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Travel Approval and Reimbursement

A. Employee Responsibility

An employee traveling on official business is expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise in traveling on personal business and expending personal funds. Excess costs, circuitous routes, delays or luxury accommodations, and services unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business are not acceptable under this standard. Employees will be responsible for unauthorized costs and any additional expenses incurred for personal preference or convenience. Each traveler, whether an employee or a non-employee, is responsible for his or her own expenses. The university should not be billed for individual Travel-related expenses.  The State has authorized the use of the American Express credit card for business travel.  The ECU Procard has been expanded to include airline, train and bus fare for employees business travel needs.  These cards are distributed at the discretion of the department head and Materials Management.  Employee misuse of state issued credit cards will be grounds for card termination and personnel action.

B. Travel Authorization

All university Travel is subject to availability of budgeted funds and must be approved before Travel may begin. In order to allow sufficient time for obtaining approvals, requests for in state, out-of-state, and blanket Travel should be initiated at least two weeks in advance of departure. Approval for Travel abroad (out of the country) should be requested four weeks prior to departure.

The following chart indicates approvals required prior to Travel.
 

 

 

APPROVAL REQUIRED BY

TYPE OF TRAVEL

Department
Head

Dean

Vice
Chancellor or Designee

 

In-State (no excess
subsistence)

X

 

 

 

Out-of-State 

X

X

 

 

Excess Subsistence
(In and Out-of-State)

X

X

 

 

Excess Reimbursement
($1,500 limit)

X

X

X

 

Out-of-Country

X

X

X

 

Blanket Authorization

X

X

X

 

 

For in-state travel with no excess subsistence, part one (1) of the travel Authorization/Reimbursement for Travel form must be completed (with proper signatures obtained) and held in the departmental office prior to the trip. Upon completion of Travel, parts two (2) and three (3) are to be completed and sent to the dean/department head and/or vice chancellor.

C. Blanket Travel Authorization

This request is for trips that are continually repeated, for in-state travel, and for one-day trips. Only mileage expenses are covered by blanket travel. Registration, tuition fees, meals, and all other expenses are not covered by blanket travel.

Requests for reimbursement for mileage should be filed on a monthly basis. Indicate the purpose of the travel on the travel reimbursement form. The reimbursement is to be received by the Travel Office no later than the fifteenth of the following month. (Example: A request covering the month of September is to be filed by October 15.)

D. Requests for Excess Allowance

All out-of-state, out-of-country, and excess subsistence travel requests must be made on the Travel Form. Excess reimbursement requests may be approved by the dean or chairperson within prescribed limits established by the vice chancellor's office. Any request above these limits must be submitted to the vice chancellor for approval. All deans or chairpersons reporting to the vice chancellor must submit excess reimbursement requests to that office for approval.

 Excess reimbursement requests must be approved at the same time the travel is authorized. Adequate documentation must be submitted to substantiate each request. This documentation should verify the following:

  1. The travel is entirely university business related.
  2. The travel is the most practical way to conduct the university business.
  3. Reasonable efforts have been made to keep the cost within statutory limits and to keep the number of travelers to a minimum.
  4. Travel expenses can be covered within budgeted travel line items.

On the Travel form, estimate all anticipated expenses to be incurred. If the reimbursement exceeds the approved request total, or if travel arrangements have changed, The Travel Form must be changed. Tuition and registration must be shown on the Travel Form "other" expense. All available information on the tuition and/or registration fee must be submitted with the travel Form. If a registration fee is involved (no credit received), use account #73551 or #73552.

 No excess will be allowed for meals unless such costs are included in registration fees and/or there are predetermined charges. Requests for excess meal allowances may be documented by a published announcement or program of the meeting or seminar.

E. Airline Ticket Authorization

University employees are encouraged to use the most economical means of travel.  There are airline web sites with great airfare.  If the traveler chooses to make his/her own air travel arrangements, the traveler must pay with a credit card and be reimbursed AFTER the travel.  Boarding passes are required in your travel reimbursement package.  Employees are encouraged to apply for the ECU Procard for their travel needs.  

The Airline Ticket Authorization form was designed for use by university employees to help eliminate the need for travel advances. Prior approval is required for non-university employees to use this authorization form. Its use by non-university employees traveling on official business for the university will be considered if the travel would cause a financial hardship on the traveler, and/or it would be in the university's best interest to do so.

The Travel request should be sent with the airline ticket authorization to the departmental chairperson or vice chancellor's office. The Travel Office will not pay for the ticket more than thirty days prior to the trip. Exception to this rule will be the use of the ECU Procard when there is a valid business purpose.  The following procedure must be followed:

1.      The department will be responsible for making flight arrangements and filling out the form.

2.      The typed ticket authorization form must be sent for approval to the departmental chairperson or vice chancellor's office. White and yellow copies will be returned to the department. The department may exchange the white copy with the travel agency for the ticket.  The following company has agreed to accept ECU authorization forms:

o        Quixote Travel

3.      The used airline ticket and boarding pass are to be included in with the travel reimbursement. The airline ticket authorization number should be typed on the travel reimbursement form in place of an amount.

4.      Non-business expenses such as family members or friends will not be reimbursed. Non-business expenses should be handled on your personal credit card and not an ECU Procard.  Violators will receive a written warning and failure to reimburse the university within (10) business days will result in the expenses being deducted from your next payroll check.

F. Travel Advances

Travel advances may be issued when deemed necessary and approved by the appropriate departmental chairperson and/or vice chancellor. Please keep the following points in mind:

1.      Airline tickets and registration fees can be paid in advance by the State and should not be requested as part of the travel advance. Requests may be made by completing part B of the Travel advance Form.  The minimum for a travel advance is $200.00.

2.      Advances are issued for only 80 percent of the total cost of the approved special travel request, less any prepayments.

3.      All advances must be deducted from the travel reimbursement. Travel reimbursement forms are to be submitted as soon as possible after completion of the travel, but no later than thirty days after the travel period.

4.      The travel advance check cannot be issued by the Travel Office more than five working days prior to date of departure.

5.      Non-permanent employees may notreceive travel advances.  (See student exception)

6.      Students at state institutions who travel on official state business other than athletic events or student organizations and whose expenses are paid or reimbursed by the state are subject to these regulations, including statutory subsistence allowances, to the same extent as state employees.  Travel by students for the purpose of participating in athletic contests and activities of student organizations must be paid from funds supporting the particular organization or activity.

7.      Travel advance requests should be submitted to the Travel office two weeks prior to departure.

8.      Delinquent travel reimbursement requests or other abuses of the travel advance policy may result in the withdrawal of the travel advance privilege from the employee.  The status of travel advances is checked periodically by the Accounting Office and the Internal Audit Division.

9.      Travelers are notified of outstanding travel advances at 30 days.  If no response is received, a payroll deduction will be made from the traveler’s or cosigner’s monthly payroll check as stated in the notification letter.

 

G. Travel Reimbursement

The original “Reimbursement for Travel” form must have original signatures of the traveler and department chair, or they will be returned.  Immediately following the travel period, a Travel Authorization/ Reimbursement for Travel form should be completed. All requested information should be provided on the reimbursement form, and the advance travel request attached if necessary. Original itemized receipts are required for airline tickets, rental cars, parking claims, limousine, bus, or taxi fares, lodging, and registration fees. Requests for reimbursement must be filed within thirty days after completion of travel.  Refer to state budget manual.

The travel reimbursement form must contain the original signature and social security number of the traveler. All travelers requesting reimbursement involving a registration fee must submit with the reimbursement form the schedule of events, program, or itinerary of the seminar, conference, or meeting. Attach any supporting information concerning meals provided in the registration cost

The travel reimbursement must be stamped "Received by Accounts Payable East Carolina University" within thirty days after completion of the trip. Late reimbursement forms require written justification on the delinquent submission.  Any requests after (30) days cannot be paid out of state appropriated funds. 

All travel, including grants, will follow state guidelines. The following subcodes should be used when completing the reimbursement form:
 

 

In-State

Out-of State

Foreign

Board/Nonemployee

Transportation

 

 

 

 

Air

73201

73205

73209

73262

Ground

73211

73215

73219

73263

Other

73221

73225

73229

73264

Subsistence

 

 

 

 

Lodging

73231

73235

73239

73282

Meals

73241

73245

73249

73283

Other

 

 

 

 

(Baggage Tips/
Telephone)

73251

73255

73259

73284

Registration

73551

73552

73553

73554