Show Me the Money
By Susan Benson
State of Maine credit card holders: are you tired of filling out those procurement card
logs listing where you purchased an item and why? Well, change is in the air for
Department of Conservation (DOC) credit card holders; and Management Analyst Barbara
Kimball's work life is a whole lot easier as a result! Whats happening?
During March, the DOC and Department of Administration and Financial Services (DAFS)
launched a pilot project to replace existing procurement cards with a new First USA Bank
Card. The new card dramatically reduces record keeping responsibilities for both card
holders and accounting personnel by using the Internet. A division of First USA called
Paymentech has created software which will enable card holders to access Paymentechs
web site (www.paymentech.com) to reconcile monthly
expenses after entering a user ID and password.
Barbara noted that nothing else will change regarding the card. "Card holders will
have the same limits of $500 per transaction and a $2,500 ceiling each billing
cycle," she said. If you do not have Internet access, there's no need to worry.
Provisions will be made. Barbara further says, "I'm very glad to see the old card go.
This will eliminate me having to fax close to 125 statements each month to DOC
employees." This new card not only reduces paper use, but also the time spent on
reconciling records. Currently Barbara spends one week every month inspecting each
transaction and assuring that purchases are coded correctly. Now she estimates the entire
process will take one day of her time monthly!
When the cards are released to all state agencies, Barbara will serve as a statewide
contact for employees. Training in the use of the new cards was held for DOC card holders
during March, and First USA will conduct additional training as the pilot is expanded to
other state agencies.
Susan Benson works at the Maine Department of Conservation as the director of
information promoting the programs and services of the agency. Each fall, she creates and
updates the Fall Foliage Web site, and appears on TV and radio each week. She may be
contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.