Travel and Entertainment Policies

BUSINESS TRAVEL EXPENSE POLICY PURPOSE

This document provides guidelines and establishes procedures for employees who incur business travel and entertainment expenses on behalf of Bryant University.

These procedures will be administered and enforced uniformly for all travelers. Each level of approving authority is responsible for making the policies readily available to subordinates and monitoring compliance when travel is authorized. Travelers should exercise sound business judgment in implementing these procedures. Exceptions will be monitored and inappropriate expenses will not be reimbursed.

Questions regarding travel arrangements may be directed to the University’s approved travel agency: Carlson Wagonlit Travel. 

Carlson Wagonlit Travel may be reached at 401-885-3500 

Questions regarding expense reporting may be directed to the Accounts Payable Office at Ext. 6019.

Objectives

  • Ensure that employees have a clear and consistent understanding of policies and procedures for business travel and entertainment
  • Ensure that compliance with IRS regulations is maintained
  • Ensure maximum insurance coverage for the traveler and the University
  • Provide business travelers with a reasonable level of service and comfort at the lowest possible cost

Scope

This travel policy applies to anyone who incurs travel or entertainment expenses paid by Bryant University regardless of the source of funds. Departments may elect to impose stricter controls over travel expenditures than those required by this policy.

Responsibility of Traveler

The traveler is responsible for spending Bryant funds prudently. Business travel expenses will be paid by the University if they are reasonable, appropriately documented, properly authorized, and in compliance with this policy.

Travelers may not authorize reimbursement for their own travel expenses. In general, employees should not be asked to approve travel or entertainment expenses for an individual to whom they report. Any exception to overall University Business Travel Expense Policy requires approval by the Associate Controller and Vice President for Business Affairs.

Responsibility of Authorized Signer

The authorized signer should verify that expenses and expense reports meet the following criteria:

  • Travel expenses were incurred while conducting University business
  • Information contained on the expense report and attached documentation is accurate and in accordance with this policy
  • Expenditure is charged to the proper expense account(s).

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Reservation Procedures

All University personnel who plan to travel at some point should contact the travel agencies listed below. In an effort to receive advance purchase discounts, travelers should make reservations as soon as travel plans are finalized. Employees who have the need to travel two or more times a year are encouraged to use the JPMorgan Chase Visa Procurement Card.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel
508 Main Street
East Greenwich, RI 02818
Phone: 401-885-3500
Fax: 401-885-5870

DOMESTIC AIR TRAVELWhen making your reservations, you are required to provide a valid Bryant University departmental organization number, a Purchasing Card number (for PCard cardholders), or another form of credit card payment (for travelers without the University-issued card).

Domestic travel includes travel in the United States and North America with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. (Please refer to International Air Travel for Alaska and Hawaii.)

Airline Class of Service

All domestic air travel must be in economy class.

Travelers may use Business Class in the following instances:

• Employee has certain physical conditions/disabilities;
• It does not cost more than the lowest available Coach fare;
• Flight time is in excess of seven (7) hours.

When it is necessary to use Business Class, a letter of explanation along with a completed Travel Expense Report, must be forwarded to the President for authorization prior to travel.

Airline Frequent-flyer Programs

Bryant will not reimburse travelers for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles because it is difficult to determine the dollar value of these tickets. Frequent flyer program participation should not influence travelers to select a flight that is not the lowest-priced flight available.


Airline Reservations using the Internet

Employees wishing to compare pricing for ticket reservations using the Internet are encouraged to do so. If a cheaper flight has been located, you may wish to ask the University’s travel vendor to match the price. The University encourages you to purchase flight tickets using your JPMorgan Chase Procurement Card.

Please research both the cancellation and rescheduling policy prior to making your purchase using the Internet.

Cancellations

When a trip is canceled after a ticket has been issued, the traveler should speak with the University’s travel agency about using the same ticket for future travel. Certain airline tickets can be reused if airfare eligibility requirements are met. Whenever possible, revalidation stickers should be requested from the issuing travel agency for future use.

Unused/voided Airlines Tickets

Unused airline tickets or flight coupons should never be discarded or destroyed as these documents may have a cash value. If at all possible, travelers should try to use any ticket that may still be valid for travel.

Air Travel Payment Procedures

When using the University’s travel agency to purchase tickets for travel and with prior departmental approvals, airline tickets may be purchased over the phone by giving the appropriate departmental organization number to be charged to our vendor representative. Air travel is centrally billed to the University’s JPMorgan Chase Visa account and paid by the Accounts Payable office. Air travel is recharged on a monthly basis.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Advance Planning for International Travel

Employees who anticipate travel to international destinations should notify the University’s travel agencies at least fourteen (14) working days prior to the proposed departure date. For purposes of this policy, international travel covers all destinations outside the U.S. (excluding Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean). Bryant encourages the purchase of cancellation insurance for all international flights.

If traveling abroad on a Federal Research Grant, employees are required to fly on a U.S. Flag Carrier. If none are available, employees are able to use other carriers; however an explanation must be provided for grant accounting review.

Airlines Class of Service for International Travel

Travelers whose destination is within North America (Alaska and Hawaii excluded) should book the lowest price, non-stop, coach-class airfare available. For Alaska, Hawaii, and destinations outside of North America, business class airfare is allowed. North America is defined as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

Employees may use Business Class in the following instances:

• Employee has certain physical conditions/disabilities;
• It does not cost more than the lowest available Coach fare;
• Total flying time is in excess of seven (7) hours;
• Coach Class is completely sold out, and no alternate flights are available.

When it is necessary to use Business Class, a letter of explanation along with a completed Travel Expense Report, must be forwarded to the President for authorization prior to travel.

Passports and Visas

The University’s travel agent can assist travelers with passport and visa applications.

International Travel Advisories

Employees should not travel to countries for which a travel advisory has been issued by the State Department.

Contact the University’s travel agent to obtain a list of current advisories.

Foreign Currency Services

International travelers can obtain foreign currency from any of the following locations:

• Foreign banks • Airport foreign-exchange counters
• Major hotels • Currency-exchange outlets
• Designated travel-agency offices

Because the conversion rate is usually better abroad, it is advisable to change local currency back to U.S. dollars before departing from the foreign country. Foreign currency conversion receipts must be attached to the Employee Travel Expense Report.

LODGING

Payment Procedures

The preferred payment of choice for travel expenses is the JPMorgan Chase Procurement Card. If employees choose to utilize their own personal credit cards for prepaid trip expenses (i.e. airline tickets, registration fees, lodging, etc.), reimbursement will only be made when all trip expenses, along with receipts, are submitted to the Accounts Payable office after the completion of travel. A copy of the hotel bill, with charges clearly identified, should be attached to the Employee Travel Expense Report. The University will not reimburse for the following personal expenses incurred:

• Room service charges (beyond normal meal expenses)
• In-room movies, video rentals
• In-room alcoholic beverages
• Babysitting
• Recreational activities

Lodging in a Private Residence

The University will not issue reimbursements for any expenses incurred when staying in a private residence.

Upgrades

Travelers are entitled to stay in a single room with a private bath. Upgrades to suites or executive-floor rooms are permissible only if there is no additional cost to the University, and this should be explained on the Travel Expense report. With prior approval, travelers may stay in a suite if required to conduct business, (e.g., meetings, interviews, etc.)

Spending Guidelines

The University will reimburse an employee for hotel expenses incurred for business purposes. Travelers are expected to use negotiated or preferred rates whenever possible. Tips for hotel staff are reimbursable when confined to reasonable limits, as determined by the services required and received. Room service is reimbursable when confined to reasonable limits as determined by the meals guidelines. (Refer to the Meals and Entertainment section.)

Cancellation Procedures

It is the traveler’s responsibility to notify the hotel to cancel a room reservation.

Travelers should request and record the cancellation number and the name of the person responsible for the cancellation in case of billing disputes.

Travelers should note that cancellation deadlines are based on the local time at the destination hotel.

Travelers will be held responsible and will not be reimbursed for “no-show” charges unless there is sufficient proof that the billing is in error. Exceptions require the approval of a Dean or a Vice President.

RENTAL CARS

Rental car reservations should be made directly through the rental car company, and employee should use their JPMorgan Chase Procurement Card.

When traveling out of the local area, it may be necessary to rent an automobile at the destination point. Car-rental reservations may be made through the University’s authorized travel agency.

When signing car-rental agreements, employees are to sign their name, along with the words Bryant University. When renting a vehicle for more than 30 days, contact the Risk Manager at Ext. 6006 for insurance information. Omission of Bryant University next to one’s name voids any University Insurance coverage on the rental.

Rental-car Agencies and Class of Service

When traveling on University business, travelers are authorized to rent cars up to and including the mid-size/intermediate-class size. Travelers are responsible for daily rental costs in excess of the approved car class.

The rental of 15-passenger vans is prohibited by the University.

Rental-car Guidelines

Travelers may rent a car to travel to their destinations when driving is:

• More convenient than airline or rail travel;
• Necessary to transport large or bulky material;
• Less expensive than other transportation modes such as taxis, airport limousines, and airport shuttles.

Rental-car Payment Procedures

Rental cars should be paid using the JPMorgan Chase Procurement Card.

Rental-car Accidents

Should a rental-car accident occur, travelers should submit a written accident report as soon as possible to:

• The rental car company
• Local authorities, as required
• The Risk Manager

The department will be charged the deductible in the event of any insurance claim.

BUSINESS TRAVEL INSURANCE

The University will not reimburse travelers for the purchase of travel, life, or accident insurance.

Rental-car Insurance – Domestic

When renting a vehicle for more than 30 days, contact the Risk Manager at Ext. 6006 for insurance information.

Employees who travel on University business should decline the collision damage insurance (sometimes referred to as CDW or LDW), personal accident insurance, and any liability insurance.

The University provides coverage in the U.S. during business trips for the following:

  • Collision damage to the rental vehicle
  • Personal-injury coverage through Workmen’s Compensation Insurance
  • Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance

For more information on any insurance question, contact the Risk Manager at Ext. 6006.

Rental-car Insurance – International

Travelers should accept all insurance coverage, including collision damage insurance and liability-damage waiver coverage when renting cars in a foreign country. (This coverage is often referred to as DCW or LDW coverage.)

Insurance Coverage for Personal Use of Rental Car

Personal use of a rental car during a business trip is not covered under the University’s insurance. Travelers who choose to extend a business trip for personal reasons, either before or after business is conducted, should purchase insurance coverage for those days. This coverage is not reimbursable by the University.

OTHER TRANSPORTATION

Personal Car Usage Guidelines

Employees may use their personal car for business purposes when:

  • It is less expensive than renting a car, taking a taxi or alternate transportation
  • It is timelier than taking public transportation
  • The employee is transporting University goods for delivery
  • The employee is entertaining clients

It is the personal responsibility of the owner of a vehicle being used for business to carry adequate insurance coverage (a minimum of $100/300K bodily injury and 100K property damage) for their own protection and for the protection of any passengers. Frequent use of personal vehicles for business travel is discouraged.

Insurance for Personal Car Usage

When using a personal car for Bryant business, an employee’s personal car insurance is the primary insurance policy. The University’s insurance covers bodily injury or liability damage that exceeds the coverage limits of the personal vehicle.

Such accidents should be reported promptly to the employee’s manager and the University’s Risk Manager.

Employees are not covered by the University’s insurance when:

  • Commuting to and from work
  • Driving on and around campus

Travelers will not be reimbursed by the University for collision losses that occur during business use of a personal car.

Reimbursement for Personal Car Usage

Travelers will be reimbursed for business usage of personal cars at the prevailing rates set by the University. Tolls and parking fees are also reimbursable expenses that require proper receipts.

Expense reports submitted for reimbursement are to include the following information:

  • Purpose of the trip
  • Date and destination
  • Number of business-miles driven
  • Receipts for tolls and parking

Travelers will not be reimbursed by the University for the following, even if these costs are incurred during business travel:

  • Personal car repairs
  • Rental-car costs during the repair of a personal car (unless on University business)
  • Tickets, fines, or traffic violations
  • Annual membership dues in automobile clubs

The University reserves the right to verify the accuracy of miles submitted for reimbursement on the Travel and Expense Report.

Commuting Expenses

Employees will not be reimbursed for commuting expenses between home and the employee’s business location. However, employees reporting to a location other than their normal business location will be reimbursed for mileage in excess of their normal commuting distance.

PERSONAL/VACATION TRAVEL

Personal/vacation travel may be combined with business travel provided that there is no additional cost to the University. University-negotiated hotel rates can be used for personal/vacation travel. Rental-car rates may be used for personal/vacation travel; however, it is your responsibility to verify that insurance coverage is included at the time of reservation. The traveler should inquire about insurance coverage through their own personal car insurance carrier through their personal credit card.

The JPMorgan Chase Visa or American Express Corporate card is not to be used to pay for personal/vacation travel.

TELEPHONE USAGE

Personal Phone Calls

Travelers will be reimbursed up to 10 minutes per day for any personal telephone calls made while on a University business trip.

Cellular Phone Reimbursement

Travelers will be reimbursed for business calls made on cellular phones when:

  • Calls are reasonable and necessary for conducting business
  • An original copy of the bill is attached to the travel expense report

Travelers will not be reimbursed for cellular phone purchases, accessories, installation, activation, or repair costs.

MEALS AND ENTERTAINMENT – Expense Reporting

Personal Meal Expenses

Travelers will be reimbursed for actual and reasonable meal expenses when accompanied by proper and original receipts.

Mini Bars (In-room)

Purchases for both soda and water beverages from a mini bar are reimbursable.

Business Meal Expenses

Business meals are defined as meals taken with students, colleagues, or donors during which specific business discussions take place.

Business Meals with Other Employees

Employees will be reimbursed for business-related meals taken with other employees only in the following circumstances when:

  • For confidentiality reasons, business is conducted off University premises;
  • Dining with other employees during an out-of-town trip such as a conference;
  • Authorized by the department head for reward, recognition, or other appropriate business purposes

Alcoholic Beverages

The use of alcohol for business entertainment purposes should be kept to a minimum. Employees should be aware that the purchase and use of alcohol places significant legal exposure on the University.

Entertainment

Entertainment expenses include events when a business discussion takes place during, immediately before, or immediately after the event.

Employees will be reimbursed for entertainment expenses:

  • With prior department approval, if required;
  • If the person(s) entertained has/had a potential or actual business relationship with the University;
  • If the business discussion will benefit the University.

The following entertainment expenses are not reimbursable:

  • Concert and theater tickets
  • Sporting-event tickets
  • Outings to nightclubs
  • Transportation to and from a non-reimbursable event
  • Meals and beverages consumed at a non-reimbursable event

Tipping for Meals

Tips included on meal receipts will be reimbursed. Generally, 15 to 18 percent is considered reasonable, with 20 percent being the maximum limit. Tips should be included with the cost of the associated expense on the travel expense report.

Payment for Meals and Entertainment

Meals and entertainment expenses should be paid for using the employee’s JPMorgan Chase Procurement card. Please check with Purchasing for information on the JPMorgan Credit Card Program.

Documentation and IRS Requirements

An original receipt should be submitted with the Travel Expense Report for individual meals and any entertainment expenses.

In addition, for business meal and entertainment expenses, the following documentation is required by the IRS, and should be recorded on the travel expense report:

  • Names of individuals present, their titles and organization name
  • Name and location of where the meal or event took place
  • Exact amount and date of the expense
  • Specific business topic discussed
  • In the case of entertainment events, the specific time when the business discussion took place (i.e., before, during, or after the event)

PAYMENT METHODS FOR TRAVEL and ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES

Purchasing Credit Card (PCard)

The University’s purchasing procurement card program is run through JPMorgan Chase. Whenever possible, employees should utilize their procurement card in accordance with current PCard policies.

We encourage you to review the PCard manual prior to travel. Items specifically related to travel would include:

  • Using the PCard when significant savings can be achieved by purchasing your travel tickets online.
  • Your University PCard is the preferred payment method for the daily expenses incurred when traveling.

The PCard is not to be used for personal purchases at any time.

Customer service is available by calling 24 hours a day at 1-800-270-7760. A JPMorgan Chase representative will assist you with:

  • Questions on monthly statements and balance
  • Emergency services
  • Billing disputes
  • Card-member benefits and services

Business Use of Personal Charge/Credit Card

The University encourages all employees to use the JPMorgan Procurement Card for travel; however, use of a personal credit card is allowed and expenses will be reimbursed when a completed Travel & Expense Report is submitted with appropriate receipts to the Accounts Payable Office.

Travelers will not be reimbursed for annual fees on personal charge cards or credit cards.

CASH ADVANCES

Advances will be issued for trips of two or more days. The amount of cash requested should be the minimum necessary to cover anticipated out-of-pocket expenses not chargeable to the employee’s Procurement Card. Request for advances should be made a minimum of 10 business days prior to the travel date.

Cash-advance Settlement

All cash advances should be settled on a travel expense report within seven business days after completion of the trip. Any unused cash advance should be returned immediately when a trip is canceled or postponed. Advances or reimbursements will not be issued to any employee who has an advance outstanding of more than 30 days.

Outstanding Cash Advances

Failure to properly account for cash advances may result in:

• Notification sent to employee’s supervisor/manager
• Suspension or cancellation of cash-advance privileges
• Non-reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenditures
• W-2 compensation reporting of outstanding advance

EXPENSE REPORTING

Timing for Expense Report Completion and Submission

Travelers should file a Travel Expense Report no later than seven business days after completion of each trip. Travel expense reports are available on the Controller’s Web site under forms.

To access the form, go to: web.bryant.edu/~controlr

Approval/Authorization Process

All requests for reimbursement of travel and related expenditures require the signature of the individual and his/her direct supervisor.

Accounts Payable will review each employee Travel Expense Report for:

  • Proper approval signatures
  • Identified business purpose
  • Correct totals
  • Supporting documentation and receipts
  • Policy compliance

Documentation Requirements

University policy requires receipts for all expenditures.

Documentation that travelers must submit with their travel expense reports include:

  • Air/Rail: Original passenger coupon
  • Hotel: Hotel folio issued at time of checkout, along with credit-card receipts
  • Car Rental: Rental car agreement plus credit card receipt
  • Meals/Entertainment: Credit-card receipt or cash register receipt (no restaurant tear tabs)

When a receipt is not available, a full explanation of the expense and the reason for the missing receipt is required on the travel expense report.

Actual bills/receipts should be submitted whenever possible. Receipts should include the name of the vendor, location, date, and dollar amount.

Disregard for University policy or altering of receipts can result in disciplinary action or termination.

Converting Foreign Currencies

To eliminate problems associated with the conversion of foreign currency, the University strongly recommends the use of the JPMorgan PCard.

Employees who travel internationally must provide supporting documentation for exchange-rate conversion with the Travel & Expense Report. When the rate is unknown, the traveler calculate the amount using the tables found at:

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic or http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

  • Unknown conversion rates may be estimated for submission on the Travel Expense Report and, if necessary, Accounts Payable will adjust the rate to the billed amount when the voucher is processed.
  • Personal charge/credit cards will be reimbursed by using theWall Street Journal exchange rates unless supported by a personal charge/credit card statement.

A separate travel expense report page should be completed for each type of currency in which expenses are incurred. U.S. dollars may be combined with one type of foreign currency.

All expenses must be recorded in U.S. dollars, with the currency conversion rate clearly noted on the travel-expense report and on all supporting receipts.