Travel

Policy

10-6: Reimbursement requests

Effective: January 15, 2024
Approved by: Van Christensen
ReferencesUtah Code 63A-3-107Administrative Code R25-7Administrative Code R25-5.


Purpose

This policy outlines how reimbursement requests must be submitted, what documentation must be included, and who must approve the requests. This policy also states which expenses are not eligible for reimbursement.


Definitions

Agency – Any agency, board, bureau, commission, office, department, or other administrative subunit of state government. This definition includes the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Chief of staff – The chief of staff to the governor. 

Concur – Software used by the state to manage travel, reimbursements, and p-card transactions. 

Conference hotel – A hotel designated by the conference sponsor or organizer as a conference hotel.

Designee – The person who has written permission from the executive director to act on the executive director’s behalf. The executive director is responsible for selecting a designee who has the knowledge, skills, and experience to make decisions in the best interest of the agency.

Executive director – The executive leader of an agency.

FINET – The financial management system used by the state for accounting, budget control, and reporting.

P-card – A state-issued purchasing card used for approved business purchases. 

Reimbursement – Money paid to compensate travelers for money spent while traveling on official business.

Reimbursement request – The general term for requesting payment for travel expenses. In Concur, travelers add their expenses to a report. Travelers who cannot use Concur use form FI 51.

Traveler – Any person traveling on official state business for an agency or political subdivision. This definition includes employees, non-employees, board members, elected officials, vendors, volunteers, grant recipients, and award beneficiaries. 

Travel policy – All policies labeled travel policy established by the GovOps Division of Finance.

Travel request – The general term for asking permission to travel for state business. In Concur, the state’s travel software, travelers add their expected expenses to a request. Travelers who cannot use Concur use form FI 5.


Policy

A – Reimbursement requests must be submitted in Concur

1 – Travelers must record their travel expenses in a reimbursement request in Concur.

2 – Travelers must submit reimbursement requests in Concur within 60 days of the date they paid for travel expenses.

B – Necessary documentation must be attached to reimbursement requests

1 – Travelers must attach an itemized receipt to each expense, except for meals and incidental expenses. The itemized receipt must show the following:

  • the items or services;
  • merchant;
  • dates the items were purchased or services incurred;
  • quantities;
  • cost of each item;
  • total cost; and
  • proof of payment.

2 – Travelers who don’t have an itemized receipt must choose the missing receipt affidavit option for that expense. A missing receipt affidavit cannot be used for lodging, airfare, or rental vehicles.

2a – Travelers with excessive missing receipt affidavits may lose travel and p-card privileges and be denied reimbursement.

3 – Travelers must write a business purpose for each expense in their reimbursement request. Travelers must describe why they paid for an expense and how it is related to state business.

4 – Travelers may need to attach other documentation to their reimbursement request.

4a Travel itinerary: If travelers took a flight, stayed overnight in a hotel, or drove an out-of-state rental car, they must attach their travel itinerary to the reimbursement request.

4b Documentation of miles: If travelers used their personal vehicle for state business, they must document their mileage. Travelers must use the mileage calculator in Concur to report miles driven.

4c Schedule of events: If travelers attended a seminar, conference, convention, training, or meeting, they must attach an agenda to their reimbursement request.

4d Registration materials: If travelers attended a seminar, conference, convention, or training, they must attach registration materials to their reimbursement request. The materials must show the following information: the registration cost, dates, location, schedule, conference hotel and rates, and provided meals.

C – Expenses not eligible for reimbursement

1 – All expenses must have a valid business purpose. The state does not reimburse the following expenses:

  • Alcoholic beverages,
  • Pet or animal care, food, or boarding services,
  • Child care or house-sitting,
  • Prepaid fuel or refueling charges required by the rental company for rental cars,
  • Motorized scooters,
  • Commuting mileage between the traveler’s home and primary work location,
  • Any expenses for or on behalf of family members, friends, relatives, acquaintances, or other travel companions.

2 – Agencies must contact the GovOps Division of Finance if they encounter unusual expenses and are unsure if the expenses are eligible for reimbursement.

D – Reimbursement requests must be approved by an appropriate authority

1 – The order for required approvals is as follows: budget officer, supervisor, and division director (or agency equivalent). Situations that require different approvers are discussed in policy 10-4 section D.

2 – The executive director or designee must approve reimbursement requests if:

2a – reimbursement requests for out-of-state or international travel exceed 125% of the amount approved in the travel request; or

2b – reimbursement requests are not submitted within 60 days of the date the traveler paid for expenses.

E – Approvers must ensure reimbursement requests are accurate and comply with policy

1 – Approvers must ensure reimbursement requests are accurate and comply with travel policy. Approvers must do the following:

1a – confirm that expenses have an itemized receipt attached. Review the receipt to make sure expenses were for business purposes, applicable to travel dates, and represent actual goods and services received.

1b – confirm that expenses are properly coded.

1c – make sure the traveler attached any other necessary documentation for each expense. For example, if a traveler had personal days added to their trip, they must attach a flight comparison to the reimbursement request. Or if a traveler booked a conference hotel, they need to attach conference materials.

1d – ensure travelers are not reimbursed for p-card purchases or expenses on other reimbursement requests; and

1e – review alerts and make sure there are no error messages in the reimbursement request.

2 – If approvers find errors in the reimbursement request, they must send it back to the traveler with a note explaining what needs to be changed. For example, if a traveler did not attach a necessary document or did not use the mileage calculator, the approver must send the reimbursement request back to the traveler.

3 – If approvers find expenses that do not comply with policy, they must notify the executive director or designee in writing. For example, if a traveler upgraded to a first class flight without an approved exception.

3a – The executive director or designee may decide whether the traveler is reimbursed. These decisions are subject to oversight by the GovOps Division of Finance.

3a.1 – The approver must attach the following documentation to the reimbursement request:

  • a copy of their communication with the executive director or designee and;
  • evidence of the executive director or designee’s decision.

F – Agencies must collect overpayments

1 – Agencies are responsible to collect payment from travelers who were overpaid when reimbursed.

G – Travelers who cannot use Concur

1 – Travelers who cannot use Concur must use form FI 51: Travel Reimbursement Request. Travelers must include the necessary documentation listed in section B.

2 – For reimbursements that are taxable, travelers must submit form FI 48: Employee Reimbursement/Earnings Request to the GovOps Division of Finance payroll team.

3 – Reimbursements must be entered and approved in FINET instead of Concur.