Employee Handbook

Page 10: Travel and Expenses

On this page you will find the following policies:

  • 910. Travel and Entertainment
  • 911. Purchasing Card
  • 912. Gifts, Awards, Prizes, & Receptions
  • 930. Purchasing

 

 

 

On this page you will find the following policies:

 

 

 

Main Content

Travel and Expenses

Policy No. 910

Responsible Department: Finance & Operations
Responsible Administrator: Travel Office Manager
Effective Date: October 1995
Reviewed/Updated Date: April 2022 
Date of Scheduled Review: October 2025

TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT

General Overview

The Abilene Christian University Travel and Entertainment Expense Policy provides guidelines and procedures for all faculty, staff, students, and guests who are traveling or entertaining on behalf of the University. Independent contractors and other non-ACU employees must also comply with the University’s travel policy. Reimbursement will be made for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred during normal business or while traveling on authorized business. Travel costs are to be allocated and expended within established budgetary limitations and travelers are not to make commitments to travel or to incur travel expenses without first obtaining the appropriate approvals. Every attempt should be made by the employee to submit all travel requests, travel bookings, and for expense reporting to be processed in the Concur Travel and Expense Management System. These policies and procedures are intended for university-wide use. However, if a department elects to institute a more restrictive policy for purposes of budgetary control, Financial Operations will support that policy and will work with the department to ensure compliance.
All travelers are to comply with the following travel expense reimbursement policies and procedural guidelines.

University policy does not define specific dollar guidelines for what constitutes reasonable meal expense, because the reasonableness of an expense depends upon many relevant factors including the business purpose of the event and its attendees.

“Reasonable” means the amount that normally would be spent in that specific situation. The amount will vary depending upon circumstances: lavish or extravagant meals will not be paid for with ACU funds. Expenses for such meals may be subject to additional approvals.

When spending University funds, consider these questions to ensure that resources are being used appropriately and that we are being good stewards of the funds entrusted to us:
Is the expenditure in line with the guidance provided in the ACU Travel Policy and as approved in travel request?

If not, is there a good explanation as to why the expenditure is appropriate? Has the expenditure been adequately documented?

JP Morgan Travel Card

Only University employees are authorized to receive a university travel card. The University has contracted with JP Morgan to provide employees with a University Travel Card. If a supervisor determines that a travel card is needed, applicants will fill out the online Travel Card Application at least two weeks prior to travel. The card will be distributed to the traveler when receivedby ACU’s Travel Department.

Once received, the travel cardholder is responsible for activating their travel card by calling the toll- free number provided on the card. Each travel card is issued to an individual employee. ACU Travel is displayed on the card. The standard monthly creditlimit is $500 and limit increases are requested on a per trip basis via Concur. Frequent travelers are not required to submit a request in Concur and a set credit limit is applied to their travel card which is determined by their department. All cardholders are responsible for the secure use of their travel card and for reporting any fraudulent or suspicious activity immediately to JPMorgan if the card is lost or stolen. To report suspicious activity or report a card as lost, the cardholder should call the phone number on the back of the University card to speak with a JP Morgan Chase representative. Each cardholder should ensure that sufficient budget funds exist before making purchases and only use FOAPA numbers as authorized.

The ACU Concur website will be used on a per trip basis to submit travel requests, book travel, and filetravel expense reports to reallocate monthly charges.

Before using your ACU Travel card, please review and follow the University’s travel card policy. Since the ACU Travel card is issued to an individual employee, if an employee changes departments within the University, they will need to contact the Travel Office to update their FOPA information and default manager within Concur.

To apply for a JP Morgan Travel Card, visit ACU’s Travel website: acu.edu/travel.

Online Travel and Expense System

Concur is the Travel and Expense Management system to be utilized by all ACU employees for requesting travel approval, booking travel, and reporting expenses related to ACU approved business travel. All employee reimbursements and travel card charges must be processed through Concur. Consideration should be given to minimizing travel costs by maximizing flexibility in travel plans to allow for alternate airlines, schedules, and times, which can lessen travel costs. The purpose of the system is to eliminate routing paper throughout the University for these Activities, to provide a database for trips and expense reports, and to provide an automated tracking process of unprocessed items.

All air, lodging and car rental reservations should be booked through Concur or the ACU approved travel management company.

International and complex travel reservations may be booked with the ACU approved travel management company agent. Complex is defined as having more than one destination or more than one airline involved.

If emergency or enroute changes to travel plans are necessary, the traveler should contact the ACU approved travel management company. Making reservations or changes to travel plans through the appropriate channels maximizes the safety and security of ACU’s travelers.

When a trip is cancelled after the reservation has been made, it is the employee’s responsibility to cancel the flight, hotel, and rental car through Concur or by contacting the ACU approved Travel Management Company.

Concur can be accessed through Quicklinks via the myACU homepage or by navigating to acu.edu/concur.

Expense Reimbursement Limitations and Receipt Requirements

Prohibited Expenses

The following items should not be purchased with an ACU travel card:

  • Fuel in a personal vehicle – If an individual is using their personal vehicle for ACU business, they need to track mileage and turn in a Concur expense report for mileage reimbursement.
  • Gift cards, gift certificates, or store credits
  • Gifts purchased over 30 days in advance without an intended business purpose
  • Certain gifts, awards, prizes, and reception costs – please see ACU’s Gifts, Awards, Prizes, & Receptions Policy when making such purchases
  • Cash advances
  • Cash as a credit for returned items
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products
  • Personal purchases including individual memberships. For example: Amazon, Spotify, and Sam’s Club memberships are prohibited.
  • Personal utility bills
  • Spousal or family expenses unless previous approval from the tax director has been obtained through a Spousal Accompaniment Approval form.
  • Cell phones or cell phone monthly bill payments – see the Cell Phone Policy
  • Internal ACU purchases such as ACU Billing, ACU Press, ACU Theater tickets, ACU Athletic tickets, ACU dinner tickets, ACU Meal Plans, or CopyCat are prohibited. These purchases should be made using a departmental FOAP.
  • Telephone and computer purchases – these items should be purchased through the Information Technology department.

The following purchases are considered prohibited, and the funds charged to the university card will need to be reimbursed to ACU through the Cashier’s Office:

  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products
  • Cell phones or cell phone monthly bill payments – see the Cell Phone Policy
  • Personal purchases that are not business-related expenses

Itemized receipts for lodging, car rental, air transportation, meals, and other travel expenses must be provided with the expense report. Expense reports are to be submitted via Concur within 30 days of completion of travel or on a monthly basis (for frequent travelers) with all required documentation. The ACU employee is responsible for ensuring that all charges are being applied to the correct FOAPA.

Out of pocket expenses (including airfare and other pre-trip expenses) will not be reimbursed until theconclusion of the trip.

Responsibility of Approvers

Approvers perform a critical control function for the University. Collectively, approvers ensure that expense reports processed for payment are authorized, documented, appropriately funded, and compliant with policy and are associated with activities that have a valid and necessary business purpose. Designated approvers should assist individuals, as necessary, with understanding applicable policies and compliance requirements.

The Concur system routes approval based on the FOAPA approver. When the requestor and owner are the same person, the request is routed to the requestor’s default approver. If Concur does not have a FOAPA approver, it will default to requestor’s manager.

It is the FOPA approver’s responsibility to ensure funds are available for the requested travel and when approving expense reports approvers must validate that all transactions are coded correctly, and all necessary documentation is provided.

Air Travel

All reservations for university business travel should be made using Concur and it is the responsibility of ACU travelers to book the lowest and most reasonable airfare through ACU’s preferred carriers (when applicable) consistent with their itinerary, the business purpose of their trip and the requirements of the funding source. Airline tickets should be purchased using the employee’s ACU Travel Card.

Every attempt should be made to make reservations early, since the lowest fares are usually available with 21 and 14-day advance purchases and to ensure that the most convenient and cost- effective fares are obtained. Federally funded travel may be subject to additional restrictions which are included in the “Federally Grant Funded Travel” section below. Upgrades in coach class such as Economy Plus seatingare considered a personal expense unless approved in advance by the employee’s budget approver.

Group travel arrangements should be made through the ACU approved Travel Management Company.

Traveler participation in frequent flyer programs must not influence flight selection, which would resultin additional costs to the University from the lowest airfare. The University will not reimburse travelers for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles.

When a trip has been cancelled after a non-refundable ticket has been issued, the ticket can be applied to a trip in the future by that traveler on that airline, less a change or cancellation fee. Travelers must apply any unused ticket value toward a business trip in the future, to mitigate any financial loss to the funding source. In most cases the traveler has a year in which that ticket can be applied.

Lodging

University travelers should use Concur to book lodging accommodations to take advantage of negotiated rates and corporate discounts; exceptions will be made for conference bookings that are booked with registration. If the conference you are attending offers a discounted rate, please work with ACU’s approved Travel Management Company to ensure the hotel is booked at the discounted rate. This can be done in Concur using the Conference Rate Form.

When making reservations, single room accommodations and corporate rates should be requested (making sure the lowest rate available is obtained upon check-in). Employees and students should use ACU’s Sales Tax Exemption form and Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption form to request exemptions from applicable taxes when possible. When hotel accommodations are booked through Concur, our Travel Agency will attach a link to the traveler’s itinerary with the Hotel Tax Exempt Form needed for check-in. Incidentals such as magazines, newspapers, laundry, toiletries, in-room snacks, and beverages,housekeeping and in-room movies will be considered personal expenses and therefore are non-reimbursable.

Ground Transportation

Note: All activities in this section are subject to the University Driver Policy.

Travelers should use discretion when choosing ground transportation and ensure they use the most practical and economical option available.

Rental Cars
Travelers should rent cars from ACU’s preferred rental car companies and book through Concur to ensure that they obtain the University’s negotiated rates and insurance coverage. If you are renting a vehicle from a non-preferred vendor, you will be required to purchase insurance at the counter when picking up your vehicle (please consider these additional costs when determining the least expensive option at booking). Travelers are authorized to use rental cars based on the cost efficiency and availability of other means of transportation. For non-Enterprise/National rentals, insurance is not included in most rental rates and employees and or guests will need to add insurance to the rental at the time of booking. See the University Drivers Policy when determining which type of rental insurance coverage to accept. Please contact the Office of Institutional Compliance & Risk Management with insurance or driver policy questions at 325-674-6142 or risk@acu.edu.

The size of the rental car should be the least expensive model consistent with the number of travelersand the business purpose of the trip. Employees should rent a small or medium class vehicle unless a larger vehicle can be rented at no additional cost or if more than two (2) people share the same vehicle. Due to the exorbitant refueling rates charged by rental agencies, employees should refuel the rental vehicle prior to returning it to the agency. Fuel expenses may be submitted for reimbursement for a rental vehicle that was refueled.

Personal Vehicle
A rate that is equal to or below the Internal Revenue Service’s standard mileage rate will be used as reimbursement for the use of an individual’s personal vehicle while on ACU business. The rate includes all related expenses of operating the vehicle including fuel but does not include parking fees and toll charges which will be reimbursed separately. However, the total reimbursement for mileage, tolls, and parking is limited to the total cost of economy air fare plus estimated local transportation expenses for the same trip or the cost of a car rental and fuel for the trip’s duration. You can use the Rental vs Employee Reimbursement Calculator to determine the most cost-effective method for your trip transportation: https://legacy.enterprise.com/car_rental/mileageCalculator.do

All individuals who desire to use their personal vehicles for ACU business must maintain a current driver’s license and follow all policies and procedures outlined in the ACU Driver Policy.

Other Ground Transportation
Car Services (i.e., Uber, Lyft), Shuttles, taxicab, and bus fares utilized for transportation purposes while traveling are reimbursable expenses. If bus or rail travel is used, the traveler must select coach class.

Parking & Tolls
Reasonable parking charges and tolls associated with business travel will be reimbursed.

Meals

All meal expenditures are subject to university policies and this guidance regardless of funding source orintended recipient unless more restrictive guidance applies. An itemized receipt for meal expenses must be attached to the appropriate expense report. When morethan one person is included in the meal expense, the names of each person in attendance and their employment or business affiliation must also be included on the meal receipt or notated within the expense details.

Business Meals
All business meals away from ACU’s campus (including meals in Abilene) should be paid for using the employee’s Travel Card. The employees monthly credit limit of $500 should cover these types of expenses and a request will not be required unless additional funds are needed.

Business Meals while Traveling
While traveling on university business, expenses for meals are based on actual expenses incurred. Travelers, who are employees, should use their university issued travel card to pay for meals while traveling or travelers may claim a daily meal per diem not to exceed the GSA rate if claiming per diem is permitted by the department funding the travel expenses.

When traveling on ACU business, employees will use the request tool within Concur to request an amount equal to or less than the federal per diem rate to estimate the daily costs of meals during their trip and to provide the FOAPA approver the opportunity to see the estimated overall cost of meals. Funds will be added to the employee’s travel card credit limit using this amount.

GSA maximums do not apply to actual costs for meals unless specified in the terms and conditions of an award from a sponsoring organization/agency funding the travel. ACU will pay for 3 business related meals each day, if groceries or snacks are replacing a meal the Travel Card can be used, but additional meals and/or snacks in addition to Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner should be paid out of pocket by the employee with no reimbursement from ACU.

Federally funded travel may be subject to additional restrictions which are included in the “Federally Grant Funded Travel” section below.

Student Per Diem
Per Diem allowances for students cannot exceed the allowance set by the GSA for a particular city or foreign country or the budget allocated for the travel by the department or school. Please see “Travel Cash Advances” section below for additional details regarding these types of requests.

Standard Tipping Guideline
The University will reimburse employees for tipping waiters, taxi drivers and baggage handlers, but will not reimburse tips paid to a hotel housekeeper.

Standard tipping guideline is 15% of the total at a restaurant, $1-$2 for each bag handled by a baggage handler, and a 10% tip for a taxi driver.

Spousal Accompaniment

If an employee wishes to include his or her spouse or family on a business trip, the employee is responsible for any additional expenses, including the difference between meals, transportation, and all other incidentals. Spousal accompaniment on a business trip or entertainment event with a verified business purpose must be pre-approved through a Spousal Accompaniment Approval Form in advance by the tax director or the employee’s supervisor. The completed Spousal Accompaniment Approval form should be submitted with the corresponding expense report.

Travel Cash Advances

Employees and students may obtain travel advances for expected business expenses through Concur. These advances are loans and are the responsibility of the employee or student. Travel Advance Requests should be submitted at least seven (7) days prior to the specific date the advance is needed and should not exceed the amount of expected expenses. Cash advances should only be used if the student or employee will be unable to use their travel card for trip related purchases. Every attempt should be made to pay for all travel costs utilizing the employee’s ACU issued Travel Card.

Travelers are responsible for documenting the use of the advance and providing receipts to be submitted in Concur and included with the employee’s trip’s expense report. Any balance remaining from the advance must be returned by personal check or cash to the Cashier’s office, and the cashier’s receipt must be attached to the Expense Report within Concur. Any advance not settled by an expense report may be deducted from the employee’s paycheck.

Travel Cash Advances that are issued for Student Per Diem will require a signature from the recipient documenting they received the issued amount and the student per diem listing should be submitted as documentation with employee’s Concur expense report.

International Travel

In addition to meeting all travel policies outlined in the ACU Travel Policy, any student, faculty or staff member proposing to undertake University-supported or University-related international travel mustfollow the appropriate approval, insurance, and travel security requirements set forth in the International Travel Approval Policy.

A global perspective is essential to ACU’s academic mission, and the University has long supported international travel to conduct research, study cultures and languages, promote collaboration with peerinstitutions, represent the University, and for other academic, administrative, and sanctioned student activities. The purpose of this policy is to outline the approval process for University-supported or University-related international travel, and related requirements, thereby promoting such travel while mitigating associated risks.

Federally Grant Funded Travel

Travel costs charged to grants and contracts must follow the regulations of the sponsoring entity and the terms and conditions of the individual awards. Restrictions may include the need for prior approval from the sponsor, use of U.S. flag carriers, limits on the total amount that can be charged for travel and compulsory use of government per diem allowances for lodging and/or meals. The traveler should check with the specific agreement or contact the Director of Research well in advance of departure to determine if any additional restrictions are applicable. Travel policies of federal and non-federal sponsors vary.

In addition to meeting all other University policy requirements, the following conditions apply to travel charged to sponsored projects:

Receipt Retention
Grant related expenses without a receipt, regardless of the amount, will not be reimbursed on federally funded travel. The grant office cannot accept the university’s missing receipt form for grant related purchases.

Meal Expenses
While traveling on university business, expenses for meals are based on actual expenses incurred. Travelers, who are employees, should use their university issued travel card to pay for meals while traveling.

Business Purpose
The business purpose section of Concur should clearly identify the relationship of the travel to the purpose of the award. When a trip involves multiple purposes, the basis for allocating the charges to thesponsored project must be stated.

Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreements
Use of the U.S. flag carriers is required for all international travel charged to a federal award unless certain exceptions are met. This requirement shall not be influenced by factors of cost, convenience, orpersonal travel preference.

Advance Approval Required
Grants from some federal agencies and most federal contracts require that all international travel, even if included in the award, be approved from 45 to 90 days in advance by the sponsor’s administrative officer. Some non-federal entities require approval in advance of all travel whether domestic or international. Travelers should consult with Executive Director of Research for details on obtaining approval.

Penalties and Fees
Penalties or cancellation fees for airline, hotel, and car rentals are generally NOT allowable and employees should always receive pre-approval before charging such costs to an award.

Risk of Non-Compliance
Violation of this policy, including misuse of a university issued Travel Card, may result in the loss of University travel card privileges, taxation or loss of reimbursement, disciplinary action including termination or legal action.

Contact Information

ACU Travel Office
travel@acu.edu
325-674-2774

Director of Research
Megan Roth
mkr15a@acu.edu
325-674-2885

Policy No. 911

Responsible Department: Accounts Payable
Responsible Administrator: Accounts Payable Accountant
Effective Date: September 2003
Reviewed/Updated Date: September 2019
Date of Scheduled Review: June 2022

PURCHASING CARD POLICY

PURPOSE
The purpose of the Purchasing Card Program is to improve the purchasing process by streamlining purchases, expanding user flexibility, and increasing efficiency.

SCOPE
All ACU employees using the university purchasing card for operational and business purchases.

POLICY
Cardholder Responsibilities

  1. Ensure the proper and secure use of the p-card and respect the card as if it were their own.
  2. The cardholder may initiate transactions on behalf of others in his/her department; however, the cardholder is responsible for all use of his/her card.
  3. Ensure that sufficient budget funds exist for making purchases and only use FOAP numbers the cardholder is authorized for.
  4. Review and follow the p-card website including all other university policies.
  5. On a monthly basis, in SDOL (JP Morgan’s Smart Data On-Line website), reallocate monthly charges, and provide valid business purposes.
  6. Provide monthly expense reports to Accounts Payable.
  7. Reports should be electronically sent to accountspayable@acu.edu.

Supervisor Responsibilities

  1. Ensure each transaction is a legitimate ACU business expense. If the expense is related to a federal, state, or private grant project, the supervisor must ensure that the expense is allowable under the grant. The supervisor signature on the expense report shows approval of all transactions that have been made by the cardholder and that the expense is allowable for the grant project (if applicable).
  2. Ensure the cardholder(s) follows p-card policies as well as all other university policies.
  3. Ensure fraud does not occur by a cardholder, including a cardholder being reimbursed through other means for items purchased on the p-card.
  4. In SDOL (JP Morgan’s Smart Data On-Line website), ensure the cardholder(s) allocates their pcard transactions to appropriate FOAPs as well as provides business purposes.
  5. Ensure the cardholder(s) provides completed expense reports on a timely basis to Accounts Payable.
  6. Reports should be electronically sent to accountspayable@acu.edu.

Changes to a Purchasing Cardholder’s

Supervisor Please use the P-Card Change or Close Request form to notify Accounts Payable of a change to a cardholder’s supervisor. Noting these changes is important for reporting purposes. Please send the form electronically to Accounts Payable at accountspayable@acu.edu.

Cardholder Agreement & Testing

Before a new cardholder receives his/her p-card, he/she will be required to sign the Purchasing Cardholder Agreement and pass the p-card test. The Purchasing Cardholder Agreement references the cardholder’s responsibilities as well as any prohibited purchases which must be agreed to by the cardholder prior to receiving and maintaining a university purchasing card. Each cardholder must receive at least a 75 on the test. The purpose of the purchasing card test is to educate purchasing cardholders on reporting deadlines, prohibited purchases, and the p-card policy. Each cardholder will be required to re- take the test any time the card is up for renewal.

Making Purchases

The p-card can be used for all ACU purchasing needs including operational and business related expenses. When making a purchase with a p-card, it is recommended that cardholders check as many sources as possible to assure optimal price, quality, and delivery. The card can be used in the following methods:

  • In person
  • Telephone
  • Internet (secure websites only)
  • Mail order form

Sales & Use Taxes

ACU purchases made in Texas and for use in Texas are generally exempt from Texas sales and use taxes. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to obtain tax exempt status when making a purchase. ACU’s tax ID number is printed on the front of each p-card for tax exempt verification. If the vendor requires additional proof, ACU’s Texas Sales & Use Tax Exemption Certification is available for viewing and printing. Purchases made in other states are generally subject to that state’s sales tax laws.

Prohibited Purchases

The following items should not be purchased with an ACU purchasing card:

  • Travel expenses (with the exception of fuel in a university vehicle)
  • Fuel in a personal vehicle – If an individual is using their personal vehicle for ACU business, he/she needs to track mileage and turn in a Concur expense report for mileage reimbursement. Mileage reimbursements not only cover fuel costs but also wear and tear on the vehicle.
  • Gift cards, gift certificates, or store credits
  • Gifts purchased over 30 days in advance without an intended business purpose
  • Certain gifts, awards, prizes, and reception costs – please see ACU’s Gifts, Awards, Prizes, & Receptions Policy when making such purchases
  • Cash advances
  • Cash as a credit for returned items
  • Alcoholic beverages or tobacco products
  • Personal purchases (personal memberships such as Amazon Prime memberships are prohibited)
  • Personal utility bills
  • Spousal or family expenses
  • Cell phones or cell phone monthly bill payments – see the Cell Phone Policy
  • Internal ACU purchases such as ACU Billing, ACU Press, ACU Theater tickets, ACU Athletic tickets, ACU dinner tickets, ACU Meal Plans, or CopyCat are prohibited. These purchases should be made using a departmental FOAP.
  • Telephone and computer purchases – such items should be purchased through the Information Technology department
  • Other purchases in violation of university policy – see the Employee Handbook for more detail

Receipts & Documentation

It is recommended that a receipt be obtained for all transactions. For all meal expenses, an itemized receipt must be obtained regardless of the amount. For other purchases not related to meals, an itemized receipt is required for transactions totaling $25 or more. If the amount of the transaction is below $75 and documentation of the purchase cannot be obtained from the vendor, fill out a Missing Receipt Statement in its entirety and put the statement in the receipt’s place in the monthly expense report. If the amount of the transaction is $75 or more, vendor documentation must be provided or cardholder reimbursement will be required. If the cardholder does not provide receipts over $75 on three occasions, their card will be suspended until proper documentation is provided. If an employee has been terminated and receipts are missing that cannot be obtained by the department, the supervisor will be asked to fill out a Missing Receipt for Terminated Employees form to be submitted along with the corresponding monthly report.

A receipt can be one of the following:

  • Invoices
  • Sales receipt
  • Itemized E-mail Receipt
  • Cash register tape
  • Packing slip/ Order Form

All receipts must provide the following information:

  • Vendor name
  • Date of purchase
  • List of items purchased
  • Unit cost
  • Total cost

Other required documentation includes:

  • A business purpose for each charge. (Business purposes can be written into a report if the reallocation deadline has passed, but it is preferred that all business descriptions are saved on SDOL when allocations are processed.)
  • For meals and items purchased on behalf of another, include a list of attendees and their business or employment affiliations.
  • For fuel charges, indicate if the fuel was put into a rental or ACU vehicle (fuel for a personal vehicle may not be purchased using the p-card).

Account Allocation

Each cardholder has a default FOAP that is initially charged to each p-card transaction. If a pcard transaction should be applied to a FOAP other than the default FOAP, the reallocation must be completed in SDOL(JP Morgan SmartData On-Line website) by 5 p.m. on the 3rd business day of the month following the month in which the charge occurred. Business purposes/ comments should also be saved on SDOL before the deadline.

Changes to Default P-Card FOAPs

For any changes to a cardholder’s default FOAP on SDOL, please provide a completed P-Card Change or Close Request form electronically to Accounts Payable at accountspayable@acu.edu. Please allow 1- 2 business days for these changes to be applied on SDOL. Changes to default FOAPs affect future transactions only after the change has been applied.

Expense Reports & Supervisor Approval

If the cardholder has made any transactions, an expense report from SDOL (JP Morgan’s Smart Data On- Line website) must be printed at the end of the month. The expense report should be reviewed, approved, and signed by the cardholder and the cardholder’s supervisor. The dates of the expense report should include transaction posting dates from the 1st day of the month through the last day of the month. If the report was turned in without the full dates of the month, the cardholder will be asked to rerun the report or they will be asked to fill out an Omitted PCard Charges form to be submitted along with the corresponding monthly report. It is the cardholder’s and supervisor’s responsibility to ensure the expense report includes receipts, business purposes for every transaction, appropriate signatures, and other documentation listed on the p-card website. The expense report should be completed and electronically submitted to Accounts Payable by the 14th day of the month following the month in which transactions occurred. If the 14th falls on a weekend, the expense report is due on the following Monday.

Billing Discrepancies & Returns

The cardholder is responsible for resolving discrepancies directly with the vendor and requesting that any credit or additional charges be generated for the next billing cycle. If the cardholder is unable to resolve a discrepancy, the cardholder must fully document the situation and process the dispute form which can be received by contacting JP Morgan Chase. Disputes must be submitted to JP Morgan Chase within 60 days of the original transaction date. When a cardholder has returned an item, he/she is responsible for assuring that a credit appears on a future p-card statement.

Credit Limit Changes

To change the credit limit of a purchasing card, the Purchasing Card Credit Increase Request must be filled out fully and proper signatures must be provided prior to the limit change being processed by Accounts Payable. Temporary or emergency credit limit changes should be noted accordingly on the signed form submitted to Accounts Payable. On the form, provide an explanation/business purpose for the limit change.

P-Card Closure & Employee Termination

To request the closure of a purchasing card, complete the P-Card Change or Close Request form and electronically send the form to Accounts Payable at accountspayable@acu.edu. If a card is closed due to employee termination, please shred or return the purchasing card to Accounts Payable as well as completing and providing a signed PCard Change or Close Request form. Any outstanding p-card expense reports and supporting receipts must be provided to Accounts Payable regardless of the cardholder’s employment status. If an employee has been terminated and receipts are missing that cannot be obtained by the department, the supervisor will be asked to fill out a Missing Receipt for Terminated Employees form to be submitted along with the corresponding monthly report.

Compliance

The Accounts Payable department is responsible for monitoring p-card transactions for compliance with ACU policies and IRS guidelines. The signed p-card expense reports and their related documentation are audited on a monthly basis and filed by Accounts Payable.

If a cardholder does not submit his/her p-card expense report by the deadline or if a report is received in Accounts Payable that is in violation of the purchasing card policy, the cardholder and supervisor will receive an email notification from Accounts Payable allowing 7 days for the proper documentation to be provided. The cardholder will receive three email notices before the cardholder’s p-card is suspended.

Please note that the Finance department reserves right to suspend a card if a purchasing card report has not been received within 90 days of the reporting due date regardless of how many notices were sent to the cardholder. The suspension will be lifted after the proper documentation is received. Beginning December 1, 2012, if a cardholder has been suspended three times over a three year period, the cardholder will be permanently suspended from receiving an ACU p-card.

The p-card is a privilege granted to faculty and staff and must be used in a responsible and appropriate manner. Student employees are not eligible to receive a purchasing card. Fraudulent misuse of the card or policy disobedience can result in any of the following circumstances:

  • Temporary card suspension
  • Permanent card suspension
  • Financial restitution
  • Employment termination
  • Other disciplinary actions set forth under university policy

If a supervisor is not meeting their supervisor responsibilities, penalties may include:

  • The suspension of all cards underneath the supervisor
  • Employment termination
  • Other disciplinary actions set forth under university policy

Contact Information:

Accounts Payable Office
accountspayable@acu.edu
aphelp@acu.edu
(325)674-6167
(325)674-2785

Executive Director of Research
mkr15a@acu.edu
(325) 674-2885

Policy No. 912

Responsible Department: Accounts Payable
Responsible Administrator: Accounts Payable Accountant
Effective Date: April 1, 1997
Reviewed/Updated Date: June 2019
Date of Scheduled Review: February 2022

GIFTS, AWARDS, PRIZES, & RECEPTIONS POLICY

PURPOSE
To establish guidelines for ACU funded expenses relating to gifts, awards, prizes, and receptions given to employees, students, and non-employees (individuals and entities) and to encourage and ensure good stewardship regarding the usage of the University’s resources.

SCOPE
This policy applies to ACU employees and students acting on behalf of ACU using ACU funds.

PROCEDURE

  1. Appropriate Uses of Gifts, Awards, & Prizes
    Length of service; outstanding professional achievements; safety achievements; retirement; merits or contributions to the University; judged competitions, contests, or random drawings associated with the University.
  2. Cash
    1. Given to Employees (including students in an employment capacity) To request payment, please fill out a PAF and contact Human Resources with any questions. If a gift, award, or prize is given to an employee in the form of cash, the amount will be added to the employee’s W-2 as taxable income. The provider of the gift, award, or prize must inform the recipient of the tax consequences. To request payment, please fill out a PAF and contact Human Resources with any questions.
    2. Given to Non-Employees (individuals, entities, and students in a non-employment capacity) To request payment, please fill out a Request for Payment form and a Gift, Award, or Prize Purchase send the form to Accounts Payable with any attached receipts and a W-9 for the individual or business receiving the gift, award, or prize. If a cash gift, award, or prize is given in a non-employment capacity to an individual, entity, or student, the amount will be considered taxable income and will be added to the recipient’s 1099. If payment is requested and the appropriate documentation is not provided, the payment will not be processed. The provider of the gift, award, or prize must inform the recipient of the tax consequences.
  3. Merchandise
    1. Given to Employees (including students in an employment capacity) If an employee receives $600 or more in merchandise in any given calendar year from ACU, the fair value of the merchandise will be included in the employee’s W-2 as taxable income. To request payment, please provide a Request for Payment form and a Gift, Award, or Prize Purchase form to Payroll with any attached receipts. The provider of the gift, award, or prize must inform the recipient of the possible tax implications. The purpose of this form is to ensure that ACU continues to follow IRS regulations by tracking 1099-MISC, box 3 related purchases.
    2. Given to Non-Employees (individuals, entities, and students in a non-employment capacity) If an individual, entity, or student receives $600 or more in merchandise in any given calendar year from ACU, the total fair market value of the merchandise will be considered taxable income and added to the recipient’s 1099. The provider of the gift, award, or prize must inform the recipient of the tax consequences. To request reimbursement for merchandise, please fill out a Request for Payment form and a Gift, Award, or Prize Purchase send the form to Accounts Payable with any attached receipts If a cash gift, award, or prize is given in a non-employment capacity to an individual, entity, or student, the amount will be considered taxable income and will be added to the recipient’s 1099. The purpose of this form is to ensure that ACU continues to follow IRS regulations by tracking 1099-MISC, box 3 related purchases. If the appropriate documentation is not provided, the payment will not be processed.
  4. Gift Cards, Gift Certificates, & Store Credits
    Gift cards, gift certificates, and store credits may not be purchased using ACU funds for anyone. These purchases are considered prohibited and are non-reimbursable by the university.
  5. Door Prizes or Other Random Drawings
    Door prizes or other prizes given to anyone that are selected at random are considered taxable income to the recipient. Door prizes and random drawings are considered prizes and similar procedures apply, see Appropriate Uses of Gifts, Awards, & Prizes.
  6. Gifts Given for Special Occasions
    Gifts given to anyone for occasions such as birthdays, weddings, graduation (except for ACU graduating students), Christmas, baby showers, going away, or any similar event are reimbursable up to $75 per recipient. To request reimbursement, please fill out a Request for Payment form and a Gift, Award, or Prize Purchase send the form to Accounts Payable with any attached receipts. If the cash gift, award, or prize totals $75 or more, a W-9 form completed by the recipient must also be submitted to Accounts Payable.
  7. Higher Education Act
    Due to regulations outlined in the Higher Education Act, ACU will not provide any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting or admission activities or in making decisions regarding the award of student financial assistance. This includes a sum of money or something of value other than fixed salary or wages.
  8. Payment of Services
    Individuals should not be paid for services in the form of a gift, award, or prize. If an individual or entity is performing a service for ACU, they should either be paid through Payroll as an employee or through Accounts Payable as an independent contractor. Please submit an Employee vs. Independent Contractor Worksheet if you are unsure of how the individual/entity should be paid.
  9. Student Financial Assistance for Living Expenses
    Due to ACU’s tax exempt status, a department cannot request payment through Accounts Payable or make direct payments for purchases such as groceries, rent, household bills, or other related living expenses for a student using departmental funds. If a student is in need of emergency financial assistance for living expenses, please contact Student Financial Services for scholarship information. Such taxable scholarships will be reported on the student’s 1098-T, and the student will be responsible for reporting the amount on his/her 1040 form. International students receiving scholarships for living expenses will have a 14% tax applied to their student account per IRS regulations. These scholarships cannot, in any way, represent the payment of services.
  10. Gifts Given to Student Athletes
    Gifts, awards, prizes, or other benefits given to a student-athlete are normally acceptable if it is demonstrated that the same gift / benefit is generally available to the institution’s students, faculty, staff, and their relatives or friends. No gift or other benefit shall be provided to a student-athlete based on his/her athletic ability. The paying department should contact the ACU compliance officer in the Athletic department prior to providing any gifts or other benefits to determine compliance with NCAA rules.
  11. Gifts Given to International Students
    1. Given in an Employment Capacity Gifts, prizes, and awards given in an employment capacity to a student holding an F-1 Visa will be paid through Payroll, reported on a W-2 or 1042-S, and will have taxes withheld based on W4 elections.
    2. Given in a Non-Employment Capacity Monetary gifts, prizes, and awards given in a non-employment capacity to a student holding an F1 Visa will be paid through Accounts Payable, reported on a 1042-S, and will have 30% in taxes withheld from the payment amount.
  12. Student Financial Aid & Tax Consequences
    Please note that gifts to students may have an unintended effect on financial aid. The student will be reporting additional income to the IRS, which is a factor in the amount of financial aid the student is awarded for the school year.
  13. Expressions of Sympathy Sympathy flowers/cards can be sent for the following occasions:
    1. Serious illness or a hospital stay of an employee, emeritus faculty member, student, board member, or immediate family member. An immediate family member is defined as a spouse, children, siblings, or parents.
    2. Death of an employee, emeritus faculty member, student, board member, or immediate family member. An immediate family member is defined as a spouse, children, siblings, or parents.

    An immediate family member is defined as a spouse, children, siblings, or parents.

  14. Receptions
    1. Retirement Receptions Expenses for a retirement reception for an employee that has been at ACU at least ten years and is at least 55 years of age may be reimbursed using ACU funds.
    2. Christmas and Graduation Receptions Expenses relating to graduation and Christmas receptions may be reimbursed when it is a legitimate ACU-related function. Each department may only have one Christmas and one graduation reception per fiscal year.
    3. Other Receptions Non-work related school or departmental luncheons, dinners, or parties/celebrations/receptions will not be reimbursed using ACU funds. Examples include weddings, baby showers, or other similar events. Occasional birthday receptions are allowable.

POLICY No. 930

Responsible Department: University Procurement and Financial Operations
Responsible Administrator: Purchasing Director/Controller
Effective Date: August 1, 2019
Reviewed/Updated Date: January 28, 2020
Date of Scheduled Review: January 1, 2022

PURCHASING POLICY

PURPOSE
The Procurement office is charged with several responsibilities:

  • Offering purchasing services to all departments to obtain goods and services at an optimum combination of prices, quality, and timeliness.
  • Reducing expenditures via discounts, co-operative networks, and partnerships with merchants.
  • Increasing productivity by providing departments with the tools and information, they need to make informed and cost-effective purchasing decisions.
  • Providing a variety of purchasing services for the ACU community from issuing purchase orders to completing credit applications, assisting with vendor selection, and resource assistance.
  • Administration of agreements such as, copiers, shipping, vending, and beverages.
  • The purpose of the furniture policy is to achieve substantial discounts, provide a high-quality product that will offer the best value to the University, and to help streamline and simplify the ordering process.

SCOPE
All ACU employees are responsible for purchasing goods and services within their department.

PROCEDURE
The following are the procedures and payment options when making purchases on behalf of ACU:

  • Use a university purchasing card (PCard) in accordance with PCard policies.
  • Prepare a Payment Request Form with the appropriate approval signatures and forward the form and related invoices to Accounts Payable for payment.
  • Enter a requisition in the purchasing system. A requisition will be transferred to a purchase order and sent to the vendor.
    • Please use this option when the vendor requires a purchase order. When the vendor provides an invoice, an appropriate approver other than the person who initiated the purchase order requisition must document approval for payment. Instructions for approving and creating purchase orders are detailed in the “Purchasing with Banner Finance Manual.”
  • An employee should not use a personal card for university purchases except when one of the forms of payment listed above is not available. Reimbursement requests for business related purchases with an employee’s card should be reviewed before payment.
  • Student purchasing for business purposes with personal funds is prohibited. A purchasing card or other acceptable forms of payment must be used for any business-related purchases.
  • If you are purchasing apparel for employees or students using ACU funds, you must contact the Tax officer in the Finance office for tax guidelines and polices on apparel.
    • All apparel purchases for employees or students must either be kept and placed as inventory and used for departmental purposes or, if given to the employee or student, the individual will be subject to a taxable fringe benefit.

Commissions/Rebates/Incentives/Gifts/Gratuities:

  • Any commissions, rebates, incentives, gifts or gratuities over $25 from vendors must be used for school use.
  • A conflict of interest between vendors and an ACU employee making purchasing decisions should be disclosed by the ACU employee to his/her supervisor, the University Procurement office, and also reported on the employee’s annual conflict of interest disclosure form.

Terms and Agreements:

  • Any documents described as “contracts”, “agreements”, “leases”, or an “understanding” that my obligate ACU in any way must be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel and the Finance office in accordance with the University’s Contracting Procedures.

Furniture Purchases:

  • When making furniture purchases, take into account how each piece will fit into the current and future environment.
    • Explore the entire line of furniture options to see what you may be able to do long term.
    • Consider how furniture will adapt to new technology.
    • Keep the workplace flexible and select furniture that can be easily moved and reconfigured as needs arise.
    • Select furniture with timeless appeal in style and color. o Make selections appropriate for each facility and end user.
    • Consider durability and quality when making selections. Keep in mind that the wear-and-tear on commercial furniture is greater.
    • Be mindful of the aesthetic appeal of each piece of furniture and how it will affect a facility aesthetically.
    • Exercise good stewardship by being mindful of pricing.
  • Two (2) preferred furniture vendors have been chosen and have proved the most advantageous to the University. These dealers offer a variety of manufacturers and have performed many successful installations throughout the university. We understand that it may be necessary to use other vendors. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact the University Procurement office for the list of preferred vendors.
  • All furniture purchases must be processed through the following guidelines and adhere to the university’s Renovation and Construction Policy:
    • Basic Office Furniture: (This includes but is not limited to desks, task chairs, side chairs, side tables, bookcases, and shelving)
      • Under $5,000
        • May be purchased from a vendor of the employee’s choice following the guidelines stated in the Purchasing Policy.
        • If construction is needed, employees must follow the guidelines stated in the Renovation and Construction Policy, in addition to the policy stated above.
      • Over $5,000
        • Employees must receive bids from each of ACU’s preferred furniture vendors.
        • Employees must follow the guidelines stated in the Purchasing Policy.
        • If construction is needed, employees must follow the guidelines stated in the Renovation and Construction Policy, in addition to the policy stated above.
    • Common Areas: (Any space that is open to all patrons, such as the general public, students, employees, visitors, alumni and others. This includes but is not limited to conference rooms, common areas, reception areas, waiting rooms, and classrooms)
      • No Dollar Threshold- Unlimited amount to budget expectation for approval
        • Employees must receive bids from each of ACU’s preferred furniture vendors.
        • Employees must follow the guidelines stated in the policy above.
        • If construction is needed, employees must follow the guidelines stated in the Renovation and Construction Policy, in addition to the policy stated above.
    • Renovation and Construction:
      • Employees must follow the guidelines stated in the Renovation and Construction Policy.
      • Employees must follow the guidelines stated in the policy above.