Travel policy changes

New UM System travel policies take effect on July 1. On that date the system also will begin phasing in an electronic travel reimbursement system (T&E) as a PeopleSoft module.

 Key changes to travel policy:

  • Employees on university-paid overnight travel will be reimbursed $42 per diem rather than for expenditures up to the specific limits for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (The per diem is $21 for travel lasting less than 12 hours, with an eight-hour minimum required to be eligible for reimbursement.)
  • Cost analysis of flying vs. driving is no longer required.
  • Units may not establish lower limits or more restrictive policies (i.e. mileage rate or meals) for travel unless required by an outside entity.
  • The grants approver, if applicable, and the fiscal approver will review reimbursements for completeness, allowability and funding appropriateness. The administrative superior will not be required to approve travel vouchers but will be reviewing travel expenses monthly.

The new policies will be in effect for any university-paid travel. They become effective July 1, regardless of actual travel dates and the status of the electronic travel reimbursement system. MU Accounting also has an on-going Q&A.

The new travel voucher form for non-employees is available below. 

As needed, MU Extension administrative management staff will also be able to assist with specific training and questions. 

The links to the new policies are below.

The federal lobby reporting will still apply but through a new online reporting system.

Some policies that haven't changed but should be noted:

  • Where feasible and appropriate, you should have the university pay pre-trip travel expenses before the trip (usually by purchasing card).
  • Travel expenses that will be reimbursed by another organization rather than by the university should not be charged to the university. The cost of airline tickets and other travel expenses should be borne by the traveler and the traveler reimbursed directly from the organization.

Tips: (not to replace reading the policies):

  • If data-entering a voucher after June 30, 2011, the new travel voucher form should be used. If an old form is received, the new form should be filled out and attached to the old form with "see attached" in the signature areas to point Accounting to the old form for the necessary signature. If an old form does make it to Accounting, the person that data entered the voucher may receive a courtesy reminder to use the new form. The old form will not be rejected by Accounting though.
  • When calculating overnight per diem meals, use the time left for the trip until midnight. For the return trip, use midnight until the time returned.
  • For meals that were provided on a trip where the employee is eligible for per diem amounts, reduce the total per diem amount by the meal provided. Breakfast 25 percent, lunch 25 percent, supper 50 percent.
  • The Trip-Expense Detail form is the comprehensive main travel form. The Employee Mileage Only form can either be used as a mileage log and attached to the Trip-Expense Detail or if there is only mileage, can be used as a stand alone travel voucher form.
  • The Extended Work Day policy is for travel that causes the employee to work in excess of a normal schedule outside of assigned work location(s) and/or assigned tasks. It is reimbursed at a set rate of $21 for the day. Please note: this is a change from the policy taught in June/July 2012.
  • Receipts less than $75 are no longer needed other than for hotel. Non-travel related expenses (i.e. computer cable) require receipts regardless of amount.
  • Until your unit transitions into the T&E online system, the paper travel voucher forms will be used. It is recommended to keep the same workflow as the previous paper forms and have the supervisor initial the form instead of signing it.
  • Acronyms should not be used.