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Purchasing Card Scheme

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Purchasing Card Scheme

The purchase card scheme is operated by Barclaycard.

  • Purchasing cards work in the same way as a personal credit card
  • They are issued to an individual not a school
  • Can be used for online purchases and telephone bookings
  • Schools use Barclaycard Spend Management to code transactions to their school budget.

To Apply

For Non Cheque Book schools please complete the Cardholder application form, Cardholder agreement form – Non Cheque Book School and Additional form.  These are to be posted to :

P2P Team
Finance Operations Team
11th Floor, New County Offices,
Walton Street,
HP20 1YU

For Cheque book schools, if you are applying for a card for the first time for the school please email the Finance Service Desk on financeservicedesk@buckscc.gov.uk

If you already hold a purchasing card in School and additional cards are required please complete the Cardholder application form, Cardholder agreement form – Cheque Book School and the Additional information form

If you have already applied for a card and have yet to receive the card or pin then please contact the Finance Service Desk on financeservicedesk@buckscc.gov.uk or 01296 382278 option 2

County Process

  • To further the application we check all the details are completed on the form and forward to Barclaycard
  • The card and pin are usually received within 7 days at County.  The card is then sent to the school and the pin to the card holder’s home address as supplied on the application forms. 
  • An email will be sent to both the card holder and approver (if they are new to Barclaycard spend management) with their access log in and temporary password.

A handy user guide for Barclaycard spend management is supplied with your card and will include details of how to change your password

Responsibility of Cardholder

  • The card can only be used for official school business and by the named card holder
  • Cardholder is responsible for the security of the card and should not share any details of card or pin numbers
  • Lost or stolen cards should be reported immediately to Barclaycard
  • Any purchases made must be delivered to school premises unless otherwise authorised by the card approver
  • Purchase cards cannot be used to purchase goods and services that may result in a benefit in kind tax liability (Benefit in kind tax liability is where for example a gift voucher cannot be purchased to reward staff for services provided to the school as any payments to employees must be made through the payroll.  If you require any further advice contact the HR service desk.  Exception to this rule is the 25 year long service award as this is tax free).
  • Loyalty points cannot be collected on transactions relating to schools purchases unless the redemption of those points can clearly shown as benefiting the school and not the individual
  •  VAT invoices should be obtained
  • Upon leaving the school the Finance Operations Team need to be informed and the card should be cut up and given to the card approver

Purchasing Card Guidelines

Vendor Directory

Responsibility of Approver

  • Must insure all transactions are appropriate
  • Must ensure VAT receipts are held to ensure VAT is recoverable
  • Obtain cut up card from any card holder who leaves the school
  • Responsibility for both card holder and approver is to code and approve the transactions within the timescale required.

BSM Quick Approver Guide

Coding of Purchase card spend to School’s Budget

There is a different procedure depending on if you are a Non Cheque Book or Cheque Book School.

Non Cheque book schools

Use Barclaycard Spend Management BSM to code and approve purchase card expenditure.

Please note that, in line with the Purchase Card guidelines, the Barclaycard transactions will now be locked down in the Barclaycard Spend Management system (BSM) on the 25th of the following statement month. This means that any transactions that have not been coded or approved within BSM by the 25th of the following statement month will be locked down and loaded into FMS under the default GL (Cost Element) code associated to the Merchant category defined by the bank. If, after being locked down, the default coding is not where you wish the transaction to be coded then you will need to create a journal entry to amend your budgets.

If you are having issues with coding or approving then please review the user guides on the schools web

BSM Quick Cardholder Guide Expense Management

Vendor Directory

If you still have issue please contact the Finance Service Desk on 01296 382222.

Following the above statement we would like to remind card users and approvers of the following statement from the guidelines.

Transactions within BSM must be coded and approved by the 25th of the following period. Note that statement periods run from the 3rd to the 3rd of each month.

If you are found to be in frequent non compliance of this then we withhold the right to withdraw your card.

Cardholders Delegates and Approvers

  • A card holder can do their own coding or can appoint a delegate to code their items of spend in BSM (ie a teacher can appoint the bursar to do the coding for them)
  • A delegate can be set up in BSM to code more than one card
  • The approver must be in a role above the cardholder or delegate
  • An approver can approve more than one card
  • An approver cannot do their own coding
  • Approver for a Head teacher’s card  will need to be the Chair of Governors or an appointee from the Board of Governors who has authorised spend approval within their role

Cheque Book Schools do not use BSM to code and approve.

A direct debit to Barclaycard is set up when the school first takes up the Purchase card scheme.

When the school allocates the transactions from the bank statement to FMS this will include any direct debits for Purchase card expenditure.

To enable easy reconciliation of the 3 way rec it is easier if the total amount is allocated in one amount which will match the DD on the bank statement

If the amount is not allocated in one amount and is split between individual purchase items it is recommended that you send your Barclaycard statement to the Finance Service Desk to aid the reconciliation process.

Changes to the card

  • Address and telephone number changes-please inform us of any change of address for card holders as soon as possible via the Finance service desk
  • Maternity/Long term sick-please email the Finance service desk-the card limit for the individual will be reduced to zero and the card must be kept in the school safe until their return.
  • Changes in a role-if a cardholder leaves the school their old card must be cancelled and a replacement member of staff must apply for a new card.


  • If you suspect any items showing under your card are fraudulent contact Barclaycard as soon as possible and also inform the Finance service desk.
  • If Barclaycard suspect fraud they will contact the card holder direct on the phone number supplied on the application form.
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