Procurement Card

Login to PCard

The University of Guelph Procurement Card (PCard) is provided by the University to its employees for the purchases of low value goods and services.

Designed to streamline the procure-to-pay process for goods and services of less than $5000, the PCard is an efficient shop and payment tool when used properly.

To learn about the PCard program, click on the following topics.


Why Use the Procurement Card

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The PCard benefits the cardholders, the department and the University in the following ways:

  • Eliminates the need to submit requisitions and issue purchase orders;
  • Eliminates the need to use personal funds and submit expense claims;
  • Provides immediate access to suppliers' products and services;
  • Provides convenience and flexibility as the card is accepted worldwide by any suppliers who accept credit card payment;
  • Provides the same level of security as personal credit card;
  • Reduces paperwork such as purchase orders, invoices and cheques;
  • Increased efficiency and lower overall transaction cost(s).

How the Procurement Card Works

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Issued by US Bank Canada (affiliated with Royal Bank of Canada) and imprinted with cardholders' names and the University's logo, PCards are not transferable and can only be used by the cardholders on behalf of their department for appropriate university purchases.

  • When making a purchase in person, by phone or fax, or through the internet, you authorize the supplier to charge the purchases to your PCard by providing the card information at the point of sale;
  • Visa system validates the transaction against authorization criteria established by the University and approves the payment;
  • The suppliers are paid by US Bank;
  • US Bank posts transactions on individual's online account;
  • Cardholders log into online account to complete reconciliation;
  • US Bank bills all transactions monthly to the University through an electronic statement;
  • The University's Accounts Payable processes payment directly to US Bank based on the electronic statement;
  • Transactions on the electronic statement are posted to the general ledger in FRS according to the GL information provided during cardholders' reconciliation.

Responsibilities of Cardholder's Direct Supervisor

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As the cardholder's supervisor approving the issuance of the card to the cardholder, the supervisor is responsible for verifying proper use and monthly reconciliation of the card by the cardholder and signs to this effect on the monthly Account Activity Report. While reviewing and approving the report, the supervisor should check the following:

  1. Monthly account activity report has a cycle end date;
  2. Each transaction is reallocated with proper general ledger code;
  3. All supporting documents including but not limited to invoices are provided;
  4. Description of each transaction is provided in the Comments area for each individual transaction;
  5. Card holder has signed the monthly account activity report;
  6. No transactions are made for:
  • Internal campus purchases, for example, University Bookstore;
  • Travel, accommodations, entertainment and hospitality expenses;
  • Cash advances and ATM withdrawals;
  • Controlled goods/substances such as bio-hazardous and radioactive materials;
  • Live animal - vertebrate purchases;
  • Goods that require a government permit, such as viruses;
  • Purchases that are covered by Blanket Orders and existing Supply Managed Contracts;
  • Personal purchases;

Restrictions & Limits

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As with any financial tools, the PCard has its restrictions and limits.  Cardholders should be aware of these restrictions and limits prior to getting and using the PCard.

Restrictions:

The PCard is for university purchases only. Any personal use is strictly prohibited. Misuse of the PCard for personal purchases may result in the immediate and irrevocable forfeiture of the card and/or disciplinary actions.

The following items must NOT be charged to the PCard in addition to personal purchases:

  • Internal campus purchases, such as purchases from the University Bookstore and the University Hospitality Services;
  • Travel and accommodations, such as flight, train, bus, coach, ferry, taxi, car rental, hotel and other travel incidentals;
  • Meal and entertainment expenses, such as meal, alcohol.
  • Gas for personal vehicle used for business trip note;
  • Cash advances and ATM withdrawals;
  • Controlled goods and substances, such as hazardous material, radioactive materials and chemicals;
  • Live animals and vertebrates;
  • Goods that require a government permit, such as viruses;
  • Items covered by Blanket Orders and Supply Managed Contracts where PCard is not set up as a payment method.

Note: Gas is allowed on PCard when a University vehicle or rental car is used for a business trip. If a personal vehicle is used for the trip, gas is considered personal purchase and must not be charged to PCard.

Limits:

  • The single transaction limit is $5000, including shipping costs, currency exchange and taxes;
  • Each card has a pre-determined monthly credit limit set up at the time of issuance;
  • The maximum spending limit available for a card is $50,000 per month. To change the monthly credit limit, please complete the PCard Change Request Form with the Dean/Chair/Director's signature and email the form to purchasing.helpdesk@uoguleph.ca.

Getting a Procurement Card

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Eligibility

PCards may be issued to permanent, full time employees who are authorized to purchase goods and services on behalf of the department.

Application

  • Cardholders complete the Purchasing Card Employee Application Form available from purchasing website;
  • Dean/Chair/Director of the cardholder's department approves the application by signing off the form;
  • Cardholders email the approved form to PCard coordinator via purchasing.helpdesk@uoguelph.ca;
  • PCard coordinator processes the request with the card issuing bank;
  • PCard coordinator sets up the card account upon the receiving of the PCard from bank; 
  • Cardholders pick up the PCard at Purchasing Services upon signing of the PCard Employee Agreement.

Activation and Registration

Prior to use, PCards must be activated and registered with US Bank. Failure to do so will result in the card being declined.

To activate the PCard, call the phone number provided on the card, identifying yourself, providing your employee number and last 4 digits of your telephone number.

To register the PCard, go to the Access Online, click Register Online.  A user name and password will be created during the process and should be kept confidential for the ongoing account management.

Using the Procurement Card

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Cardholders should ensure all purchases made by PCards are approved by department signing authorities prior to making the purchases.

Both cardholders and their supervisors are responsible to ensure the use of PCards is in compliance with the University's Purchasing Policy and Procurement Card Policy.

Placing order

  • Cardholders place orders via phone, fax, email or internet and provide PCard information to merchants for payment.
  • Copies of the order confirmation, invoice or payment receipt should be kept by the cardholders as the record of the transaction.
  • If there is no documentation available during the ordering process, cardholders should request a copy of PCard receipt to be sent with the shipment, and also keep a record of the merchant name, the name of the individual with whom you placed the order and the final amount of the order.
  • For orders where goods are shipping from outside of Canada, cardholders should clarify with the merchant who is responsible for customs clearance.  If the University is responsible, cardholders should forward a copy of the order and invoice to the Customs Officer for customs clearance.
  • Upon receiving the shipment, packing slips, invoices and any other delivery documentation as well as the shipment itself should be checked against the original order for completeness and accuracy.

Misuse of Procurement Card

The following situations are some examples of misuse of the PCard:

  • Personal purchases;
  • Lend your card to another individual;
  • Use of a PCard by a suspended or terminated employee;
  • Lack of proper and timely reconciliation of individual cardholder accounts;
  • Lack of funds in your departmental or research budget accounts;
  • Splitting an order to avoid the single purchase limit;
  • Use of a PCard to purchase commodities that have been restricted by policy as described above.

Responsibilities of Procurement Card holder's supervisor

As the cardholder's supervisor approving the issuance of the card to the cardholder, the supervisor is responsible for verifying proper use and monthly reconciliation of the card by the cardholder and signs to this effect on the monthly Account Activity Report. While reviewing and approving the report, the supervisor should check the following:

  1. Monthly account activity report has a cycle end date;
  2. Each transaction is reallocated with proper general ledger code;
  3. All supporting documents including but not limited to invoices are provided;
  4. Description of each transaction is provided in the Comments area for each individual transaction;
  5. Card holder has signed the monthly account activity report;
  6. No transactions are made for:
  • Internal campus purchases, for example, University Bookstore;
  • Travel, accommodations, entertainment and hospitality expenses;
  • Cash advances and ATM withdrawals;
  • Controlled goods/substances such as bio-hazardous and radioactive materials;
  • Live animal - vertebrate purchases;
  • Goods that require a government permit, such as viruses;
  • Purchases that are covered by Blanket Orders and existing Supply Managed Contracts;
  • Personal purchases;

Improper use of the card may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Supervisors have the responsibility to suspend or terminate card privileges in instances of misuse, and notify the PCard coordinator.  Purchasing Services may also suspend or cancel the PCard for violation of the Procurement Card Policy and Procedures.

Reconciling the Procurement Card

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Monthly reconciliation is a mandatory process to ensure all transactions are reviewed and verified, appropriate object codes are assigned to each transaction, and detailed description of the transactions are added to the record before the transactions are posted in the general ledger by the University. 

As part of the reconciliation process, cardholders will:

  • Sign in US Bank Access Online at https://access.usbank.com/cpsApp1/AxolPreAuthServlet?requestCmdId=login;
  • Review all transactions in the billing cycle for accuracy and legitimacy;
  • Reallocate appropriate object codes for transactions. If a transaction is to be allocated to more than one GL code, multiple coding can be applied by splitting the charge either by percentage or by dollar amount;
  • Add detailed information describing the nature of the goods or services purchased to the comment section for each transaction.  This comment section information will be viewable in your FRS report;
  • Print out a monthly activity report after the monthly cycle ends. The monthly activity report should be printed regardless if there are any transactions or not on the card;
  • Sign the report to indicate that all transactions have been reviewed and verified;
  • Submit the activity report to direct supervisor for approval.

If the object code is not reallocated prior to posting, all PCard transactions will be posted to a default object code 63356 and budget information in FRS will not be updated to reflect these spendings.  Department would have to do journal entries later (prior to year end) to move the charges from the default code to correct codes.

Please note that even though the journal entries can change object code after the fact, journal entries must not be considered as an alternative for the monthly reconciliation.  The monthly reconicliation is a mandatory process and must be followed by all cardholders.

The monthly billing cycle closing date is different from the monthly reconciling cut-off date.  Transactions can be reconciled as soon as they are posted to the PCard even when the current month cycle is still open. Cardholders have until the end of the last reconciliation date to complete the monthly reconciliation.  For detailed last reconciliation date of each month, please see Monthly Reconciling Dates.

Record Keeping & Audit

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It is the cardholder's responsibility to keep all PCard related documentation on file in accordance with the department record retention policy.

  • All original receipts and related documentation should be attached to the monthly statement as transaction records;
  • All transaction records must be retained by the cardholder for minimum of seven (7) years after fiscal year end in accordance with the cardholder's department record retention procedure;
  • If purchases are for research projects, the copy of transaction records must also be retained in a way compliant to the rules of funding agencies (e.g., for CFI, records must be retained for 10 years);
  • Ensure documentation is accessible to at least one other person in your department in case of leave of absence from the University (e.g., sabbatical, sick leave, maternity leave);
  • In the event that documentation for purchases is missing or receipts are lost or misplaced, it is necessary to contact the supplier and obtain a duplicate receipt/invoice.

To ensure the continued success of the PCard Program and to meet the audit requirements of the University and various government agencies, Purchasing Services and Internal Audit will make periodic random audits. In addition, external audits might be done by research funding agencies for research projects involving PCard purchases.

Following above record retention procedure will help cardholders to efficiently produce adequate documentation and save time for audit preparation.

Taxes & Duties

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TAXES

By default, the PCard tax system assumes all taxes are applicable per the following table:

Ontario Purchases

Canadian Purchases
(outside of Ontario)

International Purchases
13% HST included in the invoice  5% GST included in the invoice; 
 Provincial Portion of HST to be self-assessed 

Zero tax included in the invoice;
13% HST to be self-accessed

For each PCard transaction, the University will determine the tax status based on the origin of the transaction, such as where the transaction takes place or where the supplier is located. The University will self-assess tax and calculate tax rebate accordingly.

To correct any incorrect tax assessment and calculation for a particular transaction,  please email a copy of the invoice and a screen print of what has been charged in FRS to acctspay@uoguelph.ca, adjustment will be made as soon as possible.

DUTIES

For all international orders without physical shipment, there is no duty involved.

For international orders with physical shipments, cardholders should be in an agreement with the supplier on who is responsible for customs. For shipments that the University is responsible for, duties will be levied by Canada Border Services Agency. The University will pay the duty and any applicable GST at the time of customs clearance. 

To ensure a smooth customs clearance, cardholders should email a copy of the order and invoice to customs@uoguelph.ca prior to the order shipping.

Returning / Cancelling Procurement Card

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PCards are cancelled or returned under the following conditions:

  • Employee termination;
  • When deemed appropriate and necessary by the department budget authorities.

PCard cancellations require the following action:

  • Cardholder's supervisor complete the PCard Change Request form with the department budget authorities;
  • Cardholder's supervisor email the completed PCard Change Request form to purchasing.helpdesk@uoguelph.ca;
  • Cardholder's supervisor takes possession of the PCard and destroy it.

Employee Transfer

  • If an employee is transferred to a new department within the University, the employee's PCard should be changed to reflect the unit code of the new department.
  • To make this change, the cardholder's supervisor should complete PCard Change Request form and email to purchasing.helpdesk@uoguelph.ca.
  • If the employee doesn't need to use the PCard in the new department, the PCard should be cancelled.

Troubleshooting Procurement Card

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Lost/Stolen/Damaged Procurement Card

  • In the event a PCard is lost or stolen, cardholders should report to US Bank by calling the 24-hour number 1-800-588-8067 immediately and then notify the PCard coordinator.
  • In the event a PCard is damaged beyond use, cardholders should call US Bank customer service 1-800-588-8067 to request a replacement card.
  • The replacement card will be mailed to the PCard coordinator for the cardholder to pick up;
  • Cardholders will be required to sign another PCard Employee Agreement for the replacement card.

Disputing Charges

Cardholders may dispute charges that appear on their monthly account statement for reasons such as: 

  • Fraud or misuse;
  • Altered charges;
  • Incorrect amounts or sales tax charges:
  • Duplicate charges;
  • Credits not processed.

Cardholders should contact the supplier first in order to resolve any erroneous charges or outstanding issues. Most issues can be resolved in this way. If successful, make sure to get a written confirmation of the credit from the supplier.

For fraudulent charges, cardholder should contact US Bank customer service 1-800-588-8065 as well as the PCard coordinator.  The card will be cancelled and a replacement card will be issued.

Purchase Rejection

There are a number of possible reasons why a purchase is declined at the point of sale:

  • Incorrect university billing address is given;
  • Human error; e.g. an incorrect account number or expiry date is given;
  • The total cost of the purchase exceeds the transaction limit for the card;
  • The remaining credit limit of the card is not enough to cover the cost of the purchase;
  • The item falls under a restricted merchant category code;
  • The card has been inactivated by the University;
  • The card has been inactivated by US Bank;

Cardholders should attempt to determine the reason and resolve the issue accordingly. To inquire further, contact the PCard coordinator or US Bank customer service.

Goods Return and Credits

If goods need to be returned, cardholders should work directly with the merchant to resolve the problem. 

It is recommended that cardholders:

  • Retain boxes and packaging until you are certain you are going to keep the goods;
  • Obtain a "Return Authorization Number" from the merchant if required;
  • Ensure the credit appears on your card account;
  • In case of a disputed transaction with the merchant, raise the query with the merchant immediately and report to US Bank customer service within 30 days of the purchase date.

Procurement Card Best Practices

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Safeguard Your Procurement Card Information

  • Keep the online account user name and password confidential;
  • Do not provide your PCard information to strangers other than legitimate merchants;
  • Always write down the name of the person you are placing the order with.

Follow Good Record Keeping Practices

  • Keep all the paper trail and documentation in order, check them against the statement monthly;
  • File the documentation with monthly statement in a manner that you can retrieve them easily; 
  • Print out the monthly activity report regardless if your PCard is used or not during the month;
  • Keep all the files in the same place.

Follow Good Reconciliation Practices

  • Always do the reconciliation of your own card;
  • Don't wait until the last day to start reconciling.  Assigning end uses and object codes, and adding comments for transactions can be done any time before the billing cycle closes;
  • If you use your PCard regularly throughout the month, set up your own weekly schedule to reconcile prior to billing cycle closing date;  
  • Book time in advance for reconciliation to avoid schedule conflicts and interruption;
  • Always print out your monthly activity report after the billing cycle closes;
  • Review the entire monthly activity report before signing to make sure nothing is missed;
  • Always have your supervisor to sign off on your monthly activity report.

Keep Your Card Active

  • If you don't use your PCard very often but would like to keep it in good standing, use the card at least once a year.
  • Cards without any activity in a period of 17 months are considered inactive accounts and might be cancelled by US Bank.  

Be Alert to Scams

  • If there is any concern about your card, US Bank will contact you. If they are unable to reach you, they will contact the PCard coordinator.
  • Any email, regardless of how professional or legitimate it may appear (i.e. professional wording, logos or graphics), that requests your account information be resubmitted, updated or reactivated is fraudulent.
  • If you are at all in doubt as to the legitimacy of an email, please contact US Bank customer service 1-800-588-8065.

Monthly Reconciling Dates

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The PCard billing cycle closes on 25th of every month. The monthly statement is available online to cardholders on the 26th.

If the 25th falls on a Monday through Thursday, cardholders must complete the monthly reconciliation of their transactions by the end of day on the 26th.

If the 25th falls on a Friday, cardholders must complete the monthly reconciliation of their transactions by the end of day on the following Monday, the 28th.

If the 25th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the cardholders must complete the reconciliation of their transactions by the end of day on the following Tuesday.

Below are the reconciliation cut-off dates for 2017:

Month Billing Cycle to Close Last Day to Reconcile
January 25th 26th
February 25th 28th
March 25th 28th
April 25th 26th
May 25th 26th
June 25th 27th
July 25th 26th
August 25th 28th
September  25th 26th
October 25th 26th
November 25th 28th
December tbd tbd
 

Useful Links & Numbers

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User guide: Procurement Card - Purchasing Services Procedure.

US Bank Direct Online: https://access.usbank.com/cpsApp1/index.jsp   

The University's organization short name for online login: UOFG.

The University's billing address for PCard: 50 Stone Road, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1

Web-based Access Online Training: https://wbt.access.usbank.com.

Procurement Card administration team:  Lynne Harbin, x58482; Hui Zhu, x52878; email: pcard@uoguelph.ca

US Bank customer service: 1-800-588-8065. This phone number can also be found on the back of your PCard.