Original Date: 01/26/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2003
Information : VISA Credit Card Software
In the early 1990s, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) initiated a pilot purchasing program using the VISA credit card. Purchasing items and services under $2,500 using the credit card has since become a cornerstone of acquisition reform in the Department of Defense (DoD). The Army is now a leader in implementing this program with a 1998 goal of 90% of all purchases under $2,500 being made with the International Merchants Purchase Authorized Credit Card, VISA credit card. CCAD’s program is very close to meeting this goal. A VISA database software package is installed on each credit card holder’s personal computer to create purchase requests, provide monthly summaries, and maintain complete buying histories for the individual card holder.
Prior to the implementation of the credit card program, the cost to manually prepare a purchase request in hard copy, process it through the approval cycle, send it to the contracting office, and have a purchase order issued was approximately $200 per line item. This was a time consuming process with a great deal of generated paperwork. Lead times for purchasing simple items were a continual concern. In the early 1990s, the credit card program began as a method of making this process more efficient. Through use of the credit card, purchases were made without delays, and the cost per line item purchased was reduced from $200 to $48, amounting to a first year savings of approximately $800,000. Estimates of savings for recent years approach $1.5 million due to the increase in credit card use.
CCAD has locally-developed software which eliminates the need to generate hard copy purchase requests, retains the purchase records for automatically generating monthly reports, and is available for summary queries. This software is installed on each card holder’s desk computer and is used to enter purchase request data, perform specialized queries, and develop a monthly summary billing report and detailed purchase report. These two reports can be reconciled monthly for total dollar value purchased for the month as a check for accuracy. Hard copy paper is used only to document supervisor approval of the purchase, and to send summary reports to accounting for consolidation to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for payment and reconciliation with the VISA monthly invoice. Approximately 125 cardholders use this system to process their purchases, maintain records, and generate reports.
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