Purchase Card Program

The St. Olaf College purchase card program is the most cost-effective method of paying for large volume purchases and travel expenses that do not require prior authorization, bids, contracts etc.  If you will be making purchases with your card that are capital in nature (assets with a cumulative cost of $5,000 or more and a useful life of 5 years or more), please contact the Controller at x3502.  This VISA card is a combination purchase/travel card. There is no annual fee.  VISA and Wells Fargo make their money from the discount fee charged to the merchant.  Vendors accept credit cards because they get paid within three days and do not bear the risk of bad checks or unpaid accounts receivable.  The college has negotiated for this card program and Wells Fargo will issue the cards and also serve as the card servicer.

The card can be used for both in-store purchases as well as phone, mail, Internet, or fax orders.  However, do not use your Wells Fargo VISA on campus (e.g. Bookstore), because the College will be assessed fees for processing the credit card.  Each card will be tailored to your needs. This will minimize the potential for abuse should your card be lost or stolen. Unlike personal credit cards, the Wells Fargo Bank VISA Purchase Card Program is handled as a corporate liability. Your personal credit history has not been taken into account when a card has been issued in your name. While the card may be in your name, it is the property of St. Olaf College and has no bearing on your personal credit.

The Business Office is responsible for paying the Program invoice each month. The card may be used at any merchant that accepts VISA throughout the U.S.A. and internationally.

Quick Reference Guide – for Cardholders, Reconcilers and Approvers

Cardholder Responsibilities

  • You are responsible for the transactions identified on your statement. You must be able to produce original itemized receipts and prove that the transactions are expenditures for college related purposes. You will be required to reimburse the college with personal funds for any activity you are unable to properly substantiate as a business expense.
  • Making sure that sales tax is not charged on exempt purchases.
  • Reviewing your monthly statement online, verifying that all transactions are valid and coded correctly, entering descriptions, and hitting “review complete” by the grace period end date noted online (typically 5 calendar days from when the original email stating that statement is ready for review was received).
  • Obtaining original itemized receipts or other required documentation for every transaction and attaching them to a copy of your monthly statement.
  • Offering a copy of the monthly statement with attached required documentation to approver and verifying that approver completes online review.
  • Submitting monthly statement with attached required documentation to the Accounts Payable Office by the 8th working day of the following month.

Approver Responsibilities

  • Approving the monthly statement online after reviewing descriptions and reasonableness of purchases by hitting “approval complete” button by the due date specified online (usually 4 calendar days from when the cardholder was required to complete their review).
  • (optional) Requesting a copy of the monthly statement with attached required documentation if the approver would like to see additional backup regarding the purchases made.

If a charge should not be approved, complete online approval and contact the PCA for possible disciplinary action, including restitution of the charge and/or deactivation of card.


  • Accounts Payable Office – Tomson Hall 131