Update to the purchase of goods, services and travel expenses

Procurement and Contract Management is moving to a one credit card solution to minimize out-of-pocket expenses and create a sustainable reconciliation process.

22 September 2022

At the request of our campus community members, the University of Alberta Procurement and Contract Management (PCM) team completed a twofold review to (1) minimize out-of-pocket expenses for employees during travel and (2) expedite the reconciliation process.

Currently, the University of Alberta has two separate credit card programs: one for goods and services below $5,000 that are reconciled in PeopleSoft by the cardholder, and another for travel-related expenses. The current process leaves the cardholder responsible for paying the balance personally prior to applying for reimbursement through the PeopleSoft, and consumes significant resources in the reconciliation process.

In consultation with the Bank of Montreal (BMO), the PCM team is moving to a one credit card solution for purchases of goods and services below $5,000 and travel-related expenses. Benefits to this approach include eliminating the need for employees to carry multiple credit cards; creating a more sustainable purchase and reconciliation structure that can be applied campus-wide; and facilitating a more user-friendly and efficient experience for both cardholders and administrators alike. The one credit card solution will not impact budgets or incur additional costs to any university unit.

The one credit card solution will allow the following travel expenses to be paid with a corporate purchasing card (PCard):

  • Registration (conference fees)
  • Accomodations (including hotels, AirBnB, VRBO, etc.)
  • Car rentals and insurance
  • Ground transportation receipted (bus, taxi, rideshare, train)
  • Baggage fee and seat selection (completed outside of the airfare booking)
  • Parking
  • Miscellaneous insurances
  • Hospitality, working session and meetings (receipted)
  • Emergencies (out of country, without access to central support for a repair)

Non-receipted travel expenses will continue to be paid out-of-pocket and reimbursed upon completion of travel. These expenses would be reconciled in the Travel Expense module in PeopleSoft.

Non-eligible expenses per the one credit card solution will include airfare, which must be booked through the TAP process with Maritime Travel, kilometer allowance rate via private automobile, ground transportation non-receipted (below $75/day) and meal allowance rates.

The BMO Diners Card program will remain in place for those travelers that would like to continue to have free access to the available lounges and to process TAP airfare purchases centrally only. Non-receipted expenses such as kilometer rates, per diem rates and non-receipted ground transportation can also be expensed on the Diners Card.

Current cardholders

Current PCard holders will be contacted by direct email with an opportunity to move to one credit card. These cardholders will be required to complete a form requesting the opening of their PCard to travel-related expenses. Approvals for these cardholders will continue to align with the current application process for receiving a U of A issued credit card (i.e., approval by supervisor, FGM and/or Chief of Staff). All cardholders must move to the one credit card process by April 1, 2023.

New cardholder applicants

New BMO Diners Card program requests will be assessed and managed on an individual basis. Additionally, the current form will be updated to include a request to unblock travel expenses at time of application for new card program applicants. This will be signed and approved by the supervisor, FGM and/or Chief of Staff. Please note that the PCard application and cardholder agreement documents will be updated to reflect the option to select travel-related expenses when applying for the card.

If you require any additional information about the one credit card solution, please contact Procurement and Contract Management at procure@ualberta.ca.



2020 updates  2021 updates  2022 updates