7.1 Travel Expense Policies and Procedures (Revised 11-01-2017)
This policy governs the process to account for and/or reimburse individuals for university-related travel and other related expenses. The responsibility to observe the guidelines rests with the individual incurring the expense, their immediate supervisor, budget administrator or other individuals who may certify conformance with these guidelines by approving the expenditure(s). Expenses should be limited to activities that are directly related to the furtherance of the university's mission. The same judgment and consideration applies to reimbursements as to any university financial transaction. Reimbursement should be sought and authorized only for expenses that conform to university policy, are necessary and reasonable both in amount and relative to its purpose.
The decision on whether to approve travel for individual employees and the prioritization of approval is not covered by this policy, and is at the discretion of the business unit. Approval should be secured prior to making any travel arrangements.
This policy applies to any WSU employee or non-employee (hereafter referred to as "Individual") who incurs travel and/or business hosting expenses and seeks reimbursement for those expenses from the university, regardless of funding source. The university will reimburse for reasonable transportation, meals, lodging and out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the transaction of university business.
These policies are not expected to cover every possible situation. Items of an unusual nature should be approved by the appropriate members of the S/C/D before the submission of expenses. The President, Provost, Vice Presidents or Deans can approve exceptions to this policy in the event of extenuating circumstances. However, even if approved, these exceptions may result in a taxable reimbursement. The written explanation and approval, as needed, must be included with the submission of the Expense Report.
These policies are necessary to comply with Federal and State tax laws and third party sponsoring agency regulations. They are intended to ensure consistent and fair treatment across departments throughout the university and the uniform reporting of financial results. In general, the cost of travel should be governed by what is reasonable and appropriate to the purpose involved. The university respects the personal integrity and discretion of each traveler and conducts expense account monitoring accordingly.
Submitting Travel Expense Reports
Travel Expense Reports must be submitted, processed and approved using the online TravelWayne System. Reimbursements to employees will be processed via direct deposits for those who have valid banking information on file. Otherwise reimbursement will be processed with a check.
The University's Travel Policy allows for reimbursement for expenses in advance of the trip (e.g., for airfare, conference registration/fees, etc.). The traveler can file a Travel Expense Report to capture these costs and generate reimbursement to the traveler or payment to the University Travel Card Company.
Travel Expense Reports require both the electronic signature of the employee (traveler) and the appropriate approval authority. The appropriate authority is defined to be the traveler's immediate supervisor for approval to travel, and the Business Affairs Officer or her/his designee for expenditure approval. In no instance shall an employee approve their own Travel Expense Report.
All exceptions to the university Travel Policy will require the approval of the respective Vice President or Dean, thus requiring the appropriate electronic routing within the TravelWayne System.
The following information outlines the responsibilities of various parties involved in the process:
|Individual /Employee|| |
The Traveler submitting a Travel Request and Expense Report (ER) is responsible for:
|Travel Request Authorizer|| |
Individuals authorized to approve travel requests of other WSU staff are responsible to:
|Travel Expense Approver|| |
Individuals authorized to approve travel expenses are responsible to:
The Disbursements Department is responsible for random, post-reimbursement review of Travel Expense Reports; verifying expenses meet the following criteria:
TRAVEL CARD PROGRAM
Wayne State University has contracted with JP Morgan Chase Bank for the administration of a Travel Credit Card program. The card may only be used for University travel and business hosting expenses. Only University employees are eligible to request a card. The internal application form must be completed, authorized by the appropriate department personnel and forwarded to the Disbursements Department for approval.
TRAVEL AGENCY SERVICES
Wayne State University has contracted with Conlin Travel for travel management services. As the University's designated travel agency, they offer faculty and staff access to WSU negotiated rates and charge contracted booking fees. These services are available either through the TravelWayne online travel booking tool or via Conlin agent assistance. An agent can be reached between the hours of 8:00AM – 8:00PM EST at 1-800-783-9559.
TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
The following table provides the university's requirements for receipts and other documentation for the more commonly used expense types. This table is provided as a guide.
|Type of Expense||Documentation|
|Airfare||Passenger Itinerary and proof of payment|
|Other transportation costs, ie train, taxi, etc||Itemized receipts for amounts greater than $15|
|Lodging, Accommodations||Itemized bill with name of lodging|
|Car Rental||Itemized rental car bill|
|Personal Auto||Mileage claimed for trip (see Sec 7.2.8)|
|Conference/Meeting Registration||Registration form with agenda, or URL link to website|
|All incidental expense items||Itemized receipts for amounts greater than $15|