Reimbursement of expenses

If you are conducting University of Ottawa business, you can request reimbursement from University-administered funds for authorized, legitimate and reasonable expenses.

News and updates

Concur expense management system

Regular employees can request reimbursement for expenses online using the Concur expense management system.

Travel expenses

When an employee travels outside of the city limits of Ottawa and Gatineau, the associated expenses are considered travel expenses. Eligible travel expenses are reimbursed through Concur for all employees with an active employment contract. For any travel reimbursement request, a pre-approval must be attached to the Concur claim (except for APUO members).

You can refer to the following cheat sheet to help you navigate the Concur system. User guides, by stages and topics, are also available under the "Traveler user guides" menu.

Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER)

 

Professional expense reimbursement

As per section 40.9 of the APUO Collective Agreement, APUO members may request a professional expense reimbursement (PER) when they incur expenses through work or acquire work-related supplies and equipment. Note that in order for a reimbursement to be admissible, the item or the service purchased must be received or rendered. Also, the original receipt for each purchase must be included in the SAP Concur reimbursement claim.

How the PER works

On May 1 of every year, the University of Ottawa deposits $1,625 into your account (you can check your account by logging into the FAST leave management system (on-campus access only). You can spend that amount as you go or accumulate it over a period of up to three years, to a maximum of $4,875 (three times $1,625). Exceptionally in 2020, an additional amount of 1 000 $ has been deposited in each PER account. Therefore, the maximum cumulative is 5 875 $.

Eligible PER expenses

Eligible expenses can include items such as:

  • Fees for membership in professional societies
  • Registration fees and travel expenses for conferences
  • Cellphone and Internet fees -  *** Only the work related portion of these services is admissible for reimbursement. Make sure to indicate this percentage (in the “Comment” field) in your Concur claim. In the field “Amount”, enter only the amount you are claiming. (i.e. if 50% of your usage is work related and your monthly bill equals 80 $, the amount admissible for reimbursement would be 40 $)
  • Publication costs and purchase of instructional and research material such as:
    • Books, manuals and professional publications
    • Office equipment
    • Software and online subscriptions
    • Computers and tablets
    • Computer accessories
    • Professional trainings
    • Teaching, research and laboratory material

Additional important information

  • For online orders, it is important to include the delivery confirmation in your Concur claim. This can be an email confirmation from the company shipping the item, or a simple attestation from the buyer that the item has been received.
  • Pursuant to article 40.9.5 of the APUO collective agreement, if your expenses exceed the reimbursement limit, the outstanding amount can be carried forward for a maximum period of three years, after which you can no longer claim it. It is also important to note that an expense is admissible for reimbursement with your PER funds for a maximum of 3 years after its purchase.
  • Section 40.9.3 of the collective agreement clearly states that the funds allocated for PER are not intended to replace existing faculty allocations for travel. You cannot transfer funds between the PER and research accounts.
  • As outlined in article 40.9.6 of the collective agreement, equipment you purchase with funds from the PER account remains the property of the University. If you wish, you can purchase such items from the University, pursuant to Policy 65.

How to claim the PER and log in to Concur

All professional expense reimbursement (PER) claims are processed in Concur, so that you can easily submit and track your claims. Here, you will find a few short and easy to read mini-guides to help you efficiently fill out your Concur PER claims.

 

Log in to Concur

Guides

 

If you have any questions, please email us at reimbursement@uOttawa.ca.

Other expenses

The Financial Resources Expense Reimbursement Team has added a new claim type in Concur under Expense > Create a new claim type > Claim Type > 3 – Other Expenses. A total of 30 expenses have been permanently added to facilitate quick, efficient, end-to-end electronic reimbursement of up to $1,000 (Policy 36 – Procurement) for regular employees. The Frequently Asked Questions section below explains this addition.

 

Choosing the right claim type in Concur

What to consider before claiming “Other expenses” in Concur


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What types of expenses have been added?
  2. What about the 13 COVID-19 expense types that were found under the “Voyage/Travel” section of Concur?
  3. Under what circumstances can I use this new section?
  4. What is the advantage of using Concur to request reimbursement for these expenses?
  5. What is the approval process for these expenses in Concur?
  6. Is it mandatory to use Concur to request reimbursement for these expenses?
  7. What about other purchasing methods, practices, and policies?
  8. Who can access Concur to request a reimbursement of these expenses?
  9. What information should I enter in the “City of Purchase” field?

1. What types of expenses have been added?

A total of 30 types of expenses have been added under Expense > Create a new claim type > Claim Type > 3 – Other Expenses.

The document Choosing the right claim type in Concur lists all of the expenses added under this new claim type.

2. What about the 13 COVID-19 expense types that were found under the “Voyage/Travel” section of Concur?

These 13 expense types, which were added in April to accommodate urgent COVID-19 pandemic-related expenses, are now found under Expense > Create a new claim type > Claim Type > 3 – Other Expenses.

3. Under what circumstances can I use this new section?

You can use this new section for claims that are not travel-related. We have prepared the document Choosing the right claim type in Concur to help you choose the right claim type.

4. What is the advantage of using Concur to request reimbursement for these expenses?

Concur allows for quick, efficient, end-to-end electronic reimbursement of up to $1,000 (Policy 36 – Procurement), as is already the case for the reimbursement of travel and hospitality expenses. It also ensures better visibility of such expenses and facilitates accountability.

5. What is the approval process for these expenses in Concur?

The approval process can be the same as the one currently in place in Concur for your faculty or service to reimburse travel expenses and hospitality costs, or it can be modified as required.

6. Is it mandatory to use Concur to request reimbursement for these expenses?

No, it is not mandatory. This tool adds to the measures already put in place by Financial Resources, and by faculties and services.

The decision on whether to use Concur is up to authorized approvers. You must also comply with other purchasing methods, practices, and policies.

7. What about other purchasing methods, practices, and policies?

Other purchasing methods, practices, and policies take precedence.

Policy 36 – Procurement applies to these types of expenses. University catalogs (SciQuest), purchasing cards (pCard), purchase orders, or any other method used by your faculty or service, are still the preferred purchasing methods. As always, restricted commodities (such as chemical or dangerous substances) cannot be purchased on pCards.

For example:

  • Certain items, including office supplies, paper, and IT and lab equipment, should be purchased through a catalog even if they cost less than $1,000.
  • IT equipment purchases, cell phone costs, and Internet costs should be approved by Information Technology beforehand, regardless of the amount. The approval process can be managed in SciQuest.
  • Some faculties do not reimburse certain types of lab equipment, so users should check with their procurement authorities before purchasing such equipment.

We have created the document What to consider before claiming “Other expenses” in Concur to help you and your users identify the preferred purchasing method.

8. Who can access Concur to request a reimbursement of these expenses?

Access to Concur has not changed: only regular employees can use Concur.

Persons who are not employees of the University of Ottawa (such as temporary employees without a contract, retired employees, students, or guests) do not have access to the Concur expense management system. These people will need to contact their faculty or service to determine how to proceed to obtain reimbursement.

9. What information should I enter in the “City of Purchase” field?

For goods purchased online and delivered at home or at work, you must choose the city of delivery of the goods. For other scenarios, the city of purchase applies.

User guides and for assistance

User guides

After you log into Concur, the expense management system, you can consult the guides in the section below. These explain in detail, with supporting screen captures, the use of Concur. 

The following cheatsheet is a summary of these guides and explains, in two pages only, the steps to follow to submit a request, file an expense report, or approve an expense in Concur.

Before creating an expense report
Creating an expense report
Approving expense reports

For assistance

Your faculty or service contact point can help you with your request or expense report.

Faculty contact points
Service contact points

For questions, comments or suggestions, or to notify us of changes to contact points, send an email to the Expense Reimbursement Team

Expense reimbursement forms

If you are not a regular University of Ottawa employee (e.g., a temporary employee without a contract, a retired employee, a student or a guest), you do not have access to Concur. You must therefore complete the appropriate forms below.

Travel expenses

As announced in August 2020, the four travel expense reimbursement forms have been consolidated into just one form. Now, users only have one form to complete for each 10-day period. Tax calculations, even for different rates, is done in the same form. As well, the expense account is determined automatically according to the type of expenditure selected in the form list. No more need for users to know or remember the account!

Hospitality expenses

The University of Ottawa extends hospitality to advance our interests, for example, for community and public relations purposes or events recognizing the excellence of University staff and students.

To request reimbursement of hospitality expenses, complete the hospitality fees reimbursement form.

Other purchasing methods

When you cannot use Concur, or prefer not using your personal funds or credit for a purchase, please contact your designated buyer for assistance. Many designated buyers have two types of corporate credit cards to simplify payment.

Central Policy 21 compliance service

Financial Resources offer a service to ensure travel expenses are compliant with Policy 21— Reimbursement to Individuals for University Business Expenses. Some faculties and services have already been using it since its launch in October 2019. Financial Resources will continue to expand this service in the coming months. This change is transparent to travellers.

Implementation of the central compliance service is part of the Expense Reimbursement Improvements project’s second phase, which focuses on ease of use. The first phase, implemented in July 2019, focused on the roll-out of the revised Policy 21. This project falls under the Administrative Processes Modernization Programme.

Objectives and benefits

Objectives

The central compliance service aims to:

  • Define the accountability, roles and responsibilities of the parties involved
  • Present the new service offered by Financial Resources
  • Confirm the responsibilities of the services affected by this change

Benefits

By deploying a central compliance service, Financial Resources expects the following benefits:

  • Improved user experience with faster turnaround times and access to claims specialists
  • Better use of resources, allowing faculties and departments to focus on other administrative tasks
  • Better use of the Concur expense management system
  • Greater data transparency for reporting purposes
Affected faculties and services

Financial Resources ensure travel expenses are compliant with Policy 21 for the following faculties and services:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Law - Civil Law
  • Faculty of Law - Common Law
  • Library
  • Vice-President, Finance and Administration and all related services
  • Vice-President, Academic Affairs and all related services
  • Vice-President, Research

There are plans to expand this central service to other faculties and services in the coming months.

Impact
Service delivery

Stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities in the central service

Travel compliance

Travel compliance tasks Responsible sector

Travel expense compliance review

Financial Resources

Minor change to the reimbursement request

Financial Resources

Major change to the reimbursement request (increasing amount)

Faculties and services

Banner approval

Flexible

Budget approval

Faculties and services

Cash advance follow-ups

Faculties and services

Travel card (TCard) and purchasing card (PCard)

Faculties and services

Employee training

Employee training tasks Responsible sector

Annual information session

Financial Resources

Guides

Financial Resources

Orientation on new features

Financial Resources

Individual coaching

Faculties and services

Daily monitoring of issues related to the Concur expense management system and Policy 21

Faculties and services
Workflow

The workflow for reimbursement of individuals for University-related travel expenses has changed. For example, when travellers submit an expense report or travel advance, the Financial Operations and Administration section at Financial Resources confirms their compliance with the policy, not the compliance officer in their faculty or service, as in the past.

User system role

Since 2015, the responsibility of ensuring the compliance of travel expenses fell to faculties and service employees with a Concur expense management system compliance officer role.

With the compliance service, employees with a system compliance officer user role of affected faculties and services can only view their sector’s travellers’ expenses. They cannot make changes to expense reports in Concur as in was the case before.

The compliance service is offered by Financial Services for affected faculties and services.

Paper travel reimbursement forms submission
  • Regular employees can continue to request reimbursement for travel expenses online using the Concur expense management system.
  • Travellers who are not regular University of Ottawa employees (e.g., temporary employees without a contract, retired employees, students or guests) do not have access to Concur. They must therefore complete one or more forms to request a travel reimbursement. Learn which reimbursement form(s) to use.

The Financial Operations and Administration section accepts paper forms (if signed by the fund manager or immediate supervisor) and supporting receipts for review. They can be submitted through one of the following methods: 

  • In person: Financial Resources, Tabaret Hall (TBT W032, inside TBT W021)
  • Email: reimbursement@uOttawa.ca — attach a digital copy of the paper form and receipts
  • Internal mail: To the attention of Financial Operations and Administration, TBT W032

If a paper form (and therefore, the Banner invoice) needs to be modified, our compliance team will inform the Banner approver, the fund manager and the immediate supervisor by email. The faculty or service must inform the traveller of any changes.

On approving the paper travel reimbursement form, the faculty or service will receive an email to confirm the compliance of the claim. If the paper form and receipts have been delivered to the Financial Operations and Administration office, they will be sent back by internal mail to the Banner approver.

For more information

If you have any questions or comments about the central compliance service, send an email to the Expense Reimbursement Team.

 

Login and technical help

LOG INTO THE CONCUR EXPENSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

(uOttawa Outlook username and password required)

For information regarding your faculty or service’s reimbursement processes, see the list of contact points in the “Travel expenses” section.

Technical questions? Concur: 1-866-793-4040 (available 24/7)

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