Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Single Purchasing and Travel Expense Card roll out to entire campus
Year Submitted 2017
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name / Nom Title / Titre
Josh Tonnos Director, Accounting and Treasury
Bryan Boles AVP, Finance
Name of Institution Brock University
Office Address 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, Yukon L2S 3A1
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Telephone: 9056885550
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Bryan Boles
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Associate Vice President, Finance
Office Address 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way
St. Catharines, Ontario l2s 3a1
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Telephone: 9056885550
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.

A single card that fits all University VISA needs for travel, research, accounts payable and departmental purchases.

Brock University launched a Scotiabank Purchasing Card pilot in September 2014 (60 cardholders) with the program being fully integrated into the Universities new Workday financial system May 2016 for full rollout to the University. As of January 2017, 571 faculty and staff are now using the Brock VISA purchasing card for expenses and departmental purchases with monthly spend averaging $1.5 million. The VISA cash back loyalty rebate on this program has generated $120,000 in 12 months providing incremental revenue to the University.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.

All Universities have an accounts payable function and many vendors accept VISA. Payments of supplier invoices can be shifted to VISA and employees can be provided a VISA for travel expenses and other purchases that add up to volume on the corporate VISA driving cash rebates to the University.

Quality Impact

Faculty and staff value the benefits of the VISA card program such as not having to be out of pocket for expenses, automatic integration into their expense accounts in the Workday finance system. The program also extends autonomy to University departments to purchase departmental supplies directly from vendors using their purchasing cards, reducing the volume of paperwork required to submit to accounts payable to coordinate payments to vendors. The function also turned accounts payable into a revenue generating unit by moving vendors to VISA payments, away from cheque payments; thus earning cash rebates on the VISA.

Productivity Impact

Travel expense reimbursement paperwork is eliminated and replaced with an integrated online submission process. Reimbursements to employees are no longer required for those with a VISA; thus, reducing the volume of work on the accounts payable unit. Departments also have the autonomy to purchase supplies from vendors in a timely fashion eliminating the need to coordinate payments to suppliers with accounts payable.


Scotiabank’s VISA program has the ability to integrate into ERP systems and in Brock’s case, employees who use their credit card will see the transactions automatically load to their personal expense account in the Workday Finance system simplifying the expense report creation. Many Universities have credit card programs for either travel expenses or for accounts payable; however, few have a 'one card fits all' model. Brock was able to customize the data received from Scotiabank to flag specific card holders that are for travel expenses or departmental purchases or accounts payable cards and have the transactions integrate into the proper ERP module expense reports for supplier payments. This allowed the University to leverage the cash back program on one card by increasing volume of spend across functions of the University.