GAP 200.024, Corporate Card Purchases

  1. General
  2. Procedure




The Corporate Card provides an efficient method for making many business related purchases. Purchases are charged directly to the department's designated cost object and Duke issues one monthly payment for all Corporate Card purchases. The card may be used for most purchases up to $1,500 and travel related expenses up to $3,000. The Corporate Card cannot be used for the following purchases:

  • Capital equipment
  • Payments to individuals
  • Leases and long-term rentals
  • Animals
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Controlled substances
  • Medical/Surgical supplies used in hospital or clinical patient care areas
  • Non ENERGY STAR compliant appliances and electronics

Total charges per card are subject to daily and monthly limits. Corporate Cards are obtained through Employee Travel and Reimbursement.



Departments may authorize issuance of a Corporate Card to individual employees. The cardholder is authorized to make business-related purchases with the card and must provide the detailed sales slip or receipt for non-travel related expenses along with the appropriate general ledger coding to the department administrator.  For travel related expenses, the cardholder is required to retain and submit detailed receipts for the following expenses incurred during a trip:

  • Airfare/rail/bus
  • Lodging
  • Registration fees
  • Business meetings/meals
  • Social/entertainment expenses
  • Recruiting meals with applicants
  • Any other travel related expenses with a cost of $50 or more

If a required receipt is lost, the cardholder must complete the Corporate Card Missing Receipt Form. The cardholder should also forward his/her monthly credit card statement to the department administrator for retention. The Corporate Card is never to be used for personal expenses.

Approvals Required

Corporate Card transactions must be approved by the cardholder's immediate supervisor or a senior official in the department. (e.g. Department Chairs should have transactions approved by their Dean and Deans should have transactions approved by an official in the proper Management Center.) The approval authority may be delegated, with the understanding that the individual will report any findings or gross observations to a senior official in the department.

If the delegated approver is a WORKS administrator who is employed in an administrative support capacity, a second review or approval by a senior departmental administrator is required. This second review may take place as part of the monthly review and approval of the department's financial statements and must be documented by the approver's signature and date approved. Documentation of the review must be retained in the department.

Under no circumstances may a WORKS administrator, who is also a cardholder, approve his own transactions, or those of a supervisor.

Corporate Card approval can be conducted/ demonstrated by the following:

  • Approver reviews, initials, and dates a paper copy of the Corporate Card statement on a monthly basis
  • Approver reviews, initials, and dates a WORKS report listing cardholder transactions and the associated business purpose on a regular (monthly or quarterly) basis
  • Approver, designated by the department and authorized by Employee Travel and Reimbursement to be the WORKS administrator, approves the transactions on-line

The procedure surrounding the department's approval process must be documented in the department. The department is responsible for maintaining written proof of review/approval in accordance with either the University's or Health System's retention guidelines.

WORKS Administrator Responsibilities

The departmental WORKS administrator is responsible for retaining required receipts for every Corporate Card transaction for seven years.
In the WORKS system the department administrator must enter the following information on each transaction prior to it being posted:

  • General Ledger account
    Six digits
  • Company Code
    Four digits; identifies the specific company within Duke.
  • Cost Indicator
    Identifies the type of cost object within SAP
    • C (Cost Center)
      General operating expense accounts
    • F (Fund)
      Used in combination with balance sheet G/L accounts such as 146100 and 146300
    • I (Internal Order)
      Used by departments that issue service orders such as Facilities Management or Engineering & Operations
    • P (Profit Center)
      Rarely used for expenses
    • W (WBS element)
      Restricted funds, in company code 0010 all 3xxxxxx and 7xxxxxx cost objects are WBS elements)
  • Cost Object
    Identifies the departmental, research, or discretionary code to which the line item will be expensed. Each Corporate Card has a default cost object.

The department generally has a minimum of 15 business days after the charge appears in WORKS to approve and code the transaction before it is posted to the General Ledger.

The department administrator is also responsible for documenting the following transactions in the WORKS system:

  • Travel related transactions (various G/L accounts) - document the traveler's name, trip dates, departure/return times, destination, and business purpose for each transaction.
  • Business related meal transactions (G/L account 696000) - document the date, location, names of attendees, and planned agenda.
  • Entertainment (G/L account 693200) - document the date, location, names of attendees, and business purpose.

Note: For a meeting to be considered "business related," the meeting must be properly planned with a specific agenda and defined business objectives. Meals or refreshments that are incidental to and a continuation of the business purpose of the meeting are allowable charges. These costs are not allowable in support of federally sponsored projects unless they have been specifically approved by the funding agency.

Record Retention

Required receipts for Corporate Card purchases must be maintained in the department for seven years and are subject to audit by external auditors, internal auditors, and Employee Travel and Reimbursement.


All Corporate Card transactions related to a business trip must be documented on the Travel Expense Form to provide a complete record of the cost of a trip.The Corporate Card receipts should not be submitted to Employee Travel and Reimbursement with the Travel Expense Form, rather they are to be retained in the department by the WORKS administrator.

For incidental hotel charges (e.g., mini-bar purchases, laundry, movie rentals) incurred during a business trip, it is the responsibility of each department or school to collect reimbursement from the cardholder, deposit the check/cash at the University Cashier, retain proof of the reimbursement, and document the cashier receipt number in WORKS.

Cardholders who are no longer employed by Duke or who have changed departments must return their Corporate Card to the department administrator for destruction.

Departmental administrators should contact Employee Travel and Reimbursement promptly to cancel the Corporate Card of a departed or transferred employee.

The Corporate Card Users Manual provides more information regarding the usage of the Corporate Card.