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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. 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 stated on the Home Page of the Controller's Office. 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.
The University of Portland accepts credit and debit cards as payment for certain goods and services. This information is intended to provide guidance to departments who are processing these types of payments.
Credit card data is protected by state and federal laws, and the University of Portland has a legal obligation to protect that information. The University is committed to the protection of its customers’ private data, and departments must comply with the policies outlined in this document. Departments accepting credit and debit cards must do so in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data and Security Standards (PCI DSS). The risks of non-compliance include substantial fines and penalties imposed on the University by the card associations. The University is liable for all financial losses incurred as a result of a security failure, and may result in the loss of the University’s ability to process credit card transactions.
The following responsibilities have been developed to assure the University of Portland is in compliance with PCI regulations:
- Credit card merchant sites (whether online, in person, by mail, or by phone) must be established and maintained through the Controller’s Office.
- Departments who would like to accept credit and debit card payments must submit a request to the Controller’s Office. Departments may not begin accepting payment cards until the request has been approved.
- Only authorized and properly trained employees may accept and/or access credit and debit card information.
- Credit card information can be accepted in person, by phone, mail and secure website.
- Credit card information should never be accepted or communicated via email! Any email received which includes credit card information should be immediately deleted.
- Credit card information should never be stored on a University computer or server!
- All paper documents containing credit card numbers should be processed as soon as possible. Documents should be stored in a secure location such as a locked file cabinet or desk. After processing the transaction(s) the credit card number must be removed or destroyed.
- All transactions must be processed using a University owned PCI compliant terminal, or processed through the secured website using a University owned computer. No personal computers or mobile devices are allowed.
- Credit card receipts may only display the last 4 digits of the card number.
Additional University of Portland policies include:
- All departments accepting credit and debit card payments are required to reconcile their batches on a daily basis. This includes preparing a deposit slip, and recording the daily activities with the Cashier in Waldschmidt Hall, first floor.
- Departments must notify the Controller’s Office of any changes in personnel who have access to process credit and debit card information.
- Processing of University of Portland Wells Fargo Purchasing cards is prohibited! Payments for University sponsored events should be completed on an Inter-Department Transfer Request form, or should be paid for using personal funds.
- The Controller’s Office reserves the right to audit any department processing credit and debit cards to ensure compliance of all items outlined above.
Failure to comply with any item(s) outlined in this document may result in the termination of the department’s ability to process credit and debit card payments.
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 in advance 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.
FISCAL YEAR-END PROCEDURES
REIMBURSEMENT AND PAYMENT REQUESTS
· All “Reimbursement and Payment Request” forms to be paid against your FY16 budget need to be submitted to the Controller’s Office by 3:00PM July 15th. Requests received after this date will be reviewed for materiality as to whether an accrual will be made to charge it to FY16, or if it will be paid against your FY17 budget.
· Expenses submitted prior to June 30th, but are for travel or events that occur during FY17 will be accrued and paid against your FY17 budget. Just because your budget has additional funds at the end of the fiscal year, doesn’t mean that the expenses will be charged against your FY16 budget. For instance, if a plane reservation is made on June 15th for travel in July, or later, that expense will reflect in FY17.
· Please note that all goods and services must be received by June 30th. The Controller’s Office will review all orders for service date and time of delivery to ensure purchases will be received by June 30th. Any deliveries received after June 30th will need to be processed against your FY17 budget.
Questions can be directed to Lori Ungern at firstname.lastname@example.org or X7393.
· Most June pcard purchases will be charged to your FY16 budget, except those purchases that fall in one of the above outlined scenarios. In order for transactions to be charged to FY16 it is necessary for the transactions to be submitted by the vendor to the bank by June 30th. Vendors usually take a minimum of two business days to submit the transactions. Some vendors submit transactions on a weekly basis only. Please keep this in mind when using your PCard at the end of the fiscal year. Backordered items or transactions not received by the bank by June 30 may be charged to FY17 budgets.
· Purchases for expenses to be charged to FY17 should be clearly identified as such in the description in Wells Fargo when reconciling your PCard. An example of a description should read “For travel to San Francisco July 2016 – FY17”. Handwritten notes on paper statements are not sufficient for notification purposes.
· If there are purchases on your July 2016 PCard that should be charged to FY16 please contact Lori Ungern in the Controller’s Office with a listing of those purchases. The transactions will be reviewed for accuracy and charged to the appropriate fiscal year. Notification of such charges needs to be received by the Controller’s Office no later than Friday July 22nd. Any submissions received after this date will go against your FY17 budget.
Questions can be directed to Theresa Knott at email@example.com or X8712.
If you lose a check issued to you by the University of Portland, please complete the Lost Check Form that can be found under "Forms" on the Controller's Office web page. Once this is done a stop-payment will be placed on the original check. This action will make the original check VOID. If you cash or deposit the original check after completing the Lost Check Form, you will be liable for any bank charges that result.
Students will be assessed a $50 check reissue fee. This fee may be waived by the Controller's Office provided that you establish a direct deposit arrangement before the replacement payment is issued. All students are strongly encouraged to arrange for direct deposit of payments from the University.
If you choose to pay the fee and have a paper check reissued, please first confirm your address in Banner Self-Serve. Note that replacement checks cannot be issued for a minimum of ten (10) days following the submission of the Lost Check Form.
Employee recognition is a positive tool for the management of the University. Recognition is achieved through University events (such as the Faculty Gala and the Staff Christmas Luncheon), departmental events, and ad-hoc recognition of employees by their managers.
Employee awards and gifts are, by law, taxable to the employee. There are some notable exceptions to this rule. Gifts associated with five-year employment anniversaries, retirement, or the achievement safety goals are exempt from taxation, provided that they meet the following criteria:
- Employment anniversary awards that are provided and presented by Human Resources or the Provost.
- Non-cash prizes, including gift cards, awarded through drawings at University events are considered de minimis fringe benefits and are not taxed.
- Retirement awards of a tangible item, with a value of $400 or less, given to retiring employees with at least 15 years of service to the University at age 55 or older.
- Safety program awards subject to advance review and approval by the Controller’s Office and approved by an officer of the University.
Awards may be made outside of the above situations only with the prior approval of an officer of the University. Note that such awards may be taxable income to the employee.
Departments may conduct occasional employee events and parties to recognize holidays and the achievement of departmental goals. While personal celebrations such as births, birthdays, marriages, and graduations may be conducted during business hours with the permission of the appropriate manager, University funds may not be used to sponsor the events or to provide gifts for employees. In keeping with the University’s community spirit, cards and flowers may be used to express the collective thoughts of a University Department in the case of serious illness or unusual special events.
Ad-hoc employee recognition may be given to individual employees or departments in the form of public or private praise and acknowledgment. Positive performance should be reflected in annual performance reviews and salary adjustments. In general, recognition awards of cash, gift cards or tangible items should be avoided. Any exception to this policy must be approved in advance by an officer of the University and any such award may be taxable income to the employee.
Awards of cash and gift cards to students are taxable income to the recipient; however, withholding is not required. Such awards should be kept to a reasonable level and must be reported to the Office of the Controller as aggregate award amounts exceeding a threshold defined by the IRS are reportable on a 1099-MISC.
Recognition of students as student employees should follow the policy set forth under Employee Events and Recognition.
Gift cards of $50 or less may be used to acknowledge participation of students as subjects in scientific or other similar studies.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Events involving students must comply with all policies set forth by Student Affairs.
The University may provide relocation assistance to new employees depending upon circumstances. This assistance is not intended or expected to cover the full cost of a move. Assistance is provided as reimbursement for substantiated, qualified expenses incurred within 12-months of the first day of work and will not be paid until after the first day of work (or until the submission of a properly documented payment request, whichever is later). The specific amount of the assistance, if any, will be stated in the employee’s appointment or salary letter and is limited to the stated amount.
For an employee to receive relocation assistance, the following conditions must be met:
- The employee’s commute from their pre-move home to the new work location must be at least 50 miles farther than the commute to old work location.
- The move and all costs must be incurred within 12 months of the start date at the new location.
- The employee must work at least 39 weeks for U.P. within one year of the move. If the employee fails to meet this test (e.g. is terminated before having worked 39 weeks), any relocation assistance paid becomes taxable to the employee. Note: In the case of faculty and other employees whose normal work calendar is less than 39 weeks in a year, this test is waived.
Qualified expenses include:
- Transportation charges for one continuous move of household items from the primary residence to the new residence, along with related packing and container costs.
- One trip by personal vehicle may be included to move the employee and the employee’s family. Qualified expenses for this single trip include lodging (one night per every 500 miles on the most direct route plus one night at point of origin) and mileage costs, which will be paid at the federal mileage rate for relocation.
- Storage of household goods (maximum of 30 days) prior to occupancy of a new permanent residence.
The following are NOT allowable expenses:
- Expenses for meals during the move.
- Expenses related to buying or selling a home, terminating leases, etc.
- Pre-move house-hunting costs.
- Non-professional movers (friends, family, etc.).
All expenses (except mileage) must be substantiated with a receipt before reimbursement can be made. To be properly documented under IRS accountable-plan rules, the request must identify who was paid, what the expense was for, when it was incurred, where it was incurred (in the case of lodging), why it was related to the move, and how much it cost. The University will not make payments directly to vendors for personal moving expenses. The Oregon Association of Independent Colleges and Universities maintains discounted contracts with several moving companies. Contact Theresa Knott in the Controller’s Office (firstname.lastname@example.org, x8712) for the current list of preferred vendors.
This includes, but is not limited to, purchases of tables or tickets to events, sponsorship of employees in charitable activities, donations of equipment and supplies, and direct donations of University funds.