Kansas Department of Administration, Office of General Services
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Accounts and Reports

DATE:  November 28, 2007
SUBJECT: BPC Program Enhancements
EFFECTIVE DATE:   Immediately
A & R CONTACT: Tim Hund  (785) 368-6347 (tim.hund@da.ks.gov)
  Jo Ann Remp (785) 296-2277 (joann.remp@da.ks.gov)
APPROVAL: Kent E. Olson
SUMMARY: BPC program enhancements including direct lodging accounts, moving transactions from BTA to BPC, electronic reconciliation system and demo, online cardholder maintenance, BPC Coordinator ListServ, and maximizing BPC usage.

The Division of Accounts and Reports is pleased to announce several changes in the Business Procurement Card (BPC) Program which we hope will encourage additional use and allow agencies to maximize usage for their individual agencies.

Direct Lodging Accounts
After piloting a program with the Kansas Department of Revenue in which the business office maintained a BPC cardless account for direct lodging payments, we are pleased to offer this option to all agencies. We believe this should assist agencies, as well as employees, in making sure that state employees can travel with less out-of- pocket expense required, and hopefully address those situations in which lodging establishments are unwilling to set-up a direct bill account for one person for one night. This provides the agency with the opportunity to make sure that the lodging rate is within the state guidelines for the particular location and that only room and taxes are charged to the BPC account. This can be used for in-state or out-of-state lodging arrangements, and is strictly at the agency’s option. The agency’s BPC Coordinator should contact Tim Hund if your agency is interested in pursuing this account option.

Moving selected transactions from a BTA account to a BPC account
At the request of several agencies, and in consultation with the Division of Purchases and UMB Bank, we will now allow agencies to use a BPC account for transactions currently charged to a Business Travel Account (BTA) account on a limited basis. What this will mean is that if your agency would like to have someone in your office be able to charge airfare, car rental, registrations, and direct lodging on the same account, we will no longer require that those transactions be split between a BTA (airfare and car rental) and a BPC (registrations and lodging). This will not be mandatory, and is strictly at the agency’s option based on how this fits the agency’s business needs. In order to take advantage of this option, the agency (through their BPC Coordinator) will need to prepare and send a proposal to A & R including how you would like to structure your accounts:

  • Category of transactions - airfare, car rental, miscellaneous purchases, etc.;
  • Type of account – card or cardless;
  • Cardholders – department secretaries, business office employee, high volume agency users, etc.;
  • Internal controls / special concerns if there are any; and
  • Proposed procedures for these accounts, including a proposed agency cardholder agreement if available.  This will ensure that there are procedures in place for these “special” accounts when the accounts are reviewed by outside parties including annual reviews conducted by the Division of Accounts and Reports or periodic reviews performed by the Division of Legislative Post Audit.

We will review the plan, discuss it with UMB Bank, and notify the agency BPC coordinator that it has been approved.

Electronic Reconciliation System Demo (Visa Information Management) December 11, 2007
As agency programs expand, we continue to encourage agencies to take advantage of the Visa Information Management tool, including electronic reconciliation. By using this system, your agency can reconcile and fund transactions every day, eliminate the separate BPC log, and also extract data for upload into your agency system or to STARS. If you haven’t seen the demo lately, or would like to see the system again, Ron Sager and other UMB representatives are scheduled to be available on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. to show the system, and answer questions. This is planned to be in Landon State Office Building, Room 108. Please let Tim Hund or Jo Ann Remp know if your agency would like to attend, which session you plan to attend, and how many staff you will bring so that adequate space is available.

Online Card Maintenance System
UMB Bank is making an online card maintenance system available to all agencies. With this access, agency coordinators can update transaction limits, put temporary override strategies in place, set up new accounts, order replacement cards, change card strategies, give accounts an inactive status, and close accounts. We are pleased with this enhancement to the BPC program, and encourage all BPC coordinators to take advantage of this opportunity to manage your programs. If you would like to take advantage of this access, you will need to contact UMB Bank and complete a user access form that the Bank will provide. Each agency’s BPC Coordinator will coordinate the access for their agency, and should sign the user access form as the program administrator.

BPC Coordinator ListServ
The Division of Accounts and Reports is establishing a BPC Coordinator ListServ in order that we can communicate quickly to agencies regarding the BPC program. This will not be something that you subscribe to. Rather, we will send information to the agency’s BPC coordinator, and it is that person’s responsibility to communicate the information in an appropriate manner across the agency. This should not cause concern for agencies, but will just make you aware of this new vehicle for communication.

Maximizing BPC Usage
As part of our ongoing efforts to maximize BPC usage for the State of Kansas, we plan to take advantage of at least one VISA program available to BPC programs. In the next couple of weeks, A & R plans to send a file of our FY 07 STARS statewide payments to UMB for analysis. We are looking for those vendors with which we have significant spend that will accept VISA payments. There will be several reasons why a vendor chooses to not accept VISA, including terms of existing contracts with state agencies, but this will give us some data to review and share with agencies to begin taking steps to maximize BPC use.

Any questions or concerns regarding this information, or the overall BPC program should be directed to the contacts above.