Business Expense Reimbursement Policy

It is the policy of the College to reimburse members of the faculty and professional staff for their own reasonable, necessary, and authorized business-related expenses. This policy applies to employees of the College who travel on authorized College business or who incur other pre-authorized expenses on behalf of the College.

Business Expense Reports

Completion of the College's travel / business Expense Report is required in order to receive reimbursement for business-related expenses. The Expense Report is available from Inside F&M>Finance Operations>Accounts Payable>Forms.  A properly completed Expense Report is to be submitted to the Business Office, Race Avenue, within 30 days of when the expenses were incurred. The Senior Officer for your area or the Senior Officer’s authorized designee must approve expense Reports submitted after this 30-day period.

All original receipts are to be included when submitting the Expense Report. Detailed, itemized receipts showing the specific goods and services purchased must be attached to the Expense Report. A credit card activity statement is not sufficient documentation of an expense. The Expense Report must also include a description of the business-related purpose for the expense(s), date the expense was incurred, individuals included in the business related expense, and the employee’s signature. The Expense Report is to be forwarded to the employee’s manager or department chair for signature/authorization.

The manager or department chair is responsible for carefully reviewing the Expense Report and attached documentation to verify that all expenses were related to authorized business travel. The manager/department chair is to then sign the Expense Report to authorize reimbursement of business-related expenses, and send to the Business Office.

Making Travel Arrangements

Business travel arrangements are made through Travel Time Travel Agency, Inc., (717) 299-6600;  however, train travel should be booked and tickets purchased directly through Amtrak.

Note: If traveling abroad, please register with the Risk Management. See the Foreign Business Travel Services web page ( for details.

Travel Advances

Cash advances are available in connection with travel for College business, provided the employee completes an FPS Cash Advance Request Form (see Inside F&M>Finance Operations>Cash Handling> Forms) and obtains his/her manager’s or department chair’s signature on the form. Cash advances of $200 or less may be taken to the Cashier in the Steinman College Center to obtain cash.  Cash advances over $200 must be sent to Accounts Payable for processing. Immediately following the business trip, a Cash Advance Reconciliation Form must be completed with original receipts attached, as outlined above, to account for all of the funds expended. The Reconciliation Form is to be sent to the Cashier after the manager / department chair approves it. Any unused cash remaining from the advance must be promptly returned to the Cashier in the Steinman College Center (cash is not to be stored in offices).

Pcards, College-issued Credit Cards

If a  Pcard is needed because of job requirements, the College will provide a Pcard upon approval from the appropriate Senior Officer. Personal, non- business-related expenses may not be charged to a College Pcard. Itemized receipts for business-related travel and purchases are to be attached to monthly Pcard statements. Receipts should include a description of the business-related purpose for the expense(s) and the individual(s) included in the business related activity for the expense. Statements must then be reviewed and approved by the manager or department chair. Department account numbers are to be assigned, and statements must then be promptly submitted to PCard Administration, Business Office. It is essential that Pcard statements and receipts be forwarded to the Business Office promptly so late payment fees are not incurred. If a credit card statement, itemized receipts, account numbers and approval are not received within 30 days; a hold on the card balance can be placed until the necessary paperwork is returned to Accounts Payable.

If  fraud is suspected or a College-issued Pcard is lost or stolen, PNC  must be contacted immediately by the cardholder, at (800) 685-4039 inside the U.S., (706)644-3224.  The PCard Team should also to be promptly notified via email to

In many instances, the College cannot take advantage of its tax-exempt statuswhen a credit card is used to make purchases. Therefore, whenever possible, the normal purchase order process should be used when making purchases.

An employee must return his/her College-provided Pcard to Human Resources on or prior to the last day of employment.

Please visit this website for additional information regarding Pcards:


Allowable Business Expenses

Air Travel-- Airfare is reimbursed if an employee must travel by air for College business. If an employee must travel by air, the College requires that travel be via economy class. Flights should be booked far enough in advance to obtain an economy class seat. Travel arrangements may be made through Travel Time Travel Agency, Inc., (717) 299-6600, unless more favorable rates can be obtained elsewhere. Employees are encouraged to explore online sources in order to obtain favorable rates.  Train Travel-- Train fare will be reimbursed when an employee is traveling for College business. Train travel should be booked and tickets purchased directly through Amtrak.

Use of Personal Automobile-- If an employee is authorized to use his/her personal auto for college business; the employee will be reimbursed based on mileage. Reimbursement will be at the rate established each year by the IRS for business travel expense reporting and will updated as of July 1 each year. The current rate, effective January 1, 2019 is $0.58 per mile cents per mile. (Please note: employees must read and adhere to the College’s Vehicle Safety Policy,

Use of a Rental Car-- Fees for a rental car will be reimbursed when traveling for Business. A request should be made for a compact or mid-sized car whenever possible.

Public Transportation-- The cost of public transportation (taxi, subway, bus) is reimbursable when traveling on authorized College business.

Parking Fees-- The College will reimburse reasonable parking fees. Long-term airport parking should be used for overnight trips.

Lodging-- While on out-of-town business that requires an overnight stay, reasonable costs for an employee’s lodging at a hotel or motel will be reimbursed by the College. Itemized receipts detailing all purchases are required when submitting the Expense Report.

Business-related Meals-- An employee will be reimbursed for the reasonable cost of his/her meals while traveling on pre-authorized College business. Employees who dine with “clients” must receive approval, in advance, from their manager to be reimbursed for the expense. Employees will not be reimbursed for the cost of alcoholic beverages, except for significant business activities (i.e., development of donor relations) and when approved in advance by their Senior Officer. Please note: Federal law prohibits the College from reimbursing an employee for the cost of alcoholic beverages through a Federal grant. Tips for business meals may not exceed 20% of the cost of the meal. An itemized receipt showing food and drinks purchased, plus a handwritten notation of the individuals in attendance, are required for reimbursement of meals. See also Unallowable Cost Information for government related costs.

Laundry Service-- The cost of laundry and dry cleaning is reimbursable when on a business trip of two weeks or longer.

Entertainment-- Entertainment expenses must be directly related to College business and pre-authorized by the department manager in order to be reimbursed. Gifts may not be purchased for “clients” without pre-approval from the department manager or Senior Officer. See also Unallowable Cost Information when related to government grants.

Charitable Contributions-- Franklin and Marshall College is committed to contributing to the quality of life in the Lancaster community that furthers its values and academic mission. This commitment is demonstrated through volunteerism on the part of faculty, staff, administrators, and students and through the financial support and assistance provided to community and service organizations.

Faculty, staff and students may be solicited from time to time by charitable organizations for F&M to make a financial donation or donation of property to them. The College will not ordinarily make donations due to its own non-profit status but occasionally will provide a financial contribution or contribution of property to them. In order to be considered, all charitable contribution requests made on behalf of the College must be approved by Chief of Staff of the College.

Note that this policy does not apply to donations made to political organizations. Not-for-profit institutions organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code—-like Franklin and Marshall College—-are prohibited from making political donations. Any form of political donation is strictly forbidden and there are no exceptions. The following contributions are unallowable:

  1. Payments to political candidates

  2. Employee reimbursement for political contributions

  3. Advertising in political programs

  4. Admission to any dinner or program (including testimonial dinners,

    receptions, and sporting events) if any part of the proceeds of the event directly or indirectly inures to the use of a political party or a political


  5. Admission to any event that is identified with a political party or

    candidate including tickets to fund-raising events

  6. Lobbying portion of dues to professional organizations that are

    otherwise allowable.


Requests for contributions by the College must be submitted to the Chief of Staff that includes the name of the organization, organization’s contact information, purpose of the donation, amount and a summary of how it aligns with F&M’s values and academic mission. If approved, the Chief of Staff will initiate payment with the Business Office where it will be charged to a College account designated for charitable contributions. All charitable contributions will be funded by non-tuition sources.

Payments to Faculty, Professional Staff, and Student Employees

Faculty, professional staff, and student employees who perform work for the College are to be paid solely through normal payroll processes. This ensures compliance with relevant local, state, and federal regulations, and proper withholding of income tax.

Employees, including student employees, College volunteers, and other individuals may not be compensated via personal check, gift cards, prizes, or other similar items. Payments to employees for services related to College business must be authorized in advance by the Director, Human Resources, and are to be paid through the normal payroll process. Payments to student employees must be authorized through the Office of Financial Aid per standard student employment policies, and processed through the student payroll system.

Independent Contractors-- Independent contractors and consultants are to be paid through Accounts Payable and may not be compensated by personal check or with gifts or similar items.

Recognition Programs, Awards, and Gifts

From time to time, the College sponsors recognition or award programs for faculty, professional staff, and students. In order to help ensure fairness and consistency across the College, as well as the responsible use of College funds, reimbursement is not provided for awards, incentives, or gifts unless authorized in advance and purchased in conjunction with a standard, approved College program.

The following types of expenses will not normally be reimbursed by the College unless preauthorized by the Vice President for Finance and Administration or the President, and purchased in conjunction with a standard College-approved program (expenses include but are not limited to the following): flowers; gift cards; recognition awards and incentives; service awards or retirement gifts to faculty or professional staff; and other gifts to faculty, professional staff, student employees, students, or others.

Retirement Gifts-- Franklin & Marshall provides a gift to members of the faculty and professional staff upon completion of 25 years of full-time or part-time College service, and at retirement. To help ensure fairness and consistency, the College is not able to provide reimbursement for other gifts purchased on behalf of a retiring or resigning member of the faculty or staff.

Meals and Receptions-- A Senior Officer may, on occasion, authorize the use of his/her budgeted department funds to provide a meal to department members, student employees, or students to celebrate a particular event or achievement.

For example:

  • A Senior Officer may authorize a department manager or chair to use funds available within his/her department’s operating budget to treat a retiring staff member and colleagues to lunch or dinner;
  • A Senior Officer may authorize use of funds, if available within his/her operating budget, for a modest reception for a retiring or resigning member of the faculty or staff;
  • A Senior Officer may use funds available within his/her operating budget to treat staff members to a meal in celebration of a particular achievement or as part of a team building activity.

It is the expectation of the College that the Senior Officer will authorize all such events in advance, and that College funds will be used in a responsible manner.

College funds may not be used to purchase alcohol for these types of events




Policy Maintained by: Executive Assistant, VPFA
Last Update:  February 26, 2021