Controller's Office

Certify

certify

Certify is a Portland, Maine-based company that has developed an easy-to-use, paperless business expense reporting tool for reconciling credit card expenses and submitting reimbursement requests.    

With Certify:

  • You can reconcile your credit card expenses (if you have a company credit card) and/or submit for reimbursement of your out of pocket expenses once a month or by the trip.  
  • Certify is a paperless system which will route for approval and payment via email once you have submitted your finished expense report. 
  • Receipts matching your expenses are uploaded into your Certify wallet via a number of options.  If you are a traveler with a Smartphone, you may opt to download the Mobile Certify Application for an easy method of adding receipts to your Certify Wallet.  There are also a number of other easy options available for uploading receipts once you are logged into your Certify account. 
  • If someone else processes your expenses for you, they can be setup as a delegate on your Certify account. 

For additional questions and support, please reference the instructions and FAQ's below or contact:

Instructions & Resources:

Additional information is available under the Support section of your Certify account once you have logged into the system.   

For additional training sign up for one of Certify's training camp classes: https://www.certify.com/training.aspx

FAQ's:

I have a credit card receipt in my Certify wallet, but I don’t see the corresponding credit card charge in my Certify expense folder. Should I create an expense manually and attach the receipt?

No, all charges on a Bowdoin College Visa or American Express card will be automatically uploaded to your Certify wallet.  There can be a 2 – 5 day lag between the date of the transaction and the date the import to the Certify wallet occurs.  If you do not see the charge come through after 5 days, please contact the Controller’s Office.

Do I need to enter a business purpose for each expense item?

If all of the expenses included in an expense report are related to the same business trip or event, then simply describing the trip or event in the Report Name will suffice, e.g. “Recruiting Trip to Seattle WA”.  However, if an expense report is comprised of multiple unrelated trips or miscellaneous purchases that do not fit neatly under a single report description, then the Reason box for each expense line item should be filled in with a brief description of the charge (e.g., lunch meeting with John Doe class of ‘77).

Note:  Bowdoin Visa and American Express imported charges automatically populate expense details in the Reason box.  This generic information is typically not a sufficient business purpose explanation.  If these charges are include in a miscellaneous, non-trip specific expense report, the user should delete the pre-filled Reason box with the appropriate business purpose explanation.

If I inadvertently charged a personal expense on the Bowdoin Visa card, how do I code it in Certify?

All Bowdoin Visa and American Express card transactions are automatically loaded into a cardholder’s expense wallet in Certify.  In the expense report example below, the cardholder purchased three meals on a business trip using his Bowdoin Visa card.  Let’s assume that a personal charge of $11.00 was included in the 6/4/2013 bill for $30.67.

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To account for the $11.00 personal charge, you must manually add an expense item to your report.

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After clicking on Save Expense, the report will now include the personal charge.  The Total Non-Reimbursable balance is unchanged, but the Reimbursable amount is now $-11.00, i.e., the cardholder owes the College $11.00.  After clicking on Submit for Approval,  print a copy of the expense report, attach a check made payable to Bowdoin College for $11.00 and send the report with check to Robin Saindon in the Controller’s Office via inter-office mail.

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Now let’s take the same example, but add another expense for mileage reimbursement; a 404 mile roundtrip drive at 0.55 cents per mile. 

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After adding the mileage reimbursement expense, the Total Reimbursable amount is now $217.26.  In cases like this, there is no need for the cardholder to write a check to the College for $11.00, as the personal charge was automatically netted out of the total.  The cardholder will be reimbursed through Accounts Payable for the $217.26 via automatic payment.   

Should I create reports using the Basic or Automatic workflow?

While the Auto Expense Report Wizard can save lots of keystrokes and works well with credit card transactions, be prepared to do some clean-up when you use it, particularly if using the phone app to upload receipts.  Carefully double check the Categories (Account Code) for each expense items when using the Auto Wizard to be sure it did not default to an incorrect code.  The Auto wizard will attempt to match up receipts in the cardholder’s wallet with the credit card expenses.  This too should be carefully reviewed to ensure each receipt was associated with the correct expense item.  We recommend the Basic workflow for users creating an expense report with out of pocket expenses. 

How do I account for a Cash Advance received from the Controller’s Office?

If your Bowdoin visa is not set up for ATM withdrawals, you may request a cash advance from the Controller’s Office.  Follow the steps listed on the Certify Travel Advance form.  Upon receipt of the completed form, the Controller’s Office will issue payment to you via direct deposit and create an expense report in your Certify account that will include an expense item to clear the advance (a credit to 1-6050).  This report will be available in the Drafts folder under My Expense Reports.  Upon return from the trip, open the Draft expense report, add expense items for each purchase to the report as reimbursable, scan all receipts purchased with the advanced cash into their receipt wallet, and then link those receipts with expense items as needed. 

If the Total Reimbursable is a negative (i.e, the advance was greater than the total of expenses), you owe money to the College.  After clicking on Submit for Approval,  print a copy of the expense report, attach a check made Payable to Bowdoin College for the amount owed and send the check with the report to the Controller’s Office via inter-office mail.

 If the Total Reimbursable amount of the report is a positive amount (i.e., the expenses were greater than the advance), the College will reimburse you for this difference after your supervisor has approved the report in Certify.

What do I do with my JP Morgan Visa statement?

When you receive your JP Morgan Visa statement you can file it at your office or destroy it via confidential destruction.  You no longer need to wait for your statement to reconcile your expenses.  We ask that you submit at least one expense report for each month by the month end closing deadline (i.e. expenses for 1/1/14-1/31/14 would be submitted by 2/7/14). 

Do I still need to complete a conference travel form if I have a Certify account?

No, you would create an expense report within Certify for the reimbursement.  Please be sure to select the Faculty Travel category codes so that you can indicate if you are a speaker or an attendee. 

Do I need a receipt for expenses under $50?

The Controller’s Office does not require receipts for expenses under $50 but your Manager may like to review them prior to approving your expense report.  We encourage you to seek their preference and you may add them if this is your own preference as well. 

What are department and category codes?

Certify uses slightly different terminology for the accounting codes.  A department code is the same as a project code and a category code is the same as an account code. 

Your expenses will default to certain codes but you can always change them by using the drop down menu. 

How do I assign a delegate user to my account for assisting me with my reports?

Generally when your account is setup, we will assign the appropriate delegate user for you.  You can add a delegate user by selecting Manage Delegate Users from the drop down menu in the location where your name is displayed once you have logged in. 

What do I do if I do not have a receipt?

Receipts are required for expenses of $50.00 or greater.  If you misplaced your receipt please indicate this within the reason field for that particular expense item. 

How long does it take to be reimbursed for out of pocket expense?

Once your report is approved by your supervisor, it is then processed by the Controller’s Office.  From that point, you can expect payment usually within a week via direct deposit into your bank account.