Appendix F Travel Policy Guidelines and Procedures

POLICIES UPDATED FOR 2007-2008

GENERAL GUIDELINES

Walla Walla University reimburses its employees for approved university related travel. The person responsible for the travel budget (such as the department chair) grants approval.

The Accounting Department encourages prepayment of airfares and where applicable, registration fees. Expenses for mileage and hotel, as well as per diem allowances, are to be submitted by the employee on an expense report when the trip is completed.

Expense reports should be submitted to Accounts Payable within a month of incurring the expenses, along with original receipts. Expense reports received after 6 months will be considered taxable income in accordance with federal regulations and must be approved prior to reimbursement by the department budget manager. All expense reports are subject to review by Administration. Reports submitted more than six months after the travel dates will generally be disallowed. Reimbursement will be given as electronic funds transfer on the first paycheck thereafter unless other arrangements have been made with Accounts Payable.

PLEASE NOTE: Convention approvals from Academic Administration will serve as authorization for expenditures. Each expenditure will be checked against the corresponding approval letter verifying that it pertains to the approved convention or professional development. The only signature required for these situations is the recipient's, and the paperwork does not have to pass through Academic Administration for approval.

AIR AND GROUND TRANSPORTATION:

In order to stretch limited travel budgets, air travel arrangements are to be reserved at least 21 days in advance of the travel date if possible and in the most economical class available.

Walla Walla University's travel guidelines allow frequent flyer rewards to be retained by the employee. However, for airfare which in aggregate costs in excess of $500, WWU requires the use of a WWU corporate purchase card whenever possible due to the 1% - 2% rebate that the University receives on all its purchases. If you or your supervisor do not have a WWU card, please contact Accounts Payable to make the purchase on your behalf.

University related air travel must follow the shortest most direct and economical route to the desired destinations.

The University will not reimburse you for use of personal frequent flier reward that is used for business purposes.

The use of taxis should be limited in favor of public transportation, downtown shuttle/bus service, or car rentals.

LAUNDRY EXPENSE:

A laundry expense allowance of $25 per week is available when an employee travels overseas for more than seven days at a time.

SPOUSE ACCOMPANIMENT:

As a general rule Walla Walla University does not reimburse travel costs for spouse accompaniment.

EXPENSE REPORTS:

Original itemized receipts are required. When you pay with a credit card, you will most likely receive two receipts: One that is itemized (usually white) and a second (usually yellow) copy that you sign. When you turn these in to Accounts Payable, be sure to include both. Always keep copies of what you turn in for your own records.

When copies of personal checks are submitted as proof of payment they must be either bank canceled or turned in with a copy of the appropriate bank statement showing the check has cleared.

The University complies with the Internal Revenue Service regulations for employee business expenses. The guidelines and procedures outlined below meet these regulations. Specific expenses need to be submitted as follows:

  1. Passenger ticket or itinerary for travel including passenger name, purpose of trip, origin, destination, and cost. Electronic ticketing will need a confirmation or itinerary stating the price of the ticket and that it was paid. A boarding ticket with this information will also be accepted.
  2. Itemized motel or hotel receipts are required and should be limited to a single room rate unless the room is shared with another authorized Walla Walla University employee. Any additional non-business related charges incurred, (e.g., non-approved spouse accompaniment, personal meals, entertainment and personal phone calls) are to be excluded from the expense report. Phone calls and other items that are business related should be marked accordingly.
  3. Per Diem: See Per Diem and Meal Reimbursement Policy for rates.
  4. For reimburseable meals, detailed receipts form restaurants are to include the name(s) of the person/people or group being entertained, and the business purpose or occasion. Meals that are lavish or extravagant will not be reimbursed and for this reason, a copy of the detailed items purchased is essential to be included in your reimbursement request.
  5. Actual miles traveled in a privately owned car at current mileage rate. Only one set of mileage may be reported regardless of the number of passengers. See Current Rate Table for a mileage table and rates. If renting a car, attach gas receipts. Only mileage or gas will be reimbursed, never both.
  6. No expense reports will be accepted for reimbursement until the approved trip has taken place with the exception of airfare or other advance travel reservations.
  7. Do not include any expenses on your expense report that have been paid in advance by the University or that you have paid for with your WWU VISA card.

Expense Reports are available online at www.wallawalla.edu/resources/accounting/ in either Excel or PDF formats, which contain further instructions. For expense reports with mileage reimbursements, please use the Excel format whenever possible as it calculates the reimbursement amount automatically.

EMERGENCY CASH ADVANCES:

Emergency cash advances may be available under limited circumstances. Please see "Cash Advance Request Form" online for eligibility requirements.

LODGING WITH RELATIVES OR FRIENDS:

Occasionally employees stay with relatives or friends while traveling on University business to reduce travel costs. If some type of gratuity for the host is desired, the University employee may either:

  1. Request Accounts Payable to send the host the amount allowed by policy. (See Per Diem Policy). To do this, fill out a Check Request and be sure to include the name and address of the host.
  2. Submit a receipt for a host gift of comparable value to the current hosting rates (see Per Diem Policy).

UNIVERSITY VISA CARD:

All Faculty and staff who regularly make purchases or arrange travel for Walla Walla University are encouraged to obtain a WWU VISA card. This credit card is to be used for business purposes only*. If you would like a credit card, please speak to your department chair and they may request one for you from Accounts Payable. Credit cards may also be obtained on a non-permanent basis for employees who only rarely need them. The use of personal credit cards for purchases in excess of $500 is strongly discouraged due to the 1% - 2% rebates that the university receives on its credit card purchase program. The Accounts Payable office is available to make purchases by credit card for employees that do not have a WWU credit card available to them or their supervisor.

*If a single credit card transaction is required for an item which has both business and personal components, (e.g., the purchase of airline tickets for employee [business] and spouse [personal], the corporate card may be used if the business portion is either (a) 50% or greater of the total transaction amount, or (b) $500 or more in amount. The personal portion should be reimbursed to WWU at the time the credit card statement is turned in with a personal check in the full amount of the personal portion.

You should receive an e-mail notification that your monthly statement is ready by the 8th of the month. You will also receive a paper copy through the mail several days later. You need to attach an original itemized receipt for each item listed on your statement, sign, and return to Accounts Payable by the 20th of the month. When teh card is used for traveling, you must fill in trip details in the "trip" section of the statement.

NOTE:

For purchases made on the web, please print out a copy of your order at the time of order. As this may be your only receipt, keep it as proof of purchase along with your confirmation-of-order e-mail.

If you lose your receipt, please call the place of purchase and request another copy. If you have tried and cannot obtain a receipt, please fill out a Missing Documentation Form, available on our web page, www.wallawalla.edu/resources/accounting. We must have backup for each and every purchase. Missing Documentation Forms can be used for purchases under $75, except for air travel and hotel.

If you mistakenly use your card for an unauthorized purchase, you must send a reimbursement check in with your statement. In the event that we do not receive payment we will automatically charge your personal account and it will be deducted from your next paycheck. Please note that personal purchases are not approved and repeated use of your credit card for personal purchases may result in your WWU credit card privileges being revoked.