Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston - (Chancery Only)

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1 Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston - (Chancery Only) Revision Date: February 24, 2010 Effective Date: March 1, 2010 Employee Expense and Travel Reimbursement Policy POLICY The Chancery reimburses employees for business expenses incurred by them that are necessary or advisable for the proper discharge of their assigned responsibilities pursuant to the approved budget and otherwise authorized and approved, in advance if necessary, by their Department Director, Secretariat Director, or Moderator of the Curia. All employees are encouraged to make every effort to conduct their business in an appropriate, thrifty and cost effective manner, to be in compliance with this policy. The Chancery assumes no obligation to reimburse employees for employee error. Reimbursable expenses must be properly documented, including attached original detailed receipts, and such other information to support the assertion stated in the request for reimbursement, including a clear indication of the business activity for which they were incurred. Intentional falsification of expenses for reimbursement is grounds for immediate termination. FORMS TO BE USED FOR EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT Check Request (for expenses not associated with travel). Travel Expense Report available at Share\Accounting-share\Policies\Employee Exp & Travel Reimb Policy SCOPE OF REIMBURSEABLE EXPENSES Lodging a) Seeking the lowest discounted rate is recommended It is the Chancery policy that travelers use "good" rather than "deluxe" lodging accommodations and share a room when appropriate by reserving double occupancy rooms. b) Hotel receipts must be itemized. The quick checkout receipts that don t itemize charges are not acceptable. c) Additional room charges are not acceptable, (i.e.; valet, movies, room service meals, laundry service, etc.). d) Texas State Hotel Occupancy Taxes will not be reimbursed. The tax exemption letter issued by the State, and the required exemption certificate should be printed from Share\Accounting-share\Policies\Employee Exp & Travel Reimb Policy. Employee should take a business card and personal identification to present to the hotel. e) Employees are encouraged to seek hotel tax exemptions in other states, if possible, when attending conferences or on other Archdiocesan business. Transportation expenses 1) Air Transportation a) Employees should travel economy, coach, or "standard" class unless otherwise authorized by the Moderator of the Curia or an Archdiocesan Archbishop. b) Employees should make flight arrangements at least 3 weeks in advance to insure reduced rates using the least expensive flight available considering all airlines and airports in the vicinity. c) If plans change, tickets should be modified or canceled as soon as possible to realize maximum savings or minimize costs. Airline frequent flyer program benefits are allowed to accrue to the individual traveler; however, participation in these programs should not result in any incremental cost to the Chancery. d) Refunds for unused airline tickets purchased by the employee are the responsibility of the employee. If the Chancery has already reimbursed the ticket, then the refund must be returned to the Chancery.

2 2) Ground Transportation a) Original receipts for all forms of transportation must be attached to the expense report. b) Travelers should select the least expensive mode of ground transportation; hotel/airport shuttle buses, rapid transit systems, or taxi. Rental cars are not authorized unless approved in advance by the Moderator of the Curia. c) If authorized to rent a vehicle, travelers should elect a compact car when traveling alone or a midsize car when traveling with another employee. If a van is rented, it cannot be larger than a ten passenger van due to safety regulations. d) Liability Insurance and Loss Damage Waiver Insurance should be purchased and are reimbursable. The Personal Accident Insurance should not be purchased if the vehicle is operated and occupied by Chancery employees. e) Tolls are reimbursable as miscellaneous expenses. Personal automobile use a) Requires documentation of all mileage and business purpose involved. b) See Mileage Reimbursement Policy. c) Travelers should seek the most economical airport terminal parking. A receipt is required for reimbursement. d) Mileage is only reimbursable to Archdiocesan paid employees, unless otherwise approved by the Moderator of the Curia. Meals 1) Travel Meals a) Employees must show proof of meals not covered by the conference before they are accepted as reimbursable items. (Registration forms and conference itineraries are required for this purpose). b) For any meal not supplied by the conference, an original itemized receipt showing all items purchased must be submitted for each meal considered for reimbursement. 2) Business Meals a) Only Department Directors and above may deem a meal for business purposes. b) Business meals are food and beverage costs that are incurred during a substantial and bona fide business discussion. c) Purchase of meals for other Chancery employees is not considered an allowable expense unless the costs incurred were necessary or advisable under the circumstances while conducting a business transaction. d) Business meals require substantiation as to the names of the participants, the business purpose, as well as an original itemized receipt showing all items purchased. If there are more than ten (10) participants, please note the name of the group or committee instead of listing all participants. Entertainment 1) The Moderator of the Curia, a Bishop or the Archbishop must approve all entertainment expenses in writing, in advance. It is expected that in seeking the approval, specific details are to be provided to the approver indicating the business purpose, specific form of entertainment, staff and other participants, and expected cost. Further, it is a requirement that in no instance is entertainment to include alcoholic beverages other than the one associated with the meal. 2) Entertainment expenses require substantiation, including: a) All itemized receipts should be sufficient to indicate the number of tickets, meals or other services purchased. b) The names of all participants and the general business purpose. Gratuities The Chancery does not reimburse excessive gratuities and tips. Under any circumstance, the Chancery will not reimburse gratuities in excess of 20%.

3 Telephone Charges 1) Personal cellular phone charges are reimbursed only when previously authorized charges incurred in conducting Archdiocesan business cause the employee to surpass the number of minutes allowed in his/her plan. In such cases, the amount reimbursed is limited to actual Archdiocesan business costs exceeding normal calling plan costs. 2) Travelers should avoid direct calls from hotels due to application of expensive surcharges, instead purchase a phone card for long distance calls to home and office and report the amount used. 3) Traveler charges for internet access are allowed only when required for Archdiocesan business. Conference Expenses 1) Register early to take advantage of discounts 2) Receipts must be furnished for all conference expenses submitted. Registration forms and similar documents with fee information will be used as support for the expense. 3) Employees should eat meals that are included in the conference/registration fee; any substitute meal will not be reimbursed. 4) All activities at the conference are personal expenses, (i.e. sightseeing, sporting events, golf, etc.). Foreign exchange expenses Documentation of exchange rates is required (e.g. average published rates during travel period or evidence of exchange rates experienced on conversion of money). Documentation of currency conversion fees based on receipts received at time of conversions. TRAVEL ADVANCES See Cash Advance Policy for guidelines on obtaining an advance, and related employees responsibilities. NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES The following items are listed to illustrate those types of expenses that the Chancery generally deems to be nonreimbursable. This listing is not intended to be all-inclusive. Baggage Fees in excess of $ The archdiocese will not reimburse excess luggage fees, such as those associated with oversize luggage or luggage that is over the weight limit. Additional hotel room charges, (i.e. dry-cleaning or laundry valet, in-room bar & snacks, room service meals, movies & games). Entertainment, unless approved in advance by the Moderator of the Curia or an Archdiocesan bishop, or Archbishop. Stipends, vendor and contractor payments, equipment or software purchases of any kind, unless approved in writing by the Secretariat Director. Lost or stolen tickets, cash, or personal property (submit loss to the personal insurance agent). Fines, traffic and parking violations. Accident or flight insurance premiums. Charges resulting from failure to exercise reasonable care in canceling transportation or hotel reservations subject to cancellation penalties unless resulting from Chancery direction. Child, pet, or housesitting expenses, lawn service, security services and similar expenses. Spouse, family, or personal acquaintance expenses unless approved in advance by the Moderator of the Curia. Penalties or fees for cancellation or change of discounted tickets when the cancellation or change came about from personal choice rather than Chancery direction. Between meal snacks and airport waiting time snacks. Daily newspaper, magazines, books, audio/video tapes/cd s and similar items. Alcoholic beverages, other than one served with your meal. (Limit one beverage). Personal expenses of any kind, including entertainment, transportation, gifts, and credit card fees. Expenses associated with Bosses Day, Secretary s Day, and similar activities unless otherwise approved in writing, in advance by the Moderator of the Curia. Texas Hotel Occupancy Taxes Gratuities in excess of 20% Expenses, such as meals and/or gifts, associated with the appreciation of Archdiocesan paid employees

4 PURCHASES ON BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT There may be exceptions when employees make purchases for their department. In these situations, reimbursement can be accomplished by submitting the original invoice attached to a check request and properly authorized by their supervisor. Prior approval of the supervisor would be advised. Be sure to present a tax exemption certificate at the point of purchase. COMPLETING A TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT FORM All information on the expense report must be filled in completely. For miscellaneous expenses, include a complete description of the expenditure in the area marked. All employee advances are to be included in the report. Expenditures must be correctly coded using a valid budget or approved 10-digit accounting code (i.e., telephone charges from a telephone budget). Original itemized receipts must support each expense listed. An original signature of both the employee and the approver is required on the report. If costs are being shared by more than one department, an authorized signature and proper account coding is needed from each Department Director. Make a copy of the request and any documentation for your records. Send the completed Travel Expense Form and receipts to the Accounting Department. Incomplete Travel Expense Forms are returned to the employee for correction before reimbursement can be made. Check is mailed unless other instructions are noted. Special mailing instructions should be documented and circled. A department director may not approve a reimbursable meal for an employee under his/her direct supervision if his/her meal is included in the reimbursement. TAX EXEMPT STATEMENTS The Accounting Department is not responsible for sending tax-exempt statements to all applicable vendors. If you notice you are being charged for sales tax, please contact the Accounting Department to get the appropriate form so that these charges can be avoided. Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificates are to be used to avoid paying state taxes while staying at a hotel in Texas. These forms are available online at F:\SHARE\ACCT\Policies\Employee Exp & Travel Reimb Policy, or may be obtained from Accounting Department. Employees are not allowed to make personal purchases using the Archdiocese s tax-exempt status. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS Accounting will reimburse all requests that total $15.00 or more. Please collect small reimbursement requests until they amount to $15.00 before submitting them for payment. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Effective December 19, 2008, we discontinued the practice of requiring a personal credit card statement or a copy of the personal credit card as supporting documentation for reimbursements of expenses incurred on behalf of the archdiocese. Reimbursements will be reviewed within six business days from the date they are received by the Accounts Payable Staff and printed during the following check run. In order for a request to be processed in the following check run, all supporting documentation must be submitted with the request. If all supporting documentation is not submitted with the request, the request could be delayed for as many as five to six business days (see examples below). Accounts Payable checks are processed once a week, on Thursdays. All checks will be mailed the next business day following the check run. Example #1: A request for reimbursement of a business meal is received by A/P Staff on February 22, The request is reviewed on February 25, At the time of review, it is noted the request is approved and all supporting documentation is attached. Therefore the reimbursement request will be included in the batch for check processing on March 4, 2010.

5 Example #2: A request for reimbursement of a business meal is received by A/P Staff on February 22, The request is reviewed on February 24, At the time of review, it is noted the itemized receipt for the meal has not been submitted. Therefore the supporting documentation required to process the request is insufficient. The requestor is notified and the itemized receipt is received by the A/P Staff on March 1, The reimbursement request will be included in the batch for check processing on March 11, 2010.

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