Expense Reporting Frequently Asked Questions

Access and Login Issues

Expense Report Issues

Delegates

Approver Issues

Cash Advances

Allocations

Reimbursements

Receipts

Itemizations

Attendees

See the Attendee Help Guide for an overview of attendees and attendee lists.

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 Log Into Expense Reporting 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.

Return to Top

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.

For assistance, please contact the iBuy Help Desk at ibuy@gwu.edu 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 expense@gwu.edu.

Return to Top

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 provided at ibuy.gwu.edu > 24/7 ONLINE TRAINING.    

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.

Return to Top

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 My Concur Tab or 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.

Return to Top

How do I create an expense report?

See these Basic Instructions on creating an expense report. See also the Itemizations FAQs section for processing more complex reports with hotel and business meal expenses.

Return to Top

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 Details > Report Header. From there you can make appropriate changes. Click Save.  See also the Allocations FAQs section.

Return to Top

How do I move a transaction to a different report?

Check the box to the left of the expense that you want to move.  From the dropdown menu on the Move button above the expense list, select the report to which you want to move the expense.

Return to Top

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

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 unassigned P-Card transaction queue. The “delete” function only deletes the expense line from the report but never the P-Card transaction.

Return to Top

What do I do if an expense type is not available in the dropdown 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 ibuy@gwu.edu 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.

Return to Top

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 on the right side of the page. Use the View dropdown 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. 

Return to Top

Can I put different categories of expenses on one report?

Different types of expenses, i.e., P-Card Charges, Expense Reimbursements, Charges which clear Cash Advances, can be included in a single report. See Adding Card Transactions to an Expense Report and Adding an Out-of-Pocket Expense to an Expense Report.   Exception:  Create a separate expense report for fraudulent charges on your P-Card.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

What do I do when I see two "charges" for the same travel expense?

Almost all e-receipts are automatically matched to their corresponding P-Card charge. However, for Concur travel expenses, the Expense Reporting system requires that a Trip Expense and its corresponding Trip Itinerary be manually matched by the user. The Trip Itinerary is a required informational document – not a charge. The Travel Itinerary icon is a blue plane/train/etc., as opposed to the orange circle that represents a P-Card charge.  If the user/delegate does not match these two lines, it may appear that they have been double-charged. To match the two items, the user imports them from their Available Expenses (if the items do not already appear in the report), then selects the box for each and clicks the Match button. The Trip Itinerary will no longer appear in the report.

Actions to take:

  • 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. 

Return to Top

How do I report an expense for a future flight or hotel stay?

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.

Can per diem be used for travel expenses?

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.

Return to Top

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 “You are Administering for: __” 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).

Return to Top

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. See also the Acting as a Delegate online simulation or Acting As a Delegate (PDF).

Return to Top

How do I add or change an expense report approver?

Open your Profile in iBuy Expense Reporting, and in the left hand column, select Expense Approvers. If you do not have an approver selected, then when submitting a report, Concur will prompt you to supply an approver for your report.  A name must be entered for the report to complete the “Submit” process. If you have more than one approver, it is recommended that you leave the default Expense Approver section blank. Or you can go the Expense Preferences section and check off the Prompt…  For an approver when an expense report is submitted option.  With this option, your default approver appears upon submitting a report, but you are able to change it if desired.

Return to Top

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

A 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.   

A User or Delegate can, within a report, go to Details > Approval Flow and add one or more approvers to the workflow by clicking on the blue + buttons.   A user can hover their mouse over the button(s) to see where the approval flow will be placed -- before or after an existing approver.  See Adding an Additional Review Step.

A misdirected report will not be approved but “Sent Back to Employee,” so it can still be changed and re-submitted to the correct approver. To correct a report sent to the wrong approver, a user must go to their Profile and select Expense Approvers in the left column. In the Default approver for your expense reports box, the user enters the correct approver, clicks Save, and chooses Submit Report again.

However, to avoid reports being misdirected, users with multiple approvers are recommended to leave the Default Approver field blank in their Profile. With no Default Approver, the system will automatically prompt the user for an Approver every time a report is submitted.  This allows the user to choose which of their Approvers should be entered. 

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

How do I request a cash advance?

Requesting a Cash Advance (PDF)

Return to Top

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)

Return to Top

How do I allocate an expense to an Oracle alias which is different form the default alias given in the report header?

Note that the alias shown in the Report Header will apply to all expenses unless they are individually re-allocated within the report.  To do this,

  • In the expense report, go to the Details drop-down menu and choose Allocations.(Alternatively, you can select a single expense line and click on the Allocations button on the lower right of the report screen.)
  • In the Expense List section, select the box for each expense that needs to be allocated.
  • In the Allocations section, designate the appropriate alias to charge.
  1. In the Grant/Non-Grant field, select the drop-down menu and wait for the “Searching..,” process to complete.  After the two options appear, click on the one you need.
  2. Tab to the Oracle Alias field and select the drop-down menu. Click the Text or Code radio button depending on which you prefer to locate, then wait for the “Searching...” process to complete.
  3. Next, enter the Oracle Alias number in the field. Do not press the Enter key, but once again wait for the full line to appear within the drop-down box, then select it.
  • Press the Save button.

Return to Top

How do I allocate an expense to a grant?

Use the Report Header if all of the expenses in the report go to the same grant.

  • All fields, beginning with the Report Name, must be filled in before selecting the Grant/Non-Grant option and the Alias number.
  • In the Grant/Non-Grant field, select the drop-down menu and wait for the “Searching..,” process to complete.  After the two options appear, click on Grant.
  • Tab to the Oracle Alias field and select the drop-down menu, click the Text radio button, then wait for the “Searching...” process to complete.
  • Next, enter the Oracle Alias number in the field. Do not press the Enter key, but wait for the full award line to appear within the drop-down box and then select it.

Note:  When the Oracle Alias number is not available, use the Award Number.

Follow the above steps, but in the Oracle Alias field, type an asterisk * followed by the award number. Again, wait for the award line to appear before selecting it. 

  • Click the Next >> button to continue with the report.

If expenses on the report are to be charged to different aliases, use the Allocations screen within the report.

  • In the expense report, go to the Details drop-down menu and choose Allocations.
  • In the Expense List section, select the box for each expense that needs to be allocated.
  • In the Allocations section, designate the appropriate alias to charge using steps 2-4 in the Report Header section above. 

Press the Save button.

Return to Top

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 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.

Return to Top

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 apcustsv@gwu.edu 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 either before or 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.

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

Return to Top

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 apcustsv@gwu.edu or 571-553-0247. 

Return to Top

What do I do 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.                                                                      

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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.

Return to Top

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. 

Return to Top

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, either the Missing Receipt Affidavit form accessed by the Attach Receipt button within your report or the Missing Receipt Acknowledgement and Approval Form must be uploaded as the receipt.  Delegates must use the Missing Receipt Acknowledgement and Approval Form.

Please note that only expenses above $35.00 must be reported. The form must be completed in its entirety, signed by the employee and approved by the management representative to whom the employee reports. Note that the form is not intended to replace a missing/lost receipt on a consistent basis.  Lost/missing receipts should be infrequent and unusual, as most receipts can be reprinted or easily requested (i.e., hotels, catering, restaurants if the date is provided) from the merchant, and they should generally be for small dollar amounts.

Return to Top

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.

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. See the Itemizing Expenses online simulation.

Return to Top

How do I itemize food and alcohol expenses?

Instructions on itemizing expenses for food and alcohol include reporting business meals with and without alcohol. 

Return to Top

How do I itemize nightly lodging expenses?

Instructions on itemizing nightly lodging expenses include how to itemize when your hotel bill has multiple night charges with varying room and tax rates.. 

Return to Top

What do I do if I get a data entry error for an attendee list?

The data entry requirements for Concur’s attendee lists are very strict. If you receive an “Unexpected System Error” message and are unable to import your attendee list, it may be due to one of the data entry requirements shown below.

If this is the case, you will have to correct the attendee list and re-attach it to the expense in your report.  If you have already created and saved this spreadsheet to your PC, you will only have to re-enter the data. Otherwise you must go to one of your reports or create a new report with an expense line having attendees, then use the attendee Import button to download the corrected spreadsheet. Below is a view of the Concur Attendee Type Import spreadsheet with notes on some common input errors.

Attendee Type Errors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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