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Travel, Meal, and Hospitality Expenses Procedure

Travel, Meal, and Hospitality Expenses Procedure Information

Date Approved: May 15, 2023
Revised: March 2023

Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidance and procedures to properly expense travel, meals, and hospitality in order to meet mandatory requirements set out by the Management Board of Cabinet through its Broader Public Sector Expense Directive effective April 1, 2011.

Definitions

Approver: A person with the authority to make approvals under the related Policy.

Chair: The Chair of the Board of Governors, accountable to the Minister, regardless of whether the title “Chair” is used.

Claimant: Anyone making a claim under the terms of the related Policy.

Consultants and Contractors: Individuals or entities under contract to the College providing consulting or other services.

Delegation of Authority: A written assignment by which a person who has a power, duty, function or responsibility under the related Policy authorizes another person (identified by name or by position title) to exercise the power, duty, function or responsibility.

Employee: Individual employed by the College whether full or part-time or temporary contract.

Hospitality: The provision of food, beverage, Lodging, transportation and other amenities at public expense, to people who are not engaged in work for the College or other BPS organizations.

Itemized receipt: Original document identifying the vendor as well as the date and amount of each itemized expense item paid by the claimant.

Office area: The area surrounding the regular workplace, with a perimeter of 24km measured by the most direct, safe and practical route by road.

President: The President of the College, including those in an acting or interim role as the executive head.

Signature: For the purposes of this procedure, signatures include original manual signatures as well as electronic and digital signatures.

Taxi: Also known as a taxicab or simply a cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers.

Application / Scope

This applies to all College appointees, board members, elected officials, employees and others, including volunteers doing business-related travel on behalf of the College.

  • These procedures do not prevail over legislation or a collective agreement(s). Mandatory requirements of these procedures cannot be waived, as they are required by law.

Prior Approval Procedures

As set forth in the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Policy prior written approval is required for all expenditures before any arrangements are made for all travel, meal, and hospitality expenditures.

The Expense Pre-Approval Form (“Form”) must be completed and signed before any travel, meal or hospitality expenses are incurred.

When Travel, Meal, or Hospitality Expenses Occur Frequently
When frequent travel or providing hospitality is a regular part of your job:

  1. Fill out one Form that will apply to all travel, meal, or hospitality expenditures for the fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  2. Obtain the appropriate approvals.
  3. Submit the approved form via email to poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca and the accounting office will retain it for compliance purposes.
  4. Incur the expense noting on the Statement of Travelling Expenses form or Corporate Card Reconciliation Report that authorization is on file.
    When Travel, Meals or Hospitality Expenses Occur Irregularly

When frequent travel or providing hospitality is not a regular part of your job:

  1. Fill out the Form for the travel, meal, or hospitality expenditure.
  2. Obtain the appropriate approvals.
  3. Incur the expense.
  4. Submit the original Form with your expense submission (Corporate Card Reconciliation Report or Statement of Travelling Expenses Form).
  5. If expenses occur on both your Corporate Card and Expense Claim, make a copy and attach, so both records have the Form.

Internal Charge-backs

Pre-approval of internal charge-backs (e.g. Chartwells, Student Life Centre) for meals and hospitality must have prior approval: Your respective VP will sign a listing of Management under their direction that has authority to use the internal chargebacks as part of their regular duties. Accounting will retain the listing for compliance purposes.

Expense Processing

Chartwells:

  1. Place your order using the on-line ordering system. Indicate your department and budget code at the time of placing the order.
  2. Chartwells will forward the original invoice to your department for your authorization signature.
  3. Forward the signed invoice electronically to Accounting poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for payment.

NOTE: If proper signing authority is not available, payment can be made and reimbursed through regular processes.

Student Life Centre:

  1. You must sign the meal order receipt at the time of the hospitality at the Student Life Centre, indicating your budget code and approval. In order to pay internally you must have approval authority over the budget department.
  2. Student Life Centre will forward the receipt to Accounting.

NOTE: If proper signing authority is not available, payment can be made and reimbursed through regular processes.

Approval Procedures

When approving expense claims, Approvers must:

  1. Provide approval only for expenses that were necessarily incurred in the performance of College business.
  2. Provide approval only for claims that include all appropriate documentation (i.e. itemized receipts, pre-approval form).
  3. Not approve their own expenses.

Managerial Discretion

Managerial discretion must be made in accordance with the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expense Policy. All decisions must be taken very carefully. When exercising discretion, the rationale must be documented and filed with the claim, in order to ensure a proper record for audit purposes. Under no circumstances can mandatory requirements of this Policy required by the BPS Expense Directive be waived by anyone.

Approvers are accountable for their decisions, which must be:

  • Subject to good judgment and knowledge of the situation.
  • Exercised in appropriate circumstances.
  • Comply with the principles and mandatory requirements set out in this Policy.

When a situation arises and discretion needs to be exercised, approvers should consider whether the request is:

  • able to stand up to scrutiny by the auditors and members of the public
  • properly explained and documented
  • fair and equitable
  • reasonable
  • appropriate

It is the responsibility of both the approver and the claimant to work out appropriate arrangements which would meet the test of being fair and equitable.

Approving Own Expenses

Expenses must be approved by your supervisor (or designate). An employee cannot approve their own travel, meal, or hospitality expenditures.

Expenses for a group can only be claimed by the most senior person present – expenses cannot be claimed by an individual that are incurred by his/her approver (e.g., a Director cannot submit his/her VP’s claim for lunch even if they were at the same event).

Delegation of Authority for Travel Approvals

Delegation is permitted as outlined in the Approval Framework Chart (page 23) for Travel within Ontario and Canada & the Continental US only. In no case can an individual be delegated the authority to approve either their own travel plans or their own expenses.

Method of Payments

Corporate Card

If you have been assigned a College Corporate Credit Card, it is encouraged that all travel, meal, and hospitality expenses be incurred using the College Corporate Card.

Personal

If personal funds are used to incur travel, meal, and hospitality expenses, the claimant must submit a Statement of Travelling Expenses Form to be reimbursed for allowable expenses. Claimant will receive the funds on their next direct deposit through payroll.
Service charges related to the late payment of personal credit card charges are the sole responsibility of the claimant and are not the responsibility of the College.

Cash Advances

Cash advances will only be issued under exceptional circumstances where the Corporate Card cannot be used (e.g. travel to remote areas where credit cards are not accepted). If a cash advance is required, please contact the Manager of Financial Services or Manager of Accounting and Payroll Services. Expenses must be in accordance with the Travel, Meal, and Hospitality Expenses Policy and Procedures and must be accompanied by an Expense Pre-Approval form and original itemized receipts.

Travel Expense Procedures

Transportation

When traveling, the most economical and practical mode must be used, as per the Travel, Meal, and Hospitality Expenses Policy.

Rental Vehicle

The vehicle rental company that has “Vendor of Record” status must be used. The employee must follow the procedures for renting a vehicle.

Note – the renter must book by providing a credit card.

Corporate Card Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
  2. Book rental online or by phone. Individuals must use the most appropriate vehicle taking into consideration the number of occupants, the business purpose, accommodation requirements, the location and safety (including weather).
  3. Obtain receipt.
  4. Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement and attach receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  5. Reconciliation will route for approval and accounting.

Personal Card Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
  2. Book rental online or by phone. Individuals must use the most appropriate vehicle taking into consideration the number of occupants, the business purpose, accommodation requirements, the location and safety (including weather).
  3. Obtain receipt.
  4. Fill out the Statement of Travelling Expenses Form and attach receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  5. Submit to Accounting electronically to poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Personal Vehicle

The employee will be reimbursed at a per kilometer rate as follows:

Total KM Driven per fiscal yearReimbursement per kilometer
0 – 5,000$ 0.61
5,001 – 24.000+$ 0.55

NOTE:

  • Mileage rates include, gas, insurance costs, vehicle wear and tear, etc.
  • The College will not assume any financial responsibility for the vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be insured by law for liability at the vehicle owner’s expense.
  • The driver/owner is responsible to ensure that the vehicle insurance is rated appropriately for the intended use of the vehicle (for example, includes coverage for business use of the vehicle).
  • The College is not responsible for reimbursing deductible amounts related to insurance coverage and will not reimburse the costs of insurance coverage for business use, physical damage or liability.
  • Expense claims must be submitted with distances calculated in kilometers.
  • Rates are based on kilometers accumulated from April 1 of each fiscal year.

Expense Claim Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
  2. After the expense has occurred, fill out a Statement of Travelling Expense Form, including the Accumulated Mileage Form (tab 2 of the form).
  3. Retain a copy of the Accumulated Mileage Form to accurately track your mileage throughout the fiscal year.
  4. Submit the Statement of Travelling Expense Form/Accumulated Form and the Expense Pre-approval form electronically to Accounting at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca.

Airplane

Airfare must be purchased on a Corporate Card or personal credit card. Employees may want to take advantage of the travel insurances by using the College’s Corporate Card. Economy (Coach) class is the standard option for ticket purchase.

Corporate Card Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
    Book flight online or through a travel agency.
    Select economy class or as required for accommodations. (note: exception for international travel).
    Obtain itinerary and receipt.
    Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement and attach receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
    Approval and routing to accounting will be automatic throughout the workflow.

Personal Card Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
  2. Book flight online or through a travel agency.
  3. Select economy class (note: exception for international travel).
  4. Obtain itinerary and receipt.
  5. Fill out the Statement of Travelling Expense Form and attach receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  6. Submit to Accounting electronically at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Bus/Train

Bus or train fair must be purchased on a Corporate Card, personal credit card or cash/debit.

Corporate Card Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
  2. Book fare online or through a travel agency.
  3. Select economy class or as required for accommodations.”.
  4. Obtain itinerary and receipt.
  5. Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement and attach itemized receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  6. Approval and routing to accounting will be automatic throughout the workflow.

Personal Card/Cash/Debit Procedure:

  1. Obtain pre-approval for the expenditure.
  2. Book fare online or through a travel agency.
  3. Select economy class, if applicable.
  4. Obtain itinerary and itemized receipt.
  5. Fill out the Statement of Travelling Expense Form and attach receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  6. Submit to Accounting electronically at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Other Travel Expenses (Taxi/Public Transit/Parking/Tolls)
Corporate Card Procedure:

Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement on Spend Dynamics and attach itemized receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
Approval and routing to accounting will be automatic throughout the workflow.

Personal Card Procedure/Cash/Debit:

  1. Fill out the Statement of Travelling Expense Form and attach receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  2. Submit to Accounting electronically at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Non-allowable Transportation Expenses

  • Charges such as fines and or court costs related to parking, and traffic related offences.
  • Additional costs for travelling with a companion, making voluntary changes to existing travel arrangements, ‘no show’ charges (unless incurred as a result of business-related circumstances or extenuating personal circumstances), and unused or lost tickets are not reimbursable.

Lodging

Hotel

Reimbursement will be made for single lodging in a standard room.

In selecting lodging claimants should take into account the additional costs of transportation and /or parking charges that could result in a higher total cost.

Expense Claim Procedures:
Corporate Card:

  1. Obtain pre-approval.
  2. Book lodging.
  3. Incur expense and obtain receipt.
  4. Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement and attach itemized receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  5. Approval and routing to accounting will be automatic throughout the workflow.

Personal Funds:

  1. Obtain pre-approval.
  2. Book lodging.
  3. Incur expense and obtain receipt.
  4. Fill out a Statement of Travelling Expense Form and attach the original itemized receipt along with the Expense Pre-Approval form.
  5. Submit to Accounting electronically at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Private Lodging

Private stays with friends or family are acceptable, and a cash payment or gift may be provided to the friend or family member:

  • A maximum of $30 per night is allowed for lodging including any meals with friends or family, in lieu of commercial lodging. Instead of a receipt, you must submit a written explanation describing the purpose of the trip, identifying the host and the number of days you stayed.
  • The $30 value may be given in the form of a small gift (which must be accompanied by a receipt) or by cash or cheque.

Expense Claim Procedures:
Corporate Card:

  1. Obtain pre-approval.
  2. Purchase a gift or meal (Note: Cash advances are not allowed on Corporate Card).
  3. Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement and attach itemized receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  4. Approval and routing to accounting will be automatic throughout the workflow.

Personal Funds:

  1. Obtain pre-approval.
  2. Purchase a gift/meal/gift card/cheque/etc. for the host.
  3. Fill out a Statement of Travelling Expense Form and record the dollar value, up to $30.00 per night.
  4. Attach the original itemized receipt, if applicable or statement of what was purchased on the form along with the pre-approval form.
  5. Submit to Accounting electronically at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Allowable Lodging Expenses

  1. Standard rooms.
  2. Cancellation fee, if beyond control.
  3. Personal care (i.e., laundry, dry cleaning) if traveling for five or more consecutive days.
  4. You may be reimbursed for gratuities paid to a maximum of 15% of the services provided for porter, hotel room services, and taxis. A record of gratuities paid must be provided with the claim.
  5. Internet, if it is not included with the rate.
  6. Long distance calling (College business only-unlimited; Personal – 20-minute limit per night).

Non-allowable Lodging Expenses

  • There will be no reimbursement for hotel suites, executive floors or concierge levels when traveling unless it is required for hosting outside guests and represents a more effective and economical alternative than paying for other hotel facilities or services.
  • Claimants will not be reimbursed for movie or game rentals, bar service, and other hotel services such as health clubs, personal grooming and spa services, etc. If you wish to use these services, it is recommended you request a separate invoice for these services so it does not appear on the receipts you are submitting.
  • Penalties incurred for non-cancellation of guaranteed hotel reservations are the claimant’s responsibility and may be reimbursed only in an exceptional circumstance.

 

International Travel Expenses Procedures

If travelling internationally (outside Canada and the continental USA), in addition to the obligations set out elsewhere in this Directive, the following procedures shall apply:

Register your travel arrangements at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration

Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency abroad or a personal emergency at home. The service also enables you to receive important information before or during a natural disaster or civil unrest.

In addition to signing up for the service, we strongly recommend that you do the following before you leave so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency:

  • Leave a copy of your passport, detailed travel itinerary, and contact details with your emergency contact;
  • Provide family or friends with the telephone number for our Emergency Watch and Response Centre and;
  • Carry contact information for the Canadian government offices abroad in the countries you plan to visit.

Corporate Card:

  1. Obtain the appropriate pre-approval.
  2. Arrange the appropriate medical insurance.
  3. Book the most reasonable travel arrangements.
  4. Incur expense and obtain receipt.
  5. Reconcile your monthly corporate card statement and attach itemized receipt and Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  6. Approval and routing to accounting will be automatic throughout the workflow.

Personal Funds:

  1. Obtain the appropriate pre-approval.
  2. Arrange the appropriate medical insurance.
  3. Book the most reasonable travel arrangements.
  4. Incur expense and obtain receipt.
  5. Fill out a Statement of Travelling Expense Form and attach the original itemized receipt along with the Expense Pre-Approval Form.
  6. Submit to Accounting electronically at poinvoice@cambriancollege.ca for reimbursement.

Insurance

Medical and Health Insurance

Eligible employees are covered under the employer’s health insurance plans in the event of illness or injury.

Traveling outside of Canada

You are responsible for arranging appropriate out-of-country medical insurance.

For College employees, this cost is reimbursable and can be charged on the corporate card unless it is automatically provided by bookings using the corporate card.

When purchasing out-of-country medical insurance, it is advised that you also purchase the option that allows for immediate payment of costs at the time of the incident (i.e., up-front payment option).

Travel Accident Insurance

Eligible employees have basic insurance for accidental injury or accidental death. Extra insurance may be arranged at the traveler’s expense – it will not be reimbursed.

Accident Reporting
All accidents must be reported immediately to local law enforcement authorities and your immediate supervisor. In addition:

  • If you are using a rental vehicle, advise the rental car agency and contact the corporate card insurance provider to initiate a claim and advise the appropriate college staff.
  • If you are using a personal vehicle, advise your own insurance provider.

Passports, Visas and Immunization
You may be reimbursed for:

  • The cost of a passport if you are travelling to the United States;
  • The cost of a passport and/or visa, plus the cost of immunizations and medications if necessary, for international travel.

Meal Expenses Procedures

Rules
Alcohol cannot be claimed and will not be reimbursed as part of a travel or meal expense. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Reasonable and appropriate meal expenses may be reimbursed. You may incur a meal expense when you are on College business and you:

  • Are away from the office area (i.e., at least 24 km) during a normal meal period.
  • Are at a business meeting/presentation/information or training session within the vicinity of your office, but it is greater than three hours or more in length and occurs over the breakfast/lunch/dinner period.
  • Are working continuously for more than three hours beyond your normal working hours.

Prior written approval is required for all of the above (see Appendix A).

Original, itemized receipts are required, and reimbursement must not exceed the actual amount spent and are subject to the maximum meal rates. Taxes and gratuities are included in the meal rates.

Reimbursement is for restaurant/prepared food only. Reimbursement for groceries must have prior approval and a written rationale must be submitted with the claim.

Reimbursement will not be provided for meals consumed at home or included in the cost of transportation, lodging, seminars or conferences.

If you travel as a regular part of your job, your meals will not normally be reimbursed unless you have obtained prior approval.

Meal Rates

Reimbursements for meal expenses incurred are subject to the maximum rates set out in the chart below. These rates include taxes and gratuities.

MealWithin Canada & USAInternationally
Breakfast$ 15.00$ 15.00
Lunch$ 25.00$ 25.00
Dinner$ 40.00$ 40.00
Daily Maximum$ 80.00$ 80.00

The meal rates as set out above are not an allowance. Claimants will be reimbursed for actual meals incurred up to the maximum rates outlined in the table above. Claims for meals cannot be made if meals are provided through some other means, such as at a conference or at the accommodation site.

However, when more than one meal is claimed for any day, you may allocate the combined maximum rates between the meals, regardless of what was spent on each individual meal.

Hospitality Expenses

Hospitality expenses must only be incurred in accordance with the mandatory requirements and rules outlined in the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Policy.

Hospitality Meal Procedure

  1. Obtain the appropriate pre-approval.
  2. Incur the expense.
  3. Submit itemized receipt and Expense Pre-approval Form with the following information with your Corporate Card reconciliation or Statement of Travelling Expense Form:
    1. Purpose and Attendees/organization and their affiliation to Cambrian College
  4. If dining in a College facility that accepts internal charge backs, follow the Internal Charge-back Procedures.

Hospitality Event Procedures
Event Planning Procedure
Choose the location:

  • Use a College facility if there is one available and appropriate.
  • If a College facility is not available and another is chosen, the respective VP for your department or President must provide prior approval.
  • Minimize costs where possible considering the size of the party and the intended business purpose.

Managing the Guest List
The host extending the invitation:

  • Must document and justify the list of College representatives.
  • Keep the number of College representatives to a minimum, limiting it to those who have a direct involvement in the business purpose of the event.
  • May include the partner of a host or College representative only when required by protocol.
  • May reimburse expenses incurred by a partner, as a guest of College hospitality with the following provisions:
    • May be paid only on authorization by the President.
    • May include costs for travel, event tickets or tours.
    • Must be paid directly to the partner concerned.

Procedure for Serving Alcohol
Responsibilities regarding alcoholic beverages

Prior written approval is required as follows:

  • From the President; with no delegation of the authority.
  • If the hospitality event is hosted by the President, the President must seek prior approval from the Chair of the Board.
  • If the hospitality event is planned at the request of the Chair, the Chair must provide prior, written authorization to the President to permit the service of alcohol.
  • Reimbursement of alcohol expenses is allowed only when the appropriate approvals are in place.
  • Hospitality may include the consumption of alcohol at a meal or a reception with invitees as defined above, but only when there is a business case.
  • Alcohol should be provided in a responsible manner (mindful of Smart Serve requirements), e.g., food must always be served when alcohol is available.
  • Preference should be given to wine, beer and spirits produced in Ontario.

Hospitality Event Reimbursement Procedure

All expenses must be documented and include original itemized receipts. The claim must include event details regarding:

  • purpose
  • date(s)
  • location
  • type of hospitality (breakfast, lunch, dinner, reception, refreshments, etc.)
  • attendees
  • College attendees (all people and positions covered by this Policy) listed by name -other attendees listed by name and organization
  • appropriate prior approvals

Gift-Giving Procedure

Appropriate token gifts of appreciation, valued up to $30, may be offered in exchange for gifts of service or expertise to people who are not engaged in work for the College. Gifts valued over $30 must have prior approval.

Consultants and Other Contractors Expenses

Reimbursement for allowable expenses under the Travel, Meal, and Hospitality Expenses Policy can be claimed only when the contract with the College specifically allows for it.

Other Procedures

Missing Receipt Procedure

  1. Fill out the Missing Receipt Voucher; attach it to your Corporate Card reconciliation or Statement of Travelling Expense form along with the Expense Pre-Approval form.

Overpayment Procedures

When overpayments are made, they must be promptly paid to Accounting once notified by Finance or Purchasing.

Process for non-allowable expenses or incomplete/missing information

1st incidence – A/P to notify claimant (see template)

Subsequent occurrences

Manager, Financial Services ???? approver (dept. mgr. / supervisor)

Will remind them about responsibilities to ensure claims are valid and complete.

Templates for addressing claimants

With regards to your expense claim submitted on <DATE> for <DESCRIPTION>, please note that:

  • We require additional information
    • The receipt for is missing
    • Your claim is missing the approver’s signature (return the claim and this notice)
    • Please provide an account code
    • Other
  • We require clarification
    • Purpose of claim
    • Details for receipt
    • Names of guests/participants and their affiliation
    • Other
  • Your claim is being declined/denied as per non-compliance to <Name of Policy> <Section>. You may dispute this decision by addressing the Manager, Financial Services and providing written statement within 10 business days* of the date of this notice.

*(possible extension in the event the claimant is on vacation provided an Out-of-Office message is received)

Responsibilities and Accountability

Employees and Appointees are responsible for:

  • following the principles and rules set out in these procedures
  • being aware of the conflict-of-interest rules
  • being aware of any relevant statutes, directives, policies, or guidelines

Supervisors and Managers are responsible for:

  • Carrying out any delegated authorities and assigned tasks in accordance with these procedures.
  • Exercising managerial discretion judiciously.
  • Ensuring there is an appropriate records retention system and that documents, including claims and approvals, are maintained and stored.
  • Ensuring staff are aware of the requirements of these procedures.
  • Seeking timely direction when there are questions of application.
  • Taking appropriate action in the case of non-compliance.