About This Policy
Statement of Purpose
These travel regulations have been developed to provide travelers on official University business with guidelines for cost-effective travel and ease/efficiency of recording travel expenses.
The establishment of regulations and procedures concerning approval for travel and reporting/reimbursement of expenses is the responsibility of the University President. These regulations apply to all travel regardless of the source of funds. Travel related to a grant or foundation is subject to all the regulations in this manual, except if provisions are more restrictive in the grant or foundation contract.
The travel regulations cover all employees, prospective employees, students and others authorized to travel on behalf of the University. Montclair State University Board of Trustees members are excluded from these regulations since, in accordance with the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 18 a: 65-5, Board Members “shall be entitled to be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses.”
Expenditures incurred for official travel are reimbursable in accordance with the travel regulations and procedures documented in this manual. Exceptions to any of the travel regulations detailed in this manual must be approved by the President or designee.
Approval and Compliance Guidelines
All travel requires prior approval from the supervisor and the cost center manager, with overnight travel requiring a Spend Authorization. Individuals traveling on University business are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that prudent people would exercise if traveling on personal business at their own expense. Compliance with these regulations is the responsibility of the individual traveling on University business and the approvers.
All overnight travel (such as conferences, conventions, staff training, workshops, seminars, and other official business) requires prior written approval in the form of a Spend Authorization. Approval is required from the supervisor and the cost center manager where the expenses will be charged. International travel (outside of the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) requires prior approval from the appropriate Vice President.
A Spend Authorization must be approved prior to departure. Workday requires a Spend authorization for Airfare, Lodging, Car Rental and Multi-day Per-diem. A job aid can be found at: https://www.montclair.edu/finance-and-treasury/workday-resources/finance-job-aids/. Upon final approval of the Spend Authorization the approved amount will be encumbered against the designated financial account.
For travel expenses not requiring a Spend Authorization, such as mileage or parking and tolls, the traveler’s immediate supervisor (Department Chair, Director, etc.) must approve the Expense Report. The approval is attesting to the appropriateness of the travel for University purposes and that all travel regulations are being adhered to as well as the availability of funding.
Upon final approval of the Spend Authorization the approved amount will be encumbered against the designated financial account.
B. Allowable Expenses
Reimbursable travel expenses are limited to those directly related to transacting the official business of the University. Reimbursement requests for situations not specifically covered under these regulations or exceeding the authorized rates may be granted in accordance with the procedures in this manual.
Travelers should make reservations as early as possible to take advantage of advance purchase discounts. However, no reservations should be made prior to the Spend Authorization being completed and approved.
If the traveler has any questions, problems, and/or suggestions when making travel arrangements, he/she should contact the Director of Accounts Payable in the office of the Controller for guidance.
2. Air Travel
All travel should be by the most economical, direct and usually traveled route although travelers should be cautious when purchasing specially discounted airfares, such as non-refundable and advance-purchase fares. Since the airline tickets are non-transferable, and in most cases, must be used within one year from date of flight, these tickets become a problem if not used on the dates and times originally reserved.
Any travel by an indirect route, or by other than the most economical means, must be justified on the Spend Authorization. The traveler must book economy/coach airfares. Upgrades for extra leg room will only be approved if flights are 4 hours or more in duration. Exceptions to the aforementioned must be approved in advance by the appropriate divisional vice president. The use of personal reward points to purchase upgrades is not reimbursable.
When a university employee books travel, the following shall apply: If a trip is cancelled for reasons beyond the traveler’s control, reimbursement shall be made to the traveler for the airfare. Any expense for making changes to a traveler’s ticket shall not be reimbursed unless the reason for the change is beyond the traveler’s control. Any expense related to a change in travel plans caused by family or work emergency must be documented and approved by the division’s Vice President and forwarded to the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer for final review and approval. Unused or forfeited tickets must be reimbursed to the University if purchased with a University issued Travel card.
In the event that travel is booked through an agency, unused vouchers shall remain in the name of the university and no reimbursement shall be required.
Rates for lodging will be determined based on the destination of the trip. To access all pertinent rates, access the following link: www.gsa.gov. When an employee attends a recognized conference and obtains overnight accommodations, the traveler shall be reimbursed for the actual cost of the room, up to the cost arranged by conference officials. Costs to upgrade rooms to luxury and upscale categories shall not be reimbursed. When lodging is shared with others, reimbursement shall be limited to the employee’s share of the cost.
For one-day conferences in locations not involving air or rail travel, reimbursement for lodging shall be allowed if the conference begins prior to 9:00 a.m. and the traveler would have to leave home at an unreasonable time in the morning to arrive at the location. Under these circumstances, reimbursement shall be allowed in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this manual.
If a traveler decides to lodge in a private residence with family or friends while traveling on business, no reimbursement shall be made to the traveler for lodging costs.
If a scheduled trip is cancelled, it is the traveler’s responsibility to cancel the hotel room. Any expenses for hotel cancellations shall not be reimbursed unless the reason for the cancellation was beyond the traveler’s control. If the cancellation was due to a family or work emergency, the incident must be documented, approved by the division’s Vice President and forwarded to the University Controller for review and approval of the cancellation expense. If a hotel deposit is nonrefundable and was paid with a University issued Travel card the traveler will reimburse the University for the Lost Deposit.
4. Car Rental
Car rentals, including all gasoline and insurance costs connected with the car rental, may be permitted when it has been determined in advance to be advantageous in the conduct of University business. The cost for a car rental may not exceed the actual per-day cost of a mid-size car unless four or more employees are traveling. In this instance, a full-size car may be rented. Travelers should purchase liability insurance and Collision Damage Waiver for the rental and will be reimbursed unless the expenditure was paid for with a University issued Travel Card expenditure. This policy shall be subject to the university’s preferred supplier, in event that there is one.
For holders of the Bank of America Corporate card, the CDW is included. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the Visa Guide to Benefits.
5. Other Transportation
a. Personal Car Usage
Employees shall be reimbursed for mileage when their personal automobile is used to engage in day trips or work assignments. Mileage shall be calculated from the University or home, whichever is the shorter distance. If travel occurs on a non-work day, mileage shall be calculated from the traveler’s home. Mileage reimbursement covers wear and tear on the vehicle as well as fuel costs. Gasoline is not reimbursable when a personal vehicle is used for business purposes.
Mileage will be reimbursed at rates approved by the Internal Revenue Service and can also be found on www.irs.gov. Parking and toll expenses shall also be reimbursed to the traveler at the actual cost. Any single expenditure exceeding $10.00 must be documented with the appropriate receipt. For overnight trips where the traveler prefers to use his/her own automobile, mileage, tolls, and parking shall be reimbursed but may not exceed the cost of the prevailing air or rail rates to the destination.
A valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance are required when using a personal automobile. Privately owned motorcycles shall not be used on University business.
b. Rail Travel
The same regulations and procedures detailed under the Air Travel section are applicable to rail travel. If a traveler prefers to utilize rail transportation instead of air transportation, the traveler must request the least expensive available fare that is both reasonable and consistent with the purpose of the trip. If the rail fare exceeds the cost of the prevailing airfare to the same destination, then prior written approval must be obtained from the appropriate Vice President.
c. Taxi, Limousine, and Private Car Service
Taxi charges are permitted from the University or from home to the airport or train station and vice versa. The traveler should use the most economical means of transport to the airport or train station. Travel to and from airports or train stations and downtown areas shall be confined to hotel shuttle buses, and airport or train car services whenever such service is less costly than a taxi.
The traveler may drive a personal automobile to and from the airport or train station and park it there while on business. However, reimbursement shall not be made for tolls, overnight parking fees (long-term parking), and mileage (to and from the airport or train station) if the expense is greater than the cost of other direct round trip transportation from the University or the traveler’s residence. The traveler is expected to use the least expensive transportation, without consuming excessive travel time. If an employee is driven to and from the airport or train station by a relative or friend, mileage reimbursement to the employee is allowed.
d. University Vehicles
University-owned vehicles may be used for University travel. All operators are required to have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. Operators must drive with care and observe all vehicle regulations and are responsible for fines due to motor vehicle infractions.
Please see the Montclair State University policy, “Use of Vehicles for University Business” for details regarding the use of university vehicles:
6. Meals and Entertainment
a. By Diem
For conventions, conferences, staff training, workshops, training seminars, and other authorized trips requiring overnight lodging, a per diem meal allowance shall be reimbursed to the traveler. Rates for meals will be determined based on the destination of the trip. To access all pertinent rates, access the following link: www.gsa.gov <http://www.gsa.gov>. If the city you are visiting is not listed, utilize the standard rate as listed. Only the per diem amount will be paid to the traveler regardless of the amount actually spent by the traveler. Receipts are not required. If a meal is included in the registration/conference fee, or if paid for by someone else, reimbursement shall not be made.
b. Meetings with outside People
Meetings and other events involving the purchase of food and beverage in conjunction with the employment of new personnel, meetings with consultants, legislators, or other outside parties who are only available during the meal hour are reimbursable.
The following guidelines apply:
- Requests for events which require authorization by the President should come from a Vice President.
- Reimbursement should be limited to those who must meet and not necessarily all who are in attendance.
- The per diem meal rate will prevail.
- Any exceptions require approval of the President or designee.
- Original detailed receipts must be presented.
7. Group Travel
Group travel is defined as ten or more persons traveling to a destination for a common purpose such as training meetings, retreats, and athletic travel. The individual planning the group travel is responsible for ensuring consistency with the regulations outlined in this travel manual.
Group travel must be authorized by every Cost Center Manager involved. Travelers in the group must pay for their own expenses and each must submit an expense report for reimbursement. In extenuating circumstances (i.e. student groups) it may not be feasible for each individual to pay their own expenses. In these cases, expenses may be grouped onto one or more Expenses reports. Employees with a Corporate card may include student expenses on the card. All receipts are still required.
C. Registration Fees
Registration fees for conventions, workshops or official meetings are reimbursable. Original receipts for the registration fees or copy of the registration form must be submitted on the Expense Report
D. Payment Methods
1. Corporate Card
The University’s corporate Travel card vendor is Bank of America. The card shall be ordered by the office of the Controller after the employee completes the required application which can be requested by emailing email@example.com. The employee shall be notified upon receipt of the card from Bank of America.
Whenever feasible, the traveler is expected to use the corporate card to pay for expenses such as registration fees, air/rail travel, lodging, car rental, and other allowable expenses as detailed in this manual; all other expenses are the responsibility of the traveler. The card cannot be used for personal spending.
Cardholders are required to abide by all regulations detailed in this manual.
Cardholders violating these regulations and/or not submitting expense reports within 14 days of the completion of a trip will have their travel card suspended until such time as a report is submitted and approved. Habitual offenders will have their card terminated.
Please review the university travel policy for the full details of which travel related expenses are and are not reimbursable.
A lost or stolen corporate card must be reported as soon as the traveler discovers it is missing. To report a lost or stolen card, please call Bank of America Global Card Services at 888-449-2273 and notify the office of the Controller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Upon termination of employment, a corporate cardholder must return the card to his/her immediate supervisor who will send it to the office of the Controller. The terminated cardholder must also promptly reconcile and complete an Expense report for any outstanding transactions.
Prepayments of registration fees may be made via a Supplier Invoice, P-card, or Travel Card. The Supplier Invoice is to be initiated through the department effected.
3. Cash Advances
Cash advances are available for multi-day per diems only. This may be requested on the Spend Authorization.
E. Expense Processing
1. Expense Report Completion
Expense reports should be completed in Workday within 14 days of completing trip. A job aid can be found at: https://www.montclair.edu/finance-and-treasury/workday-resources/finance-job-aids/
2. Documenting Expenses
- Itemized airline purchase receipt. The boarding pass should be included if the Expense report is submitted after trip conclusion.
- Itemized invoice showing proof of payment.
- Car Rental
- Rental agreement, including proof of payment. Parking, Tolls – Receipt for charges in excess of $10.00. (This may include EZ-Pass statement.)
- Ground Transportation
- Receipt for charges (Taxi/limousine/bus) in excess of $10.00.
- Meal receipts are not required since per diem rates apply. For conference travel, brochure must be submitted with the Spend Authorization. Gratuities are included in the per-diem amount.
3. Other Reimbursable Expenses
Expenses that are commonly reimbursable by the University to the traveler include:
- Air freight/overnight delivery
- Gasoline (for car rentals only)
- Telephone calls
- Internet and business office services
- Tips for group meals (within a reasonable 15% to 20% range) Per diem rates already include the gratuity.
- Car rental insurance
- Required visas for approved international trips.
- Flight cancellation insurance
4. Nonreimbursable Expenses
Expenses that are not reimbursable by the University include, but are not limited to:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Laundry/dry cleaning
- Excess baggage
- Golf (and other recreation)
- Health club facilities
- Minibar refreshments
- Parking fines or traffic tickets
- Shoe shine
- Spouse/companion travel
- Car wash
- Personal entertainment
- Cancellation and flight change fees for non-business or non-emergency reasons
- Ticket fare upgrades
- Lost baggage
5. Unanticipated Expenditures
If the traveler incurs unanticipated expenses that exceed either the approved travel request and/or the approved rates, a written justification must be attached to the Expense report. Reimbursement for these expenses is subject to review and approval by the division’s Vice President and by the University Controller or the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer.
6. Reimbursement to Traveler
Eligible expenses not paid with a University issued Travel card will be reimbursed upon submission of the Expense Report to Accounts Payable. Travelers can expect payment within 10 business days of receipt of appropriate documentation by the Accounts Payable office.
F. Prospective Employees
Candidates will be reimbursed according to policy as outlined in this manual. Reimbursement will be made with an Expense report. The sponsoring department will first need to have the candidate created as an External Committee member. The expense report can then be used. The candidate will be paid with a check.
The form and job aid can be found at: https://www.montclair.edu/finance-and-treasury/workday-resources/finance-job-aids/
G. Frequent Flyer Awards
Travelers shall be allowed to retain all frequent flyer rewards offered by the airlines. However, travelers may not select a higher priced flight in order to participate in a carrier’s frequent flyer program or take unnecessary trips to earn more mileage credits. It is the traveler’s responsibility to track frequent flyer awards directly with the airlines. Any tax liability resulting from these awards shall be the sole responsibility of the traveler earning such benefits. Memberships for airline clubs or premium services are not reimbursable.
H. International Travel
All regulations detailed in this manual will apply to international travel. Travel is generally prohibited to countries listed on the U.S. Department of State’s travel list:
It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain all necessary entry documentation and the local currency. Travelers are advised to change all local currency back to U.S. dollars before returning home to take advantage of favorable exchange rates. Expenses incurred and paid directly by the traveler are converted at the actual exchange rate, supported by foreign currency exchange receipts or charge/credit card billing statements. When completing the Expense Report, all expenses must be recorded in U.S. dollars, with the currency conversion rate clearly noted on the expense report and on all supporting receipts.