University of Saskatchewan

Financial Services Division (FSD)

Guidelines & Procedures

Travel Expense Guidelines

Purpose

To provide administrative assistance to the claimant and approval authorities regarding determination of reimbursable travel expenses for employees, research staff, students and visiting speakers or lecturers.

These guidelines apply to all individuals whose travel is paid for by funds administered by the University including operating, research, trust and restricted accounts. When an external granting agency's regulations are more restrictive than the University's regulations, the granting agency's regulations shall take precedence.  (An overview of Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) travel expense requirements are included at the end of this document in Appendix B. For other research, refer to the specific granting agency's policy guide-book and/or the terms of reference of the specific research contract for any allowable variations from this policy.)

As a publicly funded institution, the University will endeavour to use its resources responsibly and effectively. Individuals should exercise care and judgment when incurring expenditures. Under no circumstances are personal expenses, personal travel expenses or personal entertainment expenses to be charged to any funds administered by the University.

Requests to cover travel expenditures not provided for in the guidelines must be made to the Vice-President (Finance & Resources) through the appropriate Vice-President (e.g. Provost and Vice-President Academic - for individuals employed in an academic unit).

Note: For the purpose of this guideline, the use of terminology such as department head, dean and college are considered to also refer to director, head of administrative unit and administrative unit/division.

Concur

The university is transitioning to Concur to be the sole method of completing your travel request, claiming travel expenses, and claiming all other employee reimbursements. 

Flights can be booked through the Online Booking Tool within Concur or by contacting Uniglobe directly once you have an approved travel request.  Both of these methods will charge the flights directly to your CFOAPAL.  Hotels and car rentals can also be booked through the online booking tool, while taking advantage of discounts available to the university.  Savings from these preferred rates are direct savings to your CFOAPAL.

Discounts as of July 1, 2014 include:

Westjet:
  • 3% discount on Economy flights
  • 8% discount on Flex flights
  • 10% discount on Plus flights
Air Canada:
  • 4% discount on Flex and Latitude flights
United:
  • 2% discount on all flights
Delta:
  • Sky Bonus Points - will be redeemed to provide student travel awards

Note: Although the university receives discounts on various fare classes, travelers are still expected to fly economy or the lowest logical fair when selecting flights.

Hotel and Vehicle Rental:
  • CAUBO rates for hotels and vehicle rentals are available to users through the Online Booking Tool
  • Other vehicle rates negotiated by the U of S are also avilable through the Online Booking Tool
  • Uniglobe hotel rates are available in the Online Booking Tool
If you require Concur training you are encouraged to register for an upcoming session by logging on to the Training Services website then search courses for ‘FSD Training – Introduction to Concur Travel and Expense’.  You can also view Concur Training material on our FSD website.

Guidelines

Key Points for Travelers:

Note: This summary of Key Points is provided for your convenience.  Complete information about claim preparation, approvals, processing, allowable expenditures and other travel related items are more fully described below.

Procedure Summary and Approvals

  1. Preparation

    • Claims must be made on the Travel Expense Claim form - only one claim should be submitted per trip. A separate Travel Expense Claim form is required for each Out-of-Province and Tri-Council funded trip. This means that more than one Out-of-Province and/or Tri-Council funded trip cannot be included on a given Travel Expense Claim form.
    • If there are not enough lines on the Travel Expense Claim form to record your expenses, please use the Travel Expense Detail form along with the Travel Expense Claim form.  The Travel Expense Detail Total can be transferred to the Travel Expense Claim form. 
    • Claims must be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than 2 months, after returning from a trip. Claims submitted after the 2 months require a written explanation for the late submission.
    • Claims for reimbursement must be accompanied by original receipts and/or paid invoices detailing expenses and applicable taxes - photocopies of receipts and cancelled cheques will NOT be accepted.
    • Credit card slips alone are not acceptable as they do not normally provide sufficient detail about the items being claimed.
    • Attach original receipts for prepaid expenses so that the travel expense claim package is complete.
    • Where possible, receipts should be sorted in order of the expenditures as listed on the Travel Expense Claim form. If there are a large number of receipts, please include a summary sheet, or use the Travel Expense Detail form, as this will speed up processing of the claim.
    • If the expenditures were paid in a foreign currency, refer to http://www.oanda.com/converter/classic.
    • Original receipts in a foreign language should be translated.  Note: Payment Services reserves the right to request that such receipts be translated.
    • In certain situations externally funded contracts provide for per diem rates that are different than the University's per diem rates. In these situations, attach a copy of the section of the contract that specifies the rates that can be claimed.
    • The claimant must sign the Travel Expense Claim form. This signature indicates that all expenditures incurred are related to University business, that charges included have not been claimed from other organizations, that expenditures comply with the University or funding agency travel expense guidelines, and that the claimant has personally paid for all expenditures being claimed.
    • When forwarding the travel claim package for approval, attach all required supporting documentation including original invoices, event schedule/conference outline, if applicable (see Appendix C for examples), Authority to Travel form, if applicable, etc.
  2. Approvals

    • The claim must be approved by the person having signing authority for the UniFi Fund(s) to which the travel costs are being charged. If the signing authority is the person being reimbursed, their supervisor or designate, must approve the claim. Approval of the Travel Expense Claim form indicates that the expenses are considered to be appropriate and reasonable.
    • In no instance can an individual approve their own claim.
  3. Processing

    • After the original receipts (including prepaid receipts), event schedule/conference outline (if applicable) and the Authority To Travel form (if applicable) have been attached to the claim, and the claim has been signed and properly approved, forward the travel claim package to Payment Services, Room E80 Administration Building for processing.
    • Payment Services will only process claims that are complete. Incomplete claims will be returned to the claimant.
    • Payment Services is responsible for ensuring that all expenditures being reimbursed or paid for by the University comply with the applicable travel expense guidelines. Auditors from sponsoring agencies and corporations, Canada Revenue Agency, the Provincial Auditor's Office and the University's Audit Services Division routinely review travel and other transactions for compliance, adequate documentation and proper approval.
    • Please allow 10 working days, from receipt of the travel claim package in Payment Services, for processing.
    • Reimbursement will only be made to the individual who incurred the expenditures.
    • Reimbursement cheques will be mailed to the campus address of the claimant.  Off-campus addresses are only acceptable for students and non-university personnel.

Corporate Travel Card (BMO Travel MasterCard)

To assist in paying travel costs, the University of Saskatchewan has entered into an agreement with the Bank of Montreal to provide a corporate travel card to employees of the University. The cards are issued in the name of the employee and all charges on the card are the personal liability of the employee.

There are several advantages of using this travel card:

  1. Most University travel expenses (including hotel, car rentals, meals, etc.) can be charged to the corporate travel card with eligible expenses then being claimed for reimbursement.
  2. The corporate travel card provides approximately 60 days to pay the balance owing.  The balance owing at a given month end must be paid in full within this time period or the card will be deactivated by the bank.
  3. The corporate travel card limits the need to use personal funds or personal credit cards on University business.
  4. The corporate travel card also provides some insurance coverage, such as baggage delay insurance, car rental insurance and travel accident insurance. Travelers should review the current card agreement to determine the specific coverage provided.

The corporate "Travel Card Application" form is available online on the FSD web site.

Allowable Expenditures

Accommodation

Air Fare

Child Care and Elder Care

Hospitality Expenses

Meals

Laundry

Parking

Passports

Registration Fees

Taxis

Telephone

Vehicle, Personal Use of:

Vehicle, Rental of:

Non-Allowable Expenses

Examples of personal, non-allowable expenses, include:

Expenses for a spouse are not reimbursable unless it can be demonstrated that their presence provides a specific benefit to the University. These situations require the approval of a Vice-President.

Other Items

Business/First Class Air Fare

Insurance Coverage

Insurance - Travel Accident

Original Supporting Documentation Lost

Other travel related links

Partial payment of travel expenses by another organization

Personal Travel

Travel Advances

Forms

VersionsDocument NameHelp
Authority to Travel
Travel Expense Claim
Travel Expense Detail
Vehicle Kilometer Log
Travel Card Application
Declaration of Missing or Lost Documentation  
BMO (Travel Card) Certificate of Insurance  
Cheque Requisition/Reimbursement Form  

Contacts

For additional assistance please email payment_inquiries@usask.ca or phone 966-8323.

Appendix A

Preferred Travel Provider

UNIGLOBE
(306) 500-7525 (Saskatoon)
1-855-515-6746 (toll-free)
uofs@uniglobeone.com


Note: The recommended method of paying for airfare is to have the charge billed directly to the central university account. These travel arrangements can be made with UNIGLOBE, the university’s preferred travel provider.  Simply complete an Authority To Travel form which includes the UniFi coding information (CFOAPAL) to charge the airfare, and take or send a copy of the Authority To Travel form to UNIGLOBE.

The cost of the ticket, travel agent fees, seat selection fees and trip cancellation insurance will be charged to the university's account. On a monthly basis, the costs charged to the university account are allocated to the CFOAPAL recorded on the Authority to Travel form.

Appendix B

Overview of Tri-Council (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) Travel Requirements

(extracted from http://www.nserc.ca/professors_e.asp?nav=profnav&lbi=f3 "Use of Grant Funds" and http://www.nserc.ca/ professors_e.asp?nav=profnav&lbi=f4 "Reporting")

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) have the following specific requirements relating to travel reimbursements, approvals and documentation:

Note: At the June 2008 CAUBO Conference, the Manager of Awards Administration and Financial Monitoring, NSERC-SSHRC, indicated that regarding Supporting Documentation that NSERC is going to loosen the requirement to provide boarding passes but universities must document why they don't think boarding passes provide any control feature. Subsequently, at a meeting on July 9, 2008 the University of Saskatchewan decided to eliminate the requirement for travelers to submit airline boarding passes, as supporting documentation for air travel, as part of the travel claim package.

Appendix C

Examples of Event Schedules & Conference Outlines

(This appendix includes four examples of the 1 or 2 page documentation that must be attached to the Travel Expense Claim form regarding attendance at conferences/seminars/ workshops, etc.)

  1. "Pre-Conference Workshop" information re: Immunoregulation In Chronic Inflamatory Disorders - March 2008.
  2. "Conference at a Glance" information re: SunGard Higher Education Summit 2008 conference program book - April 2008.
  3. "International Work shop" information re: Lymphocyte kinetics in health and disease - May 2008.
  4. "Schedule of Events" information re: Toll2008 Meeting - September 2008.