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Procurement Card Activity Logs were Improperly Approved

Audit found that UMass Lowell improperly approved ProCard activity logs that lacked information and documentation of their monthly transactions.

Table of Contents

Overview

Our sample3 of procurement card (ProCard) activity logs identified 31 logs that were improperly approved. Without ensuring that these logs are properly approved, the university faces a higher-than-acceptable risk of misuse of university funds.

UMass Lowell ProCard users are required to prepare monthly activity logs that itemize and total the costs of their transactions during the month and submit them along with all supporting documentation to their supervisors for review and approval. We reviewed the supporting documentation for the 72 monthly ProCard activity logs sampled and found that 31 of the logs should not have been approved because they lacked required information and/or documentation. Specifically, 12 logs were missing receipts or affidavits; 8 were missing required totals; and 11 were missing multiple elements, such as receipts, bank statements, totals, and/or signatures. Additionally, four supervisory approvals were made more than 300 days after the corresponding ProCard bank statement dates and were approved after the date of our request to review the related logs.

Authoritative Guidance

According to UMass Lowell’s Procurement Card (ProCard) Program User’s Guide and Policies, monthly reconciliation processes for ProCards require that users and supervisors do the following:

2. Prepare your monthly ProCard log: list all charges from the bank statement onto the log, fully document the business purpose of each charge, total the charges, and sign and date the log. The total of charges on the log must match the total on the statement.

3. Attach your ProCard statement and related receipts to the ProCard log. You may also attach further documentation if needed to support the business use of ProCard charges. . . .

Note: there must be a ProCard Log for each bank statement you receive.

Submit your completed ProCard Monthly Reconciliation (ProCard log, bank statement and receipts) to your supervisor for review and signature. . . .
Supervisory signoff indicates review and approval on a departmental level and an awareness that all transactions fall within University policy.

To ensure that all ProCard expenditures are appropriate and that a proper reconciliation of all these expenditures can be performed, supervisors should make sure they review and approve the expenditures in a timely manner.

Also, according to the Cardholder Responsibilities listed on UMass Lowell’s website,

It is the responsibility of the cardholder to have the ProCard Log reviewed and signed by his/her immediate supervisor or the Research Administration Financial Administrator as applicable.

Reason for Noncompliance

Although UMass Lowell has established monitoring controls over ProCard users (specifically, audits every two years in most instances), there are no monitoring controls over supervisors to ensure that they properly review and approve ProCard activity logs to verify that the logs comply with UMass Lowell’s policies.

Recommendation

UMass Lowell should enhance its policies to better define supervisory activities and should provide additional training to supervisors regarding their timely completion of their ProCard responsibilities, if needed.

Auditee’s Response

It should be noted all of the purchases were allowable business expenses and the vast majority of the transactions were supported and approved appropriately. Campus ProCard policies and audit procedures are in place, and audits are performed periodically for all Procard cardholder logs which include verifying supervisors are reviewing logs. Management will provide additional guidance and training where necessary to supervisors to ensure they are aware of supervisory responsibilities concerning ProCard log approval.

Auditor’s Reply

Whether or not the expenditures in question were business related, the 31 logs in question should not have been approved, because they lacked required information and/or documentation. Based on its response, the university is taking measures to make sure that supervisors are aware of their responsibilities, but it should also enhance its policies to better define supervisory activities to ensure that supervisors properly review and approve ProCard activity logs to verify that the logs comply with UMass Lowell’s policies.

3. Our sample consisted of 72 ProCard activity logs, totaling $909,355, from a population of 12,745 logs, totaling $13,462,978.

Date published: June 12, 2018
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