Resources


Reimbursement Guidelines for CU-Affiliates: Faculty, Students, Staff

To ensure your reimbursement requests are processed in an efficient and expeditious manner, we ask that you please read and follow the guidelines listed below:

Business Expense Policy

Travel Expense Policy

Key Compliance Matters:

  • All expenses must be for a valid business purpose that is necessary and reasonable in order to conduct University business.
  • Reimbursement requests must be submitted no later than 120 days after the date of the expense. Even those reimbursements approved by the University are still considered taxable to the individual if they are submitted to the department after 120 days from the date the expenses were incurred.  Please note, the travel and business expense reimbursements should be submitted to the Business Office within 10 business days after the completion of the trip or on a monthly basis or sooner for any business expenses that are incurred locally.
  • All receipts, including meal receipts, must be itemized and include proof of payment.
  • Purchase of equipment/supplies over $500.00 must be made through the Business Office – Contact Patricia Morel with your order request

Air Travel – Economy/coach class airline tickets should be purchased aboard a regularly scheduled commercial carrier. While some restrictions or penalties may apply, reservations made 14 days or more in advance of the trip secure the lowest fares. The University expects that the majority of air travel will be at the lowest available fare. In addition, the majority of University research grants only allow for travel in coach or economy class. Travelers may travel in business class as an exception (or first class if business class service is not offered on the flight) only if:

  • the flight has a scheduled in air-flying time in excess of five hours.
  • a documented medical condition requires it.

Lodging – The University will reimburse travelers for the cost of their rooms and any applicable taxes and fees when traveling on approved University business. When possible, the University’s preferred hotel properties should be utilized and can be viewed at http://www.campustravel.com/university/columbia/.

The cost of a hotel stay in the US should not exceed $350 per night (excluding taxes). International travelers should obtain room rates that do not exceed $400 per night (US dollars, excluding taxes).

Meals – Business meetings involving only University personnel and students should not exceed the following thresholds, excluding tips and tax:

  • Up to $25 for breakfast,
  • Up to $35 for lunch,
  • Up to $50 for dinner

Business meal expenditures that are hosted by and paid for by a CU employee and include guests, business colleagues, donors, and prospective employees should not exceed $100 per person, excluding tips and tax.

List of Non-Reimbursable Expenses:
https://finance.columbia.edu/content/non-reimbursable-expenses

For more Travel and Business Expense Information:
http://finance.columbia.edu/content/roles-and-responsibilities

 

PROCEDURE FOR TRAVEL AND BUSINESS REIMBURSEMENT

Travel & Business Expense Report (TBER)

The Payee is responsible for completing and signing the TBER. The Business Office can assist in completing the form on your behalf; however, a detailed list explaining each expense must be provided. Once the Business Office completes the form, it will be sent to you for your review and signature. Please note that this may delay the process.

You will find the worksheet here.

Please note the Extra Page is for extra line items for large Business or Travel expense reports.

Please follow the instructions on the first sheet of the Workbook. You may leave Section 6 (“GL Unit—- Site”) blank.

Foreign travel (currency conversion)
Use Oanda to obtain conversions for any expense incurred in a foreign currency. Enter the amount and date of the expense. Choose your currencies. Be sure to print out a copy of the conversion and enter the USD amount on your worksheet. For expenses paid by debit/credit card, you may submit the debit/credit card statement indicating the USD amount charged on your card.

Assembling the Expense Report
Please submit the completed and signed TBER Form to the Business Office along with all of the corresponding receipts (and corresponding currency conversion pages) correctly labeled with the corresponding expense numbers on the worksheet(s). The receipts should be taped to a standard 8.5x11 paper. Please do not staple the receipts.

Please contact Patricia Morel with any questions or concerns at 212.854.7008 or pr2297@columbia.edu.

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