Welcome to the Official GEMS site

GEMS f.a.q.

Our FAQ may change from time to time. If you have a suggestion for our FAQ page, please Contact Us.

    Program Questions

  1. When will my department be able to participate?
  2. Who do I contact about what?
  3. Will training be available?
  4. Are cash advances available through the system?
  5. What are Travel Approvals?
  6. Will I still be able to earn frequent flier miles when booking airfare with the GEMS card?
  7. How do I report the airline ticket I've booked on the GEMS card if I purchased a coach ticket and used my frequent flier miles to upgrade to a premium class?
  8. Will I still have access to petty cash?
  9. How do I handle un-reconciled expenses for an employee who has left the University, or is incapacitated beyond the ability to submit an expense report?
  10. What do I do if I have extra qualifiers in my email address (e.g. cnet@gsb.uchicago.edu or cnet@surgery.uchicago.edu) OR if I need to forward emails to my 'cnet@uchicago' email address?
  11. Can GEMS notification emails be sent to a distribution rather than a specific individual?
  12. Credit Card Questions

  13. How do I get a GEMS Credit Card?
  14. What are the available GEMS card features?
  15. How do I change my GEMS Credit Card information?
  16. How do I cancel my GEMS Credit Card?
  17. Can I still use my own personal credit card?
  18. Can I use my GEMS Credit Card for personal expenses?
  19. What happens if my GEMS Credit Card doesn't work or is declined?
  20. My credit card application is pre-populating with the wrong exec/department number. What should I do?
  21. How do I know when my GEMS Credit Card application has been approved?
  22. How do I dispute or report fraudulent charges that were made on my GEMS Credit Card?
  23. How can I check on the status of my credit card application?
  24. It's been over 12 business days since my application was processed by PPS and I haven't received my card yet. Who should I contact?
  25. Is there tax-exempt status when purchasing with my GEMS card?
  26. Planning to Travel Internationally, Know before you go.
  27. I will use my GEMSCard in Europe, do I need a PIN?

  28. Expenses

  29. Why does the merchant receipt for my foreign transaction not match the billed amount in Concur?
  30. Once my department goes live, how do I start reporting expenses?
  31. What are the receipt requirements?
  32. How will I know if my expense report has been approved?
  33. Where can I find per diem rates?
  34. How do I enter a per diem lodging or per diem meal?
  35. When should I reconcile my expenses? I've just paid for my travel arrangements but won't be taking the trip for a few weeks.
  36. My profile and/or report header are pre-populating with incorrect information. What should I do?
  37. What constitutes an airline receipt?
  38. How can I find out what will be added/deducted from my payroll check as a result of my expense reporting activities?
  39. The expense type I need for my expense report is not listed. Who can I ask about creating a new expense type?
  40. What if I have an unused airline ticket?
  41. As an expense report approver, what should I be looking for in an expense report?
  42. Why am I getting 30/60/90 days notifications?
  43. How do I reconcile hotel deposits or guarantees?
  44. The system is asking me to fill in a city, but the vendor's/purchase location is not in the pre-populated list -- what do I do?
  45. When are reimbursements processed?

  1. When will my department be able to participate?
    The GEMS program will be deployed across the University in a phased rollout. Our pilot begins with NSIT (Networking Services and Information Technology), GSB (Graduate School of Business), SSD (Social Sciences Division) and Surgery. Your Dean or Departmental leadership will be notified when GEMS is coming to your division/department.
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  3. Who do I contact about what?
    Please visit our Contact Us page for a list of people to contact regarding GEMS.
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  5. Will training be available?
    Yes – there will be a number of ways to familiarize yourself with the application. Please visit all of your options on our page dedicated to Training.
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  7. Are cash advances available through the system?
    Cash advances are not supported in the system. You may see several Help features and Expense Preferences that mention cash advances, but these are not setup in our system. For additional help on this, please click on the "How Do I" link on your Concur Central home page.
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  9. What are Travel Approvals?
    Travel approvals are not supported in the system. You may see several Help features and Expense Preferences that mention cash advances, but these are not setup in our system. For additional help on this, please click on the "How Do I" link on your Concur Central home page.
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  11. Will I still be able to earn frequent flier miles when booking airfare with the GEMS card?
    You will be able to earn frequent flier miles as you always have, by providing your frequent flier number when making the reservation. However, if you've been paying for your airfare with your personal airline-branded affinity credit card with an additional rewards program, you will not accumulate this mileage when using your GEMS card. You will need to weigh the benefits of additional mileage vs. not having to front your airfare bill and wait for reimbursement, and decide whether you choose to continue to use your personal credit card.
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  13. How do I report the airline ticket I've booked on the GEMS card if I purchased a coach ticket and used my frequent flier miles to upgrade to a premium class?
    Since the University has paid for a coach ticket, we would suggest reporting it as a coach ticket. Expenditure of your personal miles to upgrade your ticket is business between you and the airline. You may choose to make a note on the expense item that you 'paid' for your upgrade with your miles, in the event that your travel receipt raises any questions with the back office.
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  15. Will I still have access to petty cash?
    We understand some of you may still have a need to use petty cash or travel advances – please continue to use your current process to reconcile those transactions.
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  17. How do I handle un-reconciled expenses for an employee who has left the University, or is incapacitated beyond the ability to submit an expense report?
    Please contact pps@uchicago.edu for assistance. PPS will reactivate the expense system account, to allow access, so an expense report can be created and submitted to close-out the transaction.

    To complete the access setup, PPS will need the following information
    1.       Expense delegate’s name – this person will prepare and submit the expense report.
    2.       Expense approver’s name – this person will approve the expense report.
    3.       The FAS account number to be charged.

    PPS will contact you once the expense system account has been enabled.

    Receipt Requirements
    Simply attach a memo that states “This expense report was created on behalf of an employee no longer with the University and receipts cannot be obtained”.

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  19. What do I do if I have extra qualifiers in my email address (e.g. cnet@gsb.uchicago.edu or cnet@surgery.uchicago.edu) and I need to forward my email?
    Go here to forward from your cnet@uchicago email if your current email has extra qualifiers.
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  21. Can GEMS notification emails be sent to a distribution rather than a specific individual?
    GEMS notification emails can only be sent to the employee for whom it is intended, however, they come from distinct email addresses which can be forwarded to a distribution using an Outlook rule:

    Expense report emails - AutoNotification@concursolutions.com
    Credit card application status emails - gemscard@uchicago.edu
    Reimbursement/deduction summary emails - gemssupport@uchicago.edu

    In Microsoft Outlook, select "Tools", "Rules & Alerts", then "New Rule". The rules wizard window will pop up, where you will select "start from a blank rule" at the top. Under "Step 1", choose "Check messages when they arrive", and click the "Next" button at the bottom of the screen. Under "Select Condition(s)”, click the check box for "from people or a distribution list".

    Under “Step 2”, Click the underlined "people or distribution list" in the bottom field and enter the email address from above for the notifications you wish to forward (enter the email address in the “from” field near the bottom). gemssupport@uchicago.edu also functions as a support email. To ensure that you only forward the automated summary messages (reimbursement/deduction summaries), you may want to also filter by the subject "GEMS TRANSACTIONS". By adding the filter, only automated summary messages will be forwarded.

    Select "Next", and the check box for "Forward it to people or a distribution list", and click the underlined “people or distribution list” in the lower field to enter the email address of the people to whom you wish to forward these types of messages. Select "Next", and enter any exceptions on the next screen. If there are none, hit "Finish". Make sure the check box next to your new rule is selected, and choose "Ok" to activate your new rule.

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  23. How do I get a GEMS Credit Card?
    Once GEMS has been rolled out to your department, you can go to https://gems.uchicago.edu/apply to apply for your GEMS Credit Card. Complete the online application, select the card features that best applied to your business needs and submit your application. All credit cards will be delivered to Purchasing and Payment Services and will be distributed to your GEMS departmental contact.
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  25. What are the available GEMS card features?
    Your GEMS card may have one or both features: Travel and Procurement. You will only receive one card, but it can have multiple card features.

    Travel enables the card to be used for typical travel expenses (described below) up to a billing cycle spend limit AND procurement of goods and services up to $500 per transaction. This option has a standard billing cycle spend limit of $10,000. Any changes to the billing cycle spend limit will not effect the $500 single purchase limit for procurement purchases.

    Standard travel transactions include: travel and transportation (airline, rail, bus, car rental, livery, taxi), conference/meeting registration fees, business meals, parking, telecommunications and service stations.



    Procurement should be checked if you are authorized to conduct procurement activities for your division/department on occasions when purchase orders are not an option. If you have special procurement needs – please note them in your application.

    Check with your divisional or departmental leadership before selecting this card feature.

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  26. How do I change my GEMS Card information?
    Change a name; Change an FAS account number; Change a credit limit; Change a billing address.

    Complete the Changes to your existing GEMS Credit Card form. Your approver should sign the form and give it to the department head for a second signature. Fax the signed form to Purchasing and Payment Services at 1-773- 834-3869.
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  28. How do I cancel my GEMS card?
    You can request to cancel your card by completing the Changes to your existing GEMS Credit Card form.
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  30. Can I still use my own personal credit card?
    Because the GEMS Card saves time and overhead, you are encouraged to use it whenever possible.

    The benefits of using the GEMS Credit Card are that the University directly pays the credit card vendor so you are not using your own funds and waiting for reimbursement. And when you use your GEMS Credit Card, your credit card expenses will be imported directly into the GEMS Expense Management system. You can easily select your credit card charges and add them to your expense report with a few simple clicks.

    If you use your own personal credit card, you will need to manually enter each line item into the GEMS Expense Management system as an out-of-pocket expense and will be reimbursed via payroll check.
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  32. Can I use my GEMS card for personal expenses?
    No, but sometimes this cannot be avoided. Some examples include an in-room movie on a hotel invoice, or an upgrade on a rental car.

    In these cases, you must itemize the transaction and split out the personal charges into its own line item. The transaction should then be marked as a personal expense on your report.

    If you fail to mark these expenses as such, your report will be sent back to you by your approver.

    When you submit your report you will be authorizing the University to deduct the personal expenses from your payroll check.
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  34. What happens if my GEMS Credit Card doesn't work or is declined?
    Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M. please contact GEMS Card at 1-773-702-4360 or by email: gemscard@uchicago.edu if your card does not work or is declined. Weekends and Holidays contact JPMC at 1-800-316-6056
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  36. My credit card application is pre-populating with the wrong exec/department number. What should I do?
    Contact your HR Representative and explain which information is incorrect. He or she will fix it in HR administrative systems and the correct information will be fed into your application. Once the corrected numbers appear on your application you may complete it and submit it for approval.
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  38. How do I know when my GEMS card application has been approved?
    You can log into https://gems.uchicago.edu/apply to monitor your application's approval workflow progress. Additionally, you will receive an email every time the application's status changes.
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  40. How do I dispute or report fraudulent charges that were made on my GEMS card?
    Please read and complete the Dispute Credit Card Charges form. This form is also on the back of your monthly statement. You will have 60 days from the transaction date to complete and fax the form to JPMC, our credit card vendor.

    If the credit card vendor issues credits for fraudulent expenses, you must reconcile the credits on an expense report, just as you would with a normal charge. When you do this, select the most appropriate expense type and fill in the rest of the fields appropriately.
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  42. How can I check on the status of my credit card application?
    You can check on the status of a credit card application by logging into the GEMS Credit Card Application with your CNet ID
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  44. It's been over 12 business days since my application was processed by CPPS and I haven't received my card yet. Who should I contact?
    If you haven't received your card after 12 business days, please check with your GEMS division/department representative. If you are unsure who this is, please contact gemscard@uchicago.edu
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  46. Is there tax-exempt status when purchasing with my GEMS card?
    Yes, the University’s tax-exempt status is for sales tax and may not extend to most travel related activities. Cardholders should avoid paying tax on procurement of goods. Some vendors may want to see a copy of the letter regarding the University’s Tax status; the letter is available on the AdmiNet intranet site. The Illinois Tax-Exempt number is imprinted on each card. Also, remember to mention the University’s tax-exempt status when making any purchase.

  47. Planning to Travel Internationally, Know before you go.
    1. Inform Chase you will be traveling international to avoid security blocks being placed on the card.
    2. For 24 hour Chase Customer Service call 1-800-316-6056. Outside the U.S. call collect 1-847-488-3748
    3. Know your available credit limits, contact gemscard@uchicago.edu to obtain spending limits.
    4. The Bill-to-address is the University department address used on your GEMS application.
    5. Cash withdrawals are not allowed on the card.

  48. I will use my GEMSCard in Europe, do I need a PIN number?
    No PIN number is required when using your card in Europe. Most Continental European countries have already converted to chip cards, and the United Kingdom was largely converted to chip and PIN in 2006. Acceptance of international magnetic stripe credit cards has not changed and your MasterCard® card will still be accepted at merchants that normally accept MasterCard payments.

    Will mechants accept the magnetic stripe without a PIN number?
    In major metropolitan areas, you should encounter no trouble with acceptance of your MasterCard. However, once you are out of major tourist centres, some merchants are unfamiliar with the rules regarding acceptance of international magnetic stripe cards and you may encounter some resistance to your magnetic stripe credit card. Part of the confusion is due to implementation of new rules regarding responsibility for fraudulent transactions: In the United Kingdom, any merchant that has a chip and PIN device installed will be protected from fraudulent transactions, regardless of card technology - provided they follow appropriate acceptance procedures. Some merchants (or their staff) incorrectly believe they will bear responsibility for any fraud if they accept a magnetic stripe card. This is not the case.

    What to Do
    Both MasterCard and the banking industry are actively working with merchants to ensure that there is no confusion. However, in the rare instance you encounter a problem in Europe, you should ask the merchant to swipe the card through the terminal and follow the prompts. If the clerk is not willing to, request to speak with a store manager. If they need further assistance, advise the merchant to call their card processor (terminal provider). You can also call your MasterCard cardholder assistance service and the problem will be investigated. This number is printed on the back of your MasterCard card. If you will encounter unattended kiosks, it is advisable to use cash.

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  49. Why does the merchant receipt for my foreign transaction not match the billed amount in Concur?
    There is a 1% fee added to each transaction made outside of the United States including transactions made in U.S. dollars. This fee is not reflected on the receipt. The foreign transaction fee will be a separate transaction listed under the employee's Unassigned Company Card Transactions in Concur. This fee may not display the vendor’s name.
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  51. Once my department goes live, how do I start reporting expenses?
    You will need to login to the GEMS Expense Management System, also known as Concur, to create your expense report(s). If you need assistance in creating an expense report, more information is available on our Training page.
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  53. What are the receipt requirements?
    Receipts are required for all: Hotel, business meals (with more than one person) and any purchase $75 or over.
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  55. How will I know if my expense report has been approved?
    When you login to the GEMS Expense Management System, the Concur Central (your account's Home Page) will be displayed. The My Work section will list all expense reports you have in the works.  For each report listed you can see the report status. Statuses include: Submitted & Pending Approval, Submitted, Sent back to Employee, Paid, Not Submitted, Approved and in Accounting Review, Approved and Approval Time Expired.
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  57. Where can I find per diem rates?
    When you login to the GEMS Expense Management System, the Company Links area on the Concur Central page (your account's Home Page) contains a link to all federal per diem rates.
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  59. How do I enter a per diem lodging or per diem meal?
    Look up the per diem rate in Concur Central by clicking on ‘Federal Per Diem Rates’ under Company Links. Create a Travel Policy expense report header and enter either the ‘Per Diem Lodging & Meal’ or ‘Per Diem Meals’ expense type. 'Daily Amount' is the daily per diem rate and enter the total amount in ‘Amount in USD’.
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  61. When should I reconcile my expenses? I've just paid for my travel arrangements but won't be taking the trip for a few weeks.
    When using the GEMS credit card it is not necessary to wait until after a trip occurs to reconcile airfare and hotel deposit expenses. Most travelers book airfare, registration fees and reserve hotel rooms far in advance of the actual trip date. Any airfare tickets, hotel deposits and registration fees purchased using a GEMS card can be reconciled and submitted as soon as the charges appear in the GEMS expense reimbursement system.

    Advance air, hotel deposits and registration fees (whether purchased on a personal credit card or your GEMS card) can be immediately reconciled and submitted in the GEMS expense reimbursement system see Supporting Documentation Standards for receipt requirements.
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  63. My profile and/or report header are pre-populating with incorrect information. What should I do?
    Contact your HR Representative and explain which information is incorrect. He or she will fix it in HR administrative systems and the correct information will be fed into the expense management system. Once the corrected information appears on your report header and/or profile you may complete a report and submit it for approval.
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  65. What constitutes an airline receipt?
    A valid airline receipt should have "Receipt" printed on the document and the following information: Passenger Name, Issue Date, Air Carrier, Air Carrier Ticket Number, Detail Itinerary and Routing, Class of Service (Coach, Business, First Class), Payment date and method of payment.
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  67. How will I know what is being added/deducted from my payroll check as a result of my expense reporting activities?
    The Monday before each bi-weekly payroll run, gemssupport@uchicago.edu will send out an email to all users that have pending reimbursements or deductions. This email will detail the reimbursements and deductions that will take effect in the upcoming payroll run.
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  69. The expense type I need for my expense report is not listed. Who can I ask about creating a new expense type?
    If you think an expense type should be added to the system, please contact gemspolicies@uchicago.edu to suggest the configuration change.
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  71. What if I have an unused airline ticket?
    An expense report will need to be submitted for the airline ticket. The decision on how to handle the unused ticket should be discussed with the employee and the division/department. One option is that the employee can purchase their ticket and later use it for personal use by marking the airline ticket as personal on the expense report. Another option would be for the division or department to hold onto the ticket and re-use it at a later time. Any change fees will need to be submitted
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  73. As an expense report approver, what should I be looking for in an expense report?
    We've created a Approver Checklist for Expense report approvers. This list was created as a guide for expense report approvers. If you have any suggestions for an item that should be on the approver checklist, please email gemssupport@uchicago.edu.
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  75. Why am I getting 30/60/90 days notifications?
     
    1. Check if there is an ‘Unassigned Company Card Transaction’ link on the upper right side of the Concur Central page under ‘My Update’. If so, click on the link to determine if there is a credit card transaction over 30/60/90 days that hasn’t been added to an expense report.
      Corrective action: Add the transaction to an expense report and submit the report for approval.

      And/Or

    2. Check if there is an expense report that has been created, but is showing as ‘Not Submitted’ under the column heading Approval Status. Determine whether the un-submitted report contains a transaction over 30/60/90 days.
      Corrective action: Submit your report for approval.

      And/Or

    3. Check under ‘My Updates’ on the right side of the Concur Central Page to see if there are reports with a status of ‘Submitted & Pending Approval’ and if the report contains a transaction that’s over 30/60/90 days.
      Corrective action: Ask the approver shown on the status to approve your report.

      And/Or

    4. Check under ‘My Updates’ on the right side of the Concur Central Page to see if there are reports with a status of ‘Send Back to Employee’.
      Corrective action: Provide any information requested and re-submit the report.
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  77. How do I reconcile hotel deposits or guarantees?
    If your GEMS card has been charged for a hotel deposit or guarantee, please reconcile it as a lodging expense, note in the report comments that this was a hotel guarantee, and submit whatever confirmation document you may have received as your receipt.
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  79. The system is asking me to fill in a city, but the vendor's/purchase location is not in the pre-populated list -- what do I do?
    If the appropriate city is not in the list, you may enter a nearby city. If you are not aware of any nearby city, you may enter Chicago, and add a comment that "The actual city of ______ is not available in the list"
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  81. When are reimbursements processed?
    Reimbursements are processed on the biweekly payroll cycle. If you are a monthly employee your reimbursements may be processed on either (or both) biweekly payrolls as a separate pay advice. If you are a biweekly employee your reimbursement will be a separate line item on your regular biweekly pay advice.
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  83. What should I do when I see a credit card charge post for a transaction I’ve already reconciled as out-of-pocket?
    When you use your GEMS credit card you must not reconcile the transaction until it has posted to Concur. Only after the transaction has posted should you create an expense report. When you reconcile the transaction as an out of pocket expense before the credit posts, and not as the actual credit card transaction, you owe the University money.

    To correct this, create a new expense report and reconcile the credit card transaction. While providing the transaction detail there is a box that says “Non-reimbursable (personal) expense”, check that box. In a comment field, provide the reason why you are resubmitting this expense and then submit the expense report. The University will deduct the transaction amount from your payroll check to recoup monies owed. If a reimbursement is processed at the same time as the deduction, the deduction will first come out of your reimbursement.

  84. How do I reconcile fraudulent/disputed or credit transactions?
    Fraudulent/Disputed or Credit transactions should be reconciled like any other normal transaction. Below are the steps to reconcile this type of transaction:

    Creating an expense report for “Fraud/Disputed Charge” 

    1. Create an expense report. 
    2. Select the expense type that best describes the type of transaction.
    3. If receipts are required attach a memo stating the transactions are the result of a fraudulent or disputed transaction.
    4. Submit the expense report for approval.

    Creating an expense report for a “Credit”

    1. Credit should be reconciled to ensure proper accounting.
    2. Create an expense report, in the notes/comment field you may want to reference the date of the original charge.
    3. Submit the expense report for approval.


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