Travel Services oversees the payment for, and reimbursement of, travel, entertainment and other expenses incurred during the conduct of Brandeis business and when using university funds.
It is Brandeis policy to authorize necessary and reasonable expenses when directly related to the transaction of Brandeis business. This travel policy is to be used in conjunction with any policies set forth by individual departments and/or divisions, when appropriate.
Brandeis business travel is defined as having at least one of the following transactions:
Use of air travel.
Should expenses for travel not contain one of the above-mentioned items, refer to Brandeis University's business expense policy (pdf).
This policy applies to all Brandeis University employees — staff or faculty while traveling on university business, any Brandeis employee who is responsible for booking travel for others and students who travel for the benefit of the university.
The basic policy governing travel expenses is that an individual should neither gain nor lose funds in the course of conducting university business.
Travel accommodations can be arranged through various methods, including but not limited to Brandeis University's preferred travel portal, Egencia.
Assuming a reasonable level of comfort and convenience for the traveler, every effort should be made to keep university expenses to a minimum. Departmental policies will govern how authorization for travel is granted.
Departments may elect to impose additional controls over travel expenditures beyond those required by this policy.
This policy is designed to ensure that Brandeis complies with the rules and regulations of the IRS and specifically with the requirements of the agency's accountable plan as outlined here:
The expenses must have a business connection — that is, they must be incurred while traveling for the benefit of the university.
Proper documentation of all travel expenses must be provided within 30 days from the end of the trip.
In general, cash advances for travel are not allowed by Brandeis University. Questions should be directed to Procurement Services.
Egencia is Brandeis' preferred travel management company. It provides direct access to exclusive negotiated airfares, train fares, hotel rates and car rental discounts. Contact Procurement Services to request access to Egencia, or for any questions related to the system.
- Every effort should be made to book air travel at least 14 days in advance of the trip.
- Travelers should select the lowest logical fare option presented to them by Egencia at the time of booking. If the lowest fare is not chosen, a justification must be provided when booking.
- Alcoholic drinks, headsets and movies on flights are not part of expenses that will be covered by Brandeis.
- Class of service requirements are as follows:
- Economy should be chosen for domestic and international flights less than six hours.
- Premium Economy may be chosen for domestic and international flights more than six hours.
- Business class may be chosen for domestic and international flights more than eight hours.
- Flights that are booked through Egencia and must be canceled will be tracked via "Unused Tickets," and users will be able to apply the cost of the unused ticket to their next trip.
Travelers must choose preferred hotels in Egencia whenever available.
Travelers must use Enterprise/National as the preferred vendor for car rentals whenever available.
Travelers should select the lowest logical fare option presented to them by Egencia at the time of booking. If the lowest fare is not chosen, a justification must be provided when booking.
When traveling on Brandeis business, it is recommended that travelers become familiar with the types of identification as well as any immunizations necessary to travel to their destinations.
All travelers should check the U.S. State Department website listing areas of civil unrest, and refrain from making arrangements to these locations.
Travelers going into areas where there is known civil unrest must contact Risk Management prior to departure for exclusions in business travel/international liability coverage.
- Individuals who use the Brandeis P-Card are automatically covered for rental car insurance and traveler emergency services.
- The university maintains a separate life and disability travel accident insurance plan for all full-time exempt, nonexempt and nonunion staff while traveling on the business of the university.
- Questions for additional travel insurance should be directed to Procurement Services.
Brandeis will pay for reasonable actual meal expenses, or travelers may opt to be reimbursed at the per diem and meals and incidental expenses rate set forth by the U.S. General Services Administration.
If choosing to be reimbursed at the per diem rate, tips for services are already included.
Travelers may not request reimbursement of actual expenses for one portion of their trip and federal per diem for the remainder.
Federal per diem allowances may not be issued in lieu of service payments such as consulting fees or honoraria. Rather, the individual should submit an expense report with actual receipts attached for reimbursement.
Per diems must be prorated for less than a full day's travel according to IRS regulations. If the traveler departs before 6 a.m. and arrives after 6 p.m., a full day of per diem is allowed. For shorter days, the per diem rate should be prorated accordingly.
Business expense policy states that alcohol in general is not allowed for employees on travel status. In rare exceptions and when alcohol is allowed it must be separately identified using account "7312."
Group Meals and Entertainment
In situations where an individual is conducting business with one or more guests, reasonable meals and entertainment expenses will be approved via the P-Card or reimbursed. Business meals and entertainment must be directly related to university business.
When meal expenses include charges for individuals other than the traveler, the expense report must state the names(s), the business purpose and the date of the meal.
Miscellaneous Travel Expenses
Valid expenditures associated with business travel include:
All costs normally associated with registering for conferences will be paid by Brandeis with the Brandeis P-Card whenever possible.
Mileage when using a personal car to drive to and from a conference, off-site meeting, etc. Brandeis reimburses at the rate per mile is set annually by the IRS.
Rental cars, inclusive of fuel/gasoline (see below) and tolls for that car.
Fuel/gasoline when used in a rental car or a Brandeis-owned vehicle.
Business-related telephone calls.
Tips and gratuities.
Dry cleaning and laundry service for trips of seven or more days.
Valid expenditures associated with international travel:
Fees for passports and visa if specifically obtained for the business trip.
Fees for currency exchange.
The following expenses will not be reimbursed by Brandeis:
Spouse, dependent or guest travel.
Airline club memberships.
Health spa fees.
Sundries and toiletries.
Loss of baggage, personal belongings or money.
Costs incurred by the traveler when an itinerary is altered to accommodate personal affairs.
Travel charged to sponsored projects is subject to the Brandeis University travel policy as well as specific limitations and restrictions set by the sponsor. Travel restrictions may vary between federal and nonfederal sponsors. Travel funded by federal awards must comply with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (CFR Part 200). Limitations and restrictions include, but& are not limited to, the following information.
Commercial Air Travel
Airfare costs in excess of the basic least expensive unrestricted accommodations class offered by commercial airlines are unallowable except when such accommodations would:
Require circuitous routing.
Require travel during unreasonable hours.
Excessively prolong travel.
Result in additional costs that would offset the transportation savings.
Offer accommodations not reasonably adequate for the traveler's medical needs. The traveler must justify and document these conditions on a case-by-case basis.
Fly America Act
Travelers on university business funded by a federal award must comply with the requirements of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (CFR Part 200) and are required by 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the Fly America Act. The Fly America Act is a federal regulation that states that any foreign air travel that is financed by federal funds must be booked on United States flag air carriers, regardless of cost or convenience. U.S. carriers must be used even if foreign carriers offer tickets at a lower price, offer preferred routing or are more convenient. Additionally, exceptions should be documented. This regulation must be followed by all university personnel, students, trainees, consultants and collaborators who are reimbursed for air travel with federally funded sponsored projects.
It is the principal investigator's or his/her designee's responsibility to ensure that all air travel charged to federally primed or federal pass-through awards are in compliance with this regulation. Travelers who will be reimbursed from federal grants or contracts are to use U.S. flag air carrier service, consistent with the Fly America Act. Long-term exceptions to the Fly America Act are:
When the use of U.S. carrier service would extend travel time (including delay at origin) by 24 hours or more.
When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government or an international agency.
When U.S. carriers do not offer nonstop or direct service between origin and destination.
However, a U.S. carrier must be used on every portion of the route where it provides service unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
Increase the number of aircraft changes outside the United States by two or more days.
Extend travel time by at least six hours or more.
Require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
Open Skies Agreement
An additional exception to Fly America occurs when an Open Skies agreement is in place between the U.S. government and the government of foreign country. There are currently four Open Skies agreements: with the European Union, Australia, Switzerland and Japan. It should be noted that there are limitations to the use of non-U.S. carriers under an Open& Skies agreement, notably that the current Open Skies agreements do not apply to Department of Defense-supported activities and there is a prohibition against non-U.S. carriers if a City Pairs agreement exists.
A code-sharing agreement is when American carriers purchase or have the right to sell a block of tickets on a foreign carrier. These code-sharing agreements generally comply with the Fly America Act regulations. The ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, must identify the U.S. carrier's designator code and flight number. However, some funding sources may not recognize code-sharing as being compliant with Fly America Act regulations. When the specific funding source policy is more restrictive than the Fly America Act, the more restrictive policy applies.
Entertainment expenses are not reimbursable on federal grants. These expenses include costs for meals other than the traveler, amusement, diversion or social activities. An exception may be made where specific costs that might be considered entertainment have a programmatic purpose and are authorized either in the approved budget for the federal award or with prior written approval of the federal awarding agency.
Other Miscellaneous Expenses
Certain expenditures, such as alcohol, are "unallowable" in accordance with federal cost principles and cannot be charged to a federal award. However, some expenses not allowed on a sponsored award may be reimbursed by nonsponsored funds under specific circumstances if the expense is reasonable and coded to the proper account number listed in the university's chart of accounts.
For additional information and proper use of expenditure types, contact the Office of Financial Affairs. Additional restrictions not specifically covered by this policy, but that are sponsor-specific, may apply. Questions should be addressed the Office of Sponsored Accounting.
All travel expenses must be reported on the expense report through MarketPlace+ This report must be submitted within 30 days of completion of the trip.
Receipts are required for all expenses over $25, with the exception of lodging and alcohol, which must be included at any amount. Maintaining receipts for less than $25 is encouraged for ease of expense reporting.
Supporting Documentation Requirements
Air passenger receipt and a copy of itinerary.
Hotel folio plus proof of payment.
Car rental agreement and proof of payment.
Expenses for food/meals must include detailed receipt as well as the charge receipt detailing tip amount:
If detailed receipt is not available, a certification stating whether alcohol was purchased must be included, regardless of dollar amount.
Meals that include alcohol must be split to charge alcohol cost to specific alcohol account code.
Expense for food/meal must include purpose and a list of attendees, if fewer than 10 people. If more than 10 people are in attendance, the number of people must be noted.
Travel expenses are only considered valid when the expenses are properly documented as outlined above and the required approvals have been obtained. Expenses without the proper documentation will not be approved or reimbursed by the university. Expenses paid by the P-Card, but not substantiated within 30 days, will be considered taxable income per IRS regulations and will be reported as such on form W-2.
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