The Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 23, 1998
Mar. 23 1998
VOL. 27, NO. 27


New Visa Card Can Be Used For Some Department Expenses

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

In an effort to enhance the way in which employees and their departments can purchase small dollar goods and services, Purchasing Services is now making available the Visa Procurement Card. The card, which has been used by a couple of hundred university employees in a pilot program throughout the past year, can now be used by any staff or faculty member with approval from his or her department.

This new system, which is not mandatory, should simplify the process of making small purchases and reduce the university's cost of doing business, says Paul Beyer, Purchasing director.

"This system eliminates the need for employees to lay out their own money for small and incidental purchases," Beyer says. "And it allows the university to get one itemized monthly statement from the bank and cut one check for the full amount instead of getting hundreds of check requests and purchase orders and having to process and write a separate check for each one."

Here's how it works. Instead of sending a purchase request to Purchasing Services for items or services costing under $1,000-- office or laboratory supplies, delivery services, conference registrations and the like--cardholders use the VPC like a personal credit card. No purchase order is required. Cardholders sign for the purchase, retain the receipt and maintain a simple transactions log.

At month's end, all credit card information is submitted to whoever in the department is designated as being responsible for accounting. That person will then receive an electronic statement through Purchasing and have approximately three weeks to reconcile the statement with department budget account and object code information. Once the statement is processed, the department is charged for the expenditures. Departments are expected to reconcile their monthly expenditure statements in an accurate and timely manner.

For details on getting the Visa Procurement Card--and receiving the necessary accounting training and support--contact Natalie Danish, the procurement card administrator in the Purchasing Department, at 410-516-8383. Information is also available on the Web at