University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

site header

How to Claim an Expense Reimbursement - Procedure

Approval Authority: Associate Vice-Principal, Finance

Date Initially Approved: January 12, 2015

Date of Last Revision: November 2019

Date of Commencement: November 2019

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to describe the university process to obtain reimbursement of expenses from public funds.

General Information

The university's expense reimbursement system (ERS) is the standard method that should be used to obtain reimbursement for travel or other expenses by Queen’s Faculty and staff. Any claimants not using the ERS may contact Financial Services to obtain a pdf expense claim form.

Before using the ERS to complete an expense report, claimants must ensure their profile is up to date in the ERS. The expense profile in the ERS includes expense preferences, request preferences, mobile registration, expense delegates, and system settings..

To access the ERS in order to update your expense profile, go to the Queen’s homepage, Search and Sign In, select the MyQueen’sU/Solus portal, and log in using your net id and password. Click on the "My Applications" tab and select "Log in to the ERS.

Receipts are required for reimbursement of expenses, and can be submitted electronically through the ERS. Credit card statements, cancelled cheques, interac slips, and photocopies are NOT acceptable receipts as they do not show the details of the items paid for. For any claims not submitted through the ERS, original copies of receipts need to be attached to the claim. 

Electronic receipt images attached to ERS claims should be sharp, clear, and legible. Electronic receipt images must be an authentic representation of the original receipts or documents. For ERS claims processed, the original receipts and other electronic copies should be disposed of after payment of the claim.

Minor expenses (generally under $10) without original receipts that are difficult to receipt may be approved at the discretion of the individual approving the expense report. Public transit fares and gratuities incurred while on University business would be examples of such items.

All invoices and/or receipts should contain the following information:

  • Date of transaction
  • Supplier identification
  • Description of the item(s) purchased
  • Price for each item
  • Tax/business number, where applicable (i.e. HST, GST, QST)
  • Grand total
  • Amount paid along with proof of payment (i.e. last 4 digits of credit card)
  • Amount of Sales Taxes charged.

The identification of the purchaser should also be included for all hotel, airfare, and rail receipts.

Receipts in Foreign Language should be accompanied by an explanation of the expense (i.e. in the comment field for the expense).

How to Claim an Expense Reimbursement

Responsible Office/Individual Process
Claimant

Step 1. Obtain Pre-approval for Travel expenses:

Obtaining pre-approval for travel involving an overnight stay is recommended. Written pre-approval must also be obtained for business class travel and this approval must be attached to the claim. Instructions on how to obtain pre-approval using the ERS can be found at Financial Services - Travel Advance and Expenses.

 

Expense Approver (Manager/Supervisor) 

The approver should ensure that the proposed travel expenses will be incurred for legitimate university business purposes and are reasonable in the context of the university business activity.

 

Claimant

Step 2. Obtain Pre-approval for International Travel:

If travelling internationally (especially if an undergraduate student or are travelling to a high-risk area), seek approval under the Off Campus Activity Safety Policy.

Step 3. Cash Advances:

Refer to the procedure on cash advances (next section)

Step 4. Obtaining Reimbursement:

Claims for reimbursement should be made using the University's ERS by Queen’s Faculty and staff. Claims should be submitted within 30 days of return from travel or the date the expense was incurred.  Instructions on how to obtain reimbursement using the ERS can be found at Financial Services - Travel Advance and Expenses.   

Any claimants not using the ERS may contact Financial Services to obtain a pdf expense claim form. 

Claimants should ensure their claim:

  • includes an appropriate description of the purpose of travel or nature of expense claim;
  • includes only actual out-of-pocket expenses for legitimate university business purposes;
  • includes only expenses eligible for reimbursement;
  • includes receipts that have been verified for image quality and authenticity in the case of electronic receipts;
  • includes original receipts as required for any claims submitted outside of the ERS;
  • includes proper support for all items claimed, including comments or attached documentation regarding items being the most economical option under the circumstances, or other similar support as deemed required; and
  • as applicable, includes the affiliation of the claimant to the Principal Investigator.
Expense Approver (Manager/Supervisor)

The approver should ensure that the expenses were:

  • incurred for legitimate university business purposes;
  • reasonable in the context of the university business activity;
  • coded to the correct chartfield(s), and include all appropriate documentation;
  • in accordance with this policy, with applicable granting agency guidelines, or with the terms of the specific award, whichever imposes the greatest restrictions;
  • claimed amounts that they have the authority to approve, or that delegated approval authority is documented (where applicable); and
  • approvers must also review receipts and verify image quality in the case of electronic receipts.
Financial Services

Financial Services reviews the claim to ensure that:

  • approval has been obtained;
  • expenses are in accordance with the existing policy and procedures, applicable granting agency requirements, or the terms of the specific award, whichever imposes the greatest restrictions; and
  • review supporting receipts for image quality.

Financial Services strives to process all expense reimbursements within 15 business days of the receipt of the payment request in Accounts payable. Claims being paid by Electronic Funds Transfer may take 2-3 business to settle through the banking system.

 

Contact Officer Associate Director, General Accounting
Amendment Date November 2019
Date for Next Review: November, 2024
Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines

Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy

Hospitality Policy

Procurement Policy

Perquisite Policy

Procedure - Cash Advances

Procedure – Subject Payments

Tri-Council Guidelines