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Travel and Expense Policy updated

Revisions to Queen’s University’s Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy were recently approved and came into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

The revisions help to further modernize the processes related to Travel and Expense Reimbursements, managed by Financial Services, and provide further clarifications, which will add to the efficiencies of these processes for all involved.

The main changes include:

  • Mandatory use of the Employee Reimbursement System (ERS) for all who have access
  • Reference to the new Professional Expense Reimbursement Procedure for QUFA members
  • Release of a new Travel Credit Card (TCard) program (and related Policy and Procedures)
  • Updates to the related Cash Advances Procedure
  • Additions to the list of positions that can approve an Exception to Policy

The Employee Reimbursement System (ERS) has been updated to synchronize with the Scotiabank TCard program to ensure an efficient and effective process for both the university and employees.  Use of the ERS is now mandatory for the processing of all expense reimbursement claims for all who have access to it, including all Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students.   

The new Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER) procedure for Queen’s University Faculty Association (QUFA) members provides general information on the processing of PER expense claims as defined in the Collective Agreement (article 36.3) between QUFA and Queen’s University. This procedure ensures that requirements of the Canada Revenue Agency are met, and that the expenses incurred and any related balance carry forwards are in accordance with the terms set out in the QUFA Collective Agreement. The PER procedure sets out standard guidelines on eligible and ineligible expenses, as well as defining matters such as the timing and method of submission to be applied equally to all QUFA members at Queen’s.

The Scotiabank TCard program provides employees and departments more flexibility in paying for expenses when traveling on behalf of the university. The program will ensure an efficient and effective process for both the university and employees. Credit card forms (applications and change requests) have been moved from paper to electronic (via acQuire), to ensure correct approvals are obtained and stored for ease of audit tracking. Wherever possible, electronic processing has been implemented to ensure efficiencies.  If using a TCard, multiple expense claims can be filed for one trip, to allow prepaid travel costs to be accounted for on a timely basis, and all vehicle rentals should be paid for with a TCard.  Currently, all university-sponsored travel is suspended, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This provided an opportunity to introduce the TCard program effectively with limited use and be ready for when travel is once again allowed. The launch is in no way an endorsement of non-essential travel.

The existing Cash Advances Procedure was also updated.  This was primarily to reflect the availability of TCards, and to note that Travel Advances will no longer be provided for items that could be paid for on a TCard.  The additions also added that a cash advance is now available to pay for course fees in an instance where a Procurement Credit Card (PCard) could not be used for the course prepayment.  For situations where a cash advance needs to be repaid, Financial Services has also added the ability to process these repayments through Interac eTransfers, to reduce the need for the handling of cash and cheques, and in-person transactions. 

A number of positions have been added to the list of those who can approve Exceptions to Policy. In addition to the positions of Principal, Vice Principal, Associate Vice Principal, and Dean are the newly-added Associate Dean, Vice Dean, Vice Provost, University Librarian and Associate University Librarian.