Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement Policy Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement Policy. The complete policy is available at: http://www.berea.edu/vpf/policies-and-procedures/

Policy Statement 

Employees of Berea College may charge against appropriate College accounts normal and reasonable travel and travel-related expenses incurred for a College business purpose. Business meals not involving travel and certain other business expenses will be reimbursed subject to the conditions contained in the policy. Faculty and staff traveling on College business shall use the most economical standard transportation available and lodging shall be the most economical that is consistent with the College’s best interest and the traveler’s safety. Travel shall be by the most economical routes and lodging facilities that provide discounts or special commercial or educational institution rates shall be used where feasible. Expenses added by taking alternate routes or types of transportation and lodging shall be assumed by the individual.

Purpose

The intent of the policy is to ensure that individuals traveling on Berea College business neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of that travel. It is necessary that clear and unambiguous reimbursement and expenditure guidelines be in place before funds are committed or expenses incurred. It is also critical that all employees traveling on College business understand the compliance requirements established by the Internal Revenue Service and other oversight agencies (e.g., federal grants).

To Whom this Policy Applies:

  • Faculty and staff seeking reimbursement from the College for any type of business expense, regardless of whether travel was involved;
  • Individuals traveling on Berea College business, regardless of the source of funds;
  • Individuals who make travel arrangements for themselves or for others;
  • Individuals who review, approve, process or record travel documentation; and
  • Individuals with budgetary oversight.

Responsibility

The President, Vice Presidents, or Associate Vice Presidents are responsible for assuring that within their administrative units:

  • Budgeted funds are available to meet travel commitments.
  • All meal reimbursement requests, regardless of amount, are accompanied by a detailed receipt.
  • All non-meal travel related expenditures greater than fifteen dollars are supported by a detailed receipt.
  • The potential benefits of the trip justify its time and expense after considering less costly alternatives.

Caution: Individual departments or federal grant programs may have more restrictive policies and procedures regarding travel, but in no case will any unit be less restrictive than this policy. It is the responsibility of the traveling employee to ascertain the restrictions under which his/her travel is covered.

Faculty and Staff Requests for Reimbursement of Expenses Not Classified as Business Meals or Travel

When faculty and staff use personal funds as payment for business expenses of the College that are not associated with business meals or travel (e.g., an item to be used in the classroom), requests for reimbursement must be submitted on a Supply/Material Reimbursement Report (www.berea.edu/vpf/policies-and-procedures.). Such purchases must be pre-approved and should only be made under very limited circumstances when a vendor cannot be paid via a purchasing card or a check request.

Travel Authorization

A. Obtaining Authorization

Before making any travel commitments, an employee should be aware of his/her department’s and/or federal grant program’s travel policies, as they may be more restrictive than those contained herein. Available funding must be identified and appropriate departmental approval to travel should be obtained. No one may authorize an exception to these policies and procedures for his/her own travel. Any exception to the standard policy must be authorized in writing by the traveler’s supervisor and approved by the appropriate President, Vice President, or Associate Vice President.

B. Spouse/Companion/Family Travel

College payment of spouse/companion/family travel expenses is disallowed. Exceptions to this policy must be authorized by the President, Vice President, or Associate Vice President in advance of the travel commitment.

C. Combining College Business Travel with Other Travel

The College will only reimburse the business portion of a trip when that trip is combined with personal vacation travel.

See the complete policy for additional information.

D. Federal Grant Program Travel

The award document should be consulted to determine any travel restrictions.

For more information regarding Reporting of Travel Expenses, Air Travel, Rental Vehicles, Personal Vehicles, Lodging, Telephone Usage, Meal, Entertainment Expenses, Payments to Third Parties, and Miscellaneous Travel Expenses, see the complete policy available at <http://www.berea.edu/vpf/policies-and-procedures/>.

(Revised September 15, 2015)