Purchasing and Corporate Cards

Purchasing Cards are essentially aimed at low value, consumable type purchases; there is an individual transaction limit of £250 and a monthly spend limit per card of £5,000. These limits are negotiable, and limits can be increased in the appropriate circumstances. The Purchasing Card cannot be used for entertainment and hospitality.

The Corporate Card scheme should be used for entertainment and hospitality purposes whilst on UCL business. Corporate Cards are designed to be utilised by Heads of Department and senior academic for personal expenditure, (travel, accommodation entertainment & hospitality etc.) incurred whilst on UCL business at home and overseas. The standard monthly spend limit per card is £2,000.

Purchasing Card

Purchasing Card Policy


Barclaycard Purchasing Cards (VISA-badged) are issued at the discretion of the Financial Control and Analysis Director.

The card remains the property of Barclays Bank Plc and is to be returned to the Financial Control and Analysis Director upon request. New/replacement cards are sent to Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA) and the cardholder will be requested to collect the card from Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA). Proof of identity will be required and the cardholder will sign for the card.

Cardholders are responsible for the security of their card, card number, card PIN and statements. The loss of a card must be reported immediately to Barclaycard Customer Services Centre on 01604 230230 (open 24 hours) and to Sonia Frasson (ext 48228) in Financial Analysis and Reporting. Financial Analysis and Reporting will confirm the loss to Barclaycard and request a replacement card. Cards are only to be used by the cardholder themselves and should not be loaned or their details passed on to anyone, including their colleagues.

Cards will be withdrawn by the Financial Control and Analysis Director if these policies are not adhered to. Additionally, any breach of the policy could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Use of Purchasing Cards

Purchasing cards are intended solely for use in connection with UCL business and should not be used for personal benefit.

Purchasing cards are intended to be used for departmental expenditure and not for individuals' expenses or items which should be purchased using purchase orders and paid by invoice on MyFinance. Purchasing cards should not be used to avoid UCL's policies and normal procedures e.g. they must not be used for purchases of computers and other IT products, furniture, office equipment, stationery, photographic or audio visual products. All travel should be made through UCL's preferred travel supplier.

Cards should not be used to pay for entertainment or hospitality. This should be paid for by individuals and reclaimed through expenses.

Purchasing cards should not leave the office under any circumstances.

Unlike corporate cards, purchasing cards have a transaction limit. In line with UCL's purchasing guidelines, no individual items over £250 can be purchased without prior agreement from Finance and Business Affairs. Cards have a monthly spend limit of £5,000.

Purchasing cards cannot be used to withdraw cash.

With all purchases, the cardholder should request that they are sent a VAT invoice.

Administration of Purchasing Cards


Analysis and Reporting (FBA). Applications must be agreed by the Head of Department/Faculty Dean and then approved by the School/Professional Services Finance Director. Finance and Business Affairs reserve the right to decline any application if there is not a genuine need for a card (i.e. other methods of purchase are more appropriate) or the department currently has an excessive number of cards. By applying for a Purchasing Card, individuals are confirming acceptance of this policy and procedures. Forms should then be returned to Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA).

There should not be more than two purchasing cards in a department.

A new card will be issued approximately 14 days in advance of the expiry date of the current card. If a new card is not received at this time, the cardholder should contact Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA).

If a cardholder moves departments, Financial Analysis and Reporting must be notified and the card will be cancelled. The card should be destroyed and sent to Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA).

If a cardholder changes name or the card becomes damaged, the cardholder should notify Financial Analysis and Reporting and a new card will be issued. The old card should be destroyed and given to Financial Analysis and Reporting on collection of the new card.

On leaving the employment of UCL, the card should be destroyed and sent to Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA). Prior to this, Sonia Frasson must be informed as soon as possible, so it can be arranged that the account is closed before the cardholder leaves UCL, as simply cutting the card up does not close the account. All direct debits set up on the account must be cancelled before the cardholder leaves and any outstanding payments appearing on statements after the cardholder's departure must be reconciled by the department, who take full responsibility for the clearing of debts incurred on their behalf.

Inactivity of cards for a period of six months may render an account to be closed by the Financial Control and Analysis Director and the cardholder will be notified accordingly.

Payment of Purchasing Card

Currently, Barclaycard will submit a statement monthly to each Purchasing Card holder at their UCL address. If you do not receive a statement by the 15th of the month, you should contact Barclaycard and request a copy statement. Alternatively, or in addition to this, cardholders can register for the Barclays online banking service to view statements.

If there is a discrepancy on the statement received from Barclaycard this must be advised immediately and Barclaycard will investigate it. Cardholders should also advise Financial Analysis and Reporting (FBA) that they have disputed an item. Queries regarding items charged to the card should be referred to Barclaycard Customer Services on 0870 1540124.

Payment for the card is made directly by UCL via direct debit. Cardholders are then required to process all purchasing card transactions through MyFinance.

Clearing Purchasing Card Expense from MyFinance

All purchasing card transactions will be processed via MyFinance.

A confirmation e-mail will be sent to all cardholders once the statement transactions have been loaded on to MyFinance.

When you log on to MyFinance, you will see your purchasing card transactions. You will be expected to process these transactions through MyFinance, which means coding them to the appropriate project or GL codes and allocating to the correct type of expenditure before submitting the 'claim' for approval.

Each month's purchasing card transactions must be cleared from MyFinance by the month end in which they were loaded. Failure to clear transactions from MyFinance (excluding those placed in dispute) will result in the Purchasing Card being withdrawn.

There is online help available for both iExpenses and Purchasing Card transactions.

Administration of Corporate Cards

Application forms can be obtained by emailing Sonia Frasson (s.frasson@ucl.ac.uk) in Financial Analysis and Reporting. Applications must be approved by the Head of Department or, in the case of Heads of Departments, by the Director of Finance. Members of staff will be personally liable for all expenditure charged to the card. By applying for a Corporate Card, individuals are confirming acceptance of this policy and procedures. Forms should then be returned to Financial Analysis and Reporting.

The credit limit on the Corporate Card is £2,000. Higher limits are at the discretion of the Financial Control and Analysis Director subject to authorisation of the cardholder's Head of Department and the Director of Finance.

Inactivity of cards for a period of six months may result in an account being closed by the Director of Finance, and the cardholder will be notified accordingly.


Corporate Card

Corporate Card Policy

Barclaycard Corporate Cards (VISA-badged) are issued at the discretion of the Financial Control and Analysis Director.

The card remains the property of Barclays Bank plc and is to be returned to the Financial Control and Analysis Director upon request. New/replacement cards are sent to Financial Analysis and Reporting Section (F&BA) and the cardholder will be requested to collect the card from Financial Analysis and Reporting. A UCL ID card will be required and the cardholder will sign for the card.

Cardholders are responsible for the security of their card, card number, card PIN and statements. The loss of a card must be reported immediately to Barclaycard Customer Services Centre on 01604 230230 (open 24 hours) and to Sonia Frasson in Financial Analysis and Reporting. Financial Analysis and Reporting will confirm the loss in writing to Barclaycard and request a replacement card.

Use of Corporate Cards

Corporate cards are intended solely for use in connection with UCL business purposes and should, under no circumstances, be used for personal purchases. The scheme is intended to assist UCL staff by streamlining procedures and saving staff time.

There are no restrictions placed on what the card should be used for. However, the following should be borne in mind:

  • Cards must not be used to circumvent UCL's purchasing policies and normal procedures, e.g. they must not be used for purchases of computers and other IT products, furniture, office equipment, stationery, photographic or audio visual products.
  • The use of Corporate Cards relates to the individual cardholder's business expenditure for which the cardholder will seek reimbursement from UCL. Business expenditure which is more general (i.e. for a department's needs rather than an individual's) should be made through UCL's normal purchasing procedure.
  • Hospitality and entertaining are acceptable items of expenditure using the Corporate Card, provided full details of attendees (names of all UCL staff, names of other attendees and their organisation and number of students, if any) and purpose of event are annotated on all documentation in support of reimbursement claims. Valid receipts must be obtained for all such expenditure; credit card slips are not acceptable.

All travel should be made through UCL's preferred travel supplier. Cards may be used for local travel expenditure where there are unavoidable changes in itineraries and immediate payment is essential. They may also be used for subsistence, accommodation, local travel, motoring, and other payments where immediate settlement is essential.

Departments will be liable to meet any business expenditure incurred by departmental staff.

Applying for Corporate Cards

Application forms can be obtained by emailing Sonia Frasson (s.frasson@ucl.ac.uk) in Financial Analysis and Reporting. Applications must be approved by the Head of Department or, in the case of Heads of Departments, by the Director of Finance. Members of staff will be personally liable for all expenditure charged to the card. By applying for a Corporate Card, individuals are confirming acceptance of this policy and procedures. Forms should then be returned to Financial Analysis and Reporting.

The credit limit on the Corporate Card is £2,000. Higher limits are at the discretion of the Financial Control and Analysis Director subject to authorisation of the cardholder's Head of Department and the Director of Finance.

Inactivity of cards for a period of six months may result in an account being closed by the Director of Finance, and the cardholder will be notified accordingly.

Paying for your Corporate Card Bill

Barclaycard will submit statements monthly to each Corporate Card holder, addressed to the cardholder's home address.

The responsibility for settling monthly statements will rest with each individual cardholder. This will be by Direct Debit from a bank account of the cardholder's choice.

To obtain reimbursement, cardholders will be required to submit an expenses claim (including authorisation and supporting documentation) to Finance and Business Affairs using the normal expenses procedure.

Claims for expenses paid for on a UCL Corporate Card must follow authorisation levels, as contained in UCL's Financial Regulation 162: 'All claims for reimbursement of expenses, incurred by an individual in the course of UCL related business, must be supported by official receipts or some other valid form of supporting documentation, providing details of the purpose of expenditure, duly signed by a claimant and an Authorised Signatory'. Staff should not authorise their own claims and all claims should be approved by an authorised signatory in line with the hierarchy of approval limits. Heads of Department claims should be authorised by the Faculty Dean, Central Support Services Divisional Director or School/Central Support Service Finance Director. Claims by Deans, Central Support Service Directors, Vice-Provosts and Pro-Provosts should be authorised by the Provost, Vice-Provost (Operations) or Finance Director, UCL, and the Provost shall obtain authorisation from the Treasurer or Chairman of Council.

For overseas purchases, claims should be made as normal via MyFinance, using the foreign currency option. If, when the Corporate Card statement is received, the exchange rate shows a different rate to what has been claimed, which means that the card holder has made a loss, the difference should be claimed via MyFinance (exceptional items - non taxable), attaching the statement and explaining in the text box the reason for the claim being made. To confirm exchange rates for overseas purchases, the original receipts should be provided, together with a copy of the Corporate Card statement showing the transaction is adequate, but ensure that the card number is removed from the copy statement.

A 25-day period for settlement of expenses claims has been negotiated with Barclaycard, allowing cardholders sufficient 'breathing space' to submit claims for reimbursement of expenditure, between the date of issue of the expenditure statement and settlement of direct debit. Individuals should, therefore, not be financially disadvantaged. Claims can be made in advance of a statement being received, and should be made as soon as possible after the expense has been incurred. Unless an exchange rate is required the statement is not needed, as the claim needs to be backed up by the original receipts for the purchases.

If there is a discrepancy on the statement received from Barclaycard, this must be advised immediately and Barclaycard will investigate it. Cardholders may also consider it useful to advise their departmental finance team of the discrepancy. Queries regarding items charged to the card should be referred to Barclaycard Customer Services on 0870 154 0 124.

Cardholders must return the card to Sonia Frasson, (s.frasson@ucl.ac.uk) in Financial Analysis and Reporting when they leave UCL and ensure that they have claimed any outstanding balances before they leave.

Cards will be withdrawn by the Financial Control and Analysis Director if these policies and procedures are not followed.


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