Travel and Expense Policy
The policies and procedural guidelines for official travel on behalf of Fordham University have been adopted to establish standards and procedures to provide safe and efficient travel, to reduce travel costs and facilitate compliance with IRS regulations regarding business expense reimbursement.
The University’s Travel Policy is the responsibility of Treasury and Risk. However, those who travel on behalf of the University and their supervisors must be equal partners in ensuring compliance with the Policy. The traveler should make certain that travel services are obtained at the lowest reasonable price. Travelers are advised to book travel arrangements either directly or online through the University’s designated travel agency – Corporate Travel Planners (CTP). For budgetary or other reasons, a unit of the University may have travel requirements that are more restrictive than included in this document. Travelers employed by such units are subject to the more restrictive requirements.
Requests for exceptions to the policies and procedures established herein must be approved in advance by Treasury and Risk at [email protected]. Such requests, which must first be approved by the traveler’s supervisor, must clearly state the reasons for the exception.
According to IRS rules, a reimbursement request must be submitted within 60 days of the conclusion of travel or the expense incurred. In IRS terms, this is known as an “accountable plan.” Failure to request reimbursements within 60 days of the conclusion of travel or date of entertainment, or any other type of expense incurred, generally will result in amounts to be treated as compensation, subject to the required payroll tax withholdings and reported as taxable income on the employee’s Form W-2. This timeline ensures the University and the traveler are in compliance with Internal Revenue Service regulations that define the types of expenses that can be reimbursed without being counted as taxable income.
Business meals are classified as expenses for meals and meetings that facilitate a valid University business purpose. Expenses for business meals are not subject to per diem or other fixed limits. The expenses should be reasonable and appropriate for the given situation.
All expenses must be for a valid business purpose that is necessary and reasonable in order to conduct University business. A business purpose must be documented for all expenditures for which a traveler is requesting reimbursement.
Expenses incurred for such meals are eligible for reimbursement. In accordance with IRS regulations, a request for reimbursement must include the following:
- Business Purpose - Business purpose must be specific and clear. “Travel to Albany, NY to speak at a conference on cyber security” is an appropriately documented business purpose. “Travel to Albany for conference” is not. The business purpose of an expense may be obvious to the traveler, but not to a third-party reviewer.
- Name(s) and business relationship(s) of the individual(s) entertained
All students, faculty, and staff traveling internationally under the auspices of Fordham University must complete the Travel Registry. This is not required for personal travel or vacations. The information you provide will be used to assist you and/or contact you in the event of an emergency. For faculty and staff, failure to record your travel in this system will result in an inability to receive reimbursement for University-related travel expenses. You can also forward your travel itinerary to [email protected] to begin the process of registering your trip.
Should you have questions about registering your travel, please contact the study abroad office at [email protected] or by calling 1-718-817-3464.
Access the Travel Registry with your Fordham University login credentials.
The following are the guidelines for booking flights:
- Flights should be booked through Corporate Travel Planners (CTP), by phone or online. Refer to Booking Travel.
- Airfare limited to coach or equivalent class for continuous flights less than 6 hours.
- For continuous flights over 6 hours, the traveler is eligible for in-cabin or next higher cabin upgrade.
- Airfare should be the lowest available consistent with the most logical schedule.
- Travelers are encouraged to book travel as early as possible to take advantage of available savings.
- Additional fees for coach/economy upgrades for seat selection are permitted at the discretion of the department or school.
- Departure airport is determined by the traveler.
- Flights funded through grants may be subject to the Fly America Act or other restrictions.
The traveler will be reimbursed for standard single room accommodations in a commercial class hotel or motel convenient to the traveler’s business locations. With the exception of conference-related accommodations, travelers will not be reimbursed for luxury or resort accommodations. Assistance in identifying the lowest cost lodging option and making reservations is available from CTP. Lodging reservations may also be made online through the Concur Travel site. A personal or corporate credit card is required to confirm reservations and at check-out. A traveler who has been assigned a University corporate credit card must use that card to place a reservation and for payment at check-out.
The traveler may stay with a friend or family member on a trip, but they may not be paid. A non-cash gift such as flowers, groceries or a restaurant meal is allowed but may not exceed $75 (a receipt is required for any gift $25+). The limit is 1 gift per stay (not 1 gift per night).
Employees attending a meeting, convention or conference being held in a resort or premium hotel may stay in that facility. Often organizers of conferences will announce discounted rates for transportation and lodging. Lodging reservations may be made through CTP or directly with the conference hotel. It is suggested that discounted rates be compared to the rates for the conference site available through CTP. All discounts should be made known at the time the reservation is made, including reservation made through CTP.
Individual reservations for car rentals may be made through CTP either online through Concur Travel or directly with a CTP agent. Reservations may also be made directly with the rental agencies using the discount codes below. Automobile rentals should be limited to situations where other means of transportation are not practical, economical or available. To reduce travel costs, the class of car to be rented should be appropriate for the number of people traveling, the length of the trip and any University material being transported. Arrangements for group or team rental or rentals involving direct billing are to be made directly through Strategic Sourcing at 718-817-4950, extension 2.
Except when service is not available, travelers are required to use the designated rental agencies for University business. Requests for reimbursement for other than designated rental agencies must clearly indicate that service was not available from the designated agencies.
National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are the designated rental agencies for business travel.
- Reservations require the University’s corporate discount code – XZ24D09 for National and FOR for Enterprise.
- National Car Rental can be reached at 800-328-1234; and Enterprise at 800-261-7331.
Rentals from the designated car rental agencies do not require any additional insurance coverage. For all other rentals, Fordham University’s insurance provides liability coverage for automobiles rented for business purposes only; therefore, no additional liability insurance should be procured.
Train travel may be booked through CTP, either by phone or online through the Concur Travel website. Travelers may use the Acela Service standard fare.
When traveling short distances where air, bus or rail transportation is not practical, or to reduce the cost of several University employees traveling to the same destination, a personal automobile may be used for University business.
If damage occurs to a personal automobile while traveling on University business, the amount of the employee’s insurance deductible up to $500.00 will be reimbursed and charged to the specific department provided an accident report has been provided to Treasury and Risk.
Reimbursement for the use of a personal automobile is at the federal-employee automobile-mileage rate, which can be calculated in Concur. This is a fixed rate per mile to cover expenses of operating a vehicle (e.g. gas, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation) instead of actual expenses. Fuel receipts do not support mileage claims, and the University will not reimburse fuel purchases except for University-owned vehicles. Tolls and parking charges are reimbursable to the employee in addition to the mileage rate.
Fines for vehicle violations are not reimbursable and are the responsibility of the individual incurring such fines.
Reimbursement for meals and incidental expenses are based on the per diem rate applicable to the location traveled. Individual units may adopt meal reimbursement limits that are lower than per diem. Such limits should be communicated to the Office of Treasury Operations at [email protected].
Per diem is a fixed daily amount payable in lieu of actual expenses for meals and incidental expenses, and is used to reimburse employees for overnight business expenses. Per diem rates are for a full 24 hour day. For days of departure and return, the per diem rate will be prorated. In the case of travel between two cities on the same day, other than returning home, the rate used will be for the city in which the employee spends the night.
Per diem rates used by the University are determined by the US General Services Administration and vary by location. View the per diem rates for your travel destinations.
Per diem rates for travel outside of the United States are determined by the Department of State Travel.
For conference attendance where meals are furnished, the daily per diem will be reduced according to the GSA meal breakdown for the travel destination. The following are approximate percentages for each meal:
- Breakfast – 24%
- Lunch – 26%
- Dinner – 50%
If a companion accompanies an employee on a business trip, all expenses related to the companion’s travel, including transportation, meals, and additional lodging expenses are personal expenses and are not reimbursable unless approved by the employee’s area vice president or dean. Such approval must clearly indicate the benefit to Fordham.
Prior approval is not required for booking travel. Individual University units may adopt prior approval requirements. Such requirements should be communicated to Treasury and Risk by email at [email protected].
Airport or other business parking will be reimbursed. Travelers are urged to use long-term parking lots when available. Travelers are encouraged to use public transportation or taxi to and from the airport if it would result in a lower cost than the estimated parking fees.
Employees traveling domestically should not purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance fees for domestic travel will not be reimbursed.
It is strongly recommended that employees traveling internationally purchase travel insurance. The University will reimburse the cost of such insurance if procured through GEOBlue. Coverage and registration information for GEOBlue may be obtained from the university's International Health Insurance site.