Rhonda Humble
Both the Gardner Edgerton and Spring Hill school districts utilize purchase or credit cards but require most purchases be pre-approved. Fewer than 10 percent of employees at each district have cards.
Doug Schwinn, Spring Hill business director, said USD 230 has a total of eight credit cards and a total district purchase limit of $15,000.
“We have a Mastercard with Mainstreet Credit Union,” Schwinn said. “Our district (Spring Hill) does not have what is frequently referred to as p-cards in other districts.”
No fees or interest are charged if bills are paid on time.
“We make sure all payments are made on time,” Schwinn said.
Of the district’s 315 employees only three carry a credit card: superintendent, director of business and director of buildings and grounds. An additional five cards are available at the district office to be checked out by employees who need to make purchases.
“Employees who check out a card at the district office must have prior approval,” Schwinn said.
Gardner’s school district implemented the use of purchase cards in 2002, according to Eric Hansen, executive director of business and finance.
Of the district’s 840 employees, 57 have purchase cards, with the highest limits being $5,000 each for the USD 231 superintendent and associate principal and athletic director at the high school.
Total spending authority for the 57 cards is $66,000.
According to Hansen, “One of the primary drivers behind the decision to integrate purchasing cards was the difficulty of managing corporate accounts locally and regionally.”
Prior to purchasing cards, Hansen said the district struggled to manage multiple vendor accounts internally, and as student enrollment increased the district needed to identify a more efficient method.
“It is also worth mentioning that all employee purchases (regardless of method) are subject to proper approval,” Hansen said. “In nearly all cases, employees must first receive authorization from their supervisor prior to proceeding with and completing a purchasing transaction.”
Hansen said USD 231 does not pay a fee or interest for using the cards.
Gardner Edgerton primarily utilizes purchase cards as opposed to store accounts.
In Spring Hill, Schwinn said the district utilizes a few store accounts such as Walmart, Sam’s, Target, Price Chopper and Home Depot. “Employees are required to get their purchases approved in advance and then they can check out the charge card from the district office so that they can make tax exempt purchases at those stores.”