CONCUR Reimbursement SOP

Please note the latest information is available here.

Reimbursement for expenses (typically: conference travel) is one of the most administratively demanding tasks in the lab. The goal of this wiki (now maintained by Lia Brodrick) is to make this processess as efficient as possible and reduce headaches. Nonetheless, there are MANY compliance requirements and as such it is REQUIRED that this instructions are closely adhered to.

From the outset, please be prepared that this is a very time-intensive process that each lab member must manage for their own expenses. While Lia is here to assist she is not an admin who will do this for you. As such, it is necessary to read all the documentation below before proceeding. Note that questions regarding reimbursement (or suggested updates to this document) should be posted to the #concur slack channel to preserve knowledge over time – not addressed via DMs to Lia or Ted.

For all lab-related expenses that you wish to have reimbursed via the CONCUR system follow the documentation outlined below. If you have a PennKey then you are able to submit reimbursements. It is essential that this be done in a timely manner; Penn policy prohibits reimbursements after 6 months. Please submit expenses immediately after they are incurred and expect a lengthy review process. Due to high demands for compliance, reimbursements are often rejected by compliance officers multiple times after they have been approved by Ted. As such, requests not submitted immediately after they are incurred risk being unpaid, leaving the lab member with the bill. There is no remedy for this if it occurs.

For allowable expenses and funding for travel, please see the travel guidelines wiki.

Overview of Steps to Reimbursement:

For a quick overview, you can check out Lia’s video here.

Explanation on how to complete each step is listed below

  1. Prepare expenditure justification form as described below.
  2. Update the lab travel expense tracker
  3. Send receipts and expenditure justification for pre-review (BEFORE PI signature)
  4. Incorporate feedback and submit receipts and expenditure justification via CONCUR
  5. You will receive notice if it has been approved via email

Note: If you have booked something via Concur and NOT paid via your own card, you just have to prep the expenditure justification form, have it approved and get it signed. There is no need to then create an expense report and then submit it with the expenditure justification. See the “Booking flights via Concur section” - note this also applies to hotels booked through Concur.

Prepping the Expenditure Justification Reports

For each expenditure you must first prepare the standardized Expenditure Justification report. It is STRONGLY encouraged to use a previously approved justification report examples to avoid multiple rounds of rejection and revision. Prior examples can be found on PennBox (you can ask Lia to be shared on the CONCUR folder). It is encouraged to retain as much wording from previously approved documents as possible while maintaining accuracy. A blank copy of the expenditure justification form can be found here, but again editing a previously-approved example is far preferred to starting from a blank copy.

Fill Out Expenditure Form

Project Title: Fill in the name of the study the expense will be billed to

Principle Investigator: Dr. Theodore Satterthwaite

Project/Grant Number: This is the funding nickname for project/Sponsor. Please ask Ted what fund to use on the #concur channel.

Funding Source: This is a 26 digit budget code. Ted has these, ask on the #concur channel.

Description of Expense: Brief description including how the expense was paid for and to which vendor. (ex. To reimburse Dr. Satterthwaite for monthly subscription to CircleCI vendor for data management)

Amount of Expense: Total amount requesting reimbursement, itemize if necessary.

Date of Expense: Date that the transaction occurred

Explanation or Cost Allocation and Justification of Expense: Fill out why the expense was necessary. See examples and modify as needed. For travel it is essential to include the phrase “present research data” in the justification.

Signature: Obtain Ted’s signature (or PI of grant if not Ted) AFTER approval of the rest of the form

If you need to get the fund number to complete your expenditure justification form, message in the #concur slack channel and state

  1. What the expense you are trying to get reimbursed is
  2. The name of the fund Ted told you to request reimbursement fro
  3. How this expense relates to that fund

For step three, think of why the expense is relevant to the fund. It might be beneficial to think about how the expense: A. Will help address the aims of the protocol B. Will benefit the lab and its members C. Will help promote future collaboration/research/publications, etc.

If you have any questions for Lia about concur, please send them in the #concur slack channel and specify what the problem you are having is. Please do NOT send direct messages – post them on the open #concur channel.

NOTE: If you are unsure about this step please feel free to review this form with Lia on the #concur channel before sending this to John Hyon ( or the business team ( - try to avoid emailing him with concur q’s.

Adding delegates

Please give Concur delegate access to:

  1. Stace Moore
  2. Patrick Doyle
  3. Lucinda Bertsinger

Instructions for this can be found here

Update the Travel Reimbursement Tracker

Equity and transparency in use of support of travel is important, and will be openly tracked moving forward. If you are not on this sheet already, make yourself a row. If the conference you are attending is not listed, create it as a column. Then fill in the amount you are requesting support for in the cell that correpsonds to your row and that conf’s col. Only record the amount you are asking for support from the lab. Do NOT include any expenses that were covered by travel awards or other individual-specific funds.

Booking flights via Concur

Note: Sharon Liu is no longer our travel approver, John Hyon( is. Before you book anything on Concur, make sure your profile is updated to reflect this so that requests are routed to the right person. (Profile > Company Information > Travel Approver on Concur should say John and not Sharon).

  1. Prepare an expenditure justification form as in the instructions (DM Ted for which funding source, then ask Lia on this channel for the corresponding code and she’ll DM the code). Send this to John and get it signed by Ted.
  2. Simultaneously, select flights directly through Concur (login via Pennkey, select destination and dates under Trip Search)
  3. After selecting the flights, payment option = billing goes directly to the UPENN DIRECT BILL ACCOUNT* (…9836)
  4. Next page is trip booking information:
    • trip name is filled automatically
    • add business justification and optionally a trip description, e.g. something like Poster presentation at the OHBM 2023 conference for Dr. Ted Satterthwaite
    • if known, add funding code under Notes to Approver

Approval from Business Administrators

Send the prepared Expenditure Justification in word document form to ( the finance team ( for pre-review BEFORE submitting via concur AND PI signature on the form. Please cc Ted and Lia on all emails regarding reimbursement. Note that John is EXTREMELY busy and we try to limit asking them lots of q’s if possible– please ask q’s on the #concur slack channel first.

Make sure to also send the receipt for all expenses. The receipt must include the confirmation of payment (not just the invoice), how the payment was made (typically last 4 digits of the card listed on receipt), each expense itemized, the total amount paid, and the date the payment was completed. Note that alcohol is never an allowable expense.

John may give you edits, but once the form has been approved you can convert the document to PDF to be uploaded to CONCUR if needed.

Submitting report via CONCUR

Note that Lia’s video does a good job of covering this step.

Navigate to the CONCUR website, click on the “CONCUR” icon, and sign in with your PennKey

Start Your Report

  • Click “Start a Report” on the top right, which will take you to the Report Header page startareport

Complete Report Header

  • Type of Travel/Reimbursement: if expense involves travel, you will select either domestic, international, local (<50mi.); any other expense, you will select Non-Travel Expense – (for expenses that include overnight travel – see “CONCUR Troubleshooting” for more helpful links & per diem)
  • Country Code: Whatever country the expenses are from
  • Report Name: Create an informative report name
  • Business Justification: 1-2 sentences describing the report e.g., “Dr. Satterthwaite traveled to [city] to present data findings at [conference name]. See the expenditure justification report attached for all expenses.”
  • Trip Begin Date/Trip End Date: if it’s a travel report, include those dates
  • Click NEXT to continue reportheader

CONCUR Report Main Page

  • Select “New Expense” and select the category that best matches your expense
    • Note: each receipt must have it’s own expense entry, each item on the receipt must be itemized below it’s entry.
    • For Ex. If you are creating a report for a conference where you took a flight that had taxes and paid for conference registration, these would be two expenses under the same report. One expense will be “flight” which you will itemize for cost of flight and then taxes (see example below). The other expense will be listed as “conference fees” This can be tricky but Sharon Lui and Sophia Linguiti can be resources if you need help.
    • Note: Alcohol can never be reimbursed via University/Grant Funds and Taxes are not reimbursed. Can mark those items as “non-reimbursable” under the itemization
  • Enter the vendor, transaction date, city, total amount, and a business justification similar to that listed on the report header.
  • Click “attach receipt” on the bottom right where you will attach both the receipt for the expense and the expenditure justification form
  • Click SUBMIT when you are done

    • You will get a notification within a few days if the concur report has been approved or if it has been sent back with edits. examplereport

CONCUR troubleshooting

Purchase Orders (PO)

  • To order supplies that are within our Penn system, you need to complete a series of trainings. This will be for when Ted needs to order certain supplies that can be found in the Penn marketplace. You will be responsible for preparing the purchase order and putting into place for the next step of approvals.
  • You will need to complete the following trainings in KnowledgeLink:
    • BEN Buys - Requisitioner - FTD
    • Penn Marketplace Non-PO Payment Request for Preparers Curriculum
    • Penn Marketplace Non-PO Payment Request - Application Training for Approvers
    • Penn Marketplace Non-PO Payment Request - Application Training for Preparers