Expense Reimbursement Policy
Adopted by IRP Board of Directors: 05/09/2011
The International Registration Plan, Inc. reserves the right to revise or discontinue this Policy for any reason whatsoever. No employee, contractor or other agent of IRP, Inc., other than the CEO, Board of Directors (or its direct executive membership) has the authority to enter into any agreement contrary to this Policy.
This Policy supersedes and voids all previous policies and practices, which may be inconsistent in any way with that stated herein.
The scope of this Policy is to establish and maintain guidelines in the following areas and is intended for the use of IRP.
Accountability – Control and account for all IRP Expense Reimbursement and related operations
Compliance – Develop and maintain procedures that ensure compliance with IRP Expense Reimbursement and Travel & Entertainment policies
Standards – Minimum Expense Reimbursement and Time & Expense standards
This document sets forth policy statements and travel guidelines established to ensure that individuals (employees, contractors and volunteers/members) are directed to conduct business related activities in an efficient and cost-effective manner, while ensuring compliance with Internal Revenue Service requirements. Business travel costs represent a large operating expense for the organization. It defines policies that ensure the accuracy and integrity of financial information derived from disbursements.
It is each individual’s responsibility to become familiar with the requirements set forth in this policy.
Employees, contractors and volunteers/members submitting Expense Reimbursement Requests that are not in compliance with this policy, risk delayed, partial or no reimbursement, unless an exception is approved by the CEO. Cases of significant or willful abuse by employees may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
DEFINITION OF COVERED INDIVIDUALS
Volunteer/Member – An individual will be considered a volunteer/member for the purpose of this policy if the individual:
1. performs hours of service for IRP, without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered. A volunteer/member can be reimbursed for expenses;
2. offers services freely and without pressure or coercion; and
3. is not otherwise employed by the same public agency to perform the same type of services as those for which the individual proposes to volunteer
4. is authorized by IRP to claim reimbursement as a member of an IRP jurisdiction.
Contractor – Contractors are defined as people that work for the association; whose work product is controlled by the association not how the work will be done. They are not employees, they do not have taxes withheld, and they do not have employee benefits.
Employee – Employees are defined as people who work for the association; their work assignments and how the work will be performed, is under the control of the association. Employees are eligible for benefits, have taxes and Social Security withheld.
Certain items in this policy apply only to employees; others apply to employees, contractors and/or
volunteers/members. Questions regarding the applicability of an item in this policy to any of the individuals covered by this policy will be decided by the CEO.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Accounts Payable – Receives and processes approved expense reimbursement requests. Board – Approves major policy changes.
Board Chair or Designee –Reviews and approves expenses of the CEO as outlined in the policy.
CEO –Reviews and approves expenses as outlined in the policy below. Approves administrative and operational changes in the policy.
Membership Assistant – Reviews submitted forms for accuracy and adherence to policy.
COMMENTARY ON POLICY
Determining the most cost effective travel, lodging, and meal costs can be complex. For example, the policy states that the traveler must accept lowest fare routing. However, if the lowest fare is on Airline A, but that airline charges an additional fee for luggage, the actual lowest fare may be on Airline B, which does not charge for luggage.
In addition, for those travelers that have the option of more than one airport, the lowest fare may be at Airport A, but the cost of travel to the airport, or parking fees, may make Airport B the less expensive option.
IRP’s budget is made up primarily from dues paid by member jurisdictions. Individuals whose travel expenses are reimbursed by IRP are not expected to research all variables but are expected to make every effort to use the most cost effective travel option considering price, travel time, flight schedules, baggage fees, etc.
In order to provide convenient and cost-effective travel services, IRP expects that all air, rail, and most car rental reservations, as well as all en route changes be made through the corporate travel agency.
Travelers should always review their itinerary to ensure that it is accurate. All errors should be reported to the corporate travel agency immediately.
Employees and contractors are required to complete a Travel Request Form prior to making reservations. The form must include a purpose/justification for the trip. The form must be approved by the CEO (or designee) and be attached to the employee’s or contractor’s expense report when the trip is completed.
Volunteers/members do not need to fill out a Travel Request Form for IRP. They will be notified by IRP when they are approved to contact the corporate travel agent for reservations.
The corporate travel agent will not book travel for any employee, contractor, or volunteer/member until notified by IRP and given the appropriate cost code.
Air and Rail Travel
Reservations should be booked as early as possible to take full advantage of any discounts. At least one month prior to travel is recommended.
Lowest Fare Routing
Travelers are required to accept the lowest possible coach fare for air and rail travel. Exceptions to the lowest fare routing rule will be granted by the CEO, if the lowest fare places an unreasonable burden on the traveler. For example, more than a 2 hour change in requested departure or arrival time, more than 2 legs, more than a 2 1/2 hour layover between legs, or other undue burden.
Airline preferences or frequent flyer mileage programs must not influence air travel arrangements if there is an increased cost to IRP. Travelers are entitled to accumulate points on frequent flyer programs, as long as the association does not incur unnecessary additional expenses.
Class of Service
Coach Class must be used for all domestic flights. Business class or first class air travel is not reimbursable, however, individuals may use personal frequent flyer miles for an upgrade.
Air and Rail Travel Booked Outside Corporate Travel Agent
Travelers must obtain approval from the CEO prior to booking airfare outside the corporate travel agent. The traveler must obtain a quote for air travel from the corporate travel agent 30 days prior to travel. The total airfare will be reimbursed up to, but not exceed the quoted airfare plus a $40 booking fee. Reimbursement requests must include the quoted airfare.
For example, if booking a flight through the corporate travel agent is $150 plus $40 ($190), and you are approved to book a flight outside the corporate travel agent, you can be reimbursed for a flight that costs $190.
Driving in Lieu of Air Travel
Travelers who wish to drive instead of fly must obtain a quote for air travel from the corporate travel agent no fewer than 30 days prior to travel. IRP will reimburse these individuals at the current IRS mileage rate, tolls, and parking up to the quoted airfare plus a $40 booking fee.
For example, if booking a flight through the corporate travel agent is $150 plus $40 ($190), and you are approved to drive, you can be reimbursed for up to $190 in mileage, tolls, and parking.
When combining business and personal travel, travelers are responsible for any cost above the cost of the lowest business fare available. Government fares may never be used for personal itineraries.
The corporate travel agent will notify the CEO of the cost of business-only travel and personal travel expenses. Travelers will be invoiced by IRP for the difference.
IRP is not responsible for any expenses after completion of IRP business.
Cancellations and Early Departure
Travelers must immediately notify the corporate travel agent of any trip cancellations. Change fees associated with rebooking cancelled or changed flights will not be reimbursed unless approved by the CEO.
One piece of checked luggage will be reimbursed by IRP. Excess or overweight baggage fees will not be reimbursed unless authorized in advance by the CEO. Written approval must accompany the request for reimbursement.
Typically, reimbursable hotel accommodations will be booked for you by IRP staff. If circumstances require you to book your own accommodations, select accommodations with safety, convenience, and cost considered. Please exercise these cost savings tips:
If you are going to be visiting a member, customer or partner, ask if they have a local negotiated hotel rate lower than the advertized hotel rate.
If you are a member of AAA, AARP, or are eligible for government rates, please take advantage of these discounts.
Upon check-in at hotels, ask if there are any last-minute special rates.
Hotel accommodations for each night away on IRP business will be reimbursed at actual cost. Hotel charges should be limited to room, tax, and meals. If the hotel applies a service charge or resort fee that includes housekeeping gratuities, no additional gratuity will be reimbursed.
IRP employees on business trips that extend beyond three nights may be reimbursed for reasonable hotel laundry and dry cleaning charges. Contractors and volunteer/members will not be reimbursed for laundry service.
Phone and Long Distance Charges
Due to the costly nature of long-distance rates in hotels, and the availability of cell phones, direct dialing from your hotel room should be considered only as a last resort. IRP will not reimburse for volunteer/member phone or long distance charges except when used in an emergency. In order to be reimbursed, the original phone bill including call details must be attached to the expense report and are subject to approval of the CEO.
Cellular phones/PDAs are provided to IRP employees that require them to perform their job; therefore charges related to the use of a phone other than the one provided will not be reimbursed.
Room nights and tax are typically billed to a master account for IRP and the traveler is responsible for incidentals. If not on a master account, the original hotel bill, clearly identifying a zero balance due, is required documentation for reimbursement of lodging charges.
Late Arrival Guarantees
If necessary based on your travel schedule, arrange with the hotel to guarantee for late arrival. If your plans change, you must advise the hotel so they can adjust your reservation. IRP will not reimburse for hotel “no show” charges.
Early Departure Fees
Ask the hotel at check in if there is a charge for early departure. If there is a business requirement for you to check out prior to your scheduled departure, IRP will reimburse that fee. IRP will not reimburse early departure fees due to personal reasons.
Lodging with Relatives / Friends
Lodging with relatives or friends is generally not reimbursable. Exceptions include where the relative/friend is in the business of lodging or the additional savings realized by the traveler’s stay can be clearly documented. Additionally, non-lodging expenses (e.g. meals) for the host in lieu of lodging fees are not reimbursable.
IRP requires advance approval of the CEO for reimbursement of rental cars. Written approval must accompany the reimbursement request.
Vehicles should be rented only when other means of transportation are unavailable, more expensive, or
impractical. The use of rental cars should be based on business and/or transportation needs, not as a matter of personal convenience.
Employees must book their car reservations through the corporate travel agency. Employees traveling alone may reserve up to an intermediate size car while on association business. A larger car may be reserved if business needs warrant the additional space (e.g. transporting equipment or volunteers/members).
Contractors and volunteers/members may book pre-approved rental cars outside the corporate travel agency if they first obtain a quote from the corporate travel agent. Charges in excess of what could be booked through the corporate travel agent (plus $40) will not be reimbursed.
Car rental agencies generally charge a premium price for gasoline when refueling at the return location. However, there are instances where the refuel fee is less than the cost of the traveler filling the tank. Travelers should always ask about the refuel charge and select the less expensive alternative.
Original receipts for rental charges, gasoline expenses, and written prior approval must be included with the expense report.
When renting an automobile for business use in the U.S., employees should decline optional insurance coverage. Automobile insurance provided by the rental car company for car rentals in the U. S. will not be reimbursed. IRP has a corporate insurance policy that covers automobile rentals.
Employees, contractors, and volunteers/members using their personal vehicle for IRP business must receive authorization to do so from the CEO. These individuals will be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage rate, tolls, and parking up to the quoted airfare plus a $40 booking fee. Receipts are required for reimbursement of all parking and toll charges.
When employees, contractors, and volunteers/members use their personal vehicle for business, the individual’s insurance will be the primary responder for any liability issues. IRP does not carry comprehensive and collision insurance to protect a traveler’s vehicle in the event of an accident. The traveler is responsible for any damage to their vehicle. Individuals who regularly use their vehicle for business purposes on behalf of IRP will be subject to a review of their driving record.
Travel to and from the originating embarkation point and the traveler’s home or office will be reimbursed. Travelers who use their personal vehicles will be reimbursed for mileage and parking. Taxi or sedan service may also be used if the duration of the business trip makes this option less expensive than parking at the airport or rail station.
The frequency of air travel will, on occasion, create situations where several individuals may be scheduled for the same flight. To minimize the loss to the association should a single accident occur, some restrictions regarding joint traveling should be followed:
No more than two employees should travel together on the same flight.
Whenever more than one association officer must travel to the same destination, every effort should be made to arrange a different travel schedule for each officer.
o Officers of the association are: Board Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and CEO.
In some cases travel may include international destinations. All travel expense reimbursement requests must be submitted in US dollars. Upon completion of international travel, individual receipts should be converted to US currency amounts using the applicable daily exchange rate for the country in which business travel occurred. Foreign currency exchange rates are available in most major newspapers and on the web (ex. Oanda.com). Currency rate calculations must be identified on each receipt making sure to note the exchange rate and US Dollar converted amount.
Passports and Visas
Any IRP employee expected to travel internationally should ensure that he/she has a current and valid passport. IRP will reimburse employees for the costs incurred with obtaining or renewing a passport and/ or travel visa for business purposes. Costs incurred to expedite passports or visas will not be reimbursed.
IRP Volunteers/members and contractors will not be reimbursed for expenses related to obtaining or renewing a passport or visa.
Travel Request Form
All employees are required to complete a Travel Request Form and obtain appropriate approval prior to making any reservations. The Travel Request Form must include the dates of travel, destination, purpose of travel, and estimated costs for airfare, lodging, meals and incidentals. The form must be approved by the CEO and must be attached to the expense report when travel is completed.
IRP provides Travel Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance only to employees while on authorized travel status for official purposes. This insurance is provided by IRP at no cost to employees and the plan gives 24-hour-a-day, worldwide coverage.
Benefits which accrue under travel rewards programs such as frequent flier miles and hotel points, etc. will remain with the traveler to whom they are credited. If employees want to retain these benefits for personal travel, the individual must pay any annual fees related to the accrual of benefit points. IRP will not reimburse any assigned value of the benefit.
MEALS, ENTERTAINMENT AND OTHER EXPENSES
Travel and Business Meals
Approved travelers will be reimbursed for reasonable, actual, travel meal expenses, including tax and reasonable gratuity.
In an effort to more effectively manage the cost of travel meals and incidentals, IRP will reimburse a maximum of the allowable daily reimbursement per person, by location, based on current GSA average per diems. Travelers will not be reimbursed for meals that are provided by IRP, Inc. during a meeting or conference. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by the CEO.
Alcohol is not an allowable expense.
Multiple Reimbursable Individuals
When two or more reimbursable individuals are dining together while on business travel, they may divide the check and each may be reimbursed individually for their meal or one may pay and be reimbursed for all meals. If employees are dining together on business travel, and they do not divide the bill, the senior ranking employee present must pay and be reimbursed for the total bill.
An original itemized credit card or register receipt must accompany meal expenses. Restaurant tear tabs are not acceptable documentation. The following information must be included on the receipt and/or the expense report:
Business reason for the meal
Name(s) of person(s) at the meal, and affiliation(s)
Business meals are defined as meals that are adjunct to some type of gathering/meeting where bona fide business topics are discussed. This requires some type of collaborative exchange of information or the dissemination of information.
Alcohol is not an allowable expense.
Business practice includes the necessity from time to time to host business associated entertainment. Reasonable and actual entertainment expenses, including a reasonable gratuity will be reimbursed for such meals. Employees must use good judgment when selecting appropriate entertainment options. The most senior IRP employee present must pay for all such entertainment. The IRS requires documentation to support each such instance of business entertainment. Included on the receipt and/or the expense report should be original receipts that identify:
Date, place and type of entertainment Business reason for the entertainment
Name(s) of person(s) entertained & affiliation(s)
Guests at Association-Funded Meals
Guests accompanying funded travelers to association-funded meals will be charged a nominal fee for their meal. Guest fees will be announced prior to the event. Guest fees may be deducted from the reimbursable individual’s expense form.
Room Service Meals
Room service meals are reimbursable when the cost is comparable to the hotel restaurant. Typically, room service includes a service charge that covers the gratuity. Gratuities in addition to the service charge will not be
Other Meals (Employees Only)
Employee at training. When an employee is “captive” at a seminar, conference, all day meeting, etc., the individual will be reimbursed for a modest meal (typically lunch) as an allowable expense. The meal must be documented with an original receipt and accompanied by an agenda for the event.
Employees dining together. In general, non-travel related meals with other employees are not
reimbursable. The CEO (or designate) must approve exceptions and the senior ranking employee present must pay and be reimbursed for the total bill.
Process for Submitting Reimbursement Requests
Within five days of completing travel, the traveler should complete the IRP Expense Reimbursement Request form. Any Expense Reimbursement Requests submitted more than 30 days after the last day of travel requires approval from the CEO.
The approved Travel Request Form must be attached to the expense report (if applicable).
Electronic copies of expense reports and original receipts are accepted. For speedier processing, faxing or emailing electronic copies is preferred.
If sending by fax or email, travelers must make clear copies of the original itemized receipts. The traveler is responsible for keeping copies of the original receipts for their records. IRP may request the physical hard copy of any receipts that are not legible. Travelers sending the receipts by mail will be responsible for maintaining a copy of his/her expense report and receipts. Receipts are required for all expenses in excess of $9.99 and receipts that are not itemized will not be accepted.
It is IRP’s policy to follow IRS requirements and guidelines for Employee Expense Reimbursements. The CEO assumes final responsibility for review and accuracy of expense report submissions. NOTES:
To ensure the expense report has been filled out correctly, please refer to the Expense Reimbursement Request Checklist.
Properly documented and approved expense reimbursements will be paid within 14 business days after being received.
Employees, contractors, and volunteers/members must notify IRP immediately if there is a change in address or banking information.
IRP Expense Reports are association documents. As such, any misrepresentations or falsifications of such documents by employees are cause for discharge. Falsification by contractors is cause for termination of contract. Falsification by volunteers/members will be referred to the Executive Committee, who may contact the traveler’s jurisdiction.
Travelers will be contacted with questions regarding expense requests and/or denial of reimbursement requests prior to processing.
Only IRP employees are eligible for an advance on an as needed basis. The employee must complete the Employee Advance Authorization form and must be approved by the CEO. IRP employees acknowledge that the cash advance is the property of IRP (via Employee Advance Authorization). Employees must further agree that at termination for any reason, IRP will deduct any outstanding balance from the employee’s final paycheck.
EMPLOYEE NON-TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENTS
Cellular phones/PDAs are provided to employees that require them to perform their job; therefore charges related to the use of a phone other than the one provided will not be reimbursed.
Employee Attendance at Seminars/Conferences
External training, seminars and conferences must be pre-approved by the CEO in order for reimbursement. Non-Reimbursable Expenses
Only reasonable business-specific expenses will be reimbursed. If you are unsure if an item is reimbursable, please seek prior approval.
Personal expenses are not reimbursable. Items include, but are not limited to: Annual fees for credit cards
Membership fees for airline clubs In-room movies or video games
Hairstylist, barber, manicurist, or other personal services Traffic fines or court costs incurred while traveling on business Healthcare costs incurred while traveling on business
Sporting events, golf outings, theater or other non-business related entertainment Personal property lost, stolen, or damaged while traveling on association business
Travel and expense reports shall be approved in accordance with IRP’s published policies and procedures for such expenses. Expense reimbursement requests shall be subject to the following approval levels.
Title Authority Level
Board Chair or Designee CEO Expenses
CEO Up to $150,000
Senior Director Up to $ 10,000
Amounts over $150,000 require secondary approval by the Chair of the IRP Board of Directors or his or her designee.
The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the IRP Travel and Expense Policies. The CEO is the final authority for any questions concerning the interpretation of, or compliance with, IRP Travel and Expense Policies. The CEO will also approve administrative and operational changes to the policy.
POLICY UPDATE AND NOTIFICATION
IRP reserves the right to revise the conditions of this policy at any time by giving notice 60 days prior to previously approved travel. Travelers are responsible for understanding or seeking clarification of any rules outlined in this document and for familiarizing themselves with the most current version of this policy.
CONSEQUENCE OF NON-COMPLIANCE
Failure to comply with this Policy may jeopardize the accuracy of the association’s Financial Statements. Violation of the Policy by employees may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
REVIEW / UPDATE
This Policy will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis by the CEO.
IRP Travel Request Form
Expense Reimbursement Request Checklist Expense Reimbursement Request Form
Key Contacts as of 3/30/2011
Name Role Contact Information
Steve Houseman Corporate Travel Agent Independent Travel Consultant Executive Travel Associates Telephone: 202-463-8158
Telephone: 800-704-9883 ext 1198 Fax: 770-822-6294 Efax
Tim Adams CEO Telephone : (502) 845-0398
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Claudia Rizzo Trapp Senior Director, Programs and Education
Telephone : (703) 963-2442 Email : email@example.com Lora Pickard Membership Asst Telephone : (703) 963-1804
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org