2019 Fiscal Year End

With FY19 ending in a few short weeks, it is important to note the below dates to ensure that Procurement Services can process all orders and post all transactions to Banner within the Financial Accounting deadlines:

  • buyBAMA Purchase Orders must be created and approved by Monday, September 23, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • buyBAMA Receiving must be completed by Monday, September 30, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • Concur Invoices must be submitted, approved by all approvers, and to Accounts Payable for processing by Monday, October 7, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • Concur Expense Reports must be submitted, approved by all approvers, and to Accounts Payable and P-Card for processing by Monday, October 7, 2019, at 5 p.m.
  • Banner Encumbrances will roll forward on Friday, October 18, 2019

Have you set up your Concur Mobile App?

The Concur Mobile App is a helpful tool that allows users to book travel, capture receipts, and work with and approve expense reports and invoices from a smartphone or mobile device.  We have heard from some users that they prefer using the mobile app as an approver over the web version of Concur.  Please be aware that you do not use your myBama credentials to log in to the mobile app as you would the web version.  You first must create a Mobile PIN in the web version of Concur which will be used along with your full mybama email to log into the app.  For detailed instructions to get started with the Concur Mobile App, please review the UA Concur Mobile website.

The Concur P-Card User Access Form is ready!

The Concur P-Card User Access Form is ready!  The new Concur-P-Card User Access Request Form should be used to request (1) access to Concur, (2) a UA P-Card, and/or (3) a Concur Supervisor update.  The form can be completed by any UA employee or a delegate.  A delegate will need the individual’s CWID.  Once completed and submitted, the form will be routed to the org approver associated with the UA employee’s home org in Banner.  The form will then follow a predefined workflow in Procurement Services, and the employee and delegate will receive email updates along the way.  We are very excited to streamline the process for user access, p-card applications, and Concur supervisor updates!  For more information on completing the form and/or approving the form, please see the  User Access Form page on the UA Concur website

In-State Per Diem and the P-Card

Please remember that when you are travelling on official University business within the state of Alabama, personal meals, lodging and gratuities should not be paid on the P-Card due to State of Alabama per diem laws.  These expenses should be paid out of pocket and reimbursed at the in-state per diem rates via Concur.  Business entertainment meals with a valid justification while in travel status are allowable on the P-Card.  Additionally, if an employee is traveling within the state of Alabama to attend a convention, conference, seminar or other meeting of a state, regional, or national organization of which the state or individual is a dues-paying member, the employee may be reimbursed for their actual expenses for meals and lodging in addition to the actual expenses for transportation.  When in-state travel falls under this specific exception, the P-Card can be used for lodging expenses, and the meals and incidental expenses will be reimbursed according to the GSA per diems established for the travel destination.  Please refer to the UA Travel Policy for additional guidance.

P-Card Out of Office Tips

It’s summertime at UA, and many faculty and staff members are traveling for both business and pleasure. If you are planning on going out of town for an extended period of time, a little preparation can go a long way in preventing any disruption in p-card usage for you and your department.

If you would like for P-Card Services to temporarily suspend your card while you’re traveling, you can email pcard@fa.ua.edu and let us know when you’ll be out of town. It would also be a good idea to assign a delegate in Concur in case anything comes up while you’re out.

Whether you’re a cardholder or an approver, it’s a great idea to download the Concur Mobile app so that you can quickly prepare, review, and approve reports on the go. Instructions for setting up Concur Mobile can be found here.

If you’re traveling to a location where cell service or internet service are unreliable, please contact pcard@fa.ua.edu prior to your trip so that we can help you and your department come up with a plan for preparing, reviewing, and approving reports in your absence.

When do I use the Entertainment Expense Form?

Section 6.3 of the UA Spending Policy details the documentation required for any entertainment expenditures.  Completing the Entertainment Expense Form will ensure that the following is documented in accordance with UA Policy.  If you can include all required information below in the Concur Expense Report or Concur Invoice, the Entertainment Expense Form does not have to be attached.

  • Identification of the person or group to be entertained, including the relationship of the persons in attendance to the particular aspects of the University program that will be benefited. This information includes titles, committee names, the field of interest of the person or group being entertained, the reason for inviting the visitor(s) to campus, and other relevant details.
    • For entertainment of small groups (10 or fewer), the names of all persons attending must be shown
    • For entertainment of 10 or more individuals, only the name or names of the honored guest or guests must be indicated, with the number of persons attending.
  • A statement as to the reason or purpose of the entertainment, including the purpose and benefits of the program to the University must be clearly indicated and understood by anyone outside the department reviewing the voucher.
    • If the function that included the entertainment is held away from the University campus, an agenda for the function must be attached.
    • If entertainment includes only UA employees, an explanation as to why it had to occur at breakfast, lunch, or dinner is necessary.
    • The date and place of entertainment.

As a reminder, entertainment events can include meals and refreshments at UA functions if the meals and refreshments are incidental to the meeting or training. The primary purpose of the meeting or educational/training session in which the meal or refreshments are provided or consumed shall be directly related to the business of the University.

Reminder of 60-Day Rule for Expense Reimbursements

All University employees who submit Expense Reports for reimbursement should remember the following:

  • Expense Reports for out-of-pocket expenses must be submitted within 60 days from the date the expense was incurred. Travel Expense Reports must be submitted after completion of the trip but within 60 days of the traveler’s return.
  • Per federal tax regulations, Expense Reports submitted after 60 days will be considered taxable income to the employee, and the appropriate taxes will be withheld from a subsequent salary check.
  • 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 University’s spending and travel policies and is necessary to comply with the IRS safe-harbor guidelines for expense reimbursements. For more information, refer to the Tax Office website.

Business Purpose

Each purchasing card transaction must be documented appropriately to ensure the allowability of the expense.  This documentation includes business purpose statements. A good explanation of the reason for the purchase is crucial in determining whether an expense is allowable, depending on the funding source. A good business purpose explanation will answer the following questions:

  • Why was the purchase necessary?
  • How does the purchase benefit the mission and goals of the University and the department?

The Expenditure Matrix on the Procurement website is a good resource to determine if a business purpose statement is required; however, if you anticipate any questions regarding the allowability of your purchases, it is always a good idea to include a business purpose. Good business purpose statements on your reports will ensure faster processing and fewer reports sent back to users.

Approver View for Invoice Payment Requests

Did you know that you can modify the layout of the Invoice Payment Requests that you review and approve? Concur allows for the Invoice Images that were uploaded to the Payment Request to appear automatically in the Payment Request view without having to be opened. To update your settings, open an invoice image in an Invoice Payment Request and click on the Pin icon Concur Invoice in the top right corner. After doing this the Invoice Image will appear in the same view as the Invoice header and line item details. If you do not like the updated consolidated view, you can revert to the previous settings by clicking the Unpin icon Concur Invoice in the top right corner of the image.

Concur Invoice

Concur Invoice – Cont.

We notified you last month that Concur has announced that they will be releasing a few user experience improvements coming soon to Concur Invoice. This update will take effect this month on April 13th. The primary impact to UA will be a change in terminology replacing the current “Payment Request” with “Invoice.” As a result, a Concur Invoice Payment Request will now simply be a Concur Invoice. The update will also enhance the current “Manage Requests” tab of the Invoice Module with a new “My Invoices” page.