Travel Information

Per ISU Policy: "The university will reimburse the traveler for the reasonable costs of travel incurred on university business. This policy will apply to all colleges and units of the university. The policy will be consistently enforced across the enterprise and applies to travel paid from all university funding sources except the Ames Laboratory."

ISU Policy Library - Travel Reimbursement


When is a receipt required?

A receipt is required for all single transactions exceeding $75.00, as well as all lodging, airfare, and group meal receipts, regardless of amount. Additionally, all hospitality expenses and purchases on behalf of another require receipts, regardless of amount. This policy aligns with Procurement Card and Travel & Hospitality Card receipt requirements. For more information, click here.

What type of receipt is required?

All receipts should be itemized, and should have payment information (i.e. credit card payment, or balance showing paid). For example:

  • Hotel receipts should be a final folio that shows room rates, taxes, fees, etc. as well as a balance due of $0, confirming payment.
  • Airfare should be a full itinerary with payment confirmation.
  • Group Meals should be a combination of the itemized customer copy and paid copy.

Should receipts be attached to an expense report if they are under $75 or otherwise not required?

Receipts should not be attached for expenses which do not require receipts under ISU policy. Departments cannot mandate the attachment of unnecessary documentation. NOTE: Employees should maintain receipts for their own records.

Meals/Per Diem

Should meal receipts be attached to expense reports when claiming per diem?

If meal per diem is being claimed, then meal receipts should not be added to the expense report. Employees should make every effort to remove them from the expense report, but should maintain receipts for their own records.

What if a department or grant requires actual meal receipts?

Unless there is specific verbiage in an award, receipts are not required, and departments cannot override this University policy. Please contact your Grant Finance Specialist if you are unsure of the grant provisions.

My grant requires receipts, and actual expenses (not per diem) must be claimed.

This is a small percentage of total expense reports, but if a specific grant requires receipts and actuals to be claimed, they should be entered as a "miscellaneous travel" expense item, with receipts attached. This only applies to grants where it is stated that actual expenses must be claimed.

One of the meal receipts has alcohol. Should this be reduced from the per diem?

In the instances where funding sources require actuals to be claimed, and a T&H card was used, the alcohol should be charged to an unrestricted fund. Given the new way Workday handles "chargebacks," this will not go to the UBill directly, but will reduce the total reimbursement. This ensures no alcohol is being reimbursed.

If a receipt is required, and it's a reimbursement, the alcohol should just be removed from the amount being reimbursed.

If per diem can be claimed, and receipts are not required, the receipts should be removed, and the allowable per diem claimed, since the per diem is an entitlement depending on travel status.

This page was last updated on December 10, 2020.