Know what I Can and Cannot Purchase

Cardholders are responsible for knowing and complying with established VCU policies and procedures when authorizing P-Card charges.

Step by Step

  1. Understand the Importance of Compliance

    Failure to comply with established policies and procedures may result in revocation of the cardholder’s card privileges and/or employee’s system access to RealSource, even for a first offense. Deliberate or recurring noncompliance or failure to perform required duties may constitute cause for disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment in accordance with the VCU Code of Conduct , VCU’s Rules and Procedures, the Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures, VCU Policy for Administrative and Professional Faculty and Faculty Holding Administrative Appointments, and/or any other applicable University procedures.

  2. Make Note of which Goods are Allowable and Non-Allowable

    View Allowability Chart
    Other prohibited P-Card purchases include: but are not limited to

    • Gift cards and gift certificates
    • Employee travel expenses (including lodging, meals, transportation, parking and car rental)
  3. Amazon

    While not expressly prohibited, departments that order through Amazon are accountable for compliance with the following requirements and must take into account the negative impact the purchase(s) have on the university.


    • Office supplies must be purchased through the mandatory contract supplier The Supply Room.
    • Applying for Amazon Tax Exemption Program is not permitted due to the requirement to accept Amazon’s terms and conditions.

    Negative Impact on the University

    • Amazon is not a SWaM vendor; VCU is committed to using diverse suppliers and must purchase at least 40% of its good and services from DSBSD certified SWaM suppliers.
    • Amazon is not on contract and does not offer VCU discounted pricing or free shipping.
  4. E-Catalog Suppliers in RealSource

    Purchases made with vendors who have an e-catalog must be completed via Purchase Orders in RealSource. Please contact University Purchasing via email at or via phone at 804-828-7837 with any questions or concerns.

    View the list of RealSource e-Catalogs

  5. Fixed Assets

    Fixed Assets Accounting: Addition to Equipment Inventory
    Equipment purchases over $5000 using the Corporate Purchasing Card must be reported to VCU Property Management. Please call Property Management at 8-9444, if you have any questions.