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Controller: Policies and Procedures
2. All expenses reimbursed by the University must have a clear business purpose, consistent with University policies and prevailing law, and be properly documented.
3. No employee may authorize his/her own reimbursements or exceptions to travel policies except University Officers and Deans, whose expenses are reviewed by the University Controller. The authorizing employee may not be subordinate to the requesting employee.
4. The University’s primary mode of payment to employees and students is direct deposit. Except when specifically requested to be paid in the form of a check, reimbursements will be made via direct deposit to the bank account of the student or employee.
5. When a purchasing card has been issued to an employee for purposes of travel and/or business expense reimbursement, employees will utilize the purchasing card whenever possible. Expenses must still be documented under the IRS accountable plan rules as described below, except that expenses for meals and parking less than $25, which were paid with a purchasing card, do not require a detailed receipt. The use of the purchasing card entails other obligations that can be found in the Purchasing Card Handbook.
6. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a manager may authorize a variance from these policies to accommodate an employee’s special needs. Officer approval and notice to the Controller’s Office is required for these accommodations.
7. These policies are subject to change by University Administration.
a. Documentation must include an itemized receipt which shows the date, the vendor, and the total amount paid. If the receipt is missing, a Missing Receipt Form must be completed by the employee to obtain reimbursement. In addition to the detailed receipt, expenses must include documentation describing the business purpose of the expense and, for travel and entertainment related expenses, identify who was present.
b. The University reimburses fuel receipts for University-owned or rented vehicles and approved student club travel only. Employees’ personal vehicles are reimbursed on an approved per mile rate when the employee is required to travel from one business location to another during the day or to a location other than the employee’s normal place of work when that location results in a longer commute. The current mileage reimbursement rate is $.555/mile. University-owned vehicles assigned to an individual for mixed business/personal use are governed under separate rules.
2. The University does not pay “per-diems” except in accordance with NCAA athletic travel, where NCAA rules apply, for grant-funded travel when so specified by the grant and for certain other situations by arrangement with the Controllers' Office and with approval of the President. See item #8, under Travel Policies (Employees).
3. The use of advances for travel expenses should be kept to a minimum. When it is necessary, advances may be paid no more than 14 days before expenses are incurred (allow 1 week to process the request) and must be accounted for within 60 days.
1. When traveling in commercial carriers (airlines, trains, buses, etc.), employees should travel in “coach class” or the equivalent. Premium-class travel is only permitted for flights exceeding 8 hours (nonstop) and requires documented approval of an officer.
2. Charter travel is not normally permitted by the University. Notable exceptions include athletic team travel when appropriate and certain fund-raising events hosted by University Relations that may require the participation of some University employees.
3. When it does not interfere with business activities, spouses may accompany employees on business travel. Additional costs incurred on behalf of the spouse are the responsibility of the employee and will not be reimbursed. When there is a bona fide business purpose for the presence of a spouse, the University may reimburse the related travel expenses when documented approval is provided by an officer of the University.
4. Travel time will be paid according to the laws in the State of Oregon. Exempt employees will receive no additional compensation or compensatory time, regardless of when travel occurs. Non-exempt employees will be compensated for travel time that occurs within the employee’s regularly scheduled work hours regardless of whether the travel occurs on a normal work day. Travel time outside the employee’s regular hours will not be compensated. If an employee does not have a regular work schedule, then the University’s normal business hours (8:30 – 4:30) will determine compensation. Employees are not required to, but may by their own choice, initiate travel before 6am or after 9pm.
5. Employees traveling on University business should use a University purchasing card to purchase airline tickets. The use of the card for this purpose inures benefits back to the University and allows the University to track the use of air travel in conjunction with the University sustainability plan. While employees will be unable to earn frequent flier miles through the use of their personal credit cards, any frequent flier miles earned by the employee as a member of a given airline’s mileage club are deemed to be the property of the employee.
6. The University will reimburse normal travel expenses (transportation, lodging, meals, mileage), but will not provide reimbursement for certain personal expenses including laundry, personal grooming supplies, mini-bar purchases, and personal (non-business) entertainment (such as in-room movies or reading material). Exceptions may be granted for travel exceeding 5 days. The University will reimburse reasonable gratuities when such payments are customary. Tips should not exceed 20%.
7. Employees may stay as a guest at a personal residence in lieu of a hotel, but will not be reimbursed for any amount saved. With approval, the employee may be reimbursed for an in-kind appreciation gift provided to the host with a value of $100 or less (one per trip).
8. Managers retain the authority to impose reasonable spending limits for meals and other expenses and/or other guidelines on their employees.
1. With prior authorization from Human Resources, the University will reimburse travel and entertainment expenses for employment candidates. Care should be taken not to exceed authorized budget limitations in this area. If the University is to reimburse expenses paid by the candidate, itemized receipts must be provided.
2. Reimbursement for travel and expenses related to student athletics (players and recruits) shall adhere to NCAA guidelines. Please contact the University NCAA Compliance Officer for more information. The Athletic Department must provide appropriate documentation and reconciliations for all expenses to the Controller’s Office.
3. Student Clubs may authorize travel for their members but should adhere to the same general policies followed by the University as to documentation. Please note that when traveling as a member of a student organization or club, other University policies regarding student conduct are still in force.
4. Student Clubs may reimburse vehicle use by using fuel receipts, the standard University mileage reimbursement rate or the IRS standard mileage rate for “service to charitable organizations”.
5. Students may be required to travel to complete work for a course. The applicable college or school within the University will determine the amount of reimbursement, if any, in these situations, with policies subject to review by the Controller’s Office. Please contact the applicable College or School for more information.
In order to comply with IRS tax reporting requirements, payments for non-travel-related services should be made directly to the service provider. A purchasing card may be used to make these payments. An employee seeking personal reimbursement for such expenses will be asked to request a refund from the service provider so that the University can pay the service provider directly from Accounts Payable. Exceptions to this policy may be granted in certain circumstances by the Controller’s Office.
2. Payment for services to employees, including student employees must be in the form of payroll compensation. No payments to employees for services will be paid from Accounts Payable.
3. Please refer to the University Cell Phone Policy (see "Mobile Device Policy") regarding reimbursement for cell phones.
4. Honoraria, gifts and awards paid to employees, non-employees and students present a variety of complex tax concerns. Please contact the Controller’s Office prior to committing to any such payments.
5. Expenses related to any raffles, poker tournaments or other events that may be considered gambling should be cleared through the Controller's Office in advance to ensure compliance with applicable tax regulations.
6. Federal grants and most other grant-making organizations prohibit the use of grant funds to purchase alcohol. Accordingly, ALL alcohol purchases must be excluded from reimbursement requests that are funded by grants. Other limitations may also apply to grants. It is the responsibility of the principal investigator or grant owner to know and adhere to any such limitations.
7. The University may reimburse initiation and membership fees in certain social and business clubs with approval of an officer of the University and when a clear business purpose exists. Such payments may be treated as taxable income to the employee per IRS rules.
8. Some employees may be provided lodging and meals as compensation when they are required to live on campus for the convenience of the University of Portland. On-campus lodging may include some basic personal services such as laundry or housekeeping. The University does not provide housing or food allowances, nor does it reimburse for the use of a personal residence owned by the employee.