Policies for University Business Travel Expenses

General Statement

In accordance with Internal Revenue Service rules, Baker University has adopted a written policy regarding employee reimbursement. It is Baker University’s policy to operate under an accountable plan that protects employees from the requirement of reporting all reimbursements as personal income. The policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and administrators of the University regardless of affiliation or location.


An “Accountable Plan” is an employee reimbursement process for expenses on behalf of the University that meets the Internal Revenue documentation requirements. An accountable plan requires an employee to provide documentation that proves that the monies paid to the employee are for legitimate University business expenses. The documentation required includes receipts, copies of paid bills/invoices, written confirmation of payment of expenses from a third party, travel itinerary reports and any other official written items that documents the expenses as a legitimate business expenses on behalf of the university. These expenses are summarized on a Travel Expenses Reimbursement Form. 

A “Nonaccountable Plan” is an employee reimbursement process for expenses on behalf of the University that does not require an employee to provide documentation that proves the monies paid to the employee are for legitimate University business expenses. Reimbursements that do not meet the federal requirements for accountable plans will be added to the employee’s taxable W-2 income reporting at the end of the calendar year and the appropriate percentage will be withheld from the employee’s pay for federal and state taxes.

Documentation Requirements

The employee must submit information and documentation attached to the proper reimbursement for payment form sufficient to satisfy the “adequate accounting rules” with respect to travel, entertainment and business gifts. All expense reimbursements must be entered into the Vantage system and supporting documentation routed to the Business Office. For other reimbursed expenses, information must be submitted that is sufficient to identify the specific nature of each expense and to conclude that the expense is an employee business expense. EVERY item must be completely substantiated.

  • IRS regulations require specific documentation on the receipt, including the vendor name, date, amount and business purpose.
  • For hotel and meal expenses, a copy of a credit card slip is NOT adequate documentation. The original invoice/sales ticket must be included. Documentation for meal expenses must include the names of those in attendance. 
  • Mileage reimbursement is computed from your primary work location at Baker University. Any miles in excess of standard miles must be substantiated. Substantiation requirements include destination (including who was met with), business purpose, date and number of miles. 
  • Requests for reimbursement must be entered into Vantage within 30 days of the date incurred. 

Other Issues

If there is no receipt, there will be no reimbursement.

Business Office Responsibilities

The University controller and Business Office staff are responsible for administering the University’s accountable reimbursement plan and will make all decisions as to the acceptability of all reimbursement documentation.

  • Documentation must be arranged and submitted by the employee and be attached to the proper transmittal form. The employee is solely responsible for providing the documentation in an acceptable manner. Documentation not provided in an acceptable manner will be returned to the employee for proper completion.
  • The reimbursement amounts will be added to the employee’s W-2 for any reimbursement documentation ruled unacceptable by the University controller or chief operating officer. The applicable percentage of the reimbursement amount will be withheld for federal and state taxes from the employee’s next available payroll.
  • The employee will be notified in writing of all amounts of reimbursement that will be added to the employee's W-2.