Travel & Expense Procedures (310) related to SLT Policy 6.18

Date of Last Update: Procedures Effective July 1, 2021

Responsible Office: Business and Finance


Overview

This document is designed to provide guidance to faculty and staff on University travel regulations and procedures. For questions regarding policies, procedures or travel arrangements, call the Business & Finance office at 616-331-2203.


PROCEDURES

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AUTHORIZATION

Unless exigent circumstances exist, travelers shall have pre-authorization from their Supervisor, Department Head, Dean, Director, Appointing Officer (AO) or Executive Officer before traveling. Travelers shall obtain approval through the Concur Request Module or if booking directly with Corporate Travel Planners (CTP), they should have email approval from their delegated travel approver.  Executive Officer travel is arranged and authorized through the delegated administrative support staff.

The approval hierarchy for Concur will be manually updated in a Banner approval application.  Department Administrative staff will be responsible for updating this application for their departmental travelers and the individual Supervisors and/or Appointing Officers, based on the approval hierarchy set by the appropriate Dean/AO/EO.  These tables will be audited regularly by the Financial Quality Assurance team.

ARRANGEMENTS

Employees: Each traveler is responsible for arranging their own travel schedule, booking reservations, and payment of expenses using the University Purchase Card (P-card), if issued to an employee, as the payment method. Employees/travelers that do not travel  more than twice a year are not required to obtain a P-card for University travel.  Those travelers not issued a P-card may use other payment methods as designated in the Travel Policy. Travel shall be arranged through the Concur Travel booking module or directly through the University’s preferred travel agency, CTP.

University Guests/Groups: The host department is responsible for coordinating travel arrangements for University guests and non-employee groups. If a University guest must book their own travel, an exception to using the booking platform from the Supervisor or delegated approver can be obtained.  Group travel should be arranged using CTP’s group travel specialist directly for assistance in booking air and/or ground transportation, hotel accommodations, car/van rentals or bus charters. If the agency is unable to book all or part of the travel, the group may book travel directly with a preferred vendor, using the University P-card for payment.  An email will be required as supporting documentation that group travel services could not be obtained from CTP.

TRANSPORTATION

Commercial Airlines
All airfare must be booked using the Concur platform or with GVSU’s preferred travel agent (CTP).  Airfare for all GVSU travelers will be paid via the established University payment method linked specifically for airfare purchases with the travel agent or booking platform.  Airfare must be booked at lowest available economy or coach class when available.

Charter Air Service
Charter air service may be authorized when it is to the advantage of the University measured by comparative travel costs and the time constraints of the travelers.

Personal Aircraft
Air travel for University business on an aircraft owned/leased by employees is prohibited.  All University air travel must be booked on regularly scheduled commercial airlines or a University chartered aircraft.

Public Transportation
Taxis, ride share, buses, subways, limousines, etc. are reimbursable at full fare for University business.

Rental Vehicles
The use of rental vehicles is permitted when commercial transportation is not available or is impractical. Renting vehicles for use at out-of-state destinations is permitted if necessary for the purpose of the trip.  Contact CTP for assistance with rental vehicles.  

Pool vehicles are available for local group travel. Contact Facility Services to arrange a pool vehicle. https://www.gvsu.edu/facilitiesservices/allendale/gvsu-motorpool-vehicle-rental-options-allendale-campus-29.htm

  1. A major credit card is required as security when booking through the travel agent and at time the vehicle is picked up. A P-card should be used for security and payment. The rental agreement form and receipt must be submitted as supporting documentation within Concur.
  2. Fuel, if not included in the rental agreement, is a reimbursable expense with receipts.
  3. Refer to the insurance section regarding appropriate coverage.

Personal Vehicles

  1. If an employee is required to work at a site that is not their primary work location, they will be reimbursed round trip mileage for their trip from their home to the destination or their primary work location to the destination, whichever is less.
  2. Mileage for travel between home and the primary work location is personal commuting and is not reimbursable.
  3. Mileage within a campus location is not reimbursable unless the employee is required to transport special equipment or tools to perform their duties.
  4. Mileage between all campuses is permissible for reimbursement. Employees are encouraged to utilize the Laker Line bus service between the Grand Rapids and Allendale campuses whenever possible.
  5. Personal vehicles may be used in lieu of commercial airline travel. Mileage will be reimbursed at the established current Federal GSA mileage rate up to 500 miles for University business travel. Similarly, transportation by bus, train, or other means will be reimbursed for actual cost.  Expenses for fuel, repairs, etc., are included in the IRS mileage allowance.
  6. Expenses for parking, storage, tolls and ferries are reimbursable and limited to the actual amount paid.
  7. Parking fines and fees at University facilities are not reimbursable expenses. Any fine or charge for a violation of public policy (such as a speeding ticket, etc.) is not a reimbursable expense.

MEALS

See SLT Travel and Expense Policy 6.18

For authorized individuals only, alcohol may be purchased on the University P-card.  Authorized individuals will be designated annually in writing by the Vice President of Finance and Administration.  Whenever possible, Concur Request should be used to get pre-authorization on the purchase of alcohol. A designated fund must be used to pay for alcohol purchases and Executive Officer approval is required either through Concur Request or approval after-the-fact in Concur Expense.

LODGING

All lodging must be booked using the Concur platform or with GVSU’s preferred travel agent (CTP), unless lodging is booked as part of the conference registration. Payment for lodging shall be the traveler’s P-card, if issued, or a personal form of payment that will be reimbursed.  Room service expenses are reimbursable in accordance with the per diem allowance. Expenses incurred for tips are reimbursable without receipt, up to 15% per transaction.

CONFERENCE FEES

Travelers shall use their University P-card for actual registration fees for conferences, seminars, etc. Fees for non-business and/or spousal/partner activities associated with the conference, such as golf or tour events, are not covered expenses and shall not be charged to a University P-card.

MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSE

Travelers will be reimbursed for one checked bag on airline flights.  If University directed travel exceeds five days, additional checked baggage fees will be permitted with approval by the delegated person.  Expenses incurred for handling and storage of bags is permitted as a separate expense with approval.

Personal expenses incurred for valet service, entertainment, personal phone calls, internet service, etc., will not be reimbursed.

EXPENSE RECONCILIATION

EXPENSE SUBMISSION

All reimbursement requests for travel expenses must be submitted in Concur. The business purpose and dates of the trip must be entered and receipts must be provided in Concur to support the expenses.  Any unused cash advance funds must be returned to the Accounting Office in the form of check or money order.

University guests and other approved travelers must submit their receipts and mileage to their host for reimbursement in Concur. The Department Admin is able to enter this information, as their delegate, for reimbursement.  Guests must follow the University travel policy and are required to follow these procedures for reimbursement or per their contractual agreement, which should be uploaded as a supporting document into Concur.

SETTLEMENT

Expenses must be submitted in Concur at the earliest practical date after return from the trip, but within 30 calendar days of return.  Travelers may include multiple trips, business expenses and P-card expenses into one expense report into Concur.  For personal vehicle mileage reimbursements, expenses can be consolidated and submitted once every 45 days.  Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed after the required approvals have been received.  The status of payments can be found within the Concur platform after submission. 

Non-employee reimbursement will be managed by the department responsible for payment of the non-employee travel.

REQUIRED RECEIPTS

Only actual business expenses incurred, supported by the original receipts uploaded into Concur, can be submitted for reimbursement.  Receipts for baggage, tolls and taxis are not required if under $75.  Any extenuating circumstances resulting in altered travel plans or unusual expenses must be explained in the Business purpose section within Concur.  Authorized travel approvers, Appointing Officers, Executive Officers, and the Accounting Office have the authority to deny a claim in full or partial for non-compliance based on the University policy.

FOREIGN CURRENCY

Reimbursement of foreign currencies will be reimbursed in the equivalent US Dollars. The P-card will auto calculate the currency rate based on the daily federal rate.

TRAVEL ADVANCES

Cash Advances will be very rarely handed out and will need to be authorized in advance by the Business Office with reasoning as to why one of the options below are not feasible. Please contact the Travel Team if you need to request an advance.

The preferred travel payment options are:

  • If an individual is traveling more than twice a year, they should have their own P-card and they should use this card for all purchases and travel. 
  • If an individual is not traveling more than twice a year or needs to access cash during their travel, they should have a Declining Balance Debit Card.

CANCELLED TRIP

If an approved trip is cancelled and a Travel Advance was issued, the original check or a personal check must be returned within 15 days to the Accounting Office for deposit.

Airline tickets already received are subject to airline/travel agency return regulations. When applicable, the credit will be issued to the party having made payment. Cancellation fees charged by the airline/travel agency are eligible for reimbursement. When reimbursement has already been received for the cancelled trip, the traveler must reconcile this credit within 15 days with the Accounting Office.

INSURANCE

UNIVERSITY VEHICLES

All University owned and leased vehicles are insured for both Liability and Physical Damage while being driven anywhere in the U.S. If you plan to drive a University vehicle outside of the United States, please contact Risk Management at 616-331-2067.

PERSONAL VEHICLES

The University’s Liability insurance will not respond until the vehicle owner’s Personal Auto Liability limits are completely exhausted.  The vehicle owner’s individual Personal Auto insurance is primary for all claims.  The University does not provide any Physical Damage coverage for personal vehicles.

RENTAL VEHICLES

Vehicles rented through Concur/CTP for University-related business are covered under the University’s insurance program for both Liability and Physical damage while being driven in the United States. Travelers can reject the rental agency’s insurance for domestic rentals.  However, for international rentals, travelers should accept full Liability and Physical Damage coverage from the rental agency. All terms and conditions of the vehicle rental agreement should be read and followed.

For additional information regarding insurance coverages, limitations and exclusions while driving on University-related business, please see Vehicle & Driver Protocols.  Questions concerning insurance coverage should be directed to Risk Management at 616-331-2067.

VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

  1. When another vehicle is involved in the accident, obtain that drivers’ insurance company name and address.  Also obtain the names, addresses and license plate numbers of potential witnesses.
  1. Take photos of all damage, and any other feature that may have influenced the event (such as road conditions, traffic lights, etc.)
  1. Report the accident to your supervisor

Complete a GVSU Automobile Accident Reporting Form.  The completed form should be sent to taylorh1@gvsu.edu as soon as practicable after the incident.  For additional assistance call Risk Management at 616-331-2067.

PERSONAL PROPERTY

Lost or stolen personal property should be reported to your personal insurance agent. The University is not liable for any lost or stolen Personal Property.

REPORTING ILLNESS or EMERGENCY

In cases of serious illness, accident or emergency that occurs while traveling on University business, the traveler should notify his/her supervisor. If the supervisor cannot be reached, contact the Human Resources Office at 616-331-2215.