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Travel and Entertainment Policy

Policy Author:
Office of Business Affairs

Responsible Office – Department:
Office of Business Affairs

Effective Date of Policy:
Reviewed Annually

Purpose:

It is the policy of Daemen University to reimburse employees and non-employees for necessary travel and entertainment expenses incurred for authorized university business.

Policy Narrative:

In an effort to preserve tuition dollars for student needs, the university may limit certain expenses in relation to travel and entertainment. All travel and entertainment expenses that are chargeable to Daemen University must be documented in order to be recorded appropriately in the financial system for audit purposes and to meet IRS rules. Expenses must be for legitimate and appropriate university purposes and adhere to the procedures found on the Business Affairs website.

Scope and Applicability:

Use of Personal Vehicles

  • Permitted Use: Use of a personal vehicle for business purposes is permitted when it is less expensive than alternative means of transportation or when there are safety or other issues that justify the additional cost. 
  • Mileage rate: When a personal vehicle is used for business purposes, the traveler will be reimbursed at the university approved mileage rate on the date of travel for miles incurred. The mileage reimbursement rate covers all operating costs of the vehicle, including but not limited to fuel, repairs, maintenance, depreciation and insurance. Tolls and reasonable parking charges will be reimbursed in addition to the mileage allowance. Fines for moving or parking traffic violations, costs of repairs, and towing are not reimbursable. The mileage rate for the university is reviewed annually during the budget development process. The current rate will be shown on the Business Affairs website.
  • Determination: Mileage is to be determined using internet-based mapping with the university as the point of departure and the address of the destination as the end point using the most direct and/or regularly traveled route. The miles driven from an employee’s home to the university and back again are defined as commuting miles and do not qualify for reimbursement.
  • Documentation: Mileage claims should be documented using a mileage log form found on the Business Affairs website and must include complete information for the destination and receipts for any fees/tolls incurred. The mileage log form is to be submitted with a completed purchase requisition.
  • Insurance: Personal vehicles used for business purposes are not covered by university insurance but must be insured by the owner for the minimum insurance required. Damage to a privately-owned vehicle used for university business purposes will be covered by the individual’s private insurance. The university does not assume responsibility for deductibles or other costs associated with being under-insured or uninsured.
  • Transporting students or other employees: Use of personal vehicles is not recommended when transporting students or other university employees because it exposes the owner to serious financial loss in the event of an accident.

Travel

  • Miscellaneous Expenses: Expenses strictly for personal benefit without a business purpose are not paid by the university.
  • Personal Credit Card Charges: It is recommended and preferred that all travel expenses such as airfare, lodging, and registrations be prepaid by the university instead of personal credit card or check. Reimbursements for travel placed on personal credit cards can only be made after the event has occurred to ensure the travel has taken place. Cancelled events involve credits which can not be monitored if placed on personal cards.
  • Travel Advances may be requested in certain circumstances to cover minor expenses requiring cash such as tips, parking, tolls, etc. Receipts and any unspent funds are to be returned to the business office within one week of return from travel.

Entertainment

  • Itemized receipts: Itemized receipts must be submitted for any meals paid by the university. A credit card receipt showing only a total is not acceptable as it does not show detail of the purchase.
  • Employee meetings: The university will not pay expenses for employees to meet with one another. Employees are to schedule meetings during regular working hours on campus. It is considered a personal decision for employees to meet off campus during lunch.
  • Meetings with external parties: In addition to itemized receipts, additional documentation must be included: the date of meeting, names of participants, and description of the business purpose of the meeting.
  • Travel meals: Meal cost guidelines are found on the Business Affairs website based on historical spending and IRS per diem rates. Under extreme circumstances where a traveler is required to buy a meal in excess of the suggested guidelines, a brief explanation should be provided for the rationale of the excess expense.
  • Partial Day Travel Meals: When a traveler is out of town for a partial day, meal allowances are used individually for the day: Breakfast 6:00am-10:30am, lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner 5:00pm-10:00pm. Thus, someone leaving for a trip after 10:30am is not eligible for breakfast on departure day, and anyone arriving in WNY by 5:00pm is not eligible for dinner on arrival day.
  • Alcohol: The university will not pay for alcohol served at any meals.
  • Tips must not exceed recommended guideline
  • Tax: NYS sales tax paid will not be reimbursed as per the sales tax exemption policy

Holiday Party Expenses

The university hosts an employee holiday party annually in December to celebrate the season with faculty and staff. As such, the university will not support individual department requests for holiday party/entertainment expenses.

Updated on September 8, 2022

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