Frequently Asked Questions

(Please click on the arrows to expand/contract answer.)


How do I get reimbursed?
  • To be reimbursed for expenses incurred while traveling, please fill out the Travel Expense Reimbursement Request form.
  • To be reimbursed for supplies, meeting expenses, please fill out the Expense Reimbursement Request form.
  • All appropriate receipts must be affixed to a piece of paper and delivered to a member of the IAR Office.

Purchase Orders

How do I order something?
  • Complete a Purchase Request Form to submit your request for an order to be created.
  • Please attach all quotes or additional files that are needed to the request form.
  • Should a company require purchase with credit cards, the IAR staff is able to make such purchases.

Please purchase items through our office, as BU’s policies regarding certain purchases may make you ineligible for reimbursement. If you must purchase items yourself, please refer to Sourcing & Procurement’s Shopper’s Guide for policies regarding purchases. 

How long will order processing take?
  • Orders under $1,000 will be processed in the IAR office within two business days. Delivery lead times are dependant on the vendor.
  • Orders over $1,000 will take a few days to obtain proper approval. Larger orders will have a longer lead time depending on the item(s) being purchased and the vendor.

Planning Travel

For more information, please refer to the  BU Travel Guidelines and T-Card Guidelines.

How do I make travel arrangements?
How do I make rental car or hotel reservations?
  • Car rentals and lodging can be taken care of by the traveler or by IAR Staff.
  • If purchased by the traveler: the costs should be included on your travel report.
  • If purchased by IAR Staff: inform the staff of your rental car agency and hotel preferences. Please note that additional personal information such as credit card info may be needed.
Can I use an ATM with my TCard?

  • Using an ATM with your TCard is considered a Travel Advance and must be approved before you travel.
  • If you require a travel advance, please fill out the 
    Travel Advance Request form no later
    than 2 ½ weeks before your travel date.
Can I get a travel advance?
  • Travel advances are no longer being offered by the University except in extreme cases.
  • If you require a travel advance, please fill out the
    Travel Advance Request form no later
    than 2 ½ weeks before your travel date. (Please note that travel advances cannot be used to purchase airfare.)
  • Travel Advances are approved at the discretion of the CAS Business Office and Research Accounting.
How do I add personal travel?
  • You can extend your stay for personal travel, but you will not be reimbursed for any expenses involving the time during your personal travel.
  • You MUST provide a price quote (a screenshot is sufficient) of the direct fare reflecting a trip with no personal travel, created on the day your trip is booked. Provide a copy of the quote to the IAR office alongside your original receipts and boarding passes. If no screenshot is provided, you might not be able to be reimbursed.
  • If your extended stay results in an increase in airfare you are required to pay for the difference in costs. If you extended stay is less than direct travel, there will be no additional costs to you.

Travel Reimbursements

What paperwork should I keep for my expense report?
  • You must keep all original, itemized receipts for every expense over $25,
    unless you are using per diem.
  • Boarding passes are required, even if you did not purchase your flights yourself.
How do I get reimbursed for travel?
When do I have to submit my expense report?
  • Travel reports must be completed within 30 days of the trip’s return.
What is an “appropriate receipt”?
  • An “appropriate receipt” is an original itemized receipt, stating the amount charged,
    what was purchased, and the date and method of payment. If paid by check, a copy of the check must
    be submitted as well.
  • If meal expenses include other people, you must declare who was present,
    the purpose of the meal, and the date.
  • Please remember that you cannot be reimbursed for alcohol on a grant.
  • Credit Card statements are not appropriate receipts.
What if I lost a receipt?
  • You are able to claim up to $25 per transaction without a receipt.
    The acceptances of such transactions are up to the discretion of the BU Travel Office and Research Accounting.
What are the rules for per diem versus submitting receipts?
  • You can claim lodging per diem and/or meals and incidental per diem
    (or any combination of the two), but cannot claim both per diem and actuals in the same category.
  • If you do not have receipts you can claim per diem up to the amount that is on the
    GSA website. Please note that the
    website shows lodging per diem, meals per diem, and then a combined total.
Where do I get per diem rates?
What about reimbursements for expenses in a foreign currency?
  • All travel reports need to be in US dollars.
  • Concur will provide an automatic conversion rate, please supply prices in their original currency.
  • If you paid via Paypal or a US Bank that has already converted the amounts, please provide the original and final amounts to IAR Staff.
What if I owe the University money?
  • Did you add personal travel to your University funded trip?
    Write a check to Boston University in the amount that you owe. Include this on your travel report and submit the check with the report. Please verify the total amount prior to writing a check.
  • Do you have personal expenses on your Concur report that total more than the amount being reimbursed?
    The system will automatically deduct this amount from your next reimbursement or, if no report is created within a month, the amount will be deducted from your next paycheck.
When will I get my check?
  • Typically you will receive your reimbursement approximately two weeks from the final submission of your expense report. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to you when it has been submitted.
  • If more than two weeks have passed, please contact Mary Gordon at to check its status.


If you need help using the system, please check out our training guides.

How Do I Submit A New Expense Report?


  • Open Concur via the “Travel and Expenses” tab in BUWorks. Open the expense tab and create a new report, upload your digital receipts, and fill in details of each expense.


Remember to bring all your original receipts and boarding passes to the IAR Office.

Where Do I Add Per Diem?

Meals and Incidentals

  • Open the “Details” dropdown and choose “New Itinerary” under Travel Allowances
  • If your flights were purchased in Concur, import the correct itinerary for your trip
  • Type in your itinerary if your purchased elsewhere, and change your flight times in your imported itinerary if you were delayed.
  • Click “Next” twice and review the amounts. These are the MAX federally allowed for M/I per diem, you can decrease the amounts by clicking the available boxes.


  • Create an “Accommodations” expense and attach an image of the federal per diem for that location as the receipt.
  • The amount should be the nightly per diem amount multiplied by the number of nights you stayed in a hotel on your trip. The “nightly lodging expenses” tab should reflect your check-in and check-out dates, with the nightly per diem amount as your room rate.