Effective Date: June 20, 2023
Last Reviewed: June 20, 2023
It is the policy of Stonehill College to monitor and control costs associated with college business travel and to ensure such expenses comply with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for all employees traveling while on college business. The College reimburses those employees for necessary and reasonable business expenses incurred while traveling. The guidelines set below are intended to aid the employee as to the authorized reimbursable costs of the College.
Travel - General
- Before travel is considered, the employee should determine if the potential benefits of the trip justify its time and expense after considering cost-effective alternatives, such as video or teleconferencing.
- For expenses to be reimbursed by the College, the expenses must be incurred for college business and meet the standards set forth herein. This applies to all College funds, including but not limited to departmental budgets, discretionary funds, government or private grants and contracts.
- These policies do not apply to an employee’s normal commute to his/her normal work location.
- All employees must have all business travel approved by their supervisor prior to traveling. If the estimated cost is over $2,500 then the appropriate Division Head must also pre-approve the trip.
Faculty members must discuss plans for travel with the department chair (up to their signing authority) to ensure that the expenditure of funds is consistent with the faculty member’s professional development plans Travel must also be pre-approved by the Dean of the May School of Arts & Sciences or the Dean of the Leo J. Meehan School of Business.
Pre-approval must be secured by using Stonehill’s pre-travel authorization form.
- 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. Employees are responsible for understanding any specific restrictions imposed by the source funding the travel.
- Employees should consult with tax exemption chart on the Finance MyHill page for exemptions while traveling.
- 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 the reimbursement is requested.
- Departmental policies can be more restrictive than the College policy; however, they cannot be less restrictive.
- No portion of costs associated with the personal travel of a guest, spouse, or extending travel stay for personal reasons, will be paid by Stonehill College.
- Personal items that are lost or stolen while on business travel for the college will not be reimbursed.
- 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 employees. Airline upgrades will not be reimbursed by the College.
- Flight insurance will not be reimbursed by the College.
- Baggage fees that are reasonable and appropriate for the purpose and length of the trip are reimbursable. Fees associated with baggage that is personal in nature are not allowable.
- In order to meet IRS requirements that a flight was taken and paid for by the employee, 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 employee or the employee’s "immediate family" is reimbursable.)
- The Fly America Act (FAA) requires the use of U.S. airlines for federally funded travel. A non-U.S. air carrier is permissible in some instances if the carrier meets one or more of the exception criteria listed in the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) guidelines section 301- 10.135-138.
The College requires employees to select the most reasonable and economical transportation when traveling on college business. Travel by shuttle, ride share, car service, bus, taxi, or rail are allowable.
Receipts for paid ground transportation are required for reimbursement.
- Rental cars may be utilized if no other transportation is available or when it is reasonable to do so.
- Enterprise/National is the College’s primary provider of local and national car rentals. All employees should utilize Stonehill College’s Corporate Account Number for all services which can be provided by the Purchasing Department. This contract includes a collision damage waiver.
- Rental of up to a mid-sized car is an allowable expense. Exceptions are permissible if there are three or more employees traveling together, if the employee is transporting sizeable equipment, or if there are other valid business needs. The exception must be documented on the employee’s expense report.
- Upgrades using rewards/miles/credits are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable.
- 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 employee. 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.
- All tolls, fuel and parking fees incurred while traveling for business are allowable expenses. Tickets or fines associated with parking, travel violations, or vehicle lockouts are not allowed.
- The use of personal automobiles (employee owned) for business travel is allowable when it is the least expensive means of transportation. This reimbursement is allowed for total miles from starting destination (home or campus) to off campus site.
- The College’s will reimburse employees at the current IRS milage rate (updated annually). This reimbursement includes the cost of auto fuel which will not be reimbursed except for a rental car.
- All mileage incurred for College business is reimbursable apart from the employee’s standard commute.
- Additional reimbursement will be given for tolls and reasonable parking fees.
- Tickets or fines associated with parking, travel violations, or vehicle lockouts are not allowable.
- If airfare is available to the same destination (when traveling long distances), the employee will ordinarily be reimbursed for the lesser of the cost of the total mileage incurred or the cost of the air ticket.
- If damage occurs to a personal automobile while traveling on college business, the employee’s auto insurance would be responsible. The deductible amount the employee has set on their policy is the responsibility of the employee.
- Hotel reservations should be made at moderately priced hotels in a single occupancy standard room. Referencing the US General Service Administration website, 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. Prior approval must be obtained if the employee intends to stay at a different hotel.
- Employees are encouraged to make lodging arrangements in advance to take advantage of any special savings offered by the hotel.
- Airbnb/VRBO’s are allowed if it is more cost effective than hotel costs. Consultation and approval from the Controller’s Office are required before booking any accommodations through these vendors.
- An employee may stay with a friend or family member on a trip, but they may not be paid. A non-cash gift such as flowers or gift card is allowed but may not exceed $100. The limit is one gift per stay (not one gift per night). A receipt is required for any gift $25+).
- The College will not reimburse lodging expenses incurred due to the failure to cancel guaranteed room reservations except for extenuating circumstances.
- An employee may stay overnight during the conference if the travel distance is more than a two hour commute each way. 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 (i.e.: single vs double room) will be adjusted and will be the responsibility of the employee.
- Original itemized hotel receipts are required.
- The College will reimburse employees for their own individual meal expenses actually incurred, provided such expenses are reasonable and appropriate.
- College funds can be used to purchase alcohol with a meal when traveling. Reasonable purchases included with a meal are allowable; quantities in excessive amounts are not allowable.
- The College reserves the right to not reimburse employees beyond reasonable limits. Referencing the US General Service Administration website, gsa.gov/perdiem, will provide a reasonability review for meal allowance per meal based on the geographical area of the travel.
- Tips are included as part of the meal allowance.
- 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)
Methods of Payment
The Stonehill College Purchasing Card may be used for the majority of business-related travel expenses when the employee is an authorized pcard holder. (See the Accounts Payable MyHill for purchasing card policies, program and applications). Items that require advance payment such as conference registration fees, airfare, and hotel room deposits should also be made using this credit card.
Employees who travel and are not authorized Stonehill College Purchasing Card holders may use their personal credit card for travel expenses and request a reimbursement via a Travel and Expense Reimbursement Form. All Reimbursement Forms must be submitted within 30 days of travel.
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. Detailed justification for the advance amount must be included with the request. All advances must be reconciled within two weeks of returning from the trip. Cash advances that are not reconciled must be paid back to the College in full.
Certain miscellaneous travel expenses that are not reimbursed by the College include the following:
- 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 travel companions (e.g. spouse, child, etc.)
- Expenses related to normal commute
- Fuel for personal vehicle
- Hotel amenities such as exercise facilities and movies
- 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
- Babysitter fees, kennel costs, pet or house‐sitting fees while traveling
- Mini-bar refreshments
- Personal calls on cellular phones
- Rental car upgrades
- Cost or deposits required on EZ-Pass transponders or funding of an E-Z Pass account in anticipation of incurring future tolls for business
This is not an exhaustive list. Determination will be made by the Controller’s Office in accordance with college and IRS rules.