Frequently Asked Questions & Getting Help

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to submit an authorization form to get access to the "Advances and Expense Reports" Menu?

No.
Access to this menu is automatic when you have the Student/Employee/Finance tab in Minerva. For casuals, options in the Employee menu are only available after they receive their first paycheque.

I have both the Finance and Employee Minerva Menus, which one should I use?

Both menus are exactly the same - it is your choice.

I have access to both the Employee and Student Minerva Menus, which one should I use?

If you incurred expenses relating to your studies in your student role, use the Student Menu. If you incurred expenses in your employee role, use the Employee Menu.
Note: Requests for advances may only be submitted through the Employee menu.

The menu says "Start an Expense Report to be finished by Someone Else". Who will finish my Expense Report?

All expense reports created through this menu option will be completed and submitted by a Reviewer assigned within your department/unit. Your department contact will provide you with all necessary information, and will direct you to which Reviewer you are to select in the “To Be Completed by Reviewer” drop-down list on the first screen of the expense report.

How does a Departmental Reviewer get set-up?

Units who decide to use the "Reviewer" option must submit the Reviewer Authorization Form. This form is used to establish the Primary Reviewer within a Unit who is delegated to oversee the expense report review process.

How do I know if my Unit/Department has a Reviewer?

Contact the Administrative Assistant/Officer in your Unit/Department.

How do I submit a claim on my Professional Development Fund?

Consult the Professional Development Fund for Eligible Academics (Guidelines) published by the Academic Personnel Office.

Am I limited to requesting only one advance per trip?

No.
It is possible that a Claimant may need to submit a request for more than one type of advance. This is done by submitting multiple requests in Minerva - only one advance category may be chosen per request. Also, each Third Party Prepayment must be done on a separate advance.

May I submit an advance request for a Visitor?

No.
Advance requests may only be issued to employees (academics, researchers, and administrative staff) and students. However, you may request a Third Party advance request, on behalf of a visitor to make payments for conference registration or to make payments directly to travel agencies.

What do you do when expenses are shared by more than one McGill individual on the same receipt?

ELABORATION: Each individual paid for a portion of the expense OR one individual paid an expense in full on behalf of both parties. How does this get entered on an expense report?

Each McGill person will submit their own expense report with each expense report referencing the other(s) in the Description field.

If one individual paid a portion of the cost directly to the other individual:

  • Both expense reports will include an explanation of this in the Description field and both will have a line item for this expense claiming the portion paid.
  • A signed note must be attached with the amount paid to the other individual - it must be dated.
  • One expense report will have the original receipt with proof of payment and the note.
  • The other expense report will have a copy of the receipt with proof of payment and the note.

If each paid their own portion:

  • Both expense reports will include an explanation of this in the Description field and both will have a line item for this expense claiming the portion paid.
  • One expense report will have the original receipt with proof of payment for the portion being claimed.
  • The other expense report will have a copy of the receipt with proof of payment for the portion being claimed.

If one individual paid the expense in full:

  • Both expense reports will include an explanation of this in the Description field.
  • Only the individual who paid will have a line item for this expense claiming the full amount of the receipt.
  • Only one expense report will have the original receipt with proof of payment.

Is it possible to reimburse expenses for a Visitor if the event did not take place on campus/nearby?

ELABORATION: The event took place outside of Quebec.

For Research Grants and Contracts:

  • Confirm with the Fund Administrator if this is an allowable expense – there may be geographic restrictions.

For all other Fund Types:

  • It is up to the Fund Financial Manager. If it is related to being a guest lecturer/for speaker remuneration – refer to the Policy.

How do you enter a receipt for personal travel combined with business travel?

ELABORATION: A traveler plans to attend a conference in Washington. At the end of the conference, they plan to fly to Vancouver for some personal time off.

When booking the travel arrangements, the traveler will:

  1. Obtain a quote for the Montreal-Washington-Montreal flight. This is the ‘business’ portion of the trip.
  2. Book the travel arrangements for the Montreal-Washington-Vancouver-Montreal flight segments.

When submitting the expense report, the original invoice for the cost of the airfare booked along with the quote for the "business" portion should be submitted.

  • The quote for the ‘business’ portion will be the reimbursable amount unless the actual amount paid for entire trip was less.
  • Ensure that the quote and the actual invoice are comparable and represent the same booking conditions, i.e. both amounts were obtained on the same day, etc.

Proof of payment when paid by credit card - is a print-out from your online account sufficient?

ELABORATION: If you have not received an official credit card statement, and log in online to view your transactions, it will not display your name etc. on that page – it just shows a list of transactions. Will the Travel Desk accept that print-out as proof of payment?

As long as there is some identifier on the print-out (name, partial credit card number), the Travel Desk will accept it.

Note:

  • Statements containing credit card numbers should never be submitted - ensure to black out everything except for the last four digits.
  • You only need to submit a statement when a receipt does not show a zero balance.

May I use the Expense Reports Menu to claim my tuition fee refund?

No.
The Expense Reports Menu is used for requesting reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses for University related travel or business.

Students:

Employees who are also studying at McGill:

When I am preparing an advance or expense report, will I be prompted that I've made an error?

No.

If you leave a required field (marked with a red *) blank, Minerva will not allow you to enter data in the next field. You will also be prompted to make corrections to a date if the entered format is incorrect.

Otherwise, Minerva does not check for content accuracy nor does it check if entered data conforms to University policy and/or guidelines.

When traveling to multiple cities in one trip, which city is entered as the destination city?

Enter the "landing destination" in the Destination City field and in the Purpose indicate the other destinations.

When is a third party claimant deemed to be a non-Canadian resident?

A non-Canadian resident is someone who:

  • Resides outside of Canada;
  • Is not a McGill employee;
  • Has no ongoing responsibility to the University;
  • And, has incurred expenses during University business.

For more information about Non-Canadian Residents, refer to the Guest Lecturer and Speaker Remuneration Policy.

Note: Identifying a claimant as a non-Canadian resident ensures that the Payroll Office, Human Resources, fulfills the University’s taxation regulatory responsibilities. The University bases its policy and procedures on the Income Tax Guide issued by CAUBO for Canadian Universities and Colleges.

How do I enter receipts that are in foreign currencies?

Enter the face value of the receipt (including taxes) in the Transaction amount field and then select the appropriate currency. Minerva will calculate the equivalent amount in Canadian dollars.

How do I enter a receipt for gifts?

In the Describe Purpose field, enter the names and McGill IDs of recipients which are full time employees, otherwise enter Non McGill employees. The name of the store and the items purchased must also be indicated. Always choose the Expense Type Gifts and make sure that account code 700506 is displayed in the FOAPAL Information section of the expense item.

How do I track my advance request or expense report once it is submitted?

Minerva assigns a unique reference number for each request. It is displayed on the screen when you review and print the request. This reference number will allow you to track the status of your request along the approval process using the View All Requests menu item (instructions).

I don't know the reference number for the travel advance or expense report I just submitted. Is there a way I can look it up?

Yes (instructions).

  • Finance Menu and Employee Menu users may look it up by using the View All Requests menu option.
  • Student Menu users may look it up by using the View Expense Report History menu option.

I want to make corrections to my request, but, I already clicked on the Submit button. Do I have to prepare a new request?

No.
The Finance Help Desk or the Travel Desk will need to disapprove your request for you to be able to make changes to it.

Contact the Finance Help Desk by phone at 514-398-3463 or contact the Travel Desk by traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email). Be sure to provide the reference number of your advance request or expense report.

My request was disapproved. I have been told it was returned to my "queue", but, I do not know what that means. How do I find my request?

  • When an advance is disapproved, you may access it using the menu option "Open an Advance Request You Started and Saved" (instructions).
  • When an expense report is disapproved, you may access it using the menu option "Open an Expense Report You Started and Saved" (instructions).

How do I delete an expense report?

You may only delete expense reports which have not been submitted - they must appear in the listing of expense reports you see when selecting the menu option "Open an Expense Report You Started and Saved" (instructions).

If you need to delete an expense report which does not appear in your listing (you already clicked on the Complete-Submit Request button), contact the Finance Help Desk by phone at 514-398-3463 or the Travel Desk by traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email) to have your request disapproved. Be sure to provide the reference number of your expense report. Once disapproved, you will be able to open it and delete it.

I created an expense report, but, never submitted it. The status is showing that it is Automatically Suppressed (AS). How do I open my expense report so I may complete and submit it?

Contact the Travel Desk by traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email). Be sure to provide them with the reference number of your expense report. Once they re-open it you will be able to complete and submit it.

Who to Contact and When

Topic Steps to take: Who to contact
Policy questions Consult the Policy and Procedures. For situations/questions not addressed in the policy or procedures - Travel Desk  traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)
Professional Development Fund questions Consult the Professional Development Fund for Eligible Academics (Guidelines) published by the Academic Personnel Office. Contact Erin Minnett- 514-398-2367 | pdf [at] mcgill.ca (email)
How to submit an advance or expense report in Minerva For step-by-step instructions consult our How To's Finance Help Desk - 514-398-3463 | fishelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)
Is an item an allowable expense for a research grant Consult the Expense Eligibility Grid on the RAN website Contact your Fund Administrator in Research Financial Management Services (RFMS)
Need to disapprove a completed advance or expense report Contact the Travel Desk and provide a reason for the disapproval (missing item, FOAPAL change etc.). Travel Desk - traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)
OR
Call the Finance Help Desk - 514-398-3463
Responsible McGill ID for an advance or expense report needs to be changed since the individual is no longer a McGill employee/student

For advances - Email the Travel Desk and request that the responsible person be changed. Be sure to provide a reason and who should become the responsible person for the advance. Usually the responsible person is changed to the Fund Financial Manager of the fund being charged.

For expense reports – If the Responsible Person created the expense report themselves, email the Travel Desk requesting that the expense report be deleted and provide a reason. If the individual needs to be reimbursed, a new expense report should be submitted for a Third Party Payment.

For expense reports - If someone else created the expense report, contact the Travel Desk and provide a reason for the disapproval. Once disapproved, the Requestor will be able to change the Responsible McGill ID.
Travel Desk - traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)
Need to cancel and re-issue a cheque for an advance or expense report

If the address was correct - Two weeks from the cheque date, email the Travel Desk and request a stop payment and re-issue.

If the address was incorrect - After 30 days have passed from the cheque date, email the Travel Desk and request a stop payment and re-issue and provide the correct mailing address.
Travel Desk - traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)
Need to open a suppressed advance/expense report (status AS) Email the Travel Desk Travel Desk - traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)
Questions or concerns about booking through Travel Management Companies (TMC) Consult the Travel Services website. Travel Services, Procurement Services - 514-398-6048 |Travel.procurement [at] mcgill.ca ( email)
Questions about advances issued to Travel Management Companies (TMC) Email the Travel Desk Travel Desk - traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca (email)