P-Card Setup and Modification

Learn about the requirements and steps involved in applying for, or modifying a Purchasing Card (P-Card) at Columbia University.


Individuals interested in becoming a Cardholder must have the approval of their Department P-Card Administrator (DPAD). ARC Procedure and P-Card Policy training are required before a card is issued. In addition, cardholders must complete the required web-based training once directed to do so by ARC Security.

To Apply for a P-Card Cardholder Role

  1. The prospective cardholder completes the Financial Systems Security Application available through ServiceNow. (Please check all P-Card roles that apply, e.g., Cardholder, Reconciler, Reviewer, or Approver). Note: Most cardholders are also reconcilers, please ensure both roles are selected on the form.
  2. The Security Application is routed to the DAF for approval.
  3. Once the DAF grants approval, the security form is routed to the ARC Security Team for review, and notification of any ARC required training for requested roles.
  4. The applicant is required to complete the Reconciling P-Card Transactions Web-Based Training and receive at least 90% on the related knowledge assessment.
  5. Once the training is successfully completed, the P-Card Team is notified via ServiceNow that a P-Cardholder Role has been assigned.
  6. The P-Card Team generates an email to the applicant inviting the applicant to complete the online P-Card application.
  7. The applicant completes the application for the card, indicating any special privileges (food) and designating the appropriate reconciler (if the cardholder is not also the reconciler) and approvers assigned to the P-Card.
  8. The application is routed to the appropriate Departmental P-Card Administrator (DPAD) based upon the applicant's home department.
  9. The application is returned to the P-Card Team for processing. Upon approval, the applicant is informed about the delivery or pick-up of the P-Card.
  10. Upon approval, the P-Card team will email the applicant to provide card delivery status and card activation instructions.

Cardholder Reminder: Safeguard and Secure the P-Card Information

The Cardholder is responsible for all activity on their P-Card. Keeping their P-Card information secure will reduce the risk of fraudulent activity. Cardholders should take the following steps to secure their P-Card information:

  • Keep their P-Card and any account information in a secure place
  • Do not give their P-Card to anyone else to use (including co-workers)
  • Do not post or email their full P-Card account number
  • Be aware of fraudulent emails requesting credit card information (phishing or spoofing)
ARC Security

Cardholders, Reconcilers, and Approvers are required to complete the Reconciling P-Card Transactions Web-Based Training once directed to do so by ARC Security.


Contact the P-Card Team at [email protected]

Modifications to a user's P-Card privileges must be requested by the user's department P-Card Administrator (DPAD). A DPAD may request modifications such as:

  • Change in monthly cycle limit
  • Change in the single transaction spending limit
  • Addition of local hotel privilege
  • Addition of food privilege
  • Default Chartstring Updates

To make a modification request, the DPAD must submit the request to the P-Card Team. The DPAD should include the cardholder's name, UNI, and the requested modification. Once the modifications have been completed, the P-Card Team will notify the DPAD. 

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