There are certain times that the company will have to send you off somewhere to conduct a business trip. But fear not, it will be the company you are working for that will shoulder the said expenses, not you. However, it is important to note that you cannot abuse your travel privileges just because you get to travel for “free”, courtesy of the company.
That is why there are rules and statutes that help control the limit of your incurred travel expenses in order to formulate the concept of accountability every time a staff member will be traveling. Below is such an example of a Travel and Expense Policy from the Society for Human Resource Management. You may also click this link to see another version of travel policies.
It is the policy of Croft Enterprises to reimburse company personnel for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in connection with approved travel on behalf of the company policy and strongly encourages the use of travel discounts when making travel arrangements that involve recovering buried treasure and historical artifacts from thousands of years ago.
To all travelers seeking reimbursement should incur the lowest reasonable travel expenses and exercise care to avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. Reimbursement is allowed only when it has not been, and will not be, received from other sources. Should a circumstance arise that is not specifically covered in the said travel policy, then the most conservative course of action should be taken? You may also see Policy Examples in DOC.
All business travel policies are aligned with company reimbursement rules. All business-related travel paid with Croft Enterprises funds must comply with company expenditure policies.
Staff travel must be authorized. Travelers should verify that planned travel is eligible for reimbursement before making travel arrangements. Within 30 days of completion of a trip, the traveler must submit a Travel Reimbursement form along with supporting documents to obtain reimbursement of expenses. You may also see Financial Policy Examples.
However, the said individual may not approve his or her own travel or reimbursement. The Travel Reimbursement form must be signed by the chief executive officer or the director of finance (for travel over $1,000) or by the business manager (for travel under $1,000).
Travel and reimbursement for members of the management team must be approved by the executive director or the director of finance (if not for that individual), and will be reviewed annually by the internal auditor. You may also see Credit Policies.
Designated approval authorities are required to double check and thoroughly review the incurred expenditures and withhold reimbursement if there is sufficient proof that the funds were mishandled or abused in by spending it in an extravagant manner.
All staff members should review the travel reimbursement guidelines before spending personal funds for business travel to determine if such expenses are reimbursable. Croft Enterprises reserves the right to reject the reimbursement of travel-related expenses should they fail to adhere to IT company policy.
Only after the trip is done and proper documentation is submitted can the travelers get their reimbursement for using personal funds to facilitate travel arrangements.
In any case where vacation time will be added to the business trip, and cost variance in airfare, car rental or lodging must be properly stated on the Travel Request form. Croft Enterprises will not prepay any personal expenses with the intention of being “repaid” at a later time, nor will any personal expenses be reimbursed.
Should there be a request for travel exceptions, these may be done in writing and approved by the chief executive officer or with the director of finance. Exceptions that are related to the CEO’s or the director of finance’s expenses must be submitted to the opposite person or to the treasurer of the board of trustees for approval. In most instances, the expected turnaround time for review and approval is five business days. You may also see Quality Policy Examples.
Authorized business travel for staff that includes prepayments must be pre-approved first by the top office before proceeding.
For reimbursement that involves parking, mileage, gasoline in lieu of mileage and ferry or bus passes do not need requests if they are under $10. If they are over $10 however, requests for reimbursement of expenses must be submitted on a Travel Reimbursement form.
Reimbursement requests of travel-related expenses are typically submitted on a Travel Reimbursement form. This form must be accompanied by all supporting and related documents (e.g. receipt samples). If the requested reimbursement exceeds 20 percent of the total pre-trip estimate, the Travel Reimbursement form must be signed by the CEO or the director of finance.
These forms must be submitted to the business office within a week after the trip. Travel Reimbursement forms not submitted within this time frame require exception approval from the executive director or from the director of finance.
Reimbursement of travel expenses is based on documentation of reasonable and actual expenses supported by the original, itemized receipts where needed. Such reimbursements that can be paid by the company are shown below.
1. Airfare. If the airfare was not prepaid by the business office, an original airline receipt, an e-ticket receipt or an Internet receipt would be required from the traveler. The receipt must show the method of payment and indicate that payment was made. You may also see Insurance Policy
Travelers are expected to obtain the lowest possible airfare that would meet the traveler’s needs. Travelers are encouraged to book flights at least a month in advance or to look out for sales in order to avoid more expensive and costly rates.
Coach class or economy tickets must be purchased for domestic or international flights that exceed over 5 hours (excluding layovers). A higher-priced coach ticket cannot be purchased for a subsequent upgrade in seating.
A less-than-first-class ticket (i.e., business class) may be purchased at Croft Enterprises’ discretion for domestic or international flights. But first-class tickets are not reimbursable.
2. Rail transportation. Croft Enterprises shall be paying for rail transportation provided that the cost does not exceed or is similar to the cost of the least expensive airfare.
In the same manner, the original itemized receipt, original e-ticket receipt/statement or Internet receipt/statement examples are required if rail transportation was not prepaid by the business office. The receipt must show the method of payment and indicate that payment was made.
3. Automobile (personally owned for domestic travel). A valid driver’s license and personal automobile insurance are required in order for the expenses to be reimbursed. The driver should be aware of the extent of coverage provided by his or her automobile insurance company for travel that is business or not personal in nature. Reimbursement for use of a personal automobile is based on the Croft Enterprises mileage rate.
The Staff Travel Reimbursement form is required for reimbursement for all vehicle-related expenses, including gasoline, wear and tear, and personal auto insurance. As of this specified date, the rate is [$X.XX] per mile. Travelers may request reimbursement for gasoline in lieu of the Croft Enterprises mileage rate. Original receipts are required for such cases.
4. Automobile (rental or domestic travel). Reimbursement for a commercial rental vehicle as a primary mode of transportation is authorized only if the rental vehicle is more economical than any other type of public transportation, or if the destination is not otherwise accessible. Vehicle rental at a destination city is reimbursable. Original receipts are required.
Croft Enterprises authorizes reimbursement for the most economic vehicle available. Larger vehicles may be rented, with supervisory approval, if needed. The rental agreement must clearly show the date and the points of departure/arrival, as well as the total cost. Drivers must follow the rental requirements, and restrictions must be followed. Original receipts are required.
When vehicle rentals are necessary, Croft Enterprises encourages travelers to purchase collision damage waiver (CDW) and loss damage waiver (LDW) coverage. Croft Enterprises will reimburse the cost of CDW and LDW coverage; all other insurance reimbursements will be denied.
Drivers should be aware of the extent of a coverage provided by his or her automobile insurance company for travel that is business or not personal in nature. You may also see Appraisal Policy Examples.
Travelers are strongly encouraged to fill the gas tank before returning the vehicle to the rental agency to avoid service fees and more costly fuel rates.
5. Conference registration fees. If the conference fee was not paid beforehand, Croft Enterprises will reimburse these fees, which include business-related banquets or meals that are part of the conference registration. Original receipts to support the payment are required. If the said conference does not provide a receipt for the paid fees, then a canceled check, credit card slip/statement or documentation that the amount was paid would serve as a substitute for reimbursement.
A prorated amount of the meals provided should be deducted from the travelers per diem. Entertainment activities (e.g. golf outings and sightseeing tours) will not be reimbursed.
Registration fees paid directly by an individual shall not be reimbursed until the conference is completed.
6. Lodging (commercial). The cost of overnight lodging (i.e. room rate and tax only) will only be reimbursed to the traveler if the designated travel is 45 miles or more from the traveler’s home or the main work area.
Croft Enterprises will reimburse lodging expenses at reasonable, single occupancy or standard business room rates. When the hotel or motel only serves as the conference or convention site, only the conference rate shall be reimbursed.
Only single room rates are authorized for payment or reimbursement unless the second party is representing the agency in an authorized capacity. If the lodging receipt shows more than a single occupancy, the single room rate must be noted. If reimbursement for more than the single room rate is requested, the name of the second person must be included.
7. Meals (per diem). Per diem allowances are reimbursable for in-state overnight travel that is 45 miles or more from the traveler’s home or primary worksite.
Per diem allowances are applicable for all out-of-state travel that is at least 45 miles or more from the traveler’s home or primary worksite.
If free meals are going to be served on the plane, included in a conference registration fee, built into the standard, single hotel room rate or replaced by a legitimate business meal, then the per diem allowance for that meal may not be claimed.
Receipts are not required for per diem allowances. Per diem allowances are reimbursed after the trip is completed.
8. Business meals. Travelers are required to follow Croft Enterprises expenditure policies when asking for reimbursement for business meals. Original itemized receipts are required.
9. Business expenses. Business expenses, which include faxes, photocopies, Internet charges, data ports and business telephone calls, print-outs incurred while on travel, can be reimbursed by the company so as long as the original itemized receipts are being presented.
10. Parking. Original receipts will be needed for parking fees (e.g. airport parking) incurring a total of $25 or more. The lodging bill can be used as a receipt when charges are included as part of the overnight stay.
11. Telephone calls. Personal phone calls made by the traveler
12. Tolls. Original receipts are required for tolls totaling $25 or more.
13. Miscellaneous transportation. Original receipts are required for a taxi, bus, subway, metro, ferry and other modes of transportation if the total cost would reach at least $25 or more for each occurrence.
14. Visa, passport fees and immunizations. If these are required for international travel, their reimbursement is left to the discretion of your supervisor. If approved by the designated authority, original itemized receipts are needed.
The following items that may be associated with business travel will not be reimbursed by Croft Enterprises:
In making a travel and expense policy, it is never a bad idea to base it on previous experiences from certain managers or personnel so that it will be easier to identify to identify certain loopholes or certain policies that would need.