Reviewing Expenses

Finance Assistant Director

When a faculty or staff member incurs expenses related to and supporting University teaching, research, or other business purposes using a Chase Travel card, another personal credit card, check, or cash, they will submit an expense report through the travelND system which includes all pertinent information, i.e. business purpose, receipts, etc. The expense report is coded and completed according to established travelND policies and procedures.

Approval Workflow

The travelND expense report is submitted to the appropriate approving channel:

  • Departmental faculty should submit reports to the senior administrative staff person in the department office. Once reviewed and accepted, the report will be forwarded to the department chair for final approval.
  • Non-departmental faculty should submit expense reports to their designated director/supervisor for review and approval.
  • Staff should submit expense reports to their direct supervisor for review and approval.
  • Reports coming directly to the Dean's Office for approval should be made to the College staff accountant. Once reviewed and accepted, the report will be forwarded to the Budget Administrator, Associate Dean, or Dean for final approval.

Criteria for Review

Senior administrative staff, the college accountant, and those providing review and approval for staff and non-departmental faculty will review and accept expense reports by evaluating the following criteria:

  • Is the correct FOAPAL being charged?
  • Does the FOAPAL have adequate funding to support the expense report?
  • What is the business purpose? Does it sufficiently describe the activity, reason, and business purpose such that an outside party would understand the need to incur the expense for University purposes?
  • Are the account codes correct?
  • Are per diems versus meal expenses being handled properly?
  • Are proper receipts attached?
  • Are agendas attached for conferences/meetings?
  • Are attendees included for the business meals/meetings/gatherings?
  • Has alcohol been split to its separate account code during a meal?
  • Are any other necessary forms included, i.e. missing receipt affidavit?

If anything is missing, does not add up, needs to be corrected, or does not make sense, the expense report should not be accepted. Instead, the report should be sent back to the individual submitting the report with comments included.

If the expense report is complete, accurate, and provides sufficient information, it should be accepted and approved and forwarded to the department chair or budget administrator for final approval or granted final approval and forwarded to Accounts Payable in the case of staff and non-departmental faculty.

Those granting final approval should, at a minimum, review the business purpose, the FOAPAL, and the nature of the expense prior to granting final approval. Focus should be on the sufficiency of the business purpose and the appropriateness of the expense.

Areas of Responsibility

The individual submitting an expense report bears the responsibility to:

  • Verify that all expenses being paid or reimbursed by the University are valid, conform to University policies, and understand that requests lacking required documentation and/or explicit business purpose will be questioned and perhaps not be reimbursed.
  • Attest that expenses submitted for reimbursement have not been previously paid through a prior submitted expense report, cash advance, or by an outside agency or other third party.
  • Submit all required information to the University via an appropriate approver (via travelND) within 60 days of completion of travel or later of incurrence/payment of the business expense.
  • Retain accountability for making sure all expenses are in accordance with University policies and sponsoring agencies, if applicable.

Individuals authorized to provide final approval of expense reports are responsible to:

  • Attest that the purpose of the expense is valid and directly related to University business.
  • Request further documentation or explanation for expenses that appear to be excessive or unusual. An explanation of such expenditures must be included in the expense report.
  • Approve the expense report to Accounts Payable on a timely basis (via travelND).
  • Understand that while Accounts Payable may review the expense report, the primary responsibility for the appropriateness of expenditures rests with the individual submitter and the individual responsible for approval.
  • Appropriateness of expenditures rests with the individual submitter and the individual responsible for approval.

Related Links


Travel & Expense Reimbursements