Expense How-Tos

Find information relating to travel or business-related expenses.

Need Training? Take the Concur Travel and Expense training in ELM, Columbia's Enterprise Learning Management system.

    The Travel and Expense Corporate Card (T&E Corporate Card) is a Visa credit card issued by Bank of America. It can be used by eligible individuals to pay for University-approved travel and business-related expenses. It is a corporate liable card product with all expenses paid by the University, reducing the need for out-of-pocket expenditures by employees. However, please note that the cardholder is responsible for the monthly reconciliation of charges in Concur.

    For information about the Travel and Expense Corporate Card, including training and applications, visit Travel and Expense Corporate Card.

    Original receipts must be provided for all air, lodging, and rental car expenses. For all other expense types, receipts must be provided if the expense is equal to or in excess of $50.

    For international operations receipts, original receipts are required for expenses over $10. See the Cash Advance for International Operations Policy for more information.

    A receipt may take many forms, including:

    • Cash register receipt
    • Copy of an order form
    • Web receipt or confirmation

    A receipt must identify:

    • Date of purchase
    • Vendor name
    • Itemized list and unit price of the purchased items
    • Total Amount

    To upload receipts to your expense report, you may use:

    • Concur Mobile App – take a photo of your receipt and upload it to the App
    • Concur Expense – upload a scanned image of your receipt
    • Email an image of your receipt to Concur Expense (this must be set up in your Concur Profile)

    Please note: Original receipts must be kept until the Expense Report has been fully approved, i.e. gone through all the workflow steps and approved by Accounts Payable.

    If the you are unable to obtain a receipt that contains all the required information, documentation should be submitted to demonstrate as many of the required items as possible. A copy of your credit or debit card statement identifying the date, location and amount of the expense, or a rental agreement, may be submitted along with a description of the purchase, identifying the amount of any expenses to be segregated (i.e., alcohol). You may also submit a missing receipt affidavit in Concur.

    Download the Adding a Missing Receipt Declaration to a Concur Expense Item job aid for the procedure.

    See the Business Expense Policy for more information on receipts.

    For information on Business Expenses, see the Business Expense Policy. For travel expenses, see the Travel Expense Policy.


    Travel and Business Expense Report

    To learn how to create and complete a Travel and Business Expense Report, view and download Job Aid: Creating Expense Reports in Concur.


    Business Expense Report

    To learn how to create and complete a business Expense Report, visit Video: Creating and Submitting a Business Expense Report. Example expenses include:

    • Office Supplies
    • Meals for 10 or more attendees

    Travel Expense Report

    To learn how to create a travel Expense Report for travel that includes an overnight stay, visit Video: Creating and Submitting a Travel Expense Report.

    For individual examples of travel expenses, refer to the Concur Travel and Expense training.


    Using Per Diems

    To learn how to use per diems on a Travel Expense Report in Concur, visit Video: Using Per Diems on Travel Expense Report in Concur or download the Using Per Diems on a Travel Expense Report in Concur job aid.


    Itemizing Hotel/Lodging

    To learn how to itemize hotels and/or lodging on a Travel Expense Report in Concur, visit Video: Itemizing Hotel/Lodging in a Travel Expense Report in Concur or download the Itemizing Hotel/Lodging in a Travel Expense Report in Concur job aid.


    Concur Expense Types

    To learn how Concur Expense Types match with Natural Accounts in Accounting and Reporting at Columbia (ARC), download the Concur Expense Type to ARC Natural Account Mapping job aid.


    Concur Expense Policy Exception Approval

    To learn the Concur expense policy exception approval requirements and associated workflow for travel and business expenses, download the Concur Expense Policy Exception Approval Workflow Requirements job aid.

    Supplemental Approval and Supplemental Approval Forms are no longer necessary. Instead, Concur Expense Audit Rules have been configured to require Payee / Financial Approver justification or route reports to Senior Business Officers.

    Expense Reports submitted through Concur that contain policy exceptions not covered by Concur Expense Audit rules and require Senior Business Officer Approval no longer require submission of a signed exception form as supporting documentation. Instead, Senior Business Officers will be inserted into the Concur workflow as an AdHoc Approver by the Supervisor / Initial Reviewer or Financial Approver.

    Non-Profiled Payee Travel and Business Expense Worksheet webform is available to assist guests, students, and employees who have not been granted access to Concur (aka non-profiled payees) with the organization of reimbursable travel and business expenses. The completed webform can then be used by an authorized departmental Concur user to process a CU-Non-Profiled Payee Expense Report in Concur as outlined below:

    1. Fill out or ask the non-profiled payee to fill out the Non-Profiled Payee Travel and Business Expense Worksheet. The worksheet can be sent electronically as an attachment or provided as a printed PDF to an authorized departmental Concur user for processing along with supporting documentation, including receipts.
    2. Prior to processing the expense report in Concur, users should check ARC to validate that the payee has an active vendor profile and take note of the vendor ID and vendor classification (Employee, Outside Party, Student Employee, or Student Non-Employee). Departments will not be able to reimburse non-profiled payees without an active ARC vendor profile and must continue to leverage the ARC vendor maintenance process for Outside Party Vendors. Note, vendor profiles for Employees and Students are being set up systematically via integration with PAC and SIS and the associated vendor IDs have a prefix of ‘CNR’.    
    3. Departmental authorized Concur users will select CU Non-Profiled Payee as the Type of Report in Concur, selecting the Vendor Type (Employee, Outside Party, Student Employee, or Student Non-Employee) as well as the Vendor Name / ID.
    4. After completing the Concur expense report header and line details, Concur users will submit the expense report into the workflow. Expnese Reports for Non-Profiled Payees will route to an Initial Reviewer (not Supervisor) if the expenses are being charged to a Sponsored Project (when PC Business Unit is SPONS). If expenses are not being charged to a Sponsored Project, workflow will skip the Initial Reviewer and route directly to the Financial Approver. 

    View and download the Viewing Past Concur Expense Reports job aid, which details the steps to view the past Expense Reports that you submitted as a Payee and, if you have a Concur Approver role, the past Expense Reports that you have approved.

    For reports and their applications, visit Reporting for Administrators.

    Still have questions?

    Visit our Finance Service Center.