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Personnel Handbook: Travel and Business Expenses

Policy Statement

Marywood University will be responsible for actual and reasonable expenses related or associated with University travel and business. 
                
Grants and contracts administered by the University may be subject to specific conditions.  If conditions are not stated, the University's policies will apply. 

Allowable Expenses

Allowable expenses include transportation, lodging, meals, parking fees, tolls and other necessary expenses incurred by University employees while traveling on approved University business. 

Airfare should be on regularly scheduled commercial airlines.  The least expensive business or economy class should be purchased.  First class tickets are unallowable.

Personal Vehicles. The use of employees' personal vehicles is reimbursable according to the mileage reimbursement policy of the University.  Employees are responsible for carrying adequate automobile insurance coverage, and they should address insurance related questions regarding the use of personal vehicles for their jobs to their own insurance agents.

Vehicle Rental.  A car may be rented only when it is either the most economical means of transportation or necessary due to the nature of the trip.  Ordinarily, a compact, intermediate or mid-size car should be selected.  Use of 10-15 passenger vans is discouraged due to safety concerns.

Lodging.  The University will honor reasonably cost-effective reservations for lodging within the scheduled dates for University business.   When planning for lodging, inquiry should be made to see if there is a corporate rate available that is less expensive than the convention rate.

Receipt Requirements

Original receipts are required to support all expenditures, such as the cardholder's copy of credit card transactions, the passenger's copy of airline tickets, an original and detailed restaurant receipt rather than a check stub that lists only a total.  Expenditures not supported by receipts will be acceptable in rare instances with a detailed written explanation signed by the employee's supervisor.

Unallowable Expenses

Following is a representative list of expenses that are not allowable under this policy.  

  • Personal entertainment
  • Hotel movie rentals
  • Cost of alcoholic beverages
  • Conference optional events such as golf
  • Costs for family members and personal friends
  • Personal phone calls in excess of one per day to the traveler's home
  • Cost or losses due to negligence or theft
  • Travel or flight insurance
  • Gasoline, insurance, maintenance, repair and other costs related to personal vehicles
  • Traffic violation fines and parking tickets

Procedures

Arrangements may be made through a travel agency, through online web providers, or by going directly to a vendor such as hotel, airline, etc.

Airfare

Individual travel reservations may be made through online sources or through a travel agency using a personal credit card, a Marywood University issued VISA, or a Marywood University purchase order.
 
When a Marywood VISA is used, submit a Credit Card Monthly Charges Report along with the original receipt to the Purchasing Department.

When a personal credit card is used, submit a travel expense report along with original receipts to substantiate costs.

When a University purchase order is used, obtain a purchase order before making the reservation final.  AAA Travel, Abington Travel, and Travel World accept Marywood purchase orders.

Personal Vehicles

A travel expense report listing mileage incurred for each day must be submitted when requesting reimbursement from the University.   Other than the items specified on the travel expense report form, there are no receipt requirements for mileage reimbursement.
 
Car Rental

Employees are responsible for making their own arrangements with approved car rental firms.  The employee must provide evidence of University employment and reference the University's corporate account number.

When a University purchase order is used, obtain a purchase order before making the reservation final. 

When a Marywood VISA is used in lieu of a purchase order, submit a Credit Card Monthly Charges Report along with the original receipt to the Purchasing Department.

Lodging

University personnel must book their own accommodations.  An accounts payable check, a personal credit card, or a Marywood University VISA is acceptable.

When the payment is made with a Marywood VISA, the card must have been issued to the employee using it, not one issued in the University's name.

If an accounts payable check is to be used, the employee should, request at the time of the reservation, a faxed confirmation on the lodging provider's letterhead, stating the name of the person staying, the confirmation reservation number, the date or dates of the stay, and a room rate per day including all applicable taxes.  The employee must attach the fax to a check requisition form signed by the authorizer of the budget to be charged, and submit it to the Accounts Payable Office.  When the check has been cut, the employee can pick it up at the Cashier's Office before the trip.

When a personal credit card is used, a travel expense report with original receipts attached will substantiate costs.

Travel Advances

When out-of-pocket expenses are expected to be significant, travel advances can be arranged by submitting a check requisition form signed by the department head to the Cashier's Office at least one week prior to the trip. 

Petty cash advances are available if expenses for a trip are expected to be less than $100.  Requests are submitted on a petty cash requisition form.

Travel advances must be reconciled with expenses, and excess funds returned as soon as possible upon return from a trip, in order to clear the advance from the traveler's accountability.  IRS Regulation 1.62-2(g)(2) and following state that receipts to substantiate expenses must be received within 60 days of the issuance of a travel advance check.  If the receipts are not received within this time period, the funds may be added to the employee's W-2 as income.

Travel Reporting

As soon as possible after the trip, a travel expense report form signed by the authorizer of the budget to be charged must be submitted to the Cashier's Office, whether or not there are funds due to the traveler.   Original receipts must be attached to substantiate all expenses except mileage.

Approved by the President of the University 2006

 

Comments to the Human Resources Pagemaster: krukovitz@marywood.edu