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New Travel and Entertainment Reimbursement Requirements (for Faculty and Staff)

PLEASE READ. It can make the difference between whether you get your reimbursement or not. Because of the recent audit, we must provide more detail in all expense reports, request for reimbursements, travel and entertainment.

DO NOT'S

  • Do not pay for another individual's travel expenses including airline tickets, hotel, registration, rental car. You will not get reimbursed and there is no exception to this policy. Do not pick up meal tabs for fellow travelers. This is considered entertainment and will not be reimbursed. If there are legitimate meals you must show proof of payment, clearly state purpose and why you paid for this expense.
  • Do not purchase travel packages from online vendors - such as hotel & air, or hotel, car & air - these will not be reimbursed. No exceptions.
  • Do not request reimbursement for payment on behalf of another traveler. If you and another student share a room, one student should pay the entire cost and submit reimbursement for the entire amount. We can only reimburse you for your expenses - if you pay another student's expenses, UCLA cannot reimburse you for it. Example - you and another student or professor go to a conference and you pay for two rooms (one person per room). You will only be reimbursed for the hotel room you stayed in. The other person cannot be reimbursed for the expense of his/her room because they did not pay, nor can you claim it on your expense report.

    The same policy applies for a rental car.

DO ALWAYS

  • Always turn-in your travel and entertainment reimbursement form and receipts within 30 days of your travel to your department assistant or contract staff.
  • Always provide itemized receipt for ALL travel and entertainment expenses including the food at a restaurant, conference, a class meeting, a planning session. No exceptions to this policy. Only ORIGINAL, ITEMIZED receipts will be accepted.
    The following will be returned /they are not acceptable:
      Copies of receipts
      Non-itemized receipts
      Non-original receipts
  • Always provide proof of purchase/payment for expense/s in the form of an original itemized receipt showing proof of payment (amount paid and method of payment). If the receipt does not indicate the amount paid and the method of payment (cash, check or credit card), a secondary document such as a copy of the redacted credit card statement (account number blacked out) or a copy of the cancelled check is required.
  • Always state, in very precise terms, the purpose for the expense. That means the details: what, why, where, when, who was there. Include:
    • Numbered list of names of attendees
    • Their affiliation (organization/department)
    • Role or relationship to the University (faculty, student, staff, donor, etc.)
    • Type of expense (e.g. lunch, dinner, light refreshments, etc.)
    • Type of event along with a business justification
    • Date and location of event
    • Name of host professor and department
    • Object code 3308 with alcohol or 3310 without alcohol
    • A flyer of the event if there is one
    • If any item from this list is missing, the report will not be submitted and will be delayed.
  • Tape your receipts neatly to 8.5" x 11" paper in chronological order. Do not hand in any loose receipts. Please do not staple or stack receipts on top of each other because we must feed the paper with the receipts through the scanner and/or copy machine. Do not put tape over the information on the receipts because it conceals the information and will be rejected. Make sure the receipts are clear before you leave the establishment. If they are not clear, get one that is clear. (We can give faculty some help with this but please turn the documents in good condition as best as you can.)
  • Include conference registration PRINTOUT
  • Include conference registration BADGE or a copy of it if you receive one.
  • Include Recharge Account number (get this from your professor) and the Professor's name and signature that the account belongs to. We must have the professor's permission to process the reimbursement.
  • Include a brief summary of your expenses. Do not round off the numbers. Be exact. Example:

        Airfare $500.00
        Hotel (2 nights) $250.00
        Meals:
          (8/1/08) $ 35.00
          (8/2/08) $20.10
          (8/3/08) $35.00
        Taxi from airport to hotel $35.25
        TOTAL    $830.35

    You do not need to break down the daily meals into breakfast, lunch, dinner. BUT DO NOT EXCEED THE LIMITS.

ENTERTAINMENT MEALS

Maximum per person including tax, service, delivery charges:

$26 Breakfast
$38 Lunch
$64 Dinner
$17 Light Refreshments

TRAVEL MEALS

The maximum daily travel meal allowance including tax, service, delivery charges is $64 even if you have the receipts to prove you spent more. The maximum for travel that is more than 12 hours but less than 24 hours is $42.

  • If you hold an active appointment as a GSR, TA, etc., your reimbursement will be direct-deposited into your bank account. If you are not currently employed by the EE dept, you are considered a "non-employee" for reimbursement purposes - if this is the case, please include your mailing address. A paper check will be mailed to the address you provide. (Note - in this case, you will not receive an email to approve your reimbursement).
  • You will be reimbursed for business expenses only - if you rent movies at the hotel, you will not be reimbursed for that expense.

AIRFARE

  • Pre-Trip Authorization Program (PTA) is the only way to pay for direct-billed airfare.
  • Please provide either the cardboard receipt from the airline or the confirmation email/online printout.
  • It must show your name, the flights taken, total cost and the method of payment (e.g. MC xxxxxxxx1234).
  • For foreign travel, you must use a US carrier (e.g. United, Northwest, Continental, American).
  • Code-share flights are permitted (as long as the ticket is booked under the US carrier - e.g. United flight 123 operated by British Airways).

HOTEL

  • You must provide an original itemized receipt from the hotel.
  • If you lose your receipt, please contact the hotel and request a duplicate copy (a fax is okay). You are responsible for getting it.
  • If you choose to book/pay for your hotel through Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, etc, please ask the hotel for a list of charges when you check out. Better still, make sure that you can get one before you book through any agency. It is very difficult to get an itemized receipt after you have left the premises.
  • Do not purchase travel packages - hotel & air, or hotel, car & air - these cannot and will not be reimbursed.
  • Reimbursement is based on the amount actually incurred and is subject to a maximum dollar limit.  Lodging expenses are not reimbursable prior to a trip.
  • Lodging is generally not reimbursable if the lodging site is within a 50-mile radius from the traveler's residence or office.

BUSINESS JUSTIFICATION

Policy requires the business purpose of the trip or event to be stated in the reimbursement claim. This justification needs to reflect the "who, what, when, where and why" of the event and specifically the business benefit to the University. For travel to meetings and conferences, providing an agenda and an explanation of the traveler's participation is a good way to document the business necessity. When an expense report does not contain enough detail, Travel Accounting staff must return it to get clarification. Don't cause extended delays by waiting to be asked for enough information. Don't cause additional scrutiny by having insufficient justification.

RENTAL CAR & INSURANCE

Please use the UCLA Corporate ID (see UCLA Travel for the ID codes). Not only do we get a discount on the rental rate, it also includes the highest level of insurance. UCLA will not reimburse you for optional/additional insurance such as CDW or LDW (since they are already included). Please decline offers of optional/additional insurance charges.

  • UCLA has preferred agreements with car rental companies. You will need to show your Bruin Card.
  • Car rental insurance is NOT reimbursed since all rates include the highest levels of collision and liability.
  • UCLA has a discount with LAX parking. You will need to show your Bruin Card.
  • For foreign travel, make a copy of your passport and airline tickets and keep in a separate place.
  • Fill out the traveler profile so that your travel preferences are in the system.

REGISTRATION FEE

There are three payment options for registration fees:

  • Have UCLA pay your registration fee directly to the vendor.  Mail a copy of the registration form with a BruinBuy order number to the UCLA Travel Accounting office.  The BruinBuy order must show the conference as the payee and the conference sponsor's mailing address. Make sure the BruinBuy order number, registrant's name and the registration due date are clearly indicated on the registration form.  A check will be directly sent to the conference sponsor.
  • Pay with your UC Travel and Entertainment Card.  Registration feed charged to the Travel and Entertainment card can be reimbursed in advance of the conference if the claim is submitted through Express.  The payment will be sent and directly credited to your Travel and Entertainment account.
  • Pay with your own funds (such as a personal credit card or personal check).  Submit a reimbursement claim after the trip has been completed.  Registration expenses paid with personal funds cannot be reimbursed in advance of the conference.

TO MAKE AIRLINE RESERVATIONS, NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Travel will no longer reimburse airline tickets from all airlines. We are supposed to purchase them through UCLA and use only Federal/State accepted carriers:
    • Before you use their website, select your flights from United, American Airlines, Delta, Northwest Airlines, or Southwest Airlines.
    • You may select any airline you want, but Travel will get you to your destination by Federal/State accepted carriers.
    • You will NOT get reimbursed for package tickets from Orbitz, Expedia, or any other package sites.
  • Once you have approved your flights, forward the confirmation email from Travel to me or request that Travel send me an email, and I will pay for your ticket using a purchase order.
    • Select your flights carefully; any changes will incur delays plus extra charges.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO REMEMBER:

You will receive an email notification for your expenses which you will need to approve. You will not receive this email if you are a non-employee reimbursement.

Travel within 24 hrs does NOT get reimbursed for meals.

REGARDING SPOUSES

Spouse/partner of a University guest or University host:

The cost of meals or light refreshments provided to the spouse, domestic partner, or other partner of a guest or the official host may be reimbursed, provided the expenditure serves a bona fide University business purpose.

When a spouse, domestic partner, or other partner attends a function, the individual's presence is considered to serve a business purpose if he or she has a significant role in the proceedings or makes an important contribution to the success of the event. Official functions to which spouses or partners are invited as a matter of protocol or tradition may be considered as bona fide business-related activities. Ceremonial functions, fundraising events, alumni gatherings, community, and recruiting events are examples of activities at which the presence of a spouse or partner may contribute to the mission of the University.

The reimbursement request should include documentation (e.g., an event or meeting agenda, or a letter of invitation requesting that spouses or partners attend the meeting or event) to show that the attendance of the spouse or partner meets the above conditions.

If a spouse or partner has no significant role in the proceedings or performs only incidental duties of a social or clerical nature, his or her attendance does not constitute a bona fide business purpose. Such expenses are not reimbursable.

REMEMBER

  • You represent your professor and UCLA.
  • You travel to benefit UCLA first, your career second.
  • Act in the best interest of your professor and UCLA.

Express Travel expects us to follow the guidelines. Audits exposed a lack of detail in many reports and as a result approval for your reimbursements are under great scrutiny. Please follow the guidelines. You can read more about guidelines on the UCLA Travel website.

Give the receipts & summary to the appropriate administrative assistant.

She or he will submit your reimbursement request - you will receive an email from express@finance.ucla.edu with a link for you to approve your reimbursement request. (Does not apply to non-employee reimbursements)

If you prepare your report well, before you give it to us for submission to Express Financial Services, it will help the process greatly.

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