Overnight Travel Expense Reimbursement
The Travel Expense Form is a carbon form available in the Accounts Payable office and is used for the majority of university travel. This form is designed to accommodate one traveler to one destination. Detailed instructions to this four-part form are included on the back of the form. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a supply of the form to be sent via campus mail for your use.
Additional information for selected portions of this form is as follows:
- Line 3 Purpose of Travel
The purpose of the travel must be adequately documented on this line. Descriptions such as "Attend Conference" are not acceptable. A description such as "Attend the national biology conference to present a paper" is adequate.
- Lines 5&6 Departure/Return Times
It is important to list both the estimated and actual departure and return times. The estimated times are used to verify amounts budgeted for certain meal related expenses prior to departure. If the actual departure and return times vary from the estimated times, the eligible meal reimbursement amount may be affected.
- Line 7 Conference/Seminar Fee
Use this line for payment or reimbursement of conference or seminar fees.
If you would like Accounts Payable to pay the conference or seminar fee, complete the payee, mailing, and due date information. Enter the amount to be paid in the estimated and prepay amount columns. Attach the conference/seminar registration form to the travel expense form that should be mailed with the check. Important: When the conference fee is being prepaid by Accounts Payable, do not enter the amount paid in the actual amount column when you return.
If you will be paying the conference or seminar fee yourself, do not fill out the payee, due date, or mailing information. Enter the amount of the fee in the estimated amount column. When you return, enter the actual amount of the fee in the actual amount column. Important: You must obtain a receipt as proof of payment.
- Line 8 Transportation Costs
Use this line for payment or reimbursement of transportation costs. This includes transportation costs required to transport you to your destination. This would normally include airfare or bus fare.
If you would like Accounts Payable to pay the transportation costs, complete the payee, mailing, and due date information. Enter the amount to be paid in the estimated and prepay amount columns. Attach an original invoice to the travel expense form (invoice copies are not acceptable). Important: When the transportation costs are being prepaid by Accounts Payable, do not enter the amount paid in the actual amount column when you return.
If you will be paying the transportation costs yourself, do not fill out the payee, due date, or mailing information. Enter the amount of the costs in the estimated amount column. When you return, enter the actual amount of the transportation costs in the actual amount column. Attach a receipt with proper proof of payment.
- Line 9 Hotel Costs
Indicate the hotel name and location on line 9. Enter the rate per night (including tax) as well as the number of nights you will be staying. Enter the total cost of the room for all nights of stay in the estimated amount column. When you return from your trip, attach the itemized hotel receipt with proper proof of payment. Do not claim telephone calls (even if business related), parking charges, or any other costs charged by the hotel except for room and tax on this line. Business calls, parking or other costs may be claimed on lines 13 and 15, if applicable.
If you would like Accounts Payable to pay the hotel costs, complete the payee, mailing and due date information. Enter the amount to be paid in the estimated and prepay amounts columns. Attach documentation showing your Confirmation Number and Pricing from the hotel. Important: When the hotel costs are being prepaid by Accounts Payable, do not enter the amount paid in the actual amount column when you return.
- Line 10 Justification of Hotel Rate
Several years ago, in an effort to reduce costs related to hotel stays, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and subsequently, the State System of Higher Education) established maximum rates that may be paid for hotel rooms without justification. Refer to the rate page for current rates.
When lodging cannot be located with a reasonable effort within the maximum rates indicated above
A "reasonable effort" means contacting at least three hotels in the area you are staying in. On line 10, check the "a" box and document the three hotels contacted, their addresses, phone numbers, and the quoted rates per night for each. You must stay at the lowest cost hotel of the three hotels listed. If there are not three hotels within the area where you are staying, document the hotels that you did contact in the area and write "no other hotels in area" on line 10.
When travelers must stay in a specific hotel or motel where their presence is required by the nature of the official business.
On line 10, check the "b" box and explain why you must stay in the hotel establishment listed.
Claims for lodging and meal expenses will be allowed under the American Plan if contracted for at the minimum rate, and when incurred by travelers residing at a host establishment while attending a conference or convention on official business.
If you are staying at the hotel that is hosting a conference or convention that you are attending, check the "c" box. No other explanation is needed.
- Lines 13 through 15 Other Expenses
An original receipt is required for all miscellaneous expenses of $35 or more.
- Lines 16 through 20 Approvals & Account Numbers
Lines 16 and 17 and 18 are required signature lines on all travel. If the amount of the travel is $2500 or more, the Vice President must sign on line 20 next to the Dean or Director's signature.
The signature of the Director of Grants & Sponsored projects is also required on line 19 if the travel is charged to a grant or to the professional development fund.
The account number to which the travel should be charged should be indicated on line 16. If more than one account is funding the travel, these additional account numbers can be entered on lines 17 through 19. The form can accommodate a maximum of four account numbers. The travel object code 6150 is preprinted on the first two lines; if you are charging the travel to an out service training code, indicate the account number on line 18 (instead of line 16) or 19.
- Lines 21 and 22 Certification
Please note: this section is completed upon return from the travel on the pink copy of the travel expense form.
The traveler must read the certification above line 21 and sign before submitting the form to the Accounts Payable Department. If all of the actual expenses are within the line item estimates, no additional approvals are needed. If the actual expenses exceed the estimates for any line item, the Dean or Director must approve the overage by signing in the space provided on line 22. The Dean or Director must also indicate the amount approved for reimbursement on this line as well if the total claimed is higher than the total estimated.
All travel must be submitted to Accounts Payable for reimbursement within 60 days of returning from your trip.