- Oklahoma law requires that all money collected in the name of the University be deposited daily with the State Treasurer. 62 O.S. § 7.1.
- The Bursar is responsible for making the daily deposit to the State Treasurer.
- All money (checks, currency and coin) collected by University departments and student organizations should be deposited on a daily basis with the Bursar. Daily deposits are required unless exempted under paragraph F of this section.
- The Bursar accepts deposits each day until 5 p.m., however, the office closes its books each day at 3 p.m. For those departments or student organizations that consistently receive cash each business day, a daily cut-off time must be established in order to allow time for the department or organization to prepare the deposit and deliver it to the Bursar.
- Funds received in the departments after the cut-off time each day shall be deposited the following business day. Each department and student organization is responsible for ensuring adequate procedures and controls over the temporary safekeeping of funds prior to their deposit with the Bursar.
- When the amount of accumulated cash receipts is less than $100, such amount may be retained in an adequate departmental safekeeping facility for a period not to exceed five workdays before deposit with the Bursar.
- All checks received are to be restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt. The endorsement shall be as follows:
For Deposit Only
OUHSC Agency 1770
- Under no circumstances will employees or students make disbursements from the department's or student organization's cash receipts. All cash receipts must be deposited with the Bursar.
- Departments receiving checks should encourage the makers of the check to make them payable to either The University of Oklahoma or OUHSC and not to a department. Departments should not request or allow checks to be made payable to an individual.
- It is the explicit responsibility of each Budget Unit Director and student organization's faculty sponsor to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to comply with this policy.
- An account sponsor shall ensure that all monies collected are deposited properly into a University account. The account sponsor shall also verify that the amount deposited per the University's financial system agrees with the amount actually received and deposited through the Bursar.
- In offices with more than two persons, the responsibility to receipt, deposit and verify monies collected should be segregated among different persons. In offices with one or two persons, the office must strictly practice adequate cash handling procedures. Internal Auditing should be contacted to ensure adequate cash handling procedures.
- Upon presentation of appropriate identification as determined by the Bursar, current and retired faculty and staff, and students if allowed by the Bursar, may cash personal checks limited to the amount posted by the Bursar. The Bursar or a Bursar's designee must authorize any exceptions to the policies in this paragraph.
- Two-party checks and state or federal payroll checks cannot be cashed.
and other University entities considering or implementing electronic commerce shall contact and coordinate issues and procedures with the Office of the Bursar and with Information Technology.
Employees, whether faculty, staff or students, shall not approve any transaction that impacts themselves financially, whether directly or indirectly. This includes, but is not limited to, salary increases, special payments, travel, reimbursements, or other supplemental payments or non-cash fringe benefits. Such transactions shall only be approved in writing by a University employee who is in a greater level of institutional authority and who is completely independent from the individual receiving the benefit or reimbursement.
- Payroll Deductions Authorized by Regents' Policy
Amounts may be deducted or withheld from the compensation for a University employee's services to the extent authorized or required by policies of the Board of Regents. Such payroll deductions and withholdings are for various University-established programs such as, by example, those for health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, long-term care insurance, defined benefits retirement, defined benefits retirement buy-back, defined contributions retirement, associated credit union payments, flexible spending accounts, parking, U.S. savings bonds, United Way, University donations, University athletic tickets, and other like current and future programs.
- Payroll Deductions Required by Law
Amounts may be deducted or withheld from the compensation for a University employee's services to the extent required by applicable state or federal law or by lawful order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
- Other Payroll Deductions Prohibited
Unless authorized or required by this or other applicable University policy, amounts deducted or withheld from the compensation for a University employee's services are prohibited.
- See, Foreign National Payment and Taxation, Section 556.A.
(Adopted 2-9-04; Amended 6-16-06)
The Health Sciences Center incurs administrative and facility costs on behalf of many activities, including educational and general activities (state budgeted instruction, research, and public service), sponsored programs, service units, auxiliary enterprises, and clinical operations. State statutes require that non-educational and general activities be allocated an appropriate share of indirect expenses. Accordingly, university policy requires that service units, auxiliary enterprises, clinical operations, and other agency special activities be charged for a share of centrally budgeted administrative and facility costs in the form of an administrative overhead rate. This policy addresses administrative rates assessed to clinical operations. Overhead policies applicable to sponsored programs, auxiliary enterprises, and service units are addressed elsewhere. Overhead rates for Clinical Operations are regularly calculated by the Controller's Office and are automatically assessed to all CLNOP and CLNSP funds, by organization, on the basis of gross revenue posted each month to the general ledger. This is to include the revenue from operations of the Professional Practice Plans approved for each college by the OU Board of Regents. Rates are updated annually and can be obtained at OUHSC Financial Services.
The University operates under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accountable plan rules in regards to reimbursing employees for expenses incurred while conducting University business. This includes reimbursement for travel and non-travel expenses. Accountable plan rules dictate that reimbursement claims be filed within a reasonable period of time after the expense is incurred. The University has determined a reasonable period of time to be 120 days. To ensure compliance with IRS guidelines, all expense reimbursements must be received for processing within 120 days after the date of the event (for travel expenses) or date of purchase (for non-travel expenses). Expense reimbursement requests submitted after 120 days may be accepted for processing but the reimbursement will generally be treated as taxable income to the individual receiving payment resulting in the reimbursed amounts being added to the employee’s W-2 at the end of the calendar year.
- Applicability and General Rules
This policy is based on provisions of the State Travel Reimbursement Act (STRA), 74 O.S. § 500.1, et seq. This policy applies to all official travel of employees. Non-employee travel is covered under the policy if the travel expenses were:
- Incurred by a student traveling for business at the University's request.
- Incurred at the University's request by an individual in the course of seeking employment with the University.
- Provided for in a grant and contract for a conference participant when no other fees for the individual's service or participation will be made.
- Incurred by an individual who has volunteered his services and payment for the individual's services will not be made.
Contract or honorarium payment travel expenses (non-employees), for tax reporting purposes, incurred by a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien (i.e., “green card holder”), or resident alien vendor (e.g., consultant, speaker, etc.) are to be included in the total amount of the contract or honorarium payment. Any such travel expenses cannot be reimbursed on the State of Oklahoma Travel Claim. Travel expenses incurred by a non-resident alien vendor (e.g., consultant, speaker, etc.) are not allowed for certain visa types (e.g. B-2, WT, etc.). It is recommended the visa type be reviewed to determine allowability of travel expense reimbursement prior to the engagement.
AP-Management@net.ou.edu for more information.
- Traveler’s Responsibility
Travelers on official business for the University are expected to exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business. Excess costs unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of official business are not acceptable and should be avoided. The traveler should obtain appropriate receipts for all applicable charges and keep a personal record of miscellaneous expenditures chargeable to the University. This will ensure all necessary information will be available for preparation and submission of the travel claim. All expenses claimed for reimbursement must be allocated under the appropriate section of the travel claim. Reimbursable travel expenses are limited to necessary business expenses in connection with the purpose of travel (i.e., "nature of official business") as indicated on the travel claim. The traveler's signed affidavit affirms that all travel was performed as indicated and that the claim for reimbursement
represents a true and correct account of travel and related expenses. It is further implied from the traveler's signature that any expenses claimed have not been reimbursed or otherwise provided for by other sources. By their signature on the affidavit, the traveler is held liable under possible penalty of law for any falsified expense or misstatement of claim. (74 O.S. § 500.15)
- Department Approval
University faculty, staff, students and non-university employees traveling on University funds to out-of-state destinations must receive prior written approval from a person of higher institutional authority. Documentation of the approval should be maintained in the departmental files of the traveler and/or the funding account sponsor and subject to compliance review by Internal Auditing. Routine in-state business travel will not require prior approval. Upon completion of the travel (in-state or out-of-state), the travel claim submitted for reimbursement must be approved by an individual with a greater level of institutional authority and, if different, an appropriate budget authority. The signature of a person with higher institutional authority on the claim form further conveys the following:
- Certification that the traveler claiming reimbursement for out-of-state travel was authorized to travel in pursuit of University business and complies with University Policy.
- If claimant is not a University employee, provide certification that travel was in performance of substantial and necessary service, and that such service was relevant to the duties and functions of the University.
- Guidelines for Filing a State Travel Claim
- Training Training is required annually for all University travel preparers.
- Authorized Forms for Filing Travel Expenses Claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred during travel are filed on State Travel Claim.
- Travel Claim Preparation
- Preparation and Submission
Preparation should be done only by a trained preparer. The travel claim may be typed or handwritten in ink, but must be legible. Proper completion of all pertinent information fields on the form is essential for prompt payment. Incorrect or partial completion of any of the required information risks rejection of the claim and delays in payment.
- Campus Location (Official Duty Station)
This is the employee's official work station/office. It is normally the city or town in which the employee is assigned to report to work. Employees, whose duties are normally mobile and statewide or multi-county in nature, may be deemed to have no official duty station or office; therefore, the person’s home area would be considered the duty station. Non-employee travelers would not have an official duty station.
- Filing Period/Deadline
Claims for reimbursement of travel expenses must not cover periods of over 31 days in travel status. (74 O.S. § 500.3) This can be a single trip or multiple trips over a period of time. In cases where the travel period (days claimed) would extend beyond 31 days, subsequent claims for expense reimbursement must be filed as necessary to cover the extended period. In addition, the current travel claim must be annotated to show that the travel period is continuous, and a copy of the previously submitted claim, if applicable should be included for verification of the payment history of expenses claimed. See SECTION 535 - EMPLOYEE EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT for filing deadline.
- Payment Accountability
All claims for reimbursement of travel expenses must be made payable to the person who performed the official travel, unless the traveler authorizes assignment of payment to a second party. In such cases, the traveler may complete the "assignment" section of the travel claim for claiming the expense, and authorize the payment to be made in the name of the assignee. In assigning payment of a portion of a trip's travel expenses, a separate travel claim is required for the assigned payment. Consequently, each claim must be cross referenced. A traveler may be reimbursed only for expenses personally incurred and is entitled to claim. Reimbursement cannot be claimed for expenses of other persons, except where specifically allowed (e.g., shared lodging). Paid receipts or other evidence of payment must be provided for each expense item for which a receipt is required as the basis of payment.
- Travel by Non-State Employee
If the person traveling is not an employee, the preparer must indicate the non-employee business relationship on the travel claim. In addition, the department must provide a description of the services performed as required by the STRA. (74 O.S. § 500.2.A)
- Purpose and Dates of Object of Travel
The travel claim must clearly state the purpose of travel or "Nature of Official Business" on the travel claim. The statement of purpose of travel should be concise, but clear enough that a person apart from the University may understand the precise nature or purpose of the trip. For example, indication of "Meeting" for "Nature of Official Business" is too vague to convey the clear purpose of travel.
To verify dates of official business, documentation of the Nature of Official Business must be included with the travel claim. If the object of travel (e.g., meeting, seminar, etc.) is without a formal announcement or brochure showing the program dates, the dates must still be shown on the face of the travel form in the "Nature of Official Business" section.
"Attend AAMC Meeting, May 3 - 5, 2014" provides sufficient information for the purpose of the “Nature of Official Business” section.
- Points and Periods of Travel
Point travel status began, each point visited (not to include rest stops) and the point travel status ended. Vicinity only travel should show general geographical area, e.g., Tulsa Vicinity.
- Personal Leave in Conjunction with Official Travel
When personal leave time is taken in conjunction with the traveler's official business schedule, such personal leave time should be noted on the travel claim. However, the number of days and hours must reflect only the official travel status period. The traveler may be allowed travel status not to exceed the customary 24/48-hour period before or 24/48 hours after the object of travel when personal leave is taken immediately prior to the object of travel or immediately after the object of travel has ended.
When personal leave time is taken in between multiple official business trips on the same itinerary, the traveler must indicate the exact date and time of departure from and return to official travel status on the travel claim. Personal expenses during leave time should not be included on a travel claim. The 24/8-hour period after one trip and the 24/48-hour period before the next trip may be considered if added costs (per diem, lodging, etc.) are less than the transportation cost savings of not returning back home between individual trips. A cost comparison of said time period costs -vs- any transportation costs savings should be provided with the claim.
- Exclusion of Major Category of Expense
When any of the three commonly used major categories of expenses, e.g., meals, lodging, or mode of transportation, is excluded or omitted from the travel claim and one or both of the others are claimed, the travel claim must be annotated with a statement indicating payment of omitted expense(s) “paid by another form/source” or “no reimbursement to be claimed”.
If there was no charge for the expense, the notation may be as simple as "no charge" written or typed in the applicable expense column on the travel claim, or the traveler may explain how the expense was or will be handled (e.g., "Lodging - no charge, stayed with relatives or friends"; "Agency Direct Purchase by ATA”; etc.). In cases where the transportation expense claimed merely involves local travel (i.e., mileage, taxi, bus, etc.), there is no need to provide a notation covering any of the other categories.
- Travel Reimbursement Direct Deposit
If an employee is enrolled in payroll direct deposit, the travel reimbursement will be paid via direct deposit.
- Reimbursement Guidelines
- General Provisions
- In-State vs. Out-of-State Travel
The trip's objective destination points are what determine whether travel is in-state or out-of-state for expense reimbursement purposes. For expense reimbursement purpose, in-state travel includes travel performed within the borders of the State of Oklahoma. Trips originating from outside the state with objective of travel within the state should be treated as in-state travel. Out-of-state travel is any trip in which the objective of travel is to destinations outside the borders of Oklahoma. Travel across the state-line to merely acquire lodging does not constitute out-of-state travel for reimbursement of expense purposes.
Claims for reimbursement of expenses for trips that involve both in-state and out-of-state destination points should note the portion of travel performed in-state/out-of-state, respectively, for application of the appropriate expense reimbursement rates and allowances.
- Travel Criteria - Meals and Lodging Expenses
Reimbursement of meals and lodging expenses is based on the travel status. Travel Status is defined as absence from the traveler’s official station area while performing official state business. The limits of the official station area are defined as the corporate boundaries of the city or town in which the traveler resides or is assigned to work.
Employees whose duties are normally mobile and statewide or multi-county in nature may be deemed by the University to have no official station or office; therefore, absence from home area will apply. (For such mobile officials and employees, their home shall be considered their duty station.)
For procedural definitions used on all travel claims when determining starting and ending points of travel, official station shall mean the employee's regular duty station. Any return to the official duty station will end the travel period. If returning to travel status, a new period will be started.
Travel status for expense reimbursement purposes is further determined by the following guideline tests (both tests must be met):
- Distance Test for Meals and Lodging Expenses
The travel distance performed must be such that the traveler cannot reasonably leave from and return to his/her home or office location at the start or close of each day's work schedule. The reasonableness guideline used for the distance test is 60 miles (one-way) or more. However, this is not an irreversible standard due to varying travel factors that could occur, requiring exception to the distance guideline. If travel does not meet the distance guideline, and there are valid reasons for waiving the distance test, the department should provide written clarification/explanation of the travel purpose and requirements and reasons for allowance of the expense(s) reimbursement, receiving approval from Financial Services prior to the travel.
- Duration Test for Meals and Lodging Expenses
The business trip is overnight or of sufficient duration to qualify as "overnight" absence from the person's home and/or official duty station area.
Exception to Overnight Requirement: An exception to the overnight requirement is allowed per 74 O.S. § 500.2.E.4. The University may enter into contracts and agreements for the payment of food and lodging expenses as may be necessary for travelers attending an official course of instruction or training conducted or sponsored by the University. Expenses may be paid directly to the vendor. The cost for food and lodging for each traveler shall not exceed the total daily rate as provided in the STRA.
- Travel Periods for Reimbursement of Meals and Lodging
- Standard 24-Hour Travel Rule, Contiguous Travel
Reimbursement for meals and lodging expenses shall not extend more than 24 hours before and/or more than 24 hours after the date/time the object of travel (e.g., meet/greet, reception, meal, meeting, workshop, conference, closing, banquet, etc.) begins and/or ends. (74 O.S. § 500.9.E) Open registration more than 24 hours prior to the actual start of the event and activities that are primarily provided clearly for the entertainment of participants, such as sightseeing tours, athletic events, etc. are not appropriate. Exception to the "24-hour travel rule" may be allowed in cases for business-related meetings prior to the conference. Justification of the business purpose should be provided with the travel claim.
- Standard 48-Hour Travel Abroad Rule, Non-Contiguous Travel
For purpose of meals and lodging expenses reimbursement, official travel to areas outside the contiguous United States may start as early and/or end as late as 48 hours before/after the objective of the trip.
Lodging expense reimbursement includes the actual cost for overnight sleeping accommodations based on paid receipts (provided by the lodging facility) and subject to limitations of the STRA. (74 O.S. § 500.9) The receipt must show number of guests charged, single room rate charged, and an itemized list of all charges billed. Besides traditional public lodging facilities, such as motels or hotels, expense reimbursement may include rent of an apartment or other type dwelling, as well as charges or fees associated with the use of a recreational vehicle used in travel. Reimbursement, however, shall not cover accommodations ordinarily provided on a common carrier, such as train sleeper car, since such accommodations would be included in the transportation cost.
Reimbursement for lodging expense shall be at the rates indicated below. Any associated tax charges will be reimbursed in addition to the nightly rates. If a rate higher than allowed is paid by the traveler, the rate and applicable taxes may be reduced on the travel claim for reimbursement.
- Regular Lodging Rates
The current standard daily lodging reimbursement rates authorized by the STRA shall be the amount authorized by the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, for deductibility of expenses for travel while away from home without additional documentation. (74 O.S. § 500.9)
This rate can be different depending on the location of travel as identified in the Government Services Administration’s (GSA) Continental United States (CONUS) rates for domestic locations and OCONUS for locations outside of the continental United States. For example, for travel within the State of Oklahoma there may be more than one rate depending on the location. A complete listing of the CONUS locations/rates can be obtained from the GSA per diem web site:
http://www.gsa.gov. Follow the link “Per Diem Rates” which is for both lodging and meals.
Receipts submitted with the travel claim for reimbursement of lodging expenses incurred during travel to one of the CONUS or OCONUS higher rate areas must show the name of the lodging facility and its location as within the higher rate area. Payment of expenses at the higher area rate shall only be allowed for lodging acquired at facilities located within the specified cities and/or areas. If the receipt for lodging does not indicate such location, but the facility where lodging was acquired is located within a listed "high rate area," the traveler must provide a certification statement on the travel claim or paid lodging receipt similar to:
“I certify the public lodging place named on the lodging receipt is located in the corporate limits or county of the CONUS city of travel.“ Signature
- Designated Lodging
Reimbursement of the actual cost of lodging not limited to the standard daily rates is authorized when lodging occurs at a prearranged designated facility. In such travel instances, payment shall be limited to the vendor's single occupancy room rate charge as indicated on the paid lodging receipt.
A lodging facility may be designated under the following criteria:
- Sponsor Arranged
- Lodging at Host or Headquarters Hotel
A sponsor may arrange a meeting, workshop or similar travel objective to be held at a host or headquarters lodging facility. When the lodging facility is specified by the sponsor's announcement or notice (e.g., conference brochure), reimbursement may be allowed for the actual cost of lodging not to exceed the single occupancy room rate charge as indicated on the paid lodging receipt. However, a different lodging rate charged than as indicated in the sponsor's announcement or notice may be allowed when the travel objective is held or conducted at the place of lodging (i.e., out of blocked rooms or rate reduction rooms). Other different amounts must be explained and approved by Financial Services before payment of reimbursement will be considered.
- Other Sponsor Arranged Designated Lodging Conditions
Lodging arranged at a facility other than where the travel objective is held may also qualify as designated when the sponsor provides for the blocking of rooms or rate reductions for participants. Again, such arrangements must be documented by the sponsor's announcement or notice. Reimbursement is limited to the actual single occupancy room rate charged as reflected on the paid lodging receipt.
Standard government rates as sometimes made available by lodging vendors are not considered special rate reductions arranged by the sponsor for the purpose of designated lodging; nor would a sponsor's announcement recommending or suggesting a list of hotels, motels, etc., for the convenience of participants be considered "designated" lodging. In such cases, reimbursement of lodging expenses will be held to the applicable rate as authorized by the STRA.
- University Sponsored Designated Lodging
When the University is the sponsor or host of the object of travel (e.g., meeting, workshop, seminar, conference, etc.), the University department may prearrange and request designation approval of the public lodging place for travelers to stay while attending the travel objective. Under this provision, the department must be the sponsor of the object of travel, and (1) the travel objective is held or conducted at the place of lodging, or (2) lodging is arranged (reserved) by the blocking of rooms or rate reductions for participants. As documentation for lodging expense reimbursement, the department must submit to Financial Services for approval the Agency Sponsored Designated Lodging Notice, prior to travel, stating the:
- object of travel (purpose),
- date(s) the travel objective is being conducted or held,
- name and location of the designated hotel, and
- single room rate charge authorized.
After approval, the Agency Sponsored Designated Lodging Notice should be submitted along with the travel claim or direct pay lodging invoice as documentation for reimbursement of expenses.
- Use of Optional Lodging in Lieu of Designated Lodging
Travelers attending objects of travel (e.g., meetings, workshops, conferences) which are conducted or held at a designated lodging facility may choose to acquire optional public lodging at a lower rate. In such cases, the traveler may be reimbursed the actual cost of lodging not to exceed the single occupancy room rate charged by the designated facility. In order to verify the amount of expense reimbursement authorized, a schedule of the designated (host) hotel single room daily rates must be submitted along with the travel claim.
If a traveler opts to use other lodging besides the designated facility at which the object of travel is conducted or held, reimbursement for any incurred local transportation expenses (such as, taxi, bus, rental car, private automobile mileage, etc.) for travel between the optional lodging location and the designated (host) lodging facility is allowed in an amount not to exceed the difference between the cost of the designated lodging and the cost of the optional lodging. (74 O.S. § 500.9.C)
When optional lodging is used in connection with an object of travel conducted or held at a facility (e.g., convention center) separate from the designated lodging place, and transportation costs would otherwise be incurred (e.g., going between the lodging place and meeting location), reimbursement may be allowed for necessary local transportation for travel to and from the meeting or conference facility. Such reimbursement may also be allowed in instances where a traveler opted to stay with friends or relatives and needed transportation to travel to a conference facility held separately from the designated lodging location.
In instances where lodging is at no cost to the traveler, such as when staying with a relative or friend, the traveler may claim a lodging allowance. See Per Diem in Lieu of Subsistence.
- Other Limited Travel Expenses in Connection With Optional Lodging
Travelers may on occasion incur expenses, such as vicinity mileage, local transportation, etc., which they wish to claim in lieu of lodging. For instance, when a traveler opts to stay with relatives or friends instead of acquiring regular public lodging, it may be necessary to incur local transportation costs for travel between the lodging location and place of the meeting or other object of travel. Limited reimbursement of such expenses incurred may be allowed in conjunction with the applicable out-of-state $10 lodging allowance up to an amount not to exceed the maximum lodging rate authorized for the area. In other words, the total of the cost of local transportation plus the extra lodging allowance may not exceed the standard lodging rate allowed for the area in which travel was performed.
The above transportation expense allowance shall not apply where "designated" lodging has been arranged for participants by the sponsor (host), notwithstanding any savings that may ensue from a traveler staying with relatives or friends in lieu of at the designated lodging place. However, an exception may be applied in cases where the object of travel is conducted at a separate location from the designated lodging facility, such as at a convention center, and local travel between the designated lodging facility and the conference location would have otherwise been incurred. In such cases, the travel requirements and necessity of the expense would need to be explained on the travel claim for review and approval/disapproval of payment on a case by case basis.
- Direct Purchase of Lodging
The University can enter into contracts or agreements with lodging establishments for the purchase of food and lodging for travelers attending conferences, meetings, seminars, workshops, or training sessions, or in the performance of their duties. The cost of food and lodging for each attendant traveler at these facilities shall not exceed the standard daily rates as provided by the STRA. Payments for direct purchase of food and lodging shall be paid directly to the business establishment. However, all direct purchases, with the exception of air travel and registration as specified, are subject to the no advance pay rule and, therefore, cannot be paid until after the travel has occurred.
- Companion Travel - Lodging Expenses Shared
When two or more individuals travel together and they share common lodging accommodations, such as a double room, there are the following three reimbursement options (a, b, or c below):
- Hotel provides individually billed hotel receipts, each traveler may be allowed reimbursement of the lodging expense, provided:
- The amount of the lodging expense does not exceed the single occupancy room rate the traveler would have ordinarily been charged and entitled to claim; and,
- The cumulative total of each traveler's share of the lodging cost does not exceed the total amount of the actual room charge.
- For post auditing purposes, each companion travel claim should cross reference to any and all other related travel claims.
- Without receiving individually billed hotel receipts, each traveler may be allowed reimbursement of his/her pro rata share of the lodging expense, provided:
- A copy of the hotel lodging receipt is submitted with each travelers claim and the pro rata share is detailed on the hotel billing statement;
- The amount of the lodging expense does not exceed the single occupancy room rate the traveler would have ordinarily been charged and entitled to claim; and,
- The cumulative total of each traveler's share of the lodging cost does not exceed the total amount of the actual charge as reflected on the paid lodging receipt.
- For post auditing purposes, each companion travel claim should cross reference to any and all other related travel claims.
- One traveler pays the entire lodging amount and seeks reimbursement for the total bill, provided:
- The hotel lodging receipt is submitted with the travelers claim and the pro rata share for each traveler is detailed on the hotel billing statement; and,
- The amount of the lodging expense does not exceed the cumulative total of the single occupancy room rate each traveler would have ordinarily been charged and entitled to claim.
- Under Option c the full authorized lodging amount would be claimed under one traveler’s lodging. The others sharing the room would document no lodging claimed and cross-reference the claims. This option provides a method of reimbursement without requiring an additional claim as with the assignment method in Option b.
- Use of Other Rented or Leased Lodging Accommodations
Use of rented or leased nonpublic type lodging (e.g., rent of a room, apartment, house, etc.) for travel is allowed when it is advantageous to the University for such lodging arrangements. For example, such arrangements may be advantageous where the cost of conventional lodging (i.e., hotel, motel) is prohibitive or impossible due to travel to remote areas, extraordinarily long travel periods, foreign travel, etc. Reimbursement of expenses shall be bound by the daily lodging reimbursement rates authorized by the STRA. The daily lodging expense allowed shall be computed by dividing the total lodging cost plus any necessary incidental expenses to renting of the lodging by the number of days the accommodations were actually used. All costs shall be evidenced by paid receipts from the landlord or vendor.
- Use of Motor Home, Travel Trailer or Camping Trailer for Lodging
Reimbursement of actual expenses not to exceed the standard daily lodging rate authorized by the STRA may be allowed when an traveler uses his or her privately-owned motor home, travel trailer, camping trailer or similar mode of lodging while on official travel for the state. Reimbursement may include such actual charges as parking fees, fees for connection, use and disconnection of utilities (i.e., gas, electric, water, sewage, etc.). Any expenses claimed must be documented by paid receipts.
- Meals Expense & Incidentals
Travelers are authorized to receive a daily meals expense allowance while performing regular business travel for the University, provided the trip meets the overnight criteria. The allowance will be at the rates as identified in the Government Services Administration’s (GSA) continental United States (CONUS) rates for domestic locations and OCONUS for locations outside of the continental United States. (74 O.S. § 500.8). The allowance is in lieu of reimbursement of the actual cost of meals, and is intended to cover expenses for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including tips, taxes and any other personal purchases such as snacks, refreshments, over-the-counter medicines, etc. There may be more than one rate depending on the location. A complete listing of the CONUS locations/rates can be obtained from the GSA per diem web site:
http://www.gsa.gov. Follow the link “Per Diem Rates” which is for both lodging and meals. NOTE: The University uses the GSA “Meals & IE” amount as our authorized
per diem rate.
In computing the reimbursement allowance, a day is a period of twenty four (24) hours, except no reimbursement of expenses shall be allowed for less than overnight travel. (See “Travel Criteria - Meals and Lodging Expenses,” for definition of "overnight" travel status.) Reimbursement may be allowed for each one fourth (1/4) day (6 hours) with the following schedule: 0-3 hours, no per diem; >3-9 hours, ¼ day per diem; >9-15 hours, ½ day per diem; >15-21 hours, ¾ day per diem; >21 hours, 1 day per diem.
- CONUS High Rate Locations
For travel to certain locations, the rate can be different depending on the point of travel as listed under the (CONUS) rates for domestic locations and OCONUS for locations outside of the continental United States.
Per diem localities with county definitions shall include "all locations within, or entirely surrounded by, the corporate limits of the key city as well as the boundaries of the listed counties, including independent entities located within the boundaries of the key city and the listed counties (unless otherwise listed separately).”
For example, if an traveler is in overnight travel status in Edmond, Oklahoma, the higher reimbursement rate for the Oklahoma City locality will apply (rather than the ‘standard’ rate), as Edmond is within the same county as the “Oklahoma City locality”. For cases where the point of business is not identified as a city on the CONUS list, then the traveler or approving authority must provide a certification statement on the travel claim similar to:
“I certify the official point of travel as listed on this claim is located in the corporate limits or county of the CONUS city of travel“ Signature
- Per Diem In Lieu Of Subsistence
Under certain travel occurrences, travelers may be reimbursed on the basis of "per diem in lieu of subsistence." (74 O.S. § 500.9.B)
A traveler may claim the authorized "per diem in lieu of subsistence" allowance where overnight travel was involved, but expenses for public lodging were not incurred due to the traveler's election to stay with relatives or friends during the travel period. The allowance, however, would not be authorized for trips in which lodging was arranged and paid by another source apart from the traveler. In other words, a traveler would not be authorized the allowance where lodging was provided through the cost of registration or "package plan" paid by the state or provided complimentary by a grantor or sponsoring foundation. That is, if the traveler used furnished lodging during travel, the per diem allowance in lieu of subsistence shall not be allowed.
Per Diem in lieu of subsistence is $10 for each allowed lodging night. This amount is to be added to the allowed Per Diem M & IE rate.
- Meals Included in the Cost of Registration, "Package Plan", or “Agency Direct Payment Contract” - Meals Expense Allowance Adjustment
When meals are provided through the cost of registration or package plan paid by the agency or directly by the traveler and reimbursed, the traveler's daily meals expense allowance shall be adjusted by 1/4 for each meal provided or actual meal cost if known via a receipt or event documentation. However, if meals are provided in registration or a package plan paid directly by the agency or through an agency direct payment contract, the allowable per diem reimbursement would be the difference between the full authorized per diem rate less the actual cost of meals provided in the registration, package plan or contract.
If the traveler is not allowed reimbursement for meals expense because overnight travel was not involved, no adjustment shall be required; although meals may have been provided.
- Exceptions to the Meals Expense Allowance Adjustment
would not apply where a traveler chose not to attend the meal activity in preference to some other personal activity.
Exceptions to the requirement for adjustment to the meals expense allowance may be allowed as outlined below:
- “Continental breakfasts”, receptions, snacks or refreshments, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, etc., provided during meeting breaks.
- Non-participation due to one of the following circumstances:
- Special dress requirements
- Diet restrictions
- Lack of means of transportation
- Conflicting meetings
A notation to explain non-participation in the official meal activity or explanation of exempt meal must appear on the travel claim or elsewhere in the claim packet as support documentation for any exception.
- Transportation Expenses Defined
Transportation expenses include commercial common carrier fares; local transit system and taxi fares; cost of commercial rental cars and other special conveyance; and mileage for use of privately-owned motor vehicle in travel. Reimbursement for authorized in-state or out-of-state use of privately-owned motor vehicles shall be the amount prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service for use in determining the standard mileage rate allowed for a business expense deduction. The current standard mileage rate is subject to change normally each calendar year.
Fees for parking and tolls are transportation related expenses to be itemized on the travel claim under the category of miscellaneous expenses.
Mileage allowance and other associated expenses in connection with use of privately-owned automobile in travel is payable to only one of two or more individuals traveling together on the same trip and in the same conveyance, although each may have shared in the operating cost of the vehicle.
- Methods of Transportation
Transportation means may include all forms of common carriers (e.g., commercial airplanes, railroads, ships, buses, etc.); transit system carriers (e.g., helicopter service, subways, street cars; taxicabs, etc.); state-furnished or contract rental cars or airplanes; privately-owned motor vehicles; and any other authorized passenger type conveyance.
- Routing of Travel
All travel shall be by a direct travel route appropriate to the mode of transportation used. When a traveler for his/her own convenience travels by an indirect route or otherwise interrupts travel by direct route, the extra expense shall be borne by the traveler. Reimbursement of authorized expenses shall be based only on such charges as would have been incurred had the direct travel route been used. However, travel by other than a direct travel route may be allowed when necessitated by circumstances beyond the traveler's control such as weather, involuntary flight changes, etc. An explanation for such exception shall be noted on the travel claim.
If entering travel status on a work day, the shorter of the distances from the employee's residence (if leaving from home) or office location to the destination point(s) of travel would be considered the starting point of travel. The shorter distance test would also apply for returning to the office or to home if released for the day. When claiming shorter distance, it must be documented on the claim.
If entering travel status on a weekend or holiday, for calculating mileage, travel may begin from the traveler’s home instead of the official duty station.
Mileage from home to duty station is not reimbursable.
- In-State Travel
Persons performing official travel within the state may be reimbursed for the use of any of the methods of transportation itemized above.
In use of either a privately-owned or individually leased automobile for in-state travel, reimbursement shall be limited to the actual cost not to exceed the per mile rate. Mileage can be claimed based on the most direct route. Mileage appearing to be excessive based on the nature of official business must be justified.
In addition to the mileage allowance, reimbursement may be allowed for other incidental expenses incurred, such as parking fees, toll fees, etc.
- Out-of-State Travel
Persons traveling outside the State of Oklahoma may utilize appropriate forms of transportation, including but not limited to those listed above under Methods of Transportation. (74 O.S. § 500.4) Except as otherwise described in this policy, reimbursement shall not exceed the normal cost for the type of transportation used.
- Commercial Air Travel
By standard policy, travelers should book all air transportation through one of the University contracted airline travel agency(s) available at OU Purchasing website (See Commercial Airline Tickets under Direct Purchase of Travel Expenses and Registration section for direct purchase instructions), unless circumstances satisfy one of the following exceptions. University policy does not require travelers to purchase refundable tickets for University business travel. Each department must weigh the cost and benefits of purchasing a refundable vs a non-refundable ticket and make an informed decision about the type of ticket to be purchased.
- Air travel was initiated on an emergency basis and time did not allow using a contracted travel agency, e.g., changing itinerary en-route or emergency travel after hours.
- Airfare is part of a package arranged by the organization scheduling the meeting or conference.
- A non-contracted personally purchased airfare that is lower in price than a fare available from a contracted travel agency. In order to be reimbursed for internet fares, documented evidence that the fare is lower than that which can be secured by the agent must be attached to the claim upon submission for reimbursement. Examples of this type of evidence are an itinerary, email, or memo from the agent, documenting the best fare that could be obtained for the travel involved. If a traveler purchases a non-refundable ticket with their own funds and seeks reimbursement for the purchase, the comparable air fare used to justify the direct purchase must be for a non-refundable ticket and vice versa. In addition, the quote date should be proximate to the date of the personally purchased airfare. Other types of objective evidence may be considered, but in no case shall a written statement by the traveler be sufficient. The final decision rests with the University travel office.
The traveler understands and accepts that the protections, features, and services that would otherwise accompany an agency-issued ticket may not be available. If it is established by the travel office, or by subsequent audit, that an equal or lower fare was available through one of the authorized agencies, only partial reimbursement may be allowed, and reimbursement from the traveler may be necessary.
Regardless of the mode of travel (including privately-owned motor vehicle, rental car, etc.), reimbursement for domestic out-of-state transportation costs shall not exceed that of coach class airplane fare, as appropriate.
In cases where an airline extends first class accommodations at coach class rates the travel claim must be annotated to reflect this. In cases where first class is necessary for documented medical reasons, the documentation must be attached.
Fares paid for air transportation may be at the business class fare rate for international travel.
At a minimum, the passenger's ticket receipt should show the passenger's name, number of seats/passes charged, travel class, destination points and amount.
- Privately-Owned or Individually Leased
Occasionally, extraordinary circumstances may arise making out-of-state travel by commercial air travel impractical or unfeasible, such as trips to remote locations, multiple destination points, transport of state-owned materials or equipment, two or more individuals are traveling together for University business, etc. Under the above conditions no airfare comparison is required, however, explanation of such conditions must be provided with the travel claim. In other instances, the choice of not using commercial air travel may be based on convenience or personal reasons of the traveler, and in this case a comparison is required. Travel by car for personal reasons, does not, however, negate the requirement that the travel time for reimbursement purposes shall not begin more than 24 hours before or continue more than 24 hours after the date of the object of travel.
The comparison may include any required vicinity mileage travel when local ground transportation otherwise would have been needed and is justified. For example, vicinity mileage included in the cost comparison may be justified on the basis that transportation for travel to and from the departure/arrival airport would have been required if travel was performed by commercial airplane.
For payment approval, the comparison must be presented with the travel claim, detailing the air coach class cost (e.g., amount, source, and date of the estimate) vs. the actual mileage and lodging costs. Reimbursement shall be based on the lesser of the two costs.
Reimbursement for rental car shall be at actual cost as necessary for business.
- Local Transportation
- Local Transportation Expenses
Local transportation expenses refer to business travel in and around the local area of the point(s) of business. For example, reimbursement is authorized for taxi, shuttle, or limousine fares for business. (74 O.S. § 500.4 & 500.12)
- Local Transportation Expenses in Connection with Designated Lodging
Local transportation, including rental car service, used while attending an object of travel conducted or held at a host hotel must be explained on the travel claim as to the business necessity for travel beyond the host facility. In addition, reimbursement for transportation expenses for travel between an optional lodging location and the designated facility where the object of travel is conducted shall be allowed but not to exceed the cost of the difference between the optional lodging and the designated lodging. (74 O.S. § 500.9.C)
- Personal Use Transportation Expenses
Normally, reimbursement of local transportation for personal use, such as travel to obtain meals, shall not be allowed. However, where the nature and location of the object of travel is such that suitable meals cannot be obtained there, the expense of daily travel required to obtain meals may be necessary. Such travel shall be restricted to the use of taxis. The necessity for such travel and the nature of the expense incurred shall be explained on the travel claim.
- Tip Expense in Connection With Local Transportation
In addition to the usual fare expense, reimbursement may be allowed for reasonable tip expense when local transportation is utilized. For reimbursement purposes, reasonable tip expense shall be not more than $1.00 if the reimbursable fare charge is $5.00 or less; or 15 per cent (15%) of the reimbursable charge when it exceeds $5.00. If the 15% calculated tip amount is less than $1.00 or is not a multiple of 5, the reimbursable tip amount may be rounded to $1.00 or up to the next $.05, as applicable.
- Leased or Rented Automobiles
Documentation detailing all charges for the rental/lease of a vehicle shall be attached to the claim.
- Vehicles Rented Within the State
Reimbursement for automobiles leased or rented used for in-state travel shall not exceed the standard mileage rate authorized for the use of a privately-owned automobile in travel. (74 O.S. § 500.5) Reimbursement shall not exceed the STRA standard mileage allowance figured on the actual miles traveled. However, use of a motor vehicle rented within the state for the purpose of travel outside the state shall be limited to lesser of the single coach class air fare from the in-state departure point to/from the out-of-state destination point(s) vs. the actual cost (e.g., rental cost plus tolls plus fuel expense).
- Vehicles Rented Outside of the State
The actual cost of leasing or renting an automobile outside the state for travel shall be reimbursed as necessary for business when approved by a person of higher institutional authority than the traveler (subject to the limitations above when not used as local transportation). (74 O.S. § 500.5)
- Insurance Costs
Risk Management recommends the employee purchase from the car rental company vehicle physical damage insurance, commonly known as Loss Damage Waiver (“LDW”) or Collision Damage Waiver (“CDW”) offered by the car rental company. The fee for this coverage is part of the rental cost of the vehicle and is reimbursable as travel expense.
- Adjustment for Personal Use
The cost of a rented vehicle used both for personal and business travel should be prorated for reimbursement of only the business portion of expenses. Additional days before/after the business days, car seats, additional drivers (non-business travelers), satellite radio, unnecessary upgrades, etc. should be removed from the reimbursement calculation prior to submission for payment. The University will allow, however, navigation, roadside assistance, necessary upgrades, fuel options, etc. as deemed necessary for business by the department.
- Privately-Owned or Chartered Airplane
Transportation costs for travel by privately-owned or chartered airplane in lieu of privately-owned automobile may be reimbursed in an amount which, when added to reimbursement for meals and lodging expenses for the trip, does not exceed automobile mileage plus meals and lodging expenses had a privately-owned automobile been used for the trip. (74 O.S. § 500.6)
Whenever a privately-owned or chartered airplane is used for out-of-state travel in lieu of commercial airline, reimbursement of expenses shall be limited not to exceed the cost of a single coach airplane ticket. If more than one person traveled, reimbursement of each person's pro rata share of the cost of the chartered airplane shall not exceed the cost of a single coach class airplane ticket.
- Frequent Flyer Miles
No travel claim shall be awarded if the filer of the claim has benefited from the personal receipt of frequent travel miles unless those miles are used to offset future claims against the state. (74 O.S. § 500.15) When used here, “Frequent Travel Miles” will be considered to cover transportation related rewards, such as frequent flyer miles provided directly from the airline companies and any similar rewards offered through bus and train transportation companies. The responsibility of accounting for any frequent flyer miles earned on business travel is that of the traveler and must be available upon request. Travelers are required to attest to the use of the earned miles upon each travel reimbursement. Frequent flyer miles earned while traveling on University business may not be exchanged for cash. Likewise, the University cannot reimburse personnel for the use of frequent flyer miles or companion tickets.
- Registration Travel Expense
Registration charges in connection with attending workshops, conferences, seminars, etc., are travel related expenses regardless of whether the person is in travel status. Registration may be paid direct and documentation of costs and included meals must be provided with the subsequent travel claim. If paid personally and seeking reimbursement, such charges must be itemized as "registration" expense and listed under the miscellaneous category on the travel claim. The expense must be supported by a paid receipt issued by the vendor or agency sponsoring the object of travel and show the itemized list of all the charges.
- Meals Included in the Cost of Registration or Package Plan
When meals are provided in the cost of registration or package plan and the traveler is authorized per diem reimbursement, the meals expense allowance must be adjusted accordingly. See section D. Meals & Incidentals.
- Optional Activities Separate from the Cost of Registration
Optional activities, such as special tours, recognition banquets, etc., are sometimes included as part of the travel objective agenda. The additional cost of such activities may qualify for reimbursement as a miscellaneous expense provided they are business related. Reimbursement shall not be allowed for activities that are primarily social and provided clearly for the entertainment of participants, such as sightseeing tours, athletic events, etc. Documentation of the business purpose for participating in such activities should be attached to the travel claim.
- Miscellaneous Travel Expenses
- General Expenses
To qualify as an allowable miscellaneous travel expense, the purchased item or service must be clearly connected with the purpose of travel.
Reimbursement of general miscellaneous travel expenses may include: parking and toll fees; business communications (i.e., telephone, postage, fax, etc.); standard airline baggage costs associated with flights; rent of meeting room; necessary laundry and cleaning services (when such expenses are approved for travel extending 7 days or longer or required in emergency situations); registration fees; emergency and other expenses (excluding personal) incidental to the purpose of travel, etc.; fuel when a government-furnished vehicle or contract rental car.
Purchases and charges of a personal nature, such as telephone calls to family or friends, reading materials, over-the-counter medicines, etc., are considered to be covered by per diem.
- Expenses In Connection With Travel Abroad
Reimbursement of expenses in connection with travel to and within a foreign country may be authorized and approved, such as:
- Conversion of Currency.
Conversion of currency and associated fees.
- Trip Insurance.
The State’s Risk Management Division provides through a commercial insurance policy liability insurance coverage protecting employees of the State traveling on State business to a foreign country. The policy of insurance contains restrictions against travel to certain foreign countries with which the United States has trade or economic sanctions; some coverage restrictions may also apply to other countries as well. If an employee rents or leases a vehicle to use on State business while traveling in a foreign country, the Risk Management Division strongly recommends the employee purchase from the car rental company vehicle physical damage insurance, commonly known as Loss Damage Waiver (“LDW”) or Collision Damage Waiver (“CDW”) offered by the car rental company. The fee for this coverage is part of the rental cost of the vehicle and should be reimbursable as travel expense. Failure to purchase this coverage may create a problem for the individual renting the vehicle. Agencies,
colleges, and universities must report any foreign travel to the State’s Risk Management Division well in advance of any such travel in order for Risk Management to provide to employees vital information related to this insurance. University departments must notify the OUHSC Office of Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) prior to an employee’s travel abroad and the ERM Office will directly notify the State Risk Management Division (Note: Some foreign countries require the purchase of auto liability insurance from locally admitted insurance providers. Contact The OUHSC Office of ERM at 271-3287 or 271-5522, Ext. 8 for information related to this issue.)
- Travel Document Costs.
Fees associated with the issuance of passports, visa fees, costs of photographs for passports and visas, costs of certificates of birth, health, and identity, and of affidavits and charges for required inoculations.
- Expenses Incidental to Travel by Persons with a Disability (Ref.: Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 701, et seq.).
Payment may be authorized for extraordinary expenses incurred in connection with travel by persons with a disability as defined by law.
- Other Travel Expense Reimbursement Requirements and Related Instructions
- Reimbursement of Prepaid Travel Expenses in Connection With Canceled Trips
Reimbursement of prepaid expenses, such as for lodging, involving canceled trips, may be allowed if:
- the travel is canceled for legitimate reasons as approved by a person of higher institutional authority, and
- the prepaid amount is not returnable/refundable to the traveler.
If a portion of the amount (e.g., 90 percent) is returned to the traveler, only the remaining 10 percent of the expense amount may be reimbursed.
Vouchers for such reimbursements shall be filed, with appropriate paid receipts. In addition, the payment must be coded as Indemnity (Loss). The voucher should also have attached statements from the department certifying to (1) the traveler's loss as a result of condition and (2) from the traveler and/or payee certifying to condition, as described above.
- Expenses Incurred Outside of Travel Period
Ordinarily, expenses incurred outside of the period of travel are not allowed to be reimbursed in connection with the stated purpose of travel. However, incidental pre- or post-travel expenses that are consequential to completion of the purpose of travel may be reimbursed as related trip expenses. (For example: passport application fees, film processing charges, etc.)
- Receipts - Requirements for Reimbursement of Expenses
Evidence of payment (i.e., a document from a vendor indicating payment) is required for most travel expenses. If evidence is a credit card statement, the traveler may submit a copy of the charge card statement identifying only the name on the account and expense item being claimed (marking through the remaining billing information). In cases where payment is by personal check, a copy of the person's bank processed check may serve as the receipt of payment.
Miscellaneous expenses for less than $25.00, including any associated sales tax, can be itemized and attached to the travel claim and do not require a receipt with the exception of:
- Rented/leased vehicles to include related expenses.
- Meeting Room Rental.
- Laundry and Cleaning.
- Travel Arrangement and Ticket Changes
Reimbursement of charges for exchange of travel tickets or change in transportation schedules for business or emergency reasons may be allowed when authorized and advantageous to the University as approved by a person of higher institutional authority. Costs associated with changes made for personal convenience or benefit of the traveler, are not allowed.
- Sales Tax Non-Exempted for Travel
Sales of tangible personal property and services to the University are exempt from state taxation. Sales to individuals who are travelers of the University, however, are not exempt from tax unless the sale is billed directly to the University. This extends to travelers who travel for the University and make purchases subject to taxation. Reimbursement of the actual cost (including any applicable tax) shall be reimbursed, unless specifically subject to any maximum limits set for such expenses.
- Deceased Person Travel Expense
Payment of travel expenses of a person deceased may be made to the estate of the individual. The travel claim shall be in the name of the deceased person and the assignment section completed for payment to the "Estate Of (claimant's name)." The "assignment" section and the claim form shall be signed in the customary manner by the decedent's appointed "Power of Attorney" or "executor of estate." A vendor form must be submitted to set up the "Estate Of (claimant's name)".
- Expenses Incurred During Exceptional Travel Periods
Exceptional travel periods may involve complex travel arrangements beyond the control of the traveler in which compliance with the 24-hour travel rule or other applicable travel requirements is impossible. Therefore, there is a 48-hour rule for travel to locations non-contiguous to the continental U.S., which includes the lower 48 states and Washington, D.C. For other exceptions to the standard travel guidelines under such circumstances, an explanation of the travel situation must be prepared and submitted along with the travel claim to substantiate reimbursement of the necessary related expenses.
- Reimbursement -vs- Direct Payment of Meals & Lodging (including Package Plans)
74 O.S. § 500.2, authorizes the direct contracting and direct payment of meals and lodging, but at a rate not to exceed the total daily rate provided in the State Travel Reimbursement Act (STRA).
Package Plans which include other related travel costs such as transportation and registration costs will be accepted. However, all the costs should be separated out on the travel reimbursement form in order to determine that the daily rates are not exceeded and proper general ledger codes are used. If package plans are to be paid directly, a breakdown of the costs must still be shown on the miscellaneous voucher if possible. For direct payment, such break down should be provided on both the purchase order and voucher.
If other incidental type expenses are included in the plan, such expenses would be claimed as appropriate, if actual individual amounts are known. If such amounts are not known, then they would be placed under miscellaneous expenses as is registration.
- Direct Purchase of Travel Expenses and Registration
- Meals, Lodging, and Other Related Expenses (e.g., Classroom Space):
Special provisions (74 O.S. § 500.2) allow arrangement for and direct payment to the contracting agency or business establishment for meals, lodging, and other related expenses as follows. However, all direct purchases, with the exception of commercial airline tickets and registration, are subject to the no advance pay rule and, therefore, should not be paid until after the travel has occurred. Such expenses may be paid directly to the agency or business establishment, provided the meeting qualifies for overnight travel and the cost for food and lodging for each traveler shall not exceed the total daily rate as provided in the STRA.
- Commercial Airline Tickets:
When booking air travel, travelers must provide the agent sufficient information to enable the travel agency to bill the airfare. In addition, travelers should complete the appropriate authorization form before purchasing the tickets and then process according to University procedures. The authorization form should include:
- Traveler’s name and employee ID number (if applicable).
- Whether the traveler is a U.S. citizen.
- Travel dates, destination, and purpose.
- University accounting information (e.g., chartfield combination) to include general ledger account.
Airfare is automatically charged to the University's account and then internally billed to the department.
- Registration Fees
Ordinarily, registration fees for conferences, workshops, seminars, etc., are treated as travel expenses and claimed for reimbursement on the travel claim. However, departments may pay the required registration fee directly for travelers to attend the conference, workshop, seminar, etc. 74 O.S. § 500.2.E.3
Invoices for registration fees must show the name and date(s) of the conference, workshop, meeting, etc. In addition, the claim should include the name(s) of the person(s) who attended, the purpose of travel, and cross-reference to the related travel claim(s), if applicable and available. Advance payment of registration fees is authorized under certain circumstances. Specific guidelines for such payments include:
- Registration fees for conferences, meetings, seminars, and similar events whereby in special situations an organization requires pre-registration along with payment and by standard policy will not accept a state purchase order/contract in lieu of payment. Documentation from the vendor describing this fact must be sent together with the voucher to Accounts Payable for payment.
- Registration fees when a discounted fee is offered if registration is paid in advance. To qualify for this procedure, the registration fee must,
- result in a discount to the state,
- allow for substitution of participant, and
- provide for 100% refund should the event be canceled.
Documentation from the vendor describing these facts should accompany the claim submitted for payment. In addition, payments shall be timed as to arrive at the vendor close to the due date deadline for the discounted registration.
(Adopted 2-9-04; Amended 7-01-08 (Superseded Section 540); 2-02-09; 3-23-09; 4-02-09; 01-04-10; 07-1-11; 10-21-15)
- To serve the public purpose of the University, the following circumstances are allowed for providing food and beverages:
- Recruiting Meals. Meals for prospective faculty, staff or students, and the spouses of any of the foregoing, and for University hosts when the meals are a necessary, customary or expected part of a recruiting process.
- Business Meals. Meals for business associates, vendors or customers of the University and University hosts when such meals are in the interests of the University.
- Working Meals. Meals and light refreshments consumed during work when the meals enhance or extend the quantity or quality of the work, facilitate a business meeting, or employee development activity when the meals are necessitated by workload or scheduling conflicts.
- Student Meals. Meals and light refreshments for students representing the University or participating in official student activities.
- Retirement Functions. Meals and light refreshments for functions honoring departing faculty or staff.
- Recognition/Appreciation Functions. Light refreshments and meals for functions honoring faculty, staff or student recipients of awards or milestones or other appreciation.
- Courtesy Refreshments. Light refreshments for visitors of the University.
- Patients and Research Subjects. Necessary nourishment provided to patients, participants, and their caregivers.
- Expenses incurred for amounts to include tips, tax and service charges are not to exceed the following amounts:
- Light refreshments: $25 average per attendee
- Breakfast: $25 per person
- Lunch: $40 per person
- Evening Meal: $80 per person
- To document compliance with Section 541 all payments must contain the stated purpose, number of attendees, and if 10 or less attendees, the full names of those attendees.
- Any exceptions to Section 541 policy must be approved by a University Executive Officer.
(Adopted 2-9-04;Amended 4-20-15)
Personal long distance telephone calls on stationary telephones at the expense of the University are prohibited, whether or not the cost of the calls may be ultimately reimbursed to the University. Personal long distance calls that are originated on University stationary telephone equipment must be billed directly to the caller's account or to some other non-University account.
The University of Oklahoma recognizes the performance of certain job responsibilities may be enhanced by the provision of communication devices and services. For purposes of this policy, a communication device is defined as a cell phone or other electronic equipment that allows for two-way communication. A communication service is defined as the plan providing for operation of a communication device. This policy establishes methods for making a communication device and its operation available to employees when the device and service is provided for noncompensatory business reasons.
- Acquisition of Communication Devices
- University-owned Devices
A department may elect to acquire and provide a communication device to an employee whose job responsibilities, in the opinion of the department head, necessitate the provision of such a device. A communication device acquired by a department and provided to an employee is considered to be university property and will be used by the employee for university business purposes. However, limited personal use is allowed.
- Employee-owned Devices
A department may elect to reimburse an employee for the purchase and operation of a communication device when such employee’s job responsibilities, in the opinion of the department head, necessitate the provision of such a device and/or service. The employee must maintain the type of service contract that is reasonably related to the needs of the job responsibilities, and the reimbursement must be reasonably calculated so as not to exceed expenses the employee actually incurred in maintaining the device and related service.
A communication device acquired by this method is considered to be the personal property of the employee. Any service contract the employee enters into regarding the acquisition or operation of a communication device acquired by this method is personal to the employee. The university has no obligation nor makes any guarantees with respect to such service contracts.
- Departmental Responsibilities
- The department head is responsible for the following:
- Determining if the employee’s position requires a communication device/service based on his or her job responsibilities;
- Determining which of the allowed acquisition methods is most appropriate to an employee requiring a communication device/service (see section B of this policy for information about acquisition methods); and
- Determining the source of funds to be used to pay for a communication device/service.
If the communication device is to be owned by the university (see section B.1. of this policy), the department head is additionally responsible for the following:
- Ensuring the most appropriate communication device and/or services for the job responsibilities of the employee have been chosen; and
- Removing access to a university-owned device as contemplated by this policy if the job responsibilities of the employee no longer warrant such a device and/or services.
If the communication device is to be owned by the employee (see section B.2 of this policy), the department head is additionally responsible for determining the appropriate reimbursement amount based on the job responsibilities of the employee and the expense incurred by the employee.
- Employee Responsibilities
- University-owned Devices
Employees are responsible for the following:
- Ensuring the device is used for university business (see B.1 of this policy);
- Ensuring usage of the device is in compliance with all relevant university technology policies for the secure use of communication devices addressed in this policy; and
- Ensuring the device is returned to the university when it is no longer needed or the employee terminates employment with the departments.
- Employee-owned Devices
Employees are responsible for the following:
- Paying all amounts due as agreed between the employee and communication device provider as the employee is personally responsible for contractual liabilities, fees and taxes, regardless of employment status;
- Ensuring usage of the device is in compliance with all relevant university technology policies for the secure use of communication devices addressed in this policy; and
- Providing the university with a complete copy of every communication device provider bill for which the employee is requesting reimbursement.
- All Devices
Employees are responsible for the following:
- Maintaining and providing to the Open Records Office any records in the employee’s custody which are responsive to a pending request made under the Oklahoma Open Records Act;
- Maintaining any records in the employee’s custody which are the subject of a university Litigation Hold as required by the Office of Legal Counsel; and
- Retaining any records in the employee's custody as required by the university records retention policy.
This policy applies to high-speed internet access service, the cost or compensation for which is provided wholly or partially by the University.
- Approval of Service
- The use of high-speed internet access service is limited to employees approved or required to use the service by the employee's budget unit head upon necessity. Necessity includes situations in which time is of the essence in optimally accomplishing University purposes requiring work from the employee’s residence or other approved remote location outside of business hours. Such approval or requirement shall be withdrawn upon lack of necessity and shall be withheld or withdrawn from an employee who does not understand and comply with this policy. Any withholding or withdrawal shall not be an exclusive remedy. Such limitation on use does not apply to an employee who is at the department head level or higher; provided, a supervisor of any such employee may disallow any use.
- The type and cost of the high-speed internet access service must be approved by the employee's budget unit head and is only provided for use by the individual employee. The cost or compensation provided wholly or partially by the University is limited to service provided for the employee only.
University-provided high-speed internet access service must be centrally billed through the department of Information Technology. Individual reimbursements are not permitted.
- Limitation on Personal Use
Any University-provided high-speed internet access service is intended for University business use and must comply with Section 125, Information Systems: Acceptable Use, of these Administrative Policies. For the purposes of this policy, the performance of personal consultation or other services for which a third party compensates the employee is not University business.
- Management of Use
- Approval. Expenses for the use of high-speed internet access service must be approved in writing by a University employee who is in a greater level of institutional authority than the user.
- Enforcement. A budget unit head or other University employee having supervisory authority who may become aware of a violation of the letter or spirit of this policy shall take such remedial action as may be appropriate to control any such violation.
Cash awards, certificates, plaques and other appropriate award mementos presented in honor and acknowledgement of academic, achievement and other milestones are allowed. Awards given must be reasonable and customary and generally under $100 per honoree.
This policy applies to payments made to U.S. Citizens and resident aliens. For payments made to nonresident aliens (e.g. international students), please contact Accounts Payable for specific guidance.
- Items of personal property presented to employees for an award, acknowledgement, or appreciation should be reasonable and customary. Items valued over $100 may be taxable to the employee.
- Cash and cash equivalents (i.e., gift cards and gift certificates redeemable for general merchandise) presented to employees in honor and acknowledgement of achievement and other milestones are generally allowed but are considered taxable income to the employee regardless of amount.
- Plaques, trophies, and other non-personal mementos are allowed and generally not taxable.
- OTHER (Visitors, Speakers, Dignitaries)
Cash awards, certificates, plaques and other appropriate acknowledgements are allowed. In order to be non-taxable, acknowledgements given must be reasonable and customary and of de minimus value. Cash and cash equivalents are taxable regardless of amount.
This policy applies to payments made to U.S. Citizens and resident aliens. For payments made to nonresident aliens, please contact Accounts Payable for specific guidance.
- The costs for reasonable, necessary functions and promotional items are permitted that promote, market and develop University business interests.
- Promotional items provided for recruitment purposes are permitted. Items should be reasonable and customary and of de minimus value.
- The costs for special events are permitted that have extraordinary significance and importance to one of the University’s missions and that reasonably and necessarily serve to advance or enhance one of its missions as determined and approved by a Provost or the President of the University.
Payments to vendors shall not be made until compliance with applicable policies and procedures, including the purchasing policies and the Purchasing Department procedures, regardless of whether the payments are for purchases over or under the small dollar limit.
This policy applies to the payment to non-employees for services rendered. Payment should include all expenses, including travel expenses, associated with the service provided.
- Approval of Services
Payments made to a non-employee must meet the following criteria:
- The performance of services or contract for services, for either of which the payment is sought, must not have occurred within two years of the performing or contracting non-employee's retirement date from the University or any other institution within The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.
- The performance of services or contract for services, for either of which the payment is sought, must not have occurred within one year of the performing or contracting non-employee's termination date from the University.
- The work must be of the type that the University stipulates for the desired objectives or product.
- The individual is free to determine the process or procedures to achieve that objective.
- The individual should be an authority or recognized expert in the field of endeavor for which retained.
- The service should be of a non-recurring nature.
- Payments to foreign nationals, see Foreign National Taxation, Section 556.
(Adopted 2-9-04; Amended 6-16-09)
- At times, it may be beneficial for the University to contribute toward an individual's moving expenses. The rate for moving expenses beginning January 1, 2014 will be $0.235 a mile. The payment of these expenses requires the prior approval of the college or department.B. The University is required to comply with reporting requirements mandated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Qualified moving expenses are a nontaxable benefit, while non-qualified expenses are reportable as W-2 income. For more information, consult IRS Publication 521.
- In order to pre-pay a registration fee for a conference, meeting, seminar, or similar event, where the organization requires pre-registration and payment in advance, one of the following two options must be satisfied.
- By standard policy, the organization will not accept a purchase order in lieu of advance payment. Documentation to this effect in writing from the organization must be attached to the voucher when submitting to Accounts Payable for processing. If paying with a departmental Procard, this documentation must be maintained in departmental files for subsequent reviews.
- By standard policy, the organization will accept a purchase order in lieu of advance payment. However, a discounted fee is offered if the registration is paid in advance. To qualify for this option, the registration fee must, a. result in a discount to the University; b. allow for substitution of participant; and, c. provide a 100% refund should the event be canceled.
Documentation to this effect in writing from the organization describing these facts must be attached to the voucher when submitting to Accounts Payable for processing. In addition, the payment shall be timed to arrive at the sponsoring organization not earlier than the absolute due date deadline to take advantage of the discounted registration. If paying with a departmental Pcard, this documentation must be maintained in departmental files for subsequent reviews. Again, payment should be made no earlier than the absolute due date deadline to take advantage of the discounted registration.
- If the prepayment requirements detailed in "A" above cannot be met and the organization will accept a purchase order when registering, departments should enter a requisition in PeopleSoft. Payment for the registration will then be made by Accounts Payable after the event upon receipt of an invoice. C. If the sponsoring organization will not accept a purchase order and the registration fee is not directly paid in advance either through Accounts Payable or via a departmental Pcard, a registration fee paid by the employee can be reimbursed on the State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher after travel activity has been completed.
(Adopted 2-9-04; Amended 9-17-07 (Superseded Section 553)
An honorarium is defined as a nominal payment to an individual given in gratitude for services rendered. This typically is a one time, non-recurring payment. While an honorarium may be interpreted as a fee, it is a payment given to a professional person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required. The giving of it and the amount are both discretionary. An honorarium is appropriately given to a person who has volunteered time and effort on behalf of the University and who is not otherwise being remunerated for the service provided. The individual should not stand to realize a profit or loss as a result of the service provided.
The individual must not have been on the payroll of the University for one year prior to providing services. The individual must not have been retired from the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education within the past two years. The service must be of the type which the University stipulates for only the desired objective; the individual is free to determine the process or procedures to achieve that objective. Generally, the individual should be an authority or recognized expert in the field of endeavor for which retained, and the service should be of a non-recurring nature. The service should not be available within the staffing of the University. Examples of services which qualify are:
- A guest lecturer whose lecture is directed by the University only in terms of general subject matter to be covered. If included in a course, the lecture should only enhance and not serve as a source of fundamentals essential to the course of instruction.
- An entertainer, guest artist, or guest director.
- A recognized authority in a field of endeavor whose expertise is not otherwise available through University sources.
The amount of an honorarium should not be geared to lost fees or wages, expenses, or other opportunity costs incurred by the service provider, but to the amount of recognition appropriate for the service provided. An honorarium is typically of nominal value; however, amounts in excess of $5,000 must be on a purchase order. Generally, an honorarium is not allowed on sponsored (SPNSR) funds. If the payment is to be made on SPNSR funds, please contact the Office of Research Administration (ORA) to inquire on the allowability of the payment, prior to arrangements.An honorarium payment is to include all expenses, including travel expenses, associated with the service provided. Whether paid in a lump-sum payment or separately, both the honorarium and expense reimbursement must be coded as a professional service expense. The combined honorarium and expense reimbursement payment(s) will be reported to the IRS on Form 1099.
Qualifications for Non-Resident Aliens
See Foreign National Taxation, Section 556. Under Section 212(q) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, non-resident aliens are only allowed to receive an honorarium if their services last no longer than nine days at any single institution and if the non-resident alien has not accepted such payment or expenses from more than five institutions or organizations in the previous six month period. This is known as the 9-5-6 rule. The services, for which the non-resident alien will receive an honorarium, should benefit the University and must be open to students and/or the general public free of charge.By definition, an individual that enters the United States on a visa with a B-1 or WB status is seeking admission for legitimate activities of commercial or professional nature. B-2 and WT visitors are allowed entry to the United States for pleasure and not with the intent to do business. Therefore, all visitors, with intent to do business with the University, prior to entering the United States, should request entry as a B-1 or WB visitor. At this time Federal Guidelines allow payment of an honorarium and travel expense reimbursements to non-resident aliens who enter the United States with a B-1, B-2, WB, or WT visa status.All other visa entry types have to be reviewed individually according to merit. All requests must be submitted prior to making travel arrangements or services being rendered.
All honorarium payments to non-resident aliens require the following documentation:
(Adopted 6-24-05; Amended 11-3-05 (
Superseded Section 554); Amended 6-16-09)
The purpose of this policy is to set forth the procedure to determine whether an individual providing services to the University of Oklahoma is an employee or an independent contractor and to determine the payment method for an individual who performs services for the University as an independent contractor.
In general, an employee is an individual who performs a service for the University and operates under the direction and control of the University or its employees. Direction and control can be inferred when the University has the right to control the results as well as the means and methods of the worker. An independent contractor is a person engaged by the University to perform specific functions or tasks at his or her own discretion with respect to the means and methods used to accomplish the assignment. Additionally, the independent contractor must provide services to the community, not just to the University. For tax purposes and wage and hour compliance, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) require that employees be classified as either employees or independent contractors (also known as consultants or independent or professional service providers). The criteria used for making this determination are established by the IRS, the DOL and case law. The status of a worker as either an independent contractor or employee must be determined accurately to ensure that workers and the University can anticipate and meet their tax and record-keeping responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner. The IRS is aware of the tendency for entities to misclassify workers and thereby fail to pay substantial amounts of employment tax. The IRS has given high priority to the correct classification of employment relationships and the tax implications of the decisions made. The penalties for misclassification are payment of under-withheld taxes, including federal and state income tax, social security and Medicare taxes, federal unemployment taxes, penalties and interest.
This policy applies to all colleges, departments, centers, divisions, etc., (the contracting department) that hire or contract with individuals or other entities to perform services for the University, such as trainers, performing artists, speakers, researchers, contractors or consultants, whether paid on a sponsored grant or contract or from departmental funds.
Prior to engaging the services of any individual or other entity as an independent contractor, the contracting department must check with the Office of Human Resources to determine the proper work status of that individual or entity to perform the work – an employee of the University or an independent contractor. Whether a worker can be treated as an independent contractor is a question of fact and depends on federal law. The Independent Contractor Approval Form should be reviewed and completed as necessary. Current employees may not perform services for the University as independent contractors. Individuals who have been employed with the University within the previous twelve months and retirees from an institution within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education are only eligible to perform as independent contractors under certain circumstances. State law prohibits the University from entering into a sole source contract or a contract for professional services with or for the services of any person who has terminated employment with or who has been terminated by the University for one year after the termination date of the employee from the University. This does not prohibit the University from hiring or rehiring such person as an employee. (Title 74 Oklahoma Statutes Section 85.42. See also Section 551, Payments for Services Performed by Non-Employees, of these Administrative Policies.) The Legislature intends that the University not enter into a contract for independent contractor services with any person who has retired from employment with any institution in the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education for two years after the retirement date of such person. (Title 70 Oklahoma Statutes Section 3227. But see Section 551, Payments for Services Performed by Non-Employees, of these Administrative Policies.)
- Foreign National Payment and Taxation
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is committed to ensuring compliance with applicable laws governing payments to individuals who are foreign nationals. The reporting requirements and taxability of foreign nationals are governed by the Internal Revenue Code and the State of Oklahomastatutes.
- Payments of Scholarships/Stipends to Foreign National Students
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is committed to ensuring compliance with applicable laws concerning scholarships/stipends to foreign national students. Payments of scholarships/stipends in excess of tuition or fees to foreign nationals are taxed and reported per Internal Revenue Code and the State of Oklahoma statutes. For more information in regards to Section 556, please contact the Foreign National Taxation Staff Accountant at (405) 271-2055.
Participant Fees are those payments made to individuals to compensate them for participation in various studies conducted at the Health Sciences Center (i.e., research, etc.). The University pays individuals an agreed upon amount to participate in the studies. The amount paid may be subject to Federal income reporting requirements and may also be subject to Federal and State tax withholding. This policy is intended to cover payments to both University and non University employees who have agreed to be participants in studies.
- Residency Status
To be in compliance with IRS regulations, the University must collect residency status for all participants. This determines how the payment is handled. All payments required to be reported as outlined in this policy require collection of the participant’s name, tax identification number (SSN or ITIN), address, and amount paid. Payments can be made as specified according to the residency status.
- U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents - Payment can be made using any of the four payment methods outlined in this policy. Permanent Residents must supply a copy of their green card for proof of residency.
- Resident Aliens and Non-Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes - Payment can only be made by check and may be subject to tax withholding.a. Resident Aliens can use the Participant Payment Request Form as the vendor form Departments can submit this form to the Accounts Payable Vendor Section for adding to the vendor file. b. Non-Resident Aliens must complete the Foreign Vendor Form (W-8 Substitute) in addition to the Participant Payment Request Form due to immigration requirements. The Foreign Vendor Form must be an original as required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The vendor form submission must also include the required attachments as specified on the form. These payments are subject to 30% federal and 8% state income tax withholding. However, nonresident aliens may be able to claim exemption from income tax withholding under a United States tax treaty. This will be determined by Accounts Payable at the time of the Vendor Form submission.
- University Employees
Payments made to participants who are employees of the University are treated as described in this policy unless the relationship of an employer/employee exists or the individual is a nonresident alien.
- Employer/Employee Relationship Exists - If an employee/employer relationship exists, the payment must be made through Payroll. Applicable taxes will be withheld and the payment will be reported as W-2 income.
- Nonresident Alien - All nonresident alien employees must complete the Participant Payment Request Form and payment must be made by check through Accounts Payable.
- Payment Options
See the Participant Payment Matrix for more information. There are four payment methods available that are outlined in this policy.
- Check - Checks can be used for payment to participants regardless of U.S. residency status. Paying a participant via check requires the participant to be setup as an OUHSC vendor and a voucher created by the department to be forwarded to Accounts Payable for payment. This method does not require any additional income reporting tracking by the department because all payment information is captured in the Accounts Payable system.
- Cash - Cash payments are made through approved Research Incentive Petty Cash Funds. These payments are limited to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents (i.e., Green Card holders). For more information please refer to the Research Incentive Petty Cash Funds Policy.
- Gift Card - Gift cards must be purchased in accordance with the Research Incentive Gift Cards policy. Gift card payments are limited to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents. Currently, only Wal-Mart gift cards can be purchased using a departmental Pcard. All other purchases of gift cards must be processed on vouchers through Accounts Payable.
- Travel Reimbursement - Non-employees receiving no compensatory payments can be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred on either a Notarized Form 3 or a Travel Form 19. Payment by either form requires the participant to be setup as an OUHSC vendor. For more information on setting up a vendor, please refer to the Vendor Module training manual. A Notarized Form 3 can be processed for actual cost incurred evidenced by original receipts or reimbursement can be based on federal government GSA and mileage rates. Form 19 claims must adhere to the University travel policy guidelines.
- Reporting Requirements
- Departmental Reporting - Departments must collect the data as follows and forward to Accounts Payable via email to the AP-Management group mailbox as frequently as monthly but no less than quarterly. The quarterly reports are due no more than two weeks after the end of each quarter.
- Petty Cash and/or Gift Cards
- Individual payments less than $50 and cumulative payments not expected to exceed more than $500 for the calendar year. Information is retained in the department with no tax information reporting supplied to Accounts Payable.
- Individual payments of $50 (or more) or cumulative payments expected to exceed more than $500 for the calendar year. A Participant Payment Request Form must be completed one time per calendar year for each participant that falls in this category. These forms are retained by the department with the payment information entered into a Participant Log spreadsheet to be forwarded to Accounts Payable as indicated in this policy.
- Checks and/or Travel Expense Reimbursement
- All check payment information is captured in the Accounts Payable system therefore no department tracking and/or reporting is required.
- Accounts Payable Reporting - Accounts Payable will report all income payments in accordance with the IRS regulations on the required forms as indicated in this policy.a. Form 1099 – All U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes that receive payments from the University in the amount of $600 or more during a calendar year will be reported as 1099 income for that year. A Form 1099 will be mailed to the participant at the address on file by January 31st of the following year.b. Form 1042 – All Non-Resident Aliens for Tax Purposes will receive a Form 1042 for all income payments made during the calendar year. A Form 1042 will be mailed to the participant at the address on file by March 15th of the following year.
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is one entity. Providing information to areas within the University required for conducting business does not violate HIPAA confidentiality requirements. Accounts Payable can report payments to the IRS and make withholding payments to the Office of State Finance (OSF) without providing information about the study itself. The information collected and reported to Accounts Payable for income reporting and applicable tax withholding purposes should not indicate the specific study involved.
Grants and Contracts Accounting provides post award administrative and financial support to Principal Investigators, Project Directors and Sponsors.Grants and Contracts Accounting has the primary responsibility for all activities concerning external and internal audits of sponsored program expenditures and the resolution of audit exceptions. It is the office assigned the responsibility to assure compliance with cost sharing, effort reporting, cost allowability, direct cost allocability, facilities and administrative cost allocability, and subrecipient monitoring.Grants and Contracts Accounting, in conjunction with the Controller's Office, will periodically issue guidelines regarding special procedures applicable to sponsored programs.Specific details regarding procedures related to Grants and Contracts Accounting can be found at: http://www.ouhsc.edu/financialservices/GC/policies...
- Principal Investigator Responsibility
The principal investigator is responsible to ensure that all activity incurred on behalf of his/her project is allowable and allocable according to terms of the sponsoring agency.
- Establishing a Project
An award notification from an external sponsor can be used to establish a project on a probationary basis, provided an “Application to Establish a Chartfield Value” form (ECAV) is completed. Grants and Contracts Accounting has the authority to deny the establishment of a project if the terms and conditions and billing information for the project are not provided. An "Application to Establish a Chartfield Attribute Value" form (ECAV) is used to establish projects with no external sponsor or those without a fully executed contract. This form is completed by the requesting department/PI. The section of the form that deals with project information should be completed (including an alternate funding source designated to cover expenditures should the anticipated award not be forthcoming). If the grant or contract is not fully executed or terms and conditions are not received within 90 days, Grants and Contracts Accounting shall notify the appropriate department and bill the alternate funding source for any charges incurred. Notification should also be made to the Controller, CFO, Vice President for Administration and Finance and Vice President for Research. This paragraph does not apply to governmentally sponsored grants and contracts.
- Change in Project Sponsor
Grants and Contracts Accounting must be officially notified of any change in Project Sponsor. If the project is federally funded or notification is required by the funding agency, correspondence must be submitted through the Office of Research Administration to the appropriate granting agency. A copy of the approval from the granting agency should be submitted to Grants and Contracts Accounting.
- Changing Time Periods
On a federally-funded or budgeted project, a request for extension must be submitted through the Office of Research Administration to the funding agency, countersigned by an administrative official, and sent to Grants and Contracts Accounting. Upon the sponsoring agency's approval, the time period will be changed on all pertinent documents and on the University's accounting system. For projects that have no firm project period required by a sponsoring agency, the Principal Investigator and/or Project Sponsor can submit a memo, with appropriate justification, to the Office of Research Administration requesting the time period be changed. The Office of Research Administration will forward the request to Grants and Contracts Accounting for processing.
- Billing and Cash Receipts
It is the responsibility of the Grants and Contracts Accounting Office to prepare and mail the billings (invoices) on all awards, with the exception of clinical pharmaceutical trials. Due to patient confidentiality issues, the department may prepare invoices on these awards. When appropriate, Grants and Contracts Accounting may delegate the preparation of other billings to a department/college; such delegation must be in writing with justification and approved by the Vice President for Administration and Finance or his/her designee.All checks received on sponsored programs in Oklahoma City, including clinical pharmaceutical trials, must be deposited by Grants and Contracts Accounting. Checks received in Tulsa for sponsored programs must be deposited by the Administration and Finance Department at the Schusterman Center.Reporting requirements vary considerably among various federal and non-federal awarding or granting agencies. However, in most instances a final report of expenditures and a technical report are required. The Project Director/Project Sponsor is responsible for filing all technical reports. Grants and Contracts Accounting has the primary responsibility for filing all financial reports.Grants and Contracts Accounting should review deficits and accounts receivable on a routine basis and should give the Controller and CFO regular updates of deficits and collection efforts. The Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Vice President for Research should be notified of potential problems related to significant deficits, delinquent funding or collections.
- Closing an Existing Project
A sponsored project will be closed when all expenditures have been reported and receivables have been reconciled. Deficit balances as a result of over expenditures or disallowances are the responsibility of the Principal Investigator and his/her department.
- Residual Funds Policy
For all sponsored studies, investigators and staff are required to adequately and accurately charge costs (effort, supplies, etc.) to their project. Grants and Contracts Accounting will return to the sponsor unspent residual funds remaining in an account at the end of the award in accordance with the conditions of the award. Residual funds that do not have to be returned to the sponsor will be treated as follows: (1) For awards where 60% or more of the budgeted direct costs have been properly charged to the project (i.e. 40% residual), the remaining direct cost balance of the award will be transferred to the applicable Department Chairman, to be used at their discretion. (2) When less than 60% of the budgeted direct costs have been properly charged to the project, the direct cost balance in excess of the 40% residual will be transferred with 50% going to the Department Chairperson, to be used at their discretion and 50% to the VP of Research, to be used for the support of research. The remaining 40% will be transferred to the applicable Department Chairperson as above. Residual funds that do not have to be returned to the sponsor will not be transferred to the Principal Investigator and may not be transferred to another institution should the Principal Investigator leave OUHSC. Prior to the residual balance transfer, F&A costs will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary. Note: F&A costs will be assessed on any transfers of residual funds. (This policy applies to All Awards: Research, Clinical Trials, Pre-Clinical, etc).
Budgeted Direct Costs: $100,000
Budgeted F&A Costs: $ 20,000
Total Budget: $120,000
Actual Direct Expenditures: $ 60,000
Actual F&A Charges: $ 12,000
Remaining Direct Funds: $ 40,000
Remaining F&A Charges: $ 8,000
Budgeted Direct Costs: $100,000
Budgeted F&A Costs: $ 20,000
Total Budget: $120,000
Actual Direct Expenditures: $ 50,000
Actual F&A Charges: $ 10,000
Remaining Direct Funds: $ 50,000
$45,000 (returned to Dept Chair)
$ 5,000 (Vice President for Research)
Remaining F&A Charges: $ 10,000
- Facilities and Administrative Costs
Facilities and Administrative Costs are the costs incurred by an organization that are not readily identifiable with a particular project or program but are nevertheless necessary to the operation of the organization and performance of its programs. The costs of operating, maintaining and depreciating facilities are types of costs that are usually treated as facilities and administrative costs. The University periodically establishes appropriate facilities and administrative rates. These rates are negotiated with the University's cognizant agency.
- Purchase of Goods, Materials and Equipment
All purchases of payments for goods, etc., must follow applicable University Purchasing and Accounts Payable policies
- Time and Effort Reporting System
Federal guidelines prescribe various methods to certify that the compensation charged to its awards represents allowable, reasonable and allocable costs to those programs. In compliance with the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-21 "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions," the Principal Investigator certifies payrolls on sponsored programs via a certification of time and effort report. The report reflects only the Health Sciences Center full-time equivalent (FTE).(Adopted 2-9-04; Amended 12-3-07 (Superseded Section 570);
(Amended 12-21-09; 02-10-10; 06-08-10; 08-23-11)
1.1 It is the policy of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to collect the full applicable rate of facilities and administrative costs reimbursement on all externally funded projects, including research, public service, training and instruction grants and contracts.
1.2 For all projects funded by federal agencies, or funded with federal dollars (including federal dollars passed through other agencies), the applicable rate is based upon the University’s current federally negotiated facilities and administrative costs rate agreement. The only exception to the negotiated rate is for those federal programs where a lower rate is specified and published in the sponsored program announcement.
1.3 For all projects funded by state and local agencies, private industry and foundations, the applicable facilities and administrative costs rate is based upon the type of program (research, training, instruction, public service, fee-for-service) and the current negotiated indirect cost rate for research or the University’s published facilities and administrative costs rate for training, instruction, public service, or fee for service programs.
1.4 Any requests for an exception of the applicable indirect cost rate must follow the exception process described in Section 4.0. Exception requests must be submitted to the appropriate Dean’s office for review and the signed Exception Form must then be approved by the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Administration & Finance.
2.0 BACKGROUND AND DEFINITIONS
2.1 This policy provides guidelines for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center regarding the reimbursement of facilities and administrative costs for all externally funded projects.
2.2 The total cost of all externally funded projects consists of both direct and indirect expenses. The University must pay for all associated facilities and administrative costs of every program, regardless of whether it is reimbursed by the sponsor or not
2.3 Federal regulations (OMB Circular A-21 and the Federal Cost Accounting Standards) require that the same type of costs be treated consistently as direct or facilities and administrative costs on sponsored programs. This policy provides guidance to assure compliance with all applicable federal regulations.
2.4 DefinitionsDirect costs are those that are readily identifiable with a specific project and which can be charged directly to that project. Direct costs include such items as salaries, fringe benefits, equipment, consumable materials and supplies, travel, subject/participant costs, and subcontracts. Facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, formerly known as indirect costs, are actual costs incurred by the University to support externally funded projects. These costs are to be reimbursed by the sponsor for common University expenses that cannot be directly charged to a single project and include: 1) infrastructure costs (rent, heating, air, janitorial services) and 2) support services (IT, library, purchasing, accounting, research administration, animal resources, and federally mandated assurance boards and offices [Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee]). On-campus/off-campus facilities and administrative costs rates - On-campus and off-campus facilities and administrative costs rates for research are determined by the DHHS negotiated cost rate agreement and are to be utilized for all federally funded research. The applicable on- and off-campus indirect cost rate(s) for research, public service, training and instruction are published annually by Administration & Finance and can be found at:
http://www.ouhsc.edu/financialservices/GC/Grants.a... The off-campus rate applies only to activities performed in facilities not owned by the Health Sciences Center and to which rent is charged directly to the project.
3.0 APPLICABLE FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS RATES BY FUNDING SOURCE AND TYPE OF PROGRAM
3.1 FEDERAL - The University’s current federal negotiated facilities and administrative costs rates apply to all federally funded programs, with the exception of Federal Training Grants. This includes funds received directly from federal agencies and funds received indirectly from federal agencies as “flow-thorough” or “pass-through” funds from other institutions, i.e. subawards and subcontracts.
3.2 STATE - The current applicable facilities and administrative costs rate applies to all programs funded by State of Oklahoma agencies (including OSDH, ODHS, OHCA and others). The State agency must also provide written certification to the Office of Research Administration regarding the source of their funding, federal versus non-federal, in order to determine the applicable facilities and administrative costs rate. All research grants or contracts funded by federal flow-through funds are required to include the University’s current negotiated facilities and administrative costs rate.
3.3 NON-PROFIT/FOUNDATION - The applicable facilities and administrative costs rate applies to all programs sponsored by Non-Profit agencies and Foundations.
3.4 INDUSTRY: CLINICAL TRIALS - The facilities and administrative costs rate for Clinical Trials funded by Industry/Pharmaceutical companies may vary, but must include 20% for core Institutional overhead costs. Departmental or College Administrative cost rates may be included in addition to the Institutional 20%. There will be no exceptions to the core Institutional rate of 20% for Clinical Trials sponsored by Industry/Pharmaceutical companies.
3.5 INDUSTRY: BASIC RESEARCH – The University’s current federal negotiated facilities and administrative costs rate applies to all basic research programs sponsored by for-profit Industry/Pharmaceutical companies.
.3.7 See the ORA web site for all applicable facilities and administrative costs rates based upon funding source and type of program.
4.0 REQUESTS FOR EXCEPTIONS
4.1 Exceptions to this policy will only be granted in rare circumstances. Facilities and Administrative costs must be included using The University’s federally-negotiated rates, with the exception of Federal Training Grants. All other deviations are subject to administrative approval by the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Administration & Finance. Sponsor guidelines limiting facilities and administration costs must be provided with each proposal requesting an exception. Projects funded by the for-profit sector must accrue F&A at the appropriate negotiated rate.
4.2 All requests for exceptions to the University’s Facilities and Administrative Costs Policy must use the “Indirect Cost Rate Exception Request Form”.
4.3 The Exception Form must be submitted to the appropriate Dean’s office for review, which in consultation with the department chair may elect to support or deny the request. If supported by the Dean’s Office, the signed Exception Form must be routed to the Office of Research Administration and Administration & Finance at least five (5) business days prior to obtaining institutional signature on the proposal, grant application or contract.
4.4 The Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Administration & Finance will make the final decision.
4.5. The Senior Vice President and Provost, the Vice President for Administration & Finance, and the Vice President for Research will monitor the cost to the University of approved facilities and administrative costs exceptions on a continuing basis. Exception approvals will be reviewed with the applicable Dean on a quarterly basis. See ORA web site for current rates and applicable forms
(Effective January 1, 2010)
Inventories of goods held for resale must periodically be compiled, measured and recorded in the University's financial accounting system. Sample inventory guidelines are available from Financial Services or Financial Support Services. Inventory is usually classified as (a) finished goods (e.g., consumable supplies and items held for resale or recharge within the university), (b) works in process, or (c) raw materials. The basis of accounting for inventories is cost, which is the price paid or consideration given to acquire the asset. In inventory accounting, cost is the sum of the expenditures and charges, direct and indirect, in bringing goods to their existing condition or location.
- Inventory Systems
- Periodic System. Inventory is determined by a physical count (sample inventory guidelines are available from Financial Services) as of a specific date. As long as the count is made frequently enough for reporting purposes, it is not necessary to maintain extensive inventory records. The inventory shown in the balance sheet is determined by the physical count and is priced in accordance with the inventory method used.
- Perpetual System. With the perpetual system, inventory records are maintained and updated continuously as items are purchased and sold. The system has the advantage of providing inventory information on a timely basis but requires the maintenance of a full set of inventory records. Periodic physical counts are still necessary to verify the inventory records.
- Lower of Cost or Market
When the value of the goods in the ordinary course of business is no longer as great as their cost, a departure from the cost principle of measuring the inventory is required. Whether the cause is obsolescence, physical deterioration, changes in price levels, or any other, the difference should be recognized by a charge to expense in the current period. This is usually accomplished by stating the goods at a lower level designated as market. The term market generally means current replacement cost, whether by purchase or by reproduction.
- Departmental Responsibility
- Selecting, establishing, and maintaining an inventory system (i.e., a periodic or perpetual system).
- Determining whether obsolescence, physical deterioration, change in price levels, or any other changes require inventory to be restated to the lower of cost or market.
- Selecting an inventory cost method that under the circumstances most clearly reflects periodic income.
- Ensuring that inventory transactions are executed and recorded in accordance with management's general or specific authorization.
- Permitting access to inventories only in accordance with management's authorization. Management may protect its resources by establishing physical barriers and appropriate policies. For example, inventories may be kept in a storeroom.
- Adopting internal control structure policies and procedures that periodically compare the actual asset with its recorded balance. An important part of the internal control structure is to determine the effectiveness of recording policies and asset access policies. This is accomplished by conducting periodic physical counts of inventory and comparing the counts to the balance in the general ledger.
The Property Inventory Section of the Department of Financial Services is responsible for maintaining a permanent and detailed centralized inventory system for recording all moveable tangible capitalized property (items costing in excess of $5000) purchased with University funds, acquired by private gifts, or transferred from an outside source as required by the Federal Government, the State of Oklahoma Department of Central Services, and the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents. Additionally, the Property Inventory Section coordinates physical inventories of University and sponsor owned moveable tangible capitalized property and selected tangible non-capitalized property on an annual basis.
- Accountability and Responsibility
- Accountability. Accountability for all moveable tangible property in use rests with department chairs, directors and budget unit heads and is required in order to minimize risks of misuse, damage, theft or loss of assets. Accountability is the requirement imposed on those individuals empowered with the authority to decide as to the acquisition, employment and disposition of assets. Accountability cannot be delegated, but can only be transferred to other accountable individuals or discharged through the proper execution of this procedure. If a breach of accountability results in significant loss (either instantly or cumulatively over time) to the University, appropriate administrative action may be taken. Unless separate documentation has been issued to assign or delegate accountability for an asset to a specific individual (e.g., principal investigator of a sponsored program), such accountability shall rest with the department chair, director or budget unit head whose org/project paid for the asset. For assets that are funded from more than one org/project, accountability will rest with the respective department chair, director or budget unit head that paid for the majority of the cost of the asset.
- Responsibilities. Each department chair, director and/or budget unit head is responsible for all property purchased or transferred to his/her area as reflected on the official inventory records of the University. Specific responsibilities are as follows:
- Accepting and signing the official inventory report upon each physical count attesting to the proper reconciliation of the current inventory report to the prior inventory report including additions, disposals, thefts, adjustments, etc.
- Notification of the proper office(s) of any change in physical location of property.
- Notification of the proper office(s) of any property that is lost, damaged or stolen.
- Making available to the Property Inventory Section personnel all items of acquired property for the purpose of tagging and/or making periodic physical inspection, regardless of the source of funds utilized to purchase the property.
- Ensuring all tangible capitalized property is reviewed through physical observation by someone other than the property custodian at the time of the annual inventory.
- Approving personal use and resulting removal from locations in University buildings of property for which he/she has responsibility for control of such items.
- Approving transfers of items of property to other departments as the need arises.
The Office of Internal Auditing has the responsibility for determining the effectiveness of the property control procedures, as well as departmental compliance. The Property Inventory Section is responsible for submitting an annual report of current inventory of tangible assets owned by the Health Sciences Center as of June 30 of the preceding fiscal year to the Department of Central Services by August 15 of the current fiscal year.
- Tangible Capital Asset. A tangible capital asset is one that is moveable (i.e., not permanently attached to a building), has a useful life extending beyond one year, and whose cost (i.e., invoice price plus freight, installation, etc.) is in excess of $5000. Examples of tangible capital assets are: office equipment, lab equipment, shop equipment, motor vehicles, furniture, tools, etc. A tangible capital asset cost is "capitalized" or reported as an asset on an organization's balance sheet rather than "expensing" the cost of the item against the current fiscal year's operations.
- Tangible Non-Capital Asset. A tangible non-capital asset is one that has a useful life of one year or less and/or whose cost is $5000 or less. The cost of a tangible non-capital asset is "expensed" on an organization's income statement against the current fiscal year's operations.
Exceptions to specific provisions of this policy must be submitted in writing and approved by the Vice President of Administration and Finance.
Regents' Policy Manual for The University of Oklahoma, Section 4.8, as of 6-24-04.For purposes of this policy, Auxiliary Enterprises and/or Service Units are business-type activities in that they charge fees to recover the cost of the goods and/or services provided. Auxiliary Enterprises market and sell their goods and/or services primarily to parties external to the University. In contrast, Service Units market and sell their goods and/or services primarily to parties internal to the University. Although there are a multitude of business- and quasi-business-type activities (such as recharge centers and activities designed primarily to meet the needs of educational activities) operating at the University, this policy is intended to apply only to "major" revenue producing activities.As major business-type activities, each Auxiliary Enterprise and/or Service Unit is to develop, maintain and implement prudent business practices including, but not limited to:
- A comprehensive procedure manual documenting applicable policies, procedures, standards, and other administrative and operating criteria; Formal procedures for outlining operating philosophy and pricing criteria. The underlying procedures must include the processes for evaluating costs and determining prices, fees, charges, etc.;The development of budgets, operating plans, and prices to include, for example, the funding of reserves for renewals and replacements, required debt service, planned capital improvements, and general operating contingencies; and
- Periodic reporting of financial activities, prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, to the Vice President for Administration and Finance, President, and Board of Regents.
The Vice Presidents for Administration and Finance or their designees will articulate and publish prudent business practices for all major business-type activities. No Auxiliary Enterprise or Service Unit with annual sales (projected or actual) of $100,000 or more may be created without the approval of the President and the Board of Regents. No Auxiliary Enterprises or Service Units with annual sales of less than $100,000 shall be created without the approval of the President or his or her designee. No Auxiliary Enterprises or Service Units may be deleted without the approval of the President or his or her designee. In those circumstances where closure will result in significant financial or other institutional impact, Board of Regents' notification is also required.The primary responsibility for managing each unit shall be with the operating manager of each Auxiliary Enterprise and Service Unit and the respective dean/director and Executive Officer. The Controller shall be responsible for the overall fiscal monitoring of all Auxiliary Enterprise Entities and Service Units. (RM, 9-8-88, p. 20553; 11-89, p. 21470; 2-19-92, p. 22769; 3-29-00, p. 26909; 1-27-04, p. 28924; 6-23-04, p. 29151)
Regents' Policy Manual for The University of Oklahoma, Section 4.13, as of 6-24-04.The criteria for determination of transferability of equipment and/or funds to another institution at the request of faculty members terminating their faculty appointment at the University and transferring activities to another institution are as follows:
- At no time will title to assets vested in the University be transferred directly to the terminating faculty member.
- Transfer of equipment may be considered when:
It is or was the specific intent of the donor or granting agency that the equipment is or was to support the work of the terminating faculty member rather than a program of the University and that the equipment ownership should be transferred to the institution to which the faculty is moving.The equipment was purchased from funds supporting an ongoing program that the donor or granting agency will continue at the new employing institution.
The transfer of equipment has been authorized in writing by the appropriate contracting official and the Vice President for Research.
- At no time will funds deposited with the University for the purpose of supporting the departing faculty member's research, patient care or education program be transferred directly to the faculty member except as may be allowed by the Board of Regents' Professional Practice Plan policies.
- Funds may be considered for transfer to the departing faculty member's new institution only when:
It was the specific intent of the donor or granting agency that the funds were/are for the purpose of supporting the activity of the departing faculty member (rather than a program of the University).
The transfer of funds was authorized in writing by the appropriate contracting official and approved by the appropriate dean/department chair and the Vice President for Research.
- Funds shall not be transferred to another institution when residual funds remain following completion of the program or project for which the funds were provided. (RM, 9-2-76, p. 14139; 3-29-00, p. 26909; 1-27-04, p. 28924; 6-23-04, p. 29151)
Regents' Policy Manual for The University of Oklahoma, Section 4.3, as of 6-24-04.
Deficits in University accounts are not permitted. Accounts should be reviewed monthly by sponsors, deans/directors, and vice presidents to ensure that deficits do not occur. If a deficit is projected or indicated, immediate action should be taken to prevent or correct the problem. In all cases, vice presidents are ultimately responsible for the financial management of accounts within their area(s) of responsibility.If circumstances occur that require a temporary deficit for a special purpose, an explanation and plan for repayment must be fully documented by the appropriate vice president and submitted to the President or President's designee and appropriate Vice President for Administration and Finance for review and approval. All deficits are to be thoroughly investigated and resolved in a timely manner; however, corrective action plans are to be submitted only for deficits of $50,000 or more that have an anticipated duration of 180 days or more.If a deficit is reflected in an educational and general account on the June 30 financial reports, the departmental appropriation for the succeeding fiscal year will be reduced by the amount of the deficit.No Auxiliary Enterprise or Service Unit is permitted to operate using unauthorized borrowing from other units, including, without limitation, operating in an unauthorized cash deficit position. If a deficit occurs or is anticipated, a short-term working capital loan must be authorized by the Controller's Office.For purposes of this policy, an account is a distinct budgetary or cash grouping of specific funds. Alpha and/or numeric references are assigned to identify accounts within the University's accounting systems. All University fund groups are subject to this policy. Although salaries, wages, and other account or object categories should be closely monitored, this policy applies only to the total budgetary or cash balance for each account. Accounts that have been established by the Controller's Office for the purpose of University clearing or suspense functions are not subject to this policy. (RM, 9-10-03, p. 28765; 1-27-04, 28924; 6-23-04, p. 29151)