Many travel reimbursements are rejected due to the lack of necessary proof of payment. This is frustrating for the person waiting for a reimbursement and a time consumer for both the departmental travel administrator and the approvers of the reimbursement. To make sure that the correct receipts and information are submitted to the departmental travel administrator, use the following guidelines.
The university requires the following documentation to substantiate business expenses:
- Air/rail and air or rail ticket: Itinerary or electronic tickets showing the invoice has been paid or charged to a credit card, copy of the air or rail ticket, or copy of the credit card statement.
- Books: From online providers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes and Noble), the printout that shows name, billing address, date that order was placed, and itemized list of book titles. In most cases, the reimbursee will need to access their online account and print the order details page. Note: Shipping confirmations, packing slips, and the order page are not acceptable, as they do not show all the required information.
- Business meals/university functions: Credit card receipt or cash register receipt for any meal. Also include the names of all diners and the purpose of the meal.
- Car (personal): Receipts for tolls, fuel, parking, and daily mileage log.
- Car (rental): Car rental agreement receipt showing that bill has been paid.
- Hotels: Itemized hotel bill, showing that the bill is paid in full.
- Online transactions and request for reimbursement for online transactions must clearly show proof of payments.
- Receipts are required for all expenditures, regardless of amount.
- Missing receipts are only reimbursable with a Missing Receipt Affidavit Form (MRA). The MRA requires the payee’s signature (if available) and authorized signer or two authorized signatures with a complete explanation of the expense if a copy of the receipt is unobtainable. The MRA is not to be used in lieu of waiting for the appropriate receipt or not wanting to submit the original receipt.
- Copies of cancelled checks may be used to support reimbursement of expenses paid from a personal checking account.
Since Johns Hopkins University is a tax-exempt institution, taxes that are charged on the purchase of books, supplies, computer equipment, etc, will not be included in the reimbursement. Taxes on lodging, airline travel, and meals in restaurants will be reimbursed.
Description of Effort Required for Travel Reimbursement
The departmental travel administrator processes all reimbursements for travel through the TRIP function in SAP.
The TRIP function requires that specific information from each receipt be entered manually. This time-consuming process requires that the department administrator enters the type of expense, the amount of the receipt, the date of the receipt, the city/region and state/country of the travel, the name of the airline, the name of the hotel and city and state in which it is located, the name of the car rental company. etc. If there are 14 receipts for a travel reimbursement, the department travel administrator must enter all this information for each of the 14 receipts.
The receipts are affixed to as many 8.5” x 11” pages as are required, then scanned and saved on the administrator’s computer. This scanned document must be electronically attached to the reimbursement request, or the trip will be rejected.
Best Practices for Submitting Travel Receipts
To assist in quick reimbursement for travel expenses, it is always best to ask your departmental travel administrator what the department’s practices are for submitting receipts for reimbursement.
At a minimum, faculty, staff, and students who are requesting reimbursement should submit their receipts as follows:
- Include the dates (beginning to end) of the trip, the purpose of the trip, the location of the trip (city and state), and the name of the conference and organization (if relevant).
- Use the MRA for any expenses for which you do not have a receipt.
- Do not request reimbursement for any personal or non-reimbursable expenses.
- Organize all receipts in chronological order.
- Make any notes next to the receipts to fulfill the information requirement.
- Make sure the printing on the receipts is clear, and not faded, before you turn in your receipts. All receipts will be scanned, so it is important that they be legible.
- If the receipts are from an international trip, make sure to translate where necessary.