GAP 200.027, Expense Reports – General Guidelines and Procedures

  1. Overview
  2. General Guidelines
  3. Travel Expense Reports
  4. Out-of-Pocket Expense Reports
  5. Corporate Card Non-Travel Expense Reports
  6. Roles and Responsibilities

I. OVERVIEW

Online Expense Reports are used by Duke University and Duke University Health System to execute the following transactions:

  • Reimburse employees and student employees for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of Duke or in support of Duke related business.
  • Record and post to Duke’s general ledger any corporate card charges which are incurred on behalf of Duke or in support of Duke related business.

Expense Reports are accessed via the Duke@Work portal and are located under the MyInfo home page on the MyExpenses page. The following expense reports are available for employees and student employees:

  • Travel expense reports are used to record and post to Duke’s general ledger any travel related corporate card expenses and/or to reimburse employees and student employees for travel related expenses paid with personal funds incurred while traveling on official Duke business.
  • Out-of-pocket non-travel expense reports are used to reimburse employees and student employees for miscellaneous Duke business expenses paid with personal funds, including miscellaneous mileage.
  • Corporate card non-travel expense reports are used to record and post to Duke’s general ledger any corporate card expenses that are not travel related expenses incurred for non-Duke employees or those expenses that cannot be handled through the travel expense report.

An employee or student employee may initiate and submit his/her own expense reports. Based on departmental preference, an employee may also create expense reports on behalf of other employees or student employees for whom he/she has “Initiator” access. Initiators can see employees to which they have access via the MyEmployees link found on the MyExpenses page.

An employee is granted access to initiate expense reports on behalf of others by one of the following methods:

  • By organizational unit in order to initiate for all positions assigned to the organizational unit.
  • By the individual Duke Unique ID of an employee in order to initiate for individual employees assigned to the initiator. This method is most often used when an initiator needs access to employees who are outside of their department/organizational unit.

Initiator access can be established by the department’s Security Administrator.

The paper Travel Expense Form or Miscellaneous Reimbursement Form (non-travel expense) is the appropriate method to process an out-of-pocket reimbursement in the following situations:

  • Duke students who are not employees.
  • Duke employees requiring an out-of-pocket reimbursement prior to their start date (but after an offer has been accepted) or after termination.
  • Relocation expense reimbursement paid to Duke employees.
  • Reconcile and clear Student Travel Advances (GAP 200.023, Travel Advances).
  • Duke Temporary employees requiring an out-of-pocket reimbursement.
  • Other approved programs and/or payment categories.

To process travel expenses and/or out-of-pocket expense for individuals who are not employees or students, complete an Accounts Payable Check Request in accordance with GAP 200.136, Accounts Payable Check Request.

Please note: Paper expense forms are not accepted and will be returned if an online expense report is appropriate.

II. GENERAL GUIDELINES

Regardless of the type of expense report, these general guidelines surround the operational and compliance processes associated with all online expense reports.

  • All reports should include a clearly defined and specifically stated Duke business purpose supporting the expenses included in the report.
  • There cannot be more than one travel expense report created for an employee for a specific period of dates and times.
  • There cannot be more than one out-of-pocket non-travel expense report for an employee for a specific period of dates.
  • An individual employee can have multiple corporate card non-travel expense reports for the same date and/or date range.
  • Regardless of the type of expense report, the following submission guidelines apply for corporate card transactions:
  • Corporate card holders must follow guidelines for purchases and required documentation in accordance with the Duke Cardholder Agreement and Duke’s travel and reimbursement policies.
  • Expense reports allow split-funding of the total amount of expenses in a report. Additionally, individual receipts can be charged to different funding sources as needed.
  • Scanned original receipts for all expenses must be attached via a PDF to the expense report. Receipt documentation must adhere to Duke’s receipt and documentation guidance or departmental policy, if more restrictive.
  • All expense reports use the same workflow routing for departmental and funding source approval. While the workflow framework is the same for all Duke University/DUHS departments, specific routing is determined by departments. In the event that expense reports are split funded at any level, workflow will only route to one funding source approver. GAP 200.034, Expense Reports – Workflow provides detailed information on workflow routing and approvals.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses greater than one year old will not be reimbursed without approval from the appropriate management center.
  • It is considered best practice for corporate card holders to submit receipts to initiators within 10 days of incurring the expense.
  • To ensure the accuracy of Duke’s general ledger, all reimbursement and corporate card transactions should be posted within 30 days.
  • If the event NC sales tax is charged, sales tax can be itemized for out-of-pocket reimbursements and itemized for corporate card transactions. In each instance, sales tax should be charged to G/L account 146100 in accordance GAP 200.230, Sales Tax and Use.
  • Corporate cards or reimbursement for the use of personal funds are not allowed for those expenses that are considered personal in nature or are specifically listed as non-allowable. Exceptions require management center approval.

For specific instructions on how to complete an online expense report, please visit the Employee Travel & Reimbursement training page to find a comprehensive list of training guides and online videos.

III. TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORTS

Within budgetary constraints, Duke University/DUHS will reimburse necessary and reasonable expenses incurred during properly authorized travel for employees and students. A Travel expense report is required at the completion of all Duke-related travel. The travel expense report should include all out-of-pocket expenses requiring reimbursement and/or any corporate card expenses associated with a specific travel event. Travel expense reports can be completed by the employee or by an Initiator who has access to the employee.

Please note: departmental policy may define specific business processes for travel authorization.

In addition to the General Guidelines referenced in Section II, consider the following when completing travel on behalf of Duke and when submitting Travel Expense Reports:

  • If the employee has a corporate card with travel privileges, the corporate card should be used to pay for travel related expenses, minimizing the need for an employee to use his/her personal funds.
  • If the corporate card cannot be accepted, personal funds should be used with the employee requesting a reimbursement upon completion of the trip.
  • Based upon departmental policy, an employee may use his/her corporate card to purchase travel related expenses for other employees. When this occurs, it may be appropriate to reassign those expenses. GAP 200.033, Expense Reports – Reassigning Corporate Card Expenses provides more information and recommendations for reassigning corporate card transactions.
  • Dates and times entered for the travel expense report should reflect when the employee leaves from or returns to work or home. Generally, this is not the departure date/time of a flight or other ticketed travel.
  • Only corporate card expense types (pdf) related to travel will display in the Travel Expense Report.
  • Expenses associated with the trip may fall within or occur outside of the dates for travel. In the event trip related expenses occur prior to the dates of the trip, the travel expense report can be created using the actual travel dates in order to post to the general ledger any corporate card expenses or to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses as appropriate.
  • Hotel receipts that include multiple types of expenses must itemize meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for each day on the receipt. Other charges (parking, internet, etc.) maybe itemized based upon departmental requirements.
  • A Travel expense report may be saved and edited /updated as often as needed. Once an individual expense has posted to the Duke’s general ledger, removing that expense from an expense report and resubmitting through the entire approval process will reverse the previous posting and remove the expense from Duke’s general ledger. In the event this expense was an out-of-pocket reimbursement, this posting reversal will result in an amount due from the employee. If expenses need to be added to a travel expense report, open the report and add the charges. Do not take any action on the expenses that have already posted to the general ledger.
  • Certain travel related expenses are non-allowable per Duke Policy. Non-allowable expenses are the responsibility of the employee. If they are made via a corporate card, the employee will be asked to repay Duke.
  • Personal expenses are not permissible on the corporate card. When combining personal and business travel (this includes travel related expenses for a family member accompanying the traveler), the cardholder should charge all expenses to a personal card and submit requests for reimbursement for the applicable Duke business expenses.
  • In limited circumstances, students and employees may be eligible to request a travel advance for Duke related business trips. Refer to GAP 200.023, Travel Advance.
  • Corporate card transactions that are not processed in a timely fashion in accordance with the GAP 200.029, Corporate Cards – Untimely Posting of Transactions and the Untimely Posting Schedule will be posted to the general ledger using G/L account 695685 for Assigned Corporate Card Expenses without Approval and G/L account 695695 for Unassigned Corporate Card Transactions with No Action

IV. OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSE REPORT

Complete the out-of-pocket expense report to reimburse an employee for any non-travel related out-of-pocket expenses.

In addition to the General Guidelines referenced in Section II, consider the following when submitting out-of-pocket expense reports:

  • Best practice is to bundle expenses requiring reimbursement based upon a date range.
  • Out-of-pocket expense reports should be submitted on at least a monthly basis to ensure expenses post in the appropriate fiscal period. Out-of-pocket expense reports may be submitted more frequently based on departmental policy or if an employee requires a quicker reimbursement.
  • Out-of-pocket expense reports can be changed to add new expenses if new receipts are submitted for dates that are already in use. Receipts already reimbursed should not be removed from the expense report.
  • Expenses being reimbursed must fall within the date range of the out-of-pocket expense report.
  • Duke will not reimburse out-of-pocket expenses that have been or will be reimbursed from any outside source.

V. CORPORATE CARD NON-TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT

Complete the corporate card non-travel expense report to record and post to the general ledger any non-travel related corporate card expenses or travel related expenses that cannot be included in a travel expense report.

In addition to the General Guidelines referenced in Section II, consider the following when submitting corporate card non-travel expense reports:

  • Best practice is to bundle corporate card non-travel expenses for an employee into a corporate card non-travel expense report.  Corporate card non-travel expenses can be bundled for an individual card holder as follows based upon departmental preference:
    • By date range – all charges in a report as frequently as a week, but at least on a monthly basis.
    • By event – all charges for a given event in one expense report
    • By cost object – all charges for one cost object grouped into one report
  • Corporate card non-travel expense reports cannot be opened once the expense report has been posted to Duke’s general ledger. 
  • Expenses must fall within the date range of the expense report. 
  • All expense types (pdf) display in the Corporate Card Non-travel Expense Report.  The expense type can be changed once included in the expense report. 
  • Corporate card transactions that are not processed in a timely fashion in accordance with the GAP 200.029, Corporate Cards – Untimely Posting of Transactionsnd the Untimely Posting Schedule will be posted to the general ledger using G/L account 695685 for Assigned Corporate Card Expenses without Approval and G/L account 695695 for Unassigned Corporate Card Transactions with No Action.
  • For detailed information regarding Corporate Card Policy visit the Corporate Card website.

VI. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES  

Several roles are critical to ensuring sound departmental business processes surrounding the use of online expenses reports. The more effective a department’s business process is, the greater the likelihood that expenses post to the ledger in a timely fashion. Each role (pdf) has a critical part in the creation, documentation, workflow approval, and/or communication processes that support the timely posting of expenses to Duke’s general ledger.

Role Core Responsibilities
Employee: Submits receipts Confirms the Duke business purpose – during creation or during workflow approval Assumes initiator responsibilities if creating expense report
Initiator: Creates timely expense report Ensures effective bundling Organizes expense report Selects expense types Itemizes/breaks-out sales tax
Department Approver: Reviews and approves based on these criteria: Is the expense appropriate for the individual? Is the Duke business purpose appropriate?   Is the correct funding source used? Is the G/L accurate? Provides quality control to ensure documentation is organized and appropriate.
Funding Approver: Reviews and approves based on these criteria: Is the expense appropriate for the funding source being used? Is it allocable to the funding source being used? Is it reasonable for the funding source being used? Is the G/L accurate?
Management Center Approver: (if necessary) Reviews and approves based on these criteria: Is the expense appropriate for the individual? Is the Duke business purpose appropriate? 
Departmental TRaC Rep: Monitors workflow to ensure expense reports are moving through approvals and timely posting to the ledger. Follows-up with cardholders on potential untimely transactions Provides departmental education for initiators and cardholders Ensures quality control 
Business Manager: Monitors departmental processes and engages if business processes break down or behavioral problems are identified.