Module 2

Departmental Responsibilities

Policies and Procedures

Department managers/administrators are responsible for instituting written departmental purchasing policies and procedures for employees to follow. These policies may be identical to, or enhance, established UCI and UC Systemwide policies.

Cardholder Leave of Absence

If a cardholder goes on a leave of absence, or is ill for an extended period of time, the PALCard account must be placed on temporary hold.  No other employee may use the card during a cardholder's absence

To place an account on hold, the cardholder should send a message to  Upon return to work, the cardholder should notify PALCard staff so that the hold can be removed.

Card Cancellation

When cardholders transfer to another department or leave employment with the University, they are responsible for notifying PALCard staff so that the account can be cancelled. 

To cancel an account, send a message to  Do not e-mail the card number, only your name and the date the PALCard needs to be closed.  After receiving e-mail confirmation that the account has been closed, the plastic should be destroyed in a shredder or cut in numerous sections with scissors. 

PALCards are non-transferable to other employees or departments.

Card Parameter Updates

Supervisors (only) may request cycle limit increases by sending a message to  Default limits are $5,000 per single transaction, and $10,000 per cycle (month). Supervisors may request higher limits by providing a justification of purchasing need on the PALCard application (PCAP). The justification can be added in the 'Notes and Attachments' section or in the 'Explanation' field of the PCAP in the Kuali Financial System (KFS).


Cardholder Responsibilities

Training and Testing

All cardholders and reconcilers must complete online PALCard/Low Value e-Training and pass the e-Test prior to completing a PALCard application.  Retraining and testing is required annually.  This policy protects the University's resources and ensures that cardholders are exercising good financial stewardship of University funds.

Cards are Non-transferable

The person whose name is embossed on the card is the only one authorized to make purchases with the plastic card and/or account number. Under no circumstance may a cardholder provide his/her number to another individual to use. This policy is strictly enforced.  Violation of this policy will result in revocation of card privileges.

In the event that the cardholder is unavailable to make purchases and no other departmental employee has been issued a card, the department should process a low value purchase order to procure goods and services until another employee has been issued a PALCard. 

Purchasing With a PALCard

Any merchant who accepts VISA will also accept a PALCard. Cardholders may purchase low value goods and services according to University policy.  Refer to the Purchasing Methods Guide (.pdf) as a guide to Low Value purchasing policy. 

Purchases may be processed over the phone, fax, internet or in person. When providing your card number and expiration date to merchants over the phone, ask them to repeat the number and expiration date to make sure the information is correct. 

Never e-mail your PALCard account number because e-mail is not a secure form for sending information.

Receiving Goods and Services

Cardholders are responsible for insuring that goods and services ordered with the PALCard are received. Verify receipt of each delivery by checking packing/delivery receipts and merchandise immediately after delivery. Follow-up directly with merchants regarding discrepancies, credits or returns.

Purchases Over $5,000

The purchase of goods and services over $5,000 (high value) must be directed to a Central Purchasing Buyer.  Departments need to process a high value requisition for these items, which is transmitted electronically to Central Purchasing.  The Central Purchasing Buyer will contact the merchant and order the good or service, and issue a P.O. number.    

Any item listed on the Purchasing Methods Guide which states the approved purchase method as a “High Value Requisition,” must also be processed by a Central Purchasing Buyer.  This pertains to any dollar amount, including orders that total less than $5,000.  For example, an order of radioactive materials may total $100, however radioactive materials are considered a “high risk” good, so they must be purchased via a high value requisition by a Central Purchasing Buyer.

Purchases Totaling $1 - $5,000

Low value goods and low risk services which can be purchased with the PALCard are designated on the Purchasing Methods Guide. Every purchase that is processed with a PALCard, instead of a Low Value Purchase Order, results in a cost reduction of $71 per transaction.


When a PALCard purchase is made either over the counter, on the phone, via fax, or on the Internet, purchase documentation must be retained to provide details about the purchase. The cardholder must forward all transactional documentation in a timely manner (4-6 calendar days) to the Reconciler for reconciliation. The department is the Official Office of Record, and if audited, will be required to show proof of documentation.

  1. Required documentation consists of:
  2. Optional Documentation consists of:

Violations of PALCard Policy

The following violations of PALCard or Low Value purchasing policy, will result in revocation of card privileges:

Card Safety

Lost or Stolen Cards

Lost or stolen cards must be reported to U.S. Bank within 60 days of the transaction date.  All fraudulent transactions are covered by insurance when they are reported within this time frame. If your card becomes lost or stolen, contact U.S. Bank immediately at their 24-hour, 7-day hotline (800) 344-5696

Upon receipt of your call by U.S. Bank, further use of the card will be blocked and a new card will be sent to the PALCard Administrator in 3-4 business days.  Prompt action on your part will eliminate your department's liability for fraudulent charges. Outside the U.S. call collect (700) 461-2010.

After you have notified U.S. Bank, e-mail or contact
Jennifer Chey.


Obtaining a PALCard

Who Can Be Issued a PALCard?

Faculty, staff and student employees may apply for a PALCard with supervisor approval.  Temporary or part-time staff are also eligible to apply.  The PALCard should be issued to employees who have purchasing responsibilities, or will be a back-up purchaser for the department.

An employee's personal credit history has no basis on whether or not an employee can apply for a PALCard - personal credit history is not a factor.  PALCard is a corporate liability card, not a personal liability card.  Personal information, such as date of birth and social security number, are not required when applying for a PALCard.

How Many Cards Can Be Issued in a Department?

There is no limit to how many cards can be issued in a department. Criteria for issuing a PALCard should be based solely on the following:

How Many Cards Can Be Issued Per Employee?

Generally speaking, only one card may be issued to an employee.  In rare cases a maximum of two cards may be issued, if the employee can demonstrate that a minimum of 50 transactions each month are allocated to each of the two different accounts.

Time Required to Receive a PALCard?

After you have completed the PALCard/Low Value training and passed the e-test, you are eligible to submit an application through the Kuali Financial System (KFS).

When your card arrives, PALCard staff will contact you to schedule attendance at a PALCard Issuance Meeting, which will take approximately 30-45 minutes in length.  Meetings for employees who work at the Irvine campus will take place in the Purchasing Department, 250 Public Services Building (directly above the UCI Police Department) 

For employees that work at the UCI Medical Center in Orange, or other remote locations, the PALCard Administrator will conduct the issuance meeting at their office location.

At the meeting you will be required to sign a PALCard User Agreement, whereby you agree to abide by all PALCard and Low Value purchasing policies.  A photo identification, either driver's license or staff I.D. is required to pick-up your card.

Email Notification of PALCard Charges

Cardholders receive an e-mail 'FYI' notification in their KFS Action List, for every debit or credit that is charged to their account.  E-mail notifications are sent to cardholders and reconcilers approximately 4-6 calendar days after the merchant processes a charge.


Reconciler Responsibilities

The Reconciler is responsible for verifying PALCard purchases meet policy guidelines and are supported by adequate documentation.  To be effective, the Reconciler must be in a position to objectively question any and all card purchases. Therefore, Reconcilers may not be in a reporting relationship to the cardholder.

Reconciling Transactions

Reconcilers are responsible for the review of all purchase transactions for the cardholder they are assigned to. Reconcilers may not review cardholders they are not assigned to.  PALCard transactions must be reviewed by the Reconciler within the 15-calendar day period. The 15-calendar day period is calculated from the date that the PALCard Document (PCDO) was created.

The review/reconciliation process consists of:

Mandatory Purchase Documentation

1.      Purchasing documentation contains the following information:

         Date of purchase

         Description of goods or services purchased

         Account information if different than the default account

         Pricing, sales or use tax, estimated freight, shipping/handling, postage

         Signature(s) if required by department purchasing policy

         Order and delivery dates

2.      Packing and/or delivery slip – To verify goods were received.  Not all vendors supply a packing slip. 

3.      Receipt or charge slip when available – When purchases are made in person be sure to collect a receipt and/or charge slip. 

4.      Printout of internet confirmation screen - Print out the screen that contains the confirmation number, description of items purchased, dollar amounts of transaction, and total dollar amount.  Be sure that shipping charges and applicable tax are included in the order total.

5.      Price quotation if available  – Keep vendor price quotations and all correspondence on file.

6.     If the PCDO's were not approved within 15 days and were auto-sent to the General Ledger, the Internal Requisition should be signed with First and Last Name (not initialed) of the reconciler who 'manually' reviewed and dated, to indicate the charge has been reviewed.


PALCard Document (PCDO)

Each time a PALCard transaction is made, a document is sent to the cardholder as an 'FYI'. The same document is also sent to Reconciler(s) as well.

The e-mail provides a link to the KFS document, which can only be accessed through a UCI secured network. The document in KFS includes information about the purchase transaction including the cardholder's name, transaction date, transaction amount, vendor name and default account number linked to the PALCard.

Reconciliation of PALCard documents (PCDO) in the Kuali Financial System (KFS) is a process in which the Reconciler makes all necessary changes, assigns proper accounts and object codes and sends PALCard transactions to the General Ledger.

Reconcilers have 15 calendar days to review charges before the charges are automatically sent to the General Ledger and charged to the default account linked to the card. All PALCard charges must be reviewed within this time frame to keep the account compliant with policy.  

PCDO Reconciliation allows Reconcilers to reallocate the charge to another account or to split the charge among one or more account. Use tax must also be adjusted to the correct amount, or deleted if the purchase is tax exempt.

Record Retention

Purchase documentation will be managed by KFS/FileNet according to University Disposition Schedules.


The Reconciler is responsible for following up with the cardholder to make sure returns and their associated credits have been processed. Vendors will issue all credits to the individual PALCard account for any item they have agreed to accept for return.


Auditors with the PALCard program audit transactions on a regular basis by reviewing transaction data.  The daily review of PALCard transactions helps ensure that appropriate documentation is maintained by the cardholder, that each transaction is reviewed by the Reconciler within 15 calendar days, and that the purchase is compliant with PALCard policies.

Outside agencies, such as Federal and State, as well as the University's Internal Audit department, may also audit purchase transactions.  Requests for audits are sent by e-mail to the Reconciler, who is responsible for responding by submitting a copy of purchase documentation.  Reconcilers must respond to audit requests within 14 calendar days to keep the PALCard account compliant with policy.


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Revised 06/27/2017