Expense Reports

When should I complete an expense report?

Expense reports must be completed within 30 days of the end date of your trip. Please submit only one report per trip with all expenses for the the trip. Use this list of subcodes for an overview of the available subcodes and a description of when they should be used. Please note that all receipt images must be in the system or provided to the delegate and all credit cards charges must be available in Concur. University Travel Card charges are sent from the merchant to MasterCard and then to Concur and thus there will be some delay before those charges appear in the Concur system for reconciliation.

How can I track an expense report in the system?

In-process and unpaid expense reports can be tracked in Expense. From the Concur home page, click Open Reports or ExpenseOpen Reports will display the current status of the report. Click the report to view the details. Click Details > Audit Trail to review actions taken on the report. If the expense report has already been paid, an expense history can be found by clicking the Report Library link in Expense.

Is there a report available for expense report details?

Yes, the report is available under the Print/Email option in the expense report. From the print/email drop-down menu, select University of Pittsburgh > Detailed Report. The report will show the report header information (such as the report key), which will appear on your monthly level reports, and line level details including account numbers. Select the Show Itemizations checkbox in the upper left corner of the report window to show any itemizations that were entered on the expense report. The report can then be printed, emailed, or saved as a PDF.

Why am I being asked to consolidate Expense Reports?

It is best practice to consolidate expenses on a single Expense Report by trip, travel purpose, or business purpose.

This benefits the traveler by reducing the time and effort of entering Expense Report header information on multiple reports. It also makes it easier for your approver to review and track expenses across the department. Lastly, consolidating expenses onto a single report provides savings to the University as we are charged a fee per report.

When do I need to consolidate Expense Reports?

It is best practice to consolidate expenses on a single Expense Report when the expenses are for the same or similar trips, events, or purposes. Examples of these could include, but are not limited to:

  • All expenses for a trip should be on a single expense report, such as meal charges and travel charges; booking fees and airfare expenses must be on the same report
  • Membership dues, conference registration for the same organization’s event, and airfare to attend can be placed on a single Expense Report referencing that organization
  • Expenses for multiple people at the same event, such as event registrations or meal costs, paid for on a single Travel Card should be consolidated on a single Expense Report
  • All purchases of supplies or materials for a business entertainment event, like recruiting or student affairs events, should be placed on a single Expense Report that captures all expenses for the event
  • Recurring events or trips that serve the same or a similar purpose can be consolidated on a monthly Expense Report, for example January Recruiting Expenses.

How do I consolidate multiple Expense Reports?

If you have expenses that you need to move from one open Expense Report to another, you can use the Move button to move line items from one Expense Report to another existing report or to a new report. Below you can find a summary of the steps to consolidate Expense Reports when you have multiple open Expense Reports. Our training team is working on updating our quick start guides and quick start videos to have tutorials with visuals available.

If you need to consolidate Expense Reports that have already been submitted to your approver but not yet been sent to Payment Processing, you will first need to recall your Expense Report. If you need to adjust an Expense Report that was submitted to Payment Processing or have other questions about the process, please contact PantherExpress Customer Services by submitting an inquiry or calling 412-624-3578.

Steps to consolidate Expense Reports when you have multiple reports that are not yet submitted:

  1. Open the Expense Report with the expenses to be moved to a consolidated report.
  2. Select the expense line item(s) by clicking the checkbox(es) at the beginning of each line.
  3. Click the “Move” drop down box in the top right of the section.  Here you can choose to move the expenses to an existing Expense Report (by report name) or To New Report.        
  4. Verify that the expenses are on the correct report and that any receipts moved with the expense line item(s).
  5. If the receipt is not attached, attach and proceed as before.

How are exchange rates calculated?

The travel expense reporting system uses OANDA Rates® for currency conversion. The exchange rates provided by OANDA are averages for the global foreign exchange market gathered from frequently updated sources, including OANDA Forex trading Platform, leading market data vendors, and contributing financial institutions. The data is filtered and stored in a proprietary data repository.

How do I change the city if the system does not recognize it as a valid city?

Occasionally, the system may not recognize a city that pre-populates from the Travel Card charge. In this case, select the closest major city from the drop-down menu. To add a city, contact PantherExpress Customer Service, and place a request to add a city to the drop-down menu.

How do I itemize a business meal to separate the expense for alcohol when alcohol is not reimbursed or permitted on the account?

  1. Select a Group Business Meal expense type, and enter the required information, including the total charge of the meal.
  2. Click Itemize and select the appropriate expense types such as Group Business Meal for the charges that are not for alcohol, and either Personal or Unallowable for the alcohol charges.
    • Choose Personal Expense (non-reimbursable) if alcohol is not an allowable expense for this meal and will not be reimbursed by the University.  Enter the amount for the alcohol, and click Save.
    • Select the expense type for the meal, enter the food portion of the meal, and click Save.
  3. The total of the meal and alcohol should equal the total charge.

What if an advance deposit was charged for a hotel reservation?

If an advance deposit was required, and the deposit was paid with a Travel Card, there will be two credit card transactions: one for the deposit, and one for the balance after checkout. The deposit should be categorized as Lodging > Deposits/Payments, and the transaction for the remaining balance should be categorized as Lodging. The full daily rate should be assigned, and the last itemization should be added as a negative amount for the advance deposit. See the User Guide for details.

If the deposit is paid on your personal card, reimbursement cannot occur until after checkout and should be categorized as one lodging expense.

I have incurred currency conversion charges for international transactions while traveling for the University.  What expense type should I use?

The expense type for currency conversion charges is ATM/Bank Fees.

What is a cash advance fee, and is it an allowable expense?

Fees for using the ATM withdrawal feature are allowable when incurred using the Travel Card and should be categorized as ATM/Bank fees.

What is a foreign exchange fee, and is it considered an allowable expense?

Foreign exchange fees are charged by the credit card provider and are incurred when making a purchase in a foreign currency. These are allowable expenses and should be categorized as foreign transaction fees.  When using the Travel Card internationally, foreign exchange fees will be incurred per transaction.

If a hotel issues me a credit after checkout, will I receive an e-receipt for the credit?

No, the hotel will not send e-receipts for credits issued after checkout.

What is per diem, and is it the same as a travel allowance?

Per diem is an allowance for meals and incidental expenses. In Concur, per diem is referred to as travel allowance. The allowance includes incidental expenses for which you would not be reimbursed such as taxes, tips, and laundry. Concur uses per diem rates from the following sources:

  • The General Services Administration (GSA): GSA establishes per diem rates for destinations within the Continental United States (CONUS).
  • The State Department: The State Department establishes foreign rates (for example, Russia, Aruba, Bahamas, Europe, etc.).
  • The Department of Defense (DOD): The DOD establishes non-foreign rates such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

What per diem rate do I use if the city to which I am traveling is not listed?

Concur uses GSA per diem, which are automatically loaded into the Concur system. Concur will calculate the per diem based on the itinerary that you used to create your expense report.

Should I use per diem for my meals and incidentals?

The University supports claiming per diem for meals and incidental expenses in accordance with GSA guidelines.  To apply a per diem, create or import an itinerary into your expense report to generate the travel allowance. Exclude any meals that were provided by an external source or categorized as a group business meal in-travel. Reasonable exclusions should also be taken for the first and last day of travel based on your travel time.

What should I do if I charged meals to my Travel Card?

If you used your Travel Card to pay for individual meals while claiming per diem, those expenses should be marked as Actual Meal Cost (applied to per diem). This will reduce the reimbursable per diem amount.  If per diem for the total trip has been exceeded, the overage will be deducted from any other reimbursable expenses on the report.

If your Travel Card was used for individual meals and per diem is not claimed, those expenses should be marked as Actual Meal Cost (instead of per diem). The total amount of these charges cannot exceed the daily per diem rate. The maximum the University will reimburse is per diem.

Is there a spending limit if I am hosting a group business meal or reception?

Yes, reimbursement for group business meals is limited to $70, which includes the tip, and receptions are limited to $25 per person, which includes the tip.  An image of the original receipt must be attached to the expense report, and the names of each participant must be listed or attached as attendees in the expense report.

Can I attach a list of attendee names for large events?

Yes, if you have a list of attendees with affiliations (in accordance with University policy 05-07-01), then you can attach the list as part of the receipts packet rather than individually listing names in the expense report. To do this, select one of the 10+ or Reception expense types. When entering attendee names, select Advance Search, and select Group Event 10+ Attendees in the Attendee Type drop-down menu.  Enter the name of the event or group and click Add to Expense. This will add the group to the attendee list. Then, enter the total number of attendees in the group to Attendee Count.  Use the Attach Receipt function to attach the list of names and the receipt information.  Multiple receipts can be attached to an expense. See the User Guide for details.

Can I create a group for a frequently used list of attendees?

Yes, if you have listed the attendees on an expense report, you can select the checkbox at the beginning of each name, then click the Create Group button in the right corner of the Attendee section. This group will be available to use and edit for any future expenses in Advanced Search. Groups can also be created under Profile > Profile Settings > Favorite Attendees.  From the Attendee Groups section, the group can also be shared with other Concur users if you select the Send Copy function. See the User Guide for details.

Can I be reimbursed for telephone calls while traveling?

Yes, you can be reimbursed for all business-related calls, but you are limited to one personal call (of reasonable length) per day.

When using my personal vehicle for business, is mileage computed from my place of business or from my home?

Mileage is computed from where you leave to start your business travel to your destination. If you started from home on a normal business day, then you need to deduct your daily commute to the office. For example, if traveling from your home to the airport and back home you will enter your home address into Concur and the airport address and choose round trip. You will then click on deduct commute and select deduct round trip. The system will calculate the mileage and will deduct your daily work commute. This follows the IRS guidelines for mileage reimbursement.

The mileage allowance covers vehicle operating costs such as fuel, repairs, and insurance.

When should I see my University Travel Card charges in the Concur system?

If you used your Travel Card, it will typically take anywhere from 3 to 8 business days for the charges to be imported into Concur.  The system is dependent upon when the merchant sends the transactions to MasterCard, and when MasterCard sends the transactions to Concur.

The expense report cannot be submitted until all credit card charges are available in Concur. The traveler and the travelers' delegates will receive emails from Concur as card charges are added. As soon as the card charges are available, you will be able to process your expense report.

If you are a delegate, verify with your traveler that all credit card expenses and receipts are available in Concur for expense report submission.

How do I allocate my expenses to a different General Ledger (GL) account number or multiple GL account numbers?

In Concur, the account number at the report header can be used for the entire report. If the report needs to be split between multiple GL accounts, use Allocations to assign accounts (Details > Allocations).

Are the costs of vaccinations and immunizations reimbursable if they are required to enter a country that I am visiting for University business?

Yes. Attach original receipts to your expense report. Make sure to obtain a vaccination certificate and to carry it with you during your trip.

May I be reimbursed for the cost to acquire or renew my passport and to obtain a visa for my University business trip to another country?

If the Visa costs, passport, or TSA Pre-Check fees are for a legitimate business purpose and approved, in advance, by the department, it may be reimbursed. You must attach original receipts to your expense report. See the Policy 05-07-01 for additional information. 

How should I submit an agent fee expense?

Use the Booking Fees expense type.  This expense type does not require a receipt.

How will charges appear on my levels?

Reimbursable transactions will appear as Payables with the employee name and report key. Credit card transactions will appear as Travel Card journal entries, and the report key, employee name, and report name will be in the line description.

How do I take a reduction in an expense report?

If you need to reduce a reimbursable amount for budgetary or other reasons, use the Miscellaneous expense type, and enter a negative amount in the Amount field. For example, if the actual mileage calculation is $351.14, but the maximum reimbursable amount is $200, you would enter a Miscellaneous line for [-151.14] to account for the budgeted reimbursable amount.

How do I reimburse a guest or non-employee?

To request payments to guest speakers or non-employees, create an expense report in Concur under your own profile but select the Pitt Guest Expense Policy in the report header. When choosing this policy, additional fields for Vendor ID (Payee Name) and Vendor Site Code (Payee Address) will appear. Select the appropriate payee name and address. If the name and address cannot be found, the supplier record must be created by the Payment Processing department. A W9 or W8-BEN is needed in order to create the record, and it can be attached to the expense report using the New Vendor Supporting Documents expense type. The expense report can be submitted with the W9 or W8-BEN to create the supplier. See the User Guide for details.

How do I review/submit an expense report a delegate has entered for me?

Delegates cannot submit expense reports they enter on behalf of someone else.  When a delegate has completed an Expense Report he clicks Notify Employee. An email notification is sent to the employee. When the employee logs into Concur, on the Homepage the expense report can be found under Open Reports. The status will be Ready for Review.

The employee can click the Expense Report name to open the report, and after reviewing the report, click Submit Report. If the employee has additions or modifications to the expense report before it is submitted, they need to have the delegate open the expense report and click Mark as Not Complete. The Delegate can then continue working in the report, and click Notify Employee when completed.

What is Expense Assistant?

Expense Assistant is an automated expense report feature that was created by Concur. When the feature is turned on, it begin to build an expense report from available, eligible expenses automatically as the expense is loaded into the system. It does this by adding the expenses to an open Expense Report that may be created by the user or auto-created by Expense Assistant.

Any line items that have not been reviewed will be bolded, so that the user knows they were automated and to review them. The user will also get a weekly summary email of automated transactions on an open Expense Report. To stop receiving the weekly summary emails the user must either disable the feature or submit the Expense Report.

Expense Assistant will not submit an expense report. You must still, as always, review and submit the report to your manager for approval. It is best practice to submit only one Expense Report per trip or to consolidate business entertainment expenses onto one report per month whenever possible.

To turn on Expense Assistant, go to the Expense tab within Concur. You will see a blue blue box with an information icon with “Enable Expense Assistant” bolded between the Active Reports and Available Expenses sections. Click on the "Learn More" link to follow instructions to enable the feature. To disable Expense Assistant, click the “Stop this process” link that appears between the Active Reports and Available Expenses sections on the Expense tab within Concur.

Concur has provided an Expense Assistant FAQ with answers to many questions.