Audit Summary

The UW System Office of Internal Audit has completed another round of testing as part of their continuous review of UW Madison purchasing card activity. This round of testing included 92 transactions that posted between 11/05/2016 and 03/10/2017. Fourteen transactions, or 15% of those tested, resulted in one or more negative audit findings. Please review the compliance issues below:

  • Statement Approval: The auditor identified seven instances in which a cardholder and/or site manager did not sign and/or date the Cardholder Account Statement. As such, the auditor was unable to verify whether the statement was reviewed/reconciled and whether it was done in a timely manner. Some users are not submitting the custom Cardholder Account Statement, which includes signature/date lines, but instead are using a Cardholder Activity Report, which only contains signature lines. All cardholders must utilize the Cardholder Account Statement as the official record of their purchasing card activity. After completing their review/reconciliation processes, cardholders and site managers must sign and date the Cardholder Account Statement and retain it with the corresponding supporting documentation and receipts. Cardholders can access the correct statement in Access Online by navigating to Account Information > Cardholder Account Statement. The required report is the one with the "Reallocate Funding To" and "Business Purpose" boxes printed below each transaction line. Cardholders/site managers may choose to include the Cardholder Activity Report, so long as it accompanies the Cardholder Account Statement.
  • Serial Purchases: The auditor identified three serial purchases, which occur when a cardholder intentionally splits a purchase into multiple smaller purchases to bypass the $5,000 best-judgment purchase limit.
  • Shipping to an Off-Campus Address: The auditor noted two instances in which cardholders shipped merchandise to off-campus addresses, but did not provide a business justification for doing so. All orders that require a shipment of goods must be shipped to a University address, unless accompanied by a business justification for shipping the product(s) elsewhere (e.g. shipping conference materials directly to a conference site in lieu of taking them on an airplane).
  • Utilizing Shop@UW and Other Campus Resources: The auditor continued to stress the benefits of purchasing supply type items and computers from campus resources (e.g. Shop@UW, DoIT Tech Store) in lieu of other non-contracted vendors. These internal purchasing channels should be considered before any external sources. By purchasing through Shop@UW, consumers have access to contracted, discounted prices and automatic sales tax exemption. Furthermore, by funneling our purchasing through one common location, the University increases its ability to negotiate fair and desirable pricing on the items we use most. If a cardholder chooses to purchase an item available in Shop@UW from a non-contract source using the purchasing card, he/she should document the business reason behind this decision. Shop@UW training, including online video tutorials, is available at


Please review the new Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures. It is important to note that effective May 8, 2017, transactions in violation of UW-Madison Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures will result in warning notification. Recurring violations may lead to revocation of purchasing card privileges.

2017 Purchasing Card Online Refresher Training

Each year, all active purchasing cardholders and site managers are required to complete Purchasing Card Online Refresher Training. This year's training will be launched no later than August 1, 2017. All those required to complete the training will be contacted directly with training information and directions for accessing the course. Training must be completed by October 31, 2017 in order to remain eligible for the purchasing card program.

Approving All Purchasing Cards for Travel

In Fiscal Year 18, we will no longer distinguish between purchasing cards approved for services/supplies, travel or both; however, individual School, College and Auxiliary Divisional Financial Leadership may further limit the types of allowable purchases that may be made using purchasing cards. Beginning July 20, 2017, Purchasing Card Policies & Procedures training will cover all aspects of the program, including travel.

Purchasing Card Expiration

More than half of UW-Madison purchasing cards are scheduled to expire in July 2017. Please note cards with an expiration of 07/17 will remain active until 07/31/2017. Renewal cards are automatically generated by US Bank and sent directly to the cardholder at the address noted on the Cardholder Account Statement between the last two weeks of the month prior to expiration and the first two weeks of the expiration month. If your card is scheduled to expire in July of 2017 and you have not receive your renewal by 07/15/2017, please send an email to

Planning Ahead

Please note that Meghann Grove is anticipated to be on maternity leave for twelve weeks beginning on or around September 1, 2017. In her absence, should you have purchasing card related questions or issues to resolve, please direct them to or to Rusty Haines at


If you have any questions/comments, contact Meghann Grove, Purchasing Card Program Manager.