09 - 110 Documentation and Record Retention


For all Purchasing Card transactions, the Account Manager maintains the official record of the transaction. Unlike other financial transactions, there will be no record of the transaction administered centrally. When reviewed, the department will be contacted to provide documentation supporting the business purpose of all Purchasing Card transactions under review. Lack of original documentation is a cardholder violation which could be viewed as a personal purchase and subject to the consequences of misuse as stated in Procedure 9-102, Roles and Responsibilities.

A Daily PCard Notice will be generated and distributed for each PCard with transactions. At the end of the month a Monthly PCard Notice will be generated and distributed listing all PCard transactions for the month. The cardholder, Account Manager and Business Manager all receive a copy of these PCard Notices. Original receipts supporting each purchase shall be attached to the Account Manager's copy of the Notice and imaged. It is important to stress that the cardholder is responsible for assuring that proper documentation is submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 7 days from the date of of purchase.

Each Purchasing Card transaction must be supported by one or more of the following forms of original documentation:

  • Cashier receipt

  • Supplier invoice

  • Credit card slip (with itemized pricing)

  • Copy of order form or application (with itemized pricing)

  • Packing slips are allowed only when provided with pricing detail or in conjunction with one of the above

Substitute documentation is allowed in rare and unusual instances. However, lack of original documentation is a cardholder violation and may be misconceived as a personal purchase and subject to investigation. It must include the above information along with the following:

  • Explanation of why original documentation is not available

  • Vendor Identification (vendor name and address)

  • Cardholder identification (name and last 4 digits of the card number)

  • Cardholder's signature and date

Collectively, the documentation MUST contain the following information:

  • Description of what was purchased

  • Business purpose (can be hand written)

  • Date of purchase

  • Supplier name and location

  • Quantity and cost of each item purchased

  • Total cost of purchase


Reconciliations will be performed monthly. The Account Manager will receive a monthly summary of detailed transactions for each cardholder. Receipts and supporting documentation collected for each cardholder during the month, will be totaled and agreed to the total on the summary statement. All charges must include a business purpose if not readily identifiable through the receipts.  Reconciliations will be reviewed and signed by the Business Manager.

The Account and/or Business Manager may periodically review cardholder activity during the month to ensure purchases are allowable, within the cardholder's limits, customary for the department or project, supported with proper documentation, etc. The Account Manager and Business Manager are required to be aware of unusual transactions or patterns, such as a sudden increase in activity or purchases from odd suppliers. Should an item or series of purchases look unusual or unsupported, pursue the issue with the cardholder immediately. Do not wait for the end of the month.


Account Managers are responsible for imaging the backup documentation into the USNH imaging system (BDMS) in order to provide access to the source document supporting any Purchasing Card transaction. Departments, institutes and centers are responsible for maintaining all documentation for all their Purchasing Card transactions in accordance with proper documentation procedures. Records must be retained for seven years after the fiscal year end.

For grants and contracts (Uniform Guidance 2CFR200), all supporting documentation for purchases made must be retained for a period of three years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report for the grant or contract. In addition, grants and contracts may have longer time periods specified in the award terms and conditions. Departments should ensure compliance with all other sponsoring agencies. These should be reviewed and noted at the time the award is made to ensure compliance. It is recommended that the retention timeline be reviewed periodically.

Reviews will be conducted during the year by USNH Financial Services, as well as the annual audit performed by external auditors. In addition, all purchases made on grant and contract accounts are subject to the annual A133 audit and any agency audits required for the particular grant. All audit requests should be conducted through the Business Manager of each area. The Business Manager will notify the Account Manager of requested items. The Account Manager will be expected to be able to retrieve the required data quickly and easily. 

The official version of this information will only be maintained in an on-line web format. Any and all printed copies of this material are dated as of the print date. Please make certain to review the material on-line prior to placing reliance on a dated printed version. 

This page last updated Wednesday, October 14, 2015. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.