Travel Information

Non-Employee Travel

Non-employee travel is generally subject to the same policies and procedures as employee travel, with the following exceptions.

Documentation Exceptions:

Most employee travel expenditures do not require a receipt if the expenditure is less than $75.00. See the Summary of Allowable Travel Expenses for more information.

However, non-employee travel expenditures usually do require receipts, even if the expenditure is under $75.00.

Examples of non-employee travel expenditures that do not require receipts if less than $75.00 per transaction (see below) are:
  • airport shuttles
  • airport taxes (foreign travel)
  • baggage fees
  • cab/taxi fares
  • exit fees (foreign travel)
  • faxes
  • gasoline (in the rare situation where gasoline is claimed instead of mileage, the amount claimed for gasoline must be less than what mileage would have been, and receipts will be required if the gasoline is $75.00 or more per fill-up.
  • gratuities (tips)
  • internet charges
  • meals for an individual
  • mileage (receipts are never required)
  • parking
  • service fees for online travel agencies
  • tolls

Per transaction is in contrast to per reimbursement. For example, two individual cab/taxi fares of $50.00 would be greater than $75.00 per reimbursement, but not greater than $75.00 per transaction. Therefore, receipts would not be required.

Other Exceptions:

  • Non-employees usually are reimbursed on a Simple Disbursement Voucher, as they cannot use the Employee Reimbursement System in AccessPlus.
  • If there is a contract, both the services and the reimbursed expenses must be paid on the contract (i.e., by submitting the documentation to Accounts Payable with a Purchase Order number to create a VO Document). Services and reimbursed expenses must be paid at the same time if possible. All costs passed through to subrecipients must be paid through the subaward.
  • Students employed either as C- or XH-base must use the Employee Reimbursement System, although other students must use a Simple Disbursement Voucher.
  • Non-employees always qualify for the maximum mileage rate, as listed in the Summary of Allowable Travel Expenses.
  • International visitors may be paid a flat meal amount per day on arrival, based on the allowable in-state and out-of-state maximums. If prepayment in cash is requested, you should prepare a Non-Check Disbursement instead of a Simple Disbursement Voucher.
  • Although the Air Ticket Requisition in AccessPlus can be used to purchase tickets for non-employees, non-employees cannot be reimbursed through the Employee Reimbursement System in AccessPlus.

Common Reimbursement Problems:
  • To avoid delays in reimbursement, please make it clear to your non-employee travelers that original receipts are required, rather than faxes, copies, PDFs, or pictures of receipts.
  • Non-employee travelers may be used to claiming a per diem for meals for domestic travel. However, Iowa State University requires the actual expenditures for each meal to be itemized, as we do not allow a per diem for domestic travel, with the exceptions of international visitors to Ames and certain approved summer experiential learning programs.
  • Non-employee travelers who purchase their own air tickets need to be made aware that first class and business class fares are not allowable.
  • Non-employee travelers who purchase their own air tickets cannot be reimbursed until the trip has been completed, and will not be reimbursed if the trip is cancelled.
  • Non-employee travelers who purchase their own air tickets on federal funds need to be made aware that they must comply with the Fly America Act, which usually requires using a U.S. flag air carrier.

This page was last updated on April 26, 2017.