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Corporate Card Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The La Trobe University Corporate Card is a credit card that may be issued to any University employee if they have a regular requirement to purchase on behalf of the University; they are a regular traveller on University Business and they have approval from the appropriate line manager (Head of School or equivalent). 

(2) Electronic Value Cards: A University employee may request an Electronic Value Card if they hold eligibility and they have approval from the appropriate line manager (Head of School or equivalent).An electronic value card may be given as a gift card and has a maximum value of $999 per card. Examples where an electronic value card may be provided include: replacement of petty cash; emergency student loans; work experience; volunteers; external visitors.

(3) To inform compliance with this Corporate Card (“Card”) Policy.

(4) Using the Card as a form of payment can be a more expedient and efficient method of payment, for example:

  1. Removes a number of steps from the Procure to Pay (“P2P”) process. Especially relevant for low value / high frequency (transactional) items
  2. Avoidance of vendor creation activities for infrequent purchases.
  3. Provides a secure and efficient alternative to petty cash.
  4. Can also provide an efficient mode of payment for large straightforward (non-strategic) payments (eg : Office Stationery)
  5. The Corporate Card provides business travellers with a secure method of payment for the majority of travel requirements and provides a transparent / auditable record of all transactions.
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Section 2 - Scope

(5) Applies to:

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

Code of Conduct

(6) The University expects all Cardholders to comply with the University’s Code of Conduct when using a Corporate Card.

Card Issuing

(7) Any University employee may be issued with a Card if: 

  1. They have a regular requirement to purchase on behalf of the University;
  2. They are a regular traveller on University Business; (Refer to the Travel Management Policy for more information);
  3. They have the approval from the appropriate line manager (Head of School

(8) Cards must be issued in accordance with the Financial Delegation Authority .

(9) Cards may be issued to casual employees if approval is obtained from the Head of School or equivalent. Cards may also be issued to Conagoths (which includes Honorary, Emeritus and Adjunct Professors) if approval is obtained from the Head of School or equivalent. 

Transaction Security and Financial Limits

(10) It is the responsibility of the Cardholder (staff member) to:

  1. Ensure the Corporate Card is at all times used for official University expenditure which is directly related to the requirements of the position/role within the University – that is legitimate and reasonable and in accordance with the Corporate Card Guidelines. 
  2. Ensure transaction and monthly limits are not exceeded.
  3. Operate the Corporate Card within the financial limits and delegations detailed in the Financial Delegation Authority. 

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

(12) Card usage Guidelines and thresholds can be found on the Procurement Services intranet page.

Approvals and Acquittals

(13) It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to acquit the credit card expenditure on a monthly basis as per the Guidelines.

(14) It is the Line Manager’s responsibility to review and approve staff Card transactions on a monthly basis.

(15) Appropriate cautionary or disciplinary action will be taken in the event that staff Card transactions are not relevant to University Business. The University may choose to recover the transaction value from the staff member concerned.

Breaches/Misuse

(16) La Trobe University may conduct an enquiry into any alleged or actual breach of the Policy and Corporate Card Guidelines.

(17) Card Vendor Terms and Conditions, La Trobe Policy and the Corporate Card Guidelines breaches will be dealt with in accordance with the Collective Agreement. Breaches of the Policy and/or Corporate Card Guidelines may lead to the cardholder being subject to disciplinary action with a variety of outcomes possible; for example a reimbursement of expenses; removal of a Corporate Card through to (but not limited to) termination of employment.

(18) Upon request, Cardholders must surrender the Corporate Card to the University immediately.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Part A - Code of Conduct

(19) The University expects all Cardholders to comply with the University’s Code of Conduct when using a Corporate Card. 

Part B - Card Issuing

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

  1. they are a regular traveller on University Business;
  2. they have a regular requirement to purchase on behalf of the University.

(21) A University employee may request a Corporate EVC Card:

  1. to replace their approved petty cash float;
  2. payment to visiting academics;
  3. payment to students;
  4. to replace the purchase of store gift cards.

(22) A University employee must have the approval from their line manager (with appropriate financial delegated authority) to request a Corporate Card.

Part C - Eligibility for Holding a Corporate Card

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

  1. Permanent
  2. Fixed Term
  3. Outside Studies Program (“OSP”) (on approval of the Head of Division or equivalent)
  4. Chief Investigators (“CI”) 

(24) The following staff classifications not paid by the La Trobe University HR payroll, may qualify to hold an electronic value card linked to a cost centre or WBS upon 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 if the CI owns the grant 

(25) Casual staff may hold a Corporate Card on the approval of the Head of School or equivalent.

(26) Conagoth staff (including Honorary, Emeritus and Adjunct Professors) may also hold a Corporate Card on the approval of the Head of School or equivalent. 

Part D - Acquittals

(27) The Corporate Card is acquitted through Expensify.

(28) When an Electronic Value Card is issued as a replacement for the petty cash float or as an advance, the purchases made on the EVC Card is required to be acquitted through the completion of the “Funds in Advance Acquittal Form” found on the Staff Intranet and submitted to the Corporate Card Administrator. All required acquittals on Electronic Value Cards will need to be acquitted one month from the date of issue of the card. Cardholders on overseas business travel will have two weeks from the date they return from overseas to complete their acquittals.

Part E - Request a Card

(29) Seek approval from your line manager to hold a Corporate Card. 

(30) Complete the on-line application form and attach your supporting 100 points of identification documentation (100 points identification documentation is only required when requesting a Corporate Card).

(31) Once approved, the required Corporate Card will be issued to you. 

(32) Read the Corporate Card Policy, Procedure and Guidelines on the Intranet and sign a declaration stating that you understand them. 

Part F - Variations to a Corporate Card Transaction Limit

(33) Seek approval from your manager (with appropriate financial delegated authority) to increase the limit of your Corporate Card. 

(34) Complete the on-line Credit/Transaction Limit Adjustment form. 

(35) Once approved and processed by the Bank, you will receive notification of your new transaction limit. 

Part G - Cardholder Responsibilities

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

(37) All purchases on the Corporate Card must be in accordance with the University’s Corporate Policy, this Procedure and the Corporate Card Guidelines and be for the sole purpose of conducting University business. 

(38) The Cardholder is responsible for the monthly coding and submission of the Corporate Card expenses. 

(39) The Cardholder must ensure that their credit limit is not exceeded. 

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

(41) The Corporate Card should not be used whilst a Cardholder is on annual leave or leave without pay.

(42) The Corporate Card can be used whilst a staff member is on OSP provided they have line manager (Head of School or equivalent) approval. 

(43) Returns their Corporate Card to the Corporate Card Administrator upon transfer/resignation of employment or cancellation of their card; or when the card is damaged.

(44) 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.

Part H - Missing Receipts

(45) 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 Services website.

(46) Expenses incurred without substantiation may result in the cost of the claim being incurred by the staff member.

Part I - Lost, Stolen or Damaged Corporate Cards

(47) The Cardholder is to immediately report a lost, stolen or damaged Corporate Card to the Westpac Bank and to the Corporate Card Administrator.

(48) The Cardholder is to immediately report a lost, stolen or damaged EVC Card to Corporate Card Administrator.
Email: (corporatecard@latrobe.edu.au) or Phone: ext 1193.

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

Part J - Disputed Corporate Card Transactions

(50) If a Cardholder disputes a charge on their Corporate Card statement, the Cardholder must contact the Corporate Card Administrator. The Bank will then investigate the charge on the cardholder’s behalf.

Part K - Fraudulent Corporate Card Transactions

Fraudulent Transactions

(51) Cardholders must code fraudulent transactions to the expense type “Disputed Expense” in the “Category” field and it will automatically code to the dispute account in Expensify. If the expense is not coded to expense type “Disputed” it will not be disputed to the credit card ;provider. The transaction must be coded, submitted and authorised.

(52) The Cardholder must then complete the on-line “Dispute Transaction” form.

(53) Cardholders are responsible to immediately contact the Bank if fraudulent transactions are detected on 1300 650 107 and the Corporate Card Administrator (Extension 1193). This is important to prevent future fraudulent transactions.

(54) The Bank will then investigate the charge on the cardholder’s behalf. Depending on the result of the investigation, the bank may then reverse the completed disputed charge in the current month, or the next month. This will appear as a credit in Expensify.This credit is to be coded using the expense type Disputed in Expensify if the original transaction was coded to expense type Disputed. If the bank decides the charge was valid Finance will raise a journal to clear the disputed transaction from the Disputed Expense account.

Disputed Transactions

(55) Cardholders are responsible to immediately contact the Corporate Card Administrator. You can only dispute the full charge not partial.

(56) Cardholders must code disputed transactions to the expense type “Dispute Expense” in the “Category” field and it will automatically code to the dispute account in Expensify.

(57) If the expense is not coded to expense type disputed it will not be disputed to the Bank. The transaction must be coded, submitted and authorised within 90 days of the date of the transaction. After this 90 day period Westpac loses all charge back rights and the merchant has no obligation to respond to our request for a refund.

(58) The Cardholder must complete the “fraud claim form” (hard copy) which the Corporate Card Administrator forwards to Westpac for further investigation. The Cardholder’s card may be cancelled immediately and a new card issued.

(59) Depending on the result of the investigation, the Bank may then reverse the disputed charge in the current month, or the next month. This will appear as a credit in Expensify. This credit is to be coded using the expense type disputed in Expensify if the original transaction was coded to expense type disputed. If the Bank decides the charge was valid Finance will raise a journal to clear the disputed transaction from the Disputed Expense account.

Part L - Allowable and Non-Allowable Transactions

Allowable

(60) In the event you have an immediate purchasing requirement, you should consider whether your requirement is:

  1. Low risk
  2. Low value or
  3. One-off. 

(61) Existing contracted suppliers should always be used where possible

(62) All purchases for university business should be requisitioned through the on-line Procurement Request Form.

Non-Allowable Transactions

(63) Corporate Card should only be used only for University business purposes.

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

Gifts

(65) Any purchases on corporate cards associated with gifts or gratuities must be pre-approved by the line manager with the correct financial delegation approval.

(66) Gift cards should not be purchased on Corporate Cards but instead an Electronic Value Card may be given as a gift. 

(67) Any expenditure of a personal nature (or purchases not allowed on Corporate Card) will not be reimbursed by the University.

Part M - Entertainment and Travel

(68) All entertainment must comply with the FBT (Fringe Benefits Tax) Procedure.

(69) All travel must comply with the procedures detailed in the Travel Management Procedure and the Travel Guidelines. 

(70) Meal entertainment which is subject to FBT must be paid for by the University Corporate Card of the most senior staff member present. 

Part N - Corporate Card Manager

(71) Staff nominated as Corporate Card Managers must :

  1. Have the relevant financial delegated authority.
  2. Recommend credit limit, merchant categories and any other specific restriction.
  3. Immediately notify the Corporate Card Administrator (Email: corporatecard@latrobe.edu.au or Extension 1193) when a card is no longer required.
  4. Ensures that the Cardholders report the Dispute/Fraudulent transaction to the Corporate Card Administrator. 
  5. Verifies that transactions are 100% University business related and where practical are supported by tax invoices/receipts/ Business Expense Verification Form.
  6. Can only delegate authorisation if they have nominated someone to act in their position and have completed the ‘Acting in another Position Form”.
  7. Cannot code, submit and also authorise the same Corporate Card transactions.

Part O - Suspension of Card and/or Disciplinary Action

(72) Any breach of La Trobe University Corporate 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 & Procurement. Any recommendation for withdrawal of the card or disciplinary action will be in accordance with the University Policies and Procedures.

(73) Cardholders have one month from the statement date to ensure the statement is complete i.e. all transactions coded, submitted and authorised. Cardholders on overseas business travel will have two weeks from the date they return from overseas to complete their statements.

(74) Cardholders with statement/s that are incomplete after 1 month will receive a reminder email, from the Corporate Card Administrator, informing them that they have 5 days to complete their statement/s. If the statements have not been coded and submitted after 2 months (unless the cardholder has been travelling overseas), the card can be cancelled. The email notifications will also be sent to Cardholder and copied to the cardholder’s authoriser and delegate if one exists.

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Section 5 - Definitions

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

  1. The Bank is Westpac Bank
  2. Card limit – The maximum amount that can be spent on the Card in a billing month.
  3. Corporate 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.
  4. Electronic Value Card – replaces the petty cash floats, cash payments and gift card purchases.
  5. La Trobe University Collective Agreement, approved by the Fair Work Commission (“the Collective Agreement”).
  6. 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.
  7. Transaction Limit – The maximum amount of credit extended to a cardholder per transaction. 
  8. University business – Operating costs which must be ordinary, common and accepted at the University and necessary, appropriate and useful in operating the business.
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Office of the Chief Financial Officer; Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement; General Counsel; College PVC’s; Heads of Schools; Executive Directors.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Director, Strategic Sourcing and Procurement.