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Policy 1019 - Travel and Business Expense Reimbursement

Section: Operating/Administrative
Policy Number: 1019
Responsible Office: Accounts Payable and Purchasing
Effective Date: 04/01/01
Revised: 07/21/03; 09/26/06; 04/20/15; 03/10/17

Scope

This policy applies to staff, administrators and faculty.

Policy

The Accounts Payable Department’s goal is to reimburse all business expenses incurred by employees on behalf of the University in a timely and efficient manner.  Approval to travel and reimbursement of travel and business expenses should be requested via the Concur Travel Expense and Reimbursement (T&E) system.  Below are basic rules that must be adhered to when making travel arrangements and requesting reimbursement for business expenses. 
For additional detailed information about travel and business expense reimbursement procedures, please refer to the Business Expense Policies and Procedures Manual. To find the Manual online, go to the Business Affairs section on the St. John’s Employee Resources page, and click on Travel Resources
Failure to adhere to these procedures will result in the return of the T&E submission to the requester. Violations of this policy by an employee may result in disciplinary action.

Procedures

  • All requests for reimbursement of business related expenses must be submitted via the Concur T&E system.  Completed and approved T&E submission must be submitted within 30 days of the date of travel or the date the business expense is incurred.  Provided all reimbursement information received is complete and accurate, the T&E submission will usually be processed and paid within ten (10) business days of receipt by Accounts Payable.
  • All expenses related to an individual trip or event must be reported on one Concur T&E submission.
  • Once the T&E submission has been fully processed, a reimbursement check will be deposited into the employee’s bank account on record.  If special circumstances arise and in rare instances, checks will be mailed to the employee’s home address.  (If the employee is currently enrolled in the payroll direct deposit program, he or she is automatically enrolled to receive T&E reimbursement through direct deposit.  If the employee is not enrolled in the payroll direct deposit program, please call Accounts Payable at (718) 990-6854.) 

Making Travel Arrangements

Employees traveling on University-related business may make travel reservations using any travel provider, directly with the airlines, Internet, or may utilize the services of the University’s preferred travel agency, Austin/Protravel.

Austin/Protravel, located in Syosset, NY is available to assist employees with all business travel arrangements.  Austin/Protravel can charge employees’ airfare/rail fare to the University’s Ghost Corporate Purchasing Card account, using the budget account number provided via your Concur Pre Travel Approval Submission.  An approved Concur Pre Travel submission must be received by Austin/Protravel before any ticket can be issued.  Austin/Protravel charges a ticket-processing fee per transaction.  Original itineraries from Austin/Protravel must be included when submitting travel and expense for final reimbursement.
Employees can reach Austin/Protravel’s University’s Account Team at 516-465-1020 or 1800-899-3117 (8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday).  A 24-hour toll-free telephone number for emergencies and/or change of travel plans is provided at no additional cost; this number is 1800-858-6319; use code SA9J0.  Other benefits include access to Austin/Protravel’s discounted contracts with various airlines as well as Austin/Protravel’s Preferred Hotel and other discount programs.  Employees can visit Austin/Protravel on the web at www.AustinTravel.com and create a Travel Profile. 

Approvals and Required Documentation

All employees must obtain proper approval from their appropriate budget administrator, Vice President or Dean prior to any University travel.  Approval must be documented via the Concur T&E System.  Once the trip is completed or expenses are incurred, all expenses must be approved by the employee’s superior, who has budgetary authority for the account being charged.  Employees, including vice presidents and budget administrators, cannot approve their own reimbursement requests.  By approving the submission via Concur, budget administrators are confirming that the account numbers are correct and there are budget funds available to pay for the expenses.

  • An original receipt must evidence all expenses of $25.00 or more.  Reimbursements can only be made directly to an employee (with the exception of prepaid conference registration fees).  Payments cannot be made directly to personal credit cards.
  • The University reimburses employees for business meals.  All business meals of $25 or more must be evidenced by detailed original receipts and must be reasonable in amount.  Excessive charges may be disallowed.  The business purpose and list of attendees, for all meals and entertainment expenses, must be documented, as required by the IRS.  This information must be documented in your Concur submission.  (Attach additional information to the Concur submission as necessary.)
  • Personal use of automobiles for business-related travel (in excess of the employee’s normal commute) will be reimbursed on a per mile basis.  Because rates are periodically adjusted to conform to IRS Guidelines, Concur will automatically calculate the current mileage rate in your Concur submission.  This rate covers gasoline, wear and tear, and insurance; therefore, requests for reimbursement for gas charges or other automobile-related charges are not permitted.  An original EZ-Pass statement must evidence EZ-Pass charges of $25 or more.
  • Purchases of supplies and equipment must be processed through the University’s Purchasing Department to take advantage of significant volume discounts with vendors and to avoid paying sales tax.  Business Expense Policies and Procedures must be followed when traveling in regards to non travel-related business purchases.  In all instances, Purchasing Card purchases are permissible according to the Purchasing Card policies.  (See the Purchasing Card Policies and Procedures Manual.)
  • The University does not issue travel advances to employees.
  • The University is exempt from state sales taxes in the following states:  Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia.  Therefore, employees making lodging reservations in the above noted states should inform the hotel when making reservations and either send the form to the hotel prior to check in or present the form to the hotel at check in.  In addition, the form should be presented to vendors when making purchases in that state.  Tax Exempt forms are online. Go to the SJU Employee Resources page, click on the Travel Resources link in the Business Affairs section, or click here: Tax Exemption Certificates.
  • All requests for conference registration fees, to be paid in advance, must either be paid via the Check Requisition process or via a Purchasing Card.  Original registration forms, including the name and address of the company or association that is to be paid and the employee(s) participating in the conference must accompany the Check Requisition request.  The conference fee payment deadline must allow for the ten (10) business day Check Requisition processing period required by Accounts Payable.  Employees may also charge conference registration fees to their personal credit card.

For questions or concerns, please contact Accounts Payable and/or Purchasing.  Accounts Payable can be reached at extension 6854.  Purchasing can be reached at extension 6372.  All business travel expenses are subject to internal audit.

 

St. John's University, New York
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