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Card/Account Holders and Approving Officials Purchase Training

Lesson 9: Administration

What are the requirements for maintaining my records?

Keep all necessary information on each transaction. FAR 4.805 states that agencies must prescribe procedures for the handling, storing and disposing of contract files in accordance with NARA’s GRS 1.1 [PDF,9 pages]. These procedures must take into account documents held in all types of media, including microfilm and various electronic media.

At a minimum, you must have the following information:

  • Description, unit number and quantity of the items purchased.
  • Amount of the purchase.
  • Name of the merchant.
  • Date you received the item purchased.
  • And, don’t forget to keep your receipts as mentioned previously.

Add supporting documentation to any receipts that are too general in the product description area so that it is very clear what you purchased. Your agency procedures along with NARA’s GRS 1.1 [PDF, 9 pages] will tell you how long you must keep the documentation on your purchases. For example, some agencies require you to keep all documentation on your purchases and others require you to forward your records to a central location. Failure to retain records can result in excess administrative burden when you attempt to reconcile your monthly invoice statement.

Tip: When Mary makes purchases at or above the micro-purchase threshold, she enters the contract number into the “Comments” field in the bank’s Electronic Access System (EAS) and her agency’s financial system. Taking this additional step strengthens the internal control processes and traceability of purchases.

How do I reconcile my statement?

You will receive a statement notification, either electronically or through the mail, from the contractor bank once a month for your GSA SmartPay® Purchase card/account. The statement is mailed directly to your business address unless the agency is using the bank’s Electronic Access System (EAS).

When you receive your monthly statement:

  • Identify and annotate any erroneous charges and work with the merchants and the issuing bank contractor on a resolution.
  • Review and reconcile your statement within the timeframes required by your agency (usually three to five days). Reconciling your statement includes reviewing receipts, citing proper accounting codes, documenting disputed items and completing any other documentation required by your agency.
  • Forward your statement to your AO and the appropriate payment/finance office for payment.

How do I reconcile a credit?

On occasion your statement will show a credit for a transaction that took place in a prior billing period. An example would be a credit for a returned item. When you get a credit several months after the original purchase, reconcile back to the original purchase documentation and note that the credit was received.

How do I request higher single and monthly spending limits?

After using your GSA SmartPay Purchase card/account, it is a good idea to review your single and monthly spending limits. You may discover that you need permanent higher spending limits to meet the needs of your agency. You can submit a request for either temporarily or permanently increasing your spending limits through your approving official (AO) or agency/organization program coordinator (A/OPC).

Be sure to obtain approval from your AO or A/OPC before using the purchase card/account for any purchase which exceeds your limit. If the request to increase your spending limits is approved, the A/OPC will submit it to the contractor bank.

Neither permanent nor temporary single and monthly spending limits can ever be higher than your delegation of authority.

What are my responsibilities with the Federal Procurement Data System Next Generation (FPDS-NG)?

FPDS-NG provides a comprehensive mechanism for assembling, organizing and presenting contract placement data for the federal government. In accordance with FAR 4.603(b) and FAR 4.606(a), agencies must report all transactions over the micro-purchase threshold and modifications to those transactions regardless of dollar value. The FPDS-NG website provides instructions for submitting data.

How do I report a lost/stolen card/account?

Report a lost or stolen travel account promptly to:

  • The contractor bank.
  • Your A/OPC.
  • Your supervisor.

Once a card/account has been reported as lost or stolen, the contractor bank immediately blocks that account from further usage and a new account number will be issued to the card/account holder.

Reporting the account as stolen does not relieve the card/account holder or the government of payment for any transactions that were made by the card/account holder prior to reporting it stolen. If you do not recognize a transaction appearing on your statement, you are responsible for notifying the contractor bank within 90 calendar days from the transaction date to initiate a dispute, unless otherwise specified by the agency/organization. This notification of transaction dispute may occur via the EAS, by telephone or other electronic means like email.

Please note that you relinquish your right to recover a disputed amount after 90 calendar days from the date that the transaction was processed. It is your responsibility to dispute questionable charges. If you don’t, you will be held personally liable for the amount of the questionable charge.

How do I renew my account?

Your GSA SmartPay Purchase card/account is issued for a defined period of time and will expire.

  • You do not need to initiate any action to get your account renewed.
  • You will receive your new account before your current card/account expires.
  • If you do not receive your new account, contact your A/OPC.
  • If you possess a physical GSA SmartPay charge card, destroy the expired card; it does not need to be returned.

What is an accounting code and whom do I contact if there are changes?

An accounting code is the internal number that identifies the funds to be used to pay for your purchase. When you receive your purchase card/account, your A/OPC will assign a default accounting code(s) to your account. Check with your A/OPC to understand the process for:

  • Changing offices.
  • Updating your accounting code.
  • How to cite a different accounting code if you are acquiring items for other offices or projects/organizations.

What happens if my name changes or my address changes?

Changes in information occur from time to time. Please be sure to contact the bank immediately with your new information by one of the following means:

  • Calling the toll-free contractor bank number listed on the back of your card.
  • Using the bank’s EAS.
  • Asking your A/OPC to submit the change electronically.
  • Please also make sure to notify your local post office of your address change so that your mail will be forwarded.

What is account suspension and cancellation?

Accounts may be suspended and/or canceled by the contractor banks due to non-payment. If your account is suspended or canceled due to failure of the agency to make payment, you will be unable to use the account. If you are advised by the merchant or contractor bank that your account has been suspended or canceled, contact your A/OPC immediately. The contractor bank is required to notify your A/OPC prior to suspending or canceling accounts.

Is there a chart showing when cards/accounts may be suspended/canceled?

See below:

Number Calendar DaysAccount Status/Action
46 days from the billing datePre-Suspension
61 days from the billing dateSuspension/Pre-Cancellation
126 days from the billing dateCancellation
180 days from the billing dateCharge-Off/Write-Off

Please refer to your agency policy for specific delinquency stages as they may differ.

When would my purchase card/account be transferred or closed?

The GSA SmartPay Purchase card/account must be transferred or closed when:

  • You change jobs.
  • You leave employment at the government.
  • You change agencies.
  • You are no longer required to purchase items in support of your agency’s mission.

Your agency has specific procedures on closing accounts. To close or transfer your account, notify your A/OPC. The A/OPC will contact the contractor bank to close or transfer your account.


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