Administration

Board of Trustees Policy

SUBJECT:

Travel and Business Related Expenses

NUMBER:
5.13
DATE:
Fall 2007
SUPERSEDES:
 

Purpose

The purpose of the Travel and Business Related Expenses policy is to provide guidelines to employees for allowable expenses incurred during travel on official College business, and the requirements concerning the approval and documentation of these expenses. The policy ensures that reimbursable expenses including travel expenses are in support of the College’s goals and strategic initiatives and assures the fair, consistent, equitable and prudent use of College funds.

Policy

This policy applies to all official College travel. The College will reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in connection with approved travel on behalf of the College. Prior approval of the immediate supervisor is required for all travel. Authorized travelers may obtain reimbursement within the limitations set forth in the attached procedures.

When travel is funded by a grant or contract, the use of travel funds will be governed by the more restrictive of either grant, contract or College policy.

Scope

This policy and the associated regulations and procedures are intended to provide information and guidance to faculty, administration and staff members regarding College travel. The procedures are outlined in general terms to allow reasonable flexibility. They are not expected to cover every possible situation.

Procedure and Regulations

  1. Approvals

    The primary responsibility for review and approval of all College business travel and related expenses rests with the budget manager that is fiscally responsible for the budget unit to which the expenditure will be charged. No one may authorize reimbursement of his or her own business travel and related expenses. Prior approval of the immediate supervisor is required for all travel. In addition, a Request for Out-of-State Travel Authorization Advance Voucher is also required for out-of-state travel.

    All travel must be accomplished in the most economical manner, considering the distance to be traveled, time and number of persons involved. Reimbursement will be for the cost of the most economical mode of travel, regardless of the actual mode of travel selected. Every reasonable effort should be made to minimize the number of College employees traveling to any single meeting, conference or event.

    Exceptional conditions requiring unusual expenditures should be approved in advance by the President.

  2. Travel Agency
    1. The College recommends and encourages using the preferred travel agent to assist with official travel including air, rail, hotel and car rental. The sponsored travel agent will direct bill the College eliminating the need for out-of-pocket expenses. Please contact the Purchasing Department for a complete listing of approved travel agents.
      1. From time to time the College may add additional travel agencies to the official list or may change official travel agencies.
      2. Employees may use another travel agency or make travel arrangements directly on their own when significant savings may be achieved or using the College-sponsored agency presents a significant hardship.
  3. Transportation
    1. Travel by Automobile
      1. Whenever possible, use of a College vehicle should be requested for all trips which are to be made by car. College vehicles should not be used for round trips in excess of 400 miles. Use of a private vehicle may be authorized if a College vehicle is not available.
      2. The College will reimburse employees for mileage when they use their personal vehicle for official College business according to the rate that has been determined by the IRS for business travel. Since the College does not reimburse mileage for commuting to and from work, mileage must be computed to and from the College or employee’s home, whichever is closest to the travel site.
        1. The College may verify the reported mileage using “Mapquest.com” or other similar travel sites.
        2. Expense for gasoline and wear and tear on your vehicle are included in the mileage reimbursement. Expenses for parking and tolls are separately reimbursed when receipts are submitted with an approved Travel Expense Account Reimbursement Form.
      3. All employees traveling on official College business, driving a College vehicle or a personally owned vehicle, must be properly licensed and adequately insured.
    2. Inter-Campus Travel
      1. Employees whose assignments are at more than one location, or who are required to travel between locations, will be authorized mileage reimbursement for required inter-campus round trip travel for official activities, providing that travel starts and ends at the same location.
        1. Reimbursement will not be provided for travel to a location as an intermediate stop between the employee’s home and the location where the day’s work is conducted.
        2. Reimbursement will be according to the rate that has been determined by the IRS for business travel.
    3. Automobile Rental
      1. Ground transportation should be used whenever possible, i.e., shuttle buses to and from the airport and taxicabs to the hotel or conference center. Car rentals will be approved only when the cost of ground transportation exceeds the automobile rental cost. The business purpose of a rental car must be clearly documented on the Travel Expense Account Reimbursement Form. Employees are responsible for automobile rentals for personal convenience.
    4. Travel by Common Carrier
      1. Travel made by public carrier, rail, bus, airline or boat, will be reimbursed on the basis of actual cost, inclusive of applicable taxes and related charges. Reimbursements for air travel are limited to coach fare. All travelers are expected to travel using the most economical mode of transportation wherever practical.
      2. Airline reservations shall be made through the College-designated travel agency and charged directly to the College.
      3. All airfare should be booked at least 14 days in advance, whenever possible, to ensure the lowest available fare.
      4. If travel occurs over a Saturday night in order to achieve reduced airline rates, hotel and meal expenses for the one extra day will be reimbursable, if the cost savings for the fare exceed the additional lodging and meal costs.
  4. Lodging
    1. Hotel
      1. The College will reimburse the actual reasonable cost based on the lowest available single room rate.
      2. Hotel expenses will be reimbursed to the employee upon submission of a Travel Expense Account Reimbursement Form with an original hotel receipt accompanied by proof of payment in the form of cancelled check or credit card statement or an original itemized hotel statement.
      3. Arrangements may be made for the College to pre-pay the anticipated expense of hotel charges.
        1. Travelers should reserve the hotel room on their personal credit card and notify the hotel that the room and taxes will be paid by check in advance.
          • The reservation confirmation must appear on the check.
          • A check may be requested thought Accounts Payable through the Travel Authorization Form. Requests for checks must be submitted to Accounts Payable no less than 10 business days prior to travel.
          • Charges beyond the anticipated room and taxes must be paid by the traveler and later submitted for reimbursement.
  5. Meals and Related Expenses
    1. Meal Allowance
      1. Reasonable meal costs will be reimbursed. Claims must be itemized and include original receipts.
        1. No meal allowance will be granted in instances in which meals are covered by conference or registration fees, or any other instance in which the employee does not pay for the meal.
      2. The standard maximum daily meal allowance for official overnight College travel, including gratuities and tips, is based on the United States General Services Administration’s domestic per diem rates which may be found on-line at www.gsa.gov.
        1. If meals cannot be obtained for the specified maximum, exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis by Vice President of the department in which the expense is charged. When individual meals are obtained, they will be reimbursed on the actual cost basis not to exceed the established limits noted above. Receipts must accompany all requests for reimbursement.
        2. Senior staff, defined as Vice Presidents and selected other staff designated by the President, may be required to make expenses above the limits prescribed by the GSA. The President is required to review and approve expenditures under these circumstances.
      3. The College will not reimburse employees for any alcohol purchased.
    2. Related Expenses
      1. Related expenses are defined as meals and beverages for non-employees deemed to be in the best interest of the College, e.g., local visit by an external candidate for a position within the College. Authority to incur related expenses must be properly approved and documented by receipts and records indicating name(s) of guest(s) and justification for the expenditure.
      2. Rental of in-room movies and other entertainment expenses are considered personal expenses that will not be reimbursed by the College.
      3. Business meals are allowable if the employee establishes that the meal is directly related to the active conduct of College business.
      4. The employee must substantiate the expense by including where the activity took place, who was attending, and what was discussed. Expenses for business meals will not be allowed for food or beverages to the extent that such expense is lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.
  6. Telephone and Internet
    1. The College will reimburse employees for all necessary or official College business calls. Employees are responsible for all personal telephone calls.
    2. The College will reimburse employees for Internet access only in the event the hotel does not provide complementary access through a shared business suite or in the guest room.
  7. Registration Fees
    1. Conference
      1. A receipted bill or copy of the program or other literature in which the fee is printed will be required for reimbursement of a conference registration fee.
    2. Professional Membership
      1. Professional organization fees in the name of the College (but not in the name of an individual) are reimbursable. Professional fees in the name of an individual may be reimbursable if corporate membership is unavailable and there is a direct business relationship that is beneficial to the College and is approved by the budget manager.
  8. Miscellaneous
    1. Incidentals
      1. Reasonable miscellaneous expenses will be reimbursed to the employee without necessity of receipt due to the nature of the expense. These may include gratuities for luggage and baggage handling, etc.
    2. Insurance
      1. The College provides travel accident insurance for all employees. Additional individual travel insurance is considered a personal matter and will not be reimbursed.
    3. Advances
      1. A cash advance, not to exceed 75% of the estimated out-of-pocket cost of the trip, but not less than $50.00, may be requested for special trips when an employee cannot be expected to advance the total funds required for the trip.
        1. Cash advances may be obtained from the Business Office by presenting a Request for Out-of-State Travel Authorization Advance Form approved by the immediate supervisor and signed by the President.
        2. All requests must be received by the Business Office ten (10) days in advance of departure.
        3. Final settlement must be made directly with the Business Office within ten (10) days after completion of the trip.
    4. State Sales Tax Exception
      1. Montgomery County Community College is exempt from paying sales tax in certain states.
      2. In order to exempt purchases from sales tax, a Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate must be filled out and presented to the vendor at the time of purchase or in the case of lodging at registration.
        1. The Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate is available in the Purchasing office. Please contact Purchasing at 215-641-6536 if the vendor will not accept the Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate, but requires it be faxed directly from the sales exempt institution instead.
      3. States that the College has tax exempt status include
        Colorado Connecticut Florida
        Idaho Illinois Kansas
        Kentucky Maine Massachusetts
        Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
        Missouri New Jersey New York
        North Carolina Pennsylvania Rhode Island
        South Dakota Tennessee Texas
        Utah Vermont West Virginia
        Wisconsin    
      4. States without sales tax include
        Alaska
        Arkansas
        Delaware
        New Hampshire

 

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