Purchasing Card Program

Why use Purchasing Cards?
Do you have these dilemmas?

  • Excessive number of paper requisitions and purchase orders processed in procurement dept?
  • Protracted procure to pay cycle for indirect or MRO spend, items and services?
  • Dealing with high volume, low dollar purchases taking up valuable staff time?
  • Less attention for critical activities such as sourcing strategy, key commodity procurement and supplier performance management?
  • Exceptional volume of invoices, check requests, checks, vendor statements and reconciliation activities in Accounts Payable?  Lost invoices?
  • High use by employees of personal credit cards to make company purchases?
  • “Maverick” spending, reducing purchasing power and control?
  • Loss of available discounts for early payment?  Late payment penalties?
  • Dissatisfied company internal customers when trying to acquire needed products/services on a timely or rush basis?
  • Unhappy suppliers and vendors due to delays in the payment/settlement process?
  • Large number of petty cash transactions?
  • An overall, high level of “friction” in the procurement and payment process?
  • Organization in an acquisition mode where it will unable to process the anticipated volume of small dollar purchases as a result an upcoming combination?

High volume, low dollar purchases typically approach 80% of the transaction volume for organizations!  The P-Card can be the proper procurement and settlement tool when used as part of a sensible sourcing and payment strategy, with the right balance of card and program controls! These transactions are removed from the purchasing and payables bottleneck.

The traditional procure-to-pay process is costly!
The transactional, or process cost, of using a traditional procure-to-pay process—often involving a requisition, purchase order, invoice and check payment—is the same regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase. The process cost of a $25 purchase is the same as a $10,000 purchase. Often, the process cost exceeds the value of the item being acquired (e.g., the cost to acquire a $25 item may exceed $100). Estimates of the cost of the traditional process range from $50 to $200 per transaction.

A P-Card program simplifies the process and saves cost!
Most organizations recognize that a high number of these traditional procurement transactions are made for low-value items to a large number of suppliers—a costly, inefficient process. When the payment method is switched from the traditional process to a Purchasing Card, efficiency savings range from 55% to 80% of the traditional process cost amounting to sizable dollar and cycle time reductions.

Overall, P-Cards provide a means for streamlining the procure-to-pay process, allowing organizations to procure goods and services in a timely manner, reduce transaction costs, track expenses, take advantage of supplier discounts, reduce or reallocate staff in the purchasing, accounts payable and accounting departments, reduce or eliminate petty cash, and earn rebates on purchases from card issuers.  Originally, P-Cards were targeted only for these low-value transactions, but their use has expanded as the industry has grown.


New Purchasing Card Program

  • Opportunity assessment & baseline spending analysis
  • Preparation of business case & business needs development 
  • RFP document design & development
  • Card issuer identification, qualification & solicitation
  • RFP response & process management and administration
  • Vendor presentations/facilitation & coordination
  • Card issuer evaluation assistance
  • Program design/Best practices
  • Policies & procedures
  • Controls and monitoring
  • Quality assurance & oversight
  • Audit of card program
 Existing Purchasing Card Programs

  • Program Expansion & Revitalization
  • Benchmarking/Best Practices
  • Risk Management
  • Internal Control review, improvement & auditing


Success Stories

  • Led a multi-site, middle market business to justify, plan and implement a new purchasing card program as part of a significant transformation initiative. Reduced aggregate transaction costs by over 75%, while eliminating over 50% of low dollar, high volume purchases in the purchase to payment process within the first year of the program. Program growth exceeded $8,000,000 of purchases annually.
  • Conducted a purchasing card program review & audit for a large state university system. Developed risk and program management strategies and solutions, to reduce exposure, drive growth and gain efficiencies during a period of major budget/resource reductions. Generated both campus and system wide program enhancements for university management to strengthen the programs.
  • Performed a program and internal control review for a leading, private university. Bench marked program against peer group. Strengthened program management and oversight practices. Recommendations mitigated $750,000 of risk and provided framework to manage the program more effectively with balance of user empowerment and control.
  • Best Practice guidance provided to a public sector client about to deploy a major new card program. Helped client crystallize business requirements, size program opportunity, develop a plan, and evaluate the best card issuer for their needs.



Alan J. Goldberg helps diverse organizations in their purchase to payment improvement initiatives, to attain their full purchasing card program potential for high volume/low dollar procurement of goods and services. He has guided companies and non-profit organizations to plan, implement & improve their purchasing card programs, reducing cycle times and costs while managing business risks. Alan works closely with management and all process owners and stakeholders, ensuring a collaborative approach to achieving their card related goals.

Alan has also spoken on card topics at Professional Development Group’s Cards on Campus, national card user conference.  He’s also written and conducted webinars on same.

Let us help you with your high volume, low dollar purchase process dilemma.


(T) 508.878.5570

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    • " I highly recommend Alan's consulting, internal audit and management capabilities!  He was innovative, results focused, generated meaningful improvements, and a valuable resource that worked well with all parties.   It was a pleasure working with him."        

      — Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer, decentralized services company

    • “Alan worked for our company providing an audit of our department. His participative, non-threatening approach during the interview process, along with his thoroughness, resulted in a successful compilation of data that enabled a list of audit recommendations that were value added and meaningful." Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity

      — Director of Purchasing, fast growing services company

    • “Alan has performed many consulting reviews for (us)..., including risk assessments, compliance auditing, and program reviews. He has always come through with the expectations of our contract, and I gladly look to Alan for future assistance. He is a true professional! " Top qualities: Great Results, High Integrity, Creative

      — Associate Vice President & Director, Audit Services of leading higher education organization

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