UNIVERSITY POLICY 14
Travel Expense Policy
Initially Approved: January 14, 2013
Revised: 2013 March 25, 2014 June 6, 2015 Jan. 1, 2015 Feb. 11, 2015 July 14, 2016 Jan 6
Policy Topic: Business Administration and Auxiliary Services
Administering Office: Administration & Finance
I. POLICY STATEMENT
The Travel Expense Policy is designed to serve the campus while satisfying tax regulations and providing appropriate internal controls. Following this policy will allow the University to avoid counting reimbursements for business expenses as taxable income to you as an employee.
The key underlining principle is to promote the prudent use of University resources. In the absence of clear guidance on a particular travel related issue, you should use this key principle in guiding your actions.
A. Designated Travel Agency
A university designated agency providing employees assistance with making travel arrangements for airline, hotel and rental cars. Employees are not required to use this agency to book travel, however it is an option providing direct billing to the university (no out of pocket charges to the employee at the time travel is booked).
All employees of the University: faculty, staff, administrative personnel, and all other persons similarly associated with the University, as well as employees of any governmental agency having offices on campus or other lands of the University and all persons hired under any grant or special appropriation of funds.
C. Per Diem
The Per Diem rate is $130 per day and assumes there was a need for three meals, lodging, and related tips. It is not valid for the first day of travel if travel begins after mid-morning when there is an assumption of only two meals or for the last day of travel when there would be no lodging expense. There are no receipts required for Per Diem Reimbursement requests.
D. Travel Card
Corporate card provided to employees who frequently travel on university business to pay for business travel expenses.
A. Approval for Travel
Before making formal travel arrangements, you are responsible for getting appropriate advance approval from your supervisor.
Travel arrangements for candidates being brought to campus for interviews should be arranged through (or approved in advance by) the Human Resources Office for staff positions and arranged through (or approved in advance by) the Provost’s Office for faculty and staff positions within the Provost’s area.
B. Travel Cards
The University provides a Corporate Travel Card to employees who frequently travel on University business to use to pay for business travel expenses. The travel card may not be used for non-business expenses or personal purchases. To apply for a Travel Card, print and complete a Travel Card - Cardholder Agreement Form. Inquiries regarding obtaining travel cards should be directed to the Purchasing Department.
If you use a University issued travel card, you should receive a weekly electronic statement through your University email account for any period(s) of use. You are responsible for logging in to http://www.controlpayadvanced.com and printing out your statement as needed.
Within 15 days of the date of your statement (on which you had charges), you should submit the printed statement to the Student Accounts Office. In doing so you must:
- Attach receipts to support each business travel expense transaction that exceeds $75 (Note: all receipts for lodging and rental cars must be attached regardless of amount).
- Be sure the date, location, nature of the business activity, and name(s) of any quests included (or number of persons and name of group e.g. four persons of finance committee) are noted on the statement or each attached receipt.
- Write the index and account to which the expenses are to be charged on the statement.
- Sign and date the statement.
- Have your supervisor confirm that budgeted funds are available and approve the expenses by signing and dating the statement.
Any statement with missing information will not be processed and will be returned to you for corrections and/or clarification. Any expenses charged to the travel card are considered an advance of funds and may be recovered through a payroll deduction if not properly accounted for within the required period.
C. Cash Advances
Cash advances are not normally made for travel. If you travel frequently and have a University issued travel card, you should use this card for business travel expenses. Otherwise, you should pay for such expenses out-of-pocket and request reimbursement for such expenses after your travel has been completed.
If you do not have a University issued travel card and need to prepay a travel expense, such as conference registration fee, airfare or lodging, select one of the following three options for payment:
- Work with your supervisor to have payment made using his or her travel card (if available), or;
- Submit a request for such payment directly to the vendor using a Kettering Funds or Materials Request Form (located on Kettering’s web site under Business Office – Forms) to the Accounts Payable Office at least three business days prior to the regular check draw which occurs on Friday each week, or;
- Pay for the expense out-of-pocket and request a reimbursement after the completion of your travel.
E. Employee Travel Expense Reimbursement
You may request reimbursement for business travel expenses you pay out-of-pocket by submitting an Employee Travel/Expense Reimbursement Form (located on the University’s web site under Business Office – Forms). You must include receipts (originals are preferred but not required), have the form signed by your supervisor, and submit it to the Student Accounts Office no later than 30 days after the completion of your travel with any exceptions requiring the approval of the Vice President for Administration & Finance. The following must be provided:
- Itemized receipts with date, location, business purpose noted.
- Meal receipts whenever $25 or more per meal (limit of $50/day with prior approval required to exceed this amount) with date, location, business purpose, and names of any guests (or number of persons and name of group).
Please note that the following types of expenses will not be reimbursed by the University:
- Extra ticketed events at conferences other than meals.
- Any expense for a spouse / child / friend traveling with you.
- Tips for meals that exceed the customary level (some discretion allowed if a meeting is being held at the meal and takes longer than the usual meal time period).
- Alcoholic beverages beyond what would be reasonable as part of a business meal. For example, a glass of wine with a business meal would be reasonable, while several alcoholic drinks at a social event with no meal would not be reasonable. When in doubt, you should error on the side of moderation both with respect to personal conduct and reimbursement for the expense.
- Personal items or snacks.
F. Per Diem Payment Option
If you travel on University business and are not using a travel card, you may wish to avoid the hassle of keeping receipts and requesting a reimbursement for expenses by simply receiving a Per Diem payment for all business travel expenses, excluding transportation. The Per Diem rate is $130 per day and assumes there was a need for three meals, lodging, and related tips. It is not valid for the first day of travel if travel begins after mid-morning when there is an assumption of only two meals or for the last day of travel when there would be no lodging expense. Please submit an Employee Travel/Expense Reimbursement Form (located on the University’s web site under Business Office – Forms) to claim your Per Diem payment after completing your travel. You may still request reimbursement for transportation expenses such as mileage for use of your personal vehicle.
G. Personal Vehicle Use
You may request a mileage reimbursement for using your personal vehicle for University business at the rate of $ .54 per mile driven. Please submit an Employee Travel/Expense Reimbursement Form (located on the University’s web site under Business Office – Forms) after completing your travel.
H. Rental Vehicles
You should use a rental vehicle when it is the most practical and economical means of transportation. The University has the following accounts already established which if used should help guarantee unlimited mileage on the vehicle. Kettering University account numbers, rental phone numbers and web sites are as follows:
|* The Emerald Club Loyalty Program is available through Enterprise and National at http://nationalcar.com/offer/XZ20287.|
- Do not purchase rental vehicle insurance when traveling in the United States. Reserve and rent the vehicle in Kettering University’s name for insurance purposes since the University carries insurance for rental vehicle use.
- Do purchase additional insurance when traveling outside the United States. If you have any questions regarding this, please call the Purchasing department at x9815.
I. Driving Requirements
- Traffic Violation: You are personally responsible for any payment or penalty for any traffic citation or moving violation while you are driving any vehicle on University business vehicle.
- Driving Authorization: Please note that anyone driving on University business must have an approved Motor Vehicle Report Authorization form on file in the Purchasing Department.
- Portable Electronic Device Use: The use of any portable electronic device such as a cell phone, laptop, or notepad is prohibited while driving for University business.
J. Airline Travel
Employees are expected to book travel in coach-class to realize the most cost effective airfare. Airline travel valued $1,000 or greater must be approved by a Vice President prior to purchase.
K. Designated Travel Agency
It may be helpful to make airline, car and hotel travel arrangements through the University’s designated travel agency, Superior Travel Services, Inc. To get started, simply print and complete a one-time Superior Travel Service Corporate Traveler Profile (located on the University’s web site under Business Office – Forms), and email to email@example.com or fax it to Kathy Goodrich in the Student Accounts office at 762-9603. Upon receipt of your Corporate Traveler Profile, you will be authorized to make your travel arrangements through Superior Travel. You can then make travel arrangements by calling (810) 344-4773 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It should be noted that only the airfare will be directly billed to Kettering.
L. Business Travel Insurance
- Domestic Travel: The University provides broad insurance coverage for all employees who travel while on University business.
- The University carries Michigan Workers’ Compensation insurance for Michigan employees. Any employee who will be paid by the University and will be working in a state other than Michigan for a minimum of 30 days must notify the Purchasing Department so that we can obtain appropriate Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage.
- International Travel: You must obtain approval from your supervisor and vice president for any business travel outside of the United States, excluding Canada, prior to making travel arrangements.
The following links may help you determine requirements for travel outside the United States relating to visas, work permits, medical mandates, etc. Country-specific embassy and consulate contact information is provided to assist you with questions regarding your international travel.
Please note that travel to some countries is excluded. Our insurance coverage will be voided if the U.S. Department of the State has issued a travel warning (you can check travel warnings on the US Department of State’s web site at http://travel.state.gov/).
You must submit the following to the Purchasing Department so that we can secure appropriate insurance coverage:
- A copy of the itinerary at least 14 working days prior to any business travel outside the United States and Canada, and;
- A completed International Travel and Export Control Form (located on the University’s web site under Business Office – Forms).
IV. POLICY REVIEW
This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years or more frequently as laws or regulations change.
V. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES
- Kettering Funds or Materials Request Form
- Employee Travel/Expense Reimbursement Form
- Superior Travel Service - Corporate Traveler Profile
- Travel Card - Cardholder Agreement Form