fraudulent or be disputed with U.S. Bank, and will be the responsibility of the cardholder’s department.


What is the difference between fraud and dispute?

Fraud usually involves a deliberate action on the part of an often-unknown third party.  Disputes normally arise out of billing problems with a supplier with which the cardholder has done legitimate business: double billing, over-billing, billing for goods not received, and problems with issuing credits. Keep in mind that when a transaction post to Workday, the supplier has already been paid.  Delaying the processing of Procurement Card Verifications (PCVs) in Workday does not withhold payment to the supplier.