Effective Date: July 1, 2009
Last Reviewed: July 1, 2009


Purpose & Scope:

The Stonehill College travel and expense policy is a guideline for all employees traveling while on College business. This policy is in place to monitor and control costs associated with College business travel. The guidelines set below are intended to provide assistance to the traveler as to the authorized reimbursable costs of the College.

POLICY:

It is the policy of Stonehill College to reimburse its faculty and staff for reasonable and proper expenses incurred in performance of their duties as employees of the College.

The Internal Revenue Code requires reimbursable expenditures to be supported by adequate records which clearly establish that they are (1) ordinary and necessary, (2) reasonable in amount, and (3) incurred for a valid business purpose.

In order for expenses to be reimbursed by the College, the expenses must be incurred for College business and meet the documentation standards set forth herein. This applies to any and all College funds, including but not limited to departmental budgets, discretionary funds, government or private grants and contracts.

If travel and/or business expenses are being charged to a sponsored project whose terms are more restrictive than those of the College, then the terms of the grant or contract apply.

The College reserves the right to amend or revise policies and procedures as the need arises.

General Considerations

Before travel arrangements are made, the traveler should:

• Determine if the potential benefits of the trip justify its time and expense after considering cost-effective alternatives, such as video or teleconferencing;

• Obtain appropriate approval to take the trip by completing a Travel PreAuthorization Form (this form is not required for regular travel associate with Admissions recruiting, fundraising and mandatory team travel) ;

• Familiarize himself/herself with the College’s requirements for documentation and other reimbursement issues before traveling; and

• If travel is in connection with a sponsored project, the traveler should familiarize himself/herself with any applicable sponsor requirements, as they may be more restrictive than the College’s.

• When calculating expenses for foreign travel, the exchange rate available during the period of travel should be used, rather than the exchange rate at the time when reimbursement is requested.

Personal Travel

No portion of costs associated with personal travel of a guest, spouse, or extending travel stay for personal reasons, will be paid by Stonehill College.

Methods of Payment for Travel Expenses:

Purchasing Card

The Stonehill College Purchasing Card is the preferred method to be used for the majority of business-related travel expenses. (See the Purchasing website for details on purchasing card policies, programs, and applications). Items that require advance payment such as conference registration fees, airfare, and hotel room deposits should also be made using this corporate credit card.

Employee Travel Advance

An employee may request a travel advance to cover the cost of incidental, out-of-pocket travel expenses such as tips, taxis, and meals not chargeable to the Stonehill Purchasing Card. The amount requested should be the minimum necessary to cover anticipated out-of-pocket expenses with a maximum daily limit of $50.00 for domestic travel and $75.00 for international travel.

Team Travel Advance/Per Diem

A coach may request a team travel advance for the purpose of funding approved team travel for their athletic team to participate in conference, competition, or other event. The travel advance must be issued in the individual name of the coach responsible for the trip or, if approved by the Controller’s Office, an authorized representative of the athletic administration. A Team Travel Advance Form must be completed and submitted to Accounts Payable the week prior to when the funds are needed. Calculation of travel advances shall be based on the Coach’s estimate of the team’s allowable actual expenses. A Travel Reconciliation Form with receipts is due to the Controller’s Office within 15 days of the advance. Any excess cash must be returned to the Cashier’s Office within 3 days of return from the trip.

Employee Reimbursement

Employees who rarely travel and do not have a Stonehill College Purchasing Card may use their personal credit card for travel expenses and request a reimbursement via a Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form.

The following lists specific travel and expense policies by category.

Personal Automobile

• The traveler will be reimbursed for mileage at the College’s standard mileage rate when using his/her personal automobile while conducting College business. This would include travel to/from off-campus meetings and conferences. Mileage reimbursement is allowed for total miles from starting destination (home or campus) to off campus site.

• The College’s standard mileage rate is set based on the IRS’ standard business mileage rate at the start of each fiscal year and is updated annually. (This includes the cost of auto fuel which will not be reimbursed except for a rental car).

• All mileage incurred for College business apart from the traveler’s standard commute is 100% reimbursable.

• Additional reimbursement will be given for tolls and reasonable parking fees.

• Fees from traffic and parking violations are not reimbursable by the College.

• If airfare is available to the same destination (when traveling long distances), the traveler will ordinarily be reimbursed for the lesser of the cost of the total mileage incurred or the cost of the air ticket.

Transportation to and from Airport

• Travelers should use the most cost-efficient means of travel to and from airports, with due consideration for reasonable personal convenience and safety. Cost of parking personal vehicles at the airport should be considered when determining most cost-efficient mode of transportation.

• Travelers should use complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport if provided by hotels or conferences. Lacking such service, travelers should use regularly scheduled buses or taxis between airports and hotels. Auto rentals should be considered only in the absence of less expensive modes of transportation providing reasonable convenience.

• Employees traveling to the same location should share transportation whenever possible.

• Car service will be reimbursed only if the cost is less than other available modes of transportation.

Ground Transportation (other than Personal Automobile)

• Rental cars may be utilized if no other transportation is available or when it is reasonable to do so. Travelers are encouraged to use the most economical car rental agency when making reservations. In addition, travelers may refer to the College’s car rental agency when making reservations (see Purchasing website). Rental car insurance should not be purchased since employees of the College are covered in the College’s general insurance policy.

• Purchased insurance will not be reimbursed to the traveler. Note: for the employee to be covered under the insurance policy, the car must be rented in both the name of the employee and the College. Whenever possible use the Stonehill Purchasing Card for additional insurance coverage. • If an accident should occur with the rental car, the employee should contact the Purchasing Department (1-508-565-1357). The employee should also fill out a First report of accident form located on the Purchasing Department website and forward that document to the Purchasing Office upon returning to campus.

• Taxi fare (including a reasonable gratuity of no more than 15%) will be reimbursed while traveling on College business.

• Valet parking will ordinarily not be reimbursed to the traveler.

• Receipts for paid ground transportation are required for reimbursement.

Air Travel

• Air Travel should be planned well enough in advance to take advantage of any savings the airline might offer.

• Coach or economy class is authorized for use by the traveler. Airline upgrades will not be reimbursed by the College.

• Travel arrangements may be made through the use of the College’s authorized travel agency (see Purchasing website) or through the use of on-line discount agencies (Travelocity, Priceline etc.)

• In order to meet IRS requirements that a flight was taken and paid for by the traveler, documentation support with E‐tickets requires an itinerary reflecting airline, flight numbers, departure/arrival dates and times, and receipt listing total flight cost, payment method (e.g., Visa ************1234), and evidence of full payment. The Itinerary/Receipt requirements may be satisfied by the same summary document depending upon the method used by the airlines or travel company.

• Ticket rescheduling fees for personal reasons, rather than business reasons, are not reimbursable. Therefore, the business purpose of the ticket rescheduling fee should be stated on the supporting documentation. (Exception: A ticket rescheduling fee for a health emergency of the traveler or the traveler's "immediate family" is reimbursable.)

• Costs for travel on non-U.S. flag carriers, if charged to a federal grant. A U.S. Flag Carrier is an air or ocean transport company whose country of registry is the United States of America. Use of a foreign carrier who is a business partner of U.S. carriers will not satisfy the requirement to use only U.S. Flag Carriers. The ticket MUST be issued by a U.S. Flag Carrier under a "code share" arrangement with a foreign carrier to be considered allowable. If you are paying for travel with federal funding, you MUST advise your travel agent that you require a U.S. Flag Carrier or "code share" carrier. It is the traveler’s responsibility to verify that an allowable carrier is used.

Lodging

• Hotel reservations should be made at moderately priced hotels in a single occupancy standard room. Referencing the US General Service Administration website, www.gsa.gov/perdiem, will provide a reasonability review for moderately priced hotel. Room upgrades are not reimbursable by the College.

• When traveling to a conference it is appropriate to stay at one of the hotels hosting the conference.

• Travelers are encouraged to make lodging arrangements in advance to take advantage of any special savings offered by the hotel.

• A traveler may not claim reimbursement for lodging when a person who is not in the business of lodging provided the lodging.

• The College will not reimburse lodging expenses incurred due to the failure to cancel guaranteed room reservations except for extenuating circumstances.

• An individual may stay overnight during the conference if commuting would increase the individual’s normal workday by 2 hours or more. If it is reasonable to commute to the conference, lodging is not expected to be used and will not be reimbursed by the College.

• If the hotel bill indicates more than one guest and the expenses are not split accordingly, the business purpose of the guest will need to be explained or the cost differential (ie: single vs double room) will be adjusted and will be the responsibility of the employee.

• Original itemized hotel receipts are required.

Lodging – Telephone and Internet Use

• Reimbursement for telephone calls from the hotel to the College for business purposes are fully reimbursable throughout the duration of the stay. The use of cell phones is encouraged for personal calls.

• Internet use is only reimbursable for conducting College business.

Meals

• The College reimburses each traveler up to $50 per day for food and beverages when traveling on College business.

• The College recognizes that certain major cities may require meals to exceed the $50 per day (i.e. New York, Chicago, and Los Angles). Referencing the US General Service Administration website, www.gsa.gov/perdiem, will provide a reasonability review for meal allowance. Division Heads approval is required on all meal totals exceeding the $50 rate, in addition to the Vice President for Finance.

• Tips are included as part of the meal allowance, i.e. the allowance of $50 is inclusive of both food and tips for service.

 • If meals are included as part of the cost of the conference, meals taken elsewhere are not reimbursable by the College.

 • Detailed itemized receipts are required for any meals over $25 along with documentation including names of attendees and business purpose (identifying the type of group is acceptable for large groups)

Registration/Conference Fees

• Registration fees may be prepaid in advance of a trip by submitting a Check Request along with the original copy of the registration document or paying by the College’s Purchasing Card. Employees who pay a registration fee from personal funds will be reimbursed upon proof of payment (i.e. copy of check or credit card statement) and the registration document. A copy of the registration document alone is not considered sufficient proof of payment.

Miscellaneous reimbursable expenses

• Baggage Handling – reasonable

• Faxes for College business

• Gasoline for rental cars

• Tips Miscellaneous Non-reimbursable expenses

• Airline club membership dues

• Annual fees for frequent flyer plans

• Car washes

• Credit card delinquency fees/finance charges

• Expenses related to vacation or personal days while on a business trip

• Expenses for traveling from an employee’s home to work or return

• Hotel amenities such as exercise facilities and movies

• In-flight telephone charges

• Laundry/dry cleaning/suit pressing for trips less than 5 business days

• Personal expenses such as movies, snacks, haircuts, reading material, toiletries, medicine, etc.

• Loss/theft of cash advance money

• Baby sitter fees, kennel costs, pet or house‐sitting fees while traveling

• Mini-bar refreshments

• Personal calls on cellular phones

• Rental car upgrades

• Shoeshine

• Spouse and/or guest related costs

• Cost or deposits required on EZ-Pass transponders or funding of an E-Z Pass account in anticipation of incurring future tolls for business

Cost Saving Considerations

When planning business travel itineraries, it is asked that employees consider the following cost-saving strategies:

• Stay over on Saturday night at your outward destination

 Most deeply discounted airfares require staying over a Saturday night. Compare the cost of including one Saturday night. If the savings in airfare exceeds the cost of Saturday hotel and meal expenses, the traveler is encouraged to stay over Saturday night. The College will reimburse the traveler for Saturday lodging and meal expenses. The employee’s supervisor should approve decisions regarding a Saturday stay.

• Make reservations in advance

Deeply discounted fares have strict advance purchase requirements of 30, 21,14 or 7 days in addition to the Saturday night stay requirement. Other fares that do not require a Saturday night stay will still offer substantial discounts for booking 7 or more days in advance. Most advance-purchase airfares also carry substantial penalties for change or cancellation.

• Be flexible in selection of airlines and times of travel

One airline may have a promotional fare not offered by competing carriers. One airline offering single-stop or change-of-plane service may offer substantially lower fares to compete with a carrier flying nonstop. Time of day and day of the week may also influence airfares. Once itineraries are set avoid changing flight times and incurring change fees.

• Look for special promotional fares

When consulting a travel agency, identify yourself as being flexible and willing to explore special fares and promotional opportunities on alternative dates and times if you are in fact flexible.

• Sharing expenses with external organization

Travelers are encouraged to combine College travel with other business if travel expenses can be shared with other organizations. Where travel expenses are being shared with external organizations a duplicate copy of receipts will suffice if the reimbursement form contains a detailed explanation as to which organization is paying the balance of the expenses.

• Look for savings on group travel

If traveling with a group of employees look for areas of cost savings based on quantities such as discounts in registration fees for more than one person, carpooling or arranging for the most cost efficient mode of transportation based on number of people, sharing hotel rooms, etc.

• Consider means of transportation

Whenever practical the most economical means of transportation to and from hotels and terminals should be used. Many hotels provide complimentary shuttle service to and from airports

Violation of Policy

An individual will be issued a warning if any of the above policy is violated. If an individual is in repeat violation of the above policy, the Vice President for Finance &Treasurer has the authority to either temporarily or permanently remove the Stonehill Purchasing Card and travel reimbursement privileges from that individual.

Procedure for Completing the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form:

1. Travelers should complete a Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form for all expenses including those paid in cash, paid via personal credit cards, or for funds received in advance of travel.

2. The Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form should include a complete description of all items requested for reimbursement. All original receipts should be attached to the Reimbursement Form and itemized in accordance with the form.

3. If a receipt is missing or not available, a Missing Receipt From must be filled out detailing the purchase and signed by both the traveler and their supervisor. The form can be found on the Controller’s website. The Missing Receipt Form should be used only in special circumstances and is not an alternative to obtaining and providing an original receipt.

4. All Travel and Expense Reimbursement Forms that include mileage reimbursement will be reviewed by the Controller’s Office.

5. The traveler should include the business purpose of the expense on the Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form.

6. The traveler should include proper accounting each individual expense charged.

7. The traveler must sign and date the reimbursement form. The department head and division head of the traveler must also sign the reimbursement form. If any of the signatures are missing from the form, the form will be returned to the traveler and NO expenses will be reimbursed until proper authorization is received.

8. The Vice President for Finance & Treasurer will approve forms submitted by other Vice Presidents and Officers of the College. The Vice President for Finance & Treasurer will approve forms submitted by the President. The President will approve forms submitted by the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer.

9. Travelers should submit the travel and expense report within 30 days of the final date of travel.

Responsibilities:

Traveler/Employee

The individual submitting a travel expense bears the responsibility to:

• Verify that all expenses being paid or reimbursed by the College are valid and conform to this policy document and understand that requests lacking required documentation and/or business purpose will be questioned and perhaps not be reimbursed through these policies.

• Attest that expenses submitted for reimbursement have not been previously paid through a prior submitted expense report, cash advance, or by an outside agency or other third party.

• Submit all forms related to his/her travel to Accounts Payable within 30 days of completion of travel or latter of incurrence/payment of the business expense.

• Retain accountability for ensuring all expenses are in accordance with this policy document when completing either the Purchasing Card Reconciliations or Travel and Expense Reimbursement Forms.

Authorizer/Approver

Individuals authorized to approve business expenditures of others will administer these policies and are responsible to:

• Attest that the purpose of the expense is valid and directly related to College business.

• Verify that the valid business purpose is documented on paperwork.

• Verify that all required documentation/receipts are included in the paperwork.

• Request further documentation or explanation for expenses that appear to be excessive or unusual in relation to the nature of the business travel. Explanation of such expenditures must be included on request for payment.

• Submit approved Purchasing Card Reconciliations and/or Travel and Expense Reimbursement Forms directly to the Controller’s Office (on a timely basis).

• Understand that while the Controller’s Office will review the Purchasing Card Reconciliations and Travel and Expense Reports, the primary responsibility for the appropriateness of expenditures rests with the traveler/employee and the individual responsible for departmental approval.

Controller’s Group/Accounts Payable

The Controller’s Group is responsible for reviewing the Purchasing Card Reconciliations and Travel and Expense Reimbursement Forms prior to processing the payment to verify that expenses are reasonable and meet the following criteria:

• Information on the Purchasing Card Reconciliation and Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form is supported by accompanying support documentation, which is both complete and in accordance with this policy document.

• Expenses conform to any requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service or, as applicable, sponsoring agencies.

• Expenses have been reviewed/approved by the appropriate approver.

• Expenses have been reviewed for compliance with College Policies.

Required Signatures:

All travel-related expenses require both the signature of the employee and the appropriate approval authority as outlined in the Signature Authorization Policy All signatures must be original. An individual signing another person’s name and initialing it is not acceptable. Signature stamps seriously weaken internal control over expenses and their use is specifically prohibited.