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Corporate Credit Card Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to establish clear requirements, responsibilities and to define how University Corporate Credit Cards are to be issued, used, approved and acquitted.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) Applies to:

  1. All campuses
  2. All staff
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) The University requires all Corporate Credit Cards to be used appropriately and in accordance with the University’s Policies and Procedures.

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Eligibility for holding a Corporate Credit Card

(4) Eligible University staff may request a Corporate Credit Card to use for University business if they:

  1. travel on University Business;
  2. have a regular or immediate requirement to purchase low value, low risk goods on behalf of the University; and/or
  3. have approval from the line manager with the appropriate Financial Delegation authority.

(5) The following staff classifications, paid by the La Trobe University HR payroll, may request and hold a Corporate Credit Card:

  1. Permanent
  2. Fixed Term
  3. Outside Studies Program (“OSP”) (on approval of the Head of Division or equivalent)
  4. Chief Investigators (“CI”)
  5. Casuals (only in special circumstances and on approval of the Head of Division or equivalent)

(6) The following staff classifications, not paid by the La Trobe University HR payroll, may qualify to hold a Corporate Credit Card and must have pre-approval from the relevant Head of School or equivalent:

  1. Honorary
  2. Emeritus
  3. Adjunct
  4. Conagoth
  5. Outside Studies Program (“OSP”)
  6. Chief Investigators (CI) if the CI owns the grant

Eligibility for holding an Electronic Value Card

(7) All staff may request an Electronic Value Card (EVC) for use as a gift card only if the line manager with appropriate Financial Delegation authority has approved the request.

Part B - Card Issuing

(8) A University employee may request a Corporate Credit Card if:

  1. they are a traveller on University Business; or
  2. they have a regular or immediate requirement to purchase low value, low risk items on behalf of the University.

(9) A University employee may request an EVC Card for gift cards only.

(10) A University employee must have the approval from their line manager (with appropriate Financial Delegated authority) to request a Corporate Credit Card or an EVC card.

(11) To request a Corporate Credit Card, a University employee must:

  1. Seek approval from the appropriate line manager with Financial Delegation authority, to hold a Corporate Credit Card or request an EVC;
  2. Complete the on-line application form and attach supporting 100 points of identification documentation (not required for EVC);
  3. Read the Corporate Credit Card Policy and Corporate Credit Card Guidelines on the intranet before collecting your card;
  4. On collection of the Corporate Credit Card, the Cardholder will be required to sign a declaration stating that they understand and will comply with the Corporate Credit Card Policy and Guidelines.

(12) Finance have the final responsibility of approving the Corporate Credit Card or EVC request.

(13) The School or Department requesting the EVC, must keep detailed records of the reason for requirement for the cards; who the cards are given to; the dates the cards are given and must be able to provide this information upon request.

Part C - Transaction Security and Financial Limits

(14) Financial Limits are set by the University and are detailed in the Corporate Credit Card Guidelines.

(15) It is the responsibility of the Cardholder to:

  1. Ensure the Corporate Credit Card is at all times used for official University expenditure which is directly related to the requirements of the position/role within the University.
  2. The expenditure must be legitimate, reasonable and in accordance with the Corporate Credit Card Policy and Guidelines.
  3. Ensure transactions and monthly financial limits are not exceeded.
  4. Operate the Corporate Credit Card within the financial limits.

(16) Any fraudulent activity or lost or stolen cards identified by the Cardholder must be immediately reported to the Bank and the Corporate Credit Card Administrator. The Cardholder must also notify their Line Manager.

(17) Corporate Credit Card usage guidelines and thresholds can be found in the Corporate Credit Card Guidelines on the Strategic Sourcing & Procurement intranet page.

Part D - Variations to a Corporate Credit Card Transaction Limit in accordance with Corporate Credit Card Guidelines

(18) A cardholder is required to seek approval from their line manager (with appropriate Financial Delegation authority) to increase the limit of their Corporate Credit Card and complete the on-line Credit/Transaction Limit Adjustment form. Finance may assess the increase as a temporary increase and if it is not an ongoing requirement, may reduce the limit of the corporate credit card.

(19) Once approved by Finance and processed by the Bank, the cardholder will receive a notification of their new transaction limit.

(20) Finance have the final responsibility of approving the increased limit of a user’s Corporate Credit Card.

Part E - Allowable and Non-Allowable Transactions

Allowable

(21) For an immediate business purchasing requirement, the expense must be low risk and low value. Permittable business expenditure includes:

  1. airfares and accommodation booked through the University travel booking tool
  2. travel expenses including meals, taxis, parking fees, ubers and incidental expenses
  3. emergency stationery or items that cannot be purchased from a contracted supplier
  4. low value, incidental or one-off purchases (less than $2,000)
  5. subscriptions and membership fees

(22) Existing contracted suppliers should always be used where possible.

Non-Allowable Transactions

(23) Personal items (ie not directly related to business needs) should not be purchased on a Corporate Credit Card. If an item is deemed personal by Finance or the Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement, the individual will be required to refund the expense to the University immediately.

(24) Assets cannot be purchased on Corporate Credit Card.

(25) Cash advances are not permitted on a Corporate Credit Card.

(26) When travelling on university business, under no circumstances are costs associated with accompanying family members or other personal purchases to be charged to a University Corporate Credit Card.

(27) Flights and accommodation can only be purchased on Corporate Credit Card via the University booking tool.

(28) Staff are not permitted to purchase flights directly with airlines through agencies or online booking tools.

(29) Staff are not permitted to book and pay for hotels directly or through online booking websites.

(30) AirBnb must not be booked and paid directly on Corporate Credit Card but through the University booking tool or through the University travel service provider.

(31) Exemptions may be considered on a case by case basis. When requesting an exemption, contact Strategic Sourcing & Procurement office.

Gifts

(32) Any purchases associated with gifts or gratuities on a Corporate Credit Card must be pre-approved by the line manager with the correct Financial Delegation authority.

(33) Electronic Value Cards may be given as a gift. Where an EVC card is used for research participation payments, they may only be used as specified in the National Human Ethics Guidelines – refer to LTU Human Ethics Research website for further information.

(34) Gifts of a personal nature (ie not directly related to business needs) should not be purchased on a Corporate Credit Card. If an item is deemed personal by Finance or the Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement, the individual will be required to refund the expense to the University immediately.

Entertainment and Travel

(35) All entertainment must comply with the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Policy. Any FBT amount calculated on such spend will be charged to the same WBS/Cost Centre as the underlying cost.

(36) All travel related expenses must comply with the procedures detailed in the Travel Management Policy and the Travel Guidelines.

(37) Meal entertainment which is subject to FBT must be paid for by the University Corporate Credit Card of the most senior staff member present and coding in the University’s Expense Management software tool must list all names of the recipients.

Part F - Approvals and Acquittals

(38) It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to acquit the credit card expenditure through the University’s Expense Management software tool and provide and attach the supporting invoice for every expense, regardless of the amount. Acquittals are to be carried out on a monthly basis as set out in the Corporate Credit Card Guidelines.

(39) It is the Line Manager’s (with appropriate Financial Delegation authority) responsibility to review and approve staff Corporate Credit Card transactions and valid supporting evidence for every expense, regardless of the amount on a monthly basis. Appropriate cautionary or disciplinary action will be taken in the event that staff card transactions are not relevant to University Business. The University will recover the transaction value from the staff member concerned.

Part G - Missing Receipts

(40) If a receipt has been misplaced or no receipt was given at the time of spend, a Business Expense Verification Form will be required to accompany the acquittal. The Business Expense Verification Form can be found on the Procurement website. Expenses incurred without substantiation may result in the cost of the claim being recouped from the staff member.

Part H - Lost, Stolen or Damaged Corporate Credit Cards

(41) The Cardholder is required to immediately report a lost, stolen or damaged Corporate Credit Card to the Westpac Bank on 1300 650 107 and to the Corporate Credit Card Administrator.

(42) The Cardholder is to immediately report a lost, stolen or damaged EVC Card to Corporate Credit Card Administrator. Email: (corporatecard@latrobe.edu.au).

(43) Damaged Corporate Credit Cards are to be returned to the Corporate Credit Card Administrator for replacement.

Part I - Fraudulent and Disputed Corporate Credit Card Transactions

Fraudulent Transactions

(44) Cardholders are required to immediately contact Westpac Bank on 1300 650 107 and the Corporate Credit Card Administrator if any fraudulent transactions are detected. This is important to prevent future fraudulent transactions.

(45) The cardholder must then complete the University on-line “Dispute Transaction” form and the relevant Westpac documentation (which will be sent to them by Corporate Credit Card Administrator).

(46) Corporate Credit Card Administrator will send the cardholder either the Westpac "Dispute Transaction" form or a "Fraud Claim" form for completion - depending on the issue.

(47) The cardholder must complete the relevant Dispute or Fraud claim form and return the form to Corporate Credit Card Administrator.

(48) Users should refer to the Corporate Credit Card Guidelines for the process on coding fraudulent transactions in the University's Expense Management Software tool.

Disputed Transactions

(49) If Cardholders cannot identify a transaction that has been charged to their Corporate Credit Card, they must contact the Merchant directly and dispute the transaction.

(50) If, after reviewing the Merchant's response, the cardholder still believes the transaction is not theirs, then the cardholder should complete the University "Dispute Transaction" on-line form. You can only dispute the full charge not partial. A copy of the correspondence from the Merchant must be forwarded to the Corporate Credit Card Administrator as evidence that the Cardholder has contacted the Merchant.

(51) Users should refer to Corporate Credit Card Guidelines for the process on coding disputed transactions.

Part J - Breaches/Misuse

(52) The University may conduct an enquiry into any alleged or actual breach of this Policy and Corporate Credit Card Guidelines.

(53) Breaches of Card Vendor Terms and Conditions, University Policy and/or the Corporate Credit Card Guidelines will be dealt with in accordance with the Collective Agreement. Breaches of this Policy and/or Corporate Credit Card Guidelines may lead to the cardholder being subject to disciplinary action with a variety of possible outcomes including:

  1. recouping expenses
  2. cancellation of Corporate Credit Card
  3. for serious breaches, termination of employment

(54) Upon request, cardholders must surrender the Corporate Credit Card to the University immediately.

Part K - Suspension of Card and/or Disciplinary Action

(55) Any breach of La Trobe University Corporate Credit Card Policy e.g.: use of card for personal expense, restricted purchases, exceeding credit/limits, splitting of invoices, failure to provide documentation, will be referred to the Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement. Any recommendation for withdrawal of the card or disciplinary action will be in accordance with the University Policies and Procedures.

(56) To avoid suspension of Corporate Credit Cards:

  1. Cardholders have one month from the Bank statement date to submit their report;
  2. Line Managers/Approvers must verify that transactions are 100% University business related and must be supported by tax invoices/receipts/Business Expense Verification Form;
  3. Cardholders on overseas business travel will have two weeks from the date they return from overseas to complete their statements.

Part L - Cardholder Responsibilities

(57) It is the responsibility of all cardholders to ensure that they are aware of the compliance requirements and that any purchases made on the Corporate Credit Card are solely for business purposes.

(58) The Corporate Credit Card must remain in the cardholder's possession and control at all times.

(59) The cardholder is responsible for the timely monthly coding and submission of their Corporate Credit Card expenses.

(60) All expenses must be submitted with supporting documentation for all purchases:

  1. For domestic expenses more than $82.50 (including GST), the cardholder is required to provide a valid tax invoice as supporting documentation.
  2. For domestic expenses up to the amount of $82.50 (including GST), the cardholder is required to provide supporting documentation (ie receipts or Business Expense Verification Form) .
  3. For all international expenses (regardless of the amount), the cardholder is required to provide supporting documentation (ie invoice, receipts, sales record or Business Expense Verification Form).

(61) The cardholder must ensure the appropriate line manager with Financial Delegation authority approves their expenses in a timely manner each month.

(62) The cardholder must ensure that their credit limit is not exceeded.

(63) The Corporate Credit Card must not be used for personal expenditure at any time including when staff are travelling on University business.

(64) The Corporate Credit Card should not be used whilst a cardholder is on annual leave or leave without pay.

(65) For extended periods of leave (eg Maternity leave; Long Service Leave etc), the cardholder must submit a Credit/Transaction Limit Adjustment Form and have the card limit reduced to zero for the period they are away.
The Corporate Credit Card can be used whilst a staff member is on OSP provided they have line manager (Head of School or equivalent) approval.

(66) The cardholder must return their Corporate Credit Card to their Line Manager seven (7) days prior to:

  1. resignation/ departure from the University; or
  2. transfer of employment to another Business Unit; School or Department if the new role/position has no purchasing or travelling requirement.

(67) Any failure to comply with the conditions of use will result in the withdrawal of the card and misuse may result in disciplinary action or legal proceedings being initiated by the University.

(68) Further cardholder responsibilities are listed under Part I - Fraudulent and Disputed Corporate Credit Card Transactions

(69) When using a Corporate Credit Card, the University expects all cardholders to comply with the University's:

  1. Code of Conduct
  2. Corporate Credit Card Policy
  3. Corporate Credit Card Guidelines
  4. Travel Management Policy
  5. Travel Management Guidelines
  6. Procurement Policy
  7. Procurement Guidelines

Part M - Manager/Approver Responsibilities

(70) Staff nominated as Corporate Credit Card approvers must:

  1. Have the relevant Financial Delegation authority.
  2. Oversee the compliance of this policy.

(71) Review, evaluate and approve requests for Corporate Credit Cards and/or variations to existing card limits that meet the requirements of policy.

(72) Review and approve the cardholder's expense transactions on a monthly basis. The Manager/Approver must verify that transactions are 100% University business related and must be supported by tax invoices/receipts/Business Expense Verification Form. All expenses must be submitted with supporting documentation for all purchases:

  1. For domestic expenses more than $82.50 (including GST), the cardholder is required to provide a valid tax invoice as supporting documentation.
  2. For domestic expenses up to the amount of $82.50 (including GST), the cardholder is required to provide supporting documentation (ie receipts or Business Expense Verification Form).
  3. For all international expenses (regardless of the amount), the cardholder is required to provide supporting documentation (ie invoice, receipts, sales record or Business Expense Verification Form).

(73) When a cardholder is leaving the University:

  1. Immediately submit a Cancellation Request online form to notify the University seven (7) days before the staff member departs.
  2. Ensure the cardholder's expenses are coded and approved in the University's Expense Management software tool before the cardholder departs.
  3. Ensure the cardholder has returned the card to Line Manager before departing.

(74) Ensures that the cardholder reports the Dispute/Fraudulent transaction to the Bank.

(75) Can only delegate authorisation if they have nominated someone to act in their position and have completed the 'Acting in another Position Form".

(76) Cannot code, submit and authorise their own transactions.

(77) Cannot code, submit and also authorise the same Corporate Credit Card transactions.

Part N - Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement Responsibilities

(78) Under this policy, the Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement is required to:

  1. monitor and oversee adherence with all compliance obligations for their areas of responsibility;
  2. through Internal Audit, undertake regular audit and assessments of transactional activity, with relevant stakeholders;
  3. provide guidance and support to employees on relevant compliance obligations, and promote a culture of compliance across the University;
  4. monitor, report and oversee all actual or potential breaches, ensuring the adequacy of corrective action plans to reinstate compliance and mitigate risk of reoccurrence;
  5. provide reporting in a timely manner, in accordance with this and/or other University Policies, and promptly respond to requests for information as/where required.

Part O - Finance Division Responsibilities

(79) Under this Policy, Finance Division:

  1. are required to approve or decline the issuing of a Corporate Credit Card to a staff member;
  2. are responsible for notifying non-compliant cardholders of their coding responsibilities and timelines for submitting reports;
  3. have the final responsibility of canceling or reducing the credit limit of the Corporate Credit Card;
  4. ensure that all spend coded in the University's Expense Management software tool complies with the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Policy where FBT has been incurred by the cardholder.
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Section 5 - Definitions

(80) For the purpose of this Policy and Procedure:

  1. Asset: is defined as a transaction/group of transactions that comply with the Australian Accounting Standards; and:
    1. does not meet the definition of an expense (refer to the Asset Procedure - Asset Definition and Asset Class); and
    2. that as an individual unit is valued over $5,000 GST exclusive; and/or
    3. that as individual units, may cost less than $5,000 GST exclusive, but may combine to form an operating unit or network or have the same or similar nature with a combined cost of more than $10,000 GST exclusive.
  2. Card limit: The maximum amount that can be spent on the Card in a billing month.
  3. Conagoth: University term for “Consultants; Agents and Other” types of employees.
  4. Corporate Credit Card: is a card issued by La Trobe University’s Card Provider to a staff member at the direction of the University and enables staff to incur a debt to be paid later by the University.
  5. Electronic Value Card (EVC): can be loaded to a maximum value of $999 and is for use as a gift card.
  6. Gifts: are free or discounted items including hospitality and any items or services that would generally be seen by the public as receiving a benefit and are retained by a staff member. Examples of gifts include cultural gifts, invitation to social events and dinners.
  7. OSP: Outside Studies Program is to provide academic staff with a significant period of release from normal duties to undertake a planned program of work that will enhance their personal scholarly development.
  8. Transaction Limit: The maximum amount of credit extended to a cardholder per transaction.
  9. University business: Operating costs which must be ordinary, common and accepted at the University and necessary, appropriate and useful in operating the business.