Expense and Purchasing Card Procedures


This document applies to all University staff members.


The procedures that must be followed for implementing the Expense and Purchasing Card Policy.


Applying for a purchasing or expense card

1. An online Purchasing Card Application form must be completed with approval from the Director of Faculty Finance (DFF) or finance manager.

2. An online Expense Card Application form must be completed with approval by the faculty dean/UEC member.

3. Once the respective online form has been completed and submitted, a service request will automatically be sent to the Shared Transaction Centre (STC).

4. Requests for a purchasing card (pCard) or an expense card (eCard) are to be processed within five working days.

Note -This includes the time it takes for the physical card to arrive at the Shared Transaction Centre.

5. Cardholders are required to produce a photo ID for collection.

Note – these are collected from the Shared Transaction Centre at 49 Symonds Street, Level 5.

Note – The intended cardholder is required to declare and accept the delegation and personal responsibility for the use and safekeeping of the card.

Card expenditure limits

6. The standard expenditure limit for Expense Cards is $20,000 and for Purchasing Cards is $15,000.

7. The card expenditure limits may be extended in exceptional circumstances only.

8. To request an increase in the monthly limit, the request must be supported by a brief explanation endorsed by the relevant Director of Faculty Finance, finance manager or faculty dean and sent for review through a service request to the Shared Transaction Centre (select topic ‘eCards’ or ‘pCards’ and then sub-topic ‘Limit increases’).

Use of expense card

9. An expense card may be used to pay for official University-related expenses such as:

  • accommodation (other than accommodation “charged back” through the University’s Travel Management Company (TMC) and excluding personal costs, e.g. mini bar)
  • meals
  • rail, rental cars and bus travel (other than travel “charged back” through the University’s TMC)
  • taxi and shuttle service fares
  • parking
  • petrol/ diesel for vehicles used on University business (but only if no University Fuel Card held)
  • cardholder’s membership subscriptions
  • staff catering expenses
  • official entertainment expenses
  • cardholders conference registrations (providing an existing supplier record does not exist)

Use of purchasing card

10. A purchasing card may be used to pay for one-off, low value transactions (under $2000 NZD) or the following types of transactions:

  • prepaid accommodation
  • subscriptions
  • training courses, seminars, conference registrations (providing an existing supplier record does not exist)
  • supermarket purchases (except where the preferred caterers should be used)

11. A purchasing card must not be used for:

  • supermarket purchases (where preferred caterers should be used)
  • goods or services that can be purchased via PerfectShop or strategic suppliers
  • goods or services that can be purchased from an existing supplier on the University’s financial system – Peoplesoft Financials
  • recurring transactions
  • software (including Cloud Services) - Contact Software Admin 
  • purchasing of chemicals, biologicals and hazardous materials
  • purchasing of fixed assets
  • purchasing of construction or renovation work that should go through Property Services
  • payment of long-term hire or lease agreements
  • payment of donations
  • payment of payroll or contract-for-service arrangements

Supporting documentation and reconciliation of card transactions

12. Each cardholder is responsible for obtaining adequate supporting documentation /receipts from the merchant for every expense card or purchase card transaction.

13. Receipts for transactions in NZ over $50 must comply with IRD requirements for tax invoices.

14. Cardholders, or their designated delegate, are responsible for ensuring that ‘Expense Reports’ are created and submitted for approval by the 3rd business day of the following month.

15. Directors of faculty finance and finance managers are responsible for ensuring expense card and purchasing card ‘Expense Reports’ for every cardholder in their faculty/service division are processed by the 3rd business day of the following month.

16. Original invoices or receipts are to be scanned and attached to the transaction in the ‘Expense Report’.

17. A credit card docket by itself is not an adequate receipt.

18. Failure on the part of the cardholder to provide appropriate original receipts may result in the withdrawal of the card.

Disputed transactions

19. If a cardholder disputes a transaction that appears on their statement they must categorise the transaction as a ‘Disputed Transaction’ in the ‘Expense Report’.

20. The cardholder must submit a service request to the Shared Transaction Centre, selecting either ‘eCards’ or ‘pCards’ Topic and then the sub-topic ‘Disputed transactions’.

21. If approved, the transaction will be forwarded to the University’s bank for investigation.

22. The bank will only investigate and resolve transactions that are disputed within 60 days of the transaction being made.

23. If a disputed transaction is resolved in the University’s favour, the bank will credit the amount of the transaction on the cardholder’s credit card.

24. If the dispute resolution goes against the University, the original debit entry on the cardholder’s statement will stand. However, a journal will need to be made by the cardholder’s faculty or service division finance team to charge the transaction to the correct account.

Card fees

25. No card replacement fee will be charged if the card has been compromised and a new card is re-issued.

26. There are no transaction fees.

27. If a cardholder has been incorrectly charged a fee, please submit a service request to the Shared Transaction Centre, selecting, either ‘eCards’ or ‘pCards’ Topic and then ‘Disputed Transactions’ sub-topic.

Cancellation of cards

28. Cards which have been issued to staff members who no longer require them are to be cancelled.

29. When a cardholder leaves the University’s employment, it is the responsibility of the staff member’s line manager to retrieve the physical card from the staff member, together with any outstanding receipts.

Note - Please submit a service request to the Shared Transaction Centre selecting the ‘eCards’ or ‘pCards’ topic then ‘Cancellation’ sub-topic. On receipt of the request, Shared Transaction Centre will advise the bank to cancel the card immediately.

30. Upon confirmation from the card administrator, the card is to be cut up and disposed of in a security bin.

31. Receipts for un-reconciled transactions are to be retained by the Director of Faculty Finance or Finance Manager until the related statements have been reconciled and authorised.

Lost or stolen cards

32. If an expense card or purchasing card is lost or stolen it must be reported to both the bank and to the Shared Transaction Centre as soon as possible.

Note - Please submit a service request to the Shared Transaction Centre selecting ‘eCards’ or ‘pCards’ topic, then ‘Lost cards’ sub-topic.

33. The cards are to be blocked immediately from further use.

Note - For lost or stolen cards:

In New Zealand contact ANZ Card Centre, Wellington 0800 473 473

If overseas (call collect/reverse charges) ANZ, Auckland Card Centre +64 9 522 3010

or VISA International (call collect/reverse charges) Singapore +65 345 1010

or contact local bank displaying the VISA logo or a VISA office

Misuse of cards

34. Misuse of cards may result in disciplinary action possibly including termination of employment in addition to any action by an external enforcement agency.

35. The card may be placed on hold, withdrawn or cancelled.

36. In addition, the University may seek the reimbursement of losses or costs from the person concerned.

37. Legal proceedings may also be taken against the cardholder for any fraudulent or pre-meditated misuse of this card.

Ownership of the card system

38. The distribution and control of cards will be managed centrally by the Shared Transaction Centre.

39. Staff in the Shared Transaction Centre will be the only point of contact with the bank regarding the issue of cards.

Responsibility for purchasing

40. The introduction of an expense card in no way signals a change in the Procurement Policy.

41. Expense cardholders are not responsible for purchasing.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Cardholder is the staff member to whom the card has been issued

Expense card refers to a credit card issued to a staff member who is required to undertake frequent travel on behalf of the University and/or pay for official entertainment. Also referred to as an ‘eCard’

Purchasing cards refers to a credit card issued to a staff member who are required to undertake purchasing on behalf of their department. Also referred to as a ‘pCard’.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full or part time basis.

Travel Management Co-ordinator (TMC) is the organisation appointed by the University to co-ordinate all University travel.

University means the University of Auckland and its subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Chief Financial Officer
Content manager: Shared Transaction Centre
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 24 May 2018
Review date: 24 May 2023