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Implementing an Effective Purchasing Card Physical Receipts Policy

The utilization of Purchasing Cards (PCards) is an undisputed best practice for small-amount purchases. However, the requirement for retention of physical receipts related to Purchasing Card transactions can vary significantly between companies, with a number of viable options available.

Recently, Peeriosity performed custom research using the iPollingTM functionality to request feedback from members responsible for managing the Purchasing Card program for their company. This poll looked at the threshold for requiring these receipts, as well as where they are retained and in what format.

Looking at the iPollingTM results regarding the threshold amount required to retain a physical receipt, the most prevalent approach (44%) was to require receipts for all PCard transactions, regardless of the amount.  For those companies utilizing a threshold, $25 USD was the most popular amount (22%), followed by > $75 USD is the threshold at 13% of the companies.

company's threshold amount for requiring physical receipts Physical Receipts Policy peeriosity ipolling results

The second iPollingTM question then looked at the location and format in which physical receipts are retained.  With electronic receipts becoming more and more acceptable with regulatory authorities across the world as legal proof of a transaction, the concept of having electronic receipts in a centralized location becomes a more viable and attractive alternative.

Reviewing the results for this poll question, the practice of retaining PCard receipts at a centralized location in an electronic format is clearly dominant, with 62% of the companies doing so.  An additional 18% of the responding companies retain the physical receipts in their original format at the purchaser’s location.

how receipts are retained in the company Physical Receipts Policy ipolling

Some of the Peeriosity member comments associated with this poll include the following:

Manufacturing Member: It varies depending on the country.  For the United States, the threshold is $15 USD, whereas all receipts are required for all Latin American countries.

Consumer Products & Services Member: We have the PCard owner keep receipts, which can be challenging to support audits with.

Non-Profit Member: We require receipts for transactions over $35 USD. However, all receipts are needed for grant-related transactions.  We have a P-Card system that retains the receipts in an electronic format.

Manufacturing Member: No receipts are required for transactions less than $75 USD if they use the corporate credit card.  If not, then we need receipts for every amount.

Consumer Products & Services Member: All receipts are scanned into Concur and hard copies are retained by the cardholder for 90 days.

Computers & Electronics Member: We only have a PCard program in the US and there no physical receipts are required. Instead, receipts are scanned and stored in Concur.

How are you driving your Purchasing Card program to best practice?  Are there further improvements to the PCard receipt process that can be put into place with a reasonable amount of time and effort?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?


“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility of all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here.

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