Travel and Entertainment Expense
Policy Statement: The College's policy is to provide fair and prompt reimbursement for necessary travel expenses incurred for authorized College business.
Travel expenses must be documented on a Travel & Entertainment Expense Report
Entertainment expenses may be reported on a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report or on a Check Request.
Employees will be reimbursed for travel when the trip is completed and an Expense Report is submitted to the Business Office. If costs are incurred in advance, such as airfare or conference registration, the employee can request a travel advance. Receipts are not required until the Expense Report is submitted. (see the Travel Advance section below)
When travel costs are to be charged to a third party, restricted grant, or sponsored project, the terms stipulated by the funding source will take precedence if they are more restrictive than College policy.
Employees must obtain the approval of their supervisor before traveling on College business.
Travel Advances are available to defray direct expenditures incurred by college employees traveling on college business. The amount of the advance depends on the length and geographic location of the trip. Travel Advances will not be issued in amounts under $100.00.
In order to obtain a travel advance, complete a Check Request in the amount of the advance. An advance should not be requested more than 30 days prior to the scheduled travel, unless the employee has already incurred expenses (such as purchased airfare). The employee's supervisor must approve the travel advance request. An employee may not authorize his/her own advance. The Check Request must include, in the description section of the form, the dates, destination and business purpose of the travel. The employee's Lewis and Clark ID number is required for travel advances. Submit the Check Request form to Accounts Payable by 4:00 p.m. Monday for pick-up in the Student and Departmental Account Services's Office at 12:00 noon Friday.
A Travel Advance is considered to be a loan to the employee until the employee submits a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report documenting the use of the funds for business purposes. You are personally responsible for this money until it can be accounted for. After the report is submitted to the Business Office, the advance will be cleared and the expense charged to the departmental budget.
Travel advances must be accounted for on a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report within thirty days of the date of return. When your trip has been completed, return any remaining travel advance funds to the Student and Departmental Account Services's Office. These funds should be deposited to your travel advance account, not your department's budget. Attach the Student and Departmental Account Services's Office receipt to your Travel & Entertainment Expense Report along with your other receipts. Record the travel advance on the Travel and Entertainment Expense Report as a credit in the Cash Summary section under the "Less: Travel Advances" line.
Travel & Entertainment Expense Reports
The College requires an itemized Travel & Entertainment Expense Report for all travel expenses charged to a College account. A properly completed Expense Report signed by the employee and with all receipts attached should be sent to the Business Office within one month of the completion of each trip. The employee's supervisor must authorize the travel and approve the travel expenses. The business purpose of the travel must be noted on the form. For example: "travel to Seattle" is not a business purpose; "travel to Seattle for admissions recruiting" is a business purpose. The description of the business purpose should clearly spell out the benefit to Lewis and Clark College resulting from your travel and/or entertainment.
Travel and Entertainment Expense Reports are available by download from this web site and in the Business Office.
Receipts are required for all expenses over the amount of $10.00. Receipts should be attached to the Expense Report, and arranged in the order that they are listed on that report. Where expenses are shared with external organizations, a duplicate copy of the receipts will suffice when submitted with either a copy of the Expense Report submitted to the other organization or a common Expense Report showing all expenses charged to both Lewis & Clark and the other organization.
In all other cases, original receipts must be submitted for reimbursement.
If it is not possible to obtain a duplicate receipt from the billing agency, the employee must submit a signed memorandum, approved by the supervisor, and stating:
- The amount and purpose of the expense.
- That no receipt or cancelled check is available.
- That no other reimbursement of expense has been, or will be, sought or accepted from any source.
Non Reimbursable Expenses
In general, expenses not directly related to or required for official college travel and incurred primarily for the traveler's convenience are not reimbursable. Examples of non-reimbursable expenses are:
- Auto insurance, except when traveling in a foreign country
- Baggage insurance, except where assets are owned by college
- Excess baggage
- Flight Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Personal entertainment
- In-room movies
Reimbursement of Travel and Entertainment Expenses
The following policy complies with IRS regulations. If an employee fails to meet these guidelines, reimbursements may have to be reported as employee income on the employee's W-2 form, and subject to withholding for employment taxes.
Meals and Other Incidentals:
The College does not provide a per diem allowance for travel related expenses. All expenses are to be confirmed by receipts, including taxi fares, meals, etc. In situations where receipts are not available, or are difficult to obtain, the College will reimburse meals and incidentals in amounts of $10.00 or less without receipts. The total amount of these undocumented expenses may not exceed $50.00 in any one day.
The hotel invoice/receipt must be submitted with the Travel Expense Report. Meals and other incidental expenses charged to the hotel room should be reported on the appropriate lines of the Travel Expense Report. (not under "Lodging"). Hospitality gifts up to $50.00 in lieu of lodging charges will be reimbursed with a receipt documenting the purchase of the gift.
Business-related expenses incurred by a College employee for the benefit of other persons (e.g. donors, Trustees, vendors, etc.) are classified as entertainment expenses. Details regarding place, business purpose, and persons entertained, must be reported in order to satisfy IRS standards. The business purpose should clearly describe the benefit gained or expected to be gained.
Entertainment expenses incurred separately from a business trip may be reported in the "Entertainment" section of a Travel and Entertainment Expense Report, or on a Check Request form - in either case the details listed above must be reported. Receipts are required for all items over $10.00. See the Lost Receipt section above if you have lost an entertainment related expense.
Each traveler is responsible for arranging, confirming and canceling reservations and for obtaining refunds in the case of cancellations. Employees paying for airfare with their own funds, may request a travel advance to cover the cost. See Section IV, Travel Advances.
Air tickets purchased through one of the College's preferred travel agencies will be charged to a central credit card account. The preferred travel agencies are:
Nob Hill Travel: 503-227-3530
Prestige World Travel: 503-285-4232
Azumano Travel Service: 503-223-6245
Airfare must be reported on the Travel and Entertainment Expense Report as airfare expense. If it has been charged directly to the College by one of the preferred travel agencies it must be reported again in the "Cash Summary" section as a credit.
Use of Personal Vehicles
Effective June 1 of each year, the College will update its standard rate to match the IRS published mileage rate at January 1 of that year. For miles driven prior to June 1, 2007 the College will pay a standard rate of $0.405 per mile for official travel by employees using their own vehicles. For miles driven between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008 the College will pay a standard rate of $0.485 per mile. Mileage is to be based on the most direct route. The College does not reimburse employees for commuting between home and campus.
The mileage rate covers all costs of automobile ownership, operation and maintenance, including insurance. Employees' personal vehicles do not have coverage under the College's insurance policy when used for College business: the owner's insurance represents the only coverage available.
Use of personal vehicles is not recommended when transporting other College employees or students, because it exposes the owner to serious financial loss in the event of an accident. If a personal vehicle is used for College business the driver's personal automobile insurance is primary in the event of an accident (i.e. claims filed are first the responsibility of the driver's policy). In the event of an accident involving passengers who are College employees or students, a copy of the accident report (or other notification) should be submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Finance immediately upon return to the College.
The College will reimburse employees for the cost of renting a compact or standard size car and for automobile-related expenses. It is not necessary when renting a car within the United States to buy additional insurance from the rental agency, because the College's insurance provides coverage in excess of the rental agency's insurance. For insurance reasons, employees filling out car rental agreements should specify "Lewis & Clark College" after their own name.
It may be necessary to purchase additional auto insurance when renting a car in a foreign country.
In the event of an accident, a copy of the accident report (or other notification) should be submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Business and Finance immediately upon return to the College.
Approved by the Executive Council, May 31, 2002.
Revised on June 4, 2008.