Travel & Expense Policy
This document ensures that employee travel is consistent with the business objectives of the Widget Corporation. It also ensures fair and equitable treatment of employees by defining procedures for authorized business travel and guidelines for expense reimbursement.
A critical balance must be sought when requesting travel. This is the company's need for cost effectiveness and the employee's need for quality services and support. Employee travel should be via the lowest cost alternative, consistent with good business practices. Neither luxury, nor sub-standard modes of transportation and accommodations should be used.
Employee travel and the expenses associated with it, will be authorized only in circumstances which are clearly consistent with the mission of the company. It will be the responsibility of each company manager to ensure that all employee travel meets this objective and that reimbursement made only for actual, reasonable business expenses in connection with authorized travel as defined in this document. In order to maintain control over expenditures, any expense submitted which does not comply with the guidelines of this procedure will not be reimbursed, unless a accompanied by a valid exception by management. Expense reports must be submitted in a timely manner.
All travel must be requested using the official company "Travel Authorization Form" (hereafter referred to as a T/A.), signed by the appropriate department manager. Subsequent to approval; travel arrangements, including airfare, rental car, lodging and planning of meetings can be co-ordinated through the appropriate departmental support staff. The company will use a travel management firm to facilitate the procurement of travel. The designated travel firm will provide travel management reports. The rationale behind using a single travel firm is that management reports providing a central data base of: savings analysis, cost allocation regarding air, car and hotel expenditures, is valuable information. If there are a multiple booking sources, this data cannot be complete. All reservations will be made through the company authorized travel management firm:
3) Implementation & Responsibility:
1. Managers should know current travel policy and inform their departmental staff of company policy and procedures.
2. Determine is travel is really necessary to acheieve goal.
3. Approve expenses accordance with policy.
4. Notify support staff or designated travel agent as early as possible of necessary travel arrangements. If you notify the support staff or travel agent of your travel plans seven (7) days or more in advance, your trip will, in most cases cost considerably less.
5. If travel is requested less than 7 days prior to departure, a low-fare airline such as Southwest, Frontier, Air Tran, American TransAir or America West must be used.
6. Work around customer's schedule when requesting travel arrangements. Never should you inconvenience a customer, so that you can travel on your frequent flyer carrier.
7. Incur only expenses that are consistent with the business needs, and exercise care in determining appropriate expenditures
8. Use company authorized travel agency and vendors the company has negotiated discount programs with.
9. Submit expense reports as outlined in the expense section on this policy, on a timely basis (within 60 days). Employee must pay company credit card balances when due.
4) Travel Authorization & Approval:
Upon determination that a trip is necessary, a "Travel Authorization" (T/A) form must be filled out and signed by department manager. This form can then be faxed oe e-mailed to the designated travel agency to make reservations. Travel agency will not have authorization to issue airline tickets unless a signed T/A is received. Department Managers and Executives need not have a signed T/A to procure travel
5) Air Travel:
1.Air travel will be via the most direct and economical means, accommodating the comfort, needs and preferences of the employee. The travel agency will advise the lowest fare and routing, determined by examination of all carriers possible within a one (1) hour window before and one (1) hour after, the requested departure/arrival time. Deviations from the lowest fare must have manager approval.
2. You must notify support staff or designated travel agent as early as possible of necessary travel arrangements. If you notify the support staff or travel agent of your travel plans seven (7) days or more in advance, your trip will, in most cases cost considerably less. If travel is requested less than 7 days prior to departure, a low-fare airline such as Southwest, Frontier, Air Tran, American TransAir or America West must be used.
3. Use of "Non-Refundable" airfares is reccomended. These fares are usually consierably less expensive than refundable un-restricted fares. In most cases, if the travel must change or the trip canceled all together, the funds can be used as a credit toward future travel, less a service charge imposed by the airline.
4. No more than five (5) company employees, or two (2) company executives will be allowed to fly on the same flight. No exceptions.
5. Employees may fly business class on international flights exceeding six hours in duration.
If employee will fly coach thereby saving the company substantial amount of funds, then the company will provide a $400.00 bonus to such employee.
Employees at Vice-President level and above may fly business class for international flights in excess of six (6) hours. Employees below V.P. level must fly coach.
Business class travel is not permiitted. All employees will fly least expensive economy class including international flights, as well as domestic.
6. Employees may retain all benefits from frequent flyer club memberships. All dues for such clubs must be paid by employee.
7. Employee choosing to use personal modes of travel between cities serviced by regularly scheduled airlines, will be reimbursed based on least expensive airfare or actual expenses, whichever is less.
6) Auto Rental:
1. When a rental car is necessary, XYZ Rent-A-Car should be utilized. The company's corporate discount number is: # 123456. XYZ Rent-A-Car has negotiated special lower rates for the company.
2. XYZ Rent-A-Car will include the collision damage waiver and the personal liability insurance in the price of the daily rental to all company employees, when the discount number above is advised. Should a situation arise that you rent a car other than from XYZ Rent-A-Car, then you must take out the collision damage waiver (CDW).
The company insurance package covers employees while traveling. Therefore, decline the optional insurance coverage. In the event of an accident while traveling, you must notify Human Resources immediately.
3. Employees can request either compact or intermediate size cars. Rentals for other types of cars are not permitted except with manager approval. Luxury, premium and specialty car rentals will be reimbursed only at the intermediate car rate.
4. Wherever possible employee must refill gasoline prior to returning rental car for drop off. Gas charges at the rental locations average 50% more than independent filling stations.
7) Personal Auto Reimbursement:
1. Employees are only authorized to use his/her automobile if they have both a valid drivers license and current comprehensive auto insurance, including liability. If not, the employee is not authorized to travel for the company.
2. When an employee uses his/her personal automobile on approved company business, the company will pay .30 cents per mile. Company will also reimburse all actual auto tolls and parking fees, with a receipt.
3. Mileage from employee's home to regular assigned work location is not a reimbursable expense. However, if the employee goes directly from home to another work assignment other than the regular work location, and the distance to the work assignment is greater than the distance to the regular work location, the employee can expense the difference.
4. In order to receive reimbursement for mileage, the employee must complete an expense report specifying purpose of trip, start and finish odometer reading, point of origin, destination and time of trip.
5. The employee assumes the responsibility for all parking and traffic fines.
1. All company authorized accommodations must meet with industry accepted business travel standards with reference to comfort, convenience and cost. Holiday Inn , Hampton Inn, Fairfield Inn, type overnight accommodations have been set as an acceptable standard for all company employees. You are free to make other arrangements, however Widget Company will NOT reimburse for more than $175.00 per night base rate, unless approved by a manager.
2. Lodging reservations must be placed through the designated travel agency, or trade show booking office.
3. The employee is responsible for confirming that the rate being charged is also the rate listed on the travel itinerary. Any discrepancies should be reported immediately to the travel agency.
4. All hotel reservations will be guaranteed to your personal credit card. It is the employee's responsibility to cancel hotel reservations within the hotel cancellation policy time frame. This can be done by contacting the travel agency or the hotel directly. You must obtain a cancellation number when canceling a hotel reservation. The company will not reimburse hotel "no-show" fees, unless approved by a manager.
9) Meals and Entertainment:
1)Actual, reasonable, and necessary costs for meals will be reimbursed. The employee should be guided by what he/she eats at home. Reimbursement may include a gratuity of up to fifteen (15%) percent of the bill, before sales tax. Receipts are required for any meal in excess of $8.00.
2)Entertainment expenses are reimbursable only with manager approval, and must meet the following conditions:
a.The employee's specific assignment requires the entertainment of the company's customers or potential customers, or others as appropriate.
b.The entertainment expense is fully receipted (original receipts required)
c.Expenses are authorized by the employee's manager
d.The persons entertained, the place and the purpose of the entertainment must be clearly specified.
e.Gratuities should normally be in the range of 10-12% of the cost of the services provided. If the quality of services is exceptional, a gratuity up to a maximum of 15% may be considered.
It should be noted that gratuities must always be calculated before sales tax is applied. A single gratuity will not exceed $50.00
f.Non-reimbursable expenses include, but are not limited to: Alcoholic beverages, airline club dues, rental car club membership fees, airline head seat rental, in-room movies, fines for traffic violations, insurance on life or personal property while traveling, purchase of clothing and/or other personal items, expenses for family, child, pet, home and property care while on a trip.
10) Laundry Service:
Actual and reasonable laundry expenses will be reimbursed. Receipts must be provided. This applies only after the employee has been away from home for five (5) consecutive days, or if the trip has been unexpectedly extended.
11) Expense Reporting:
The following conditions apply when submitting expense reports:
1. Actual and reasonable expenses are reimbursed in accordance with the provisions of this policy and procedure
2. Employee must submit expense reports during the week after incurring the expenses, or upon returning to the office, whichever is sooner. Failure to submit expense reports within ninety (60) days, will disqualify the employee from receiving reimbursement for expenses incurred while traveling on company business.
3. Include the following items in, or attached to, the expense report when submitting it for payment:
a.Copy of Travel Authorization form signed by department manager
(not applicable to executives).
b.Original or carbon copies of receipts for meal, lodging, air or auto transportation, tolls, gasoline, and any other business expenses over $8.00
c.Explanation of any deviation from policy, unauthorized vendors, lodging or transportation, and/or charges submitted "in lieu of" normal expenses.
d.Check made payable to the company, if repayment of travel advance is due.
4. International Travel Expenses
a. Please complete expense reports in U.S. currency, during the week after returning to the office. It is best to convert foreign money to U.S. currency at the airport when departing a foreign airport.
b.When preparing expense reports, convert foreign expenditures to U.S. Dollars as follows:
Use the foreign exchange rate printed on the bank exchange receipts for cash expenditures. Attach exchange receipts to the expense report.
Average the exchange rates when U.S. Dollars are changed to foreign currency more than once in the same country. For example:
$200.00 to U.K. Pounds at 1.61 one day
$100.00 to U.K. Pounds at 1.65 on another day
The average rate is calculated by the following equation:
2 x (1.61 + 1.65) = 1.623
c. Credit card charges will show actual exchange rates on the monthly bill. Upon receiving the bill for a foreign trip (this actually takes one to three months), add up the foreign charges in U.S. Dollars and compare this to the amount submitted on your expense report. Submit a new expense report, with credit card billing documents attached, showing the total difference as either "due employee" or "due company".
d. Employees will be reimbursed for expenses on regular pay days. In order for this to occur employee must have submitted expense report to Accounting Department at least 7 working days prior to the next regular pay day.