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titleAbout This Policy


Effective Date: December 13, 2010
Last Updated: August 22, 2019
Responsible University Office: Office of the Chief Financial Officer
Responsible University Administrator: Chief Financial Officer


Policy Contact:

Jim Fish
Chief Financial Officer
jfish@clarkson.edu



Introduction

This document establishes the basis for University reimbursement of travel and entertainment expenses.  The purpose of the Travel and Entertainment (T&E) policy is to provide the University community with broad guidelines to ensure only reasonable and necessary expenditures for authorized business, travel and entertainment are incurred, documented, and paid for by the University in conformity with applicable laws, acceptable practices, and common sense. In some cases, departments may impose more restrictive guidelines than those set forth in this policy.

This policy applies to all employees and non-employees, e.g., volunteers, consultants, guest lecturers, interview candidates, et al. regardless of the particular source of funding.

 The Internal Revenue Service imposes the following requirements on reimbursement of business expenses:

  1. there must be a business reason for the expenses;
  2. the individual must substantiate the expenses; and
  3. the individual must return to the employer or organization any amount advanced in excess of the substantiated expenses.

For travel and entertainment expenses to be paid or reimbursed, they must be properly accounted for on the applicable form, with the business purpose stated and proper supervisory approvals obtained.  The Travel & Entertainment forms are as follows:

  • Travel Authorization (PeopleSoft Financials/Expense Report/Create Travel Authorization)
  • Expense Report (PeopleSoft Financials/Expense Report/Create Expense Report)
  • Expense Report – Paper version attached to Disbursement Order (Used for student travel)

Approved requests for payments and reimbursements, must be submitted to Accounts Payable within a reasonable period of time, normally within 15 days of the completion of the travel, but not to exceed 30 days.  In the event of tardy submissions, the employees’ supervisor will be notified.  Lack of submission of a completed expense report within 60 days of travel may result in the termination of the employee One Card.  Repeated instances of late submissions may result in a permanent loss of the employee One Card.

The T&E policy including updates will be available on the Business and Finance website. https://intranet.clarkson.edu/administrative/finance

Exceptions to this policy (not otherwise covered by laws, grants, or contractual commitments) may be made on an individual basis, but requires the traveler to obtain written pre-approval from the Controller.  A copy of the pre-approval must be attached to the pertinent expense report(s).

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Responsibilities of Travelers

University funds must be spent prudently. Travel and entertainment expenses will be paid or reimbursed by the University if they are reasonable, appropriately documented, properly authorized, and within the standards of this policy.  Individuals who incur authorized expenses should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result.

The University will not normally reimburse for travel expenses that occur more than one day before and one day after the scheduled event. If travel is required for more than one day before or one day after a conference or other event has ended, a business purpose for the extended stay must be provided.  It is understood that a traveler may occasionally wish to extend a business trip for personal reasons.  This is acceptable to the extent that there are no incremental transportation expenses (airfare, automobile, etc.) due to the personal extension; however, the University will not reimburse for lodging, meals, local transportation, etc. during the personal extension.

Individuals are responsible for following University policies in respect to reporting of any accidents or other incidents that may result in a claim against the University. Failure to promptly report all accidents or incidents may result in disciplinary action.

Individuals are also responsible for notifying the University of any unusual circumstances associated with their travel. This can be documented on the Travel Authorization form, if known in advance, or on the PeopleSoft Expense Report submission. An example of this would be the rental of a four-wheel drive vehicle as your research requires off road travel. 

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Responsibilities of Supervisors

The responsibility for review and approval of all University business, travel and entertainment expenses generally rests with the supervisor who is fiscally responsible for the account to which the expenditures will be charged.  That supervisor may delegate authority to review and approve expenditures (except for their own - see note below) and to certify that funds are available to pay them, providing such delegation is communicated in writing to Accounts Payable.

It is the responsibility of the approving party to be familiar with the need for the business, travel and entertainment expenses and to be satisfied that they have been reported in a manner consistent with this policy.  Such matters as: requests for reimbursement for airfare when boarding has been denied, "No show" hotel charges, room service, etc. must be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the person approving or disapproving the expense.

Note: Travelers may not authorize reimbursement of their own business travel and entertainment expenses or those of peers.  Also, employees may not approve T&E expenses for an individual to whom they report. A supervisor cannot be part of the expense they are approving.

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Responsibilities of Accounts Payable

  • Reviewing forms and attachments for completeness, accuracy, reasonableness, and compliance with government regulations and University policies.
  • Verifying that funds and accounts are correct and ensuring the appropriate recording of costs incurred.
  • Returning forms to employees when items appear unreasonable, incomplete, personal in nature, or violate government regulations or University policies.  Accounts Payable will hold or reject a reimbursement payment request, pending resolution of questioned items.
  • Maintaining auditable records of travel expenses.
  • Processing of payments.
  • Verifying required approval signatures.
  • Ensuring proper tax treatment of taxable income items and compliance with IRS regulations.

Note: The above does not relieve the traveler or supervisor from their obligations under this policy.


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Moving Expenses

Please refer to Section 7.9.C. of the University Operations Manual for policies related to faculty and staff moving/relocation expenses. Moving/relocation expense reimbursements and allowances are permitted on a case by case basis as determined by Human Resources and the hiring department.

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Travel Agencies

The University does not have an "official" travel agent. If an employee works with a travel agency, he/she is encouraged to seek out minority-owned and/or women-owned agencies when possible.

When attending a conference or meeting, employees should check the group airfare rate negotiated by the sponsor before booking through a travel agent. Often, these group rates are quite a bit lower than fares that can be obtained directly from the airlines or through a local agent.

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Travel Authorization

We have many faculty and staff that travel internationally and / or are paid from a research grant which may be subject to export controls.  Failure to adhere to these controls may put the University member and the University itself at risk.  Submission of a travel authorization assists the University in mitigating this risk.  As part of the travel authorization approval process, the traveler will be provided with a list of blocked entities that they should not be in contact with. Additionally, any restrictions on the planned travel based on the awarded contract will be identified. This review is a fairly quick process and serves to protect all parties.

Items to consider:

  • Airfare and other travel expenses may not be reimbursed / paid by the University if terms of an award and this policy are not followed.
  • Under the Fly America Act, Canadian airports are considered foreign and therefore reimbursement is disallowed unless a US Flag air carrier is used.
  • Every foreign country will have blocked entities that the United States cannot have any contact with, including over 275 organizations in Canada.
  • Blocked entities and export controls are constantly changing and Sponsored Research Services have resources to review and vet these restrictions prior to making travel plans.
  • Communication with the University may need to be halted depending on the nature of the work being performed and the country to which the University member has traveled.

Therefore, an approved travel authorization is required to be submitted as early as possible prior to international travel, but not less than 10 days prior to departure.  This is required of allfaculty and staff, regardless of whether the trip is research related. The form can be found within the PeopleSoft Travel and Expense Menu. If travel is to occur with a research fund as the funding source, the travel authorization must be approved by the Sponsored Research Services before the travel authorization is submitted to Accounts Payable.

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Cash Advance

A cash advance is a personal loan from the University to cover the cost of incidental, out-of-pocket travel expense such as tips, taxis, and meals. The University will provide cash advances to faculty and staff traveling on authorized University business. No cash advances will be issued directly to students.  Cash advances will not be issued more than one week prior to travel and generally will not exceed $1,000. The size of the advance must be reasonable. Each cash advance is the personal obligation of the traveler; therefore, the traveler is responsible for any lost or stolen cash advances. A cash advance is considered a personal loan and the traveler must account for all expenses within 60 days of the completion of travel. Expenses that are not submitted within this time frame are considered taxable income and therefore will be deducted from the employee’s next paycheck. Request for any payment, travel advance or reimbursement will not be processed for any traveler with an outstanding cash advance for a previous trip that is two weeks beyond the established trip return date. 

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University One Card

University employees who travel on University business frequently are required to obtain a Clarkson University Visa (One Card) and to use the card for expenses associated for authorized business travel and entertainment.  It is to be used only for expenses incurred in connection with official University business, and it is the responsibility of the cardholder to reimburse the University for any personal or otherwise unallowable charges.  The One Card may not be used to purchase goods and services that require a University purchase order.

All charges to the One Card will automatically be reflected within the employee’s “My Wallet” in PeopleSoft, typically within 1-2 business days.  All charges should be assigned to an Expense Report and submitted for approval within 7 business days following the 20th of the month.  Once submitted, the responsible supervisor will receive an email notification that an Expense Report is available in his/her worklist for approval.  Supervisors should review all Expense Reports within 5 business days.  If planning to be away from the office for more than 5 business days, supervisors should delegate approval authority to an appropriate individual during their vacation or absence.     

Regular travelers should contact Purchasing for a One Card application.  Where the One Card is not accepted, travelers are expected to exercise good judgment in determining the proper means of payment.

The One Card is the property of Clarkson University and must be surrendered upon termination of employment.  Suspension or cancellation of an employee’s Once Card account may occur following repeated misuse, failure to submit expense reports in a timely manner, other violation of the University’s Travel & Expense Policy and upon separation from the University.  This is at the discretion of the Chief Financial Officer and Controller...  Employees must immediately notify the Purchasing Department when a One Card is lost or stolen.

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Expense Report

Note:  If a traveler is purchasing hotel or travel accommodations in advance, this must be noted within the “Report Description” line of the overall expense report, as well as in the “Description” of the individual charge.  Please note the purpose of the expense.

Requests for payments, reimbursements and settlement of One Card charges or cash advances must be submitted on completed and approved Expense Reports using PeopleSoft Financials Travel and Expense Center with the required itemized receipts attached, within a reasonable period of time, normally within 7 days of the completion of the billing cycle (20th of the month), but not to exceed 30 days from the time the expense was incurred.  All expenses must be documented, including any prepaid expenses.

When University employees and volunteers travel for business purposes, an Expense Report using the PeopleSoft Financials Travel and Expense Center must be completed. 

The Expense Report must contain all pertinent information: detailed description of charges (not just “supplies”) travel authorization number (if applicable), travel dates, purpose, destinations, correct account number to be charged, and appropriate authorization approvals. Receipts must be provided for all expenses of $50 or greater.  It is best practice, but not required for the traveler to retain all receipts for claimed expenses less than $50 until the expense report is processed. Approvers have the right to inquire about any expenses under $50.

Travelers submitting the forms certify to the best of their knowledge that the information contained on the Expense Report is accurate and that all claimed expenses were allowable and incurred in the conduct of official University business.

Expenses incurred in a foreign currency must be converted to U.S. dollars by the spender/traveler.  .  Written documentation must include the exchange rate and date.  This may be in the form of a receipt of currency exchange, credit card statement with exchange rate listed, etc.  

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Air Travel

When employees travel for University business, travel should be by the least expensive means available, which means air travel in coach class. Requests to fly other than coach class may be granted by the Controller’s Office under the following exceptions; 1) medical necessity documented with Human Resources, 2) extreme emergency, 3) international travel or 4) domestic flights with direct airtime of five hours or longer. Additional costs to upgrade to economy plus or similar status are not allowed.  However, additional costs to merely select a specific seat within standard coach class are acceptable if the department budget has the available funds and it is determined that this would be the best use of those funds. Under no circumstances is first class allowed.

All owners of a University One Card must use it when paying for air travel; use of personal credit cards for the purpose of earning frequent flier rewards is prohibited.  Itemized receipts for airline travel are required. Please submit the entire itinerary, a document showing just the payment amount is not a sufficient itemized receipt. Flight insurance is generally not an allowable expense. However, for international and/or group travel, when there is a cancellation concern or anticipated schedule changes, fight insurance expenses will be reimbursed with prior approval from the Controller’s Office. In the event a non-refundable ticket has to be canceled, the airlines usually charge a fee and issue a credit, which has to be used by that individual for authorized University travel within the year.

Reimbursement of baggage fees (maximum of 2 checked bags per individual) is allowable with business justification. Change fees will only be reimbursed if they are a result of a required business need or circumstances beyond your control.  No other entertainment related airline fees will be reimbursed by the University.  This includes, but is not limited to: fees for headsets, snacks & beverages, and wireless internet (unless used for business purposes). 

When travelling abroad, the University will pay for the cost of coach transportation and currency exchange fees.  Employees are required to use the One Card to pay for meals, hotels and other business purchases as the card offers the safest and most economical exchange conversion.

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Sponsored Project Travel

Sponsored project travel should adhere to the guidelines set forth by this policy unless the sponsor imposes greater restrictions.

All federally funded travel is subject to the Fly America Act. This regulation requires that U.S. carriers be utilized for all travel with very limited exceptions. Where a destination city is not served by a U.S. carrier, a U.S. carrier must be utilized to the nearest gateway city. Prior approval and documentation of an allowable exception will be required as part of reimbursements in instances where a foreign carrier is utilized.

Exceptions to the Fly American Act:

  • Open Skies Agreements: Certain countries have treaties that permit travelers to use their airlines for federally funded (except Department of Defense) travel.  The current countries include the European Union, Switzerland, Australia, and Japan.
  • Travel to and from the U.S.: The use of a non-U.S. carrier is permissible if:
    • The airport abroad is the origin or destination airport, and use of a U.S. carrier would extend the total travel time 24 hours or more than would travel by non-U.S. carrier; or
    • The airport abroad is an interchange point, and use of a U.S. Carrier would require the traveler to wait four (4) hours or more to make an overseas connection or would extend the total travel time six (6) hours or more than would travel by non-U.S. carrier.
  • Travel between points outside the U.S.: The use of a non-U.S. carrier is permissible if:
    • Travel by a non-U.S. carrier would eliminate two (2) or more aircraft changes en-route; or
    • Travel by a U.S. carrier would extend the total travel time six (6) hours or more than would travel by non-U.S. carrier.
    • For all short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, use of a non-U.S. carrier is permissible if the elapsed travel time on a scheduled flight from origin to destination airport by a non-U.S. carrier is three (3) hours or less and service by a U.S. carrier would double the travel time. 
  • Further exceptions described in the Code of Federal Regulations include:
    • When the U.S. air carrier has seats only in first and/or business class, and economy class service is available from a non-U.S. air carrier.
    • When non-U.S. air carrier service is deemed a matter of necessity for medical or safety reasons.

Car Rental

The following should be considered before renting a car:

  • Cost effectiveness (Run Mileage Calculator under Travel on the Controller’s Office webpage)
  • Liability  Coverage (Personal-use vs. Rental or Fleet car)
  • Availability of University Fleet Cars;
  • Availability of hotel shuttle services and taxi cabs;
  • Airport transfers (included at some hotels);
  • Proximity of hotel to destination;
  • Number of travelers (car sharing);
  • Length of stay; and
  • No-cost upgrades.

Clarkson University has a national contract with Enterprise Rent-A-Car / National Car Rental (Contract ID# XZ29352) was well as Hertz (Contract ID# CDP1714129).   Car rentals should be arranged through these agencies to take advantage of negotiated discounts.  For a complete listing of National Car Rental locations, please refer to the Travel section of the Controller’s Office webpage.

Automobile rentals should be limited to situations where other means of transportation are not practical, economical, or available. Travelers are encouraged to choose compact or mid-sized cars whenever possible. Travelers will not be reimbursed for full-size or specialty rental vehicles (e.g., luxury, sports utility, and convertible) unless there are documented extraordinary circumstances or they have been provided as a no-cost upgrade.

Travelers must comply with all applicable local, state, federal, or international laws and regulations pertaining to the operation of a motor vehicle.  Unless a prepaid gas option is used, rental cars should be returned with a full tank of gas to avoid costly refueling charges and surcharges.

If you rent a vehicle while working on behalf of the University (including unpaid or volunteer work), you should rent the vehicle in the name of the University and your own name.  This means that you should sign both your name and "Clarkson University" on the rental agreement.  Do not rent a vehicle classified as Full-size Premium, Luxury, Standard SUV or SUV except as mentioned above.

If multiple passengers will be occupying the vehicle for a team event or field trip, please provide accounts payable with a listing of passengers upon submitting your expense report.

It is important to inspect any rented vehicle before driving it.  Make sure any dents, scratches or other damage to the vehicle are noted on the rental form.  Otherwise, the University may have to pay for damages you did not cause.  Departments may be required to contribute to deductible amounts for at-fault accidents.

Any employee involved in an automobile accident while using a rental vehicle on University business must contact the Risk and Insurance Department, extension 315-268-7722 as soon as reasonably possible.

When renting a vehicle for University business purposes from a commercial rental agency within the United States, all offers of additional insurance coverage should be waived.  The University maintains adequate liability and collision insurance coverage.  However, when outside of the United States, International travel, the full line of insurance offered by the rental agency should be purchased for car rental contracts.  Roadside assistance coverage may be purchased at the discretion of the Department Manager.

Guests and students of the University are not insured under the University’s insurance policy and must purchase insurance from the rental agency.  

Use of Personal Vehicle

If a personal vehicle is used; the traveler is eligible for mileage reimbursement, which recognizes the cost of gas, oil, normal wear and tear, and insurance.  The University reimburses actual mileage at the University’s annual reimbursement rate, which is equal to the current IRS Standard Mileage Rate.  When claiming a mileage reimbursement, you are NOT allowed to use the University One Card to purchase fuel or for other vehicle related expenses. 

The University defines business use of personal vehicles as travel to and from destinations for the sole purpose of conducting business on behalf of the University. The employee’s commute “to and from” work is not considered business use. Only miles in excess of the employee’s normal commute are considered business use and are eligible for reimbursement. Mileage should be calculated using your campus as the starting point. In order to substantiate the miles traveled, you must print your trip mileage from mapquest.com or from a similar website that calculates “to and from” mileage, and include with your Expense Report submission. The following standard trips will be reimbursed at the associated established mileage and a map is not required.

Trip

One-way mileage

Round trip mileage

Potsdam campus to CRC campus

185

371

Potsdam campus to Beacon Institute

287

573

Potsdam campus to Adirondack Regional Airport (Saranac Lake)

58

119

Potsdam campus to Albany Airport

189

379

Potsdam campus to Massena Airport

24

47

Potsdam campus to Montreal Airport (Mirabel)

126

248

Potsdam campus to Montreal Airport (Trudeau)

97

193

Potsdam campus to Ogdensburg Airport

28

58

Potsdam campus to Ottawa Airport

80

159

Potsdam campus to Plattsburgh Airport

93

183

Potsdam campus to Syracuse Airport

136

272

Potsdam campus to Watertown Airport

76

152

Charges for tolls and parking are reimbursable for business related travel. Original receipts must be provided for charges for $25.00 or more, EZ-Pass statements may be used to support EZ-Pass charges.

Insurance Coverage

When you drive your own car on University business, your own insurance policy serves as a "primary" policy for third party liability and physical damage to your vehicle. This means that if a personal injury claim arising out of an accident exceeds your policy limits, then the University's policy will cover the accident in excess of your policy. For example, if you carry $20,000/$40,000 liability insurance, and injure a pedestrian severely, resulting in over $100,000 of medical bills, your policy would pay the first $20,000 of the claim, and the University policy would respond for the balance of the claim.

If your vehicle is damaged as a result of an accident, whether it is your fault or not, your comprehensive/collision coverage would respond.  You are responsible for any deductible amounts under your policy.  If you do not carry any collision insurance, then the entire amount of the damage is your responsibility.  Neither the University nor the University's Insurance will pay for any physical damage to your vehicle - you use it at your own risk.  Mileage reimbursements are designed to include an incremental cost for insurance and deductibles.

Any employee involved in an at-fault accident which results in bodily injury to a third party while using a personal vehicle for University business travel should contact the Risk Management department, extension 7722 as soon as reasonably possible.

Other Transportation

Travelers should use taxis or public transportation in metropolitan areas to realize greater savings and convenience (e.g., New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, etc.).

Reasonable University business related expenditures for local ground transportation to and from airports, railroad stations, hotels, meeting places, and business appointments are payable or reimbursable by the University.  Parking fees and tolls are reimbursable whether a rental or personal car is used.  

Lodging

The University will reimburse employees the actual cost of moderately priced accommodations.  The itemized hotel billing statement must be attached to the Travel Expense Summary report. Lodging costs should be kept to a minimum, and should typically be at or below the per diem rates for lodging published by the U.S. General Services Administration (http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287).    Many hotels offer conference, corporate, or educational rates, which should be utilized if savings result.  All lodging and ancillary expenses should be charged to the traveler's University One Card to the extent possible. Use of a personal credit card for the purpose of earning travel rewards is prohibited.

Note: If attending a conference, the University will reimburse the cost of staying at the “conference hotel”.

When reservations are booked "guaranteed late arrival", travelers are responsible for all hotel "no show" charges unless mitigating circumstances prevail. 

When staying in a hotel in the below states, a tax exempt form should be provided by the traveler to the hotel at the time of registration. 

The University is tax exempt in New York State.  Please present this form when registering at a New York State hotel to obtain a waiver of taxes: https://intranet.clarkson.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/NewYorkSalesTaxExemptForm.pdf

The University is also has limited tax exemption in the following states:  Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont. For a copy of the appropriate exempt form call Accounts Payable at x3789) – Make sure these are up to date.

Host Gifts

When it is convenient for the employee to stay with friends or relatives, the reasonable cost of a gift or meal is reimbursable. A receipt for the gift or meal must be included in the traveler’s expense report. For single overnight stays the maximum amount that can be expensed is $75; for multiple nights, the maximum is $150, regardless of the number of overnight stays. Only one gift or meal per trip to a host is permitted and cash payments for lodging, if given, will not be reimbursed. In situations where the stay exceeds five consecutive nights, exceptions to the maximum can be approved by the Controller’s Office and, if necessary, after consultation with the Chief Financial Officer.

Meals and Entertainment

Meals and entertainment expenses are allowable expenditures if they are reasonable and necessary expenses directly related to the business or functions of the University and consistent with Clarkson’s not-for-profit status. Departments may choose to be more restrictive than this policy due to budget constraints or other reasons; however, the maximum amounts set forth in this policy may not be exceeded unless there is an extraordinary circumstance.

While it is not encouraged, one alcoholic drink in connection with a traveler’s dinner meal is reimbursable. Please note, however, that reimbursement for alcohol purchases is prohibited under government (Federal and state) grants.

The University will pay actual meal expenses with the submission of receipts to support expenses claimed, up tothe stated per diem limit for each related meal.  Any meal expense in excess of the stated per diem amount will be due to the University by the traveler.

Within the United States the meal per diem for standard and high cost cities is available at https://intranet.clarkson.edu/wp-content/uploads/Fall-2018-High-Cost-City-List-with-PerDiem-Rates.pdf. When traveling outside of the continental United States, the per diem rates as published by the U.S. Department of State at http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.aspwill be used to determine maximum allowable meal rates.    

The employee traveler will be reimbursed for the actual cost of meals and gratuities up to the maximum per diem amount for the related meal. Travelers who are submitting for meal reimbursement at per diem rates only are not required to submit receipts and may not pay for their meals with the campus One Card.  Standard practice allows for tipping ranges from 15% to 20% of the bill. Tips for meals in excess of 20% of meal cost will not be reimbursed.

  • Original itemized receipts are required for all meal expenses, regardless of amount, unless per diem is being utilized. If a group of colleagues splits a bill and original receipts are not readily available, the traveler should document the cost of their individual portion of the bill as well as the circumstances in a memorandum attached to the expense account.
  • Costs incurred for meals must be reasonable. Meals may not be either lavish or extravagant. For high cost cities the maximum that can be claimed per person in any single day is $74.00. For all other cities the maximum is $59.00.
  • Travelers are required to select either per diem reimbursement or actual cost reimbursement for each travel day.  A mixture of reimbursement methods within a travel day will not be allowed unless prior approval is granted by the Controller or CFO due to unique circumstances.

Entertainment

For group functions see Group Function Expense Policy.

Individuals conducting business on behalf of the University are limited to a maximum of $75.00 per day for each person entertained. Entertainment expenses greater than $75.00 per day/per person must be approved by the Controller or CFO.

Personal entertainment expense for non-University related activity is not reimbursable. If an employee is entertaining University guests for business purposes, names of those being entertained should be provided along with the purpose of the entertainment. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in a personal reimbursement due back to the University for any unallowable charges to the One Card.  If it is deemed appropriate and necessary by a supervisor, and employee’s spouse may join the employee and University guest for a meal.  In this case, the cost of the spouse’s meal would be considered an allowable charge.

Reimbursable Expenses

The University will pay for business, travel and entertainment expenses that are reasonable and actually incurred for conferences, transportation, meals, lodging, and other incidental expenses if they are properly authorized and appropriately documented (including explanation of the business purpose of the travel and list of attendees).  Travelers are expected to neither lose nor gain financially when traveling on official University business.  (Original itemized receipts are required).

If reasonable and necessary, the following are examples of payable/reimbursable expenses as defined in this Policy:

  • Air and rail travel;  (NO extra insurance)
  • Car rental (NO full-size, SUV or luxury, unless no-cost upgrade or supervisor approval and justification is provided)
  • Change or cancellation penalties imposed by the airlines if due to unavoidable circumstances (supporting documentation must be supplied with the expense report);
  • Gasoline for rental vehicles;
  • Ground transportation including taxi and metro fares, mileage for personal vehicles, parking fees, and tolls;
  • Laundry/dry cleaning during trips longer than five calendar days;
  • Lodging;
  • Meals and entertainment while on official University business;
  • Miscellaneous (luggage storage, and valet);
  • Certain non-employee travel costs (job applicants, guest lecturers, and consultants);
  • Registration and fees for attendance at approved conferences and seminars;
  • Taxes associated with transportation, lodging (outside the 9 States listed above), and meals;
  • Telephone, faxes, and internet for business purposes only;
  • Tips associated with lodging and transportation if customary;
    • Recommend $1 for doorman, $1 per bag for bellman / skycap, 10% for taxi, $3 for housekeeping
  • Visa and required vaccinations for business travel only

Travelers conducting official University business are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses, as would a prudent person.  Excessive costs, circuitous routes, excess delays, or luxury accommodations and services unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of University business are not acceptable and will not be reimbursed.  Avoid use of hotel direct dial lines and air phones. Travelers are responsible for excessive costs and any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience.  All expenditures are subject to audit and review.

Reimbursements for allowable out-of-pocket expenses are made by direct deposit (if applicable) or check, payable to the employee or other approved traveler incurring the expenses, and will be mailed directly to the payee's campus address, unless other arrangements are made with Accounts Payable.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

The following are examples of generally non-reimbursable expenses and should be considered a partial listing:

  • Airline club membership fees;
  • Annual membership for charge cards;
  • Baggage insurance;
  • Car wash and repairs to personal vehicles;
  • Clothing; including formal wear rentals
  • Commuting costs to/from home and normal place of business;
  • Costs incurred by unreasonable failure to cancel reservations;
  • Dependent care;
  • Entertainment under federal grants and contracts;
  • Excessive tipping;
  • Fees, interest, and/or late charges associated with personal credit cards;
  • Fines or tickets resulting from traffic, parking, or other violations;
  • Gift cards
  • Golf or tennis court fees, hotel gym fees, membership in country, tennis, or golf clubs, or any sporting equipment, except when part of a preauthorized group event;
  • Haircuts;
  • In-flight headsets, movies, etc.;
  • Interest or late charges on a Corporate Card;
  • Lawn care;
  • Life, accident, or flight insurance premiums; (Employee is covered by University policies)
  • Locked keys in a vehicle;
  • Lost, broken, or stolen personal property;
  • Luggage or briefcases;
  • Movies,  games, concert tickets (hotel, theater, or rentals)and other personal entertainment;
  • Newspaper and magazines;
  • Nexus Travel Cards, Global Entry Cards and TSA Pre-Check;
  • Pet care;
  • Passports;
  • Flight Cancellation Insurance;
  •  Expenses that have been or will be paid or reimbursed by an outside source;
  • Altered receipts;
  • Personal Items

Payment Methods

The following are the various methods of payment for official University business, travel and entertainment expenses. The payment types may have restrictions as to their use.

Clarkson University One Card: Whenever possible, business, travel, meal and entertainment expenses should be paid with the traveler’s One Card.  These charges will automatically load to “My Wallet” within PeopleSoft Travel and Expense and must be submitted for review and approval via electronic expense report. 

Personal Credit Card or Cash: Business, travel and entertainment expenses should only be paid with a personal charge card or cash when the traveler does not have a Clarkson University One Card or credit card payments are not an accepted method of payment.   Use of a personal credit card instead of the One Card for the purpose of earning reward points is prohibited.  For reimbursement, please submit these expenses via electronic expense report within PeopleSoft Travel and Expense.

Prepaid Travel Expenses: These are paid directly to outside vendors and are paid in advance by the University on behalf of the traveler.  To prepay expenses, send a completed Disbursement Order or to Accounts Payable.  Include a copy of pertinent conference registration form, hotel bill, or other appropriate documentation.    For travelers who purchase airline or rail tickets well in advance of a scheduled trip, the traveler may wish to submit these expenses for reimbursement prior to traveling.  Documentation must include the original itinerary, a copy of the ticket or other original document, and the original credit card or other receipt.

Documentation

Individuals incurring business, travel and entertainment expenses are required to substantiate all payments generally by submitting dated original receipts with the proper form and explanations.

Expense ItemExamples of Required Documentation (with adequate details)
Air or RailOriginal passenger coupon or E-ticket receipt, plus itinerary
HotelOriginal itemized bill including final settlement
Car RentalOriginal agreement including final settlement
Meals / Entertainment equalingOriginal itemized credit card or cash register receipt for expenditures plus business purpose, discussion topic, and guests denoted regardless of amount
All OtherOriginal itemized credit card, cash register receipt, or signed statement by spender/traveler regardless of the dollar amount.
Personal VehiclesMapQuest printout (or similar maps) of route taken stating miles

If an expense is partially covered by an organization other than the University, duplicate copies of the receipts may be submitted by attaching a copy of the request for reimbursement submitted to the other organization.

An individual incurring expenses who loses a required receipt should seek a duplicate or faxed copy from the originator. When an acceptable duplicate cannot be obtained, the employee should submit substantiation in other ways, such as an expense diary, etc. An explanation of why a receipt was not obtained at the time of the transaction and the efforts afterward to obtain the missing documentation would be helpful. Accounts Payable may request further explanation, documentation, and has the final decision on the acceptance/rejection of any such expenses.

Expenses will be reimbursed only if incurred during the conduct of authorized business activities. All of the following information must be supplied for reimbursement:

  • The date, amount and business purpose of the activity; 
  • Itinerary of conference, workshop or seminar; 
  • Identification of all those in attendance; 
  • The business relationship(s) of the person(s) attending; 
  • The establishment where the activity took place; and 
  • The appropriate approval signature.

If the above information is not supplied, the IRS may require that the expenses be added to the traveler's taxable income regardless of amount.

Spouse / Family Accompaniment

The University will not process travel advances, authorizations, prepaid expense requests, wire transfers or payment/reimbursement of business, travel or entertainment expenses for spouses or family members who accompany University employees or students on University business except in those unusual circumstances which require their presence.  The appropriate member of Senior Staff must approve any unusual circumstance in advance in writing.  Should a spouse or dependent be approved to accompany an employee on University business, reporting of expenses must follow this policy.  It may be deemed appropriate for a spouse to accompany an employee to dinner with a University guest. If this is deemed necessary by the Supervisor, then this expense will be reimbursed by the University.

When a spouse or family member(s) for personal reasons accompanies a traveler, the University will only reimburse the traveler for the cost of a single room.  Any other expense where an extra fee has been added because of the extra traveler will not be reimbursed.

Travel Insurance

Business Travel Insurance: All University employees are covered in case of accidental death or dismemberment while traveling on University business

Workers Compensation Insurance: If you are injured while working on a business trip, you are covered for medical expenses and lost wages by Workers Compensation Insurance. Contact the Risk Management office as soon as possible to file an accident report, and obtain further instruction. Failure to promptly report an injury may compromise your claim. Injuries sustained while not working, though you may be away from home on business travel, are not covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. If there is a question on this, with respect to a specific incident, contact the Risk Management office for clarification.

Flight, Ticket or Baggage Insurance:  Extra insurance purchased by individuals is not a reimbursable expense.

Collision Damage Waiver Insurance (Rental Car): In the U.S. and Canada, travelers using rental cars are covered by University insurance for Collision Damage or Liability Damage. All basic insurance, including collision damage MUST be purchased on all rentals in foreign countries other than Canada.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI): The University will not reimburse travelers for PAI or other liability insurance offered by domestic rental car agencies, because the University provides coverage.

Personal Automobiles: University employees using personal automobiles to travel on official University business must maintain adequate liability insurance, including collision damage for their protection and for the protection of any passengers.

Other Personal Property: The University will not be responsible for loss or damage to personal property while an employee is traveling on official University business.

University Property: The University has transit coverage on all its property, with a deductible of $10,000, and a limit of $250,000.

Sponsored Programs

Specific provisions that the University has accepted in sponsored program agreements will govern travel and other expenses on those awards and take precedence over the University's T&E policy. Questions in this regard should be directed to the Division of Research. As a reminder, alcohol and entertainment cannot be allocated to a research fund.