4.10 Reimbursement Procedures

Procedures for Purchasing Airline Tickets

There are three options for purchasing plane tickets.

Option 1: The traveler purchases airline tickets personally and seeks reimbursement. The reimbursement cannot be made until AFTER the trip and all receipts must be provided. Receipts that must be included are: 1) the email ticket or original itinerary including price; 2) used passenger coupons or used boarding passes.

Option 2: The traveler determines which on-line tickets (specific airline, Expedia, etc.) he/she want to purchase and makes an appointment with Martha to work from her computer to make the purchase. Once the traveler has entered the choices, Martha will then enter the payment information to finalize the purchase. Because from past experience it can be difficult to reach someone at on-line companies if you need to verify a purchase or make a change, it is important that the traveler verifies the tickets prior to Martha entering payment. Normally the traveler should receive a confirmation within a few hours of ordering the ticket. If the traveler does not receive that confirmation, please let Martha know, as she will need to investigate as soon as possible to ensure that the order was placed. Once you do receive the confirmation/receipt, please forward the confirmation to Martha.

Option 3: The traveler uses a contracted travel agent such as Great Southern Travel or Suzi Davis Travel (formerly Summit Travel). 3a: The traveler will provide all of the detail of what they would like to do to Martha, who will then contact the travel agent for ticket options and pricing and allow the traveler to select the trip. 3b: If the traveler speaks directly to the agent, the traveler provides Martha with the agent name and phone number and then Martha will handle the payment. There is a $25 service fee for this which will be included as part of the cost of the trip.

Travel Reimbursement Guidelies

When requesting reimbursement for travel, please provide the purpose of the trip, the date and time leaving and returning to Columbia , and the destination along with all receipts. Complete the Travel-Trip Expense Detail form (see attached sample) and submit it with all receipts. Provide receipts for hotel and food.

Other notes:

  1. Hotel receipts must show a -0- balance. The one under the door may not show this and you may have to get one at the front desk.
  2. If you choose to drive rather than fly, you must provide proof (based on a 7-14 day advance ticket) that driving was less expensive than flying.
  3. If you are flying, you may seek reimbursement for either mileage, OR gasoline for the round trip to the airport and parking (supply receipts). Estimated round trip mileage to the airport is:
    1. Columbia Airport – 26
    2. St. Louis – 250
    3. Kansas City – 300
  4. On the Travel-Trip Expense Detail indicate what time and date did you left Columbia and the time and date you arrived back in Columbia .
  5. Meal reimbursement maximums are $10.00 for breakfast, $10.50 for lunch, and $21.50 for dinner. This is not a per diem, but the actual amount of the expense and so you must provide receipts. If you are eligible for three meals (depending on the time you leave and arrive back in Columbia ) you may spend the full daily amount of $42 on two meals.
  6. Even though the Accounting Office does not require receipts for travel expenses under $75….we are required by Arts & Science to retain those for our files. So turn in your food receipts.
  7. If you eat with a group, it is best to get separate checks. If not, be sure to have a copy of the group receipt, preferably with your name on it. If someone else's name is on the receipt, you may have to request a written statement from the card holder stating that you paid for a specific portion of the bill (This is an A&S procedure).
  8. If you are seeking reimbursement for a meeting registration, please submit those receipts along with the rest of your travel as it cannot be reimbursed until after the meeting.
  9. In order to avoid tax issues, travel expenses must be reimbursed within 60 days from the end of the trip.

Memberships/Meeting Registrations

Memberships cannot be reimbursed as department travel expenses. However, if you have money from other sources (e.g., grants, start-up money, or FIG money) you may use that money for memberships. If you wish to have the department pay the membership or registration fee, you will need to meet with Martha and process this on her computer. Once you have accurately entered the information, she will then enter the payment information. Any confirmations/receipts that you receive should be forwarded to Martha.

Online Purchases-Merchandise

Department travel funds cannot be used for merchandise purchase. However, if you have money from other sources (e.g., grants, start-up money, FIG money) you may use that money to purchase merchandise for teaching or research online (e.g., books).

If you would like Martha to make an on-line purchase, please provide as much information as possible: 1) web address; 2) name and description of item; 3) item/catalog number; and 4) price. If any other pertinent information is available, please provide that as well, so as to ensure that the correct item is ordered. Martha will make the purchase and provide a copy of the electronic receipt to confirm it has been ordered. Once you receive your order, please turn in your packing slip or any other receipt-type documentation to Martha.

Merchandise Reimbursement – for small dollar amounts (under $75).

Purchases made with department funds must be approved before the purchase.

Occasionally you may need to make a purchase and then seek reimbursement for the item. Accounting Services discourages these reimbursements. However, if we keep the dollar amount small, (under $75) and only do them occasionally we should be okay.

Receipts must be provided for merchandise reimbursements.

We cannot reimburse for tax; however, some vendors may give the tax exemption if you ask them. We can provide a tax letter to you when the purchase is approved.

Other Information

Occasionally Accounting Services will ask to see a credit card statement. They are most likely to do this if the name on the receipt is different than the person seeking reimbursement (such as when traveling together) or if multiple cards were used on the same trip. When Accounting Services requires a credit card statement, the statement must have your name and the last four digits of your card number on it. If it does not have your name on it, we will need a copy of the actual card, with all but the last four digits of the card number blacked out. If the card is issued in a spouse/partner's name, a statement to that effect must accompany the voucher to Accounting Services. To avoid this problem, it is recommended that purchases made for reimbursement be made on a card with your name on it.

Please keep in mind that this is an overview of the University policy. Other situations will arise as we work to handle purchases and reimbursements and we may have to review the policy for individual situations.

If you would like to review University policies on-line, please visit the following websites: http://bppm.missouri.edu and http://mutravel.missouri.edu