Accounting Services


When do I need a receipt?

A receipt is required for all lodging, airfare, rental cars, registration and for all other single item expenditures in excess of $75.00.

What are the meal maximums?

  • For overnight travel within the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, the meal expense allowance is not to exceed $42 per day for three meals, including tips.
  • If fewer than 3 meals per day are subject to allowance, amounts (including tips) should not exceed the maximum reimbursement for the total of the eligible meals that day:           
    • Breakfast..............$10.00           
    • Lunch....................$10.50            
    • Dinner...................$21.50
  • For example, if a traveler is eligible for reimbursement for both lunch and dinner, a total of up to $32 can be claimed for actual expenses for those two meals, regardless of the distribution between the two meals.
  • If only $5 is spent at lunch, an expenditure of up to $27, may be reimbursed for dinner. If actual expenses are less than the prescribed maximum, reimbursement will be allowed only for actual expenses.

Can I get reimbursed if I have a lunch that is paid for with my conference registration?

No. Meals included in conference registrations, covered by other University payment, or paid by others, are not eligible for reimbursement to the traveler.

Can I get reimbursed if I choose to eat lunch somewhere outside of the paid for conference?

Such meals must be identified as provided by inserting a “P” in the appropriate block on the travel form.

Will I be reimbursed for meals when I am traveling but I do not stay overnight?

  • No – unless it is an extended day trip or the meal is considered a business meeting to discuss business with other individuals. Meals eaten alone are not reimbursable.
  • However, if the meal is part of a group meal or organized banquet where each participant pays individually, the meal is reimbursable under University guidelines as long as the travel form includes an explanation as to the business purpose of the meal and other individuals or group present.
  • For extended day trips – meals eaten during day trips (travel away from the employee’s home city without an overnight stay) may qualify for reimbursement if the employee is in continuous travel status for twelve hours or more. Employee must indicate on the travel form the twelve-hour status if no overnight lodging is listed. The same maximum reimbursement for the total of the eligible meals for overnight travel within the fifty United States and District of Columbia applies.

If I am going out of town and would like to drive my own car, what is the reimbursement rate for doing this?

The IRS has announced that the standard mileage rate for operating an automobile for business purposes will be 54.5 cents per mile.

Are there any meal expense guidelines to follow for an on-campus luncheon that is hosted by my department and catered by an outside organization?

  • For division or department meetings, the department or division should attempt to keep the cost of meals within meal maximums.
  • However, meal maximums may by exceeded with approval of the administrative superior of the highest-ranking person in attendance.

If my meals include a guest of the University, do we have to stay within the daily limits?

  • No. For meals where guests of the University are involved, reimbursement of amounts exceeding the maximum meal allowance is permitted.
  • The guest’s name, title, and relationship to the University (e.g. candidate, donor, company represented) must be listed on the appropriate University form.

When I rent a car, should I take the insurance they offer?

No. The University is self-insured; therefore, you should decline any offer of insurance. The University does not reimburse amounts paid for rental car comprehensive / liability insurance.

If I would rather drive my car than fly to Denver for a conference, what is the reimbursement permitted for this?

If you choose to drive, the University will reimburse for the lowest reasonable mode of transportation. If you elect to drive a personal vehicle rather than fly, a comparison of costs must be made between the cost to drive and the cost to fly.

For this comparison:

  • The cost to drive includes mileage, meals and lodging incurred en route to and from the destination.
  • The cost to fly includes airfare and reasonable travel expenses between campus and airport and between airport and hotel in the destination city. The cost of the airfare should be based on a 7-14 day advance coach fare.

Include with the travel voucher the following information:

  • The agency where you obtained the quote and the phone number and name of the agent.
  • The date you obtained the quote.
  • The fare quote is based on a 7-14 day advance coach fare. The University will reimburse the lesser of the cost to drive and the cost to fly. The calculations should be included on the voucher or on an addendum to the voucher.

How much does the University reimburse for airfare?

The University will reimburse 100% of the cost of airfare. However, we will only reimburse at a rate not to exceed the lowest available airfare. Be sure to reserve your flights in advance to get the best fare.

I would rather fly First Class. How can I be reimbursed?

If you fly First Class, the University will only reimburse at a rate not to exceed the lowest available airfare, and you will be required to pay the difference from personal funds.

What is the best way to make hotel reservations and book an airline flight?

Prepay expenses by using a Non PO Voucher payable to the hotel or travel agency when possible.

Can I book airline flights to my personal credit card in advance of the trip and get reimbursed?

  • Yes, transportation and meeting registration expenses can be charged to a personal or corporate credit card in advance of the date that the travel/meeting occurs.
    • The responsibility for documenting the business purpose of the reimbursement is with the traveler.
    • The responsibility for maintaining the required supporting documentation is with the campus accounting offices.
    • The responsibility for monitoring that the travel actually takes place and for obtaining refunds from the traveler is at the department level.

While staying in a hotel, If I selected one of their movies and made some personal calls, can I be reimbursed for these charges?

  • No. The University will not reimburse for personal expenses. Only expenses essential to the transaction of University business are reimbursable.
  • Examples of expenses that are not reimbursable in most cases are: Hotel gyms, Mini-bars, Movies, Laundry, and Vehicle fines.

While out of State or the U.S., will I be reimbursed for calls to my UMKC office to check messages?

Yes, but the calls should be described as business-related on the Travel form.

What kind of receipt is needed for my hotel?

A receipted, itemized statement furnished by the hotel or motel is required for all lodging expenses.

If the conference I am attending has a long name, do I need to spell it out, or can I use the acronym when filling out my Travel form?

You can use the acronym when filling in the purpose of your trip; however, in the comment section, you must spell it out.

If I travel outside of the Continental United States and Canada on University business, how do I get reimbursed for my expenses using conversion rates?

  • To be reimbursed correctly for the currency conversion, you must indicate the appropriate conversion rates for the dates of your trip on the travel form.
  • Currency conversion rates are available from Procurement or calculate conversion rates here.

What are the maximum meal and lodging reimbursements for foreign travel (outside of the Continental United States and Canada)?

  • For travel outside the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, reimbursement is allowed for meal expenses at a rate not to exceed that prescribed by the U.S. Department of State Standardization Regulations (Section 925) for “Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE).
  • This information can be accessed online. These rates shall be considered maximums for the locations specified in the Standardization Regulations and the monthly bulletin which updates them. Reimbursement will be made for actual costs up to the published daily maximums.

After submitting my travel form for reimbursement, when or how will I know if the money has been deposited into my bank account?

  • Once the travel form has been released for payment, you will be notified via e-mail of the deposit.
  • However, if you do not have e-mail, Accounting will send the notification via campus mail.
  • All banks vary in the times they upload the information for deposit, so the funds may be deposited in the morning or the afternoon the following day. We suggest that after you receive the notification of deposit, you wait one day before verifying this deposit with your bank.
  • Should you be notified of the deposit and your bank shows no deposit, please verify with Accounting that your bank account is correct and/or check to see if your bank had any computer problems.

For other inquiries regarding general University policies and travel policies, please refer to: