Finance Office

Expense Guidelines - Employees

Employee Reimbursements/Expense Reports

Rivier University will reimburse its employees for authorized expenses incurred while fulfilling their responsibilities as employees after proper University procedures are followed. P-Cards should be used when possible.

Persons incurring out of pocket expenses on behalf of the University will be reimbursed for approved expenses upon completion of a department travel expense report or purchase order. Requests for reimbursement must be filled out and turned in to the Accounts Payable office within 30 days of when the expenses were incurred. This will enable Accounts Payable to record the expenses in the proper period on a timely basis, and minimize the loss of receipts. If a request is not turned into the Accounts Payable office within 30 days, the expenses are considered personal. Once a request has been submitted to the Accounts Payable office, a reimbursement check will be issued within two weeks.
All reimbursement requests must include:

1. Completed department travel expense report or purchase order
2. Faculty/staff and supervisor signatures
3. Dates of travel, if applicable
4. Detailed receipts attached; if a receipt is unavailable, see other acceptable substantiation noted below.*
5. When requesting a mileage reimbursement, include MapQuest or similar printout to substantiate miles driven. (For frequent destinations, please provide MapQuest printout with the first request of the year and A/P will keep it on file.)

*An itemized receipt or substitute documentation must support each purchase. The preferred documentation is listed below in order of preference:

1. An original receipt or invoice from the vendor including:

  • Vendor name
  • Transaction amount
  • Date
  • Itemized description of the item(s) purchased
  • For meals, include the names of individuals at the meal, or the name of the group, and the business purpose or reason for the meal

2. Copies or facsimiles of the original receipt or invoice
3. A packing slip, statement, or other documentation received from the vendor
4. A screen-print or order confirmation e-mail, when making Internet purchases, or a copy of an order form that was mailed to a vendor to request an item.
5. If an original receipt is not available, prepare a memo giving the reasons why, sign and give it to your supervisor for approval of the expenditures.

Travel Reimbursement

If receipts are in foreign currency, convert all expenses to U.S. dollars. Indicate the rates used to convert foreign currency to U.S. dollars. The rates should be those used at the time of the transaction, not the rates in effect at the time you complete and submit your reimbursement form. Convert each line separately. If travel is to more than one country, indicated the applicable rates on a separate sheet and attach to the reimbursement form.

Reimbursable Expenses

University funds may be used for ordinary and reasonable, business-related expenses that support the mission of Rivier University. A sample of allowable expenses includes, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Automobile rentals
  • Meal expenses, including reasonable gratuities 
  • Expenses associated with baggage handling, storage, and tips
  • Lodging expenses 
  • Telephone calls, including those calls necessary to obtain transportation and hotel reservations, communication with the University, and one call upon arrival to family.
  • Transportation costs 

Note: This list is intended to be representative, not comprehensive.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses

  • Business expense not substantiated by original receipt/documentation 
  • First class travel 
  • Purchase of flight insurance or baggage loss insurance 
  • Personal purchase of goods and services 
  • Alcohol 
  • Personal entertainment 
  • Airline clubs 
  • Rental car mileage for personal use 
  • Rental of child car seats 
  • Rental of portable GPS 
  • Haircuts/spa 
  • Child care 
  • Traffic violations 
  • Hotel valet service (unless required for disability) 
  • Entertainment (tickets to concerts, plays, athletic events, golf, theme parks, etc.)
  • Excessive personal phone calls 
  • Hotel amenities (in-room movies, mini-bar, laundry/dry cleaning) 
  • Magazines and newspapers 
  • Costs incurred by failure to cancel reservations 
  • Supplies for conference use 

Travel Companion

The travel expense of an employee’s spouse, significant other, friend, or family member is not reimbursable. When travel expenses include costs related to companion travel, a written explanation and clear documentation identifying the incremental costs of all expenses items affected should accompany the travel expense report and reimbursement for these costs should not be requested.

Travel Arrangements 

Travelers have the responsibility to make reservations as early as possible to take advantage of advance purchase discounts. A business trip that is combined with a personal trip must be disclosed to and approved by a supervisor prior to confirming any arrangements. Once approved, all personal expenses including any increase in airfare are to be paid directly by the employee.

Air Travel

Rivier University covers the cost of coach class tickets. Any upgrades, enhancements, or additional travel insurance are personal expenditures and will not be paid for by the University. First Class air travel is not an allowable expense. Advanced purchase discount tickets should be purchased whenever possible and every effort must be made to obtain the lowest fare possible.

  • The University will not reimburse travelers for personal items lost while traveling on business. The airlines are responsible for compensating travelers for lost baggage. 
  • Additional costs incurred by a lost or stolen ticket will be the responsibility of the traveler and will not be reimbursed by the University. 
  • Frequent Flyer miles earned by the traveler during University business travel may be retained by the traveler for personal use. 
  • Dues for membership in any airport/airline club are not reimbursable.

Rental Cars

Travelers may rent a car when the total costs including parking are less expensive than other transportation modes such as taxis and airport shuttles. All employees renting cars must comply with all rental agency requirements as well as state and local laws governing operating a motor vehicle. Violations of any motor vehicle law are the employee’s personal responsibility. 

Ground Transportation

Transportation expenses shall be reimbursed based on the most economical mode of transportation and the most commonly travel route consistent with the authorized purpose of the trip. Personal Automobile Mileage expense: When the traveler uses their own vehicle on authorized University business, it is their personal insurance policy that is primary coverage for liability and physical damage coverage.

  • Mileage is reimbursed at the rate currently established by the Vice President for Finance 
  • Maximum reimbursement for mileage is 400 miles roundtrip 
  • Tolls and parking fees are reimbursed at actual cost 
  • Gas, oil, repairs, maintenance, fines, etc. are not reimbursed


Rivier University will pay for accommodations up to the single room rate or up to $150 per night or cost up to $300 in high-cost areas. Educational or conference discounts should be requested when reservations are made. Reimbursements will be made for the actual and reasonable expense of lodging for each night that you are traveling away from home.


The University will pay for the reasonable cost of meals while traveling. Original detailed receipts are required for reimbursement of meal expenses. Alcohol will not be paid for with University funds. If incurred, payments for alcoholic beverages should be separated and paid for by the employee directly and are not eligible for reimbursement.


It is the responsibility for the traveler to cancel any hotel reservations, car rental, and airline reservations that will not be used. A record of cancellation number should be retained, in the event of billing disputes. If an employee fails to cancel a reservation in a timely manner, he/she will be held responsible for any cancellation fees. Cancellation reimbursement should be made to the University as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.

Note: Any exceptions to the policy must be approved by the Assistant Controller.

Lost Receipts

A traveler who loses a required receipt should seek a duplicate. When an acceptable duplicate is unobtainable, the traveler should submit a Lost Receipt Form.