Travel Policies

Dependent Expenses

Spousal/Partner Travel Policy approved by the Audit Committee on June 10, 2010

Spouse or Other Dependent Travel

The payment of travel expenses for spouses & partners of College employees is not permitted without prior approval from the President and all the conditions listed below are met.

The spouse/partner attends and contributes to the official function.
The activities of the spouse/partner relating to College business are outlined.
The purpose of the travel and the expenses incurred are fully documented.
The presence of the spouse/partner must be deemed essential to the work of the College.

Presidential Spousal/Partner Travel

The President is often required to have extensive and unique contact with the public on behalf of the College. Spouses/partners often make an important contribution to the success of events when the President is performing official duties in such areas as Development. The College also benefits when spouses/partners participate in professional development programs related to their specific roles and responsibilities. Consequently, the College will pay the President’s spouse’s/partner’s travel expenses if all the following conditions are met:

  • The spouse/partner attends and contributes to the official function. This includes events when the spouses of the College’s guests are expected to be present.
  • The activities of the spouse/partner relating to College business are outlined.
  • The purpose of the travel and the expenses incurred are fully documented.
  • The presence of the spouse/partner must be essential to the President’s ability to carry out her/his business function for the College.

If the presence of the spouse/partner is not essential, the properly documented travel expenses will be reimbursed and the expenses will be treated as a taxable fringe benefit.

The President’s travel expenses, including spousal/partner travel, are reviewed by the Chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees on a semi-annual basis.

Expense Reporting

Reporting travel expenses for reimbursement is requested within 30 days of returning to campus and should be documented on an Expense/Travel Reimbursement Form no later than 90 days or the end of the fiscal year, whichever comes first. This form is designed to gather all the necessary information from the traveler, calculate exchange rates, and itemize expenses in the appropriate category. Receipts are required and must be attached to this expense report. In compliance with IRS regulations, the College cannot reimburse employee expenses from receipts that are more than 90 days old.

Expenses Not Reimbursable by the College

The following is a list of expenses that will not be reimbursed by the College. This list is intended as a guide and is not inclusive of all expenses which are not reimbursable by the College:

  • Portion of air/train travel, auto rental/mileage, hotel costs, or meals for travel outside College business.
  • Upgrades — air, hotel or car rental (upgrades to business class for transoceanic or intercontinental air travel are permitted for flight time exceeding 8 hours)
  • Insurance costs such as life insurance, flight insurance, personal automobile insurance and baggage insurance
  • Lost baggage (except for lost luggage reimbursement under Credit Card Policy section VISA Travel Benefit)
  • In-room movies
  • Traffic fines, court costs, parking violations, towing charges, and auto repairs.
  • Personal grooming services, such as barbers, hairdressers and shoe shines.
  • Doctor bills, prescriptions and other medical services unless covered by the College’s health benefit plans.
  • Credit card delinquency fees, over limit fees or finance charges.
  • Bank or ATM fees.

Incidentals

Tips

Tips for hotel staff & cab drivers are reimbursable. Tips for cabs should be claimed with the cost of the taxi ride. Tips to hotel staff and airport luggage handlers should be listed separately when claimed.

Laundry

For travel of five nights or more, laundry is reimbursable with receipts.

Telephone and fax

For staff without a College cell phone, telephone calls made to obtain transportation and hotel reservations, or to communicate with the office or one’s family to indicate safe arrival, are reimbursable. The cost to fax documents while traveling is also reimbursable with a documented business purpose and original receipts.

Tolls and Parking

Tolls and reasonable parking fees are reimbursable. Parking violations and towing charges are not reimbursable.

International Travel

Trip Planning

The College’s foreign liability insurance provider, Chartis, provides all College students, faculty, and staff with a portal with information on travel information, safety, and trip planning. Visit the CIP Emergency Evacuation page for more information. Students, faculty, and staff will need the College’s access numbers to access the Travel Guard portal:

  • GROUP NAME: Kalamazoo College
  • A&H POLICY/PLAN TYPE: 9135570
  • WORLDSOURCE POLICY/PLAN TYPE: 10009453

Travel Visas

In some cases, it may be more cost effective and efficient for travelers to use a professional service for acquiring travel visas.  If a foreign consulate permits applications for visas via the web or by mail, employees should not need to use a professional service to acquire their visas.  If the employee is required to drop off and/or pick up a visa in person or the employee needs extra assistance in navigating the consulate’s process, a professional service could be used. 

Banking and Foreign Currency Exchange

For small amounts of foreign currency (up to $400), employees should deposit their travel advances into their checking accounts and then just withdraw the money from a foreign ATM.

Employees are advised to inform their bank and credit card companies of their travel plans, including PNC if the employee will be traveling with a College credit card.  In some cases, when banks and credit card companies notice unusual foreign charges and withdrawals, they will place holds on bank and credit card accounts. 

The Travel Expense Report includes a field for exchange rate which should be provided by the traveler. The employee may use either the rate of exchange for foreign currency exchanged during his/her trip or an online currency converter.  If a copy of the traveler's personal credit card statement is included with receipts, reimbursement will be for the amount shown for the item on the credit card statement.

Car Rental Insurance

Car rental insurance while traveling outside of the U.S. on College business is recommended and reimbursable by the College. 

Meals & Alcohol

In general the College only reimburses actual expenses for meals while traveling on College business. Meal claims should reflect actual and reasonable expense and can be claimed for business travel that involves an overnight stay. Meal tips should be included in the claim for the meal and not listed separately and should not exceed 20%. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Travel funded by the Faculty Development Committee has a separate policy that includes a per diem for meals. Details on this policy are available from the Provost's Office.

Due to IRS regulations, the College is unable to reimburse individual meal expenses related to travel that does not include an overnight stay.

Alcohol consumed with a meal, including cocktails and after-dinner drinks, while entertaining College guests or candidates is reimbursable, to a maximum of two drinks per person. Moderation with respect to the cost of alcohol is the guiding principle in determining what is reasonable and reimbursable. Personal consumption of alcohol beyond one drink with dinner while at a conference, professional meeting, or other formally scheduled College-related event is not reimbursable.

Alcohol may not be purchased with Federal grant funding.

Travel/Cash Advances

Cash advances may be given to College employees for upcoming travel or College expenditures. Employees may not have more than one advance outstanding at any given time. Cash advances should be requested by using the Requisition form which can be found on the business office forms page.

Employees with College credit cards are expected to limit their cash advance request to incidental costs that cannot be charged on the card.

All requests for travel advances over $250.00 by employees of academic areas and charged to departmental budgets must have approval of the Provost's Office. Please route your requisition appropriately.

Advances for travel by guests of the College will be treated as taxable income to be reported on IRS Form 1099-MISC. College employees should make arrangements for travel for guests using our preferred vendors that can be direct billed to the College when possible (see Purchasing Policies related to Air Travel and Lodging). Costs of travel by guests may be reimbursed with appropriate documentation and receipts.

Advances should be cleared within 30 days from the last date of travel. Due to the fiscal year ending on June 30th, cash advances for travel that ends by June 30th must be cleared no later than the second Friday in July. After 30 days from return of travel or event, employees with outstanding advances will be notified by the Business Office. Failure to reimburse the College for advances outstanding 90 days or longer, may be subject to disciplinary measures.

Credit Card Policies

Policy Statement

The College credit card program is intended to streamline and simplify purchasing and accounts payable functions. The College credit card is a tool that reduces transaction costs, facilitates timely acquisition of materials and supplies, automates data flow for accounting purposes and offers flexible controls to help ensure proper usage. The card may be used with any merchant who accepts Visa, either in-store, by phone, mail, fax or on-line, subject to the College's purchasing and travel policies.

Program Overview

The College credit card program is designed to complement existing purchasing processes including petty cash, check requests, and low dollar purchase orders. The College credit card program is not intended to avoid or bypass current payment procedures and purchasing policies. Proper documentation and record keeping is essential.

Definitions:

  • Cardholder - College employee whose name appears on the credit card and is accountable for all charges made and reporting and documentation associated with that card.
  • Department Liaison - Support staff that assists the Cardholder with the compilation and submission of credit card statements/expense reports
  • Cardholder Supervisor - The employee within each department who is responsible for reviewing the Cardholder's transactions and verifying that all charges associated with the credit card are supported by the appropriate documentation.

Administration by Business Office

Business Office Administrative Responsibilities

  • Assists the cardholder with administrative tasks related to the card:
  • Reviews and verifies the vendor receipts to ensure that they match the transactions listed on the individual statement.
  • Verifies appropriate expense allocations so that each purchase transaction has the correct accounting information and a specific business purpose for each item.
  • Attempts to resolve any disputes with vendor and/or PNC not resolved by Cardholder.
  • Assists Cardholders with erroneous declines and emergency transactions after they have contacted PNC directly.
  • Downloads monthly credit card charges to Colleague.
  • Activate/Deactivates credit card.
  • Provides all credit card online program administrative maintenance.
  • Provides training to cardholders.
  • Audits credit card use and charges with regard to compliance with credit card and College policies.

Cardholder and Supervisor Responsibilities

Credit card purchases are governed by Kalamazoo College purchasing and other relevant policies. It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to ensure that the card is used within the stated guidelines of the credit card policy as well as other Kalamazoo College policies relating to the expenditure of College funds.

Cardholder

  • Understands that the College is liable to PNC for all charges made on the card.
  • Agrees to notify PNC immediately if the card is lost or stolen, and notify the Business Office at the first opportunity during normal business hours.
  • Understands that the Cardholder is the only person authorized to approve charges made against his/her card.
  • Agrees to use the College credit card for approved purchases only.
  • Agrees not to charge personal purchases. The use of the card for personal purchases may be subject to disciplinary actions. Any personal purchase must be repaid as soon as it’s identified.
  • Agrees to obtain receipts for all card purchases and maintain proper supporting documentation. Every receipt requires documentation explaining how the expense relates to College business.
  • Agrees to return the card immediately upon request of the College or upon termination of employment (including retirement).
  • Agrees to notify the Business Office if the cardholder changes departments.
  • Understands the College will audit use of the card and take appropriate action on any discrepancies found, including reporting of discrepancies to the Supervisor or Vice President.
  • Agrees to follow the established procedures for the use of the College credit card, including timely submission of statements and receipts. While the administration of the card reporting may be delegated to a Department Liaison, the responsibility for compliance remains with the Cardholder. This may include planning for absences and making oneself available to sign the statement. Only the Cardholder may sign his/her own statement and may not delegate this responsibility.

Failure to follow these credit card policies may result in suspension or revocation of the use of the card, additional taxable income reported on Form W-2, and/or other disciplinary actions.

Cardholder Supervisor

  • Reviews and signs statements of the Cardholder. The Supervisor signature indicates that he/she has reviewed the statement for compliance with College policy and it’s correct, complete and that the expenditures are approved for the business purpose indicated. If the Supervisor cannot determine the business purpose from the statement, the Supervisor should not sign the statement and should instead return the statement to the Cardholder for correction or additional documentation.

Business Office

  • Assists the cardholder with administrative tasks related to the card:
  • Reviews and verifies the vendor receipts to ensure that they match the transactions listed on the individual statement.
  • Verifies appropriate expense allocations so that each purchase transaction has the correct accounting information and a specific business purpose for each item.
  • Attempts to resolve any disputes with vendor and/or PNC not resolved by Cardholder.
  • Assists Cardholders with erroneous declines and emergency transactions after they have contacted PNC directly.
  • Downloads monthly credit card charges to Colleague.
  • Activate/Deactivates credit card.
  • Provides all credit card online program administrative maintenance.
  • Provides training to cardholders.
  • Audits credit card use and charges with regard to compliance with credit card and College policies. Personal use of P-Cards will also be monitored.

Cardholder Disciplinary Actions

The College will seek restitution for inappropriate or fraudulent charges. Misuse of the credit card will also result in revocation of the card and possible disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment from Kalamazoo College. Employees who are found to have inappropriately used the College credit card will be required to reimburse the College for all costs associated with such improper use. The College reserves the right to close a credit card account if a Cardholder (a) moves to a new position in which a card is not required; (b) terminates employment; or (c) for any of the following reasons which will also subject Cardholder to disciplinary action in accordance with Kalamazoo College policies and procedures relating to discipline:

  • The College credit card is used for unauthorized purposes.
  • The College credit card is used to purchase any substance, material, or service that violates policy, law, or regulation pertaining to Kalamazoo College.
  • The Cardholder allows the card to be used by another individual.
  • The Cardholder splits a purchase to circumvent the spending limits of the credit card.
  • The Cardholder uses another Cardholder’s card to circumvent the purchase limit assigned to either Cardholder or the limitations of the credit card.
  • The Cardholder fails to complete the online monthly reconciliation by the due date.
  • The Cardholder fails to provide, when requested, information about any specific purchase.
  • The Cardholder does not adhere to all College purchasing and travel policies.

Credit Limit Increase Request

To process a permanent or temporary credit limit increase, the Cardholder Supervisor can send an e-mail to BusinessOffice@kzoo.edu. The e-mail should include the Cardholder’s name, amount of increase or the new limit, and indication that this is a permanent or temporary change. If this is a temporary change, the date the change is no longer in effect should also be included in the e-mail.

Due Dates

Statements with Cardholder and Supervisor signatures and all original receipts are due to the Business Office by the 10th of the month.

It is strongly recommended and considered best practice that Cardholders review their transactions on weekly basis. The statement closing date is the 27th of each month or the following business day if the 27th falls on a weekend with statements due on the 10th of the following month. If the 10th fall on a weekend, the due date is the next business day.

While the administration of the card reporting may be delegated to a Department Liaison, the responsibility for complete and timely submission of statements remains with the Cardholder.

Cardholders should consider planned absences and travel schedules and plan accordingly to meet these deadlines, including making oneself available to sign statements. Cardholders may not delegate signing of their statements. Cardholders that do not meet the deadlines may lose their credit card privilege. Cardholders, Supervisors, and Vice Presidents will be notified of delinquent statements and receipts.

Electronic Statement Submission

Departments can elect to submit their statement and receipts electronically in PDF format to the Business Office. If a department elects to do this, they must keep the original receipts in locked storage or shred them to reduce the exposure of receipts being submitted for personal reimbursement. Departments that elect to submit statements and receipts electronically are still expected to verify the electronic submission for completeness.

Missing Documentation

Receipts are required for all transactions. In the event that a receipt is lost, Cardholders should make every attempt to contact the vendor for a duplicate receipt. If a duplicate receipt cannot be obtained, a Lost/Missing Receipt Form should be completed by the Cardholder and approved by the Vice President for their area. The Lost/Missing Receipt Form is to be used only in rare situations when a receipt cannot be obtained or replaced. The College reserves the right to revoke College credit card privileges and may require the Cardholder to reimburse the College for the transaction in which a receipt cannot be produced.

Obtaining a Credit Card

Only employees of the College are eligible to receive a College credit card. Contractors, temporary employees, nor students are eligible to receive a College credit card, pursuant to the card agreement with PNC Bank. Cardholders are responsible for the security of the card and all transactions made against the card. Cardholders will be required to sign a Cardholder Agreement as part of the application for a credit card, which can be found on the Business Office website at www.kzoo.edu/business.

Process for Obtaining a Credit Card

  • College employee completes the application/agreement
  • Supervisor:
  • reviews the application/agreement
  • approves the application/agreement
  • assigns a Departmental Liaison, if applicable
  • forwards to the Business Office
  • The Business Office will request a credit card from PNC Bank
  • The Business Office contacts the employee when the card arrives to arrange training related to the use of the card

The College credit card will have no impact on the Cardholder’s personal credit. Although the card lists an individual’s name, the card is actually a corporate charge card issued to the College.

Vehicle Rental

VISA provides insurance if car is rented using the Purchasing Card. In the event of an accident with a rental vehicle contact VISA Enhancement Services @1-800-253-5664.

Sales Tax

Kalamazoo College is a tax-exempt institution and is not subject to State of Michigan sales tax. Cardholders must remind all vendors of our tax-exempt status and make sure sales tax is not added to the invoice. If needed, copies of the College’s tax exemption certificate may be obtained from the Business Office. Any questions regarding sales tax should be directed to the Business office.

Purchase Returns and Credits

Vendors will issue credits to the individual College credit card account for any item they have agreed to accept for return. This credit will appear on a subsequent statement. Under no circumstances should a Cardholder accept cash in lieu of a credit to the credit card account.

Restriction on Use

The College credit card is not a personal credit card and remains the property of Kalamazoo College. The liability for all outstanding charges on the card is with the College. Therefore, the credit card must only be used for purchases required in the normal course of business and comply with all College purchasing policies.

Cardholders may not use the credit card for personal purchases with the intent of reimbursing the College at a later date. Personal use of College credit cards may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.

The College credit card may not be used in the College Bookstore, Mail & Copy Center, or any of the College's Food Service Dining outlets.

The College credit card will have the cardholder’s name embossed on it. It may not be transferred to, assigned to, or used by anyone other than the designated cardholder.

Security & Storage

The College credit card should be maintained in a secure location and the card account number should be carefully controlled. The only person entitled to use the card is the person whose name appears on the face of the card. The card may not be loaned to another person for any reason.

Set-Up, Maintenance and Closure

Lost, Misplaced, or Stolen Cards

Cardholders are required to immediately report any lost or stolen College credit cards to PNC at 800.685.4039. Cardholders must also email BusinessOffice@kzoo.edu

Erroneous Declines

Should a vendor erroneously decline a College credit card, the Cardholder should contact PNC at the number on the back of the card. The PNC representative will explain why the sale was declined. 

Supporting Documentation

It is the Cardholder’s responsibility to gather and retain supporting documentation for card purchases. This documentation will take the form of a supplier produced document that contains detailed information regarding the transaction. This includes cash register receipts, charge slips, invoices, and/or computer screen prints. The documentation should always contain the following information:

  • merchant name and address
  • unit prices
  • transaction total amount
  • transaction date
  • transaction details: item description(s), quantities ordered and received

Transactions that relate to travel, food or entertainment must have supporting documentation that includes:

  • The names of participants. For large groups, the name of the group is acceptable
  • Date and location(likely already provided on the receipt)
  • The business purpose for the expense
  • Purchases for gasoline must indicate a rental or College vehicle

Unresolved Disputes & Billing Errors

The Cardholder is responsible for contacting the vendor to resolve any disputed charges or billing errors. If the matter is not resolved with the vendor, the Cardholder/Departmental Liaison should complete a Purchasing/Credit Card Dispute/Billing Inquiry Form within 60 days. Attach the form to the relevant statement and send it to the Business Office.

Visa Travel Benefits

Visa Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Program - Cardholders are provided coverage on a 24-hour basis for damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles when certain terms and conditions are met. Please do not purchase additional insurance coverage.

*Coverage does not include special purpose vehicles such as cargo vans and 15 passenger vans.

Travel Accident Insurance - Cardholders become covered automatically by Visa for travel accidents when the entire Common Carrier fare is charged to the College credit card.

Lost Luggage Insurance - Cardholders that pay for the cost of Common Carrier tickets with their College credit card are eligible to receive reimbursement for their checked luggage and its contents for the difference between the “value of the amount claimed” and the Common Carrier’s payment, up to $1,250 per trip, provided the luggage was lost due to theft or misdirection by the carrier.

Visa Roadside Dispatch - For $59.95 per roadside assistance service call, the program includes:

  • Towing (up to five miles included*)
  • Tire changing (must have inflated spare)
  • Jump Starting (battery boost)
  • Lockout Service
  • Fuel Delivery (cost of fuel not included)
  • Winching