University of Manitoba - Financial Services - FAQ
FAQ

Remember that your first point of reference should always be to check the Travel and Business Expense Claims Procedure  and its related Policy.     

GENERAL

Who do I contact if I have a question?

If you need help with Concur system navigation or interpreting the Travel Policy and Procedure, please call (204) 480-1001 extension 1 or email travinfo@umanitoba.ca.

If you have questions about system access, please contact Aurora Finance at (204) 480-1001 extension 4 or email aurofin@umanitoba.ca.

If you require clarification regarding the details of a returned claim, please contact the processor dealing with your expense report. Their contact information is included in the comments section of your returned ckaim. 

 To enquire about claim payments, please contact Supplier Payment Services. Your department contact will be listed here

Why do we need a Reference Number (RN#)?

An RN# is a six-digit number used to differentiate between trips and travelers in the Concur system and FAST.  Every flight/trip for each individual should have its own reference number.  The RN# always needs to be entered in the titles of your reports.  This is how we file each expense claim and its backup.

Note:   If you book a flight under one RN# and use a different RN# for your expense report, you will run into issues when reconciling to FAST.  FAST will show the flight charge and its RN#, but you will not be able to locate the backup documentation in Concur as it is listed under a different RN#.  For your expense report, please ensure that you use the same RN# that you booked your flight under.

Note:  The same RN# should be used if multiple claims are filed for the same trip.

What is International SOS?

International SOS is a service provider that works with organizations and their insurance companies to support international travelers. When you’re signed up with International SOS (this is optional), this doesn’t replace having travel medical insurance (which is provided through Great West Life for UofM staff). What it does do is ensures the UofM is aware of its travelers’ general locations and has the information and ability to reach out when a traveler might be at risk. It also means that you, as an international traveler, have 24/7 access to a professional global infrastructure that can provide advice when you’re in uncertain situations: where to go in case of emergency, where you can find the nearest embassy, what hospital or clinic you should attend that will accept the insurance you have, etc. If you have any questions, want to sign up, or need more detailed information about International SOS, please contact the Office of Risk Management. The website for International SOS is here.

I keep encountering issues with Concur when I'm viewing or attaching receipts and loading travel booking pages. Is there something wrong with the system?

If you are encountering errors with Concur or the system is behaving unexpectedly, your browser may not be compatible with Concur. Try changing the browser you are using to the most up-to-date version of Firefox. If the problem persists, please contact Travel Services at travinfo@umanitoba.ca with screenshots of your issue and the details of the web browser you are using.                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

BOOKING TRAVEL AND ARRANGEMENTS

How can I book airfare?

To book a flight for yourself as a University of Manitoba employee, you may use the following methods to book:

- Book in Concur
- Book through Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), our designated travel agent
- Book through your desired travel agency or booking website. You must use your Travel Credit Card for this method; you cannot use a personal credit card.

To book a flight for a guest or student, you may use the following methods to book:
- In Concur by booking for a guest
-
Book with Carlson Wagonlit Travel 
- Allow the guest or student to book their own flight out of pocket (they will be reimbursed through the “Guest/Student Travel and Business Expense Claim” form, found here.


To book a flight for a companion:
- Book through CWT (and pay for your companion’s flight on a personal credit card; this flight does not have to be reconciled)
- Book through your desired travel agency or booking website (and pay for your companion’s flight on a personal credit card; this flight does not have to be reconciled)

Remember that any flight booked using any of these methods, unless otherwise indicated, must be reconciled in Concur.

What types of flights do I need pre-approval for before I book them?

Your supervisor should be aware well in advance of any flights you will be bookings, whether or not they require specific policy approval or an exception. Your department may require that certain other people be made aware of your intent to travel, such as the Department Head or Dean. We encourage you to contact your Business Manager for the requirements of your department.

Flight approvals:
- For economy flights within Canada and the US: only your one-over-one must approve.
- For flex flights or higher within Canada and the US: your one-over-one and your Dean or Director must approve.
- For flex flights outside Canada and the US: only your one-over-one must approve.
- For premium economy flights to countries outside Canada and the US not listed in Section 2.10 c in the Procedure: only your one-over-one must approve.
- For premium economy flights or higher to countries listed in Section 2.10 c in the Procedure: your one-over-one and your Dean or Director must approve.
- For First Class fares: your one-over-one and Dean or Director must approve.

What is the benefit of using Concur or CWT to book airfare?

Using the Concur system and Carlson Wagonlit Travel has several benefits not only to individual employees, but for the University as a whole. These benefits include:

1. Giving the University access to discounted flights, even for complicated flights or Northern travel.
2. Allowing the University to track frequently used airlines and to negotiate better rates.
3. Offering our travelers 24/7 access to CWT for aid with bookings, cancellations, or troubles while on the road
4. Keeping University members traveling safe by giving the University the ability to know the location of our travelers through CWT's traveler tracking.
5. Flight bookings can be made for guests or employees through the same easy online booking tool or with a phone call to CWT
6. Having a specific travel service provider, CWT, who is familiar with our unique institutional needs and who do their best to help us meet them.
7. Flight purchases at the University's expense (on the “ghost card” used for Concur and CWT booked flights) are more transparent and easily trackable for approvals and reconciliation purposes.

Why do I need to include a description of the trip when I book my flight in Concur?

A description detailing the specific purpose of your flight needs to be included with every flight booked. It should be clear as to why the trip was taken and if the trip was taken for research purposes, as well as how it related to the research you are conducting. Without this description on the booking and in your claim, you may be requested to provide additional information when you submit your expense report. Claims processors need to know the reason for the flight so they can facilitate the processing and payment of your claim.

You should include the RN# and the purpose of your trip in the field called "Trip Description" in your booking, and in the "Business Purpose" in Concur. Extra context can be added in the comment and exception explanation fields on each expense.

I have a whole group of people I need to arrange travel for; can I use the same RN# for all of them?

No. Each traveler requires a unique RN#, even if they are all traveling to the same place on the same flight. Each traveler's ticket requires a unique RN#, so they can be differentiated between during the various reconciliations within your department. FAST (the GL) will show the RN# that was given during the booking, and the RN# for the report in Concur (or on a paper claim) must match this. Travelers are identified in some cases by their RN#.

How do I select my seat?

Seat selection is an allowable expense. You can book your seat selection at the same time as your flight when booking with CWT, but seats cannot be selected in Concur. If you want a specific seat, you may call the airline directly or go to the airline's website (where available) to request one after your flight has been ticketed (usually within 24 hours of booking). Seat selection rules may vary with other booking websites or travel agents.

Pre-selecting my seat will ensure I can’t be bumped from my flight, right?

Wrong. Pre-selecting your seat does not guarantee your seat on a plane. However, checking in 24 hours before your flight will drastically reduce your chances of getting bumped. The sooner you check in, the better. Typically, the last people who check in will be bumped first should the flight be overbooked. Pre-selecting your seat does not give you any better chance of not being bumped from a flight should the airline have to bump someone (unless the flight is severely overbooked). For flights made in Concur or with CWT, you will receive an email 24 hours prior to your departure to remind you to check in. Their email contains a link to the check-in website.

 

 

I want to pay for an upgrade to my flight at my own expense. How do I do this?

You can personally pay for an upgrade to your flight (for example, a seat upgrade, an extra layover, or an additional flight) with one-over-one approval by following the step-by-step instructions for the Flight Upgrades or Additions process. This process can be found here.

I want to drive instead of fly.  Can I do that?

Yes, you can. If this is for personal preference or convenience, then a flight quote for the day of travel for any trip in excess of 500km must be provided. Only actual costs (for example, kilometers driven, hotels, meals, etc.) for time spent travelling will be reimbursed up to but not exceeding the cost of equivalent public transportation such as lowest cost airfare and transportation costs to and from the airports.

EXPENSE CLAIMS

There are a few different types of expenses in Concur. This is when they should be reconciled:

1. Travel Credit Card charges must be reconciled (meaning a claim created and submitted, though not necessarily yet approved) within 20 days of appearing in Concur. This includes charges for flights booked on the Travel Credit Card.
2. Flights booked in Concur or with CWT should not be reconciled until after the flight has been taken.
3. Conference registrations paid for out-of-pocket in advance can be reconciled before the conference has taken place but all other expenses relating to a trip, with case-by-case exceptions, should be reconciled once the trip has been completed. This does not include Travel Credit Card expenses that will age beyond 20 days before the trip has completed.


Why do I need to wait to reconcile my flight until after it’s been taken if I booked with Concur or CWT, but not when I’ve booked with my Travel Credit Card?

If a flight that you’ve booked in Concur is cancelled but has already been reconciled as a valid flight, it causes problems not only for reporting (by reconciling a flight in Concur you are saying it has been paid for and taken) but in FAST. It becomes extra work for you to sort out the charges and reconciliations - if you wait to reconcile until after a flight has taken place, it's much easier to report a cancelled flight. Reconciling flights before they're taken can also cause problems when duplicate or subsequent flight icons appear in your profile (because of itinerary updates or changes). It's easier and more transparent to sort out duplicate icons before any of them have been put in a report and reconciled.

If you’ve used a travel booking method other than Concur or CWT and have used your Travel Credit Card, your flight will need to be reconciled before it’s been taken in order to avoid late fees with US Bank. As Concur has a direct feed with US Bank, any additional charges or cash credits (not airline credits) related to a flight will appear as expenses in your Concur profile to be reconciled. This may mean you will have to reconcile a flight multiple times if you change your flight or the airline modifies your itinerary, resulting in a change of your ticket’s cost.

What is a “comprehensive” claim?

A comprehensive claim is an expense claim that includes all the elements of a trip taken, such as travel, accommodations, meals, conference registration fees, and any other expense incurred relating to the trip. A comprehensive claim must include all supporting documentation when it is submitted, which should include original receipt, the purpose of the trip, dates and destinations, details of daily claims for expenditures relating to those visits, details of any vehicle used, hotel bills, car rental agreements, original air travel ticket receipts and travel itineraries, conference agendas or any other documentation that supports the travel expenses claimed.

All University staff are required to be comprehensive with their claims for each trip taken. This means that no elements of a trip can go unaccounted for (i.e. not reconciling airfare), even if multiple claims for one trip must be created. It is common that multiple claims will need to be created, such as when conference registrations are claimed ahead of time while the rest of the trip (claimed under the same RN# marked Part 2) is claimed later.

How do I avoid warning flags in Concur when I’m making my expense claim?

The University has preset warning flags in the Concur system to alert claimants that certain documentation is required, depending on the types of expenses you're claiming. Whenever a warning flag appears, please ensure you provide all additional information before submitting your claim.

Here is how to avoid getting some of the most common warning flags:

• When claiming mileage in remote areas, include your odometer readings in the comments and an explanation of your trip in order to account for the mileage claimed. You may wish to use the mileage calculator in Concur or include a copy of a google map, if possible.
• Flying is the University's preferred method of transportation. If you choose out of preference or convenience to drive to a destination that one would typically fly to (and claim mileage), please include a copy of a flight quote showing what the airfare would have cost if you had flow instead (remember that the cost of the flight is your reimbursement cap), along with the reason why driving was the more reasonable or necessary choice. If you need to drive instead of fly for medical reasons, or for a work-related reason (such as hauling equipment), no flight quote is required, but please include this context on the expense.
• Attach your conference agenda to any claim relating to a conference, even if it doesn't include the conference registration fees.
• Attach the signed Vice-President Exception form for any expenses that required pre-approval.

Note: Keep in mind that some warning flags will not disappear when the necessary information is provided as this alerts approvers and processors to look for your required documentation.

I know that I need to include comments or descriptions with my expense claim. What do I say?

It is important to remember that while you know exactly how your expenses relate to your job or research, claim approvers, processors, and especially third-party auditors do not have access to this information if you don't tell them. Be concise, but be specific about the nature and purpose of your charges. The more detail you provide, the better. This will help facilitate the processing of your claim and help avoid requests for further information.

While you are limited to a certain number of characters in some comment fields in Concur, you are encouraged to use the “exception explanation” box, which has more space than a regular comment field, or to attach additional documents containing expanded explanatory comments with your claim. You can do this by attaching the document at the report level. To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Receipts menu and choose "attach receipt images".
2. Do not click on any of the available expense lines listed in the pop-up window. This will attach it directly to the expense, which is where the primary receipt needs to be housed.
3. Browse for and attach the document.
4. To view the additional document and ensure it has been attached, you will need to click the “Receipts” menu and choose "view receipts in new window". If you have not yet clicked this option in your report, it may also read as "check receipts". 

Your comments should include:

• If a traveler is not the Researcher (PI) and the travel is being charged to a research grant, then the affiliation of the traveler to the research project must be included. Any other individuals included in the claim should also have their affiliation to the research project clearly stated.
• If your trip is research-related, a clear description of how the travel is directly related to your research. The purpose of the trip should always be stated in the header of your claim, whether on operating or research funds. Again, be specific! When it comes to research or program expenses, it never hurts to attach an abstract of your project to the claim in order to provide additional context for auditors.
• Explicitly state in the comments or exception explanations of your expenses how they relate to your research or your job duties.

How should I manage my receipts for my expenses?

When travelling or incurring expenses that will need to be reconciled and/or for which you’ll need to be reimbursed, always keep your receipts, and request detailed receipts wherever applicable. While the receipts are new and legible, clearly scan or take a photo (ensure every item and amount is visible) for your Concur claim. You can email them to Concur account if you have verified your email address in your profile settings, or download them to your computer to be ready to upload.

Once you have submitted your claim with all necessary electronic receipts and the claim has moved into “extracted for payment” status and you have received payment for your claim, destroy your original receipts.

If I no longer need to send in my original receipts, do I still have to send in a Receipt Submission page?

No! You no longer need to submit original receipts or the accompanying UofM Receipt Submission Page from Concur. Once your claim is paid out, you can destroy your original receipts.

When do I need to use a missing receipt affidavit?

Missing receipt affidavits can be submitted for expenses when an original, itemized receipt has been lost or cannot be obtained. For example, if you are claiming a meal with receipt but only kept a visa slip and not the itemized receipt, you will have to complete a missing receipt affidavit. However, if you are trying to claim multiple meals for meals with receipts and do not have receipts, you will have to claim per diem.

Missing receipt affidavits cannot be accepted in lieu of hotel folios or Cashier's Office receipt slips. If these are missing, new copies must be requested from the hotel and/or the Cashier's Office.

I booked my flight directly with CWT and when I went to create my travel expense claim, the flight icon had not appeared in my available expenses. Did I do something wrong?

If you book for yourself or a guest in the Concur system, you will automatically have a flight icon generated. If you book with CWT and are booking for a guest, due to security protocols, an icon will not be generated. If you booked for yourself directly with CWT you should get a flight icon, but due to various reasons, occasionally this does not happen.

If you have booked a flight and do not have an icon, you still need to reconcile the flight in an expense claim. To do this, you will need to create a manual airfare expense, (attach the itinerary/invoice as the receipt), mark it as prepaid, and include a comment indicating the method you used to book.

What is an approval flow?

An approval flow is the approval path that your claim must take in order to be processed. Your claim is likely to be subject to several levels of approval.

Many departments have a designated "pre-approver". This is someone who will review your claims before they go to your one-over-one or any other approvers. If your department has a pre-approver, you may have to set this person as your "default expense approver" in your Concur profile settings. Check with your unit's Business Manager to see if you need to do this.

Here are Concur’s approval requirements:
1. A pre-approver: Optional. This is anyone in the department – someone who looks at claims first to ensure accuracy and often proper approval flows before the claim moves on to gain necessary approvals. Some units have a pre-approver, some don’t.
2. The one-over-one: The one-over-one always has to sign off on their staff’s claims. Every time.
3. Signing authority: A signing authority for each FOAP used on the claim is necessary. If this is also the one-over-one, this is covered, but sometimes another person (or people) needs to be added to the approval flow. Sometimes it needs to be the PI of a grant specifically, and an alternate signing authority cannot be accepted.
4. The business manager: in some units, the business manager indicates she wants to see some or all of her department’s claims. I’d encourage this where possible to ensure the person observing the department financially is aware of what’s going through.
5. The Dean or Director: this approval is needed when another departmental approver deems it necessary, or when an expense is incurred requiring Dean or Director approval (i.e. hospitality over $40.00 per person).
6. Vice President approval: often this is obtained via the Request for Exception to Travel and Business Expense Claims Procedure form, not within the Concur system. If there is an exception to policy being processed, VP approval in writing must be attached to the claim. Ideally any exceptions are pre-approved.

After these approvals are obtained, the claim automatically moves into the Travel Processing queue, which is where Travel Services approved so that the payment can be processed.

Note: Please do not add the expense processors in Financial Services to the approval flow of your claim. If they are put in the approval flow as a user-added step, the claim will encounter system errors and cause a delay in processing.

When can I use a blanket approval?

If you think a blanket approval may be helpful to your unit, please contact travinfo@umanitoba.ca, or call (204)480-1001 extension 1.

Blanket approvals are useful for providing a Dean's approval for the expenses associated with hospitality events that are being planned. When there are a series of events that will have hospitality expenses (such as recruiting or standard departmental events requiring multiple hospitality charges), a blanket approval can be signed by a Dean that will apply to all the associated expense claims. The blanket approval document must be attached to each reimbursement claim associated with those events, eliminating the need to route the expense report to the Dean each time.

A blanket approval must have the conditions of the approval clearly articulated, and must be reviewed by Travel Services before use. A template we recommend can be found on our Travel Processes page. After submitting your claim that has been approved under a blanket approval, Travel Processors may still require further approval from a Dean if it is not clear whether a blanket approval applies to an expense, or if the conditions of the blanket approval were exceeded. The Dean can issue this subsequent approval to the Travel Processors via an email or through the approval flow of the claim in Concur.

Blanket approval timelines must be within one fiscal year.

How do I know how much I’ll be paid off of a claim?

In every Concur report, there is a section under the “details” menu marked “totals”. We recommend checking this payment summary before submitting any report. This will specify the amount of funds being requested (the overall total), the amount being paid to the employee, the amount that was pre-paid, and the amount being assigned to a cash advance, all as applicable. Make sure your claim is asking for all the right amounts before you send it off for processing.

UNIVERSITY CREDIT CARDS

How do I cancel a University credit card?

If you no longer need a University credit card (a Travel Credit Card or a Purchasing card), please contact Travel Services. You can send an email request to travinfo@umanitoba.ca, or you can call us at (204)480-1001 ex 1.

When should I use my Purchasing card (PCard)?

Your PCard is for emergency uses only. Preferably, only one person in each department would hold a Purchasing card. It will only be used when a vendor will not accept a PO, and Concur/the Travel Credit Card is also not an option. If you’re not sure if something should be charged to the Purchasing card or not, please contact Purchasing Services at (204)474-8348.

Why do I have to reconcile my Purchasing card (PCard), and how do I do it?

Every month is it mandatory to reconcile your Purchasing card expenses. This is to ensure that US Bank is paid, the correct FOAPs are charged for your expenses incurred, and that everything put on the card has been approved.

There are two pieces to a Purchasing card reconciliation. The first is to ensure that the proper FOAPs have been assigned to all the expenses on the card for the month. This is done online, and is due on the working day the closest to the 21st of every month. The full guide can be found here.

The second step is to send the hard copy of your monthly activity report, VISA order forms, and receipts (with approvals) in to Travel Services at 412 Administration Building. This documentation is due on the 28th of each month.

If you have questions, please contact us at travinfo@umanitoba.ca or (204)480-1001 ex 1.

I forgot my US Bank password. What do I do?

If you have forgotten your password to US Bank, contact our Credit Card Coordinator through travinfo@umanitoba.ca or (204)480-1001 ex 1 and we will reset your password for you. You can also contact US Bank directly for assistance using the number on the back of your card.

What’s the billing address for my credit card?

If you’re using a Travel Credit Card, your billing address will be your office address.

If you’re using a Purchasing card, your billing address will be the address for Travel Services that was current when you applied for your card. You can find your billing address in your profile in US Bank by logging in, going to “My Personal Information”, and looking under “Contact information”.

Do I have to use the Travel Credit Card when I travel on University-related business?

No, using a Travel Credit Card is not mandatory. Obtaining and using a Travel Credit Card is an option offered to you by the University through US Bank for your convenience. It is meant to eliminate the need for employees to go out of pocket for travel expenses. It is important to keep in mind that using Travel Credit Card comes along with responsibilities, including timely reconciliation of expenses and payment of any late charges incurred, so this is something to consider when applying for a card.

Why isn’t my credit card working?

If you are using your Purchasing card, you may have run into a merchant block. The Purchasing card is only to be used for specific kinds of charges. Things like restaurants/catering, hotel, airline, or taxi expenses cannot be charged to the Purchasing card.

If you are using your Travel Credit Card, your card may have been suspended if you have outstanding unreconciled credit card charges over 90 days old. You would have received communications from Travel’s Credit Card Coordinator if this is the case.

Your limit on either card may also be full. For any of these issues, you can call the Travel Help desk at (204)480-1001 ex 1 for assistance.

I think I need to raise the limit on my University credit card for a specific purchase that cannot be made using any other method. How do I do this?

If you need to make a purchase on the Travel Credit Card or the Purchasing card (depending on if the expense is related to travel or office expenses), and the expense is higher than the daily limit on the card, please send a limit-raise request to travinfo@umanitoba.ca. You’ll need to include what the expense is, what it’s for, how much it costs, and the reason why it cannot be purchased using any other method (for instance, EPIC). We will obtain the necessary approvals and let you know when your limit is has been raised.

Why did I get charged late fees on my Travel Credit Card charges?

In order to avoid being charged late fees on any balances on your Travel Credit Card, you need to reconcile your card charges timely. Travel Credit Card charges need to be reconciled within 20 days of the expenses appearing in Concur. After 30 days, you will be sent a reminder to reconcile your outstanding expenses. After 60 days, you will receive another notification, be charged late fees, and your card will be suspended.

Note: Late fees are the responsibility of the cardholder, not the University of Manitoba or your department. Delays in claim processing need to be accounted for - allowances cannot be made for late fees if a claim takes longer to process than expected. Ensure your claim is complete, and put your claim in as soon as possible to give it the time it needs.

I see credit card charges in my Concur/on my bank statement that aren’t mine. What do I do?

If you suspect there are fraudulent charges on your US Bank credit card, please call the US Bank Fraud Department at 1-800-523-9078. When you do, the following will occur:

US Bank will start a fraud report and put a hold on your card.

US Bank will credit your card for the fraudulent expense.

Once the credit is received in Concur, you will receive an email.  Please let Travel Services know when this happens so we can remove the transactions from Concur. They will not need to be reconciled.

US Bank will send a letter for you to sign confirming this expense is not something you charged to the card (fraudulent).

A new visa card will be issued to you.