Frequently Asked Questions

Are departments required to use the purchasing card for their purchases of $5,000 or less (including shipping & handling)? 

The purchasing card is a more convenient and efficient way of ordering items that cost $5,000 or less (including shipping and handling), with the exception of items appearing on the prohibited items list. The Purchasing Department encourages departments to place their own order by using the purchasing card. Purchases under $200 may still be covered by petty cash.

How are purchasing cards obtained? 

Fill out the purchasing card agreement form, obtain the appropriate signatures, and return it to the Purchasing Department.

How long will it take to receive the card? 

Allow two weeks.

Can the purchasing card be used for personal purchases if the department's account is reimbursed for the charges? 

No, and as noted in the Michigan Tech Purchasing Card Agreement, non-adherence to this procedure will result in the revocation of the individual cardholder's privileges.

What should I do if my card is lost or stolen or I suspect fraud? 

Notify Elan at 800-344-5696 first, and then contact the Purchasing Department at 906-487-2510. If you suspect your card was stolen on campus, notify Public Safety and Police Services at 906-487-2216 as well. The department is responsible for any and all unauthorized use. When you receive your new card, add it to your Access Online account. If someone else needs access to your card, contact the Purchasing Department at 907-487-2510, and they will add it to that person's Access Online profile.

Ordering/Use

1

May a department use the purchasing card for reimbursable and personal expenses, entertainment, meals, and other out of pocket expenses?

No. For specific instructions on how to receive reimbursement for the aforementioned expenses, please contact the Accounts Payable Office at 906-487-2373.

2

May departments use the purchasing card for repairs?

Yes, provided the total repair cost is less than $5,000 and the repair work is done off-campus. 

For on-campus repairs, you must use a Purchase Requisition form due to liability and insurance issues.

3

May cardholders use the purchasing cards for advertising purchases?

Yes. The cardholder is responsible for having all approvals in place before advertising. See the Prohibited Items list for what cannot be charged on your purchasing card and the Advertising Guidelines.

4

Can purchasing cards be used for rentals of any kind?

Yes.

Receiving

1

Can departments request that University Central Receiving personnel pick up their purchases from local vendors?

No. Cardholders must pick up their own orders or request that they ship to their standard departmental "ship-to" address.

2

If no one is in the office to sign for a shipment, what happens?

The package carriers will make two additional attempts to deliver (two more days), and then it is returned to the vendor.

3

What if the carton is crushed, ripped, wet, or rattles?

Note the condition of the shipment on the delivery slip you are signing. Then call the vendor to make a claim. Save the carton, contents, and paperwork for inspection. 

Note: Shipping labels without the room and building cannot be delivered by common carrier and will be delivered to Central Receiving for redistribution within the University at their convenience.

Payment/Audit

1

How will payments be processed to the purchasing card company?

Upon receipt of a monthly billing statement from the purchasing card company by Accounts Payable, one monthly payment will be automatically processed to the purchasing card company.

Note: Each cardholder will receive a billing statement from the purchasing card company that lists the purchases during that billing period. All the charges are downloaded to Banner, and the appropriate department account indexes and expense codes are charged.

2

How should a discrepancy (disputed item) on the purchasing card statement be handled?

Charges may be disputed in Access Online. See instructions for Access Online—see instructions.

3

Should a department request a refund or credit from a vendor?

If you return something or have been overcharged for an item, you must request a credit to your card and verify on your statement that you have received the credit.

4

What audit requirements are cardholders responsible for?

Cardholders must retain their monthly statements (or monthly account activity report printed from Access Online) and purchasing card receipts (the receipts are to be a descriptive itemization of your purchase) for three years. The statement or account activity report must be signed by the cardholder’s supervisor or supervisor’s designee.

If a purchasing card transaction was charged to a grant or contract, the statements and receipts are to be saved for three years and three months after the close of the contract or grant.

Note: You can upload your purchasing card statements and receipts to ImageNow and not have to save the paper. See the Purchasing Card Statement/Receipt Upload Instructions.

5

What information should I provide a vendor if they question Michigan Tech’s tax exempt status?

  • State of MI Sales Tax and Federal Excise Tax-Free Registry #38 73 0627 K  (To Be Used for University Business Only) 
  • State of WI Sales Tax and Federal Excise Tax-Free Registry #ES 41033  (To Be Used for University Business Only) 
  • Federal ID #38-6005955

6

What if the service provider conducts business using a social security number?

If an off-campus service provider does business using a social security number instead of a federal tax ID number, fill out an Independent Contractor Questionnaire. The Office of the Vice President for Administration will determine if the service provider qualifies as an independent contractor or should be on payroll.

7

What is the last date of the monthly billing period?

The last date will be the 27th of the month or the Friday before if the 27th falls on a weekend.

8

Can the total amount that appears for account E210 be split up and reassigned to more applicable account numbers?

Yes. The easiest way to do this is to use Access Online to make your reallocations before the charges are posted to Banner. 

Purchasing Card Suspension or Revocation"

1

Under what circumstances would my purchasing card be taken away?

Your card may be suspended if 

  • you purchase a prohibited item, 
  • you exceed the item or monthly limits, 
  • you cannot provide transaction slips for all of your charges, 
  • you have many disputes or problems with vendors, or 
  • you regularly use the incorrect shipping address. 

2

Could I ever get my card back?

Possibly. You'll need to reapply. Fill out the Purchasing Card Application/Agreement form, obtaining the appropriate signatures and returning it to the Purchasing Department. You will then be required to meet with the manager of purchasing concerning your adherence to following purchasing card guidelines. After the meeting, you'll be notified.

Credit Card Reallocation on the Access Online (Axol) Website

1

When is the earliest date that you can re-allocate a transaction?

As soon as it is posted to the Access Online (Axol) website.

2

When is the latest date that you can re-allocate a transaction?

Up until the date the transactions are downloaded to Banner. See the schedule: Purchasing Card Reallocation Deadlines.

3

How will you know the latest date that you can reallocate a transaction?

Notification of the last day to do reallocations each month will be sent via email to all cardholders and card managers.

4

What happens when the index or account code that you enter is invalid or inactive?

If the index or account code is invalid or inactive, you will get an error message on the Axol website.

5

What happens when the index or account code is valid but is the wrong index or code?

If the index or account code is wrong, nothing happens unless someone catches the error. When the error is caught, you can do a Reallocation of Expenditure to correct the error.

6

What happens if the index doesn't have enough money in it?

If there isn't enough money in your account (index), then you have to find the money someplace else and make a budget transfer.  If there isn't enough money in a research account, Sponsored Programs Accounting will notify you and the index will be changed back to the original index before the interface is completed.

7

What if you don't get the reallocation done by the deadline?

If you missed the deadline to reallocate purchasing card charges in Access Online, use the Reallocation of Expenditure form. If it is less than 30 days after the original charge, no signature is needed. For older charges, the following signatures are required:

  • more than 30 days after the original charge—financial manager;
  • more than 60 days old—department chair; or
  • more than 90 days old—Dean or VP.

8

Who do you contact if you forget your Axol password?

Call 877-887-9260. They will unlock your account. Then click on Forgot Password and reset your password.

9

What if AXOL customer support asks for the last four digits of my social security number?

Give them the last four digits of your M-number. If you don’t know your M-number, you can look it up in the Banner form SPAIDEN. In the second field on this form, type your last name, first name and press enter. Your M-number will appear in the ID field. Your M-number is also on your Michigan Tech ID card.

Michigan Tech does not supply Elan/Access Online with your social security number. In place of social security numbers, the social security number field is populated with your Michigan Tech ID number; however, the first letter of your ID number is replaced with the number nine (9). For example, if your Michigan Tech ID number is M12345678, your number in AXOL is 912345678.

10

What does your supervisor need to do?

Your statement or the monthly account activity report that can be printed from Access Online (see illustration below) must be reviewed and signed by your supervisor.

Monthly billing statements need to be presented to your supervisor or supervisor's designee for review regarding the statement's accuracy and validity of the expenditures and to confirm that all receipts are retained by the cardholder. Once the supervisor or supervisor's designee has completed the review and if there are no disputes, the supervisor or supervisor's designee should sign off on the statement and return it to the cardholder. Any disputes should be resolved between the supervisor or supervisor's designee and the cardholder. If no resolution can be reached, notify the purchasing manager for assistance. 

Use of the card improves efficiency and reduces costs by eliminating the need to enter and process individual requisitions, purchase orders, invoices, and vendor checks. However, this means that there is less information on purchases available in Financial Services and Operations. The control to help ensure that only business items were purchased with a procurement card resides in the departments.