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Travel and Entertainment Expenses

Travel Expense Claims

The University reimburses faculty and staff for reasonable and necessary travel-related expenses they incur in the course of meeting their University responsibilities.

Accounts Payable maintains a dedicated Travel and Entertainment Expenses section on its website that links to the University's up-to-date Travel and Entertainment Policies. These policies apply to all University-related business, including research grant travel in most cases.

The reimbursement process is generally straightforward. Most issues, when they do occur, stem from missing or insufficient documentation. Accounts Payable typically reimburses travel expenses within two weeks.

AAU heads must submit approved travel expenses to Accounts Payable. In accordance with the one-up policy, travel expenses incurred by AAU Heads must be authorized by the appropriate Dean. To determine the authorized approving officer for a specific party, please review Section I.C ("Authorization") in the in the Travel Policy and Procedures (accessible via the "Travel Entertainment Expenses" section).

The University's online Travel Expense Form is accompanied by example forms for travel within and outside Canada, a helpful checklist, and a downloadable PowerPoint presentation on the topic.

As a general rule, it is very important to keep all receipts, boarding passes, and agendas/conference schedules. In the case that you misplace a receipt, you are required to fill out and submit the Lost Receipt Form.

Note that the University of Windsor Travel Policy was last updated in 2015. You can access the most recent version of this document via the Accounts Payable webpage.

Credit Cards

The University of Windsor Corporate Travel Credit Card is available to faculty travelling for University business. This card is issued in the traveller's name on an as-needed basis, and he or she is responsible for paying for any charges accrued. The cardholder then submits a completed reimbursement form to the appropriate "one-up" party (often an AAU Heads), who then approves it and submits it to Accounts Payable.

Please note that the Scotiabank VISA "Purchasing" credit card and the travel card are two distinct items. The Purchasing card is used to pay for a number of on-campus expenses – including office and lab supplies, teaching-related items and subscriptions – but not travel.

What is the advantage of using the University of Windsor Corporate Travel Card rather than a personal credit card?

Travel-related expenses accrued on the University card can be reimbursed before the trip takes place. While University travellers are free to use their personal credit cards for reimbursable charges, they cannot be reimbursed until after the travel has occurred.

For a complete information package, consult the Finance Department's Purchasing webpage.

Non-Allowable Items

Being a public institution, the University of course aims to use its resources as effectively as possible. With this in mind, travellers are expected to exercise care in incurring travel expenses.

For a list of items that cannot be claimed as reasonable travel expenses, please read Section II.F, "Ineligible Travel Expenses," in the Travel Policy and Procedures (accessible via the "Travel Entertainment Expenses" section).

When submitting approvals, it is helpful to directly identify that you have noticed situationally valid claims for items, such as alcoholic beverages, that are not normally allowable.

Entertainment Expenses Policy

Faculty and staff may find themselves entertaining University guests, visitors, donors, benefactors or other important associates while working in support of the University's mission.

The University will reimburse reasonable entertainment-related expenses that are supported with credible documentation. Typical entertainment expenses incurred for University business include food, alcoholic beverages and social/recreational activities.

As an AAU head, you are responsible for determining whether an expense for entertainment is reasonable. As a general rule, reasonable expenses follow sound judgment and moderation on the part of the claimant. All authorized entertainment expenses must be legally and ethically appropriate – and perceivable by the public as such. Furthermore, entertainment expenses must relate directly to activities that arise from the performance of duties and responsibilities of the employee.

Entertainment venues and costs should be consistent with the status or rank of the guest(s) being entertained and the number of persons attending, among other specific circumstances.

In order to claim an entertainment expense, the claimant must submit a completed and approved Entertainment Expense Form within 15 working days of the completion of the entertainment events. Claims cannot be reimbursed if the associated expense is older than 12 months. Contact Accounts Payable for further information.

For specific regulations and restrictions, please read the University's Entertainment Policy, which you can access via Accounts Payable.

University of Windsor Travel Agreements

The University has developed a number of agreements with rail, rental car and hotel vendors for its employees' business and/or personal use. Consult the Purchasing webpage for specific information. While you are free to use your judgment to book arrangements that meet your needs, the University recommends that you strongly consider these options prior to booking any travel related to University business.

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) has also partnered with several hotels to grant university faculty and staff favourable rates. When applying for a COU discount, note that cut-off dates may apply.

Per Diems

The University grants faculty per diem allowances for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Incidental Expenses. Receipts are not required for appropriate expenses that fall within the maximum per diem rates.

The University also grants faculty an allowable rate per kilometre for personal automobile travel.

Please consult Appendix A of the "Travel Policy and Procedures for the University of Windsor" document (accessible via Accounts Payable) for accurate rate information.

One-Up Approvals

Approval of Travel and Entertainment expenses is bound by the University's "one-up" policy.

As an authorized approving officer, you are responsible for ensuring that faculty claims are for legitimate University activities or relevant research-related activities, within the conditions of the Travel Policy and Procedures. It is also your responsibility to ensure that expenses are being charged to an appropriate account.

For your own travel, any upgraded travel accommodations (e.g. Business Class tickets) must be approved by your appropriate one-up superior – generally your departmental dean.

Note: This site is a living document, the goal of which is to improve, in some small way, the working lives of University of Windsor faculty. We are eager to collaborate with the campus community to better this service over time. If you can identify any knowledge gaps, missing resources, or outdated or erroneous information on this site, please contact Iva Gentcheva, Senior Adminstrative Officer, without hesitation.