This list is designed as a guide to help students with their travel arrangements and travel claim settlement when conducting business travel on behalf of the university.  It is important to familiarize yourself with Policy 31 - University Expenses (including the related guidelines) and the Office of Research Website for further information about spending on research accounts. Following these guidelines will help expedite your reimbursement and ensure that you receive reimbursement for eligible business costs. Know before you Go!

Last updated: Sept 1, 2023; CSM

Concur Account Set-up

Graduate Student travel expenses are processed through Concur, the university’ s on-line claim submission system.  An account must be created on your behalf in order to use the system. This includes travel advances and travel claim settlement. Contact the Administrative Coordinator to create your account on Concur no later than 3 weeks prior to departure if you are a first-time user. This is an excellent opportunity to review travel requirements and ask questions of the Coordinator before booking travel and incurring costs, whether you are a novice or seasoned traveller.

Travel Advances

The university does not expect students to assume significant financial burden for business travel costs. Students are encouraged to obtain a cash advance for all out-of-pocket business expense prior to travel. Airfare, conference registration, and accommodation expense are costs that are usually incurred before you start your trip. This expense can be recovered with a Cash Advance. The Cash advance is processed through Concur.  Please make an appointment with the Department Administrative Coordinator [Gen Belford,] for assistance with obtaining a cash advance well in advance of your departure start date. Cash advance requests must be received in Finance for processing no later than 10 business days prior to departure.

Travel Requirements and Documentation

Shared Costs

It is preferable that travelers pay for their own expenses; in cases where this is not possible, the individual who incurred the cost will be reimbursed. If someone incurs a cost on behalf of others, this person claims the entire amount and should make a note of the names and affiliations of the individuals who shared the item(s) purchased. The shared expense can be ‘itemized’ in Concur to apportion each person' s share to different Supervisor’ s grants. 

Grants/External Funding

If the claimant has received external funding to be used toward or to offset travel or conference fee costs, they must provide:

  1. A picture of the cheque or other relevant documentation.
  2. Proof of deposit into the claimant’s bank account (screenshot of redacted bank statement, account information blacked out).

This funding will be deducted from the claim. Please note: Third party external funding deposits can take time and delay the reconciliation of your claim.  It is for this reason we highly recommend taking out a cash advance to offset travel costs while you wait for receipt of funds.

Cash Advance and Claim Settlement

Your travel claim must be settled within one month of the travel return date.  The university will not reimburse expense claims received by Finance four months or more after the travel end date.

To settle your claim access Concur via the Finance Resources webpage using your WatIAM credentials and password. Concur requires Two-factor authentication, 2FA to access the system.  A ‘Help’ link is provided in the upper right-hand corner to obtain the Concur User Manual and the system training modules.

Concur allows for delegation of claim settlement. The Undergraduate Administrative Coordinator acts as the graduate student delegate. 

Designate the C&O Administrative Coordinator, Gen Belford, as delegate [instruction to designate a delegate is provided in the Concur User Manual].  Upload receipts and required documentation to claim. Contact your delegate when your claim is ready for review.  The claim must be reviewed by the C&O Administrative Coordinator before you submit the claim and activate it through the approval process in the systems.  Your delegate will ensure your claim is compliant with policy. This will mitigate unnecessary delays with the processing of your claim.

You are welcome to bring all original documents, itinerary, and receipts to the Administrative Coordinator for reconciliation and input into Concur if you prefer to exercise this option.  You will be notified when your claim is compliant and ready to submit.


If you have questions about Waterloo Policy or the processing of your claim, please contact the Administrative Coordinator.