Business and Finance
Title: Accounts Payable Guidelines
Created: December 1, 2008
Updated: December 10, 2010

Purpose: To provide a philosophical approach to expenses that emphasizes a "good steward" mindset.

Accounts Payable Guidelines

Drake strives to incur the lowest practical expense for the highest possible value/benefit.  This is the basic rationale underlying all University payments. The following Accounts Payable policies are guidelines; they are not intended to address every situation that may arise.  They do, however, represent a philosophical approach to expenses that emphasizes a “good steward” mindset:

    a. All expenses paid from University funds should be directed toward the highest and best  use of those funds, that is toward the fulfillment of the University’s mission and defined  strategic priorities.

    b. All expenses incurred (excluding formal compensation arrangements) must benefit the  University as opposed to the individual (or small group of) employee(s).

    c. All donor restricted funds/gifts must be used exclusively for their restricted purpose.

    d. All grant funds must be used only in accordance with the written grant documents.

Drake University has five types of forms used for reimbursement/payment:
    1.  Direct Payment Form
    2. Invoice FOAPAL Form
    3. Travel Expense¬† Form
    4. Travel Advance Form
    5. Wire Transfer Form

 The following guidelines are intended to expedite the payment process and aid you in preparation of these forms. 

All expenses must be allowable, appropriate and documented as defined below:

      Allowable –expenses are made within the ethical and legal limits as defined by industry, state  and federal regulations and grant/contract -imposed terms and conditions.  The University will not assume any responsibility for commitments made outside those  ethical and legal boundaries.

      Appropriate –expenses are reasonable and a prudent use of student tuition dollars or  donor funds, An expense will be considered appropriate and reasonable if it is necessary  for the operation of the University or for the performance of a grant/contract agreement.

      Documented – expenses must be adequately documented. Adequate documentation  includes an itemized receipt or invoice and information identifying what was purchased,  where it was Purchased, who purchased it, and the business purpose for the transaction.

    * If the expense is a meal or entertainment expense, documentation must also  include the names of individuals attending, their titles and company name, their  affiliation with the University, and the specific business topic discussed at the event.  See Business Meal Policy below.

    * If the original receipt is not provided with request for payment, then a written  explanation as to why a duplicate/copy is being used must be provided.

    * If receipts do not have vendor’s name or item description, the requestor must  write  the vendor’s name and description on the receipt.

    * Itemized receipts are required in all cases.

    * Credit card receipts that do not include itemized description are not to be  submitted – a detailed list of the expenses is required.

    * Reimbursement will not be issued for receipts more than 90 days old. IRS regulations stipulate that expenses must be accounted for within a reasonable  period of time.

    * Proper supporting documentation may include but is not limited to:  invoices, receipts, contract letters, and/or copy of University announcements or pamphlets.

Budget officers and the Accounting office have the authority to deny or limit any expense reimbursement if it does not meet the above Allowable, Appropriate and Documented requirements. 

All expenses must first be routed to your budget officer who will ensure proper  documentation and approval before forwarding to the Accounting office.
    

Table of Contents

1. Direct PaymentDirect Payment Form
2. Invoice FOAPAL Form
3. Travel Expense Form
4. Travel Advance Form
5. Wire Transfer Form
6. Travel Policy
7. Transportation Policy
8. Lodging
9. Meals
10. Departmental/Individual Miscellaneous
11. Authorized Travel by Non-University Employees
12. Local Mileage Reimbursement
13. Business Meals and Entertainment
14. Fundraising and Recruiting Business
15. Meeting/Event Where Food/Snacks Allowed
16. Independent Contractors and Consultants
17. Travel Advance Policy
18. Research Participant Policy
19. Gift or Gift Card Policy
20. Office Expenses
21. Employee Recognition

Direct Payment Form

Back to Table of Contents
The Direct Payment Form should be used for:

1. Reimbursement of an individual’s University related expenses. Reimbursements will not be processed for receipts more than 90 days old. These expenses should not be travel related - for travel use the Travel Expense Voucher form. Sales Tax will not be reimbursed for expenses that could have been purchased from a preferred vendor (i.e. purchased supplies from Staples that could have been purchased from Office Max), invoiced directly to Drake or purchased using a Drake P-card where no tax should be charged (cardholder must point out tax exempt number on front of card to vender).

2. Payment of services for individuals not employed by the University.  If payments are being made to an individual for the first time, the department must also follow procedures for Independent Contractors and Consultants.  If payment is made to a non-US citizen, the department must also provide IRS form W-8BEN.

    * No direct payment request will be processed without supporting documentation and approval from the budget officer. See Documentation requirements
    * Business purpose must be provided in the Itemization, Detail and Purpose section.
    * If receipt is smaller than 3”x5”, it must be taped or glued to a separate 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.  Do not staple.
    * Should be completed within 30 days of expense incurrence.
    * Allow 5 to 7 business days upon receipt of a properly completed form for payment to be processed.

Please see the following policy for more information.
          Office Expenses

Invoice FOAPAL Form

Back to Table of Contents

The Invoice FOAPAL form should be used for:

1. Invoices that are scanned by the Accounting office and e-mailed to a department representative for approval. Invoices should come directly to the Accounting office from the vendor. The Accounting office scans the invoice into Web Xtender and sends an e-mail to the appropriate budget officer in the department who is responsible for approving expenses and e-mailing the completed invoice FOAPAL form back to the Accounting office at accounting@drake.edu .

2. Invoices that are sent directly to the Department. Invoices are to be sent to the Accounting office by the vendor.  Individuals who initiate a purchase need to inform the vendor to send the invoice directly to Drake University, Accounting Office 328 Old Main. However if an invoice accidentally goes directly to the department the appropriate budget officer in the department should fill out the Invoice FOAPAL form and send it to the Accounting office with the invoice.  Timeliness is important to ensure on time payment.

* Vendor quotes do not constitute proper documentation; therefore payments will not be initiated from quotes.
* No invoices will be paid without proper approval from the budget officer.
* Business purpose must be provided in Business Purpose section of the Invoice FOAPAL Form.
* Complete Product Description section in layman’s terms.
* No sales tax will be paid by the University because Drake is tax exempt.  Any Employee initiating a purchase should communicate this fact to the vendor prior to the purchase.
* Invoices will be paid according to terms on the vendor invoice.  Unless otherwise stated invoice will be paid Net 30.
Please see the following policy for more information.

Travel Expense Reimbursement Form

      Back to Table of Contents

The Travel Expense Reimbursement Form should be used for business related expenses incurred by authorized employees traveling on University business.
* Turn completed form into Accounting Department within 30 days of completion of trip.
* No Travel Expense Reimbursement Form will be processed without supporting documentation and approval. See Documentation requirements.
* Allow 5 to 7 business days upon receipt of properly completed form for payment to be processed.

Please see the following policies for more information.

 

Travel Advance Form

Back to Table of Contents

Travel advances are only permitted for University employees in limited situations. 

The Travel Advance Form should be used for:
1. Group travel (i.e. athletic team travel)
2. International travel for University related business
3. Travel for the occasional one-time traveler (person whose job position is not required to travel on a regular basis) on University related business.

* No Travel Advance Form will be processed without approval from the Budget officer. 
* Allow 5 to 7 business days upon receipt of properly completed form for payment to be processed.

     Please see Travel Advance policy for more information.

Wire Transfer Form

Back to Table of Contents

The Wire Transfer Form should be used in rare instances for:
    1. Payments when no other means of payment can be accepted.

* Written approval from the Accounting Manager or Assistant Controller is required before committing the University to a wire transfer payment.
* Wire transfer fees incurred by the University will be expensed to the requesting department.
* All required wire instruction must be present on the form.
* No wire transfer request will be processed without supporting documentation and approval. See Documentation requirements.
* Allow 5 to 7 business days upon receipt of properly completed form for payment to be processed.

Travel Policy

Back to Table of Contents

The University will reimburse all appropriate business-related expenses, which are incurred by authorized travelers.  The University wishes its employees to travel in reasonable comfort, but expects employees to exercise prudent business judgment.  Employees traveling on University business have the duty to exercise care and avoid impropriety, or even the appearance of impropriety, in any travel expense.

Reimbursement is allowed for ordinary and necessary traveling expenses incurred by an employee while more than 50 miles from Drake in the conduct of University business.   Individuals are not considered “traveling” unless their duties require them to be away from the University for a period substantially longer than an ordinary workday and it is reasonable for them to need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of the work.

The Travel Expense Reimbursement Form should be completed for all University-related travel expenses.  The form will calculate your total expenses as you complete each field.

Multiple Travel Expense Reimbursement Forms may be submitted for a single trip if necessary (for example, to cover early booking of airfare).  Be sure you submit original itemized receipts for all reimbursements. See Documentation requirements.

The Travel Expense Reimbursement Form should be completed within 30 days of the completion of a trip.  Reimbursements will not be issued for receipts more than 90 days old.

Transportation

   Back to Table of Contents

Air Travel –
You may make your own arrangements 1) via an Internet site, 2) calling the airline directly, or 3)   using one of the University’s designated travel agencies.  See University Preferred Vendors list.

Tickets should generally be purchased at least 21 day in advance of the date of travel.  Reservations must be made for economy class on the lowest cost carrier meeting appropriate time considerations. 

Upgrades that exceed the lowest logical airfare are a personal expense of the employee.  Air travel within the state of Iowa or to Kansas City, Minneapolis, Omaha is not reimbursable without substantiation that it is more cost efficient than ground transportation.

Employees are prohibited from piloting or flying private aircraft while on University business.

When making your travel arrangements via an Internet site, submit the confirmation e-mail/memo from the web travel service with your Travel Expense Reimbursement form.  Copies of charge card statements are not considered acceptable for reimbursement purposes.

Responsibility for retrieving and compensating for lost baggage lies with the airlines. The University will not reimburse employees for personal items lost while traveling on business.

Checked baggage charges will be covered by Drake.

Personal side trips (not included in overall conference/workshop/event expense) or vacations taken in conjunction with business trips are not reimbursable.

Personal extensions to Drake travel are not reimbursable.  If an employee is extending his/her trip, verification will be required for the expense of roundtrip airfare without the extended dates.  If the extended trip airfare expense is greater than this, reimbursement will be limited to amount of airfare if trip is not extended.  The expense verification needs to be dated the same time the airfare with extended dates was purchased.

Frequent flyer or promotional discount coupons issued by airlines that are not received in cash may be used by the Employee.  Employees must not bias the selection of the airline to benefit themselves resulting in increased expense to the University.

Employee is responsible for any additional incremental (i.e. hotel vs. air expense) expense of coming home early unless there is a specific business purpose and cost justification.

If an employee chooses to travel in his or her private vehicle rather than by air, the reimbursable expenses will be limited to the lesser of the mileage allowance for the automobile or the expense of an economy class ticket on the lowest cost carrier. 

Employee must provide documentation regarding expense of airfare (i.e. Screen print from Expedia, Travelocity, etc for range of airfare expense) to substantiate lowest expense airfare.

If an employee chooses to travel by air rather than drive (i.e. drive to Kansas City, Minneapolis, etc) the reimbursable expenses will be limited to the lesser of the mileage allowance if driving or the expense of an economy class ticket on the lowest expense carrier.  Employee must provide documentation regarding expense of airfare (i.e. Screen print from Expedia, Travelocity, etc. for range of airfare expense) to substantiate lowest cost airfare.

The University will reimburse employees who take a taxi to or from the Des Moines airport up to a maximum of $20 (including tips) each way.  Receipt is required.

If you choose to drive and leave your vehicle at the airport, Economy or Long Term parking expenses will be reimbursed with receipts.

 Personal Automobile -
Mileage will be reimbursed for use of personal automobile by employees for actual miles driven from Drake during employee business travel.  The mileage rate used is the current IRS reimbursement rate.  Check the Accounting office web site to obtain the current rate.

Please provide a printout from MapQuest to your Budget Officer with the Travel Expense Reimbursement form to substantiate miles driven.

Gas receipts will not be reimbursed. Gas, oil, insurance premiums, repairs, or other expenses are factored into the mileage rate and will not be reimbursed.  

Fines for automobile violations or personal misconduct will not be reimbursed.

Repairs to personal automobile will not be reimbursed even if these expenses result from business travel.

Employees should travel together in one vehicle when possible.

Rented Automobile –
Automobile Rental for Individual while at Conference

Automobile rentals should be limited to situations where other means of transportation are not practical, economical, or available, and to emergency situations.  Expense justification is required.

Actual gas receipts should be submitted for reimbursement when a rented automobile is used for University Business.

The most economical car should be used.

See also: Vehicle: Lease or Rent a Vehicle for Trip and Transportation policies

Automobile Rental to take Group Trip
See Vehicle: Lease or Rent a Vehicle for Trip and Transportation policies

Ground Transportation
The most economical mode of transportation should be used to and from airports, bus and rail   terminals.  The following modes of transportation should be considered: 
    *Hotel and Airport shuttle services
    *Buses and subways
    *Taxis
Employees traveling to the same location should share ground transportation whenever possible.

Surface Transportation Expense -
Reasonable surface transportation expenses (such as parking and toll bridges) incurred in connection with approved travel may be reimbursed.  Receipts are required.

Lodging

Back to Table of Contents

Overnight lodging will be reimbursed for one day prior to the conference/event.

Overnight lodging on the night the conference/event ends may be provided if unable to make same day return flights.  Documentation must be provided.

Lodging reimbursement for one day events is only allowed when traveling on University business 3 hours away from Drake.

Lodging reimbursement is limited to the actual reasonable expense for a modest standard single room.

If the traveler occupies the room with a personal guest, the University will reimburse only the single rate.  Documentation of the single rate from the hotel must be provided.

Lodging reimbursement is only for room charges and taxes.

Only lodging expenses can be charged on University P-cards.  Entertainment, meals, mini bar expenses, etc. cannot be charged to the room.  They must be paid for with personal funds.

Suites are considered extravagant and should not be used unless the price is equivalent to other room rates at that hotel.

Many hotels have frequent guest programs that reward travelers with free accommodations in exchange for a given number of paid room nights at the hotel. Travelers may retain awards from such programs for personal us; however participation in these programs must not influence hotel selection that would result in added expense to the University.

Lodging will not be reimbursed for staying in personal residences while on business travel.

Meals

Back to Table of Contents

Per Diem for Normal Business Travel Meals and Incidentals

A per diem is provided to employees traveling on University business to cover meals and incidental expenses (including tips) upon completion of the travel.  The University has adopted a High/Low per diem rate approach which qualifies as an IRS accountable plan and therefore, allows the per diem reimbursement to be non-taxable to the employee traveler.  The rates will be reviewed and set by the President's Cabinet annually.  Twelve metro-areas listed below are eligible for the High rate.  Except for those 12 High rate locations, the Low rate per diem will apply.

Effective January 1, 2011:

Per Diem High/Low Meal Breakdown

  Low
$40
High
$50
Breakfast $7 $9
Lunch $11 $13
Dinner $19 $24
Incidentals $3 $4

High Rate Locations
1.  Arizona - Phoenix/Scottsdale
2.  California - San Diego, San Francisco, and LA
3.  Washington, DC
4.  Minnesota - Minneapolis/St. Paul
5.  Florida - Naples and Miami
6.  Illinois - Chicago
7.  Massachusetts - Boston/Cambridge
8.  New York - NYC Metro Area
9.  Pennsylvania - Philadelphia
10.  Virginia - Alexandria, Fairfax and Arlington
11.  Missouri - Saint Louis
12.  Texas - Dallas

The per diem rate includes incidentals such as:
    *Laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing of clothing
    *Fees and tips for persons who provide services, such as fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, etc.

The full per diem rate may be claimed for each travel day that requires an overnight stay. Per diem is a maximum daily allowance.  Partial day (by meal) per diem rates should be used on travel days or in instances when some meals are provided by the event/conference. 

This custom Per Diem plan is Drake's only method of reimbursing employee travelers for meals and incidentals.  Therefore, receipts should not be submitted to the Accounting office.

Meals may not to be charged to the University P-card.  They must be paid for with personal funds because these expenses are covered by the per diem reimbursement plan.  Groceries will not be reimbursed for meals/lodging in personal residences.

Back to Table of Contents

Foreign Travel

Foreign travel is defined as any travel outside the United states and the U.S. possessions and territories (American Samoa, Guam, Midway, the Northern Mariana Islands, Purerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island).

Except as specifically notes, the following guidelines apply to all foreign travel, regardless of the funding source.

Transportation - See Transportation Policy

Lodging - See Lodging Policy

Foreign Per Diem for Normal Business Travel Meals and Incidentals

A per diem is provided to employees traveling abroad on University business to cover meals and incidental expenses (including tips) upon completion of the travel.   This rate will be reviewed and set by the President's Cabinet annually.  The foreign travel per diem rate is $50 per day effective January 1, 2011. 

Foreign Per Diem High/Low Meal Breakdown

  High
$50
Breakfast $9
Lunch $13
Dinner $24
Incidentals $4

The per diem rate includes incidentals such as:
    *Laundry, dry cleaning, and pressing of clothing
    *Fees and tips for persons who provide services, such as fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships and hotel servants in foreign countries, etc.
   *Personal items such as toothpaste, soap, camera, clothing, suitcase, etc.

The full per diem rate may be claimed for each travel day that requires an overnight stay. Per diem is a maximum daily allowance.  Partial day (by meal) per diem rates should be used on travel days or in instances when some meals are provided by the event/conference. 

These expenses may not be claimed separately.

The full per diem rate may be claimed for each travel day that requires an overnight stay.  Per diem is a maximum daily allowance.  Partial day (by meal) per diem rates should be used on travel days and in instances when some meals are provided by the event or conference.

This custom Per Diem plan is Drake's only method of reimbursing employee travelers for meals and incidentals.  Therefore, receipts should not be submitted to the Accounting office.

Meals may not to be charged to the University P-card.  They must be paid for with personal funds because these expenses are covered by the per diem reimbursement plan. 

Other Charges

Visa and required immunizations are reimbursable with receipts.  Departure tax (required to leave some countries) may be reimbursed without a receipt.

Foreign Currencies

When requesting reimbursement for charges other than meals, all expenses must be converted from the foreign currencies to U.S. dollars.  Please show the calculations on the individual receipts to speed the reimbursement process.  Travelers should use the appropriate exchange rate listed below which reflects the method(s) used on the trip. 

  • Credit Card Rate: If the traveler charged expenses on a credit card, the credit card issuer will convert the amounts on the monthly statement.  This is the most accurate rate, as it matches what the traveler actually was charged.  Additional fees charged by the credit card issuer for foreign currency transactions also may be reimbursed, if itemized and explained.
  • On-site Exchange Rate:  If the traveler converted dollars to a foreign currency while overseas, the traveler should have a written receipt that showed the actual exchange rate received.  This single rate may be used for the entire trip, even though actual exchange rates vary daily, assuming the rate was approximately the average for the trip.
  • On-line Rate: The traveler can also use an on-line currency converter at:  http://www.oanda.com/converter/classic

 

Departmental/Individual Miscellaneous

Back to Table of Contents

Departmental/Individual Miscellaneous (excludes high level university events) -
Expenses Allowed
* Registration fees and materials
* Business Postage
* Business telephone calls (itemized)
* Internet connections while traveling
* Photocopying expense while traveling
* Safe Charges for protecting Drake owned equipment that travels with the employee
* Currency conversion fees
* Baggage Expense

Expenses Not Allowed – include but are not limited to the following:
*      Spouse or personal guest travel expenses
*      Laundry (included in per diem)
*      Tips (included in per diem)
*      Snacks or groceries (included in per diem)
*      Baggage Insurance
*      Personal Insurance
*      Personal telephone calls
*      Entertainment such as magazines, movies or concert/theater tickets
*      Valet Parking
*      Safe for personal belongings
*      Haircuts, Health and beauty spas
*      Expenses that are for items or services associated with normal personal needs
*      Physical fitness equipment or gym fees
*      Tennis court/ racquet ball / golf green fees
*      Travel expenses of family members
*      Gifts
*      Credit card finance charges or delinquency fees
*      Traffic fines, court expenses, parking violations, or auto repair
*      Trip/flight insurance
*      Personal expenses
*      Childcare or pet care expenses
*      Mini Bar expenses
*      Alcoholic Beverages
*      Flowers
*      Theft, loss of funds, damage or loss of personal luggage and effects
*      Locksmith expenses
*      Payments to political organizations or candidates (prohibited by law)
*      Donations
*      Optional entertainment/sightseeing activities related to conference events which are not included in the conference registration fee.

Authorized Travel by Non-University Employees

Back to Table of Contents

When travel is approved by the college Dean or Vice President for an individual who is not an employee (i.e., consultant, guest faculty) of the University, reimbursement will be provided in accordance with the University's general Travel Policies.  The department authorizing travel should make all transportation and lodging arrangements.  

Students travel will generally not be reimbursed by the University. Students should make his or her own travel arrangements and be reimbursed if only a portion of the travel is to be paid by Drake.

Local Mileage Reimbursement

Back to Table of Contents

Mileage will be reimbursed for use of personal automobile by employees for actual miles driven from Drake for local business travel (i.e., travel for supervision of rotation students and student teachers) within the 50 miles surrounding Des Moines.  The mileage rate uses is the current IRS reimbursement rate.  check the Accounting office website to obtain the current rate.

Detailed mileage log is necessary to substantiate miles driven.

A flat fee of $10 will be used for required trips to the airport to pick-up and drop off candidates for recruitment or consultants.

Gas Receipts will not be reimbursed.  Gas, oil, insurance premiums, repairs or other expenses are factored into the mileage rate and will not be reimbursed.

Fines for automobile violations or personal misconduct will not be reimbursed.

Repairs to personal automobile will not be reimbursed even if these expenses result from business travel.

Employees should travel together in one vehicle when possible.

If Drake owned vehicle is used, gas receipts will be reimbursed.  Mileage will not be reimbursed.

Business Meals and Entertainment Policy

Back to Table of Contents

Business meeting meal and entertainment expenses are considered allowable primarily for   infrequently occurring functions with an explicit business purpose where a 3rd party (non-Drake employee) is involved.  The main purpose of a business meal or entertainment event must be the active conduct of business with the general expectation of getting some specific business benefit at some future date. A maximum of three people in addition to the non Drake person is allowed.

Business lunches while traveling on business are not allowed (i.e. at a conference and you want to take someone to dinner to network).

Faculty and staff will not be reimbursed for treating an individual student(s) to a meal or snack.  Faculty/staff who wish to provide such for individual students should consider this a personal expense or may obtain a "free" meal ticket(s) for Hubbell Dining (intended to promote faculty-student interaction) from the President's Office.

Meals with outside parties can generally meet this requirement.  It is much harder to substantiate a meal between associates as there is generally no real business reason for conducting the discussion during the meal.  Thus meals provided at departmental meetings and meals with colleagues or other University employees will not be reimbursed and cannot be paid from a University budget account.

Entertainment and meal expenses are allowed for employment positions requiring fundraising or recruiting functions.  Employees with positions requiring fundraising or recruiting who are traveling for the purpose fundraising or recruiting will be reimbursed the actual expense for meals and entertainment.  Receipts must be provided with proper documentation.  [Employees with positions requiring fundraising or recruiting who are traveling to a conference or event where fundraising or recruiting is not occurring will receive the Per Diem rate for each day of travel. See Travel Policy]

Documentation required by the IRS for business meal and entertainment expense includes:
* Names of individuals attending, their titles, and company name
* Name and location where the meal/event took place
* Exact amount and date of the expense
* Affiliation with the University
* Specific business purpose and topic discussed. Give detailed information to justify the expense.  For example, simply indicating “lunch” is not enough information to justify business purpose.

Fundraising and Recruiting Business Meals

Back to Table of Contents

Reasonable entertainment and meal expenses are reimbursed to employees whose jobs include fundraising or employee recruiting functions.  Employees with positions requiring fundraising or recruiting who are traveling for the purpose fundraising or recruiting will be reimbursed the actual expense for meals and entertainment.  Itemized receipts must be provided with proper documentation.  See Documentation requirements.  See Business Meal and Entertainment Policy.

Employees with positions requiring fundraising or recruiting who are traveling to a conference or event where fundraising or recruiting is not the primary activity will receive the Per Diem rate for each day of travel. 

Employees will not be reimbursed for meals involving another Drake University employee.  This includes supervisors or colleagues.

Meeting/Events Where Food/Snacks Allowed

Back to Table of Contents

Faculty/Staff Meeting/Event

*All-day events are allowed to serve beverages and lunch  (required under contract to use Sodexho for any food on campus purchased with university funds. 
*Half-day events may provide beverages from Sodexho.

Student Events
*
First Year Seminar
*Events that are for all students to attend or an all college event

Note: Policy for student life questions will be developed and implemented by June 1, 2009.

Independent Contractors and Consultants

 Back to Table of Contents

To determine if the person being paid can be treated as an Independent Contractor/Consultant refer to Employee vs. Independent Contractor Policy.   In this document, go to Determining Correct Classification section for two questions to help determine employee or independent contractor.  If the answer to these two questions is yes, then the individual in question is considered to be an employee, and the person certifying the status need not proceed with the common law test.  If individual in question is not deemed an employee after these two questions, complete the Common-Law 20 Question Test for each individual.

Independent Contractor/Consultants are to be paid a flat fee for their services. In limited circumstances, however, Drake University may reimburse independent contractors for meals, lodging and travel.     To determine if expenses may be reimbursed please complete the Independent Contractor Travel Expense Reimbursement Checklist.

Before Work Commences
*Complete the Independent Contractor Agreement before any work begins. Article I describes the specific work to be performed and the fee for the services.

Initiating Payment
*
Complete a Direct Payment form and attach the signed Independent Contractor Agreement.

Travel Advance Policy

 Back to Table of Contents

Travel advances are permitted for University employees only in limited situations.  These include, group travel, international travel for University related business or travel for the occasional one-time traveler. (Person whose job position is not required to travel on a regular basis.) In all other situations, the individual must either charge the expense on a personal credit card and request reimbursement or charge the expenses to a University purchasing card.  The request for a travel advance should be submitted on a Travel Advance Form indicating dates of travel and justification for amount requested.  Copies of conference registrations or similar documents will serve as documentation to support this request.  Travel advances may not be requested more than seven calendar days prior to the date of travel.

The IRS requires the University to withhold FICA and income taxes of recipients of travel advances on the entire amount of the advance if the Travel Expense Form and any excess funds are not returned.    Signing the Travel Advance Form authorizes that a payroll deduction of the advance amount will occur from the employees next paycheck - if the advance is not properly accounted for within 30 days upon completion of travel.  A second advance will not be provided until the first advance has been properly accounted for with the Accounting Office.

A travel advance should be documented on the Travel Expense Form within 10 business days upon return. When the Travel Expense Form is completed, the employee will reduce their total allowable travel expenses by the amount of the travel advance.  In a case where the travel advance exceeds expenses, the remaining cash must be turned in to the Accounting Department with the expense report.  Amounts owed the University cannot be carried forward to future expense reports.  Any advance outstanding after 30 days will be deducted from the employee’s next paycheck based on the Travel Advance Agreement.

Research Participant Policy

Back to Table of Contents

Drake University balances its responsibility to maintain confidentiality of information about human research subjects with record keeping requirements of the university, grantor agencies, and the Internal Revenue Service.  In situations where confidentiality is not related to human subjects but is in the best interests of the study to maintain confidentiality, the same process outlined below will apply.

Payments to individuals participating in research studies will be recorded as compensation.  Payment types may include:  checks, gift certificates/cards, and other items of value.  Drake University has adopted the following procedures to ensure research participant payments are reported in accordance with federal income reporting requirements, while maintaining an appropriate level of confidentiality.  Immaterial expenses for marketing or promotional items with a value of $10 or less, (such as pencils, magnets, etc.) given to human subjects regardless of whether or not they participate in a study are considered “incentives” and are not considered compensation for services.  This process only applies to compensation for services.

All research participants receiving compensation are required to complete a Research Participant form. There are two Research Participant Forms:  One form to be used if payment is less than or equal to $25 and the other form to be used if payment is more than $25.  The Research Participant Form is required as documentation for receipt of payment, regardless of the payment type or the amount of payment.

The form for payments more than $25 is used to collect information in order to comply with IRS reporting requirements.  The Participant is required to provide his or her Social Security number and address.   If a research participant’s total compensation from Drake equals or exceeds $600, Drake is required to issue an IRS Form 1099, Miscellaneous Income.  Research participants should be informed that information collected allows the University to meet government reporting obligations and precautions are in place to keep their information secure.  Participants may be given the opportunity to participate without receiving payment if they do not wish to provide identifying information.

Research Participant forms are considered confidential and are handled accordingly by employees in the Accounting Office.   Access to the Research Participant forms is restricted to ensure confidentiality.  The Research participant forms need to be approved by the Institutional Research Board (IRB) before being submitted to accounting as payment documentation.

Direct Payments By Check
Direct payments to research participants by check will be made using the Direct Payment form.  The Research Participant Form must me attached as documentation.

Payment by Gift Certificate/Gift Card or Items of Value 
Complete the Research Participant Form for each gift certificate/gift card or item of value given.

If gift cards were purchased using university P-card a copy of the form should accompany the original vendor receipt and be kept with the Cardholder Statement.  The original Research Participant form should be sent to the Accounting Office for IRS reporting purposes.

If a Drake check needs to be issued for payment, attach the Research participant form to the Direct Payment form and submit to the Accounting Office.

Gift or Gift Card Policy

Back to Table of Contents

Gifts, up to $25 will only be allowed for certain external individuals volunteering time for the university, for example, a guest speaker who is not paid for speaking may receive a small gift of $25 or less.

Immaterial expenses for marketing or promotional items with a value of $10 or less, such as pencils, magnets, etc.) given to individuals volunteering time are considered "incentives" and are not consider compensation for services.  This gift card process only applies to compensation for services so the marketing and promotional items would not require completion of the Gift Card Form.

Gifts given for international travel area allowed up to $25.

The accounting office will maintain an inventory of gift cards up to $25.  When you need a gift card you will need to complete the Gift Card Request Form and bring it to accounting.  No reimbursement will be made for gift card purchases.  Gift cards may not be purchased using a purchasing card.

The Gift Card Request Form must be completed for every gift card awarded.

Office Expenses

Back to Table of Contents

General office supplies need to be purchased only through the preferred vendor.  See University Preferred Vendors list. Reimbursement will not be made for office supplies, etc. which could/should have been purchased directly through Drake.

Drake does not reimburse for extraneous personal office expenses such as lamps, clocks, planners, Kleenex, aspirin, candy/treats, flowers, coffee, water, etc.  These items are not to be ordered through the office supplies preferred vendor or invoiced directly to Drake.

Employee Recognition

Back to Table of Contents

Beginning October 1, 2010, each non grant-funded unit on campus will receive a budget which can be used for employee appreciation or recognition events, staff team building activities, etc.  The budget will be put into account code 70092 (Employee Appreciation).  No budget transfers either into or out of this account will be allowed.  These funds can be used to support departmental, individual or team recognition such as, department meals, treats, gifts, etc. for employees.  Once the budget is depleted for the year no more purchases of this nature will be allowed.

All purchases must comply with Accounting policies.  For example, gifts up to $25 will be allowed so long as the gifts's purpose is to recognize professional accomplishment.  Accounting maintains an inventory of gift cards that may be used for this purpose as well.  The Gift Card Request Form must be completed for every gift card awarded.

Orders of food or refreshments for on-campus recognition events are allowed regardless of the length of the recognition event so long as the following conditions are met:

  • The purpose of the event is to recognize the professional or work-related accomplishments of an individual or group.  (For example, a birthday party would not be considered an appropriate use of employee recognition funds.)
  • Treats or meals consumed on campus are purchased through Sodexo Food Service.  (Meals consumed off-campus, such as at a restaurant, coffee or ice cream shop, are acceptable so long as such purchases are compliant with other accounting policies governing meals.)
  • When orders are placed with Sodexo, the reason for the recognition and the person or persons being recognized must be provided.  Additional documentation may be requested.
  • The amount of the order cannot exceed funds available from the recognition account.

Send Guideline Comments to: Web Administrator
Responsibility for Administration: Accounting Department
Department Policy Resides in: Business and Finance

Last Modified: 05/07/2009 09:29:00 by content editor

×