Expense Reporting Frequently Asked Questions

Access and Login Issues


Approver Issues

Expense Report Issues






New Sample Reports

Cash Advances


Access and Login Issues - Answers

How do I log in to Expense Reporting as a new user and then once in, what do I do first?

Your username and password for this system will be your Net ID and password, the same used to access your GW email and other GW systems. Due to Single-Sign-On, you must access Expense Reporting via our GW link, ibuy.gwu.edu and click the GW iBuy+ Expense icon.  iBuy Expense Reporting uses the Concur Solutions travel and expense management system.

Once logged in, click on Profile > Profile Settings and follow these instructions on Updating Your Expense Profile before using the system.

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What are common access / login errors encountered in Expense Reporting?

If you go directly to the Concur Solutions website and attempt to log in 3 times, you will be locked out of our GW link to Concur for 24 hours after your last attempt. If this happens, wait the 24 hour time period and then log in the correct way using the link at ibuy.gwu.edu > Log Into Expense Reporting.

The user’s browser cache needs to be cleared. Users must clear their browser history on a regular basis.

Employee has changed status: When an employee changes their Net ID or email address, has a name change, or changes departments within the university, the iBuy Expense Reporting system (Concur) is not automatically updated to reflect the change.

Having iBuy Expense Reporting simultaneously open in more than one device (PC, laptop, mobile) can create login issues.

If access is blocked or denied, all users can check if the problem originated within Concur, such as with its Travel, Expense, Receipt, or Mobile servers, by going to https://open.concur.com for the Concur Service Status Dashboard.

For assistance, please contact the iBuy Help Desk at [email protected] or 571-553-4477.

Note: The on-line expense reporting system is reserved for GW employees, and it is generally not available to students. However, some non-employees and graduate students can be designated as Affiliates of the university and permitted access.  See iBuy + Expense Reporting System Affiliate Access Form.  Questions about the form should be directed to [email protected].

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What are the requirements for logging into my Concur mobile account?

Prior to setting up their Concur mobile account, users must ensure that both their gwu.edu and email.gwu.edu email addresses are input in their iBuy Expense Reporting (Concur) profile in the Email Addresses section.

New users must check the mobile instructions for their device.

Smart Phone Setup and Training

Using Concur Mobile Devices - - for Android (video) or (PDF Guide) v. 9.60.1 - Sep 12, 2018

Using Concur Mobile Devices - - for iPhone (video) or (PDF Guide) v. 9.60.1 - Sep 12, 2018

Please note that Concur’s mobile app guides provide brief "how to" steps. It assumes that the user already knows how to use the web version of Concur and already understands the concepts of Expense (expenses, itemizations, attendees, etc.), Travel (booking, rules, etc.), Invoice (payment requests, purchase requests, etc.), the approval process, and so on. It also assumes that the user is generally familiar with his/her mobile device.

For information on the best way to purchase mobile devices for university business, please refer to the GW Cell Phone Program.

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Delegates - Answers

Video: Watch our 'Delegate Function in Concur Expense' Video!

How do I add, edit, or delete delegates in Expense Reporting?

See Delegate - Add, edit or delete (PDF) for instructions.

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How do I determine if I am acting as a delegate for someone else?

In the upper right of the Concur Expense Reporting home page, select the Profile tab. The “Acting as other user __” field will either be blank (meaning you are working on your own behalf) or will show the name of the individual for whom you are administering. To change the person for whom you are administering, click in the drop down list to make your selection. See also the Acting as a Delegate online simulation or Acting As a Delegate (PDF).

How will I know when a report has been filed by a delegate?

An email notification will go out when a delegate has filed a report in your name. No action is needed from you when this email is received. It’s just an FYI that a report has been filed and the name and amount of the report. We hope this will alleviate issues of reports filed in error and will provide you full information on transactions being done in your name.

Delegate notification

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Approver Issues - Answers

How do I add or change an expense report approver?

Adding or changing approvers is now done after clicking the Submit Report button. To enable adds and changes, a user must  first go to Expense Preferences in their Concur Profile and check off the Prompt... for an approver when an expense report is submitted option. With this option, after submitting a report, an Edit Approval Workflow page becomes available. The user can then make approver changes, even if they have selected a Default Approver. See the new approval flow process at Adding or Changing Approvers in Report (PDF).

To enter a Default Approver, open your Profile in iBuy Expense Reporting and select Expense Approvers. You can enter a default report approver here and also select a cash advance approver if you qualify for advances. A user should enter a Default Approver only if they expect to have a single approver for all of their reports.

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What corrections can an Approver make to a report they receive?

Here is an explanation of Corrections an Approver can make to a report they receive (PDF).


How do I designate a temporary report approver?

In the Expense Delegates section, located in the Profile tab, you can add a new or select an existing delegate and check the Can Approve Temporary permissions box. Enter the date range during which the delegate will perform work on your behalf.

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How do I route an expense report to the correct approver in the approval workflow?

Default Approver can add to the workflow and input an appropriate person as the next approver.  After reviewing the report, the Default Approver should look to the right and select the “Submit and Forward” button, which will allow them to enter in a new approver’s name.  This action will forward the report to that person.  See Adding an Additional Review Step (PDF).

User or Delegate must first review their Concur profile Expense Preferences to make sure the Prompt for approver option is selected. See instructions Adding or Changing Approvers in Report (PDF).


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What is a partial expense report approval?

Partial Report Approval is a Concur feature which allows approvers to select specific lines of an expense report for approval.  Should lines on your expense report not be approved, you will be advised of this through an email notification containing the approver’s comments. The lines not approved will be returned to you within an addendum expense report in an unsubmitted status. This report’s name will reference the name of the original expense report. You should take timely action to correct the issues noted and submit the addendum expense report for approval. More details on this process are available.

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Can an expense report be approved using a mobile device?

All Approvers who send approvals via mobile device will be prompted to input an approval code. This is a standard safeguard against fraudulent activity.  The required approval code must be created in their iBuy Expense Reporting Profile.

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How do I know when I need to add a Grant Approver?

On December 1, 2017 a new streamlined approver system was put into place to limit the types of expenses requiring grant approval and to allow grant approvers to quickly identify the items they are required to review. These particular natural accounts (expense types) have been flagged in Concur and will alert you if your report requires grant approval when you hit submit. If one of the accounts is used on your report, the report will request you add a grant approver. If your report does not contain one of the specified accounts, the report only needs to go to your regular approver.

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My report was submitted back in October, but is pending approval. Will this mean I have to resubmit the report?

No, reports submitted prior to December 1, 2017 will keep the same routing process as before. This will only effect reports that are submitted starting in December.

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What are the accounts that will require grant approval routing through OVPR?

Require Grant Approval Routing

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Why are the workflows for grant transactions being updated?

When Concur was initially implemented at GW, the system was configured so that every expense report with an allocation to a sponsored project (i.e., grant) required Grant Approver review and approval.  Based on our experience with the system, we have designed an alternate configuration that allows only expense reports with transactions requiring RSC approval (as currently defined for EAS Expenditure Types) to be routed to a Grant Approver, resulting in greater consistency between EAS and Concur workflows.  The current list of Expenditure Types and identification of those requiring RSC approval can be found at https://coa.it.gwu.edu/

This update is unrelated to the Expenditure Review Initiative currently underway. Any changes to accounts/expenditure types requiring RSC approval as a result of that initiative or future changes will be updated in both EAS and Concur to maintain consistency.

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Expense Report Issues - ANSWERS

When should I submit an expense report? 

Users must wait for their charges to be processed by the bank and sent to the Concur system, which may take one or two or even several days.  To check the status of your charges, log into iBuy Expense Reporting and click on your Expense tab to see  your Available Expenses. If you do not see the expected P-Card charge(s), then your transaction(s) was not received from the bank that day.  Once the transaction is transmitted to GW, you will be able to view the transaction in Available Expenses and import them into a new or existing Expense Report. GW expects all available expenses to be reported within 30 days of their appearance in iBuy Expense Reporting. GW cardholders who do not report their P-Card expenses in a timely fashion will receive email alerts at 30 days for overdue status, attention to Human Resources at 40 days, and notice of card suspension at 60 days.

NOTE:  Please review the P-Card Frequently Asked Questions located on the GW Procurement site for more information about the notification protocol for delinquent reporting.

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How do I create an expense report?

Please see basic instructions in How to Create an Expense Report.  Contact the iBuy Help Desk at [email protected] or 571-553-4477 if you need assistance with expense reporting processes.

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Can I submit out-of-pocket expenses prior to travel?

See these guidelines for reporting future-dated transactions.

Can conferences, workshops and other events be submitted for out of pocket reimbursement prior to the event date? 

No, conference/training fees which have not been charged to a P-Card are not eligible for reimbursement until the employee begins attending the conference or event.  This ensures that the registration fee is actually used and eliminates the need for the employee to reimburse the university should attendance be canceled.  We recommend use of the P-card for these advance purchases to take advantage of early registration discounts and eliminate any financial burden on the employee by carrying the registration fees until they are eligible for reimbursement. You have until 60 days from the end travel date to submit all out of pocket costs.  At 61 days they are no longer eligible for reimbursement.

What if it is for a Virtual Conference or Workshop?

The rule applies to this in the same way.  Reimbursement for out of pocket costs can only occur starting on the first day of the virtual meeting.

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How do I make changes to my expense report header?

If you have an unsubmitted report and would like to change the Report Header, open the expense report that needs to be changed and go to Report Details > Report Header. From there you can make appropriate changes. Click Save.  See also the Allocations FAQs section.

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How do I move a transaction to a different report?

On your report page, check the box to the left of the expense that you want to move. From the drop-down menu on the Move To button, select the report to which you want to move the expense.

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How can I remove a P-Card transaction that I imported into the wrong report?

On your report page, you can delete that particular expense line (check the box next to the expense & click the Delete button) and the imported P-Card transaction will move back to your P-Card transaction queue in Available Expenses. The "delete" function only deletes the expense line from the report but never the P-Card transaction. Alternatively, you can select that expense line and move it to either a new report or another open report.

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What do I do if an expense type is not available in the drop-down list ?

If an expense type needed for a report does not appear in the Expense Type drop-down list, do not attempt to manually add it. Contact the iBuy Help Desk at [email protected] or 571-553-4477 and report the problem. The user's school or department will determine if that expense type needs to be added to the system.

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How do I view and print past reports?

To save or print report copies, open the homepage for iBuy Expense Reporting, choose Expense, then click Report Library just below Manage Expenses on your expense home page. Use the View drop-down menu to select which past reports you want to see. Open each report you need and click the Print / Email button > *GW Detailed Report.  You will have the option to print this copy of the report or open and save the report in PDF format. For this, choose the Open with Adobe Acrobat (default) option and do a Save As to your personal file or folder. 

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Can I put different categories of expenses on one report?

Different types of expenses can be included in a single report:   P-Card Charges, Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Reimbursement, Grant as well as Non-Grant expenses,  Charges which clear Cash Advances, and others. See How to Create an Expense Report.  Exception: Create a separate expense report for fraudulent charges on your P-Card.

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How do I handle fraudulent charges on my P-Card?

See these instructions on handling fraudulent charges in a report on what immediate actions to take and how to create the expense report.

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How does the process of matching expenses work?

Concur attempts to match all unassigned credit card transactions, itinerary items, and e-receipts. If it is determined that two items represent the same transaction, Concur matches (combines) the two items and presents one combined item in the Available Expense section of the system. All users must choose the E-Receipt Activation option in their profile to enable this matching.

See the information below on two apparent “charges” for one travel expense.

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If I see what looks like a duplicate travel expense, how do I determine if it is a Trip Itinerary?

Almost all e-receipts are automatically matched to their corresponding P-Card charge. However, for Concur travel expenses, the Concur system requires that the actual Travel Expense and its corresponding Trip Itinerary are matched and combined by the user.  Trip itineraries appear in the user's Available Expenses queue along with P-Card charges. Out-of-Pocket trip itineraries can also appear in Available Expenses, but only for purchases using the Concur TripIt app.

To match the travel expense with its itinerary, go to your report page. If you select at least two expense check boxes and if the selected expense are from different sources (for example, credit card and e-receipt) and  if the selected expenses can be matched then the Combine Expenses button becomes available.

This allows a travel expense and its corresponding trip itinerary to be combined into a single expense line for a report. See this example (PDF).

Please note these options for handling a Trip Itinerary:

  • If the user has not yet submitted their report, they need to simply perform the required match of the actual trip expense and the trip itinerary.
  • If the user has submitted the report, the approver needs to return it to the user, and the user must then delete the trip itinerary line.
  • If the report has already been fully processed and approved, it is acceptable for the user to delete the itinerary line, which returns it to the user’s Available Expenses library. Concur has assured us that the itinerary will  eventually be automatically removed by the system and that this will have no impact on the expense report’s submission or approval. 

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Why was my report returned for a better business purpose?

Try to look at your business purpose from the view of someone unfamiliar with your trip details. Would that person be able to confirm this was a work related expense? Is it too general? Do we know why the expense occurred?  Supplies and meals are the two areas with the most confusion. Check out other examples in Appendix C of the Travel, Entertainment and Business Expense Reimbursement Manual.

            INSTEAD OF: “Supplies” or “Lab Supplies” or even a person’s name
            USE: Name + Reason

  • Dr. Smith recurring monthly supplies
  • Dr. Smith supplies for presentation
  • Dr. Smith supplies for Project XYZ.
The goal is to state what the supplies are *for*.
INSTEAD OF: "Business Meal"
USE: Purpose of meal


  • Discussion on award participants
  • Lunch during conference
In all business purposes, the goal is to show the business justification for the charge.

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Receipts - Answers

What are Available Receipts?

Concur’s Available Receipts library (formerly the Receipt Store) is a repository to which you can email or upload receipt images that are to be attached to expense lines. Images are uploaded in one of three ways:

  • using a Concur-verified email address provided by you during setup;
  • using the Concur mobile app (available for Blackberry, Android, iPhone and iPad devices;
  • by uploading receipts that are saved on your computer (go to Available Receipts and click 'Upload', then browse to select the receipt image).

All images must be in the supported formats of JPEG, PDF, PNG or TIF.  See Working with Available Receipts.

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Should I use the Available Receipts feature or only save receipts on my computer?

You can upload a receipt to a particular expense line item by clicking Attach Receipt in that line item, choosing Browse, and finding the image or PDF on your computer. Some users may feel more comfortable saving receipts in a private file or folder. But if a user has a delegate who prepares and submits reports on their behalf, that delegate will only be able to access receipts located in the user’s Available Receipts library. 

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Why won't my receipt attach to the expense?

Check these possible sources of error when a receipt cannot be attached:

  • All receipts must be in the PDF, PNG, JPG, TIFF, or HTML file format. 
  • Concur can only upload a receipt image up to 5 MB in size. To correct this, see the Receipt – Reducing Receipt Image Size instructions.
  • A file which is password protected cannot be used, since Concur cannot decrypt them.
  • Do not try to attach a PDF Portfolio file instead of a standard PDF file. To recognize one from the other, review this Alert, which contains instructions on how to extract the file (receipt) from a portfolio file.  Note:  Vendors occasionally send receipts via PDF Portfolio because it is an easy way to combine multiple files into one file, including Word or Excel files, web pages, videos, and more. Also, GW users may inadvertently scan to a portfolio or select "Save As" then "PDF Portfolio", which will cause an error in Expense.  You must view all receipts after attaching them to verify that they are readable.

How do I handle JP Morgan-Chase auto-receipts?

GW now allows some receipts to be automatiocally sent to all users' Expense Home Page. They will appear in the Receipts receptacle for an expense. Just click the Detach button to remove the auto-receipt. This allows you to Attach your vendor's receipt. See Working with Auto Receipts (PDF)

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What is the difference between an invoice and a receipt?

An Invoice is a request for payment after a good or service has been delivered, while a Receipt is a proof of payment made immediately for a good or service rendered upon receipt of the payment, such as buying an item in a store, paying for a meal, e.g., or for paying by credit card (personal or P-Card) for a future service, such as an airline ticket or placing a deposit for a hotel reservation. 

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What do I do if the receipt is lost?

Contact the merchant and request a copy of the itemized, detailed receipt. Most merchants, including hotels, car rental agencies, and restaurants, will provide a copy of a receipt upon request.

If a copy of the receipt cannot be obtained from the merchant, it’s preferable to use the Missing Receipt Declaration form accessed in the Receipts drop-down menu within your report. However, a delegate may not use the declaration  form. They must upload the Missing Receipt Acknowledgement and Approval Form as the receipt. 

See Missing Receipt Instructions (PDF) on how to use these forms.

Why do I get an error when trying to attach a receipt?

Users will receive an error message when they try to attach a receipt if a JP Morgan-Chase auto-receipt already populates the Receipts box for an expense. See the instructions for Concur Auto Receipts (PDF).

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Itemizations - Answers

When do I itemize an expense?

An expense should be itemized on the following occasions:

  • To itemize Nightly Lodging expenses;
  • To separate legitimate university expenses from personal expenses; and
  • To assign a single transaction to multiple Expense Types.

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How do I itemize travel expenses?

See Sample Reports: Travel Report - Airfare with Trip Itinerary, Taxi, and Personal Car expenses.

How do I split a charge between Business and Personal expense?

See How to Itemize a Split Expense (PDF) which is to be paid partially by personal funds (e.g., airline upgrades, laundry or movie charges on a hotel bill).

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Attendees - Answers

How do I add attendees to a business meal or conference expense?

See Adding Attendees to an Expense (PDF).

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Can I add meal attendees using my Google calendar?

In addition to the ability to add favorite groups of attendees for easy addition to a report, we now have the ability to add them using the Google Calendar invite. Simply add [email protected] as one of your attendees in the invite. This will then automatically pull the “yes” responders into a concur expense that you can attach to a report. The expense will show in Concur as the name of the meeting invite. 

 It’s important to use the email ending with @gwu.edu instead of @email.gwu.edu for GW attendees. Using the @email.gwu.edu causes the name to import incorrectly. If you get a name that comes through a little garbled; click on the name and edit. 

Please be sure to confirm all names, type and account are correct when adding to the report.

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How do I add attendees for a large event?

For an event with 30 or more attendees, the report processor does not have to input attendees individually, but a listing of attendees should be attached. If the event was open to the public; attach a copy of the flyer or email that announced the event. PLEASE NOTE that Concur requires at least one attendee be entered, so even if a flyer/email is attached to the expense line, the processor must still input one name in the Attendees field. The document for the large event should be saved in PDF, and it can be attached to the expense line as a 2nd receipt.
For an event with under 30 attendees, the report processor must enter attendees individually or click the Favorites button in the Attendees field to attach an Attendee Group they have saved. To create a new Attendee Group, the user can click the Import button. A user can also see existing groups and create new ones by going to iBuy Expense Reporting > Profile > Profile Settings > Expense Settings > Favorite Attendees.

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Allocations -- Answers

How do I allocate expenses in a report? 

See these step-by-step instructions: Allocating Expenses in a Report.

How do I change the Oracle Alias for a report?

Instructions on changing the Oracle Alias in a report includes changing the Grant/Non-Grant status and Oracle Alias fields in an Expense Report.  All GW Expense (Concur) users are assigned a 6-digit default Oracle Alias which appears automatically in the Report Header of a new report. However, since all active EAS Aliases are selectable in iBuy Expense, users are able to select an alternate Grant or Non-Grant alias from the Oracle Alias drop-down menu. To facilitate quicker expense reporting, Concur retains the selections a user enters into the Grant/Non-Grant and Oracle Alias fields and lists the most recently used values in bold. That way, if you are entering multiple expense reports to the same alias, you will not need to search for the alias.

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How do I view to which Oracle alias an expense is allocated?

There are two ways to view this information (as an approver or user, prior to submitting). Once you have opened a report, go to Report Details > Report Header. The Oracle Alias listed here is the default Oracle Alias for the expenses in that report. Within the report, any expense with an icon resembling a pie chart indicates that the expense has been allocated to a different Oracle Alias other than the one in the Report Header. You can hover over the icon to see the allocation.

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Sample Reports

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Cash Advances - Answers

How do I request a cash advance?

Requesting a Cash Advance (PDF)

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How do I add a cash advance to a report or return a balance?

Adding a Cash Advance to a Report and Returning a Balance (PDF)

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Reimbursements - Answers

How does an employee submit a request for an expense reimbursement?

  • Scan your receipts and save them as PDF or JPEG files in the Available Receipts library in iBuy Expense Reporting.
  • On a new or existing report, Click the  + New Expense  tab
  • Input the expense type (natural account code) in the Expense field and complete all other required fields. Travel or lodging will require itemization of your expenses. A business meal will require you to provide Attendee information. You must Save each itemization or attendee upon completing the information.                                                                                                          
  • Next, select Available Receipts to attach your receipts to the relevant expense line.
  • Be sure that the Total Amount and Total Requested dollar amounts in the report are equal
  • Click Save, then click Submit Report
  • Once your Approver has approved all expenses on your report, your reimbursable out-of-pocket expense will be sent to the Accounts Payable Department for processing.  If you are a GW employee set up with direct deposit, your reimbursement will be deposited directly into your account, generally within 5 business days.

Contact Accounts Payable Customer Service at [email protected] or 571-553-0247 if you have questions about the status of your reimbursement.

Note 1:  If the expense for which you seek reimbursement occurred after your official employment dates with GW, you cannot use iBuy Expense Reporting for your reimbursement. You must use the Payment Request Form located on the Accounts Payable website. Contact AP Customer Service if you need assistance.  University-related expenses incurred prior to your official employment date must be processed through iBuy Expense Reporting.

Note 2: The University does not allow reimbursement of commuting costs to/from home and your normal place of business.         

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Can per diem be used on travel?

The university does not use "per diem" (i.e. a flat daily rate to cover business expenses) except in unusual cases involving extended stays, travel to certain countries lacking stable currencies or where credit card usage is not favored, or other special circumstances for which approval by the appropriate vice president or dean is obtained in writing prior to travel.  Please use the Per Diem Calculator for calculating and documenting per diems when approved under the exception in our travel policy. 

If the traveler identifies that the per diem rate is greater than their needs (e.g., because some meals are included with lodging or provided at conferences, etc.) the Per Diem Calculator can and should be used to reduce the daily per diem rate for meals and incidentals based on the items provided by alternate means.  The worksheet also automatically pro-rates the per diem for first and last day of travel to 75%. 

The completed worksheet, along with the Dean/VP pre-approval, should be attached to the expense report in Concur.

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How do students and non-employees submit reimbursement requests?

iBuy Expense (Concur) is used only for employee expense reimbursements. Students and non-employees must submit the Payment Request Form for non-employee related expense reimbursements to Accounts Payable. The completed and approved Payment Request Form and all receipts should be submitted as attachments using the online Invoice Submission Form. Consultants/contractors who incur expenses on behalf of GW should include the expenses on their invoices. Receipts should be provided and forwarded with the related invoice to Accounts Payable for payment. The PO number (if applicable) should be visible on the invoice.

For assistance, Accounts Payable should be contacted at [email protected] or 571-553-0247. 

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How to I reimburse GW if I mistakenly used a P-Card for a personal expense?

The error must be reported and the reimbursement made as soon as possible.  See the instructions, Exp Reimbursement to GW for Personal Use of P-Card, on how to reimburse GW for this error.                                                                      

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For questions on Expense Reporting, please contact the iBuy help desk at 571-553-4477.

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