6.9 Travel & Entertainment Expense Reimbursement
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for obtaining approval for, and providing reimbursement to, college employees who travel or entertain on official college business.
This policy applies to all employees who travel or entertain on official college business.
Expenses reimbursed under this policy must occur for the sole purpose of furthering the mission and strategic goals of the college; therefore a business purpose must exist. Official travel on college business requires prior approval. Authorized travel will be reimbursed within the limits established in the procedures that follow.
Reimbursement requests for expenses of all types must be supported by scanned or original itemized receipts and submitted with the Travel Expense Voucher.
The college reserves the right to withhold reimbursement for any expenses that: are not submitted timely, are not appropriate, lack prior approval, or lack receipts without a valid reason for such omission.
When travel is funded by a grant or contract, the use of travel funds will be governed by the more restrictive of the college or grant/contract policy.
All official travel on college business requires prior approval of the traveler’s supervisor.
- Overnight travel for college business requires the completion of a Request to attend Conference or Meeting Form and the prior approval of the traveler’s Dean, Vice President or designee. A copy of the conference or meeting schedule that itemizes fees and provides an itinerary must be attached to the form.
- All expenses must be approved by the traveler’s supervisor. An individual may not approve his or her own travel expenses. It is the responsibility of the individual approving the Travel Expense Voucher to ensure that the report is accurate, appropriate and in compliance with policy.
- The Vice President of Administrative Affairs & CFO shall approve the reimbursement requests of the President.
- Travel expense vouchers will be given final review by the Budget Office. This review will include, but is not limited to, accuracy of calculations, appropriateness and substantiation of expenses, and budgetary considerations.
Reimbursement for Expenses
College employees will be reimbursed only for expenses deemed ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home on official college business. All requests for travel reimbursements must be supported by the required receipts and documented on the college Travel Expense Voucher and submitted within thirty (30) days of the completion of the trip.
Documentary evidence, such as receipts, canceled checks, or bills must be provided to support travel and entertainment expenses. Documentary evidence ordinarily will be considered adequate if it shows the amount, date, place and character of the expense. Online receipts are allowed.
Travel by an employee shall be by the most expeditious and least expensive means of transportation as is practicable and shall be commensurate with the nature and purpose of the duties involved.
Allowable travel expenses will be based on the following:
- Only the most direct route by normal modes of transportation will be reimbursed. Travel by a route other than the usually traveled route must be approved in advance.
- When for personal convenience an employee travels by an indirect route or interrupts travel by a direct route, the extra expenses will be borne by the employee with reimbursement based only on such charges as would have been incurred by the usually traveled route. Reimbursement for transportation costs shall be made only for the portion of the trip properly chargeable to the college with all additional personal expenses being paid by the employee.
- Reimbursement will be made for the most economical means and rates possible. Air carrier selection cannot be biased by the traveler’s frequent flyer affiliation. The lowest cost tourist class air travel shall take precedence. The college will not reimburse travelers for tickets
purchased with frequent flyer miles.
- Original receipts for train, car rental and taxicab must accompany all requests.
- Only the original airline ticket or itinerary which shows evidence of payment is considered acceptable proof of payment.
- For auto travel, expenses for parking, bridge and road tolls will be reimbursed if substantiated by original receipts EZ pass statement.
- Valet parking fees will not be reimbursed if self-parking is available at a lower cost.
Auto mileage reimbursement guidelines:
- The use of an employee’s automobile will be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage rate which is posted on the college portal. The mileage rate covers all expenses related to the employee’s vehicle.
- When traveling to an alternate work location, the distance reimbursed will be the difference between the employee’s normal commute mileage and that to the alternate location.
- Reimbursement for multiple persons traveling in the same vehicle shall be limited to the reimbursement paid to the driver.
Automobile rental by an employee traveling on behalf of the college is permitted only when no other mode of transportation is available.
- Reimbursement of rental fees and gasoline charges for the rental will be reimbursed only with an original receipt, accompanied by the original rental agreement.
- No insurance charges will be reimbursed, as the college policy provides rental coverage for college employees on official business.
Lodging reimbursement may not exceed the rate for a standard room. If an employee is attending a convention or conference, the use of the conference hotel is allowed.
- An original itemized hotel bill and receipt must accompany the request and is limited to the cost of the room, internet access and applicable taxes. Online receipts are allowed.
- A hotel receipt is enough to support expenses for business travel if it has all of the following information: hotel name and location, dates of stay, charges detailed by category such lodging, meals, internet access and telephone calls.
- Rental of in-room movies and other entertainment expenses are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed by the college.
For overnight travel, meals are reimbursed up to $65 per day when substantiated by an itemized receipt. For single day travel, meals will be reimbursed at a maximum of $15 for breakfast, $20 for lunch and $30 for dinner when substantiated by receipts.
- Alcohol is not permitted for reimbursement.
- A restaurant receipt is enough to prove an expense for a business meal if it has all of the
following information: restaurant name and location, date of service and itemized expense detail, names and number of people served if the employee is requesting reimbursement for more than self.
- Meal reimbursements for persons other than the traveler must be approved by the supervisor. Their name and amount must be included in the request.
- If a meal is provided by a conference as part of the conference fee and a traveler elects to purchase a meal independent of the conference, such meals will be considered a personal expense and will not be reimbursed.
- Meals and incidentals will be reimbursed at the government per diem rate for those employees traveling for Department of Defense contracted work.
Reimbursement for Prepaid Expenses
If employees pay registration fees, lodging or transportation costs in advance, they can request reimbursement for the expenditure prior to the date of the trip if they complete a Request for Payment Form and supply original receipts.
Travel advances are payments made to an employee on college business before the trip takes place. Advances are made only for trips in which a traveler’s out-of-pocket expenses are estimated to be $300 or more.
- Travelers must complete a Request for Payment Form and also submit an approved Request to Attend Conference or Meeting Form at least 14 days prior to travel. All advance requests must include a brief breakdown of the anticipated expenses and an explanation as to why other payment options, such as college or personal credit card, cannot be used.
- Monies extended as a travel advance must be settled within 2 weeks of the return date of the trip, accompanied by original receipts. The college reserves the right to withhold future advance privileges from any individual who fails to abide by this policy.
President – April 1, 2017
Vice President, Administrative Affairs & CFO