May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Employee Handbook 
    
2023-2024 Employee Handbook

13. Travel


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13.1 General Policy

13.2 Procedure

13.3 Expense Report Guidelines

13.1 General Policy*

The University pays authorized travel and travel-related expenses for employees in the following ways:

  • Reimbursement of funds paid by the employee.

  • Direct payment to a vendor for business-related services to the employee.

  • Each department will receive a travel expense budget, based on the number of individuals in the department.  An average amount per person will be allotted as a total sum for the annual departmental budget.  The Chair is responsible for assessing the individual and departmental continuing education and professional development travel needs prior to the new academic year.  Individuals who are presenting or involved in conference leadership will be prioritized.  

13.2 Procedure

Employees will submit for approval a travel authorization form with all estimated expenses to their department heads prior to the event. Approved travel will be reimbursed after the expenses have been incurred and only subsequent to filing an expense report with appropriate documentation.

It is the responsibility of the employee to make every effort to minimize travel expenses and:

Obtain Prior Authorization

  1. All employees must receive prior approval from their leader before booking any travel.  Pre-authorization includes confirmation that the funds are available in the departmental budget.
  2. Travel that exceeds $2,500 requires additional approval by Senior Administration through a Travel Authorization Form. The form can be obtained from Financial Services or the University network in the “Read-Only” drive under “Forms.”

Obtain Proper Documentation

Original itemized receipts for expenses must be submitted with the Expense Report to receive reimbursement. Only the back copy of the travel ticket (not itinerary) is acceptable for reimbursement of airfare. If electronic or E-ticketing is used, the e-mailed copy of the ticket must be submitted as proper documentation.  The employee must provide documentation of the conference dates and participation, as applicable. 

Submit Expense Report

The Expense Report Form may be obtained on the University network or from Financial Services.

  1. Fill out the Expense Report Form promptly. Even though travel has been authorized, it is essential that the Expense Report Form be submitted with original receipts for all expenses within 30 days of paying or incurring the expense.  If older than 30 day, CFO approval is required.
  2. Complete all required areas of the form.
  3. Attach all original receipts. (If a photocopy is used, the supervisor should sign the copy.)
  4. Attach a copy of the Travel Authorization form.
  5. Sign and submit form to your authorizing signatory.
  6. Report expenses for multiple trips on separate forms.
  7. Provide conference brochure and registration confirmation, as applicable. 

13.3 Expense Report Guidelines

Reimbursable Expenses

Reasonable cost for the following expenses will be reimbursed.

Single Hotel or Motel Accommodation

Reservations should be made far enough in advance to qualify for any group discounts.

Coach Rate Air Travel

It is the responsibility of the employee to make airline reservations. These reservations should be made for appropriate days of the week and far enough in advance to minimize air travel costs.

Mileage

Mileage is paid to an employee for using his or her personal automobile on approved travel for the University. Charges for travel-related expenses such as tolls, parking, etc., on the most direct route of travel may be reported in addition to the authorized mileage. Mileage reimbursement will be made at the current rate.

Meals/Per Diem

Per diem for one person, and spouse when approved, will be reimbursed at the current rate. Meals are reimbursed at the current per diem rate for overnight travel.

Auto Rental

The University requires employees to use AVIS car rental when securing a rental car for business related travel. To make your reservation please go to: https://www.avis.com/car-rental/profile/go.ac?B501400. This has the corporate discount number already supplied and this account provides insurance coverage. Please do not elect the additional coverage suggested by the car company. For your protection in the event of an accident, please do not rent compact or sub-compact cars.

Taxi Fare, Ride Share or Shuttle

A receipt is required.

Convention or Registration Fees

Fees should be prepaid if this will reduce cost (receipt or a paid invoice is required).

Parking & Tolls

A receipt is required.

Non-reimbursable expenses
  • Fines for traffic violations and parking tickets
  • Costs associated with legal defense of moving violations
  • Alcoholic beverages and smoking materials
  • Airline cabin upgrades
  • Gifts
  • Child care
  • Personal side trips
  • Travel club membership
  • Lost items
  • In general, any non-business-related travel, entertainment, etc.
Receipt of Gifts

Employees should consider whether giving or receiving gifts or entertainment would cause AHU any embarrassment or discredit if the action is publicized.  If in doubt, a written request should be made to their immediate supervisor.  If the amount accepting or giving is greater than $250 per single item, the AHU employee must have approval from the direct supervisor prior to accepting or giving.  The employee should also fully disclose the benefit received or given.  In addition, all employees must report all gifts or entertainment totaling $100 or more from a single source in one calendar year (January - December) each December to the manager two levels above the employee.  Employees should always refer to the AdventHealth Code of Conduct-Gifts and Entertainment CW CR 101.5.

Personal Vehicle versus Commercial Travel

An individual who elects to drive her or his personal vehicle rather than use public transport for business-related travel will be reimbursed for actual miles driven at the current approved rate or an amount equal to airline coach fare, whichever is less.  Refer to the Travel and Business Related Expenses-Overnight policy.

Vehicle Insurance

In the event that an employee elects to use a personal vehicle to transport students or conduct University business, it is the responsibility of the employee to make sure that the vehicle is insured at the following minimums:

Bodily Injury $250,000/$500,000
Property Damage Liability $50,000
Medical Payments $5,000
Travel Time

When a non-salaried employee travels to a meeting, that employee will be paid at his or her base rate (no differentials) for the time involved. 

Reservation Cancellations

Any changes or cancellations of lodging, convention, or travel reservations should be done enough in advance to avoid “no show” charges. Should this not be possible through no fault of the employee, the University will pay such expenses if they are approved and initialed on the Expense Report by the authorizing signatory.

Mixed Business and Personal Travel

The University does not reimburse for personal receipts or per diem on personal days. Separate business from personal receipts. For IRS purposes, the business reason for the trip must be clearly stated and dated.

*Travel Policies

Please refer to all official travel policies at https://my.ahu.edu/policies/overview, as procedures are subject to change.