Expense Reimbursements

Travel and Business Expense Reimbursements

Any Columbia University student, employee or visitor can be reimbursed for valid business and research related expenses. Prior-approval must be obtained from the professor or department that is providing funding.

How do I submit my reimbursement?

  • Columbia University employees should submit their expense through CONCUR,  Columbia Travel & Expense (log in using UNI & password) 
  • Concur Mobile App SAP Concur 
  • Non-Profiled Payee (students or guest) email receipts and supporting documents to: 
    [email protected]

Reimbursement Submission Time Limit

The IRS requires employee / non-payee expense reimbursements to be reported within a reasonable period of time. Reimbursements submitted past 120 days from the date of the last expense is considered taxable income and may be taxed (students will not receive imputed income). Failure to submit expense within 365 days will result in non-reimbursement of expense.

General Guidelines

  • Provide all supporting documents (itemized receipts, proof of payment, professor’s approval email if applicable and account information) 
  • Business purpose must be specified
  • Conference flyer / meeting invitation should always be provided
  • Submit reimbursement within 120 days from date of the last expense
  • Any expense submitted after 365 days from the date of the expense will not be reimbursed.


  • All receipts should be itemized
  • Proof of payment, this is often part of the receipt. Examples of this may include notation of: cash tendered, paid, a zero-balance due and or debit/credit card payment (card type, last four digits of card and/or signature 
  • A credit card or bank statement will usually have all of the required information. If item was paid for with cash, please provide the receipt given to you and indicate you paid cash
  • Name of payee (your name)


  • Meals Threshold: Breakfast - $25, Lunch- $35, Dinner- $75 (BEFORE tax and tip)
  • List names of individuals eating if less than ten people (ten plus indicate number of attendees)
  • Business meals involving external parties should not exceed $100 per person, excluding tax or tip. Such events include fundraising, recruitment or speaking engagements that are hosted and paid for by a University employee and attended by business colleagues, donors, students, or prospective employees, which result in a business benefit to the University.
  • Provide itemized receipt for all meals, not just credit card receipt

Travel by Personal Vehicle

When traveling for business purposes, personal vehicle may be used in order to save time, transport equipment, reduce costs when several people are traveling together, or travel to locations within reasonable driving distance. Mileage reimbursement covers fuel, maintenance/repairs, insurance, transportation and operating costs, so these will not be reimbursed separately. In addition to the mileage allowance, tolls and necessary parking charges may be reimbursed. Miles should not exceed 500 beyond the point of origin. Current mileage is $.625/miles. Provide an online printed map indicating the total mileage between your home and conference/trip destination


Still have questions? 

  • Contact Maribel Autie (ma2184) or Nancy Cuffy (nbc2118)