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Credit Card policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 2 November 2020.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy sets out the responsibilities of University credit card holders and steps for the acceptable use of University credit cards by staff.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to the use of University credit cards, including grant-related expenditure.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Policy should be read in conjunction with the Procurement policy and procedure.

(5) Staff are in a position of trust regarding the use of University funds.

(6) The University may issue a University credit card to eligible staff for the payment of legitimate and reasonable business expenses.

(7) Staff issued with a University credit card (the cardholder) can use the University credit card only:

  1. for legitimate and reasonable business expenses that align with the University’s strategic objectives and business needs
  2. in accordance with the principles for incurring expenditure (refer Delegations policy)
  3. ethically and in accordance with all University policies and procedures.

(8) University credit cardholders must:

  1. take all reasonable measures to keep the card secure
  2. obtain and retain appropriate supporting documentation for all transactions; and
  3. ensure transactions are acquitted within relevant timeframes.

(9) The University will:

  1. provide training to University credit cardholders and staff who approve credit card transactions
  2. monitor and review credit card use.
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Section 5 - Procedure

Applying for a University credit card

(10) Staff requesting a University credit card must complete the application form which must be approved in accordance with clause 12.

Issuing University credit cards

(11) A University credit card may only be issued to staff who:

  1. hold an ongoing or fixed-term position. The University will not issue a credit card to honorary appointees, contractors, casual or visiting staff
  2. are not currently issued with a University credit card. Only one University credit card will be issues to a staff member at any one time
  3. need to purchase minor items, urgent business supplies or incur business related expenses (including travel and entertainment) in the course of their duties
  4. have successfully completed the compliance training module for credit cards.

(12) Applications for University credit cards will be approved as follows:

Credit card limit Approver
$1,000 or less the Cost Centre Approver, Senior Manager, Director or Senior Director of the cardholder’s primary cost centre
$1,001-$10,000 the Cost Centre Approver, Senior Manager, Director or Senior Director of the cardholder’s primary cost centre; and
the Financial Controller or delegate
$10,001 or more the Senior Manager/Director of the cardholder’s primary cost centre; and
the Financial Controller or delegate

(13) University credit card limits will be based on an appropriate amount for the level of expenditure that the cardholder will incur.

(14) A cardholder can request an increase in their University credit card monthly or transaction limit by submitting (in the approved format) the following to the Financial Controller or delegate via

  1. the proposed monthly transaction limit; and
  2. details on why the increase is required.

(15) Limits can be set at a lower or higher limit if approved by the Financial Controller or delegate and will be based on an appropriate amount for the level of expenditure that the role will incur.

(16) The Financial Controller or delegate may cancel cards which are inactive for six months or more.


(17) The Financial Controller or delegate will provide training for all cardholders and staff who approve University credit card transactions.

(18) Cardholders must successfully complete the compliance training module on credit cards:

  1. before a card is issued;
  2. every two years; and
  3. before a card is re-issued after being withdrawn for non-compliance.

Cardholder responsibilities

(19) The cardholder is responsible for all transactions on their account and to:

  1. ensure use complies with University policy
  2. ensure all expenditure is for legitimate and reasonable business expenses that align with the University’s strategic objectives and business needs
  3. obtain value for money on all purchases made
  4. ensure there are sufficient funds available within the budget for all expenditure
  5. obtain tax invoices/receipts for all expenditure, where possible
  6. acquit all transactions in accordance with this Policy
  7. keep the University credit card secure and immediately report any loss, theft or fraudulent transaction.

Advising changes in particulars

(20) Cardholders must advise if:

  1. they intend to leave/resign from the University
  2. they take signifcant leave (greater than six months) (this will not impact re-application)
  3. the card is no longer required due to a change of circumstances, or a change of position.

Cash advance facility

(21) The cash advance facility is disabled on all University credit cards and must not be used without approval.

(22) Cardholders can request approval to use the cash advance facility from the relevant manager and the Financial Controller. The relevant manager and the Financial Controller may approve a request to use and enable the cash advance facility only:

  1. where there are exceptional circumstances; and
  2. for one off use of the cash advance facility.

(23) The cardholder must obtain a new approval for enabling the cash advance facility for each and every instance that a cash advance is required.

(24) Cardholders who use the cash advance facility must:

  1. attach the approval to use the cash advance facility to the transaction in DeakinUniFi; and
  2. comply with the supporting documentation and acquittal requirements in clauses 27-32.

(25) Cardholders must return any unspent cash advances to the University in AUD via the E-Store. Cardholders must not deposit these funds back against the University credit card.

(26) Staff must not reimburse themselves by withdrawing cash from an approved cash advance facility.


(27) Cardholders must acquit all transactions incurred on the University credit card by submitting the following in DeakinUniFi:

  1. a robust memo or description of the transaction so that an independent person can easily understand why the transaction has taken place. For example:
    1. not sufficient: ‘morning tea’
    2. sufficient: ‘morning tea for D&I Geelong staff for RUOK day’
  2. a valid tax invoice or other documentation as set out in clause 30-31 that show that the transaction occurred and verify that the transaction is a legitimate business expense. The cardholder must retain all documentation until the transaction has been approved.

(28) Acquittals must be completed in DeakinUniFi by the 20th day of the month after the transaction was incurred (i.e. any transactions in March, must be acquitted by the 20th April).

(29) If acquittals are not completed by this time, the University credit card limit will be reduced to $1 until the acquittal is completed. The University credit card will be cancelled if:

  1. after another two months the acquittal has still not been completed; or
  2. acquittal is not completed as required three times within a six month period.

(30) Where the transaction has taken place on an online auction website or using a payment service e.g. PayPal, the memo or description included must be robust so that an independent person can readily understand why the transaction has taken place. For example:

  1. not sufficient: ‘eBay’ or ‘PayPal’
  2. sufficient: ‘new microscopes from Gray’s online for science lab’.

(31) For Australian transactions, the cardholder must obtain a valid tax invoice from the supplier. Where a tax invoice can’t be obtained or the original is lost, the cardholder must submit a statutory declaration for any transactions with a value greater than $75. If the audit requirements of the Funding Agreement or the Grant Agreement require the acquittal to contain full supporting documentation, this does not apply.

(32) EFTPOS dockets, order confirmations, booking confirmations or emails in isolation will not be accepted for acquittal purposes. If a valid tax invoice is not available, the supporting documentation provided must show the following information:

  1. name and address of the supplier
  2. description of goods/services supplied
  3. date of transaction
  4. amount paid
  5. amount of applicable taxes paid.
(The Finance SharePoint site sets out information on acceptable supporting documentation, and Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).)

Approval of credit card transactions

(33) Approvals are determined based on the cost centre information provided in the acquittal. Approvals are routed to the relevant project manager and/or category manager (if applicable), before going to a financial approver.

(34) Approvals must be completed in DeakinUniFi by the last day of the month following when the transaction took place i.e. all transactions for April must be approved by the end of May. When authorising transactions, the approver must ensure all transactions are:

  1. for legitimate and reasonable University business expenses
  2. defensible and would withstand public scrutiny
  3. comply with relevant University policies and procedures
  4. properly described and indicate why the expense has been incurred and appropriate tax invoices/receipts are electronically attached as required
  5. aligned with the overall budget.

(35) Staff members must not approve any expenditure relating to their own expenses. Where costs relating to a manager are paid for on a staff member’s University credit card, the manager cannot approve the expense report, and must add an appropriate additional approver to approve the expense report.

Loss, theft and fraudulent transactions

(36) Cardholders must take all reasonable measures to protect their University credit card from being lost, stolen or misused, and must not:

  1. allow anyone else to use the card or transfer the card to other staff members or any other person. The only exception is when booking travel and other centrally booked travel related activities
  2. share their PIN with anyone
  3. use their card to make online purchases except where the provider has encryption on their site, this can be established by checking if there is a padlock image at the bottom of the browser or in the address bar when visiting the merchant’s site.

(37) The cardholder must notify any loss, theft or suspected fraudulent use as soon as practical to the issuing financial institution by telephoning the number on the back of their card (1800 636 359) and by emailing 

(38) The cardholder will be held personally liable for any unauthorised use unless their card has been reported as lost or stolen.

(39) Once a report of loss, theft or fraud has been made to the issuing financial institution, the card will be cancelled and a replacement card organised. The cardholder must also contact local police to file a report if theft or fraud is suspected.

Disputed transactions

(40) The cardholder is responsible for promptly lodging and resolving any University credit card disputes. Cardholders are required to call the ANZ bank on 1800 032 481 to lodge the dispute and obtain a reference number. ANZ will confirm the dispute with the cardholder via email and the email must be attached to the acquittal of the transaction in DeakinUniFi

Appropriate use and misuse

(41) The University does not tolerate the misuse of University credit cards.

(42) The University promotes a culture of honesty and integrity. Staff and associates must report:

  1. any non-compliance with this Policy to the Financial Controller
  2. suspected fraud or corruption involving University credit cards to the Chief Financial Officer in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Control procedure.

(43) University credit cards must only be used for legitimate and reasonable business expenses. When personal expenditure is inadvertently charged to a University credit card, the cardholder must immediately take the following corrective action:

  1. notify their manager on becoming aware of the error
  2. personally reimburse the expenses and associated fees as shown on the statement/transaction to the University within 14 days of the transaction. Deakin Finance may approve an extension to the 14 day time limit; and 
  3. when completing the acquittal, describe the transaction as a private expense and attached evidence of reimbursement to the University.

(44) Failure to take corrective action can result in the University taking measures to recover monies owed via deduction from salary payments or from any payment of leave entitlements upon termination of employment, or any other method of recovery deemed necessary by the University.

(45) For entertainment expenses, the most senior cardholder present, with a delegation over the budget for the entertainment, must incur the expenditure on their credit card.


(46) The University will monitor credit card use.

(47) Internal Audit may review credit card transactions.

(48) If misuse or non-compliance with this Policy is detected, the Chief Financial Officer or nominee may:

  1. reduce the cardholder’s card limit to $1 pending an investigation
  2. refer the matter to Internal Audit 
  3. cancel the staff member’s University credit card
  4. require the cardholder to personally repay the costs incurred
  5. take appropriate discipline measures in accordance with the Staff Discipline policy
  6. notify the police of criminal breaches.

(49) The Chief Financial Officer or nominee may withdraw or cancel a University credit card at any time.  

Applications for a University credit card following cancellation

(50) The Chief Financial Officer or nominee may approve the issuing of a new University credit card to a staff member who has had their card cancelled due to non-compliance with this Policy, providing:

  1. the stand down period of three months after cancellation has been completed
  2. all outstanding transactions have been acquitted
  3. written endorsement by a member of the senior management group (refer Delegations policy) is provided
  4. the cardholder provides a plan to ensure acquittals will be completed on time in future
  5. the cardholder completes (or recompletes) the compliance training module for credit cards.

(51) Where a new University credit card is approved in accordance with clause 50, the cardholder will have a 12 month probationary period. If the cardholder fails to acquit their card at any time during this probationary period, their card will be cancelled and the cardholder can not reapply for a University credit card for 12 months.

Cancelling a card

(52) Before cancelling a University credit card, the cardholder will:

  1. acquit all transactions; and 
  2. return any unused funds from cash advance withdrawals to the University in accordance with clause 25. 
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Section 6 - Definitions

(53) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. cardholder: the staff member whose name appears on the University credit card.
  2. invoice: invoice where there is no tax applicable or no tax has been charged, including overseas transactions.
  3. receipt: the in store receipt at point of sale (POS).
  4. tax invoice: invoice where tax has been incurred (refer to Finance SharePoint site for further detail).