Tests of Propriety
Expenditures must be reasonable and an appropriate use of University funds. There must be a clear benefit to the University.
• Is the expense the most effective way to accomplish normal, programmatic operations, i.e., without the expense, would objectives be more costly or difficult to achieve?
• The expense must comply with policies, laws, regulations and rules. Adhere to contract, grant and donor restrictions.
• Individuals must not appear to benefit personally or derive private gain (conflicts of interest).
• Limit the number of attendees at functions, events or activities.
• Paying for employee’s spouse or immediate family members to attend events, functions or activities is not appropriate and would only be considered in rare instances.
Certain transactions are scrutinized more closely because their propriety is difficult to determine.
• Meals/food provided at normal, recurring meetings is a big issue. Not generally allowed based upon frequency, purpose and the fact that our attendees all report to the same Officer. In School of Medicine, we all report to the dean.
• Alcohol at an official function always needs advance approval from the Officer and completion of a questionnaire for Risk Management. When a purchase is involved, then our Campus Finance is required to review and approve as well.
• Official functions. The University caps the per person reimbursement at $85 (meal, tax & tip). UPI caps at $80 per person (exclusive of tax & tip). Your department may have stricter dollar limits. Be sure to limit the number of attendees and provide additional backup documentation to demonstrate the business purpose. This can be a seminar announcement, schedule, agenda and attendee list.
• Gifts, tokens, flowers, cards require prior Officer Approval and are allowed only in limited circumstances.
The University uses the Concur Travel and Expense system to reimburse business-related expenses and travel. A corporate travel card is available to you upon completion of a short, online training course.
• Travel must be authorized by your department.
• Book business travel online through Concur. Airfare is billed directly to your department.
• Internet airfare (not recommended) requires a comparison quote from Christopherson, our authorized travel agency, prior to purchase.
• Travel must be at the most economical cost; that means coach airfare, and no valet parking or upgraded hotel rooms.
• Submit all itemized receipts, hotel folios and conference agendas.
• The University reimburses meals at the per diem rate for your destination city. Do not request reimbursement for meals provided at a conference or meeting, or paid by another entity/person. Your per diem includes approximately $5.00 per day for miscellaneous incidentals – tips, personal calls.
• Avoid combining personal travel with business travel. It is against policy. If it happens, the personal days for per diem, lodging, DIA parking, rental car, etc. should be marked as personal.
Business Expense Reimbursement
• Submit reports within 90 days to avoid the reimbursement being reported as taxable income.
• All approvals must be completed within the 90 day timeframe, so allow plenty of time to process.