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Travel Policy and Procedures

Purpose

Wentworth Institute of Technology appreciates the efforts of those employees who travel on Wentworth business. Travelers should be comfortable while traveling and obtain reimbursement quickly. At the same time, it is necessary to keep trip costs within reasonable limits and to follow consistent reimbursement procedures. To accomplish both objectives, travelers should understand all travel related policies.

Students traveling on Wentworth business are expected to follow the same guidelines established for employees.

This policy is intended to:

Ensure clear and consistent understanding of policies and procedures. Provide guidelines that simplify travel arrangements and enable Wentworth to better manage its travel budget and ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.

Should you have any questions concerning your business travel, call the Accounts Payable Department (x4326 or x4324), the Purchasing Department (x4252 or X4251), or ask your Department Budget Manager.

Policy

It is the policy of Wentworth to reimburse employees for actual, reasonable and proper expenditures incurred while conducting Wentworth business.

Good business practice requires that all "actual" expenditures be clearly and correctly recorded; any unusual items or amounts must be fully explained. Receipts are required for all expenditures.

Expenditures are deemed "reasonable" in that they enable an employee to live comfortably, but not extravagantly while away from home. Employees are expected to exercise the care they would normally use while operating on their own funds.

Expenditures are deemed "proper" in that they further the business purpose of the trip and conform to Wentworth Travel Policy. Expenses should also conform to the sound ethical and legal standards of conduct expected of all employees.

Individuals who incur business travel expenses should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of travel for Wentworth.

Responsibilities

Traveler's Responsibilities

Wentworth travelers are expected to expend Wentworth funds prudently. They are expected to familiarize themselves with Wentworth Travel Policy and abide by it.

Submit Travel Expense Reports within ten (10) business days of returning to Wentworth. Expenses must be reasonable, accurately reported, appropriately documented, properly authorized and within the guidelines of this policy.

Clearly separate personal expenses and deduct them from reimbursable costs.

Authorized Signer's Responsibilities

Because they are more familiar with expenses incurred on behalf of their department, authorized signers have primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with this policy. The authorized signer must verify that expenses and Travel Expense Reports meet the following criteria:

The trip was an authorized budget expense.

The travel expense was incurred while conducting authorized Wentworth business.

The information contained on the expense report and in the attached documentation is accurate and in accordance with this policy.

The expenditure is charged to the proper account(s).

The authorized signer is normally the individual assigned as Department Budget Manager on the account to which expenses are charged, with the below exception.

Travel supported by Sponsored funds is approved by the Principal Investigator (PI) and submitted to the Staff Accountant for Sponsored Programs. In the case of PI travel, it will be approved by the Staff Accountant for Sponsored Programs. It is the responsibility of the PI and Staff Accountant for Sponsored Programs to insure that travel expenses meet all applicable Sponsor guidelines.

Travel by Vice Presidents or Division Heads is approved by the V.P. of Business & Finance or the President.

Business and Finance's Responsibilities

Wentworth Travel Policy meets the IRS definition of an "accountable plan", so that travel reimbursements do not have to be reported as income to the traveler.

Authorized signers are informed of their responsibilities.

Sponsored project travel meets all contractual requirements.

Travel advances and reimbursements are made in a timely fashion.

The authorized travel agency best meets the needs of Wentworth.

IRS Compliance

Improperly documented business travel or inappropriately reimbursed expenses could have personal tax consequences for the employee. This policy is designed to meet IRS requirements and therefore avoid complicated tax consequences for the employee and Wentworth.

In order to conform to IRS regulations, the following requirements must be met:

Advances and reimbursements must be made for business expenses only and must be reasonably related to the expenses the employee is expected to incur.

Travelers must provide a statement substantiating the amount, time, use, and business purpose of expenses within a reasonable time after the expenses are incurred. Wentworth requires that the Travel Expense Report be submitted within ten (10) business days of the traveler's return. Original receipts must be attached to the statement.

Employees must return any travel advance amounts in excess of substantiated expenses after completion of the trip. Wentworth requires that excess advance funds be returned with Travel Expense Reports. Funds not returned in a timely fashion could be deemed taxable.

Reimbursement for items deemed as a benefit to the employee could be taxable as income. (Note item: 16. EXCLUSIONS. This list was compiled to assist the traveler in staying within IRS guidelines.)

General Information

The Accounts Payable Dept., in the Controller's Office, is responsible for managing travel advances and reimbursements. Please submit Travel Advance Request Forms and Travel Expense Reports to the Accounts Payable Department.

If a request for an advance or a properly completed reimbursement form is submitted by the end of business on Tuesday, a check for reimbursement will be ready by noon on Friday.

Forms are available from Accounts Payable, the Controller's Office LConnect page, the Purchasing Department or Budget Managers. If you have any questions concerning completion of either form or this policy, they are available to assist you.

Travel Expense Reimbursements

Travel Expense Reports should be properly completed, approved and forwarded to Accounts Payable in the Controller's Office within ten (10) business days of your return.

Original receipts for all expenses incurred are expected. Meal receipts should be shown by items ordered. Missing receipts may allow Wentworth to refuse a reimbursement.

Incomplete or inaccurate Travel Expense Reports will be returned to the employee for correction.

Business trips, which also include travel for personal reasons, will be reimbursed only for the direct or business portion of the trip, based on expenses actually incurred for business purposes. Ticket stubs or legible copies covering the routing of both the direct and indirect (personal) portion of the trip should be attached. The reimbursable business portion of the trip must be clearly documented.

A blank Travel Expense Report can be found on the Controller's Office LConnect page under the Employee Resources tab.

Travel Advances

The Controller's Office makes available travel advances to cover expenses which cannot be handled through the normal purchasing process. Travelers requiring advance funds should complete a Travel Advance Request form and submit it to the Accounts Payable Department.

Travel Advances will not be issued to employees with outstanding Travel Expense Reports or with prior travel advances that have not been liquidated. Advances will not exceed reimbursable estimates for out of pocket expenses.

A blank Travel Advance Request can be found on the Controller's Office LConnect page under the Employee Resources tab.

Authorized Travel Agency

Wentworth has entered into an agreement with Expedia Corporate Travel to process Wentworth travel arrangements. You can set up a user profile yourself at www.expediacorporate.com or call an Expedia Sales Associate at 1-866-397-2677 to make travel arrangements. To assist the Sales Associate, please identify yourself and that you are calling from Wentworth Institute of Technology. If you have any questions on the Expedia contract or need further assistance please call the Purchasing Department at x4252 or x4251.

Procedures for Making Travel Arrangements

When making air travel arrangements, it is important to allow as much lead time as possible prior to departure so that savings can be maximized. Fourteen (14) days is a minimum industry standard.

As mentioned previously under authorized travel agents you may either book on-line through Expedia or through various travel websites if more optimal pricing can be obtained. If using Expedia by phone please call an Expedia Sales Associate at 1-866-397-2677 with complete travel plans to ascertain the most economical airline and hotel rates. Again, please identify yourself and that you are calling from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Give destination(s) and date(s) with any departure or arrival time restrictions. The more flexible your schedule, the greater the opportunity for savings.

Identify other passengers who are traveling on the same itinerary.

Specify if you are attending a conference or convention. Special airfare or hotel rates may have been contracted for by the sponsors. Expedia will book these special special fares for you, if possible.

Air Travel

It is the policy of Wentworth to effect maximum practical savings on air travel expenses. All travelers are urged to book their reservations as far in advance as possible to maximize savings. All personnel should travel coach or on special reduced fares, when available. Business class is not reimbursable unless available at no extra charge. First class travel is not reimbursable.

Airline incentives which provide benefits directly to the traveler, such as mileage programs, should not be considered in selecting a particular flight or airline.

Use Expedia or travel websites TO BOOK ALL AIR TRAVEL. If you feel that your needs are not being meet, call the Director of Purchasing at x4252 for assistance.

Lodging

Employees may make their own arrangements for lodging. It is recommended that room reservations be secured and paid for by the employee using a corporate credit card. Upon returning from a trip, hotel receipts along with other expenses should be submitted for reimbursement on the expense report.

Since hotel rates vary widely, employees are expected to exercise reasonableness and good judgment in this regard. If you are attending a conference there is often a pre-negotiated rate in effect for a block of rooms for hotels associated with the conference. Please be aware of time constraints for making reservations and book early to obtain this pricing.

In the event it is necessary to change guaranteed reservations, it is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure cancellation of the reservation. Be sure to obtain a cancellation number and/or the name of the person who took your cancellation call.

Contact the Purchasing Department at x4252 or x4251 if you need assistance in securing your lodging.

Automobile Rentals

Rental vehicles should only be used when absolutely necessary to conduct business, not as a personal convenience, and should be rented only for the specific time needed. Rental vehicles normally should not be used unless the cost is less than that of other available transportation, such as taxis or airport shuttle bus services, or if circumstances make a rental car the most reasonable means of travel. Wentworth has a contract with Enterprise (number GB7928) for making rental car arrangements. If you need assistance in this area, please call Purchasing at x4252. Airport shuttle bus service and taxis should be used as transportation unless these are not available or economical.

Rentals should be secured in the name of Wentworth. The rental agreement should be signed "Wentworth," plus the signature of the traveler. ACCEPT the Collision Damage Waiver. Deny other forms of insurance since Wentworth already provides coverage for employee's liability when driving a rented vehicle. List all drivers who will be expected to drive the vehicle. (Note Item 20. TRAVEL ACCIDENT POLICY)

Auto rentals can also be arranged through Expedia Corporate Travel

Personal Automobile

When traveling locally, employees may be required to use their personal auto for business trips. Wentworth has established a fixed rate per mile for this purpose. This rate is reviewed annually by the Controller and is available by opening the Travel Expense Report. The number of miles reimbursed will be equal to the actual miles driven less the traveler's normal commuting miles (i.e. round trip distance between home and Wentworth). When using personal autos for traveling outside the local area, reimbursement will not be in excess of the cost of alternate means of transportation, such as air travel. Properly documented parking and toll charges are allowed for travel with a personal or rented auto.

Business Meals

Meal reimbursement during travel is permissible. Employees are expected to exercise good judgment when ordering meals. Recognizing that there are regional differences in meal costs, specific dollar guidelines have not been provided in this document. It is up to the employee to be reasonable in incurring meal costs and it is the responsibility of the authorized signer to review these charges for reasonableness.

When traveling on Federal Government Sponsored business, the consumption of alcohol is not reimbursable and is therefore a personal expense. Wentworth follows this same policy and will not reimburse for the consumption of alcohol.

Other reimbursable expenses

Other reimbursable expenses include:

  • Gratuities (paid in accordance with local custom).
  • Telephone and FAX (limited to business and reasonable personal calls to family).
  • Fully explained miscellaneous expenses that support the business purpose of the trip.

Exclusions

There are certain expenses which Wentworth believes are not in conformance with the business purpose of travel for Wentworth and are, therefore, not reimbursable. Such items are considered personal in nature and the responsibility of the employee. A partial listing of such non-reimbursable items follows:

Airport parking in excess of commercial transportation to the airport Damages to an employee's personal vehicle while on company business Dues for airline clubs Fines for traffic violations Insurance of personal property or flight insurance Laundry Loss of money, Wentworth-paid airline tickets, or personal funds Loss of personal property - clothes, jewelry, etc. Magazines, periodicals, books, except those required for WIT business Membership fees covering personal credit cards Movie rentals Consumption of alcohol Purchase of clothing or personal items Recreational events - plays, tourist attractions, movies, parks, sports.

Combining Personal and Business Travel

Personal/vacation travel may be combined with business travel with appropriate prior approval provided there is no additional cost to Wentworth. The distinction between business expenses and personal expenses must be clearly documented in order to receive proper reimbursement. If the personal travel time is greater than the business part (e.g. 4 days out of 7), then reimbursements could be taxable.

Traveling with Spouse

When electing to travel with a spouse (who is not on Wentworth business), only business expenses which have been incurred by the employee will be reimbursed.

Substitution of Expenses

Reimbursement will not be made for any expenditure which is in lieu of the normally reimbursable type of expense (e.g., when an employee elects to stay at a relative's or friend's home instead of commercial lodging).

Travel Accident Policy

Wentworth provides accident insurance coverage for employees who are injured while traveling on official Wentworth business. The corporate auto policy includes liability coverage for Wentworth and employees driving rental vehicles. Further information on Wentworth provided coverage is available from the Director of Business Services who can be reached at x4254.

Travelers having an accident or emergency while traveling and requiring assistance from Wentworth should call Public Safety (at 617-989-4444) for direction and assistance.

Petty Cash

Petty cash reimbursements are available for items of $50 or less and should be used for local travel (i.e. mileage, meals, etc.) that does not exceed $50. To avoid unnecessary paperwork, employees are encouraged to take advantage of using petty cash. Call the Controller's Office at x4327 to arrange a convenient time for reimbursement.

Summary

Wentworth believes that its Travel Policy and Procedures present fair and reasonable guidelines and that all Wentworth travelers should comply with them as presented. However, we recognize that there are circumstances in which exceptions to the travel policy may be necessary. Exceptions require prior approval and should be discussed first with the employee's supervisor and then brought to the V.P. of Business & Finance for approval.