An updated suspension process for individual (not departmental) Purchasing Cards (PCards) and Travel Cards (TCards) rolls out in Fiscal Year 2024. Designed to reduce risk to the university and encourage financial stewardship of these university-issued credit cards, the updated suspension process reinforces proper use of cards with regard to timely processing. Processing transactions in a timely manner is important to ensure expenditures are correctly reported.
The updated suspension process will utilize a “two strikes” system that includes a written warning after the first incident and a 60-day card suspension after the second one. After the 60-day suspension the individual would need to request reactivation of the card. The updated process will formally take effect as described in the sections below, though it is important to note that a card may be suspended at any time for improper use.
Individual card suspension for multiple force cleared transactions, effective in Fiscal Year 2024
Stanford’s policy for Travel Cards and Purchasing Cards requires transactions to be verified and approved within 60 days of the completion of travel (for Travel Cards) or the SU Credit Card Posted Date (for PCards) to help mitigate fraud, waste and abuse and support financial stewardship excellence for the university. For uncleared transactions aged beyond 60 days, FMS sweeps them in a quarterly force clearing process and charges a fee for each force cleared transaction.
Starting with the first quarterly force clearing in 2024 (which will occur on Feb. 2, 2024), individual PCards or Travel Cards with transactions that are force cleared in two different quarters in a rolling 12 month period will be suspended for 60 days.
For example, if an individual PCard or Travel Card transaction that starts aging between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, 2023 (which is the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2024) is uncleared after 60 days, and is force cleared by FMS on Feb. 2, 2024, a warning notification email will be sent to the cardholder, their manager, and a key finance contact in their school or budget unit. If a transaction(s) on that card is force cleared in another quarter within the next 12 months, the card will be suspended for 60 days and the cardholder must follow a reactivation request process to reactivate it.
How to reactivate a suspended card
To reactivate the card after the 60-day suspension period ends, a cardholder must:
- Manage any force cleared PCard or TCard transactions.
- Retake the relevant training class:
- Fill out and sign an attestation form stating that they understand and will comply with Stanford’s credit card policies, retook the related training, and understand the consequences of non-compliance with policies. The form must then be approved (signed) by a key finance contact in their school or budget unit.
- Request reactivation through the Credit Card Profiles Change Request tool and submit the signed attestation form.
How to avoid card suspension for force clearing
- Clear transactions on time. It is a best practice to verify and approve aging transactions within 10 days. To avoid force clearing, always verify and approve card transactions within 60 days of travel (for Travel Cards) or posted date (for PCards). Visit the Fingate page Clearing of Aging Transactions for clearing deadlines in Fiscal Year 2024.
- Monitor aging transactions reports to ensure timely clearing. The Fingate page Managing Aging and Outstanding Expense Transactions describes tools and reports within Oracle Financials that preparers, approvers, or finance staff can access to monitor aging credit card transactions and to look up or view transactions. The page includes a chart on how to find aging transactions based on role. To find and take action on force cleared PCard or Travel Card transactions, use the OBI Credit Card Transactions Report.
Future enhancements to how the university supports and monitors proper use of cards
This fiscal year, more enhancements will be launched to support proper use, for example with regard to personal charges. Because all PCard purchases must be for the benefit of the university, personal charges on a PCard are strictly prohibited. The Travel Card may be used for incidental personal expenses that cannot be easily separated from a business charge, but a separate, wholly personal charge on a Travel Card is not allowed. Any personal charges on a PCard or Travel Card must be repaid to the university.
Cardholder misuse of a PCard or Travel Card is currently flagged and audited by Card Services, and may lead to suspension of a PCard and/or a Travel Card, card cancellation, disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or other relationships with the university, and any other potential action identified following a university investigation.
To continue to support financial stewardship of these university-issued credit cards, Financial Management Services (FMS) is assessing an updated suspension process for individual cards with multiple accidental personal charges.
How to avoid accidental personal charges on a PCard or TCard
- Follow best practices. These steps can help cardholders avoid accidental personal charges on PCards and Travel Cards:
- Never save the PCard account number as a default or saved payment method for any website.
- Never save the Travel Card account number as a default or saved payment method for any website, with the exception of travel that is booked through a Stanford Travel booking channel webpage.
- Never save your PCard or Travel Card card information on an app on your phone.
- Do not keep your PCard or Travel Card in your wallet with your personal credit cards.
- Keep the card secure. Lending or sharing of an individual PCard or TCard is not allowed.
- Never send a PCard or Travel Card account number via text, email, messaging, etc.
- Review PCard and Travel Card policies and procedures. Learn about proper card use, card responsibilities by role, and how to prevent fraud (including enrolling in fraud alerts with JP Morgan Chase) on the PCard Program page and the Travel Card Program page. See a list of permissible and non-permissible expenses and read about usage guidelines on the PCard Policy page and the Travel Card Policy page.
How to reimburse Stanford for a personal charge
Always reimburse any personal expenses on a PCard or a Travel Card promptly. The reimbursement process varies by the type of card.
- To reimburse Stanford for a personal charge on a PCard, visit How to Handle Personal Expenses Charged to a PCard.
- To reimburse Stanford for a personal charge on a Travel Card, visit How to Return Personal Expenses Charged to a Travel Card.
In case you missed it:
- New guidance on PCard software exception process in November. Starting November 13, PCard holders must consult with their local IT team or department administrator before using the PCard to purchase software that is not available through the Software at Stanford website and does not require a contract. The PCard user must then attest that they consulted with their local IT team or department administrator in the verification process following the purchase. Learn more about this new guidance on Business Expense Updates and Hot Topics.
- Card Activation Code Change in September: Effective Sept. 1, 2023, to activate a new or renewed Purchasing Card (PCard) or Travel Card (TCard) or to contact JPMorgan Chase with questions about a card, the cardholder must provide the last four digits of their employee ID, rather than the last four digits of their Social Security Number, and their date of birth.
- PCard Module enhancements in July: In July, several PCard module enhancements were released to improve and streamline the PCard experience. The updated card suspension process continues this project to support PCard and Travel Card policies and reduce risk. Individual cardholders are encouraged to follow proper use of PCards and Travel Cards, using the resources mentioned in this announcement and available on Fingate and within Oracle Financials.
Learn more or get help
- Learn more about managing aging transactions and the card suspension process at the October 11 virtual event, Applying the Data: Managing Aging Transactions, whose recording and presentation slides are available on the FMS Events page.
- If you have questions or need help clearing a transaction on time, please Submit a Support Request to the Card Services team.