External organizations are not subject to Cornell policies and procedures and must follow their own established policies.
All expenses must be ordinary, reasonable, and necessary. For those expenses to be charged to sponsored funds, the expenses must also be allocable and allowable under the terms of the award. Units or travelers may also contact firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions.
A traveler may attempt to use a tax-exemption certificate for a university business expense; however, the vendor may still deny the exemption even when direct payment is made by the institution to which the tax exemption was granted. It is recommended that units reimburse employees for sales tax paid on expenses incurred in furtherance of university business.
For payments to employees and non-employees, the amount should be processed as a disbursement voucher with ad hoc routing to the Tax office.
For travelers who need a hardship advance, discuss the need with the finance office of your college or unit. If you are unsure whom to contact, contact your BSC for information. Each college or unit will assist in making a determination based on the facts and circumstances. Harships generally will not be allowed when opportunities exist for the university to pay directly, when a corporate card can be obtained and used, or when expenses will be paid solely at the convenience/benefit of the employee. For confidentiality, documentation related to any hardship designation will not be retained.
Meals that only include Cornell participants in travel status are not considered hosted meals. For all meals while in travel status, each Cornell traveler will be reimbursed at per diem for each meal not otherwise provided by the conference or meeting. Therefore, each diner should request a separate check or split the check. Most restaurants are able and willing to do this without issue.
A hosted meal includes a non-Cornell representative and will be reimbursed as a hosted meal. Generally, the senior-most member should pay for the hosted meal and seek reimbursement.
In these situations, the meal would not be considered a hosted meal, but a business meal. It is considered a business meal for the local staff members and reimbursed at cost based on the receipt method. In this event, the local staff members should pay for the meal. Travelers should consider these meals as provided and reduce per diem accordingly.
The goal in establishing set percentage reductions was to reduce the administrative burden of calculating multiple detailed percentages. We don’t want to encourage units or employees to require receipts and then calculate the exact percentage needed for reimbursement. Note that nothing in the policy precludes an individual from voluntarily reducing the total amount of per diem reimbursement they request.
In this circumstance, it is permissible for the faculty/advisor to pay for the group meal under the receipted method, as long as the cost per person is reasonably expected not to exceed the per diem cost per person for that meal.
No, the traveler should not adjust the per diem based upon their departure or return times. However, all meals provided by the conference or meeting or meal(s) hosted on the day of departure or return should be excluded.
Incidentals covered include fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships.
Travelers are encouraged to stay in hotels where breakfast is provided and to eat meals provided by hotels free of charge. Adjustments should be made to per diem only for meals provided by the conference or meeting being attended, or for hosted meals. Although some flights may provide meals based on the time and duration of flights, it is not required to adjust the requested per diem for meals provided on flights.
Premium airfare is allowed under certain circumstances as outlined in the policy, but in all circumstances, you are required to obtain in advance written approval from your dean, vice president, or a delegate, and attach the approval to your request for reimbursement. Individual colleges and operating units may establish more restrictive policies on the use of funds. Certain funding sources also may impose additional restrictions. You should become familiar with the applicable rules established by the sponsor or college and/or unit prior to travel.
Not necessarily. The travel policy allows for reimbursement for “the lowest economy class airfare that meets the needs of a business trip, consistent with business requirements.” This means that certain fees are allowable if they meet a business need. In some instances, physical needs may dictate additional legroom, or scheduling may require the traveler to pay a fee in advance to ensure a seat on a flight. Cornell will reimburse on university or sponsored funds (except where prohibited by the award) in these instances where the traveler has determined a business necessity for the additional cost.
Upgrades to business or first class go beyond the concept of “business need,” and are only permitted in the circumstances described in the policy. The university does not reimburse for preferred boarding, i.e., a fee to allow earlier boarding.
When possible, visitors should use Cornell's preferred suppliers and partake of the insurance available for Cornell travel. If they are not able to do so, reimbursement for reasonable insurance is allowed.
Solely for purposes of calculating mileage reimbursement, the starting travel location should be the employee’s primary work location, unless travel begins from another location. If travel begins from another business location (e.g., temporary Cornell worksite) other than the primary work location, then the actual departure location should be used as the starting point for the business trip. If travel begins from a personal location (e.g., home, other residence), and the distance from the personal location to the business destination is less than the distance from the primary work location and the business destination, the distance from the personal location to the business destination should be used.
The cost of a taxi from home is reimbursable. Travelers are encouraged to use the most economical and efficient form of transportation.
We recommend that travelers use an online mapping tool (e.g. Google Maps or Mapquest) to document mileage for driving.
Miles should be documented using the same types of tools as Cornell travelers including the date, location, number of miles, etc.
|If one or more apply, then treat as category...||Process the payment as follows:||Typical KFS Object Codes|
|Financial aid or similar travel awards
||Student Financial System. Use a RUSS form (undergraduates) or provide additional aid (graduate or professional) using a stipend or prize object code. Do not provide prepaid travel.||8100, 8150, 8250, 8450, 8462, 8463, 8500, 8550|
|Reimbursed business travel
||Accounts payable via DV for prepaid travel or travel reimbursement, using an employee travel or prepaid object code.||6750, 6760, 6780
(also 9097 for sponsored participant costs only)
|Department/unit-paid class trips and mission-related educational travel
||Accounts payable via disbursement voucher (DV) for department/unit-paid travel or travel reimbursement, typically using a student mission-travel object code, using unrestricted departmental funds.||6752, 6762|
The following documentation is required for any requests for reimbursement to a foreign visitor on a B-1, B-2, or visa waiver:
Refer to University Policy 5.10, Information Security for what information is considered confidential. However, while not currently in policy 5.10, CIT has indicated that passport numbers should be considered confidential and will be added to 5.10 as level 1 data.
For example, a traveler leaves on the 14th with a layover in Newark, and then does not land in the international location until the 15th.
We encourage travelers and BSC staff members to use their most reasonable judgement. The policy identifies the place where the traveler will sleep the night of the day of travel. If that isn’t appropriate because the traveler will be in the air overnight, a reasonable per diem should be used based on the facts and circumstances such as the destination or the last stop.
All travelers should submit sufficient documentation to determine the incremental cost of travel to the location. Because flight prices vary continually, this information should be obtained at the time of booking.
A scan is acceptable. The original should be retained at least until the traveler receives reimbursement, to ensure that the scan is legible and sufficient.
A proof-of-stay is required for all lodging expenses charged to sponsored awards. When lodging is paid through an online service like Expedia or Priceline, it may be difficult to obtain a bill at checkout. The lodging was not paid directly to the hotel, and, therefore, they generally are not able to provide a receipt at checkout. However, the hotel should be able to provide you with some sort of proof-of-stay. The traveler should request something from the hotel to indicate they stayed there. Examples include a zero-balance folio for the room indicating the traveler’s name on the room or even a note on hotel paper with the dates of stay and the traveler’s name, signed by the hotel.
In some circumstances, a receipt is not required for an individual, properly described travel expense of less than $75. However, approvers have the right to inquire about any expense less than $75.
These charges are normally below the receipt threshold. If the amount is not known, in many cases the charges can be identified using www.platepass.com, and then included in the initial reimbursement. Otherwise, they should be processed when received.
A meal may be provided in lieu of a gift. The amount will be reimbursed at per diem for the traveler and up to $100 for the host for the trip.