Jason’s Guide to Expense Reports


This document is meant only to provide general guidelines and tips on how to create an expense report to reduce the number of questions and time it takes to process an expense report. It is not meant to be the final word in how the process should be completed. For official guides and policies, please see the Jira guide as well as the WSU BPPM on travel.

Creating an Expense Report

  1. In Workday, click in the search bar at the top of the screen and enter, “Create Expense Report”
  2. Select the “Create Expense Report” Task
  3. This will bring up the Expense Report screen
  4. Select the correct Creation Option:
    1. If this is for reimbursement for an item, registration, or meal purchase that did not include travel, you may leave the option as “Create New Expense Report”
    2. If this is for reimbursement for travel expenses from a trip, select the “Create New Expense Report from Spend Authorization” option. Click in the box next to the item and select the appropriate Spend Authorization
    3. If you are submitting this form for a trip that does not have an approved Spend Authorization, you must submit the Spend Authorization before completing the Expense Report.
  5. In the Memo box, enter a brief description of why you are submitting this Expense Report. For example, you may enter “Reimbursement for purchase of batteries from Walmart” or “Reimbursement for expenses on trip to San Diego for IMS conference”
  6. Do not change the Company or Expense Report Date boxes
  7. Click in the Business Purpose box and select the appropriate option for your trip:
    1. If you are requesting reimbursement for a purchase that you made that was not part of a trip, select “Confirming Reimbursement”
    2. Otherwise, select the “Travel-…” option that best matches the purpose of your trip
  8. Enter the relevant Worktag (budget number) that you would like to be reimbursed from
    1. This is NOT the ORSO or Award (AWD###) number, these are instead the grant, program, project, or gift numbers that are given as a part of the Awards
      1. Project numbers begin with the letters “PJ” followed by a number string
      2. Program numbers begin with the letters “PG” followed by a number string
      3. Gift numbers begin with the letters “GF” followed by a number string
      4. Grant numbers begin with the letters “GR” followed by a number string
    2. Please contact the EECS Front Office if you are unsure of which number to use
  9. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to the next page where you will enter your Expense Lines.

Adding Expense Lines

The below list provides a few tips common to all Expense Lines and receipts:

  • All Expense Lines MUST be itemized, except for Personal Vehicle Mileage
    • This is completed by selecting the “Add” button under Itemization on the right side of the screen for each Expense Line
    • When itemizing, you may enter one line with the total of all the expenses for that Expense Line category, except when itemizing for lodging or meals (detailed later)
    • Itemization must add to the total cost for that Expense Item
  • You need to provide receipts for your expenses, according to the below criteria:
    • Receipts MUST show a method of payment that can be used to prove that you were the one who made the purchase, usually the last four digits of a card number
      • If this information is not on a receipt, you will likely be asked to submit a credit card or bank statement which shows the charge on your account (redact any other transactions)
      • This requirement does not apply to receipts for cash purchases
    • Receipts should be itemized
    • Receipts should equal the amount you are requesting, or you may request only partial reimbursement with a description (e.g., only one ticket on a receipt with two)
    • If you are not able to provide a receipt for a purchase, you may fill out and sign an “Affidavit of Lost Receipt” form (PDF)
  • If you encounter an Error in one of your Expense Lines, after you correct the error, you should click on a different Line in the list on the left side of the screen. This forces Workday to refresh its calculations and will clear the error if it is correct

  1. To add an Expense Line, click on the “Add” button on the middle left side of the screen. This will start a list on the left side of the screen, that you may click through to edit the different lines. To delete a line, click the small trash can on the far-right side of the screen at the top of the Expense Line section – Do not click “Submit” until you are done!
  2. For all expenses, change the Expense Date to the date that you started your trip in the Spend Authorization you submitted, or the date you made the purchase if not a part of a trip
  3. Click in the Expense Item box, and either search for the category that best matches your expense, or select “By Expense Item Group” and select the relevant group to find your expense category (common categories are detailed in a list in item 18 below)
  4. In the Memo box for each item, enter a short description that provides the details of the expense, for example “Purchase of batteries from Walmart” or “a 3-night hotel stay in Denver”
  5. Ensure that the Worktag (budget) number is still correct for your reimbursement
  6. Upload any relevant receipts in the gray box at the top of this section by clicking on “Select Files”
  7. On the right side of the screen, enter itemization relevant to the Expense Line
  8. If you have uploaded receipts, select the “Receipt Included” box on the right side of the screen underneath the itemization section
  9. Below are a list of common Expense Items and how to add them properly:
    1. Air Transportation (In-State, Out-of-State, Foreign) – This is the total cost of airfare for your trip, including flights to and from your destination, and any fees. If the airports you are flying between are both in the State of Washington, use the “In-State…” item. If one or more of the airports are in another U.S. State, use the “Out-of-State…” item. If one or more of the airports is outside of the United States, use the “Foreign…” item. Do not use Enter the total amount you paid for the tickets, taxes and fees included.
      1. On the right side of the screen, click in the Classes of Service box, select “All” and then “Economy”
      2. Itemizing Air Transportation – Enter the total amount you paid for airfare from the previous page and click on “Done” at the bottom
    2. Per Diem Lodging (In-State, Out-of-State, Foreign) – This is the total cost of lodging you paid for on your trip. If the lodging location is in the State of Washington, use the “In-State…” item. If it is in another U.S. State, use the “Out-of-State…” item. If it is outside of the United States, use the “Foreign…” item. There should be one expense item for each destination, e.g. “In-State…” for a night in Seattle, then “Out-of-State…” for nights in Chicago, etc.
      1. On the right side of the screen, under Item Details, adjust the Arrival Date and Departure Date to match when you arrived at and left from the hotel
      2. Itemizing Per Diem Lodging – When you open the itemization page for a per diem lodging expense item, you will want to enter the city you stayed in by searching in the Destination box in the upper right. Next, enter the Number of Nights you stayed at this location. Then, you will enter the Total Amount which is the total sum of the room rates and any fees shown on the receipt (including parking, resort fees, etc.) and Workday will calculate the daily rate
      3. Itemizing Per Diem Lodging, Taxes! – Scroll down on the itemization screen to see the “Lodging Tax” item. Here you will again enter the Number of Nights but this time the Total Amount will be the total of all taxes shown on your receipt
      4. Notes on Itemizing Per Diem Lodging: If the daily rate that Workday calculates for your input Destination is higher than the Per Diem rate for that city (found on the Payment Services website), Workday will give an error. You may only be reimbursed above 100% of the per diem rate up to 150% of the per diem rates if your trip meets any one of the exceptions listed. To enter this into the itemization, you will change the Expense Item Box to the “z – Hotel Item… …Lodging Room up to 150% per diem”. You will need to re-enter your Destination in the upper right, but also will need to fill out the Class of Service box by clicking inside, selecting “All” and then selecting the appropriate “Exception…”
    3. Per Diem Meals (In-State, Out-of-State, Foreign) – For Per Diem meals, Workday will calculate the reimbursement based on the per diem rate, which is expected to cover all food and drink including snacks and drinks outside of mealtimes. You do not need to submit receipts for meals or food, but they should be broken into whether the day’s destination is “In-State…”, “Out-of-State…”, or “Foreign…”
      1. Itemizing Per Diem Meals – First, you will enter the departure date and time on the right side of the screen, and then your return date and time. This will bring up a list of the days, and an option to click on “View Details”. In the window that pops up, you will need to enter your destination for each day, or where you sleep at the end the day, in the upper right (last day should be location where you last slept). Then, you will want to select whether YOU provided (purchased) breakfast, lunch, or dinner on each day. Please do not claim meals provided by the organizer of the conference you are attending.
    4. Other Expenses (In-State, Out-of-State, Foreign) – This Expense Item is for travel costs or expenses not included in the other lines and should be broken up by whether the expense was in-state, out-of-state, or in a foreign country. This may include Uber, Lyft, taxi fares, public transportation fares, parking fees, rental car rates, etc.
      1. Itemizing “Other” Expenses – When you itemize these items, you may simply input the total sum of all expenses in this Expense Item as you would do with Airfare
    5. Private Automobile Mileage (In-State, Out-of-State, Foreign) – This is used if you drove your private vehicle for part or all of your trip (for example, to the Spokane Airport), and is reimbursed on a per mile basis. This is expected to cover wear and tear and gas costs and is $0.65 per mile. In the Quantity box, you should enter the total number of miles you expect to drive. If any significant portion, including your destination, is in another state or a foreign country, then the whole trip becomes then the whole item should be “Out-of-State…” or “Foreign…,” respectively. No receipt is needed for this expense
    6. Conference Registration Fees – If you paid for a conference registration fee, you would use this Expense Item and enter the total cost of the registration fees.
      1. Itemizing Registration Fees – In the Quantity box, you should leave it a 1, and then enter the total cost in the Total Amount
    7. Meals and Banquets – This is used ONLY with reimbursing for an expense that doesn’t include travel. For example, if a person takes a visiting professor to lunch, or pays for meals for a club and was not able to submit a requisition prior. Is found under “Confirming Reimbursement” Expense Item Group
      1. Itemizing Meals and Banquets – In the Quantity box, you should leave it a 1, and then enter the total cost in the Total Amount
    8. Other Reimbursement Expenses for Single Purchases – For other reimbursements for expenses that do not relate to travel such as equipment, website subscriptions, or software purchases. Please select the most appropriate Expense Item under the “Confirming Reimbursement” group
  10. Once you have added any relevant Expense Items, you may click “Submit” at the bottom left of the screen to send it to your department for approval.

After You Submit Your Expense Report

  • When the Expense Report is submitted, it will be sent to the fiscal analyst (or equivalent roll) of the department who oversees the budget it was submitted under for approval
  • Once the fiscal analyst approves it, it will be sent the requestor’s manager for approval
  • Next, it will be sent to the grant manager for their approval
  • Finally, it will be sent to Accounts Payable for final approval, processing, and payment