Procurement Services

Department Roles

There are several roles associated with a Purchasing Card, each with its own responsibilities. One person may fulfill more than one role, provided proper controls are adhered to.

Department Head

The sole direct role played by the Department Head (Director/Chair) in the FlexCard Program (unless he/she is Department Administrator) is approving and signing the Application to set up the Department Administrator.

Department Controls
The Department Head is responsible for ensuring that appropriate administrative, financial and management controls are observed, including FlexCard purchasing activities.

Separation of Duties
The Department Head CANNOT be a Cardholder.

Department Administrator

The Department Administrator is responsible for the approval, assignment (and re-assignment) of the Reviewer, Allocator and Cardholder roles within the department’s FlexCard program.

FlexCard Program Monitoring
The Department Administrator is responsible for ensuring that all FlexCard program controls and requirements are observed, including, but not limited to, adequate separation of duties, monitoring of purchases to ensure that restricted commodities are not purchased, maintenance of all required purchase documentation, use tax and non-taxable payment compliance, and fraudulent transaction monitoring.

Department Audits
The Department Administrator is responsible for ensuring that the department conducts periodic audits of FlexCard purchases, to ensure compliance with all requirements.

Separation of Duties
The Department Administrator may also fill the role of Reviewer or Allocator; he or she CANNOT be a Cardholder.

Reviewer

The Reviewer is responsible for approving (and thereby transferring to the General Ledger) all transactions within the 14-day window before payments are automatically allocated to the default location-account-fund-sub-object code (LAFSO) established for each FlexCard. If the approval does not occur in a timely fashion, the Reviewer is responsible for ensuring that it is corrected via the Transfer of Expense (TOE) system.

Payment Monitoring
The Reviewer is responsible for reviewing all back-up documentation before processing payment allocations, to ensure that department controls have been maintained and that purchases comply with FlexCard and low value purchasing policies. The Reviewer should monitor for any purchase of restricted commodities or fraudulent activity, to verify that the correct amount was paid, that payment was not duplicated and that sales and use tax have been charged and paid appropriately.

Cardholder Monitoring
The Reviewer is responsible for ensuring that the FlexCard is used appropriately by Cardholders and, if misuse is detected, reporting such misuse to the Department Administrator whose is responsible for ensuring that all necessary corrective and disciplinary actions are taken.

Re-Testing
The Reviewer is responsible for maintaining his/her FlexCard program eligibility by re-taking the Reviewer/Allocator Exam before it expires.

Separation of Duties
The Reviewer may also fill the role of Department Administrator. All Reviewers are automatically granted Allocator privileges, although some departments may choose to set up separate Allocators.  If a Reviewer is a Back-Up Cardholder, he/she cannot approve any purchases made on his/her FlexCard and has view-only access to them.

Allocator

The Allocator is responsible for assigning all purchase transactions to the appropriate location-account-fund-sub-object code (LAFSO), including splitting payments between different LAFSOs and, in cases where use tax has been added, entering any non-taxable amounts (with reason codes) and freight charges, so use tax payments are accurately calculated. Allocators (if they fill only that role) cannot approve any transactions.

Re-Testing
The Allocator is responsible for maintaining his/her FlexCard program eligibility by re-taking the Reviewer/Allocator Exam before its expires.

Separation of Duties
An Allocator may also fill the role of a Cardholder.

Cardholder

The Cardholder is responsible for all purchases made using his/her FlexCard(s), in a conscientious and ethical manner consistent with UC Santa Barbara policy and in compliance with all FlexCard regulations and commodities restrictions.

Safeguarding the FlexCard
The Cardholder is responsible for safeguarding the FlexCard; he/she must never give the account number to anyone else and must not allow anyone else to use the card. No personal purchases can be made on the FlexCard.

Pre-Purchase Approvals
Before making a purchase, the Cardholder must ensure that all departmental purchasing requirements have been met and that all approvals have been obtained.

Reporting Fraud
If any fraudulent activity is detected, the Cardholder must notify the Fraud Division at U.S. Bank IMMEDIATELY by calling 1-800-523-9078.  Then the Cardholder must inform his/her Department Administrator of the fraud, so it can be reported to FlexCard Administration.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Cards
If the FlexCard is lost or stolen, the Cardholder must notify US Bank immediately by calling 1-800-344-5696 and requesting that the account be closed.  Then the Cardholder must notify his/her Department Administrator, so it can be reported to FlexCard Administration.

Reviewing New Transactions
The Cardholder is responsible for reviewing all new transactions when they appear in the FlexCard Allocation Module to verify that none are fraudulent and that all are accurate. Once the legitimacy of the transaction has been verified, the Cardholder should forward all documentation to the Allocator or Reviewer responsible for allocating and approving payment.

Re-Testing
The Cardholder is responsible for maintaining his/her FlexCard program eligibility by re-taking the Cardholder Exam before it expires.

Separation of Duties
A Cardholder may also fill the role of an Allocator; he or she CANNOT be a Department Administrator.

Back-Up Roles

In order to ensure the smooth running of its FlexCard program, your department should designate Back-Ups for the Cardholder and the Reviewer. Having Back-Ups is important when the Cardholder or the Reviewer is absent for an extended period of time, due to vacation or illness, or because he/she leaves the department.

Consequences of Not Having Back-Ups

If you do not have a Back-Up Cardholder, new purchases cannot be made until a new Cardholder is set up and a new FlexCard is received (even if training class has already been completed, the process will take at least 3 working days).

If you do not have a Back-Up Reviewer, and none is set-up within 14 days, no one will be able to review and allocate new transactions and all payments will default to the location-account-fund-sub-object code (LAFSO) associated with your FlexCard(s) and may need to be re-allocated the Transfer of Expense system. Overpayments of use tax may need to be reversed via processing of a Financial Journal.  If your department goes without a Reviewer for an extended period of time, it risks losing its FlexCard purchasing privileges, since all transactions must be reviewed within 60 days.

Limits on Designating Back-Ups

FlexCard policy prohibits a Reviewer from being in a subordinate position to a Cardholder.

If you are a small department with insufficient personnel to designate back-ups while avoiding employee-supervisor conflicts, you may need to go outside of your department to designate Back-Up Reviewers and Cardholders. The FlexCard Management Module allows you to set up Reviewers and Cardholders in other departments.

If your department is able to avoid employee-supervisor conflicts, it can designate internal Back-Up Reviewers or Cardholders who back each other up (that is, a Cardholder who also fills the role of Back-Up Reviewer and/or a Reviewer who fills the role of Back-Up Cardholder); however, Separation of Duties must be maintained.