1252 - Policy on Small Order Purchase Via Purchasing Card



The policy explains the regulations governing the issuance and use of the Purchasing Card.

Scope of Applicability

Applies to all University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("UNC-Chapel Hill" or "University") Faculty and Staff.


Policy Statement

Procurement and Strategic Operations administers the University's Purchasing Card (P-Card) program according to the regulations established by the State of North Carolina Division of Purchase and Contract. The P-Card can be used to procure any goods or services allowable under Finance Policy 1251 - Small Order Policy, and provides an efficient means of acquiring and paying for these goods and services.

Using the P-Card to obtain services from a vendor (a corporation or partnership) is allowed, but not from a Sole Proprietor (or, "Doing-Business-As" Vendor), as this is an Independent Contractor. For information on hiring an Independent Contractor, see Finance Policy 708 - Policy on Independent Contractor. All P-Card purchases with agreements/contract/terms and conditions must be reviewed/approved by Purchasing Services before purchase. You may obtain approval by contacting Purchasing Services.

P-Cards are issued at the request of department heads who set a dollar limit per billing period at the lowest level consistent with expected usage. The P-Card is assigned to a specific accountholder and becomes the accountholder's responsibility. Before using a P-Card, the accountholder must take the  mandatory online training and pass the associated quiz. The P-Card accountholder is the only person authorized to make purchases with the card. Items purchased using the P-Card are to be delivered directly to the  accountholder's work location and not to Central Receiving. The accountholder must upload receipts for all P-Card purchase transactions in the WORKS platform.


The P-Card cannot be used for the following:

  • Orders in excess of $5,000
  • "Splitting" transactions to avoid purchasing thresholds
  • Travel expenses (except Athletics, Student Travel, and/or Guest Travel upon request)
  • Consultant or Professional Services
  • Radioactive materials
  • Items carried in university storerooms
  • Items otherwise available from a BuyCarolina Vendor Catalog
  • Financial donation/gift component when registering for a conference or other event
  • Telecommunications equipment or services produced by or provided by entities listed in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 48 C.F.R. 52.204-25

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contacts
Subject Contact Telephone E-Mail
P-Card Purchases P-Card Office   pcard@unc.edu
Accountholder Support Bank of America


Article ID: 131439
Thu 4/8/21 9:09 PM
Fri 3/24/23 10:41 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
02/04/2021 7:47 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Travel and Payment Card Services Manager
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
03/01/2023 7:47 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
03/21/2023 7:47 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
03/01/2024 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
01/10/2000 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget