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Travel & Expense

DU ACCOUNTABLE PLAN

In accordance with the IRS regulations, the University has an accountable plan that allows it to reimburse employees for authorized business expenses with no impact on taxable compensation.  The accountable plan rules apply to all payments, reimbursements, or advances for authorized business expenses both travel and non-travel related. The IRS outlines accountable-plan rules as follows:

To be an accountable plan, your employer's reimbursement or allowance arrangement must include all of the following rules.

  1. Your expenses must have a business connection—that is, you must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as an employee of your employer.
  2. You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time. You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time.
  3. Expense reimbursements shall be made within 10 business days of the date the expense was incurred or the date travel was completed if the reimbursement is travel related. Expenses submitted more than 60 days after being incurred will be reported as additional income to the employee, per IRS guidelines.

The University's Travel Policy authorizes reimbursements for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred when traveling on official University business. Travelers are expected to operate in the best interests of the University at all times, and to use the most cost effective means of travel consistent with the work assignment. 

TRAVEL ADVANCES

A Travel Advance Request Form is required for all travel advances. It must accompany the Direct Pay, and be received in Payment Services between 7 and 14 days before travel. The traveler must be established as a vendor in Banner before submitting the Direct Pay.  Employees can sign up for expense reimbursement via direct deposit in PioneerWeb, under the Employee Information section. 

Travelers must clear the travel advance by submitting a Travel Expense Report/ORSP Travel Expense Report and original receipts within 30 days of their return to campus. All unused funds must be repaid to DU with a personal check deposited by the department finance representative or budget officer in the Bursar's Office. The unused funds/deposit amount becomes an additional commodity line on the reconciliation. Failure to clear travel advances promptly may result in a payroll deduction for employees.

Advances must be charged and returned to account 733300. The amount of the advance and the repayment amount must be the same, and the account cannot be used for other expense transactions.

Directions for requesting a travel advance and forms for travel advances can be found in the Employee tab in PioneerWeb. (click on the forms and documents button on the right)  

Travel Reimbursements

For travel expense reimbursements, the traveler must also complete a Travel Expense Report to accompany the receipts.

For travel expenses paid with grant funds, use the Office of Sponsored Programs' Travel Expense Report  and route it and the Direct Pay to ORSP for approval.

If original receipts are not available, government supplied per diem rates may be used for meals and incidentals. A combination of per diem rates and receipts cannot be used in the same day.

Expense Reimbursements

Reimbursements are costs incurred by individuals making University purchases. Most reimbursements can be avoided by using P-Cards or purchase orders. Reimbursement requests are processed on Direct Pay. Receipts are required.  All requests for reimbursement shall be made within 10 business days of the date the expense was incurred or the date travel was completed if the reimbursement is travel related. Expenses submitted more than 60 days after being incurred will be reported as additional income to the employee, per IRS guidelines.

Employees can elect to have expense reimbursements and Travel Advances direct deposited to their bank account to avoid the delay of having a check processed and mailed to them. Sign up in PioneerWeb > Employee Information > Expense Reimbursement Direct Deposit.