P-card forms are your way of recording what accounts a transaction should be charged to, and of explaining why the item was purchased. This form is then submitted to the transaction approvers so that the transaction can be reviewed before being approved or forwarded to another department.
You can create a p-card form in two ways:
- From the Card Manager’s Dashboard, click on
Go to P-Card Formto create a form connected to the transaction right next to it.
- Click the pink
New P-Card Formbutton to create a form not connected to a transaction.
If you are unfamiliar with the Card Manager’s Dashboard, make sure to review our quick guide on how to use it before proceeding with this tutorial.
Here’s an example of what the p-card form looks like starting from option #1, before being filled out:
Status: Shows you the status of your p-card form, such as
No Documentation for an unfinished, unsubmitted form.
Communication Notes: Any conversation between you and the transaction approvers will show up here. If your form was returned for your review, this is also where you will find out why and what you need to do to fix it.
Related P-Card Transaction: This will default to the transaction you are filling the form out for; however, if you started by making a free-form p-card form independent of a transaction by clicking
New P-Card form on the Card Manager’s dashboard, you can choose which transaction to link this form to using this drop down menu.
Transaction Nickname (Optional): Allows you to give a nickname to the form to be easier to find in case you want to search for it again later.
📃 Transaction Information
Doc. No.: short for “Document Number.” The identifying number for the transaction
Card Holder: The holder of the card the transaction was purchased with
Amount: The final amount of the transaction
Document Date: The date the card was charged
Description: The bank statement description of the transaction, provided by the vendor
This field will auto-populate with the details of the transaction if you clicked on
Go to P-Card Form. If you used the
New P-Card form option, the transaction information will not auto-populate until you select a transaction:
- Personal expense: a transaction not intended for MIT business but was placed on a p-card by accident
- Fraudulent charge: a fraudulent charge
- Anticipating International Transactions: for transactions purchased by suppliers outside of the U.S.
- Anticipating Refund: for transactions where a refund or other credit is expected, such as on tax
If this box is checked, you will need to fill out the p-card form and submit special documentation. See link for how to complete a p-card form in this situation.
A fraudulent charge is a special situation that doesn’t quite follow the flow of filling out a normal p-card form. If you need to check this box, see How do I request a temporary spending increase on my p-card? on what to properly do in this situation.
Anticipated International Transactions
Such transactions are nearly always accompanied by a separate, secondary charge equivalent to 1% of the cost of the original transaction (e.g., if what you bought was $60, the international transaction fee would be around $0.60). If you have purchased from a vendor based outside of the U.S, you should anticipate this fee and check this box. Since these charges are separate transactions, they must be linked to the original charge in QuickBase when they come in, after the original charge’s form has been submitted. See How to connect an international transaction fee or refund to its original charge for what to expect.
Since these credits are separate transactions, they must be linked to the original charge in QuickBase after the original’s form has been submitted. By checking this box, you will be prompted to input the exact credit amount. If you forget to check this box, put the wrong amount, or forget to put in an amount, you will run into issues later when the credit comes in. See How to connect an international transaction fee or refund to its original charge for how to resolve if this happens.
💰 Account Info
The account (also referred to as a cost object) is the account you are looking to charge. This often varies based on the department, the item purchased, and other things. If you are not sure which to use, please confirm with the Senior Financial Officer.
When completing the section of the p-card form that calls for the account:
1. Type in the account that will be charged, as well as the general ledger (G/L).
The G/L is used to broadly categorize the transaction and is necessary to allow MIT to properly review spending areas and manage the budget. See link for a list to reference.
If you are purchasing on a research account, keep in mind that there are several specific, additional G/Ls that are unallowable for them, as well.
After you type in an account and G/L, your page will update:
2. Depending on the account or G/L used, you may be asked to reload the page. Reload the page if the Helper Text, which is automatically filled out, asks you to, as doing so will change the fields that will display in the rest of the form:
If QuickBase can’t find the entered account number
If you typed an account incorrectly, you’ll get a message in the Helper Text area telling you to review:
3. Next, type in the amount that will be charged to each cost object.
If only using one cost object, input the full amount of the transaction:
If using more than one cost object, input that cost object on the next line and split the amount of the transaction between cost objects as desired.
4. Complete the justification:
A justification is a brief but required statement explaining the benefit of the purchase to the institute or research project. See All about justifications for how to do this correctly—if it’s done wrong, your p-card form may be rejected.
Using g/ls related to meetings and food (42100, 421200, & 42105)
If a meeting or food g/l is used, the following fields will appear after you click the
Complete all of these fields.
Charging sponsored research accounts with g/ls related to meetings and food (42100, 421200, & 42105)
For expenses for a meeting (including food and beverages) to be allowable on a federal award, the meetings primary purpose must be dissemination of technical information beyond MIT, and it must be necessary for successful performance of the award. Events like group dinners, for example, are not allowed on research and should be charged on a discretionary account.
MIT’s policy on this can be found on the Research Administration Services’ website.
Charging sponsored research accounts in general
If a research account is used, the
Names of person(s) transaction was purchased for field will appear after you click the
This field is for indicating who the items were purchased for (not who did the purchasing) in order for the finance team to determine if the person(s) receiving the benefit of the purchase have effort on the account(s) in question.
See Purchasing on a Research Cost Object for full details on what is counted as effort on a research account.
Additionally, make sure your justification abides to the right standards.
1. If you submitted a receipt, select whether or not tax was charged in the
Does receipt say tax was charged? dropdown menu.
MIT is a tax exempt institution in Massachusetts and 29 additional states. If tax was charged, and the purchase was over $75 or a business meeting, you will be asked to pursue a refund for the taxed amount. You can also submit MIT’s tax-exemption number (on the procard itself) or our tax-exempt certificates to a vendor before making a purchase to prevent going back to the vendor later.
If you are anticipating a refund on the taxed amount, return to the Transaction Information section of the form, check
Anticipating Refund, and input the amount of the tax in the pop-up box.
2. Upload 1-3 receipts or other pieces of supporting documentation (such as a chat with the vendor) here.
Receipts are always needed for:
- all transactions above $75.00 USD
- all transactions using G/Ls related to meetings and food
Outside of the above times, they are optional 👍.
- fully display the dollar amount of the transaction
- be smaller than 5 MB
- be in
You may leave a comment for the transaction approvers here, or leave a comment in response to one that was left for you.
💾 Saving & Submitting
Save and Keep Working to save your form as a draft to complete later, and
Submit Form to submit your completed form to the transaction approver. You can find a list of your previously submitted forms by clicking
See Submitted P-Card Forms on the Card Manager’s dashboard.
Here are some examples of correctly completed p-card forms for your reference:
A regular form ⤵️
A form using more than one account ⤵️
A form for an account we don’t have reporting access on ⤵️
The first account listed here was correctly entered, but DMSE can’t report on it, so the Helper Text thinks the listed account is a typo. In these situations (and these only), it is safe to ignore the Helper Text:
A form for a research account ⤵️
A form using a meetings and food G/L ⤵️
See How do I submit a form or check for a personal expense? for how to submit a form for an expense you mistakenly charged to a p-card.
See What do I do if there’s a fraudulent expense on my card? for how to submit a form for a fraudulent charge.