College for Creative Studies recognizes that the effective conduct of the College’s activities will require employees to travel from time to time on behalf of CCS. It is therefore the policy of the College for Creative Studies to reimburse employees for all expenses that are necessary, and incurred, when traveling on authorized College business.
Reason for Policy
This policy is to establish and communicate equitable standards and effective procedures for administering and controlling travel and entertainment expenses, and ensure consistent and fair treatment of all employees who travel on CCS business. This policy’s purpose is:
- To provide guidance to employees, and those with authority to approve expense reports, on travel and entertainment expenditures incurred on behalf of CCS
- To ensure compliance with legal and internal control requirements
- To identify reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses
- To clarify employee responsibility for controlling and reporting travel and entertainment expenses.
CCS’s Travel and Entertainment expense guidelines are based on generally accepted business practices and IRS regulations which describe those expenses that a business or an individual may legally deduct from gross income when paying Federal taxes. In addition, certain procedures and practices have been included to maintain good internal accounting controls.
For each trip an employee takes, an expense report must be completed, approved and submitted to Business Services within ten business days of completion of the trip. Expense reports must contain a detailed description of all business expenses and appropriate receipts, to include airline boarding passes and/or a copy of the travel itinerary. Receipts are normally provided for airfare, hotel, and car rental. If not provided, you should request a receipt for meals, taxi, parking and miscellaneous items. Acceptable receipts must be original and itemized.
CCS wishes that its employees who are required to travel, do so in reasonable comfort. Employees are expected to exercise good judgment in distinguishing between reasonable comfort and extravagance. Employees are expected to:
- exercise discretion and good judgment with respect to expenses
- check for accuracy of bills prior to payment
- report all expenses and advancements promptly and accurately with required documentation
- if plans change and the employee does not make a trip, return all advanced funds to Business Services immediately
- reference the list of recommended local restaurants and hotels on Blackboard for local meetings
- plan travel in advance to insure lowest cost
- research arriving one day before and/or staying one day later on trips if that may be less expensive and time effective (considering work schedules, air fare, hotel, and meals)
- provide documentation for all advance cost quotes for air fare, hotel, car rental, and taxi/limo service vs mileage/parking.
(effective May 1, 2009, all travel must be pre-approved by an officer of the College)
All employees will travel the most economical fare available at all times. Reservations should provide the most economical airfare within a two hour window of requested departure and arrival times (one hour before or after requested departure and one hour before or after requested arrival). Airfare change or upgrade fees are allowable only if necessary due to College business, and approved in writing by reporting officer. Reporting officers have some discretion to approve seat only upgrades on flights over four (4) hours. Trip Protector insurance is not an allowable expense except for international travel and only with reporting officer approval. Employees are allowed one (1) piece of checked luggage on domestic flights.
Employees must obtain prior approval from their supervisor before using personal vehicles for business trips when doing so would be more economical and time effective than traveling by air. Personal vehicle mileage will be reimbursed per the current IRS limits, which are subject to change annually, and may not exceed the cost of the most economical air fare. For evaluation purposes, employees must confirm airfare rates at the time they register or plan their trip. Personal vehicle mileage allowance covers the cost of gasoline, oil, and wear and tear of the automobile. Employees using personal vehicles must have a current Motor Vehicle Record file in Human Resources. If two or more employees are attending the same event, it is recommended that they make every effort to carpool.
A cash advance may be approved for legitimate business purposes and in cases of emergency. A cash advance must be requested and approved no later than five working days in advance of any planned travel. A cash advance may not be requested prior to ten business days before the start of any planned travel. A cash advance may be used only by the person requesting it and approved for the cash advance. Cash advance balances must be cleared with a personal check or cash submitted with the expense report within ten business days of completion of the trip. Petty cash advances must be cleared with Business Services within five business days.
With many promotional programs constantly changing, the least expensive car should be reserved unless there is a business necessity to upgrade. Travelers should decline Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Personal Accident Insurance. This coverage is provided through our College policy. Rental cars need to be re-fueled prior to drop off to avoid the refueling and service charges.
Frequent Flyer bonus programs and usage credits awarded by airlines, car rental agencies or hotels shall be assigned to the employee. CCS considers this a perquisite well earned by the employee. However, the employee must still travel at the lowest possible rate.
Spouse or family members may accompany employees on trips, with approval from your immediate supervisor. When a spouse, companion or family travel with an employee, their travel must be accounted for, and paid for separately. The College will pay for a standard room, no upgrades. Any additional charges for spouse, companion, or family sharing a room is the employee’s responsibility. Employees must separate all expenses associated with spouse, companion, or family members, with no incremental expenses to the College.
Reservations will be made at moderately priced establishments that will be comfortable, but not extravagant. Travelers should insure that the rate charged matches the rate on the itinerary. “No-show” bills are incurred when “guaranteed” hotel reservations are not used and have not been canceled. It is the responsibility of the traveler to cancel hotel rooms which become unnecessary due to changes in travel plans. The cancellation can be made through the travel agency or with the hotel directly. In either case, the traveler should obtain a cancellation number. Room change or upgrade fees are allowable only if necessary due to College business and approved in writing by a reporting officer. Personal upgrades and changes are not reimbursable.
Employees are expected to use their own transportation when traveling to/from home and/or CCS campus to Metro Airport or other local sites. CCS or the employee’s home, whichever is less mileage, is considered the home base for local trips. Mileage will be reimbursed from the home base to the local site. Limousine services (e.g. Checker, Metro Cars) are not to be used when traveling to/from CCS or the employee’s home and Metro Airport unless the cost is less than the cost for mileage and airport parking. Employees are expected to use the most economical ground transportation when traveling to and from airports and hotels while out of town. Taxi, rental car, bus, and van are all acceptable. Travelers should always ask if the hotel at which they are staying provides a shuttle service to and from the airport.
While traveling, employees should eat at moderately priced restaurants. The actual cost of meals, including tips, incurred while traveling on CCS business is reimbursable. Up to twenty (20%) percent of the meal cost is the maximum tip in the U. S. The tip or “service” is often included in the meal cost at certain restaurants. Alcoholic beverages are limited to one (1) per person with any meal. Employees are expected to exercise discretion and good judgement with respect to meals, alcoholic beverages and tipping.
Discounted parking rates are available at lots around Detroit Metropolitan Airport. These lots provide parking for about one half the cost of parking at airport lots. All of these lots provide 24/7 shuttle service to all terminals. Online coupons for one day free parking are available at their websites. Discounted parking is available at these lots:
- Airlines Parking: 800-300-9069
- Park N Go: 734-729-3000
- Quik Park: 888-844-PARK
- US Park: 800-447-PARK
Employees should not park in Detroit Metropolitan Airport lots and valet parking is not allowed as it is approximately twice the cost of long-term lots.
Telephone and Internet access from hotel rooms should be used only as necessary and with discretion. Personal phone calls should be limited to one call per day, except for emergencies or special circumstances. Cell phones and pre-paid calling cards are low-cost options.
Employees on international travel should always use their credit card and not cash for expenses. Credit card use insures charges are processed at the current exchange rate on the day the charges were incurred. This eliminates the need to research the exchange rate when the expense report is processed.
Entertainment is defined in this policy as limited to entertainment when traveling on College business. Employees will be reimbursed for the actual cost of entertainment, when such expenses have been determined reasonable and beneficial to the College. Entertainment must conform to current tax and legal requirements. Discretion must be used as to levels of entertainment. Unreasonable entertainment expenses will not be reimbursed. When an employee pays the expense of any other person who is not an employee of the College, the expenses of all persons in attendance, including CCS employees, are to be listed on the expense report and itemized receipt. Spouses or partners expenses are not eligible for reimbursement, unless approved in advance by a reporting officer.
Expenses not Authorized
The following is given as a guide, and not necessarily a complete list, of expenses that are not reimbursable:
- alcoholic beverages not part of a meal, with discretion allowed for College officers to approve appropriate entertainment
- alcoholic beverages in excess of one (1) per person at any meal
- alcoholic beverages at department meeting or events
- tobacco products
- minibar expenses
- snack food
- personal care (spas, medication – laundry is allowed up to a maximum of $50 for domestic trips longer than 7 days and for international travel)
personal entertainment (movies in hotels or on flights)
- personal items (books, dvds, newspapers, magazines, maps, personal care items, souvenirs, etc.)
- parking or traffic tickets
- rental car GPS charges, unless approved in advance by a reporting officer.
- airline or travel insurance; Trip Protector insurance except for
- international travel with officer pre-approval
- valet parking at airports
- ATM fees
- gifts to employees or departments
In unusual business circumstances, actual expenses that are incurred, and that are not covered by this policy, are subject to approval and/or adjustment by the Vice President of Administration and Finance or the President.
Federal Income Tax Regulations and Compliance
Employee’s will appreciate that, if the Travel and Entertainment Policy is to work to everyone’s best interest, each employee must be responsible for supporting and complying with it in both spirit and letter. To meet IRS requirements, travel and entertainment expenses must adhere to the following conditions:
- the expenditure must be shown to be ordinary and necessary in the course of business
- original, itemized receipts, no photocopies, must be submitted
- credit card statements or non-itemized receipts are not acceptable
- credit card receipts with only a total amount are not reimbursable
- ATM receipts for cash are not acceptable
- the expenditure must actually be incurred, and supported with exact and detailed records, verifying the names, amount, date and location, business purpose and business relationship of the person entertained (name, company, title)
- name, title and company affiliation of those present
- employees must account for all travel expenditures by submitting a complete and accurate Expense Report within 10 business days after the completion of a trip or business event
- incomplete reports and those lacking receipts, approvals, or other required documentation, will be returned, delaying reimbursement
- no reimbursement will be made for expenses incurred in violation of the Travel and Entertainment Policy
- Expense Reports will be monitored and audited on a regular basis to ensure adherence to the provisions of the Travel and Entertainment Policy
non-compliance may result in disciplinary action
The Internal Revenue Code specifically states that an individual may not approve his/her own expense report. Immediate supervisors must approve cash advances, expense reports, and travel related expenses charged to the College Corporate American Express and Master Card of employees reporting to them. Additionally, Deans and Vice Presidents must approve cash advances, expense reports, and Corporate American Express and Master Card charges for faculty and staff in their division. It is the responsibility of the approving individual to determine if the advance and expense was:
- ordinary and necessary for the benefit of the College and within budget;
properly substantiated to meet CCS policy.
- The Expense Report will be further reviewed and approved by Business Services, for conformance to both College policy and IRS regulations. All Expense Reports over $1,000 will require approval by the Administration and Finance division. Individual expenses not approved will be returned and be the responsibility of the employee. The employee will be required to complete and resubmit a new Travel and Expense Report.