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Travel Expense Guidelines and Reporting

Employees of Hood College may be required to travel out of town and stay overnight on occasion as part of their official duties. Reasonable and necessary expenses associated with travel on behalf of the College will be reimbursed.

The College believes that its employees are entitled to reasonable standards of convenience and comfort and maximum standards of safety in transportation, meals, lodging and related services in the conduct of College business. Employees are expected to use good judgment within the following policy when determining the necessity of a trip and the actual expenses incurred.

The employee's immediate supervisor and/or person responsible for departmental budget or project must approve requests for reimbursement of travel expenses.

While an individual initiates travel plans, and that individual or a designated administrator within a department typically makes the arrangements, the individual approving travel has the primary responsibility for monitoring the cost of travel and authorizing reimbursement. In approving business-related travel expenditures, this responsibility includes, but is not limited to, determining that the total travel expenditures are within the approved budget, expenditures are appropriate for the circumstances, unusual expenditures are justified and explained and the trips are planned in the most efficient manner.

Authorization for Official College Travel

Official business travel shall have prior authorization from the appropriate department head and/or vice president. Requests for travel to conferences, conventions, and association and other meetings should be submitted for approval at least three weeks in advance of expected departure date.

Employees may occasionally wish to combine personal travel with a business trip, either before or after carrying out their business responsibilities. Employees may also request that a family member or friend be allowed to accompany them during all or part of a business trip. Such arrangements may be approved when they will not interfere with the successful completion of the business objectives of the trip. Additional costs associated with personal travel or those of a companion are the personal responsibility of the employee and will not be reimbursed. Any time spent in excess of the time scheduled for the conference or meeting is considered vacation or personal days of the employee.


 Advances to cover out-of-pocket travel expenses should be requested on an approved Check Request Form no later than ten (10) days prior to the departure date. All travel advances must be repaid or accounted for when the Expense Report is submitted, but no later than thirty (30) days after completion of travel. Outstanding advances not cleared within thirty (30) days of completion of travel may be deducted from the employee's pay. Should an advance exceed expenses, a check made payable to Hood College should accompany the expense report.


Immediately upon returning from a trip, employees should submit an Expense Report to clear their account. The approved Expense Report should be submitted along with required receipts to Accounting. Expense Reports submitted without all receipts attached and/or appropriate approvals will be returned to the employee. If an employee is due reimbursement, the check will be processed in the next scheduled check run after receipt of a properly submitted and approved Expense Report.

Air Travel

All airline travel arrangements should be processed in time to take advantage of discounted fares requiring advance purchase. Airline travel will be coach class. The cost to change flight arrangements will be reimbursed only if incurred due to an emergency and not if changed for convenience.

Conference Registration Fees

Payment in Advance: To pay registration fees in advance of a conference, the request for payment of registration fees must be made at least ten (10) days prior to the conference or earlier if required by the conference sponsors. The request for payment should be made on a Check Request Form accompanied by a completed conference registration form.

Payment at a Conference (on-site): On-site registration fees paid by an employee at a conference will be reimbursed upon submission of an approved Expense Report supported by the receipt.


Reimbursement for meals when traveling will be for actual expenditures, including tips, at a reasonable amount. A cash register or credit card receipt must show the names and titles of those for whom meals were purchased, as well as the location and business purpose of the meal when seeking reimbursement. The cost for alcoholic beverages is considered a personal cost and will not be reimbursed.


Reimbursement will be made for lodging expense incurred in a hotel or motel on the presentation of a paid original bill. All costs other than those directly associated with the cost of the room should be detailed separately on the Expense Report, e.g. telephone, laundry and meals. The costs of mini-bar service and in-room movies are considered personal costs and will not be reimbursed. Laundry will be reimbursed only for travel in excess of 5 (five) days.


Transportation costs include those charged by common carriers, rental cars and private automobiles. No traveler can claim transportation costs when transported without charge by another person or when transported by another employee who is entitled to and will be seeking expense reimbursement. Employees are reimbursed for actual fares incurred for air, bus and train expenses.

Employees will be reimbursed for each mile traveled in their private vehicles when on College business. Mileage to/from the employee's home from/to the point of departure - airport, train or bus terminal - will be reimbursed for only a single round-trip per business trip. The reimbursement rate will be the mileage allowance established by the College.

Rental Car Insurance

The College's insurance provides coverage for physical damage to a rental car and liability for employees while renting a car on College business. The College will not reimburse the cost of any insurance or other coverage accepted by an employee on a rental car. The employee's homeowners or renters' insurance policy may provide for loss or damages to the personal contents of a rental automobile.

Other Expense Categories

Tips for meals and taxi service should be included as part of the respective charges. Cash tips for baggagehandling, etc., should be included in the Miscellaneous category.

Hospitality includes food provided for meetings and business-related meals provided to non-College persons such as guidance counselors, potential donors and business partners.

Parking fees and road and bridge tolls should be recorded as Transportation Expense.

Telephone, fax and overnight courier expenses should be recorded under Telecommunication Expense.


Original receipts, not copies, are required for all expenses. The only exception is for cash tips for baggage handling and the like. Unsubstantiated expenses will not be reimbursed. 

Travel Expenses Report Instructions

General Instructions

  • Original receipts are required for all expenditures.
  • An Expense Report ("Report") is to be submitted within 30 days of returning from travel or incurring expenses.
  • Travel Advances outstanding for over 30 days will be deducted from the employee's pay.
  • Expenses for which reimbursement is sought are expected to be reasonable and necessary for the performance of College business. Special and discount rates should be taken advantage of whenever possible.
  • If expenses are incurred or purchases made on behalf of another department, that information is to be entered in the Explanation section of the form.
  • The Expense Report is to be approved by the employee's immediate supervisor/and or person responsible for departmental budget or project.

Specific Instructions(A) Airfare: The receipt of the airline ticket is required to be attached to the report.

(B) Non-air: The receipt of bus or train ticket is required to be attached to the report.

(C) Car Rental: The rental contract is required.

(D) Taxi: Actual fare plus tips and/or airport limousine charge.

(E) Mileage: At the current College mileage reimbursement rate for the use of an employee's personal vehicle.

(F) Lodging: Original hotel or motel bill is required. Report only amounts for room charge and applicable taxes. Telephone, laundry and other expenses are to be reported on the appropriate line of the report.

(G) Meals: Actual charges plus tip.

(H) Hospitality/Entertainment: Include detailed explanation in section provided on Expense Report.

(I) Telecommunications: Report charges from hotel bill here, as well as receipts from any office service businesses (e.g., Kinkos).

(J) Conference Registration: Must be accompanied by a receipt or copy of the program stating the fee. Amounts beyond registration fee, such as meals, must be reported separately and on the appropriate report line.

(K) Miscellaneous: Includes laundry and cash tips. Laundry and dry-cleaning expenses are eligible for reimbursement only if the employee has been traveling on business for five (5) days or more. All charges included as MISCELLANEOUS must be explained in the Explanation section.

(L) Totals: Expenses are to be totaled by day and by category and checked for accuracy.

Revised April 2005