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Travel Policy

Click below for specific Yeshiva University policies on travel.

Roles and Responsibilities    Payment Methods    Appropriate and Inappropriate Expenses     
Meals    Grant Travel    Hotels    Local Travel    Air Travel    Rental Cars    Ground Travel    Extraordinary Situations    Contacts

Policy Statement

Yeshiva University faculty, staff and students are often required to travel in support of their work. The University will be responsible for the costs involved in such travel within the parameters of this policy. In this context, travel is defined as any trip that takes the employee outside of New York City. This policy pertains to Yeshiva University and all its affiliated institutions.

Reason for Policy

This policy provides guidelines for the appropriate use and stewardship of the University's funds, regardless of their source, and defines the appropriate procedures for payment of transactions. It also ensures that the University is in compliance with IRS and federal funding guidelines. It will address:

  • Responsibilities related to the use and management of University funds, including funds managed by the University for affiliates or government agencies
  • Identifying expenses that are appropriate and allowable
  • Determining expenses for which University funds may not be used
  • Proper methods of incurring expenses

It is not intended that employees incur either a loss or profit from required travel or be subjected to substandard accommodations or modes of travel.

Any exception to this policy must have written authorization from the chief procurement officer.

Responsible University Executive

VP Business Affairs and CFO

Responsible Office

Procurement Services

Revision History

May 5, 2010

This policy will be maintained only in an online Web format. Please make certain to review the material online to ensure that you are using the most updated version of this policy.

Who Should Know This Policy

All employees who are required to travel in support of official University business or in order to complete their duties, as well as vice presidents, senior administrators, deans, directors, department heads and finance/procurement staff.

Employees should also refer to the policies of their school or department as they may be more restrictive than the University policy. School, department and unit policies will supplement the University policy, and in no case will any such policy on business expenses be less restrictive than the University policy.

Employees should also refer to the policies of donors, sponsors or contractors as they may be more restrictive than the University policy. If any donor, sponsor or contractor policy on business expenses is less restrictive than the University policy, the University policy applies.

Employees are responsible for expending funds in accordance with the guidelines in this policy. If there is any question about a transaction's compliance with University policy, or about the proper procedure for the transaction, employees should seek direction from the appropriate contact.

Policy Details

This policy provides general guidelines for identifying travel-related expenses that are appropriate, verifiable and in compliance with federal, state and University policies and regulations. It also provides guidelines for employees to understand proper procedures.

Travel expenses may take the form of direct payments to individuals or agencies that provide the University with goods or services related to travel, or in the form of reimbursements to University employees for costs they incur while conducting University business. This policy addresses only those expenses specifically related to travel. Please refer to Purchasing Policies and Procedures for guidance on any expenses not related to travel.

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Roles and Responsibilities

1) Traveler
The individual who incurs the travel expense is responsible for being familiar with this policy and for incurring expenses in compliance with this and any other applicable policies. Specifically, the traveler must ensure:

  • The expense is appropriate and permitted in accordance with this policy
  • Necessary approvals have been obtained in advance
  • The expense is within budgetary constraints
  • The expense is in compliance with any funding designations and/or guidelines
  • The expense is in compliance with individual departmental/school guidelines
  • The appropriate purchasing method has been utilized (see following section)

If the traveler will be requesting reimbursement, it is his or her responsibility to complete the Travel Reimbursement form and provide complete supporting documentation. Supporting documentation must take the form of original receipts and is considered complete when it provides:

  • Date of purchase
  • Name of vendor
  • Itemized list of goods
  • Total amount

It is the traveler's responsibility to obtain approval(s) after all supporting paperwork has been completed.

2) Processor
In some cases, Travel Reimbursement forms and/or expense reports may be prepared by an individual other than the traveler. The processor is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate paperwork is correct, complete, and is ready to be approved by the appropriate official.

3) Approver
The Approver is responsible for ensuring the following:

  • The expense is appropriate and permitted in accordance with this policy, and that no nonreimbursable expenses are included
  • The expense is within budgetary constraints
  • The expense is being charged to the appropriate 11 digit General Ledger account<
  • The expense is in compliance with any funding designations and/or guidelines
  • The expense is in compliance with all other appropriate University policies<
  • The expense is in compliance with individual departmental/school guidelines
  • Complete documentation has been provided

The Approver must also be aware of any additional approvals that may be required depending on the type and dollar threshold of the expense.

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Payment Methods
Purchasing Card (''P-Card'')

A P-Card that is authorized for travel expenses may be used. P-Cards may also be used for allowable incidental travel expenses--meals, taxi fares, etc. P-Card travel expenses must comply with the provisions of this policy. There are specific policies and procedures associated with the use of the P-Card that detail appropriate use and Card management. Please refer to the Yeshiva University P-Card Program Policies and Procedure Guide for more information.

Request for Payment or Employee/Student Travel Reimbursement

In order to receive reimbursement or payment, the transaction must comply with this policy and the requester must complete the appropriate forms.

Click here for the Request for Payment Form (PDF).
Click here for the Travel Reimbursement Form (PDF).

The following additional requirements must also be met:

  • Submission Time Limit: Expenses must be submitted in a timely manner. Any expense that is reported more than 45 days after it was incurred will not be reimbursed or paid.
  • Business Purpose: A business purpose must be provided for all expenditures. The business purpose description must be specific and comprehensive enough that a third-party reviewer could understand it.
  • Documentation: Original receipts are required for all expenses. Documentation must identify: Date of purchase, Name of vendor, Itemized list of goods, and the Total amount.
  • Appropriate Approval: Employees should obtain approval(s) for the travel prior to incurring the expense.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in nonreimbursement of funds. Repeated use of reimbursements in place of preferred mechanisms may also be considered a violation of this policy.

Travel Advance

In certain circumstances, employees may request advances before traveling. Advances must be reconciled within 45 days of the end of the trip, and any amounts not expended for travel purposes must be reimbursed to the University. Appropriate supporting documentation, as defined above, must be provided in order to reconcile advances. Advances that remain unreconciled after 45 days will be considered taxable income to the employee, and future reimbursement requests will be reduced by the outstanding amount. Employees may not request new travel advances until earlier advances have been reconciled. Please click here to review the current thresholds and designated approvers that must sign off on a travel advance.

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Appropriate and Inappropriate Expenses

Travelers may wish to consult the University's General Business Policy regarding Appropriate and Inappropriate expenses in order to avoid incurring costs that are neither payable nor reimbursable. An inappropriate expense may be characterized by the following:

  • It does not explicitly support the missions of the University
  • It is fraudulent, illegal or could represent financial or reputational risk or liability to the University
  • The expenditure was or will be reimbursed or paid from a source other than the University

In addition, there are several travel-related expenses that are specifically considered inappropriate:

  • Amusement, entertainment or social activities that do not directly advance University missions and purposes, such as movies and souvenirs
  • Personal automobile repairs, parking permits, gas (see Ground Travel below regarding business use of personal vehicles)
  • Clothing purchases and tuxedo/formal-wear rentals; dry cleaning
  • Personal grooming or toiletries
  • Mobile phone accessories such as Bluetooth devices or belt clips
  • Costs associated with personal telephone use
  • Child care
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Mini-bar purchases
  • Personal calls home

Travel-related expenses which are eligible for reimbursement include:

  • Baggage fees
  • Internet access and other business center or copy center fees incurred while performing a valid University business function

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Meals

The University has established a maximum reimbursement rate of $86 per day to be used for meals purchased while traveling. Partial days will be reimbursed up to the following rates:

  • Breakfast: $12.00
  • Lunch: $24.00
  • Dinner: $50.00

Employees who wish to claim reimbursement for such meals must detail each day's meals and costs on the travel reimbursement form. Receipts must be provided for every expense and must include:

  • Date expense was incurred
  • Name of vendor
  • Itemized list of items
  • Total amount

Currently, if an employee is unable to provide proper documentation for every meal purchased while traveling, the maximum per diem is $46. This amount is subject to change as per IRS guidelines. If a meal is provided during a conference, seminar, or similar program, the employee is not permitted to claim reimbursement for that meal. Alcoholic beverages are never reimbursable. Please note that the daily limits are firm and cannot be applied to other days.

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Grant Travel

Provisions of the granting agency will apply and reimbursements must be within the budgeted amount in the grant award. If a granting agency stipulates a particular expense can be incurred, as a condition of funding, that expense will be permitted.

For foreign travel, prior permission for every foreign trip must be obtained from the awarding agency. In those cases where the use of funds for international travel is specifically authorized, United States flag carriers must be used for departure from or entry into the United States and for any other portions of the trip where U.S. carriers are available.

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Hotels

Cardozo  http://www.campustravel.com/university/yeshiva/visit_yeshiva_cardozo.html

Einstein  http://www.campustravel.com/university/yeshiva/visit_yeshiva_einstein.html

Stern - http://www.campustravel.com/university/yeshiva/visit_yeshiva_beren.html

Yeshiva College - http://www.campustravel.com/university/yeshiva/visit_yeshiva_wilf.html

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Local Travel

For travel within the New York City area, employees are encouraged to utilize public transportation or personal vehicles whenever possible. If neither option is possible, employees are encouraged to use Vital Transportation, Inc., the University preferred vendor for car service. All costs for local travel must be incurred through the use of a valid purchase order. Car/cab service is not approved for student transportation in any situation.

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Air Travel

Air travel should be booked as far in advance as possible in order to secure the most economical prices, and airlines should be selected on the basis of price rather than personal preference. Employees will not be reimbursed for tickets in a class other than economy/coach.

Government grants carry certain regulations about flying on U.S. airlines; please check with the Office of Grant Accounting for more information. If an employee is reimbursed for airfare and does not travel as expected, the reimbursement will be treated as a travel advance, as noted above.

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Rental Cars

University employees are expected to secure rentals from Enterprise, the University preferred vendor. The standard for a rental is a midsize automobile. Additional charges for upgrades are not allowed unless there is a specified business purpose for the upgrade, such as multiple University employees traveling together.

In any situation where students and/or travelers under the age of 25 will be traveling in rental cars, the trip must be cleared in advance with the Office of Risk Management.

Collision and/or physical damage (CDW)/(LDW) must be purchased for all business rentals as the coverage is not covered under the University's automobile insurance policy. This coverage will be reimbursed by the University.

It is also strongly recommended that renters also purchase insurance coverage for personal effects (PAI), credit cards (PEC), or health/life insurance if they are not covered elsewhere. Please note, however, that this additional coverage is not reimbursable by the University.

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Ground Travel

Currently, the reimbursement rate is $.55 and a half cents per mile and is subject to change as per IRS guidelines. Mileage reimbursement is intended in place of the costs of operating a vehicle, including fuel, maintenance/repairs, insurance and so on. Mileage is calculated from your office location to your destination. It is not calculated starting from your home.

Tolls and parking costs may be reimbursed, if applicable and receipts should be obtained. In order to be reimbursed for mileage, travelers must submit a record of the distances traveled, which should include start and end date and location, total mileage and a valid business purpose. Route maps printed from the Internet are acceptable records.

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Extraordinary Situations
Travel with Family Members

Employees who wish to bring accompanying family members on trips for University business are responsible for the cost of such travel.

Foreign Travel

Receipts in foreign language or currency are accepted, along with a printout of the exchange rate on the date the expense was incurred. Alternately, a credit card statement may be submitted in addition to the original receipt, so that the expense's actual cost to the traveler can be seen.

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Contacts

Subject

Contact

Telephone

Fax/Internet

Approval/Authorization Requirements (Grants)

Elliot Feder

718.430.2205

feder@aecom.yu.edu

Approval/Authorization Requirements (Non-Grants)

Jack Zencheck

718.430.8889

jzenchec@yu.edu

General Policy Clarification

Teakha Carmen Singh

718.430.2236

singh@yu.edu

Existing Contracts

Jack Zencheck

718.430.8889

jzenchec@yu.edu

Federal Allowable Costs

Elliot Feder

718.430.2205

feder@aecom.yu.edu

Procurement Card

Anita Butta

718.430.8886

abutta@yu.edu

Purchasing Policies and Procedures

Jack Zencheck

718.430.8889

jzenchec@yu.edu

Reimbursements

Teakha Carmen Singh

718.430.2236

singh@yu.edu

 

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