Employee Reimbursements Tutorial

Q: If the traveler prepays registration or is charged for the first night's lodging, can s/he be reimbursed before the trip?
A: Travel expenses cannot be reimbursed before the trip takes place. It is not allowable to put travel charges on a non-travel reimbursement. If the prepayment is causing a cash flow problem for the employee it would be better to request a travel advance. An even better solution is to avoid this problem by having the department prepay the registration by an ISU Purchasing Card or a Disbursement Voucher.

Q: If the traveler buys some books offered for sale at a conference, should s/he file separate reimbursements?
A: No, if the expense is related to the trip, s/he should claim it as part of the travel reimbursement. However, receipts will be required, regardless of the dollar amount.

Q: Is routing and approval the same for travel and non-travel reimbursements?
A: Yes.

Q: What is the reimbursement schedule?
A: Approved reimbursements are processed Wednesday and Friday nights. Travelers who receive their payroll deposits by ACH transfer usually will see a deposit in their bank account two business days later. Travelers who still receive a payroll check will have a check mailed the next day.

Q: What is the required retention period for receipts?
A: For reimbursements approved before July 1, 2009, the original receipts must be retained on-site by the department for ten years. (This was increased in June 2008 from the previous five-year retention requirement.

Since May 1, 2009, verifiers have been required to attach a PDF file of the required receipts before routing for approval. For reimbursements approved between May 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009, the original receipts must still be retained for ten years.

For reimbursements approved on or after July 1, 2009, the original receipts must be retained in the department for only one year.

This page was last updated on Februrary 16, 2016.

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