Please make sure your signature is legible and includes the date. If needed, please also print your name next to your signature.
Do all reimbursements to employees require preapproval, and if so, what is the procedure?
Daily travel (not overnight) does not require preapproval. (See Section 7.1 of the Travel & General Expense Reimbursement Policy for other requirements relating to daily travel.) Overnight travel, non-travel related entertainment and purchases on behalf of the University require preapproval if over $1,000. The levels of approval are:
- Direct supervisor
- Department head or chair
- Dean, vice president or senior vice president if over $5,000
Do reimbursements to students require preapproval? Does it matter if they are also an employee?
All reimbursements to students, including those students who are also employees, must be preapproved. These approvals follow the same preapproval process as above.
What type of detail is needed when completing the Expense Reimbursement Form?
Here are some examples of required detail:
- If seeking reimbursement for travel with a personal vehicle, note the destination, the reason for the trip and the number of miles.
- If seeking reimbursement for a local meal, note all the attendees, their affiliation to the University and/or organization they represent, and specific business purpose for the meal. Detail receipt required. If the detailed receipt is missing, the reimbursement will default to the Per Diem method. Tip: take a picture of the detailed receipt with your phone before you hand over the cash/credit card, that way if you don't receive the detail slip back or misplace it, you can email it to yourself and print the picture.
- If seeking reimbursement for airline charges for the first checked baggage or a required a seat free to guarantee a seat on the plane, print out these notices from the airline, and/or make sure this detail information is included in your backup. Otherwise the charges will appear to be excess baggage or seat upgrade charges which are not reimbursable.
Do I have to wait to be reimbursed for air/rail expenses or conference registrations until my trip is complete?
No. After you have obtained the preapproval for the trip, you may book and pay for your flight and registration and then immediately submit for your travel advance (i.e., hotel costs and half of meals, etc., per the policy), and reimbursement for air/rail and registration. The air/rail expenses and/or registration fees will be reimbursed immediately; advances are given two weeks prior to the trip. Note: registration fees for conferences may be paid through a purchase order. Check with the conference and work with the Purchasing Office as to whether this may be an available option.
Do I have to use the authorized University travel agency?
Carlson Wagonlit Travel is Suffolk’s preferred online and full-service travel agency. However, in certain cases, travelers are not required to use the travel agency (refer to Section 3.3 in the travel policy), including if:
- A lower fare is found elsewhere
- Itinerary changes are necessary related to emergency situations
- A conference or seminar has substantial discounts that can’t be matched by Carlson
- A business client requests the traveler use the business’ travel agency
- The traveler is part of a group that purchases tickets though another agency
What kind of seat can I book for air travel?
Coach/economy must be used for all domestic and international travel. For an international trip when the total flying time exceeds seven hours, a business-class seat may be booked. If seeking reimbursement for airline charges for a required a seat fee to quarantee a seat on the plane, print out this notice from the airline, and/or make sure this detail information is included in your backup. Otherwise the charges will appear to be a seat upgrade charge which are not reimbursable.
What do I submit for EZ Pass toll fees?
Log into your EZ Pass account and print your activity for the time period of your travel. Note the tolls you are submitting for and include the statement as your receipt.
Which form do I use if I am taking a day trip that involves air travel (i.e., no hotel, round-trip flight same day)?
Use the travel form only. You do not need to complete the expense reimbursement form. You may submit for the air and any ground transportation (i.e., taxis) on that form.
If I need to make a purchase on behalf of the University, but paying up front and seeking reimbursement is not an option, what are my other options?
There are many options:
- If possible, work with the Purchasing Department to establish a business relationship with the vendor so a purchase order may be issued and payment terms established.
- If ordering online, the University purchasing card held by your respective senior manager should be used.
- In some instances when neither option above is available, a cash advance (not travel advance) may be given. Refer to Section 6.1 Cash Advance in the Travel & General Expense Reimbursement Policy. The form may be found under Forms on the Business Office site.
When are meals reimbursed when overnight travel is not involved?
The University reimburses employees for reasonable expenses for meals eaten while on University business. See sections 4.3 and 7.2 of the Travel & General Expense Reimbursement policy for more detailed information. Note: local restaurant charges with Suffolk University only attendees are not reimbursable.
- Indvidual day trip meals expenses not reimbursable unless the total day exceeds six hours and the employee is traveling during a meal time. In those instances the employees may spend up to $40 for meals. Receipts must be provided as per guidelines in section 4.3.1 Meal Receipts of the Travel & Expenses Reimbursement Policy.
- When entertaining guests of the University, expenses should be kept to a minimum. Meal rates in section 4.3 apply. Refer to section 7.2 of the policy for more information.
How do I estimate my meals?
If you have sufficient detail as to your planned meal expenses (not to exceed $115/day), use those estimates. Otherwise your estimated meal expenses should follow the travel policy. If you are choosing to request the Per Diem rate rather than submit actual detailed receipts, you may use those rate on the GSA site.
When can I expense alcohol?
The use of alcohol for business entertainment purposes should be kept to a minimum. Alcohol purchases in lieu of meals are not reimbursable and alcohol during standard business hours is not allowed.
Can non-employees (freelances, contractors, students, etc.) receive direct deposit?
No. We are not offering this option to non-employees.
Is direct deposit mandatory for reimbursements?
No, but it is strongly encouraged. The reimbursement schedule by check is once a week. The direct-deposit schedule is twice each week.
How long does the direct-deposit process take?
After you submit your direct-deposit form, we run it through a “pre-note” step, which takes one week. Upon successful completion of this step, you are automatically enrolled in direct deposit for reimbursements. We have found it takes one business day to fully post the reimbursement at the receiving bank.
How long do I typically have to wait to be reimbursed?
If the request is complete and there are no outstanding questions or issues, and if the request is approved and submitted to Accounts Payable by end of day on Monday, it will be included in Friday’s check/direct-deposit run. If the request is received in Accounts Payable by Thursday, it will be included in Tuesday’s direct-deposit run (assuming you are set up on direct deposit, or the Friday check issue if you are not enrolled in direct deposit).
When can I expense gift cards?
There are four acceptable situations to give gift cards to non-Suffolk employees. Refer to section 6.2 of the Travel & General Expense Reimbursement Policy for a complete description:
- They may be given to overseas alumni assisting locally in their respective countries
- For research involving participant costs, but the gift card cannot exceed $50 per participant.
- For full time students for campus wide academic or co-curricular achievements contest or competitions. They may NOT be given to student workers in appreciation for their work.
- For non-employees but NOT in lieu of pay in appreciation of services.
Gift cards may not be given to Suffolk employees due to tax implications.
Can I expense employee recognition events?
Parties for farewells, holidays or employee retirements are not reimbursable. Parties for retirements are reimbursable ONLY when pre-approved if they are first authorized by your dean and or vice president. (See section 8.0 for a sample list of non-reimbursable expenses.) Gifts for employee are not reimbursable.