Accounts Payable - Travel Reimbursements

General Policy

All expenses must be recorded accurately within 90 days of occurrence. Travel reimbursements should be completed on the Travel Expense Form, found on the Controller's Office section of the AU Portal.

Anyone traveling on behalf of, and with the authorization of, the university will be reimbursed for their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with such travel upon presentation of a completed expense report signed by the traveler and approved by the appropriate dean, director, department chairperson, vice president, vice provost, or whomever is the supervisor of the traveler.

Travel Expense Reimbursements - What You Need To Know

  • Original receipts are required for reimbursement. If original receipts are not available, please indicate by noting it on the expense report or attach an explanation.
  • The university travel management company is World Travel. All airline, train, hotel, and car rentals should be booked through through World Travel. The Travel website is located on the myamerican.edu portal. Once in the portal:
    • Click Services
    • Click Travel and Expenses
    • Click AU Travel Portal

Instructions on how to set up a travel profile and use the online booking reservation site can be located on the AU Travel portal.

  • If expenses are incurred by the traveler on behalf of persons other than themselves and reimbursements for such expense are being requested, the names of the other persons and the business purpose of the expenditures must be documented.
  • If the expense is incurred by the traveler on behalf of persons not on university business (e.g., spouse), the university portion of the expense must be identified clearly and original receipts must be submitted for the reimbursable portion. If original receipts are not available, please indicate by noting it on the expense report, or attach an explanation.
  • When travel on university business is combined with personal or non-university-related activities, business expenses must be allocated accordingly and original receipts must be submitted for the reimbursable portion. If original receipts are not available, please indicate by noting it on the expense report, or attach an explanation.
  • Air coach accommodations should be used. Whenever possible, the use of airport shuttles, rather than taxis, is encouraged. Rental cars may be used when necessary and budget plans whenever possible. Use of moderately priced rooms is encouraged and spousal travel is not covered except if the spouse is on university business. If frequent flyer coupons are used on university business, the traveler will not be reimbursed for the equivalent ticket cost. Also, frequent flyer coupons cannot be submitted as part of the accounting for a travel advance. Passenger coupons for university business must always be in the name of the traveler.
  • When a private automobile is used, the university will reimburse the traveler on a per-mile allowance basis in accordance with current university guidelines; university rates are always the same as the IRS published rates
  • A reasonable expense for valet services will be allowed if the traveler remains on university business in excess of four (4) days and appropriate receipts are submitted.
  • Charges for telephone calls made while on university business should be claimed only if such calls are directly related to university business; personal telephone calls are not reimbursable.
  • The university will not reimburse a traveler for expenses incurred for personal flight insurance, alcoholic beverages, or any expense of a purely personal nature.
  • Travel made as part of a project, which is sponsored by a grant, or contract is subject to such additional travel restrictions as may be imposed by the terms of the grant or contract.
  • Travel advance may be obtained by full-time employees of the university traveling on behalf, and with the authorization, of the university upon presentation of a completed Travel Advance/Expense Form, found on the Controllers Office section of the AU portal. The form must be signed by the traveler and approved by the appropriate supervisor.
  • Travel Advance/Expense Forms should be submitted to the Office of the Controller at least one week prior to the date on which the advance is required.
  • The university has instituted a per diem allowance.University employees may choose either to file for actual expense reimbursements or a per diem rate. A per diem is given to a traveler to cover lodging, meals, and incidental expenses in connection with the performance of services for the university. Travelers may not request actual expense reimbursements for one portion of their trip and per diem for the remainder of the trip, except and only in the instance where meals are already included in a trip or part of a trip. Travelers who use per diem allowances do not have to substantiate each lodging and meal expense, but they must demonstrate that the trip occurred by providing an airline or hotel receipt. These rates cover both hotel and meals and are set by the Internal Revenue Service. Per diems may not exceed the federal per diem rate at the specific location and duration of the trip. Independent contractors, alumni, and other non-employees who perform services for the university may not use per diems except by prior written approval by the Controller of the university who only approves these requests in rare cases.
  • Travelers may choose to claim a combined per diem for lodging and meals or the per diem for meals and incidental expenses only. If the total actual lodging and/or meals are incidental expenses incurred for the duration of the trip are less than the total State department per diems for the same trip, travelers may claim a lower per diem rate and therefore, do not have to substantiate nor submit receipts for these expenses.  When attending conferences, business meetings, and/or events where meals are included as part of the registration or the program, travelers may not request a per diem reimbursement for those days.  Travelers who have and use the university's One Card for travel expenses may not charge their lodging and meals and incidental expenses to the One Card if requesting a per diem reimbursement.
  • Ground transportation (ie., car rental) is not included in per diem.
  • Prepaid expenses or those charged directly to the university on behalf of the traveler (e.g. airline tickets, hotel accommodations) must be itemized on the travel expense form with the notation "prepaid" in the amount column. Original receipts (if they are not available, please make a note on the travel expense form or attach an explanation), invoices, passenger coupons, etc. for expenses must be submitted with the travel expense form. Amounts prepaid by or charged directly to the university on behalf of the traveler must not be reflected in the expenses claimed by the traveler.
  • Expenses for all travel activity should be charged to the travel object code, even if the expense was for food, airline tickets, or conference registration. Please see the list of object codes.
  • The signature of the traveler is required for all advances.
  • All travel that is funded by federal grants or other restricted grant monies, may be subject to additional restrictions as noted in the contract.