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    Expense Reimbursement

    Welcome to e-Reimbursement, a web-based system used to reimburse UW-La Crosse employees and non-employees for expenses incurred while traveling or conducting business for the University.  All "paperwork" and approvals take place in e-Reimbursement through data entry, electronic attachments, and an automated workflow process.

    Tips & Tricks for e-Reimbursement

    Top 5 Reason Your Travel Expense Report is 'Sent Back'

    Travel reminders

    Airfare Policy 1201: Purchase & Payment of Business Air Travel Reminders:

    • All University paid airline tickets need to be booked and purchased in the UW TravelWIse program, either within Concur or with Fox World Travel.  This includes airfare purchased for all faculty, staff, students, guests, and groups.
    • After July 1, the University will no longer pay or reimburse the cost of airline tickets purchased out of this policy requirement.

    The UW System Travel Regulations are published by the UW System Travel Office and are available on the UW TravelWIse portal.  

    All business travel paid or reimbursed from University-administered funds must be done in compliance with Wisconsin Statutes, UW System travel regulations and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse travel policies.

    For specific travel policies and procedures for the UW-La Crosse campus, please review the resource information provided below.

    Faculty & Staff

    University employees, while on business travel, are expected to exercise good judgment when incurring travel costs.  An employee may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary travel expenses actually incurred in the performance and conduct of UW business.  An employee shall not seek reimbursement for goods or services provided free of charge, not personally incurred, reimbursed by another source, or which will be paid or reimbursed from another source.  Faculty and staff traveling together pay their own way and complete their own Expense Report (ER).

    For UW travel policies, best business practices and process standards, please refer to UW TravelWIse.

    TRAVEL TIPS

    Meals:

    • Effective October 5th, meals and incidentals will be reimbursed based on per deim allowances..  Per diems are calculated based upon location, first/last day of travel, and provided meals adjustments.  For trip planning and rate determination, M&IE rates can be determined using the Lodging/Meal & Incidental Calculator available in the UW TravelWIse portal
    • If an employee is buying a meal for someone else, the UW Sponsored Event policy applies.  An itemized receipt for both meals must be provided along with the individual's name and explanation of the business conducted during the meal.  Meal maximums apply (see Food for rates)
    Airfare:
    • Fox World Travel is the University's contracted travel agency.  They provide both an online self booking tool, Concur, and full service agents.
    • You must use the UW TravelWIse program, Concur, or Fox World Travel for purchases of all airfare.
    • Purchased airfare must be the lowest appropriate fare, which is defined as non-refundable, coach/economy class.
    Lodging:

    Domestic Lodging Rate Maximums
    Per night maximum for single room rate = $89.00 for the La Crosse area
    For all other U.S. locations, visit the UW TravelWIse website
    • For in-state lodging reservations, it is recommended that you call the hotel's reservation desk directly to obtain or negotiate the state maximum rate.  
    • Hotels are not obligated to honor the state rate.  In cases where you are unable to obtain lodging within the maximums, an exception may be approved if you are able to document 3 quotes.
    • Employees are encouraged to take advantage of live rates and discounts available in Concur for out-of-state and international lodging accommodations. 
    • The use of lodging brokers, like Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Airbnb, Priceline, etc. is prohibited by travel policy.  
    • Employees are able to use their procurement cards to pay for lodging that is withing the per diem allowance, or for conference site lodging.  A conference site is defined as a lodging facility identified by the conference sponsor and must be included on the conference brochure, program or registration information provided.
    • If sharing a room with another employee, one employee may pick up the entire room cost, but both must indicate this on their respective TERs.
    Vehicles:
    • Employees are expected to use rental vehicles when vehicle transportation is determined to be the most appropriate mode of transportation.  Vehicle transportation is generally most appropriate for round trips less than 400 miles.  
    • Employees are encouraged to reserve vehicles through the self-booking tool whenever possible to ensure that they receive the appropriate pricing, services, and insurance coverage.  The UW has a contract with the Big Ten for vehicle rentals.  The Big Ten contract must be used when vehicles are available.  The contract information for the Big Ten is available on the UW TravelWIse portal, under Discounts.
    • If an employee chooses to use their personal vehicles, reimbursement will be made at the Turndown Rate.   
    • For round trips less than 100 miles, an employee may use their personal vehicle and be reimbursed at the Standard Rate.

    SAME DAY TRAVEL

    Travel that does not include an overnight stay will be limited to a tax reportable day trip meal allowance of $15.00 per day when the traveler expects to incur meal expenses.  No day trip meal allowance will be paid when the traveler receives a provided meal, regardless of amount. 

     

    Groups

    Please contact Fox World Travel for all your Group travel air, car, rail, and hotel needs.

    Group air is classified as 10+ travelers, traveling the same destination.

    Fox World Travel

    Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives
    Hours: 7:00am CT - 5:30pm CT

    Toll-Free: 866-230-8787 (option 4)

    FPMI Email: uwgroups@gofox.com

    Effective January 5th, 2015 changes to airfare policy require Fox World Travel, as the University's contract travel management company, be used for all University funded airline ticket purchases.  Fox Premier, Fox World Travel's groups and meetings division, serves under the University's contract when group airfare is needed for 10 or more passengers.  Fox Premier can also assist when you would like to combine lodging, ground transport, or other group accommodations.

    PURCHASING PROCESS 

    It is now required travelers utilize the University Group Reservation Request Form when using Fox Premier for group air reservations.  When you are ready to begin the process, you can start on the UW TravelWIse homepage, then click on the blue button labeled Booking Matrix.  Using the flowchart, you would select "I am booking travel for a group of people."  The flowchart will automatically update and provide the UW System procedures/requirements and the UW Group Reservation Request Form.   Complete, print, and then register the request form.  A member of the Fox Premier team will contact you within one (1) business day to confirm the request and discuss any open questions.

    Fox Premier with work with the travel coordinator until all the reservations have been booked.  At this time, a confirmation email will be sent out to the coordinator and to Business Services.  Payment for group travel must go through Business Services and be charged on the Group Travel charge card.  The following information will be needed to process the payment request:

    1. Copy of the UW Group Reservation Request, if available
    2. Itinerary of the trip - including travel dates, destination(s), and daily activities
    3. Approved travel budget - signed by the appropriate Department Chair, Dean/Division Head, and/or signature authority as needed
    4. List of travelers
    For questions related to group travel, please contact Ekco Jensen.

     

    International

    INTERNATIONAL MEAL AND LODGING MAXIMUMS

    Daily meal and incidental expense per diems for all foreign locations (including all related taxes and tips) are prescribed by the U.S Department of Defense .  The combination of foreign 'local meals' and 'local incidentals' equal the total M&IE per diem for the location.  Foreign location rates are updated on a monthly basis.  If the location of travel is not listed, the 'Other' rate will apply.

    Any meals provided by international hosts, conferences, or others cannot be claimed for reimbursement.

    For foreign travel, the incidental portion of the per diem varies by location.  The incidental portion includes the following expenses:

    • Fees and tips given to services staff - such as restaurant wait staff, porters, baggage handlers, hotel housekeeping or other service staff, valet, train, etc.
    • Transportation between places of lodging or business to obtain meals when not obtainable within the immediate vicinity
    • Phone calls
    • Laundry, dry cleaning, etc.
    • Bottled water

     


    INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT RESERVATIONS & FLY AMERICA RULE/OPEN SKIES AGREEMENT

    Make your reservations through our contract with Fox World Travel and take full advantage of expert international reservation services.  Usually international tickets receive a higher discount with the University preferred carriers, American, Delta and United.

    Before you purchase tickets for international travel, be aware that the Fly America Act/Open Skies Agreement requires that Americans (University travelers) who fly internationally using funds from the federal government (federal funds = grants) utilize a U.S. flag carrier, with few exceptions.

    Exceptions:

    • When there is no nonstop or direct service offered by a U.S. carrier
    • When travel solely outside the U.S. increases the number of aircraft changes en route to more than two
    • When the passenger’s travel time is extended by at least 6 hours
    • When the connecting time is 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point

    Additional information on the Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement can be found here and at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

    Information regarding passports, travel visas, immunization requirements, foreign currency, and insurances may be found on UW TravelWIse.

    Interview Candidates

    Guide for Interview Candidates

    Potential candidates, although not state employees, are welcomed to campus for the purpose of interviewing for a potential position with UW-La Crosse.  Candidates are subject to same UW travel policies, best business practices and process standards as employees.  Listed below are some guidelines when inviting potential candidates to campus for interviewing purposes.  

    Review the Guide for Interview Candidates for additional information on "How to Arrange and Pay for Interview Candidate Travel."

    GUIDELINES

    • The Dean or non-college Division head must approve the reimbursement of travel expenses related to candidate interviews.  Consideration may be given for partial reimbursement, but all candidates must be given the same reimbursement consideration.
    • The Dean or a level above may authorize a UW employee to act as a "host" for interview candidates.  Reasonable local transportation and meal costs in connection with hosting the candidate may be reimbursed.
    • A daily agenda/schedule for the candidate's interview and campus visit should be prepared by the host department.  A copy of this agenda will need to be submitted with the candidate's TER as supporting documentation for the expenses incurred.

    Airfare:

    • Candidate airfare must be arranged through the contracted travel agency, Fox World Travel, if the expense is being paid or reimbursed by University funds.
    • As a host department, airfare can be prearranged by booking the airfare through the self-booking tool as a Travel Coordinator, by utilizing UW onsite services and completing the Non-Employee Travel Request Form, or by contacting a full-service agent at Fox World Travel.  
    Vehicles:
    • Personal vehicle mileage will be reimbursed at Standard Rate if it is determined that vehicle transportation is the most appropriate mode of transportation.
    • If a rental car is deemed appropriate by the hosting department, rental car reservations can be made by utilizing UW onsite services and completing the Non-Employee Travel Request Form.
    Lodging:
    • Candidates may make their own hotel reservations.  The candidate would then pay for the room and request reimbursement upon departure from campus.  Sales tax will be charged and can be reimbursed to the candidate.
    • As a host department, you may make the candidate's hotel reservation and request to be direct billed by the hotel.  Direct bills should only include the room charge and sales tax should not be incurred.  Other related charges, such as meals, phone calls, parking, internet, etc., must be personally paid for by the candidate prior to check-out.
    Meals:
    • The same guidelines for the meals and incidentals per diem allowance apply to interview candidates. 
    • There are occasions when employees interview applicants during the meal period.  Reimbursement for the cost of such meals to the employee is allowable.  An itemized receipt, the candidate's name, title of the unfilled position, position number, and an explanation for holding the interview over the meal period must be provided.  Employees are limited to the meal maximum rate for hosted meals.

    Moving & Relocations

    The University may reimburse relocation and/or temporary lodging expenses for new and presently employed personnel assigned to new locations by transfer or promotion.  Approval to reimburse employee relocation expenditures must be obtained from the Dean or appropriate Division head.  Details and limitations for relocation expenses are outlined in the appointment agreement initiated by Human Resources.  Stipends, reimbursements for moves less than 50 miles, reimbursements for temporary lodging, and any other taxable relocation expense will be reported to the IRS and a W-2 statement will be provided at the end of the year. 

    Moving reimbursement requests must be filed on a Travel Expense Report that includes the required signature approvals and original receipts.

    Additional information on Moving and Relocation costs is available on the UW System Financial Administration webpage.

    COMMERCIAL CARRIERS - Contracted Vendors

    UW System Financial Administration Contract Moving Vendors

    If you choose not to use a contracted vendor, you then must obtain three (3) quotes from vendors of your choice.  Reimbursement would then be allowed up to the lowest bid amount.

    SELF MOVES - Relocating without a Commercial Carrier

     

    Should the employee elect to relocate himself or herself, reimbursement for such a relocation is limited to the actual, reasonable, and necessary costs for any hired labor in loading and unloading the household goods and for the rental of trucks, trailers, moving equipment, or other expenses directly related to the relocation. Neither the employee nor the employee’s spouse or dependents may be reimbursed for their labor. The reimbursement claim must be supported by original receipts. Estimates are not required from commercial carriers to support self moves.

    Reimbursable & Non-Reimbursable Moving Costs

    Reimbursable Moving Expenses

    Non-Reimbursable Moving Expenses 

    Household Goods and Personal Effects such as:

    *The stipend may be used to offset these expenses.

    — Furniture

    — Property for resale

    — Cabinet/Closet contents

    — Property not owned by the family

    — Clothing

    — Farm equipment

    — Musical instruments

    — Livestock

    — Household appliances

    — Trailers

    — Food

    — Boats over 14 feet

    Direct Costs Associated with the Relocation of Household Goods (additional fees charged by the moving company on the bill of lading):

    — Mileage or hauling/towing of additional vehicles (motorcycles, trucks, recreational vehicles and automobiles)

    — Line Haul

    — Building materials

    — Fuel/Insurance Surcharge

    — Items used in a personal business

    — Seasonal Rate Adjustment

    — Items that may be found in a household, but which the carrier cannot or will not allow to be placed in the moving van (i.e. pets, flammable items, caustic aerosols, spoilable items, plants, jewelry, frozen foods, etc.)

    — Long Carry

    — Swing sets, jungle gyms and other similar outdoor items

    — Stairs

    — Exclusive Use/Space Reservation/Expedited Service Charges

    — Elevator

    — Valuation/Additional insurance

    — Piano/Organ Moving

    — Extra pickup of household goods

    — Extra Labor

    — Storage

    — Appliance Service

    — Warehouse handling

    — One-way mileage cost at the present standard rate (AUTO HI) of moving one vehicle to the new residence using the most direct route

    — Weight additives for transporting any bulky articles

    Note: Mileage claim may not exceed mileage shown on the bill of lading

    — Travel costs en route (meals, lodging, tolls, etc.)

    — Purchase of containers/packing materials

    — Overtime loading/unloading as required by the customer

    — Ferry charges/Tolls

    — Weight and bulky article charges

    — Packing/Unpacking

    — Third party services

     

    — Storage for the convenience of the employee

     

    — Other costs associated with the move, which could include pre-start visits and house-hunting costs

    Students & Non Employees

    Travel arrangements for UWL students and non-employees can be coordinated through either a department Travel Coordinator or by utilizing UW onsite services.  Student and non-employee travel arrangements are subject to same UW travel policies, best business practices, and process standards as Unviersity employees.

    Department Travel Coordinator

    A department Travel Coordinator is a role in the online self-booking tool which allows the user to book travel on behalf of a student or non-employee.  

    UW full-service onsite agent, Debbie Talbott

    To utilize our onsite agent, the host department must first complete the Non-Employee Travel Request Form found on the UW TravelWIse site under Reservations - Onsite Services - Non-Employee Travel Request Form.

    Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Contact phone: 608-263-1044

    Travel authorization

    Text here

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Meal & Incidental Expense Per Diem Allowance

    What is a Meal & Incidental Expense (M&IE) per diem allowance and how do I qualify to receive this?

    Individual University business travelers are eligible to receive a meal & incidental expense (M&IE) per diem allowance whenever travel requires an overnight stay. The M&IE per diem allowance covers individual, out-of-pocket meals and defined incidental expenses.

    What does the M&IE per diem allowance include?

    The M&IE per diem allowance includes all meals as well as incidental expenses defined as:

    • Fees and tips given to restaurant wait staff, bell hops, porters, baggage handlers, hotel housekeeping, valet, service staff on trains or ships.
    • Transportation between places of lodging or business and places where meals are taken.
    • Laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing of clothing
    • Mailing and other expenses associated with filing expense reports
    • Bottled water (for international travel needs)

    What if I’m only gone a portion of the day, do I get an M&IE per diem allowance?

    Day trip travel without an overnight stay does not qualify for the M&IE per diem allowance.  If your day travel requires you to spend money for a meal(s), the approving authority may authorize a $15 day trip meal allowance.  This allowance is tax reportable to you.  If you receive any provided meals for a day trip you will not receive any day trip meal allowance.

    Do I need to provide receipts for my M&IE per diem allowance?

    The M&IE per diem allowance does not require receipts for payment.  Do not submit receipts to the University for M&IE per diem.  The I.R.S. does recommend that all business travelers retain receipts for any business travel expenses incurred for personal tax filing purposes.

    Can I authorize less that the M&IE per diem allowance for the location?

    No.  The reimbursement plan has been designed to fairly compensate all travelers. While the rate maximums apply to all, the supervisor or approving authority may limit a travelers overall trip budget.

    I give my students meal money and have them sign a sheet, do I now pay them a M&IE per diem?

    No.  A M&IE per diem allowance is only allowed for individual travelers that incur meal and incidentals expenses as a result of over-night travel, pay out-of-pocket and file for their own reimbursement.  If a student traveler does the above, they would file for their own M&IE per diem reimbursement.  If you continue to provide this for the student, they cannot.

    When a University group leader provides money to students (or members of a team) for purchase of their own meal the expense limits fall under the same limit structure as Headquarter City and UW Sponsored Events.  The amount of meal money given should be reasonable and in keeping to the type of student activity/travel and meals being provided.

    All meal expenses must be supported by itemized receipts.  In cases where meal money is given to students to purchase a meal on their own, the standard signature form, signed by the student to acknowledge the receipt of meal money, will be used in lieu of the restaurant receipt.

    The maximum rates, including gratuity and tax, by location and meal expense type are:

    Expense

    Within Wisconsin

     Outside Wisconsin

    Breakfast

    $12

    $15

    Lunch

    $18

    $23

    Dinner

    $30

    $37

    Refreshments/Break

    $10

    $10

    What if I’m hosting a meal for a guest, job interview candidate, student, or recruit?

    An individual traveler’s personal meal & incidental expense (M&IE) per diem allowance cannot be used to pay for items related to University Sponsored Events or any other related business entertainment activity that includes meals, food or beverages whether the expense is incurred in travel status or at the headquarter location.

    Meal limits, receipt requirements and other documentation for hosting expenses is part of the UW Headquarter City & Sponsored Events policy.  Please review the requirements.

    Do we pay a M&IE per diem allowance to student or non-employees traveling for the University?

    Yes, the M&IE per diem allowance is applicable to all individuals that travel for University purposes.

    Headquarter City & UW Sponsored Events

    I have a small food and beverage budget for a conference that I’m arranging do I have to use the new rate maximums?

    No.  When making food and beverage arrangements you do not have to spend the maximum amount per meal. Let the food and beverage staff know what your budget is and request food and beverage options that align with your budget.  If you are accustomed to using a hotel’s “state rate menu” to stay within your budget, you can continue to request that.

    If I take two students out for a meal how do I get reimbursed for this cost?

    These type of meal expenditures are considered “hosted meals”.  Meal maximums and policy requirements for hosting a meal are the same as what is contained within the Headquarter City and UW Sponsored Events Policy.

    All hosted meal expenses must be supported by a business purpose, itemized receipts and a list of attendees. The meal purchase(s) should be reasonable, need not be at the maximum amount, and in keeping with the type of student activity/travel and meals being provided.

    The maximum rates, including gratuity and tax, by location and meal expense type are:

    Expense

    Within Wisconsin

     Outside Wisconsin

    Breakfast

    $12

    $15

    Lunch

    $18

    $23

    Dinner

    $30

    $37

    Refreshments/Break

    $10

    $10

    University Travel Program Changes

    Do I have to use Concur to make lodging reservations?

    You are not required to use Concur, however you are highly encouraged to do so.  Using Concur for reservations allows for discounts and amenities not offered when working directly with the hotel or lodging property.

    Policy does not allow the use of online brokers or search sites like Hotels.com, Expedia, Kayak, Trivago, AirBnB, etc.  Travelers will not be reimbursed when using these third party sites.

    What if I can find cheaper tickets on my own?

    The University and contract travel management company, Fox World Travel, stand by the pricing received in the Concur and with Fox World Travel agents, ensuring the lowest possible price for your flight. University travelers have access to all travel supplier pricing in one application, making it efficient in selecting the lowest available fares that meet your business travel schedule.  Concur utilizes the same live pricing and availability offered by the airlines and that full-service travel agents use. University discounts are automatically applied to each reservation.

    By contrast other internet booking sites do not use live data or update availability regularly, instead using cached, out-dated information or tease fares that do not reflect the numerous changes to airfare or other travel supplier pricing and availability.   Access to live data is important as both pricing and availability change numerous times per day.

    As the University’s travel management company partner, Fox World Travel is committed to assisting the University traveler in finding the lowest fares available that best meet the business needs.  To assure that the University is obtaining the lowest pricing from air carriers, including the University contract carrier partners, Fox routinely audits a random sampling of domestic and international reservations to compare the following:

    1. Rate and itinerary booked by users of Concur.
    2. Rate and itinerary booked by Fox agents.
    3. That all reservations were processed through Fox’s quality control process.

    Compared with:
    1. Fares on the airline’s website.
    2. Fares on three public sites.

    Based on these audits, Fox is confident in the ability to offer the lowest price tickets for their client base.  Fox stands behind this by offering the University a low fare guarantee process for individual ticket purchases.  Learn more about that process under procedures.

    With over $45 Million in annual air spend, the University must make every effort to protect travel dollars from ever-escalating airline costs. The most effective way to do this is to consolidate volume to leverage University spend with the airlines to increase discounts as the program moves forward.  Effective July 1, 2015 travelers will not be reimbursed the cost of airline tickets purchased outside of the University’s program.

    Travel Policy

    I prefer to drive rather than fly, can I get paid mileage?

    The university will pay for the most economical form of transportation to reach your business destination and return. That will often be by air for out of state business. If you elect to travel by car, that’s a personal choice and your reimbursement will be limited to the lowest cost. You will have to provide a cost comparison which includes airfare and all related air expenses (airport parking, taxi from airport to hotel and back, and mileage from home to airport and return), and car mileage and related costs (including additional work hours for travel time) for the travel to the destination and return. This cost comparison, including the additional work hours for travel time, must be discussed and approved by your supervisor prior to travel.

    Note: The comparisons will need to be attached to your expense report to support the elective to drive vs. fly and expedite your reimbursement.

    For more information see the process guidelines: Determining the Appropriate Mode of Transportation and 1201 Purchase & Payment of Business Air Travel

    I need to drive my vehicle for business because I will be transporting equipment needed at my destination, how do I determine what I will be reimbursed?

    There are a number of things to consider in this situation, for instance, can you pay to ship the equipment and travel by the lowest cost transportation option? Is it less costly to drive your personal vehicle and carry the equipment with you? Can you rent a car for less than the mileage cost for driving your own vehicle? The university will pay for the most economical form of transportation to reach your business destination and return, including the need to transport the equipment.

    You will need to prepare a comparison of the various possible methods of transportation that will meet the need in determining lowest cost. You should then discuss options and cost with your supervisor as the approving authority has responsibility for determining the most appropriate mode of transportation.

    For more information see the procedure: Determining the Appropriate Mode of Transportation

    Additional UW TravelWIse FAQs

    https://uw.foxworldtravel.com/frequently-asked-questions/