Finance Division

Purchasing using a purchasing card

University purchasing card statements are imported to the Finance System each month. If you have used your purchasing card within the previous month, you will receive a notification to complete a task in the System. This task ensures that each transaction is coded to the correct budget, after which the transactions will be authorised electronically by the relevant budget holder.

Useful policies, forms and guidance

Policies

Procurement and Purchasing Policy [PDF 835.61KB] and Procurement and Purchasing Policy - Summary of Changes [PDF 65.32KB]

Modern Slavery Act Statement [PDF 124.71KB]

Forms

Purchasing Card Application Checklist [DOCX 21.89KB]

Purchasing Card Application Form [PDF 206.56KB]

Purchasing Card Cash Withdrawal Request [DOCX 19.80KB]

Purchasing Card Limit Increase Request [DOCX 21.20KB]

Guidance

Purchasing Card Guide [PDF 2.50MB]

Purchasing Goods and Services Guide [PDF 6.94MB]

Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses Guide [PDF 3.35MB]

Goods and services which are not an acceptable use of University funds [PDF 122.47KB]

Guide to Expenditure of University Funds for Visitor Student Staff Hospitality and Events [PDF 135.24KB]

Barclaycard Cardholder User Guide

Amazon Business Training Video - Find out what Amazon Business is and how to access it

Value for Money in Day to Day Purchasing - Staff Guide [PDF 179.53KB]

Finance systems access and financial literacy training

FAQs

IR35

1. How do I check whether IR35 applies to an engagement I wish to make with a service provider?

Please liaise with the HR IR35 team. Guidance and advice can be found on their IR35 Guidance and Advice page

It is important you seek guidance before contracting with any provider, before attempting to add them as a new supplier or raising a requisition on the Finance System.

Please note that Purchasing Cards should not be used when engaging a personal services company.

How to apply for a purchasing card

1. How do I apply for a Purchasing Card?

Members of staff can apply for a purchasing card by completing the Purchasing Card Application Form [PDF 206.56KB] and Purchasing Card Application Checklist [DOCX 21.89KB]. The application will need to be authorised by the Head of School or Director of Professional Service because they are responsible for the budgets against which expenditure will be incurred.

In order to ensure financial control, maximum financial limits are set for each card based on the required business usage.

If you have any questions regarding purchasing card applications, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk.

How to use a purchasing card

1. How do I use a Purchasing Card?

Following receipt of the card, a PIN code will be issued to enable the card to be used as you would a personal credit card in stores.

However, please note that cash withdrawal facilities are not automatically set up on purchasing cards. Should you require this, either permanently or temporarily, please complete the Purchasing Card Cash Withdrawal Request [DOCX 19.80KB] and return it to FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk

When to use a purchasing card

1. When should I use a University purchasing card?

Purchasing cards should be used in the following circumstances:

  1. The purchase is expected to be a one-off from a supplier not already set up on the Finance System
  2. The supplier only accepts card payments
  3. The purchase is from the University’s managed travel provider to secure the price on offer
  4. It is not possible for the individual to access the University’s Finance System at the point when the purchase is needed. For example, wherever possible staff based overseas should purchase using a purchasing card which will be issued to them for this purpose.

More information on appropriate and inappropriate uses of purchasing cards can be found in the Purchasing Card Guide [PDF 2.50MB]

2. Can I withdraw cash using my purchasing card to pay research volunteers, or for small purchases?

Cash for small purchases can be withdrawn using a University purchasing card if the card has been set-up with a cash withdrawal facility. To request the cash withdrawal functionality, you will need to complete the Purchasing Card Cash Withdrawal Request [DOCX 19.80KB] and return it to FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk.

Alternatively, you can use the out of pocket expenses process. Please see our Travel and Working Away from Base, Hospitality and Out of Pocket Expenses webpage for more information on this.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk

3. I don't have access to a purchasing card or the Finance System and I need to buy something. What should I do?

You should contact your budget holder to understand the arrangements that are currently in place. It may be that someone in your area has a Departmental purchasing card, or is responsible for raising requisitions.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk

How to complete purchasing card tasks on the Finance System

1. What should I do with my purchasing card receipts?

To ensure that appropriate authorisation consideration can be given, receipts should be attached to the purchasing card statement within the finance system to demonstrate that the correct procurement process has been followed, that value for money has been achieved, the purchase is an appropriate use of funds and that it is being charged to the correct budget.

Receipts must be clear and show all relevant details to meet VAT requirements, and enable the budget holder to review and authorise the transactions.

Detailed guidance on how to scan your receipts and attach them to your monthly statement in the finance system can be found in the Purchasing Card Guide [PDF 2.50MB]. If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk.

Paper receipts do not need to be retained so long as a clear digital image is attached in the finance system.

2. When will I receive my monthly purchasing card tasks?

You will receive a Finance System notification when your tasks are ready to action. This will normally be around the 1st of the month.

Please note, if you have nil expenditure in a given period you will not receive a statement task.

All purchase card tasks should be completed by the 10th of the month.

3. How do I access the Barclaycard Portal to view my statement online?

Purchasing cardholders are set up by default to receive their statements electronically on the Finance System, however the Barclaycard Portal also allows you to view your statements online.

Instructions on how to log in to this service are available here: 

https://www.barclaycard.co.uk/content/dam/barclaycard/documents/business/cards-for-business/COSH-user-journey.pdf

4. Why do I have to complete my purchasing card tasks?

The practical effect of not coding and authorising purchasing card transactions is that this expenditure may not be recorded in the correct project or cost centre, and the expenditure type may also need to be corrected. In the case of research projects, this could lead to financial or reputational risk through incorrect claims being made to funders.

Delays in completing the tasks also mean that the Finance System ‘funds checker’ may not work correctly so budgets become overspent. 

The expectation has been agreed with the University Leadership Team that, in the normal course of events, every cardholder will routinely meet their obligations or will voluntarily hand back their card.

The Finance Division will monitor compliance on behalf of Heads of School and Directors of Professional Services. After a period of three months of non-compliance, or repeated non-compliance, Heads of School and Directors of Professional Service will be asked to put alternative purchasing arrangements in place so the card can be withdrawn.

We are happy to offer refresher training in coding and authorising purchasing card transactions, and any other aspects of purchase card use, to all users. If you would like to arrange this please contact the Finance Service Desk.

5. Can I nominate someone to code my purchasing card transactions on my behalf?

Yes, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk with the name of the member of staff you would like to nominate.

When the next round of transactions are due to be coded, the nominated member of staff will receive the task to action. You, as the cardholder, will receive a task to check the coding is correct prior to authorisation, as this ultimately remains your responsibility.

6. Can I amend the account and subproject codes?

Yes, you can amend both the account and subproject codes.

Account codes - If you are unsure of the account code, the field help button will provide a list of options. Account codes beginning with a 3 or 4 are auto populated from the Barclaycard data. The description of the code is displayed under the code when the line is highlighted.

Where an item could not be auto-populated from the Barclaycard data, the system will enter a default code beginning with a 9. This needs to be updated with an appropriate account code in order to proceed.

Subproject codes - The subproject code displayed is the code provided on your original cardholder application form. Amend this code if necessary. If you wish to change the default code permanently, contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk

Screenshots of these fields are provided in the Purchasing Card Guide [PDF 2.50MB]. If you need further assistance, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk

7. Which tax code should I use?

Please enter PG if you have a VAT receipt that states the VAT amount and Company VAT number.

Please enter PE if you do not have a VAT receipt or your receipt is from overseas.

If you require further help please contact the Finance Service Desk: FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk.

8. Should I leave the default Barclaycard description in the transaction?

No, please amend the description to ensure the authoriser has enough information (alongside the receipts) to authorise the purchase.

9. How do I record a purchasing card cash withdrawal?

Either:

  • Complete the PCARD Cash Adv Approval task to confirm that the cash withdrawal was received.
  • Submit an out of pocket expense claim that matches your expenditure to properly record the expenditure against the approved budget, and retrospectively authorise purchases in the Finance System.

If you require further assistance please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk.

10. If I have cash left over from a withdrawal, what should I do?

If you have unused cash, please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk for guidance on how to return this.

11. How do I print a list of my purchasing card transactions?

In the Finance System, navigate to Reports - Global reports - Accounts payable - Purchase card transaction list. 

Leave the default period as it is, enter the last 8 digits of your card number in the 'Card no. like' field and press search. 

If you require further assistance please contact the Finance Service Desk at FinanceServiceDesk@sussex.ac.uk.