Planning to submit an expense claim for a Research Grant? Read this firstPosted on: Jul 8, 2019
Concordia University of Edmonton is in the process of developing its internal Policy and Procedure for Responsible Use of Funds, which will align to a large extent with the procedures and requirements outlined in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide with respect to financial compliance and research funds.
All expense claims relating to research activity must be signed by the claimant, the Budget Control Officer (usually the grant holder) where relevant, and finally must be approved by the Vice President Academic and Provost. The following claims require this approval:
- External research grants (for example, SSHRC, NSERC, and all others).
- Internal research grants (including Seed and Explore, SSHRC-SIG grants, ASU grants, student research grants, and all other internal grants).
The procedure for submitting claims is as follows:
- Ensure that the claim is consistent with eligible expenses. Each awardee is provided with specific instructions for the award.
- Prepare your claim using the correct form. There are 2 forms for employees (one for Travel-related expenses, and another for any expense other than travel), and one for non-employees (for all types of expenses). The form must be current or the claim will not be processed. The form must be signed by the claimant, and by the recipient of the award, in case the claimant is not the actual funds holder. Current forms can be found under Employees, in the Finance folder in Alfresco. Students can request the forms directly to the Office of Research Services.
- Ensure that you have provided all supporting documentation in original, including:
- all receipts must be in the order that they are listed in the claim form;
- expenses must be incurred during the term of the award; any expense that occurred before the start of the award, or after the end of the award is ineligible and cannot be claimed from the award funds;
- receipts must be under the name of the claimant, or be supplied with a letter from the owner of the receipt granting authorization to the claimant to claim the expense, and explicitly stating that the expense is not, and will not, be claimed elsewhere;
- in case a receipt is missing, it must be replaced by a lost receipt declaration, found in Alfresco;
- in case any expense is not in Canadian dollars, an exchange rate must be supplied; acceptable rates can only be provided via a credit card statement showing the expense and exchange rate, or through printouts obtained from the Bank of Canada for the specific date that the expense was incurred;
- for air travel, include all original boarding passes (QR codes alone are not acceptable) and invoices. Flight dates are only eligible when they correspond to the those of the attended event, plus travel time; for long-distance flights (longer than 4 hours), one day is allowed before and one day after the event. Any trip that spans beyond these dates is considered personal, and can only be claimed if a quote for a similar flight corresponding to the correct dates is provided; in such case, the lowest amount will be the one that can be claimed; in particular circumstances, an exception can be requested in writing;
- separate list with the itemization for per diem expenses per day, and in total, including dollar amounts; any meal provided by accommodations and/or conferences cannot be claimed as per diem; per diem rates are available in CUE Travel Procedure. Per diem expenses can only be claimed for the eligible parts of a trip (as examples, full day per diem does not apply if travel starts at 1 p.m., or if breakfast is provided by the hotel or conference; breakfast per diem cannot be claimed for a trip that starts at noon; or a dinner per diem cannot be claimed if the return flight arrives at 4 p.m.).
- in the proper fields of the claim form, please include full descriptive information on the purpose and nature of the expense claim and how it relates to the funded research;
- if the expenses are related to a conference attended by the claimant, the claim must also include the badge provided by the conference organization, the letter of acceptance of abstract for presentation, invoices for registration, the program at-a-glance or in full showing the name of the claimant, and any other document that can support the attendance and presentation by the claimant; attendance to conferences without presentation of research is not allowed for internal grants;
- copy of any travel advance received for the trip (all expenses for travel advances must be included in the claim, and identified as pre-paid expenses); there are no travel advances for Internal Research Grants.
- copy of the award letter;
- if any part of the trip was paid using a corporate card, please retain a copy of all invoices for reconciliation;
- at the front of the claim, please attach a copy of corresponding checklist, properly filled. Checklists are available for Employee Travel and Non-Travel claims, and for Non-Employees.
- Submit your expense claim to the Office of Research Services, where it will be reviewed for compliance. Incomplete or incorrect claims will be returned to the claimant for corrections. Once compliance has been verified, the Office of Research Services will sign-off and the claim will be submitted for approval from the Vice President Academic and Provost. Approved claims will be then forwarded to Finance for final processing.
It is essential that your claim contains the current form, adequate and full documentation such as receipts and boarding passes, and adequate descriptions as to the nature and purpose of the expense. Claims that do not provide this or do not follow the procedure outline above will not be processed.
Questions may be directed to the Office of Research Services.