Travel Policy & Procedures FAQs
The categories below contain answers to several Travel Policy and Procedures related Frequently Asked Questions.
Prior to booking out of state or international travel, or if requesting a KUCR cash advance, an approved travel request is required. Travel outside the state must have an approved Travel Request in the travel system (Concur) at least 14 days prior to domestic travel, and 30 days prior to international travel (the “14/30 rule”). If the need for travel first arises within the applicable 14/30-day period, the traveler must (a) submit the travel request as soon as possible, and (b) receive approval at least one day prior to departure.
The University is transitioning away from using various department forms and the SSC Travel Request webform in favor of travelers creating their TRs directly in Concur. KU employee travelers must identify funding and gather estimated travel costs before creating their Travel Request directly into Concur.
If your department or supervisor requires approval to travel, or you need to apply of a travel award (i.e. CLAS, Hall Center or International Affairs travel award) you must do that directly with those groups or individuals and note it in Concur with an 'Attachment'.
Non-employee student travelers or graduate students in between HR appointments do not have access to Concur and they will need to complete and submit your request information through the SSC Travel Request form or submit an email or your department travel request form with the proper department approvals to your LSI/IPSR support staff. Their travel will need to be booked by an employee as a guest.
To determine allowability on University and Research funds.
Funding needs to be determined for Concur Travel Requests and before booking travel.
Per IRS regulations, travelers whose travel is primarily for personal reasons where less than 50% of the time is spent on “official business,” may only be reimbursed or have expenses paid that are directly related to the business. Transportation to or from the destination city may not be paid.
Yes. Per IRS regulations, travelers whose travel is primarily for personal reasons where less than 50% of the time is spent on “official business” may only be reimbursed or have expenses paid that are directly related to the business. Transportation to or from the destination city may not be paid.
Travel Expenses - General
Using a UKANS or KURES P-Card, many expenses can be prepaid. Some examples include registration, airfare, and shuttles. Hotels are not to be prepaid except for a one night’s stay deposit when needed to reserve a room. Pre-approval must be received to purchase fully pre-paid hotel/lodging accommodations. Please remember that employees should NOT use a department P-card for their Concur Travel bookings, but instead they should use a card issue to them (KU/KUCR P-card issued to them or a personal card).
If personal funds are used to pre-pay any expenses, reimbursement cannot be made prior to the completion of the trip. Because of this, P-Cards are encouraged for expenses requiring prepayment.
See the P-Cards section below for more P-Card related FAQs.
All receipts, needed trip documentation, and requests for reimbursement should be provided to your assigned SSC/LSI/ISPR support staff along with the trip funding information. They will process your travel purchases and reimbursements in Concur on your behalf. Please do not try to create your own Expense Report in Concur.
All travel expenses paid or reimbursed must be fully substantiated and support a KU business purpose. While this is not an exhaustive list, some examples would include: agendas containing the event name, location, beginning and ending times; daily itineraries noting location, time of activity, and business purpose; when meeting with people, include everyone’s name and purpose of the meeting; if paying for a business meeting meal, need to include the meeting agenda in addition to everyone’s name and purpose. Unless specifically excluded, itemized receipts are required for all expenses.
Fundraising must use KUEA funds.
Any item of personal benefit to the recipient as the Internal Revenue Service considers such items to have a taxable nature.
Travel Expenses - Cash Advances
Cash advances are allowable ONLY on KURES research funded travel. Except for individual meals, UKANS state funded travel can be paid for with a P-Card or Declining Balance P-Card.
Excess funds are required to be returned within 30 days of travel after approved travel expense report.
You will be contacted by your SSC to inform you of any remaining from your cash advance balance. Check or cash can be submitted to the following:
KU Center for Research, Inc.
2385 Irving Hill Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
Travel Expenses - Insurance
Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance policy and Business Travel Accident policies will cover all faculty, staff and students traveling on University business, as well as incident al leisure travel up to seven days before and after the scheduled end of the travel for University business. Qualified dependents (spouses and unmarried children, up to ages 19 or 26 if enrolled as full-time student) traveling with employees on University business are also covered under these policies. Coverage exclusions include acts of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, felonies, suicide, and illegal drug use.
Both Enterprise and National provide collision damage waiver (CDW) in the rental price. Should damage to the vehicle occur, the driver will not need to work through Visa’s CDW coverage.
No. Fees for personal insurance, such as personal liability, personal effects coverage, life insurance, etc. are not reimbursable. University of Kansas employees traveling on KUCR authorized business are automatically covered by a travel insurance policy which includes life insurance, medical evacuation and repatriation. For policy on rental vehicle insurance, see "Car Rental.” Trip Protector/Flight Cancellation Insurance is a personal expense and not allowable for reimbursement.
Travel Expenses - Transportation (Flying, Driving, Car Rental)
If a personal vehicle is used in lieu of air travel, the reimbursement for mileage, per diem, lodging and other expenses resulting from the additional travel time will be compared to the cost of air travel. The traveler will receive the lesser of the two options and they are responsible for documenting and submitting comparable airfare costs based on 14-day advance purchase plus other expenses pertinent to air travel.
Yes, it is a mandatory contract, and our contract pricing, which includes CDW insurance, is loaded into our Concur Travel booking tool. You may use another rental car company only if you document that Enterprise/National does not have the vehicle you need in the location in which you need it. Please remember to add CDW insurance when renting a vehicle from other rental car companies.
Not using University or Research funding. Upgrades must be paid for personally.
Yes, for flight segments four hours or greater, or with a signed medical form on file with Dept/HR.
To provide proof of dates/times of travel and per diem calculation purposes.
Travelers are required to provide airfare comparison at least 14 day in advance. The traveler will be reimbursed the lesser of the airfare cost. Mileage, tolls and airport parking is reimbursable only for business days.
Travel Expenses - Hotel/Lodging
When using University P-card, only the first night of lodging may be prepaid in order to reserve a room.
KU has a requirement to provide duty of care for all employees traveling and to ensure that lodging is not only cost effective but allows for flexible cancellation, regardless of how travel is paid for.
To receive a booking exception approval to book an Airbnb or VRBO, a traveler must email KU Controller Katrina Yoakum at firstname.lastname@example.org or Asst. Director Cash Control/Audit Karen Schaller at email@example.com if using research funding. To determine if the Airbnb/VRBO will meet the financial and safety requirements to grant the approval, please provide the following:
- Comparison of total cost of Airbnb vs. hotel options – total cost includes per night charge as well as any additional fees (e.g. cleaning fees, booking fees, etc.)
- Refund policy for both options
- Consideration of location of Airbnb vs. hotel to where traveler will be working – will Airbnb location create more commuting expenses
- Verification that the alternative lodging selected includes standard safety equipment that would be present in hotel (e.g. smoke & carbon monoxide detectors) – safety equipment is typically listed on Airbnb posting
- Rental of entire home / apartment – not just an individual room in which other renters or hosts are not known ahead of time
- Public liability insurance – Airbnb & VRBO listings provide $1M public liability insurance as a part of hosting agreement. Lodging offered through local hosts and not through a company like Airbnb or VRBO will be evaluated by KU Controller & KU Risk Management on a case-by-case basis.
These are personal amenities and are not paid nor reimbursed.
Nightly CONUS/OCONUS rates are configured into our Concur Travel booking tool. If the nightly hotel rate exceed these rates for a conference hotel, the room can still be reserved and paid for or reimbursed with workflow approvals in Concur or an approved Excess Lodging form attached to a P-Card transaction or travel expense reimbursement.
A signed Request for Lodging in Excess of State Rates form is used when lodging exceeds the allowable rate limits, and the approval cannot be made via Concur (travel reimbursed or booked outside of the system). It must be signed by Chancellor, EVC/Provost, Vice Provost, or designee, or Dean, Chairperson, or unit/project director. This request must have attached a copy of conference materials indicating that the conference will be held at or in connection with a lodging establishment with rates exceeding the state rates. If the conference is not held at or in connection with the lodging establishment, the requested amount will not be paid. Submission of this request does not imply or guarantee the requested difference will be approved by Payables. If the requested amount is not paid, non-state funds may be required for the difference.
The address is used to for total cost comparison. Transportation expenses need to be considered to get from the friend/colleague location to the actual location of official business.
Proof of dates/times of travel and per diem calculation purposes.
Travel Expenses - Meals/Per Diem
Meals are reimbursed as per diem. Receipts are not submitted for per diem. The rate includes all associated taxes, fees, and tips associated with the meal. Travelers will not be reimbursed for meals exceeding the allowed rate.
If a meal is not consumed due to preferences, per diem may not be claimed. The only exceptions are if this is due to dietary restrictions not being met or if the meal is not prepared or served in accordance with religious beliefs.
Receipts are not required for meals reimbursed as per diem. If this is a meal during a business meeting, and not being paid as per diem, alcoholic beverage may be reimbursed using non-sponsored funds. Itemized receipts are required.
Room service is a personal expense and is not reimbursed as it covered by per diem. If room service is on a hotel receipt being paid by P-Card, please stop at the front desk and pay personally for room service and other personal expenses before checking out.
Individual meals that would otherwise be reimbursed by per diem, are not to be paid by P-Card. Meals for a business meeting where there is an agenda, listing of attendees, and business purpose submitted may be paid for with a P-Card.
No. Individual meals are not to be paid for on P-Cards. Please refer the question “Can I pay for my meals on my P-Card?”
Transportation to or from restaurants is a personal expense and cannot be reimbursed.
Transportation to and from a business meeting where a meal is served as part of a business meeting may be reimbursed. The meeting agenda in addition to all attendee's names and meeting purpose must be included with the receipt.
Cardholders must submit receipts and funding source information within five business days after the transaction or within five business days of returning from business travel.
Receipts for travel reimbursements should be turned into your SSC or travel processor within a reasonable period of time to allow for preparation and processing of your reimbursement. Please note that due to I.R.S. regulations, any receipt received after 60 days after your return from travel will be processed as a taxable reimbursement.
Any and all information necessary to substantiate the trip and expenses paid or reimbursed. This can include a descriptive purpose of the trip, agendas, itineraries, attendees at business meetings and purpose of the meeting, and mileage calculations.
Unless specifically called out in travel policy and procedures, itemized receipts are required for all transactions. Please remember to ask for a receipt if one is not automatically provided. Online transactions utilized emailed receipts. Please save those as well.
The first step is to reach out to the supplier and ask for a duplicate. If that is not possible, reach out to your shared service center (or department if not supported by SSC) for recommendations. It is quite likely that without a receipt, the expense cannot be reimbursed.
All transactions must be documented and substantiated.
Keep all receipts. Be sure to ask for an itemized receipt if it is not offered.
Business meals must include an itemized receipt, names of those in attendance, topic of meeting, and agenda.
Receipts are not provided, but those with K-tags can log into their account and provide the toll amount charged along with the date, entry location, and exit location.
Contact your SSC or Department, they will assist you in what form needs completed to make the necessary updates in our systems. Also, don't forget to update any credit card changes in your Concur Profile.
Provide documentation with itemized receipts and explanations.
Cancellation is only allowed for business purposes.
Travelers receive per diem which include all charges for meals, taxes, meal tips, associated fees, and hotel tips (baggage, porters, housekeeping, etc.).
You will be reimbursed for all out of pocket expense including required taxes while traveling.
No, travel outside of project dates is not allowable on your grant.
The University of Kansas / Office of Research Procurement Card is commonly referred to as the P-Card. These are the card types available:
- Assigned to one person. Can be used for all University business where p-card is appropriate. $3,000 monthly limit.
- Departmental Check-out
- Assigned to one person. Checked out to someone without a p-card and checked back in. Should not be used for Concur travel arrangements. $500 monthly limit.
- The person in the department whose name appears on the request is the custodian of the card. This person must obtain the supporting receipts from the purchaser for each transaction. Failure to report or document any purchase may be deemed an improper use of the P-Card and may result in suspension or closing of the account.
- One person in dept. is responsible for usage. Used for fuel and minor repairs to university owned vehicles. $500 monthly limit.
- Travel Only
- Assigned to one person. Can only be used for travel related vendor purchases (i.e. airfare, hotel, rental car etc.) Intended for employees who travel more than once a year and do not need a p-card for general purchases but need a card for travel related expenses. $3,000 monthly limit.
- Declining Balance
- Assigned to one person. A card with a credit limit set based on estimated expense needs, with set active dates of use. Credit balance does not refresh and the card is inactive at the pre-determined end date. The card is to be shredded and discarded after inactive. If used for travel, an approved Concur Travel Request is required to apply for this card. It is used only for unique situations where another card is not appropriate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if there is interest in this card to see if it is appropriate or another card is more appropriate.
A single-trip decline balance card is used by graduate student employees, and employees who travel once a year and do not have a need for a standard or travel procurement card. The card is active from card distribution to just after the end of the trip. The credit limit is set based on the amount of the expected expenses the traveler estimates they will incur while on the trip, per their Concur Travel Request.
Once the trip has concluded, the card automatically inactivates and is no longer valid. The traveler should cut up and discard the card.
The transactions are processed and reconciled in the same manner as standard or travel P-Cards. Declining Balance P-Cards can be obtained by completing the Procurement Card Action Request form and are issued by KU Payables to be used for UKANS or KURES funded travel. GRA and GTA student employees are eligible to apply for this type of P-card.
No. We ask the KU employees only use a card issue to them for their Concur travel arrangements. This is for several reasons:
- Policy Compliance - Any card used to make travel arrangements in Concur is automatically saved to your Concur Profile for future use without having to check out/in the card. Per P-card policy, department cards are tied to a single individual and it is their responsibility to check out and in that card for each use and provide the receipt documentation. Since Concur saves the card to the users profile, this p-card policy requirement is by passed and therefore makes the use of department cards in Concur non-compliant.
- Ease of Processing - Each employee has their own profile in Concur where their pre-trip travel requests (TRs), booking reservations, and transactions or reimbursements are housed and processed. Using a card issued to the employee keeps the e-receipts, reservations and transactions in the same profile for cleaner and quicker processing.
- Accurate Reporting - By using a card issued to the employee it keeps reporting cleaner and more accurately reflects the purchase with the actual traveler. It also ensures that air/car/hotel bookings in Concur are not inaccurately flagged as "Not Compliant" since the reservation and transaction is appropriately matched while processing in the traveler's Expense.
A department P-card should only be used in Concur by the assigned cardholder when Booking for a guest.
A University P-Cards can be obtained by completing the P-Card Action Request and Temporary Change TDX form. Based on their needs and funding, KU employees can apply for a UKANS Standard, Travel or Declining Balance P-card or a KUCR Standard or Travel P-card. GRA and GTA student employees are eligible to apply for Declining Balance or in some cases Travel P-cards.
If it was a flight purchase that was declined, once the p-card issue is resolved you MUST contact CTP at 877-630-1232 (option 1) to have an agent re-run the payment for your flight. This is NOT done automatically.
Cardholders must submit receipts and funding source information within five business days after the transaction or within five business days of returning from business travel.
Yes, except for meals. Meals are reimbursed as per diem, and not appropriate for a P-Card. Please note, employees are not to personally pay for expenses of others and seek reimbursement.
Before checking out of the hotel, employees are expected to review the hotel folio/receipt for accuracy. If there are personal charges, the employee is to contact the front desk before checking out and personally pay for the personal charges.
Employees are expected to seek refunds of the pre-paid expenses. If that is not possible, any credits for future travel (i.e. airfare) must be used for future business travel. If the expense is not refunded and there is no credit, the department must pay for the expense.
The Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. 40118) generally provides that foreign air travel funded by Federal government money may only be conducted on U.S. air carriers. Airline tickets for grantees traveling on federal funds must be ticketed with a U.S. flag carrier code. We understand that U.S. flag carriers are not always available to the final destination; however, a U.S. flag carrier must be used to the furthest destination possible. Additionally, a grantee must fly on a U.S. airline even if a foreign airline would be less expensive, provide preferred routing, or be more convenient. There also are exceptions to the Act, in which federal funding could be used for non-U.S. carriers. Fly America compliant flight options are notated in Concur Travel with an icon of a shield with a check mark in it that can be seen above the view fares button.
Please review the University-Sponsored Travel to High Risk Locations policy, as well as the KU International Affairs Travel Advisory information when traveling to destinations with Federal travel warnings.
Faculty and staff have aBusiness Travel Insurance benefit (Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance and Business Travel Accident Insurance) while traveling on University business as well as incidental leisure travel up to seven days before and after the scheduled of the travel for University business.
No, your SSC will use conversion rates in Concur.
Grant/Research Related - Miscellaneous
This needs approval from your Post Award Accountant.
This needs business purpose for student to travel. Please contact your Post Award accountant.
It depends on the policy in the sponsor agreement. Typically, agreements state to follow institutions travel policy.