EXPENSE CLAIM GUIDELINES


The University will reimburse its employees for reasonable travel and other expenses incurred while on University business.  Travel and other expenses must be approved in advance by the appropriate administrator or designate. In keeping with University status as a publicly funded institution, it is the responsibility of each employee to exercise judgment and moderation with reference to such expenses.

The Accounting Department is responsible for the administration of the below stated guidelines and is authorized to question any claim and obtain further information if necessary. However, individual supervisors are responsible for exercising judgement with regards to "reasonable authorized UFV business" prior to authorizing an expense claim for the individual.

The Director of Finance shall maintain procedures which ensure the timely and accurate reimbursement of expenses while preserving the integrity of the University financial standards.

Please review the below guidelines regarding expense claims.  Only expense claim forms that are complete and properly approved will be processed, incomplete forms will be returned to the claimant.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES & PROCEDURES

The Finance Department is responsible for the administration of the following regulations and procedures and is authorized to question any claim and obtain further clarification when necessary.

Expense claims should be recorded on an approved University form no later than the 30 days following the expenditure.    All expense claims relating to the University fiscal year end ( March 31 ) must be submitted to the Finance Department before March 20.  For more information on year end deadlines, please review our Year End Finance Guide.  

Guiding Principles:

  • All claims greater than $50.00 should be submitted on a monthly basis.
  • All items should be listed separately on the expense claim form in chronological order and indicating the purpose of the trip or meeting.
  • Original receipts and vouchers should be stapled to the back of the expense claim form in the same order as listed on the claim form.  Unfortunately photocopies are not acceptable to our auditors.
  • All expenses must be adequately described or itemized in the description column.  Grouping of items is not permissible unless a breakdown is shown.
  • Expenses incurred on specially funded projects should be submitted on a separate expense claim form.
  • All claims are to be signed by the claimant and approved by the appropriate administrator even if there is no refund claimed (such as reconciliation of an advance where the total refund is zero). The cost centre to be charged should be noted by the claimant or administrator.
  • Foreign Exchange:
    • If the claimant has written proof of the exchange rate used, this can be used when submitting the original claim. Otherwise the University will use the rate of exchange as provided by the Bank of Canada for the applicable expense or advance date. If the claimant used a credit card for payment and the exchange rate used by the University is not sufficient to cover the charge by the credit card company, an additional claim can be made referencing the original claim.
    • When the claim includes multiple currencies, please indicate the currency of each expense.
    • Please indicate the exchange rate used and the source of the exchange rate, for example, Visa Statement - Bank of Canada, etc.

 Expense Claim Forms must include:

  • Original itemized receipt(s)  Please organize receipts in order of date instead of by type of expense.
  • Proof of payment receipt(s)  i.e. Debit or credit card slip if original receipt is not marked "paid" or "paid by".
  • A brief description of the purpose of the meeting or trip.
  • The department budget and account code to be charged (see the Account List for reference).
  • Approval by the appropriate administrator or designate. When the claimant is also the account holder, an approval at the next senior level must be obtained.

For more information on the guiding principles of specific expenses:

Mileage & Transportation
Meals
Telephone
Advances
Visa Cards
Unsupported Amounts

 


Mileage & Transportation

  • When a private automobile is used while traveling on University business, the applicable reimbursement rate is located on the General Accounting Information page. The distance allowed is from one’s place of employment to the destination and return.
  • Mileage and other transportation costs incurred in traveling to and from the employee’s home and the normal place of work are not allowable travel expenses.
  • Where the use of a private automobile for a trip outside the lower mainland is selected by personal preference, and it is not the most economical means, then reimbursement will be on the basis of expenses which would have been incurred had the trip(s) been made by the most direct routes and most economical means (e.g. economy air travel in lieu of automobile).
  • In situations where it may be more economical for two or more people to travel together for trips outside the lower mainland, car pooling is encouraged. Mileage and/or car rental costs may be claimed only by the driver or owner of the vehicle.
  • Under no circumstances will the University reimburse traffic violations, parking offense tickets, towing charges, automobile repairs or insurance deductions related to accidents.
  • An employee may claim reimbursement of the following University business related travel expenditures without a receipt:
    • Motor vehicle parking meter charges
    • Public transit expenses


Meals

  • Reasonable expenses for meals taken when on authorized University business can be claimed by attaching original receipts and indicating the purpose of the meeting/trip. If paying by credit card, please ask for and include an itemized receipt along with a credit card receipt.  A credit card receipt alone is not sufficient.  The cost for meals may also be reimbursed on the basis of a per diem rate without the need to furnish receipts. For more information per diem, please visit our Per Diem Guidlines .
  • Generally the University does not reimburse for meals when an employee is hosting another employee or group of employees unless the meeting is clearly for business purposes.
  • Expense for a meal when hosting an official University guest may be claimed with the following provision. The name(s), title(s) and company or business relationship of the people to the University must be included on the expense claim form and marked on the back of the receipt.
  • Alcoholic beverage claims will not be accepted with the exception of special protocol functions that have the prior approval of the appropriate vice president and/or president.
  • Tipping is reimbursable to a maximum of 15% of the pre-tax amount for food and refreshments.




Telephone

  • Long distance business phone calls from the employee’s residence will be reimbursed if the call is identified on a copy of the employee’s telephone bill/statement.
  • Personal long distance calls/faxes will not be paid for or reimbursed by the University except when on travel status.
  • Cellular phone network charges will not be reimbursed unless usage is pre-approved by the appropriate administrator or designate.




Advances

  • If an advance is required, an approved Advance Requisition Form for a travel advance form should be submitted to Finance at least three weeks before the advance is required.
  • Travel advances will not normally be issued when the estimate of expenses or amount requested is less than $200. Situations under $200 with extenuating circumstances should be brought to the attention of the Accounting Department and will be dealt with on an individual basis.
  • Advances must be accounted for by submission of an authorized expense claim form supported by original receipts and any unused balance refunded by cheque within one month of the completion of the journey.
  • If a previous advance has not been accounted for by submission of the appropriate expense claim form, no further advances will be issued. Should an advance remain outstanding for a period greater than 60 days, the advance may be deducted from any subsequent expense claims that are submitted for reimbursement. Under extreme circumstances, and after all other options have been exercised, appropriate action will be taken as required.
  • The appropriate cost centers are not charged until an approved expense claim form is processed by the Accounting Department.



Visa Cards

  • There are a very limited number of employees at the University of the Fraser Valley that have issued Visa cards.  Use of these cards is restricted to University business only and are issued depending on the needs of their jobs.
  • A copy of the Visa statement will be distributed to each cardholder for verification. The original Visa receipts for each charge listed are to be attached to this statement, approved by the appropriate administrator, coded, and promptly forwarded to the Accounts Payable department for payment. Purpose/details of the charge should be written on the back of each receipt, including names and positions of individuals involved.
  • Cash advances on a University of the Fraser Valley Visa card are not allowed.




Unsupported Amounts

  • When expense claim amounts are not properly supported or adequately explained, the University will deduct the amount in question when paying the claim so that payment of the remaining expenses is not delayed.  The claimant will be informed of the discrepancy and the expense item can be resubmitted on another expense claim when the matter is resolved. 





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