Frequently Asked Questions


How Do I Place an Order?

*Please note that the CBS purchasing staff are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please refer to the CBS Purchasing COVID-19 information page for instructions on how to place an order during this time.*

A CBS Purchasing and Financial Transaction Request Form must be completed for all purchasing or financial transactions. Once signed authorization is completed, please email it to the CBS purchasing clerks. If you need to submit a hard copy, mail boxes are located on the 3rd floor in SSC #3447 or you can go directly to the CBS purchasing office in SSC #3449.

Which purchasing clerk should I contact for order placement?

Find your name on the list of assigned purchasing clerks in CBS. If your name or administrative group (e.g. IB admin staff) is not on the list, please find the name of your faculty advisor; their assigned purchasing clerk will be your contact.

Which buyer do I contact for assistance when sourcing a product?

Please review the University of Guelph list of buyers by commodity. Buyers' names are indicated on the right hand side of the list.


Full list of frequently asked questions

How is GST calculated?

In most cases, the University gets a 67% rebate on GST. The Controller's Office has a list of departments and specific codes that vary from this (library books or Hospitality Services food suppliers, for example).

Please pay attention to the tax rules and indicate applicable taxes on low-value purchase orders (LVPOs). This would help accounts payable staff know which "code" to use, which is especially important for US and out-of-province purchases. Some US suppliers have a GST registration number which will affect the tax designation on a LVPO. For example, if a US supplier charges GST on the invoice and quotes a GST number, then the tax would be different from a supplier with no GST number. The GST would then be charged at the border by customs.

How is GST calculated on multiple lines of coding?

Accounts payable staff have been instructed to use the GST on the first line of coding, unless otherwise indicated. It would also be helpful if the total amount of GST were indicated on coded invoices in the space provided (hotel bills in particular).

I am about to make a computer purchase online.  Are we GST exempt?

For computers, we are not GST exempt. The University pays full tax to the supplier. However, researchers can receive a tax rebate from government (both provincial and federal levels).
I need help with sourcing a product. Which Buyer do I contact for assistance?
Please refer to our University of Guelph Purchasing List for Buyers by Commodity.
What portion of HST do I pay?
You pay 3.41% HST. This is comprised of 1.76% Provincial and 1.65% Federal.
If the item was purchased and shipped in Ontario you will receive a rebate of: 67% of the 5%(Federal) and 78% on the 8%(Provincial).
If the items are shipped from Quebec or the US it will depend on what taxes are charged upfront.
Who's my Purchasing Agent?

Each faculty member has an assigned Purchasing Agent, who handles all of their orders. Please review master list for your assigned Purchasing Agent. For additional CBS Purchasing information please review our staff listing.