Accounts Payable Policies: Employee Expenses
Cash awards paid directly to employees must be paid through payroll and may only be paid in conjunction with an established written award program approved by the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance.
Non-monetary awards given to employees must comply with the provisions of an established written award program approved by the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance. Invoices submitted for purchases of awards to be given employees must be accompanied by the name of the recipient(s), and the title of the approved award program. Note: Materials distributed to employees during business-related training sessions and which are provided by the trainer to reinforce the training objectives or to assist the employee in the performance of job related duties are not classified as "awards". Rather, these purchases should be classified as "training supplies". Clear documentation should accompany payment claims for training supplies to demonstrate the business purpose of the expenses.
(See also Gift Cards and Certificates.)
Form of payment. Payment may be in the form of a direct payment to the vendor, a reimbursement to the conference registrant, or a purchasing card transaction. The University encourages the use of a purchasing card for the prepayment of conference registration fees.
Prepayment by the University. The only prepayment for conference expenses that the University may remit is for registration fees. Note: If prepayment is required for meals, entertainment reservations, etc., the conference registrant must include a personal check with the payment request to cover those items. See also Lodging.
Out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses incurred for meals, conference registrations, travel and lodging may be reimbursed after the conference.
Entertainment expenses. Entertainment expenses for conference registrants and/or traveling companions may not be reimbursed.
Documentation. Documentation must include original invoices, receipts, and/or registration forms and a statement providing the date, business purpose and agenda of the conference. In the case of a reimbursement to a University employee, documentation must be attached to an appropriately executed SAP Travel Expense Statement.
Employee vs Independent Contractor?
Entertainment Expenses. State funds may not be used to pay entertainment expenses for any purpose.
Faculty/Staff Training, Planning and Development Retreats.
- Food expenses incurred in conjunction with a faculty or staff
training, planning or development retreat being conducted by UNK
faculty/staff or administrators may not be paid with general
appropriations, revolving or auxiliary funds.
- Exception: When food expenses are incurred in conjunction with a
faculty/staff training, planning or development retreat which is managed and conducted
by an external consultant engaged by the University to provide those
services, general appropriations, revolving or auxiliary funds may be
used to underwrite those food expenses. Accompanying a request for
payment of food expenses incurred in these circumstances must be an
explanation of the purpose of the event, an agenda, and a complete
roster of participants classified by “Student”, “UNK Employee”, and/or
“Other (please specify)”
- Other expenses: Expenses (e.g. lodging, facilities rentals or other
travel-related costs) incurred in conjunction with faculty/staff
training, planning or development retreats are subject to the same
exception and the same documentation requirements noted in the previous
two bullet points. General appropriations, revolving, or auxiliary funds
may not be used to fund those functions which are not managed and conducted by an external consultant engaged by the University.
Food/Meal Expenses. When food or refreshments are purchased with State funds, a legitimate business purpose for the expenditure must be demonstrated. In no circumstance may alcoholic beverages be purchased with State funds. When substantiation requirements are met, there are three categories of food/meals expenses for which employees may be reimbursed:
Mileage. (See Personal Vehicle, Use of)
--In general, UNK will only reimburse employees for moving expenses if the expenses have been pre-approved in writing by the appropriate administrative officer--the dean of each respective college, the Chancellor, or the appropriate vice chancellor.
--Reimbursement may be for actual out-of-pocket expenses or for a limited pre-approved dollar amount.
--The distance between the employee's old residence and the new job site must increase at least 50 miles over the distance between the old residence and the old job site.
--A regular full-time employee who is relocated to another geographical area at his/her own request and for his/her personal benefit shall not be reimbursed.
--No office/service employee, student employee, or employee with the rank of research assistant, graduate assistant, teaching assistant or teaching fellow will be allowed moving expense reimbursement.
--Moving expenses may not be incurred by or paid to the employee later than one year from the date the employee begins employment at UNK.
Qualified Expenses -
- The cost of transportation of the employee and members of his/her household from old to new residence.
- The cost of transporting household goods and personal effects. Two bids are required. The University currently has household moving contracts with various moving companies. See Moving Companies (PDF) or Contact Business Services (865-8525) for more information on these contracts and to arrange for payments to be made by UNK directly to the moving company
- The cost of lodging en route during actual move, subject to standard limitations.
- The cost of meals subject to standard limitations.
- Temporary living expenses for up to thirty (30) days at the new location. Contact Business Services for possible UNK contracts with motels and hotels.
- Expenses of traveling (including meals and lodging) from the former residence to the new place of employment for the principal purpose of searching for a new residence. Reimbursement is limited to two (2) pre-move house hunting trips.
- The cost of relocating one (1) personal vehicle from the pre-move residence to the new location. Note: Reimbursement is limited to one vehicle, one way and for one trip. UNK will not pay or reimburse expenses for the transportation of more than one automobile, nor will UNK reimburse for the transportation of boats, mobile homes, campers, and/or trailers.
Payment Claim and Other Documentation -
- A Moving Expense Reimbursement Agreement may be completed to document the moving expense arrangement between UNK and the employee. The original signed Agreement, accompanied by all original receipts for reimbursable expenses, may be submitted by the UNK department to Accounts Payable for payment.
- All payments will be reported on the employee's W-2 at year-end in the appropriate taxable or non-taxable boxes.
Payroll Taxes -
- New employees should be advised that, for each taxable moving expense reimbursement, applicable payroll taxes will be withheld from the first payroll check issued after the moving expenses are reimbursed unless alternative withholding arrangements have been made with the payroll department in advance.
- Failure to provide original receipts with the request for reimbursement of moving expenses as required by this policy automatically causes the reimbursement to be reported as taxable, regardless of whether the reimbursement would otherwise be reported as non-taxable.
- All reimbursements of moving expenses will be reported on the employee’s W-2 at year-end in the appropriate taxable or non-taxable boxes.
Out-of-pocket Expenses. Appropriate documentation, including original receipts, for all out-of-pocket employee business expense claims should be attached to an appropriately executed SAP Travel Expense Statement or Employee Non-Travel Expense Voucher (whichever is appropriate in the circumstances) and submitted to Accounts Payable for review. (See also, Accountable Plan, Reimbursement Claims.)
University Employee Expenses Incurred by another Nebraska State Agency. On occasion, a University employee may incur valid travel or miscellaneous expenses connected with performing services for another Nebraska State Agency. In these situations, after receiving the employee's reimbursement request and after appropriate audit of the request for compliance with State rules and regulations, the Agency receiving the employee's services must transfer funds in the amount of the reimbursement request to the University via the Nebraska State Accounting System. In turn, the employee's home campus must then reimburse its employee using normal employee reimbursement means for his expenses incurred while serving the other State Agency.
University employees entitled to expense reimbursements from other Nebraska State Agencies or employees of other Nebraska State Agencies performing services for the University should contact the Accounts Payable office for specific instructions on submitting the appropriate claim for reimbursement.
Payroll (See Human Resources).
Personal Telephone, Use of. When an employee finds it necessary to make a work-related call on his/her personal telephone, he/she may request reimbursement on an appropriately executed SAP Travel Expense Statement.
Claiming reimbursement, cellular. When claiming reimbursement for business calls made on a personal cellular phone, the following conditions must be met:
- The employee must provide their cellular company detail billing for the call(s) for which they wish to be reimbursed. Detail billing will show the date, time, length of call(s), number called and/or calling number, and cost of the call for each call submitted for reimbursement. A log shall be provided if the cellular company billing does not provide the above detail.
- The call(s) must be billed on a per minute basis, above and beyond the monthly fee charged for the service the employee has elected as their base plan. The University will reimburse work related calls regardless of when in the month the calls are made if the employee exceeds the base minutes.
- For example: Employee A has a plan which allows 25 minutes of calls for the base rate each month.
Example 1: Employee A has 30 minutes of personal calls and 5 minutes of work related calls during the month. The University will reimburse 5 minutes of calls regardless of when in the month the work related calls are made.
Example 2: Employee A only has 15 minutes of personal calls and 5 minutes of work related calls in the month. The University will not reimburse the employee since the cellular company made no additional billing.
Example 3: Employee A has 22 minutes of personal calls and 5 minutes of work related calls in the month. The University will reimburse 2 minutes of calls since the cellular telephone service provider will charge an additional billing for the 2 minutes exceeding the base plan minutes.
Claiming reimbursement, land line. The original telephone bill must be provided upon which the calls for business have been highlighted. The business purpose for each call highlighted must be noted.
Student Employees. When a payment is to be made to a University student who is also an employee of the University, a determination must be made of whether the payment to the student originates from a student activity or from an employee activity.
For tax reporting purposes, the payment must only be reported as a payment to an employee if the payment is connected with the student's employment with the University.
For Example: A student is a current chemistry major, and is also employed with the University under the work study program in the English department.
Example 1: The student attended a national chemistry educator's conference during which he presented an original technical paper. He submits a reimbursement request for his lodging bill that the University has agreed to pay. In this situation, the student will be treated as a non-employee for expense reimbursement purposes because the expense is related to his role as a chemistry student.
Example 2: The student has been asked by his University work study supervisor in the English department to drive to a local store to pick up some emergency supplies for the office. The student has volunteered to use his own car and to pay out-of-pocket cash for the small amount of supplies. The supervisor agrees to reimburse the student for his expenses. In this situation, the student will be treated as a employee for expense reimbursement purposes because the expense is related to his role as an employee.
US Citizenship & Immigration Service Payments. In order to send a separate check for each payment made to USCIS (US Citizenship & Immigration Srvs), please follow these instructions for entry into SAP.
- Choose vendor #179830 (Laguna Niguel address) or vendor #175860 (Lincoln address).
- Enter a unique invoice/reference number for each check needed. If two identical invoice/reference numbers are used they will pay on the same check.
Any number of requests can be entered to either of these vendors daily and separate checks for each unique invoice/reference number will be issued.