Purchasing Card Policy


To provide guidance on the use of Seneca’s Corporate Purchasing Card (P-Card) and on the procurement and payment of low dollar value goods and services to ensure acceptable levels of control and accountability.


This policy applies to all Seneca employees who have requested or hold a Corporate Purchasing Card.

Key Definitions

Capital Asset

An asset that has a useful life of over one (1) year and a value greater than $5,000.


A person, corporation, partnership, or business entity that sells goods or services to Seneca.


1. Policy Statement

1.1 Seneca has established a partnership with the US Bank Corporation Canada to provide and support its Visa-based Corporate P-Card (P-Card) program.

1.2 It is the policy of Seneca to provide guidance on the use of Seneca’s P-Card to ensure acceptable levels of control and accountability. This policy will address the procurement and payment of low dollar value goods and services.

1.3 The main objectives of the P-Card are as follows:

  • To provide staff with a convenient, efficient and cost-effective means to acquire low value goods and services
  • To enable employees to obtain low value goods and services without requesting a purchase requisition
  • To improve the timeliness of accounting and improve management reporting on purchasing activities.

1.4 A P-Card is the property of Seneca, but is issued in the name of the authorized employee. Seneca is liable for all transactions made on the card. The P-Card holder is responsible for the card and shall take appropriate measures to ensure that it is kept secure.

2. Roles and Responsibilities

2.1 Employees entrusted with a P-Card shall:

  • Adhere to Seneca’s Purchasing Card Policy
  • Adhere to Seneca’s Procurement Policy
  • Adhere to Seneca’s Travel and Expense Policy
  • Properly safeguard the P-Card to maintain its security
  • Ensure that supporting documentation is received from the supplier
  • Resolve all questionable items or charges directly with the supplier
  • Reconcile all purchases on the monthly statement with supporting documents.

2.2 Supervisors shall:

  • Approve or decline P-Card requests
  • Ensure staff issued P-Cards adhere to Seneca’s Purchasing Card Policy, Procurement Policy and Travel and Expense Policy
  • Ensure all transactions are legitimate and charged appropriately
  • Control and approve P-Card holders’ monthly reconciliations
  • Return employees’ P-Cards to the plan administrator upon termination or change in their roles within Seneca.

2.3 The Compliance office shall:

  • Adhere to Seneca’s Purchasing Card Policy
  • Administer issuance of the P-Card
  • Process applications for new P-Card holders
  • Receive employees’ P-Cards, distribute it to them, and train them on the proper usage
  • Process profile changes for P-Card holders, including changes to daily transaction, monthly or card limits
  • Process P-Card cancellations or suspensions
  • Distribute monthly summary statements from the US Bank Corporation Canada website and email them to the respective P-Card holders.

2.4 The Finance department shall:

  • Ensure all P-Card holder statements with supporting documentation are received and reconciled within the deadlines stated in section 5.1
  • Reconcile the monthly statement from the US Bank Corporation Canada to the operating bank account
  • Notify the senior manager, Compliance and the Director, Finance of any purchasing violations.

3. Requesting a P-Card

3.1 Permanent employees may apply for a P-Card using the Purchasing Card Request form if they meet the following requirements:

  • Received prior, written approval from their supervisor and department Vice President
  • Travel frequently in the course of their duties
  • Purchase significant volumes of goods and services for use by Seneca
  • Incur other regular frequent business expenses that would be appropriately paid for by credit card.

3.2 Employees must sign the Employee Acknowledgement of Responsibility and Obligations for the Use of the Royal Bank Visa Purchasing Card form prior to receiving a P-Card.

3.3 Each P-Card will have a preset limit per transaction and a maximum monthly spending limit. Authorized employees may use their P-Card for business purchases valued at:Limits for standard users and department purchasers are shown as follows:

  • Up to the maximum amount listed per transaction
  • Up to the maximum amount listed per month or
  • Up to the credit limit.

Limits for standard users and department purchasers are shown as follows:

Type Limit
Default $3,000 transaction limit
$5,000 monthly limit
Department Purchaser $5,000 transaction limit
$25,000 monthly limit

Purchases must not be broken into smaller amounts in order to meet the transaction limit on a P-Card.

3.4 Exceptions to the standard P-Card limits listed in section 3.3 may be established for certain positions or circumstances. Temporary changes to standard P-Card limits may be established to address temporary needs. Requests for permanent or temporary P-Card limit increases requires completion of the Purchasing Card Request form and authorization by the department Vice President.

4. P-Card Use

4.1 Only the person whose name appears on the P-Card may use it.

4.2 A P-Card must only be used to make authorized official Seneca purchases that are within the limitations established for the P-Card and in accordance with existing Seneca policies and procedures.

4.3 P-Card holders may not use personal credit cards for expenditures related to Seneca’s business.

4.4 The P-Card must not be used for the following:

  • Personal expenditures or cash advances
  • Alcohol
  • Unless approved as outlined in Seneca’s Travel and Expense Policy
    Note: Alcohol purchased for an event hosted on Seneca premises must have prior approval from the President’s Office
  • Hazardous material
  • Office supplies
  • Employees are to purchase supplies through the existing, negotiated supplier contracts, for example, Grand & Toy or Staples
  • Fees for consulting, staffing, or contracted services (including temporary help)
  • Long-term contracts greater than one (1) year
  • Capital asset purchases
  • A purchase requisition is required for the purchasing of capital assets
  • Computer equipment, cell phones, iPads, tablets, software, copiers, and projectors
  • Requests to receive one of these items must be made through the Employee Service Desk
  • Operating purchases of goods and services greater than $5,000
  • A purchase requisition is required for operating purchases greater than $5,000.

4.5 Original, itemized receipts are required for all purchased made using a P-Card. If ineligible expenses are identified through the reconciliation of monthly billing (see section 4.4), the P-Card holder shall reimburse Seneca for the amounts identified.

4.6 The Vice President, Finance and Administration has the authority to cancel an employee’s right to use his/her P-Card at any time. Circumstances that can lead to suspension or cancellation of an employee’s P-Card may include:

  • Using the card for personal or unauthorized purposes
  • Failing to reconcile and submit an approved statement in a timely manner
  • Failing to attach the appropriate documentation to the reconciled statement.

4.7 In the event of a lost, fraudulent, or stolen card, the P-Card holder must notify US Bank Corporation Canada Customer Service and the plan administrator in the Finance department.

5. Monthly Reconciliation

5.1 On a monthly basis, P-Card holders must review their transactions and enter the appropriate accounting codes and comments for each transaction by the ninth day of the month following the statement posting date. The reconciled statement must be approved by the immediate supervisor. Once approved, a copy of the statement and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Finance department by the end of the month.

5.2 Supervisors approving monthly P-Card statements must ensure that the expenses being claimed were necessarily incurred in the performance of Seneca’s business and that the appropriate documentation is provided.

5.3 No employee may approve their own P-Card statement. Approval at the next higher level must be obtained before a statement can be processed. If expenses are incurred for a group of employees, the most senior person involved shall make a claim on behalf of the group for the expenses.

5.4 Failure to record the appropriate accounting codes and comments for the transactions by the deadline as stated in section 5.1 will result in the transactions being recorded in a default expense account in the budget of the P-Card holder’s supervisor. Should this occur, the P-Card holder must prepare a journal entry to transfer the misattributed cost(s) to the appropriate budget line(s), in addition to submitting the reconciled statement and supporting documentation.

5.5 An employee who is four (4) or more weeks late in submitting his/her reconciled statement and supporting documentation to the Finance department will be considered delinquent. Their card will be placed on hold until the proper documentation has been received.

Supporting Documentation

Related Seneca Policies

Related Materials

  • None

Appendix A: Purchasing Card Request form

Appendix B: Employee Acknowledgement of Responsibility and Obligations for the use of the Royal Bank Visa Purchasing Card form


Department Name:

I,______________________(write full name) hereby acknowledge receipt of the Royal Bank Visa Purchasing Card (the “Card”) issued by U.S. Bank Canada. I acknowledge that the Card has been issued to me to make purchases in the course of my regular duties in connection with Seneca College (the “Customer”), and I will not use the Card to make personal purchases of any kind whatsoever. I fully understand that purchases made using this Card are to be authorized by a departmental manager with signing authority, in accordance with the usual College Procedures.

I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of the Visa Purchasing Card Cardholder Agreement (the “Cardholder Agreement”), copy included, regarding my acceptance of this Card, and that I will not follow any policies or procedures that contradict, limit or vary the terms and conditions set out in the Cardholder Agreement. I confirm my agreement to the said terms and conditions by signing below and by retaining and using the Card.

I shall undertake to protect the Card and the card account number and realize that it is for my use only, not to be divulged to any other person (except a merchant with whom I am transacting on behalf of the Customer) without the written permission of the Seneca College Card Program Administrator. Should the Card be lost, stolen or suspended or compromised in any manner, I shall advise U.S. Bank Canada and the Card Program Administrator immediately.

Furthermore, I understand that this Card is the property of U.S. Bank Canada, provided to me on behalf of Seneca and that in the event of wilful or negligent default of these obligations, U.S. Bank Canada and / or Seneca shall take recovery action, deemed appropriate, that is permitted by law. I agree to return this Card on the request of the Card Program Administrator.

The Organizational Compliance Department of Seneca (Plan Administrators) will monitor the usage and compliance of each card as outlined in Purchasing Card Policy. As Plan Administrators, at their discretion, they have the authority to cancel the Visa card upon indication of wilful or negligent usage.

New Card Holders Only:

No. Card Details Limits Cardholder Initials
1. Per purchase limit $  
2. Default department code    
3. Signed card Yes / No  
4. Total limit on card $  
5. Card Number (last 4 digits)    

Card holder Signature:                                                                                                     Date:

Visa Purchasing Procedure and Agreement


  • Upon receipt of a new card, sign the back of the card immediately.
  • Cards are not to be loaned to other people, including Seneca staff
  • Cards are to be surrendered upon ceasing employment or upon an appointment of a new position within Seneca that does not require a Visa Purchasing Card

Non-acceptable expenditures:

  • Personal expenditures or cash advances
  • Alcohol
  • Capital assets – capital assets are defined as the assets that have a useful life of over one year and have a value greater than $5,000. For these purchases, submit a purchase requisition on the system
  • Computer hardware, copiers, projectors, printers, cell phones, iPads, tablets, software or other technology items. Purchases of this nature are to go through ITS by opening a ticket with the Service Desk at servicedesk@senecacollege.ca
  • Fees for consulting, staffing or contracted services
  • Contracts with a term more than one year. For these purchases, submit a purchase requisition on the system

Monthly Reconciliation:

  • Statements are to be reconciled online, by the 9th day of the month following the statement posting date
  • In the comments section, state the reason for the expense
  • Attach original receipts
  • Sign the Visa statement and submit it to your supervisor (hard copy or via electronic signature)
  • Immediate supervisor signs and approves expenditures. Approved statement and original or scanned receipts are forwarded to Accounts Payable