Travel and Entertainment Expense Guidelines

College employees are frequently called upon to travel or entertain guests on College business.  Travel and entertainment budgets have been established for these purposes and we encourage faculty and staff to use them in accord with their professional judgment.  The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure consistent use of funds across campus departments.  Allowable expenses can be submitted for reimbursement either through the Accountable method or Per Diem method.

Allowable Expenses

  • Airfare: Coach travel only.  Utilize discount fares whenever possible and practical. Avoid using services that charge an excessive (above $25) booking fee (such as travel agents); comparison shopping is encouraged.  Include one copy of ticket and airline itinerary/receipt with expense report.
  • Auto rental: When justified by economic or business purpose.  Standard-size vehicles for individuals or an appropriate size for a group are covered expenses.  Luxury and/or sports vehicles are not permitted. Include one copy of signed rental agreement with expense report.  Prior to leaving Meadville or signing rental agreement, employee should obtain a College insurance card from the Purchasing Office (ext. 4799, Schultz: Kathy).  Decline insurance coverage offered by rental companies.  NOTE:  If a rental car will be your primary means of transportation, check with the College Security department on the availability of a College motor pool car prior to renting a vehicle from an outside vendor.
  • Gasoline: Gasoline reimbursement is available for rental vehicles only.  Submit receipts for any gasoline purchase made that is not included in rental agreement.  Gasoline reimbursement for personal vehicle is included in the mileage reimbursement.
  • Taxi: Utilize free or discounted airport/hotel shuttles whenever practical.  Include taxi, shuttle, or limousine service receipts with expense report.
  • Mileage, parking, bridge and road tolls: Mileage for College business is reimbursable in accord with federal guidelines.  The Financial Services Office will publish the current reimbursement rate.  Include parking and toll receipts with expense report.
  • Frequent flyer bonus miles/services: Miles accrued through College business travel may be used for College or personal travel, as preferred by the employee.
  • Lodging: College business only.  Detailed receipt is mandatory and must be attached to the employee expense report.
  • Meals: Reasonable expense based on current costs in area of travel.  Include detailed, itemized receipts with expense report. When meal expenses include individuals other than the employee, a Report of Business Entertainment Expenses form must be completed and submitted with the expense report. NOTE:  1) Snacks are allowable only if consumed in place of a meal.
  • Business meals or other business entertainment: Reasonable expenses based upon the location of travel/entertainment.  Detailed receipts are required and must accompany expense report. In addition, a Report of Business Entertainment Expenses must be completed and must include the following details:  date, name and location of establishment where business entertainment took place, purpose and duration of business conducted, names and business relationship of guests to the College.  Attach additional explanation where necessary.  Omission of these details as required by the IRS will delay approval and reimbursement (where applicable) and could result in taxable income charged to the individual.
  • Room service: Allowable when justified by location or time constraints.
  • Business postage/telephone/fax transmission/office supplies/other miscellaneous expenses: As required to conduct College business.  Receipts must accompany expense report. Good judgment is your guide.
  • Tips: Percentage considered reasonable for the location and quality of service provided; not to exceed 20%.
  • Traveler’s checks: Cost of purchase.  Receipt must be provided and accompany expense report.
  • Credit cards: Personal credit card bills will not be paid directly by the College, even if charges are for College business.  The employee must submit a request for reimbursement for business expenses charged on personal credit cards, and payment to the credit card company is the responsibility of the employee.
  • Travel insurance: The College carries travel (death and dismemberment) accident insurance for all College employees while traveling on behalf of the College.  Additional coverage purchased by the employee is not an allowable expense.
  • Personal telephone calls: The College will reimburse employees for 2 personal calls home, of up to 10 minutes each, for each 3-day College business trip away from home.
  • Employee entertainment: College- or department-wide activities may be held from time to time to recognize employees for their work.  AEC members should approve all such expenditures.
  • Expenditures without supporting receipts: Receipts are required for all expenses. If receipts are missing, please attach an explanation to the expense report.  The College reserves the right to reject expenses not documented by a receipt.
  • Travel Advances: Travel advances need to be cleared with a report of expenses prior to receiving the next travel advance, whenever possible.  Students will not receive an advance except through an employee who is responsible for obtaining itemized receipts or student signatures, where meal allowances are given by the advisor-employee or coach.
  • Approvals: All expense reimbursement and payment requests must include approval signatures of immediate supervisors as well as the individual employee along with the account(s) to be charged.

Non-allowable Expenses

  • Personal entertainment and other personal expenses: examples include movies, headset rental, personal reading materials, laundry or dry cleaning services, shoe shining, medications, between-meal snacks/beverages, water dispenser refills (except as allowable as noted above under “Business meals or other business entertainment”).
  • Airline or other trip insurance (including automobile rental).
  • Employee spouse/partner or other non-employee expenses: Generally not acceptable. Exceptions must be approved by the employee’s supervisor or department head prior to travel or event.  A brief explanation, signed by the employee and supervisor/department head must accompany the expense report.
  • Theft, loss, or damage to any personal effects or luggage.
  • Traffic and parking fines.
  • Employee/Student/Vendors gifts. Examples include (but are not limited to) employee thank-you gifts, gift cards, birthday or holiday celebrations/gifts, Administrative Professional Day gifts/meals, gifts for retiring or departing employees, flowers or plants given in acknowledgement of the death or illness of an employee or employee’s family member, and mileage to attend a funeral or visit an ill employee.  Employees generally use personal funds for non-business matters.
  • Clothing. In general, employees should not use College funds to purchase clothing, unless Allegheny clothing is required as part of the employee’s position (e.g. Security Officers, coaches).