2021 Finance Program Codes Changes

Beginning in October, default program codes on some funds will be removed to accommodate more accurate recording of expenditures. Program codes identify the purpose of what was purchased or expended, and are necessary for accurate reporting to a number of entities, including IPEDS and NSF. This change will allow the user to designate the most appropriate program code. Grants, cost share, and other restricted funds will not be impacted. Training programs related to the new procedures and program codes were offered in early October. The video and PowerPoint can be accessed on the Budget Office website under Resources.

60-Day Rule for Expense Reports

To avoid tax consequences on expense reimbursements, University employees should remember the 60-Day Rule:  Expense reports for out-of-pocket expenses must be submitted within 60 days from the date the expense was incurred (in the case of travel, within 60 days from end of trip).

Per federal tax regulations, expenses submitted after 60 days will be reported as taxable income to the employee, and applicable Federal, State, FICA and Medicare taxes will be deducted from a subsequent salary check.  Timely reporting and submission of expense reports is the responsibility of the employee being reimbursed regardless of whether the employee self-submits or has designated a delegate for expense reporting.  When combining smaller instances into one expense report, employees are encouraged to submit at least once a month (for example, mileage logs or multiple small out-of-pocket expenses).

The 60-Day Rule is stated in the UA Spending Policy, the UA Travel Policy, and the UA Tax Office Fringe Benefit Taxation site.

FY21 P-Card Transaction Due Date & Suspension Date

All P-Card transactions (travel and non-travel) with a September 30, 2021 or prior Transaction/Purchase Date should be reconciled, approved, and received in Procurement Services by 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 7, 2021. To ensure that cardholders are complying with this deadline, cards with outstanding transactions from September 30, 2021 or prior will be suspended on Friday morning, October 8, 2021. If you have any issues meeting this deadline, please contact P-Card Services at pcard@ua.edu.

FY22 GSA Per Diem Rate Update

The University of Alabama uses the GSA per diem rates to reimburse employees for meals and incidentals (M&IE) while traveling outside of the State of Alabama but within the Continental United States.  The U.S. GSA just announced the FY2022 per diem rates, effective October 1, 2021, and the M&IE reimbursement rates were revised. The M&IE tiers range from $59-$79, and the standard M&IE rate is now $59.  GSA has also released a new per diem tool  that lets you enter in location and dates of travel to obtain your rates.  Please use this information to plan and budget accordingly for your FY22 travel. 

Travel Updates

As communicated in the UA News on June 8, 2021, University-sponsored domestic travel is no longer prohibited.  Any non-essential University-sponsored international travel continues to be prohibited with limited exceptions approved through the existing waiver process.  As such, the option to book travel through the Concur booking tool has been restored. 

Pre-Trip Approvals
Further communications on June 11, 2021, from Dr. James Dalton and Matt Fajack require Pre-Trip Approvals. 

  • All overnight travel to out-of-state destinations must be approved by the traveler’s supervisor via a Pre-Trip Approval Form.  The Pre-Trip Approval Form is located on the UA Accounts Payable website along with additional details and FAQs.  The form must then be attached to all Expense Reports related to the approved trip. 
  • All international travel must be reviewed and approved by Risk Management.  The travel must then be approved via the International Travel Request in the Request module of Concur with the approval from Risk Management attached. 

Booking Travel
Effective for trips booked on or after August 1, 2021, the Concur booking tool must be used to book travel.  This includes airfare, lodging and rental car bookings.  We recognize that better rates may be obtained for hotels using conference rates. These will be allowed to be booked directly with the hotel and when reconciled in Concur, please note clearly that it was booked outside of Concur to obtain the conference rate.  All other airfare, lodging and rental car bookings should be booked in the Concur system using a UA P-Card.  Bookings made through the Concur booking tool must be paid for using a UA P-Card.  If you need to obtain a UA P-Card, please complete the Concur-P-Card User Access Form.

Please contact Accounts Payable for any and all questions related to changes above. 

PO Process

All PO Invoices in Concur will route to a supervisor for review and approval.  Following this step, if all information matches the PO, the invoice will route to Accounts Payable for final processing.  In the case that the PO Invoice exceeds the dollar amount approved as part of the PO review and approval process, the PO Invoice will route to the appropriate buyer and then to the budgetary approver(s) on the org(s) affected.  Budgetary approvers have the option to send PO Invoices back to the submitter, and we have seen this occurring with comments to the submitter to change the FOAP on the PO Invoice.  Please note that FOAP changes to PO Invoices cannot be completed solely in Concur as they require a change order in buyBAMA.  We would like to ask requestors and approvers in buyBAMA to be mindful of the FOAP that is being selected when the PO is initiated rather than attempting to update the FOAP once the PO Invoice is being processed in Concur.

Additionally, as PO Invoices are now processed in Concur, these invoices are now appearing on the monthly Org Detail Report that is generated and delivered to campus recipients.  PO Invoices will appear on the Invoice tab of the report.  When you are reviewing the Excel report, the Policy column will note UA-PO Invoice for the PO Invoices that have been processed through Concur in the previous month. 

Concur Mobile App

Beginning on May 7, there will be some changes to the sign-in experience for the Concur mobile app.  The mobile PIN sign-in option will be going away and will be replaced with the single-sign on option.  Users will be required to login using their myBama email address (example: user@ua.edu) then enter their myBama username and password.  Biometric sign-in options such as facial recognition and fingerprints will also now be available.  If you have any questions concerning this update, please contact the Concur Help Desk at concur@ua.edu

PO Invoices in Concur

We are excited to announce that we are incorporating the processing of invoices on purchase orders (PO) into the Concur Travel and Expense System.  This will lead to efficiencies for both campus and Procurement Services.  

This new process will impact any invoices on POs submitted after May 3.

What will change for campus users?

The biggest change for campus users is that you will no longer complete receiving on goods and services in buyBama.  This step will now be completed in Concur as described in the training materials below.  

How will I submit my vendor invoices on purchase orders?

You will use Concur’s Invoice Capture service and email your invoice to UAPO_invoicecapture@concursolutions.com.  The invoice will be reviewed through an OCR process and will be routed to an AP invoice clerk.

If your invoice does not include a typed PO number, please locate the PO number and write it on the document and then email the invoice to acctspay@ua.edu.

How do I complete receiving?

A video demonstration and step by step instructions are avalble on the PO Invoices in Concur webpage.

What is the approval flow for invoices on POs?

All Concur items route to a supervisor for review and approval. Invoices on POs will complete this approval step. Following this step, if all information matches the PO, the invoice will route to Accounts Payable for final processing. In the case that the invoice exceeds the dollar amount approved as part of the PO review and approval process, the invoice will route to the appropriate buyer and then to the budgetary approver(s) on the org(s) affected.

What other differences should I expect?

Email Notifications – You will now receive email notifications regarding the status of your PO invoices as they progress through the Concur workflow and processes and transmit to Banner for payment.

Invoices that are Sent Back – In the case that an invoice needs to be sent back by the buyer to accommodate a change order in buyBama, you will simply have to “Unassign” the invoice from your queue and Accounts Payable will make all necessary adjustments. When complete, Accounts Payable will assign the invoice to you and you will be able to re-submit through the process.

Do you have any questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Accounts Payable at 205-348-7377 or acctspay@ua.edu.

Concur Updates

Beginning March 1st, Procurement Services will add a new feature to Concur to help audit more efficiently.  The only noticeable change will be the below message on expense reports for Supervisory and Budgetary Approvers.  If you have any Travel, Entertainment, or Reimbursement questions, please contact the Concur Help Desk at 205-348-7377 or concur@ua.edu.  If you have any P-Card Non-Travel questions, please contact P-Card Services at 205-348-8645 or pcard@ua.edu.