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Purchasing Card (P-Card) Procedure

  • Related Documents:  Purchasing Card (P-Card) Policy
  • Owner:  Financial Services
  • Approval Dates: January 2001, September 2010, November 2011, March 2017

I.   Purpose

1.   This Procedure describes how University employees may obtain and use a University Purchasing Card (P-Card) to make Eligible Purchases.

II.   Procedure


2.   The P-Card must be used solely for Eligible Expenses. The Cardholder must provide Original Vendor Documentation to Financial Services for each Eligible Expense.

3.   If the P-Card is used inadvertently for an Ineligible Expense the Cardholder must contact the P-Card Administrator for direction.

4.   Cardholders shall not permit anyone else to use the P-Card.  No other Ryerson University staff, family member or any other individual is authorized to use the P-Card.

5.   Cardholders and Approvers are subject to the Conflict of Interest Policy and Procedure.

How to Apply for a Purchasing Card

6.   Complete the Purchasing Card Application Form (, indicating Purchasing Card Profile, and submit the application form to the Purchasing Card Administrator, in Financial Services (

7.   Financial Services will determine P-Card eligibility based on the information provided in the application form.

8.   Each P-Card applicant must meet the definition of Employee as per the Purchasing Card Policy and have access to Ryerson University Financial System (iExpense).

9.   To request financial system access, complete the System Access Form ( and submit to Financial Services - Systems and Training.

10.  Upon satisfying the eligibility criteria, the P-card will be issued.

Eligible Purchases

11.   Cardholders may only use P-Cards for University-related business.

12.   Eligible Purchases by Purchasing Card Profile include, but are not limited to:

(a)     Purchases – non-travel expenses:

(i)   Books / magazines;

(ii)   Subscriptions;

(iii)  Computer hardware and software;

(iv)   Professional Membership dues;

(v)   Conference Registration fees;

(vi)   Office supplies, cleaning material.

(b)     Travel:

(i)   Business meal and entertainment;          

(ii)   Food and beverages;

(iii)   Hotels;

(iv)   Airfare;

(v)   Train tickets;

(vi)   Taxi;

(viii)   Restaurants.

(c)     Purchases and Travel:

(i)    all purchases are permitted as noted above with the exception of “Ineligible Purchases” (see following section).

13.   Cardholders shall exercise honesty, good faith, and common sense when using   their P-Card.

(a)     If the Cardholder has any doubt as to whether a proposed purchase is an Eligible Purchase, the Cardholder must take direction from Financial Services.

(b)     Cardholders must ensure that the cost of each Eligible Purchase is reasonable. Cardholders must make every reasonable effort to purchase the lowest cost good or service available to fulfill the business requirement.

(c)     Cardholders shall not split transactions to circumvent the P-Card spending limits.

14.   Cardholders may use their P-Card for Eligible Purchases up to their P-Card $5,000 per transaction limit, with a maximum monthly credit limit per P-Card of up to $25,000, or such lower amount as required by the Approver.  This amount includes all taxes and shipping costs.  These limits are set by the University.  Exceptions will be considered and approved, on a case by case basis, by Financial Services.

Ineligible Purchases

15.   The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of purchases that are not permitted:

(a)     consulting services;

(b)     personal purchases of any nature;

(c)     other duplicate reimbursements (e.g. meal per diems, mileage claims);

(d)     goods and services covered by a Blanket or Systems Contract, without prior  written consent by Financial Services;

(e)     hazardous materials;

(f)     donations;

(g)     cash advances;

(h)     any other purchase unrelated to University business.

Using a P-Card:

16.   Only named Cardholders are permitted to make purchases using their assigned P-Card.

17.   Cardholders may use the P-Card only for Eligible Purchases, from a vendor who accepts Visa as a method of payment.

18.   The Cardholder may use the P-Card for Eligible Purchases by telephone and online.  Cardholders must apply the same high degree of care that they would use to protect their personal credit card security in making online or telephone Eligible Purchases using their P-Card.

19.   Cardholders must verify the total price, including taxes and shipping fees, with the vendor before shipment.

20.   Cardholders are responsible for informing vendors of delivery and shipping instructions to Ryerson Receiving dock (105 Bond Street) and verifying all shipping costs with the vendor at the time of ordering.

21.   The Cardholder must retain copies of all Vendor Documentation for a minimum of 7 years for record keeping, reconciliation, and University audit purposes.

22.   Cardholder and Approver must ensure that the costs associated with every P-Card purchase are fair and reasonable.

Approvals and Reconciliation

23.   Cardholders and their Approvers are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of iExpense reports.

24.   iExpense reports must be submitted and regularly approved throughout the month, to allow cost centres to be promptly and accurately updated.

25.   If the Cardholder leaves the University before clearing the outstanding P-Card    transactions, the department is responsible for submitting an iExpense claim and sending the original receipts (or supplemental receipt form) to Financial Services.

26.   Cardholders with outstanding P-Card transactions will be sent regular communication that their card transactions are to be cleared.

27.   If outstanding P-Card transactions are not cleared after forty-five (45) days, the P-Card may be suspended at the discretion of the University;

28.   Cardholders must not approve their own transactions:

(a)  the same employee is not permitted to be a Cardholder and the Approver for the same P-Card;

(b)  Approvers cannot approve their own transactions; and

(c)   Approvers cannot request an employee to incur an expense on their behalf or an expense that includes them (e.g. meal at a restaurant).

Information and Assistance:

29.   Any policy or procedure exceptions, when known by Financial Services, will be brought to the attention of the Cardholder, as well as the Approver, and the Dean, Senior Director or Department Head at the discretion of Financial Services.

30.   Questions and comments regarding the P-Card policy and procedure are to be directed to the Purchasing Card Administrator.