A University of Ottawa purchasing card (Pcard) is a corporate VISA credit card issued by Scotiabank to University personnel who hold responsibilities for decentralized procurement and the payment of invoices for their sectors. It allows for the procurement of goods and services valued $5,000 or less (excluding taxes) with suppliers who accept credit cards (consult Appendix C of Procedure 4.3 for exceptions).
In addition to simplifying the procurement process, improving efficiency and reducing processing costs, it also helps to ensure conformity with procurement-related federal and provincial laws (ex. Bill 122).
University purchasing cards are issued by Scotiabank in the names of the University of Ottawa and the cardholder. It offers cardholders the ability to conduct purchases and payments without affecting their personal funds, nor is a credit check required. The bank also offers $100,000 of liability insurance, which is applicable to all cards.
A purchasing card can be programmed for a monthly limit or a limit to meet a unique purchase. It can also be restricted to particular kinds of purchases, such as a pre-determined supplier.
Policies and Procedures
Purchasing cards are primarily regulated by two policies, Policy 36 on the procurement of goods and services, and Policy 75 on purchasing cards. For details regarding terms, conditions and procedures, consult the Purchasing Card Manual.
The administrative procedure for the verification of invoices (in French only) is designed to help managers perform their invoice verification responsibilities effectively. Invoice verification involves reviewing vouchers and receipts to ensure the invoice's accuracy and reliability.
The FAST Pcard application (Financial Administration Support Tool) is a web management tool that is integrated into the financial system of the University of Ottawa. It is from this application that you charge, to your cost center (FOAP), the transactions you made with your purchase card.
Transactions are downloaded on a daily basis in the FAST Pcard application from the Scotiabank database. The application is usually refreshed every morning.
- Visit the site FAST.
- Enter your Banner username or the one that starts with a capital E, followed by your employee number without the lead "1" and zeros, ex. E10568 = 100010568.
- Enter your Banner password or InfoWeb password, in capitals, depending on the option chosen above.
For assistance with login, please contact the Information Technology’s Service Desk by completing a Service Desk Request or by telephone at extension 6555.
For more information about the reconciliation process, see the User Guide.
CentreSuite is Scotiabank's online transaction service. It facilitates the management of your purchasing card allowing you to check the status of your account, review your transactions and retrieve your monthly statement. Electronic reconciliation does NOT occur in CentreSuite but through FAST Pcard.
An email notification is sent to you at the end of each cycle to notify you that your monthly Scotiabank statement is available. Once you receive the notice, it is important to print your monthly statement and pair it with your FAST statement to ensure the accuracy of all transactions. Please note that the bank does not issue a monthly statement in the absence of activity.
This service is free and accessible from anywhere at any time.
- Visit www.centresuite.com.
- Sign in by using the user ID that was assigned to you when your card was activated.
- The password requires a minimum of 7 characters and a maximum of 25 characters, at least one lowercase, one uppercase, one numeric character and no special characters.
After three unsuccessful attempts, your CentreSuite account will be locked. To unlock your account or to reset your password, contact the Helpline 1587.
The Decentralized Purchasing section of Procurement Services analyses, approves and processes all requests related to purchasing cards. Final decisions for the issuing of purchasing cards to University personnel rests with Decentralized Purchasing. It also reserves the right to cancel or suspend cards at any time and for any reason.
All forms are available in pdf format and you are required to print and fill them out by hand. Once completed with all of the required signatures, send your request to the Administrator of Decentralized Purchasing and Programs by email atpcard@uOttawa.ca.
The Card Request form is used to order a card. Section 1-4 of the form are to be completed by the requestor while sections 5 and 6 are reserved for Decentralized Purchasing. You should also complete and return a Request for Access form to access the financial system in order to finalize your request.
Request Change to Card
The Change Request form is used when you wish to make a permanent change to your card, such as your monthly limit, transaction limit, the default FOAP, etc. This form should also be signed by the same people who signed the Card Request form.
Card Cancellation or Suspension
The Card Cancellation or Suspension form is used when an employee leaves their position or ends his/her employment with the University (cancellation), or is on parental leave, sick leave or refresher leave, etc. (suspension). As with the other forms, cancellation or suspension sections should be completed and signed by the same persons.
Access to the Financial System
Use the Request for Access form to gain access to, modify or cancel access to the financial system. Section 3 on the roles of the user serves to distinguish between those who or only users of the system (include the name of your coordinator) from those who reconcile transactions. Complete the form with the required signatures (the requestor and the director/dean (or delegate).
I was unable to log into CentreSuite. What happened?
Invalid logon credentials:
An invalid User ID or password may have been used. As a security feature, your password is masked when you enter it. Also, your password is case sensitive, so make sure that the Caps Lock key on your keyboard is disabled. If you cannot remember your User ID or password, contact the Helpline 1587 to reset your password or to reconfirm your User ID.
Account is locked:
As a security feature, an account is automatically locked if three log on attempts are made using an incorrect User ID or password. Contact the Helpline 1587 to unlock and reset your password.
I need to reconcile a transaction to several expense accounts. What do I do?
When you split a transaction, you allocate amounts across multiple FOAPs affecting different Orgs or accounts. Transactions can be split an unlimited number of times. Allocating amounts across multiple lines will help retrace expenses and provide a better audit trail. For step-by-step procedures on how to split a transaction, see the FAST Pcard User Guide.
This program sounds interesting. How do I get a card?
To be eligible for a purchasing card, an applicant must be a University employee responsible for processing decentralized purchases and payments for his/her sector. Cards are issued at the request of the applicant’s Dean/Director. Two forms need to be submitted when applying for a card: the Purchasing Card Request form and the Banner/Fusion Request for Access form.
For more information on the program, contact the Helpline 1587.
When I have a transaction that I do not recognize on my statement, what do I do?
In the event that a cardholder does not recognize a charge, his first recourse is to contact the supplier involved. Be aware that on certain occasions, the supplier’s name may differ from what appears on the invoice.
It is also sometimes possible to find discrepancies with charges on your statement. Again, it is best and simpler, to first attempt to settle these problems directly with the vendor.
If the vendor will not cooperate, the next recourse is to file a dispute with Scotiabank.
For complete details on filing a dispute, go to section 9.3 of the Purchasing Card Manual or contact the Helpline 1587.
HELP!!! My purchasing card was declined, what do I do?
There are a few reasons why a transaction may be declined:
1) Have you exceeded your single transaction limit?
Ensure that the transaction does not exceed your single transaction limit including all extra charges such as taxes, currency conversion and shipping.
2) Have you exceeded your monthly purchase limit?
Be aware of purchases that have been authorized by the vendor but have not yet been posted by the bank. To consult your available balance, log in to CentreSuite and, from the Statements menu, choose the Account Summary or call the Scotiabank Card Service Centre at 1-888-823-9657.
3) Are you trying to purchase a restricted item?
Each card is encoded by the restrictions imposed by the University’s policies such as merchant category codes. As each card is provided with a distinct security profile and each vendor is associated with a specific merchant category code, if the card is presented to a merchant whose code is blocked, the transaction will be declined.
Please note that when a transaction is declined, you can contact the Helpline 1587 in order to identify the reason of it and we will work with you to solve the problem.
Please refer to Procedure 4.3 for more details on specific restrictions on decentralized purchases.
If you find that you need further assistance, please contact the Helpline 1587 or write us an email at pcard@uOttawa.ca.
Manager, Decentralized Procurement and Programs
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 6628
Coordinator, Decentralized Procurement and Programs
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 2932
Administrator, Decentralized Procurement and Programs
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 6567
Administrator, Decentralized purchases and Programs
Telephone: 613-562-5800 ext. 7827