UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 05-07-01

CATEGORY:             FINANCIAL AFFAIRS

SECTION:                 Business Expenses

SUBJECT:                Travel and Business Expenses and Honoraria

EFFECTIVE DATE:   July 20, 2015 Revised

PAGE(S):                  23

                                         TABLE OF CONTENTS QUICK LINKS

I.     SCOPE

II.    DEFINITIONS

III.   POLICY

      A.   General

            1.   Minimum requirements

            2.   Minimum value for reimbursement requests

            3.   Expenses paid by an outside organization

            4.   Shared expenses

            5.   Tax exempt status

      B.   Payment Processing Department responsibility

      C.   Requestor responsibility

      D.   Approver responsibility

      E.   Exceptions to this policy

      F.   Charges to restricted funds

      G.   General business expenses

            1.   Meals or events that include primarily University employees

            2.   Organized business meetings and official University events that include non-University employees

            3.   Business meals that include non-University employees

            4.   Gifts and contributions

            5.   Moving expenses

            6.   Membership dues and professional license fees

      H.   Travel expenses

            1.   Booking travel

            2.   Travel advances

            3.   Traveler’s checks

            4.   Travel with spouse/personal guest

            5.   Combined personal/business travel

            6.   Foreign currency expense

            7.   Air travel

            8.   Ground transportation

                  a.   Airport limousines, courtesy shuttles and taxis

                  b.   University Fleet Services vehicle rental

                  c.   Bus charters

                  d.   Commercial vehicle rental

                  e.   Personal vehicles used on University business

            9.   Other modes of transportation

           10.  Meals while in travel status

           11.  Lodging while in travel status

           12.  Parking and tolls

           13.  Communication while in travel status

      I.     Honoraria

      J.    Non-reimbursable expenses

      K.   Expense Reporting

            1.   Submission

            2.   Foreign travel currency exchange rates

            3.   Valid proofs of expense

                  a.   When are receipts required?

                  b.   Quality of receipts

            4.   Record retention

      L.   Methods of expense payment

            1.   Personal credit card

            2.   University Procurement card (Policy 05-02-12)

            3.   Direct Payment to service providers

IV.  REFERENCE

I.    SCOPE

      The University of Pittsburgh's Travel and Business Expense Policy applies to all faculty,

      staff, students and others (e.g., candidates for employment including spouses, volunteers,

      visiting faculty/lecturers, guest speakers, boards of visitors, prospective students, etc.)

      who incur expenses while engaged in University business or related travel and who intend

      to receive reimbursement from the University.  The policy establishes responsibilities and

      guidelines for ensuring that travel and business expenses are valid, necessary, reasonable,

      and in compliance with federal and state regulations and University accounting procedures. 

      This policy pertains to travel and business expenses for all sources of University funds

      including unrestricted, restricted, endowment, student loan, plant funds, and discretionary

      funds.

II.   DEFINITIONS

      A.   Request for reimbursement

            This policy applies to travel and business expenses, regardless of the processing or

            payment method.  Therefore, the general term “request for reimbursement” is used

            throughout this policy to refer to both the online PRISM Internet Expense Application

            method to request reimbursement and the paper Travel and Business Expense Report

            (Form 0060) method to request reimbursement.

      B.   Requestor

            The term requestor refers to any faculty, staff, student or other person (e.g., candidate

            for employment including spouse, volunteer, visiting faculty/lecturer, guest speaker,

            board of visitors, prospective student) who incurs expenses while engaged in University

            business and who requests reimbursement for those expenses from the University.

      C.   Approver

            An approver must be a University employee who is higher in the requestor’s

            organizational hierarchy and knowledgeable of the requestor’s work performed and

            expenses incurred.

III.   POLICY

      A.    General

            1.    Minimum requirements

                  The University will reimburse for approved expenses incurred while on University

                  business and/or related travel when the expense is:

                  -     actual and reasonable;

                  -     expenses are for the requestor;

                  -     incurred/paid by the requestor;

                  -     reimbursed after the trip/expense occurred;

                  -     necessary in the performance of University business;

                  -     supported by a valid proof of expense, such as a cash or other original receipt

                        unless otherwise provided in this policy, and;

                  -     in compliance with all of the conditions established in this policy.

           2.    Minimum value for reimbursement requests

                  The total of the request for reimbursement must not be less than $5.  Expenses

                  under $5 may be added to a subsequent request for reimbursement, or be reported

                  as a miscellaneous deduction on Schedule A of Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

                  Form 1040 as an unreimbursed business expense.

           3.    Expenses paid by an outside organization

                  Expenses incurred by an individual solely for the benefit of an outside organization

                  where the individual is acting in a consulting, advisory, or other capacity not directly

                  related to their University responsibilities are considered personal expenses and will

                  not be reimbursed.  In addition, such expenses may not be charged to a University

                  account, and then later reimbursed to the University.  It is the responsibility of the

                  individual to obtain reimbursements or expense advances directly from the outside

                  organization.

           4.    Shared expenses

                  The University will reimburse only for its portion of shared expenses, and prefers to

                  receive original receipts.  If an outside organization insists on retaining the original

                  receipts, photocopies of receipts accompanied by an explanatory memorandum

                  signed by the appropriate Account Administrator must be submitted with a request

                  for reimbursement for the University's portion of the expense.

           5.    Tax exempt status

                  The University of Pittsburgh is a tax-exempt organization, and individuals should

                  request that tax not be collected by the supplier or service provider.  The travel

                  industry (e.g., airlines, rail, hotel, car rental, etc.) may not recognize this status,

                  and insist that taxes be paid.  In these instances, the employee will be reimbursed

                  for the taxes paid.  If the service provider requests a tax-exemption certificate, it

                  may be printed from the PantherExpress website.

     B.    Payment Processing Department responsibility

            The Payment Processing Department will review requests for reimbursement for proper

            supporting documentation, approval, mathematical accuracy, appropriate account

            coding and adherence to policy requirements prior to issuing a reimbursement.

            Material misstatements, significant errors or items that Payment Processing determines

            are clearly not in compliance with this policy will be deducted from reimbursement and

            the non-compliant items will be returned to the requestor.  Minor errors will be corrected

            by Payment Processing, and will result in an amended reimbursement with subsequent

            notification to the requestor and approver.

            Payment Processing will provide interpretations of the Travel and Business Expense

            Policy.

            Regional campuses and other units with accounts payable responsibilities are required

            to review requests for reimbursement pursuant to this policy.  These Travel and

            Business Expense Reports may be subject to further review by Payment Processing.

     C.    Requestor responsibility 

            It is the responsibility of individuals who request reimbursement from the University to:

            -     ensure that all expenses were incurred/paid by the requestor, are reasonable,

                  supported by adequate documentation, serve a legitimate business purpose, and

                  are in full compliance with University policies;

            -     understand that requests lacking required documentation will not be reimbursed,

                  and;

            -     ensure that the expenses have not been previously reimbursed by the University

                  or by an outside organization.

            Requestors who sign the Travel and Business Expense Form, or submit an online

            PRISM Internet Expense request for reimbursement, attest to the above.

     D.    Approver responsibility

            Only expenses approved by a University employee who is higher in the requestor’s

            organizational hierarchy, and who is knowledgeable of the requestor’s work performed

            and expenses incurred, will be reimbursed.

            Approval may be obtained by an authorized, authenticated approver in the online

            PRISM Internet Expense Application, or by original signature (facsimile signatures are

            not permitted) on the following University paper forms:

            -     Travel and Business Expense (Form 0060)

            -     Travel Advance (Form 0061)

           The act of approval is a representation by the approver that the expenses were incurred/

           paid by the requestor, are reasonable, supported by adequate documentation, serve a

           legitimate business purpose, and are in full compliance with University policies or any

           specific expense policy of the funding source or contract provision that is more restrictive

           than University policies.

     E.    Exceptions to this policy

            Unless otherwise provided in this policy, exceptions to any provision of this policy require

            written approval from one of the following:

            -     Chancellor

            -     Executive Vice Chancellor

            -     Senior Vice Chancellor

            -     Chief Financial Officer

            -     Vice Chancellor

            -     Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Assistant Chancellor

            -     Provost

            -     Dean, or Academic Director

            -     Responsibility Center Head

            Requests for policy exception must move upward through each level of the reporting

            structure related to the individual desiring exception to this policy.  Requests for policy

            exception must not be forwarded directly to one of the above-listed individuals if such

            an action passes over a level in the organization's reporting structure.

     F.    Charges to restricted funds

            Travel and business expenses incurred on grants, contracts, sponsored programs, gift

            funds, or other restricted funds must comply with University policies and any specific

            expense policy of the funding source or contract provision, if more restrictive than

            University policy.

     G.    General business expenses 

           1.    Meals and events that include primarily University employees

                  Reimbursement to individuals, or expenditures of University funds directly with

                  service providers or University Dining Services, for meals and events that include

                  primarily University employees is generally not permitted.

                  Examples of meals and events including primarily University employees include, but

                  are not limited to:

                  -     holiday parties;

                  -     breakfast/lunch meetings with all employees;

                  -     welcome lunches for new employees;

                  -     farewell events for students, faculty, & employees;

                  -     end-of-term celebrations for University employees;

                  -     retirement parties, or;

                  -     any meal attended exclusively by University employees.

                  Exceptions may be made for certain official University events such as employee

                  recognition ceremonies.  These exceptions require written approval from one of

                  the individuals listed in section III.E., Exceptions to this policy, above.

                  If written approval is received for the policy exception, all of the requirements

                  articulated in section III.G.2., Organized business meetings and official University

                  events including non-University employees, below, must be met.

           2.    Organized business meetings and official University events that include

                  non-University employees

                  Organized business meetings and official University events are necessary to conduct

                  the normal business activities of the University.  They may be on or off campus,

                  typically have more than ten (10) attendees, are paid for with University funds, must

                  include non-University employees, and may include other University employees whose

                  presence is required and necessary for the conduct of official University business.

                  Examples include, but are not limited to:

                  -     fundraising events;

                  -     athletics booster events;

                  -     alumni gatherings;

                  -     student activities, or;

                  -     professional conferences.

                  Senior administration approvals (see section III.E., Exceptions to this policy) are not

                  required for these events unless exceptions to the following requirements are

                  requested:

                  a.    The per-person cost, including tips, must not exceed $60 per person.

                  b.    For social functions or meetings held in University owned and operated facilities,

                         it is strongly recommended that University's Dining Services or Regional Campus

                         equivalent operation provide food and beverages to ensure the health safety of

                         attendees.  If an outside provider is preferred, approval of the provider must be

                         obtained from University's Dining ServicesUniversity's Dining Services can

                         advise on issues such as outside provider compliance with health and safety

                         regulations, Americans with Disability Act (ADA) regulations, and appropriate

                         liability insurance coverage.

                        For smaller, impromptu meetings that require unplanned food or beverages, the

                        best or most convenient outside provider (e.g., take-out pizza or sandwich shops)

                        may be used.  It is strongly recommended, for liability reasons, that the outside

                        provider be a reputable brand in the food and beverage industry.

                  c.    Larger planned off-campus events, for which services are provided by a third

                         party, must be under a University contract or purchase order in order to ensure

                         that the provider complies with health and safety regulations, Americans with

                         Disability Act (ADA) regulations, and obtains appropriate liability insurance

                         coverage.  Contact the Purchasing Services Department for assistance.  Services

                         under contract may include room rentals, lodging, catered meals at the event

                         location (subject to a $60 per-person meal cost limit), audio/visual and computer

                         equipment rentals, tent rentals, and transportation, etc.

                  d.    In order to meet IRS requirements, a list of attendees (full names should be

                         provided), attendee affiliation, itemized receipts, and a clear description of the

                         function’s purpose must be submitted with any request for reimbursement.  In

                         order to maintain privacy, it is not necessary to provide the names of research

                         participants attending a group meal.  The number of research participants, a

                         statement that attendees are research participants, and a brief description

                         of the research purpose should be submitted.

                  e.    If the event is catered by a University service operation and charged directly to

                         the requestor’s department budget, the requestor’s department must maintain

                         approval, attendee, purpose, and detailed charge documentation in accordance

                         with the University’s document retention requirements.  If the University pays a

                         service provider directly for the event, this supporting documentation must be

                         maintained with the contract.

                  f.    Minor, last-minute incidental expenses paid for by requestors, such as name tags,

                        may be submitted for reimbursement.

                 g.    Alcoholic beverages may not be charged to grants, contracts or other sponsored

                        programs.  Alcohol purchases require written approval from one of the

                        individuals listed in section III.E.

           3.    Business meals that include non-University employees

                  Business meals are smaller, require less organization, typically include fewer than

                  ten(10) attendees, are necessary to conduct University business, and often occur

                  at local or out-of-town restaurants.  Business meals must include non-University

                  employees, and may include other University employees whose presence is

                  required and necessary for the conduct of official University business.  Examples

                  of smaller business meeting meals include, but are not limited to:

                  -     recruiting lunch with a candidate for a University job opening;

                  -     lunch with a prospective donor, or;

                  -     working meal with colleagues from other institutions to discuss projects or other

                        professional matters.

                  Senior administration approvals (see section III.E., Exceptions to this policy) are not

                  required for these meals unless exceptions to the following requirements are

                  requested:

                  a.    The meal cost, including tips, must not exceed $60 per person.

                  b.    In order to meet IRS requirements, a list of attendees (full names should be
                         provided), attendee affiliation, an itemized receipt, and a clear description of the

                         meeting purpose must be submitted with the properly-approved request for

                         reimbursement.  In order to maintain privacy, it is not necessary to provide the

                         names of research participants attending a meal.  The number of research

                         participants, a statement that attendees are research participants, a brief

                         description of the research purpose and a detailed receipt should be submitted.

            c.    If the meal is off-site while in travel status, a reduction must be made by University

                   individuals in attendance to the meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) daily

                   allowance on their individual requests for travel expense reimbursement (see the

                   Meals while in Travel Status section III.H.10. of this policy).

            d.    Alcoholic beverages may not be charged to grants, contracts or other sponsored

                   programs.  Alcohol purchases require written approval from one of the individuals

                   listed in section III.E.

           4.    Gifts and contributions

                  a.    General

                        Reimbursement to individuals, or expenditures of University funds directly with

                        service providers, for gifts or contributions is generally not permitted.  However,

                        the University will reimburse individuals for certain gifts and contributions only if

                        they are actual and reasonable, necessary in the performance of University

                        business (not personal), supported by valid receipts, not in payment for services,

                        and have the written approval of one of the individuals listed in

                        section III.E., Exceptions to this policy.  Gifts and contributions include goods,

                        services, cash or cash equivalents (certificates, gift cards, etc. that are

                        redeemable for a broad variety of products or services).

                  b.   Goodwill gifts to University employees

                        If proper approval is received for the exception, goodwill gifts to University

                        employees may be considered taxable income to the recipient by the IRS. 

                        Therefore, all properly-approved gifts to employees in the form of cash and

                        cash-equivalent gifts, and non-cash gifts that do not meet the IRS’s de minimus

                        rules, will be reported to the University’s Payroll Department by Payment

                        Processing to determine if the payment is tax-reportable.  Contact the University’s

                        Payroll Director if you have questions about the tax reporting status of goodwill

                        gifts to employees.

                  c.    Political contributions

                        University Policy 05-06-05 expressly prohibits political contributions, therefore,

                        they are not reimbursable.

           5.    Moving expenses

                  Moving expenses must be approved by the University’s Office of Travel

                  Management before they may be reimbursed (see Policy 05-07-02).

           6.    Membership dues and professional license fees

                  The preferred method of payment for professional society membership dues and

                  professional license fees is the University’s procurement card.  Such fees are

                  reimbursable if paid for with personal funds, a detailed receipt is required to be

                  submitted with the reimbursement request if the amount is greater than or equal

                  to $75.

     H.    Travel expense

            1.   Booking travel

                  a.    General

                        Travel reservations may be made by booking with a certified travel agent

                        (see Office of Travel Management website), an internet travel booking

                        service, or by booking directly with the service provider (airline, hotel, car

                        rental agency, etc.).  See the Office of Travel Management website for

                        service providers that provide educational or corporate rates.  These

                        discounted rates should always be requested.

                        Business travel should also be arranged as far in advance as possible

                        to take advantage of any additional early booking discounts.

                  b.    Booking guarantee/payment

                        The preferred method of booking/guaranteeing and paying for airline

                        reservations is with the University’s procurement card (see Policy 05-02-12).

                        All other travel reservations, such as hotels and rental cars, should be

                        booked and paid for with a personal credit card.

                        The establishment of certified travel agencies and the establishment of

                        credit accounts with travel agencies is solely the responsibility of the Office

                        of Travel Management.  Direct billing arrangements may be made only by

                        the Office of Travel Management.  Prepayment or deposits on account

                        with a travel agency are prohibited.  Payments to consultants or

                        employees for services rendered to the University using a travel agency

                        credit in lieu of cash are not permitted.

                  c.    Group travel

                        A group of ten (10) or more participants, traveling to the same destination,

                        over the same dates, from one or more origin cities, may qualify for group

                        travel rates.  In order to obtain group travel discounts, meeting planners

                        should contact any of the University’s certified travel agents, or the

                        University's Office of Travel Management for assistance.

                        In order to ensure the safety of travelers, all charter transportation such

                        as bus or aircraft, regardless of the amount, must be reviewed and

                        approved by the University’s Office of Travel Management.

                        Any group organized business meetings or official University events at

                        off-campus locations must be under a University contract or purchase

                        order.  See section III.G.2. of this policy.

            2.    Travel advances

                  a.    Applicability and limitations

                        If a travel advance is necessary, it will be limited to the total of the

                        standard domestic meal allowance per day plus $100 per trip (from

                        the office or home to ultimate destination and return) for domestic

                        travel.  Travel advance limitations related to foreign travel will be

                        determined individually; contact the Payment Processing Department

                        for further information.  Travel advances must be approved by the

                        administrator who has the authority to approve the individual's

                        request for expense reimbursement.  When the travel advance

                        request is submitted to Payment Processing, it must include a

                        detailed explanation of the purpose and expected use of the

                        advance.

                        A travel advance may:

                        -     be obtained by check only;

                        -     be split between a sponsored project and other accounts;

                        -     not be disbursed more than ten (10) working days prior to the

                              intended departure date, and;

                        -     not be issued to an individual if a previous advance is

                              outstanding.

                        Exceptions to the travel advance policy may be granted by the

                        Payment Processing Department if:

                        -     the individual does not qualify for participation in the University

                              of Pittsburgh's corporate credit card program;

                        -     the nature of the travel makes the use of a credit card difficult;

                        -     extended foreign travel is involved, or;

                        -     funds are required for a prepayment or deposit related to travel

                              that will not occur for an extended period of time, and the individual

                              would otherwise be required to use personal funds.

                  b.    Liquidation of a travel advance

                        Accounting for expenses related to a travel advance must be submitted

                        to Payment Processing within thirty (30) business days of returning from

                        travel.

                        Expenses related to travel advances must be liquidated by each fiscal-year

                        end (June 30), otherwise, the travel and business expenses will be

                        reported against the succeeding fiscal year budget.

                        In accordance with IRS Regulation §1.162-2(c), employees are required

                        to return the amount of travel advances in excess of travel and business

                        expenses.  Therefore, if a travel advance is not cleared within a reasonable

                        amount of time from the stated travel completion date, the University

                        reserves the right to offset future compensation by the amount of the travel

                        advance that is in excess of substantiated expenses.  In addition, any

                        unreturned and unsubstantiated advance will be reported as taxable

                        income for the person to whom the travel advance was issued.

                        Repayment of unused portions of travel advances must be made by

                        personal check or money order.  Cash payments will not be accepted. 

                        Checks must be payable to the University of Pittsburgh and submitted with

                        the request for reimbursement.

            3.    Traveler’s checks

                  Traveler's check fees for domestic travel will be reimbursed only if there are

                  valid security reasons documented with the expense reimbursement request. 

                  Traveler's check fees for foreign travel are reimbursable.

            4.    Travel with spouse/personal guest

                  The University will not reimburse non-business expenses incurred by a

                  spouse and/or guest in connection with the business travel requirements of

                  a University employee.  Additionally, such personal expenses may not be

                  charged directly to the University and then later reimbursed to the University

                  by the individual.

            5.    Combined personal/business travel

                  Personal expenses incurred during business travel are the sole responsibility

                  of the traveler, and will not be reimbursed.

            6.    Foreign currency expense

                  Fees for exchanging foreign currency and purchasing traveler’s checks for

                  foreign travel will be reimbursed when original receipts are submitted with

                  the request for reimbursement.  However, in locations where currency is not

                  freely convertible, the original receipt must be surrendered to the currency

                  exchange service in order to convert the currency back to U.S. dollars.  In

                  such cases, copies of receipts are acceptable.  In order to avoid currency

                  exchange fees, it is beneficial to purchase foreign goods and services with

                  a credit card.  Credit card companies generally convert foreign purchase

                  payments to U.S. dollars at the most advantageous exchange rates.

                  Foreign exchange losses on personal funds that result from a relative decline

                  of the US dollar during an international business trip will be reimbursed by the

                  University for any amount.  Foreign currency gains greater than $75 on

                  University-provided travel advances must be refunded to the University when

                  accounting for use of the travel advance on the trip expense report.

            7.    Air travel

                  All University travelers are expected to travel using commercial airlines and

                  to pay the "lowest logical airfare" unless legitimate business circumstances

                  preclude scheduling at the lowest logical airfare (e.g., considerable time

                  savings by flying direct), or the medical condition of the traveler requires

                  other arrangements.  The lowest logical airfare is defined as the lowest-

                  price coach class airfare available for flights within two hours before

                  or after the requested departure or arrival time that does not:

                  -     exceed a 1-1/2 hour layover time;

                  -     increase the one-way elapsed trip time by more than 2 hours, or;

                  -     include more than one stop and/or connection in the traveler's one-way

                        route.

                  The "lowest logical airfare" definition does not require individuals to:

                  -     arrive later than necessary for participating in a business event, or;

                  -     depart earlier than necessary from a business event.

                  In such cases, the individual must travel using the lowest-price coach

                  class airfare available to achieve more appropriate scheduling.  Business

                  class flights are allowable on flights of six hours flight time or more.

                  Certain fees associated with air travel will be reimbursed, such as:

                   -     reasonable and necessary baggage fees, or:

                   -     non-first class seat upgrades (window, isle, emergency exit row) to

                         accommodate physical limitations, if approved by the submitting

                         department.

                  Fees for in-flight convenience items and entertainment, such as alcoholic

                  beverages, movies, etc. will not be reimbursed.

            8.    Ground transportation

                  a.    Airport limousines, courtesy shuttles and taxis

                        Travelers should compare costs of alternate transportation to

                        minimize the cost of ground transportation between airports and

                        hotels or other final ground destinations.  When possible, purchase

                        round trip tickets for shuttles, as their cost is generally less. 

                        Original receipts for limousines, shuttles and taxis must be

                        submitted with the request for reimbursement only if the amount

                        exceeds $75.  Luxury limousine service is not reimbursable.

                  b.    University Fleet Services vehicle rental

                         When possible, University-owned vehicles should be used for

                         business travel.  The University's main campus Office of Parking

                         and Transportation (or similar regional campus vehicle management

                         operation) maintains a fleet of automobiles and passenger vans

                         that are available to rent.  The driver must have a valid driver’s

                         license, meet other requirements for the class of vehicle being

                         rented, and follow all guidelines of

                         Parking, Transportation and Services Office.  Contact the University's

                         Parking, Transportation and Services Office to inquire about restrictions,

                         pricing, availability and procedures for payment.  The daily fleet

                         rental rate includes fuel, insurance and related deductibles.

                  c.    Bus charters

                        Chartered bus service must be reviewed and approved by the

                        University’s Office of Travel Management, and be purchased under

                        a University contract or purchase order.

                  d.    Car/commercial vehicle rental

                        Rental reservations for out-of-town use may be arranged through a

                        University certified travel agency or directly with a car rental company. 

                        Car rental companies (see University’s Office of Travel Management

                        website) that offer discounted pricing to University travelers should be

                        used.  Mid-sized, intermediate or smaller cars must be used except

                        when the number of individuals or stowage requires a larger car. 

                        Vehicle rental “add-ons” that increase the rental cost and are purely

                        for convenience or entertainment such as movie players, etc. will not

                        be reimbursed.

                        -     Insurance for domestic travel (U.S., U.S. Territories, Puerto Rico,

                              Canada)

                        Travelers must NOT purchase collision and liability insurance for

                        domestic travel from car rental agencies.  Collision and liability (including

                        deductibles) are covered by University insurance policies.  Optional

                        insurance coverage offered by vehicle rental companies is not

                        reimbursable for domestic travel as these costs are duplicative of the

                        University's collision and liability insurance coverage.

                        -     Insurance for international travel

                        Travelers renting or leasing vehicles for University business in any

                        country other than the United States, Canada, the territories and

                        possessions of the United States, and Puerto Rico are to purchase

                        insurance offered by the rental or lease agent in that country.

                        -     Guidelines

                        All guidelines articulated by the University’s

                        Parking, Transportation and Services Office must be followed.

                        -     Inspection

                        The physical condition of the rented car must be examined prior to

                        leaving the car rental lot.  Damaged areas of the car must be

                        immediately reported to the car rental agency.  Damage should be

                        documented on the car rental agreement to avoid possible dispute

                        over damages for which the University is not responsible.

                        -     Documentation for reimbursement

                        Original rental agreement and any associated fuel receipts (for

                        fuel purchases over $75) must be submitted with the request for

                        reimbursement.  Rental cars should be refueled prior to return to

                        avoid refueling surcharges levied by the car rental agency.

                  e.    Personal vehicles for University business

                        Use of a personal vehicle for business is strongly discouraged

                        primarily due to the personal liability the vehicle owner automatically

                        assumes.  The vehicle owner’s automobile liability insurance coverage

                        is primary coverage.  There is no physical damage coverage through

                        the University on a personal vehicle.  The employee is responsible

                        for the deductible portion of the personal collision coverage and for

                        any increased personal automobile insurance premiums as a result

                        of an accident.  No reimbursement will be made by the University for

                        accident-related repairs.

                        If a personal vehicle must be used:

                        -     The owner of the vehicle must carry automobile liability insurance.

                        -     The driver must have a valid driver’s license.

                        -     The owner’s automobile liability insurance card (provided by the

                               insurance agent) must be in the driver’s possession.

                        -     The total cost of using a privately-owned vehicle, including mileage,

                              excess lodging or other additional costs, should not exceed the

                              cost of air or other modes of commercial transportation.

                        -     Accidents involving injuries or damages to other persons or

                              property while using a privately owned vehicle on University

                              business must be immediately reported to the owner's insurance

                              company.

                              In addition, the driver must also notify the University's

                              Office of Risk Management and, if applicable, report employee

                              work-related injuries to your supervisor and the University's third-

                              party claims administrator (TPA) at 1-800-633-1197.

                        -     Use of a privately owned vehicle is reimbursed at the prevailing

                              IRS mileage rate.  This mileage rate covers all operating costs

                              including depreciation, repairs, fuel, insurance, towage and other

                              similar expenses.  Reimbursement for two or more persons

                              traveling in the same vehicle is limited to the mileage

                              reimbursement paid to the driver.  Mileage is computed from the

                              individual's normal place of business to the business destination

                              and return to the individual's normal place of business.

            9.    Other modes of transportation

                  Other transportation (e.g., ship, train, etc.) not specifically outlined above,

                  may be acceptable provided that excessive expense or time is not required

                  to accommodate the requestor’s preference.  Other modes of transportation

                  are subject to the following guidelines.

                  -     Economy class must be used.

                  -     Accommodations should be made through a University certified travel

                        agent where possible.

                  -     The original passenger receipt must be submitted for reimbursement.

           10.    Meals while in travel status

                  a.    Reimbursement rate

                        Meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) during travel with an overnight

                        stay will be reimbursed without receipts or other documentation of

                        expense in accordance with the Federal GSA Policy Per Diem Guide

                        Note that rates change periodically, and are provided for both domestic

                        and foreign locations.

                        When actual expenses are less than the prescribed M&IE rate for a

                        particular area, individuals should request reimbursement for actual

                        expenses without submission of receipts.  Actual expenses in excess

                        of the M&IE daily rate will not be reimbursed.

                        Deans, Directors, or Responsibility Center Heads may establish M&IE

                        rates lower than the Federal GSA Policy Per Diem Guide.

                        For each travel day fewer than 24 hours (day trip and en route days

                        for overnight travel), the reimbursement must be prorated.  The rate

                        in effect will be that of the destination location.

                  b.    Meals provided by a host or included in the conference fee

                        When meals are provided by a host or included in a conference or

                        seminar fee, a reasonable reduction should be made to the M&IE

                        daily rate.

                  c.    Organized business meetings and official University events that

                         include non-University individuals while in travel status.

                        All of the requirements articulated in section III.G.2. of this policy

                        must be met.  In addition, a reasonable reduction should be made

                        to the M&IE daily allowance by the requestor for the value of the

                        event meal.

                  d.    Business meals that include non-University individuals while in

                         travel status

                         All of the requirements articulated in section III.G.3. of this policy

                         must be met.  In addition, a reasonable reduction should be made to

                        the M&IE daily allowance by the requestor for the value of the

                        business meal.

           11.    Lodging while in travel status

                  a.    Reimbursement rate

                        Reimbursement for lodging may not exceed the hotel’s rate for a

                        standard single room.  Room charges for luxury accommodations

                        are not reimbursable.  Accommodations at resort hotels are not

                        permitted unless the hotel is the site of the conference being

                        attended.  An original itemized lodging receipt must be submitted

                        with the request for reimbursement for all domestic travel.

                        Reimbursement for lodging using a per diem allowance is permitted

                        for foreign travel, but not domestic travel.

                        Please refer to the Federal GSA Policy per diem guide for foreign travel.

                        Note that these rates change periodically.  A detailed receipt for

                        foreign hotels is preferred, but not required if the per diem allowance

                        is used.

                  b.   Reservation changes

                        If intended travel plans change, the traveler is responsible for canceling

                        hotel reservations.  Failure to cancel a guaranteed hotel reservation

                        could result in a "no show" billing for the reserved room.  The deadline

                        for canceling a reservation without penalty varies with each hotel.  If it

                        is determined that the traveler had reasonable time to cancel the

                        reservation but failed to do so, the University will not reimburse “no

                        show” charges nor late cancellation penalties incurred.

                  c.    Prepayment for hotel is allowed if it is bundled with the conference fee.

                  d.    A travel agency is permitted to pay for hotel room charges using the

                         University Procurement card prior to the trip occurring.  The traveler

                         will be responsible for any incidentals.  See policy 05-02-01 for policy

                         guidelines.

           12.    Parking and tolls

                  Parking costs and tolls will be reimbursed.  An original receipt is required

                  only if the amount is greater than or equal to $75.

                  On-campus parking fees for working overtime or non-standard hours will

                  not be reimbursed.

           13.    Communication while in travel status

                  a.    Internet

                        Hotel internet charges while traveling on business are reimbursable

                        expenses.  Internet charges should be detailed on the hotel bill and

                        submitted with the request for expense reimbursement.

                  b.    Telephone

                        The Telecommunications Office of the University’s Computing Services

                        and Systems Development (CSSD) Division administers a no-fee

                        telephone calling card program.  Telephone calling cards are a

                        cost-effective method to manage telecommunications costs, and may

                        be used when it is anticipated that an individual will be originating a

                        number of telephone calls when away from the University.  Contact

                        the CSSD Help Desk at 412-624-HELP, or visit CSSD’s

                        Voice and Telecommunications website for information concerning

                        the telephone calling card or other communications service options. 

                        The following will be reimbursed.

                        -     All business related calls will be reimbursed regardless of call

                              origin, (e.g., from home, while traveling).

                        -     One personal call (of reasonable duration) per day will be

                              reimbursed if traveling on business overnight.

                        -     Telegraph, postage and facsimile transmissions will be reimbursed

                              when associated with business travel.

                        -     Short-term (three months or less) cell phone rentals or one-time

                              pre-paid cell phones for business purposes while in travel status

                              will be reimbursed.

      I.    Honoraria

            As a gesture of appreciation, the University may pay honoraria to certain

            individuals such as members of Boards of Visitors, guest speakers, judges,

            panel members, peer/program reviewers, or symposium participants.  In

            some cases, the University may pay an honorarium and/or agree to reimburse

            the honoree’s out-of-pocket expenses.  Honoree expenses substantiated in

            accordance with this policy are not tax-reportable to the IRS.  Honorarium

            payments are tax-reportable.

            Payments to companies, professional speakers bureaus, or any individual

            providing professional services may not be reimbursed utilizing the travel

            and business expense policy.  Instead, please contact Purchasing Services

            for assistance.

      J.    Non-reimbursable expenses

            The following list of non-reimbursable expenses serves as a guide and is not

             all-inclusive.  All business/travel expenses are subject to review and final

             approval by the Payment Processing Department.

            1.    Payments to research participants

                  Payments to research participants for expense reimbursement or

                  compensation must be made via a WePay stored value card.  Per

                  University Policy, 05-11-01, all other payment methods which are

                  cash-based in nature, such as petty cash (both bank accounts or cash

                  on hand), payment processing checks, travel advances and gift cards, are

                  not acceptable payment methods for participants in research studies. 

                  Refer to University Policy 05-11-01, WePay Stored Value Card, for

                  exception requests.

            2.    Payments to service providers

                  In order to minimize risk to the institution and to meet IRS reporting

                  requirements, services should be acquired by executing a University

                  contract for services, with payment directly to the service provider based

                  upon a detailed invoice.  See the Guide to Purchasing on the Purchasing

                  Department’s website.

            3.    Political contributions

                  University policy 05-06-05 expressly prohibits political contributions.

            4.    Personal (billed to home) cell phones expenses

                  Contact the CSSD Help Desk at 412-624-HELP, or visit CSSD’s

                  Voice and Telecommunications website for information concerning business

                  communications service options.

            5.    Home internet expenses

            6.    Child care expenses

            7.    Fines for traffic or parking violations

            8.    On-campus parking fees for working overtime or non-standard hours

            9.    Medical costs, doctor fees, prescriptions or other drugs

                  Note:  Immunization injections required for foreign travel that are not

                  provided through insurance or other “no fee” arrangement are reimbursable. 

                  A memo stating why the reimbursement is requested is required.

           10.  Home or lawn maintenance costs

           11.  Gifts of any type, including flowers, are generally not reimbursable unless

                  they meet the requirements set forth in section III.G.4., Gifts and contributions,

                  of this policy

           12.  Personal credit card fees

           13.  Fees paid to credit card companies to access accrued card rewards

           14.  Insufficient funds check fees (NSF)

           15.  Theft, loss or damage of personal property

           16.  Repair, maintenance or insurance of personal vehicles

           17.  Travel insurance

           18.  Fees for in-flight convenience items and entertainment, such as alcoholic

                  beverages, movies, etc. will not be reimbursed

           19.  Lodging expenses within 50 miles of residence

           20.  Hotel movie rental

           21.  Charges on hotel invoice for food and beverages if the M&IE rate is used

           22.  Business use of personal residence

           23.  Luxury limousine service

           24.  Vehicle rental insurance

           25.  Vehicle rental “add-ons” that increase the rental cost and are purely for

                  convenience or entertainment such as movie players, etc.

      K.    Expense Reporting

            1.    Submission

                  Requests for reimbursement should be submitted within thirty (30) working

                  days of returning from travel, or incurring the expense if not travel related. 

                  Small expenses made during a month may be accumulated and submitted

                  at a later date.

            2.    Foreign travel currency exchange rates

                  Foreign currency expenses must be converted to U.S. dollars.  All requests

                  for reimbursement must include a currency exchange rate at the time the

                  travel expense was incurred.  Please see

                  http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic for conversion rates.

            3.    Valid proofs of expense

                  a.    When are receipts required?

                        Original, authentic, detailed receipts are required for all travel and

                        business expenses, except for the following.

                        -     Professional memberships/dues under $75

                        -     Professional license fees under $75

                        -     Rental car fuel under $75

                        -     Parking under $75

                        -     Tolls under $75

                        -     Taxi service, airport limousine and shuttle services under $75

                        -     Original detailed receipts for foreign travel hotel charges are

                               preferred, but not required if the foreign per-diem allowance is

                               used

                  b.    Quality of receipts

                        Receipts, particularly if charged to a research account, should provide

                        sufficient detail to ensure that the charge was valid and allowable under

                        research regulations.  Detailed information on receipts should include

                        vendor name, terms, goods or services purchased and amount.

                        The department requester and approver are responsible to ensure that

                        all supporting documentation, whether original receipts, copies (where

                        permissible), or faxes are readable.

                        For airline charges, a copy of the email receipt with the name of the

                        airline, flight numbers, total cost of the flight and form of payment is

                        required to be submitted with the request for reimbursement.

                        Credit card receipts may be used as supporting documentation for

                        expenses such as meals and conference registrations, however, detailed

                        receipts are always preferred.  Credit card receipts may not be used to

                        support lodging expenses.

                        Photocopies of canceled checks, front and back including the

                        endorsement, are acceptable support documentation when the original

                        receipts are not available.

            4.    Record retention

 

                  a.    Paper forms:  Travel and Business Expenses (Form 0060), Travel

                         Advance (Form 0061)

                        Individuals submitting paper forms should retain copies of the form and

                        supporting documentation until the payment is made and reconciled with

                        charges on the department level reports.  If the payment is charged to

                        a restricted fund (grant, contract, sponsored program, gift fund, etc.), the

                        submitting department must ensure that copies are retained locally in

                        accordance with any contract requirements that exceed the University’s

                        record retention requirements.  Payment Processing will retain the

                        original forms in accordance with the University’s general

                        record retention requirements.

                  b.    PRISM Internet Expense Application

                        Individuals submitting requests for reimbursement via the PRISM Internet

                        Expense Application must fax images of receipts in accordance with the

                        system detailed operating procedures.  All original, paper receipts must

                        be maintained by the department in accordance with this policy and the

                        University’s record retention requirements, or in accordance with the

                        grant contract requirements, whichever is longer.  These original receipts

                        should be easily retrievable in the event of an audit.

      L.    Methods of expense payment

            1.    Personal credit card

                  a.    General

                        A personal credit card should be used whenever possible for expenses

                        incurred while traveling on University business and room reservation

                        guarantees.  Using a credit card will minimize or eliminate the use of

                        personal cash and the need for travel advances.  Credit card fees and

                        finance charges will not be reimbursed.

                  b.    University credit card program

                        The University offers a corporate credit card program.  All full-time

                        University employees who have been employed by the University for at

                        least six (6) months are eligible (subject to some limitations, contact

                        University Office of Travel Management for details) to apply for a

                        University of Pittsburgh corporate credit card.  The credit card is to be

                        primarily used for employee-incurred University business expense.  The

                        cardholder is individually and personally responsible for all charges to

                        the University of Pittsburgh credit card.  When an individual leaves the

                        University, the card must be surrendered to the University and the account

                        will be closed.

            2.    University procurement card (Policy 05-02-12)

                  The University’s procurement card (pcard) is the preferred method to pay

                  for the following expenses.  No other types of travel expenses, such as hotel,

                  car rental, or meals, are permitted on the card.

                  -     Conference attendance fees

                  -     Membership dues and professional license fees

                  -     Air fare

            3.    Direct payment to service providers

                  Travel and business expenses may not be billed directly to the University or

                  prepaid by either the University or a certified travel agency, except for the

                  following:

                  -     Authorized charges to the procurement card (see section III.K.2., above,

                        of this policy).

                  -     Invoices for conferences or seminar registration fees.  For conference

                        registrations not paid by procurement card, credit card, or group travel

                        services, payment may be made using the Disbursement Request

                        (Form 0014).

                  -     Lodging, organized business meeting and official event expenses directly

                        billed to the University under a University contract with the service provider.

IV.  REFERENCE

      Please see the Payment Processing website for detailed procedures for submitting

      requests for reimbursement.