Iota Phi Theta National Travel Policy
OVERVIEW It is the intent of the Board of Directors for members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. who travel for Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. business to be able to enjoy clean, safe, and comfortable accommodations. It is important for members to understand that Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. trust them with the use of funds; therefore, particular care and good judgment should be exercised by members when incurring business expenses. Members should spend the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. money as carefully as if it were their own. The intent of an effective Travel and Entertainment Expense Policy is to ensure accurate reimbursement for legitimate, appropriate expenses. Any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding this Travel and Entertainment Expense Policy should be directed to the International Grand Treasurer, Executive Director, or your respective Regional Polaris.
GENERAL It is the policy of IOTA to reimburse its members for all travel and entertainment expenses permitted under applicable laws, and that are necessary, legitimate, and actually incurred by a member in the conduct of authorized Iota business. Every member is expected to comply with this Policy. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including revocation of membership within the Fraternity in accordance with the disciplinary policies and procedures. Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. reserves the right to administer and alter this Policy on an individual, case-by-case basis. In addition, this Policy may be revised by Iota at any time and for any reason. The Grand Executive Council, National Board of Directors, and Regional Polari are responsible for administration of such member’s travel expenses and will do so in accordance with this Policy. Approval must be noted by the appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris) on the member’s expense report/reimbursement form for all pre-approved travel and entertainment expenses.
FARES When possible, Air travel for business should be booked at least 30 days in advance of travel in order to obtain the lowest available airfares. Last minute ticketing results in higher airfares and lack of availability for travel preferences. The cost of any air travel to be purchased within 30 days prior to the date of travel must be approved by the appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris) prior to consummation of the purchase. Reservations should be booked at the lowest available coach class airfare for each segment of the flight, given the following guidelines: I. The traveler should attempt to use any of the outstanding non-refundable tickets to offset the expense of the airfare. Travelers should make every effort to use airline credits prior to expiration. Il. If any portion of an airline ticket has been canceled, the traveler must note that the ticket was unused on the expense report/reimbursement form that contains that ticket and attempt to use it for future business travel. Ill. No reimbursement will be made for cancelled travel where the traveler will receive a monetary credit. IV. Unused airline tickets or flight coupons must never be discarded as these documents may have cash value. V. An upgrade on seating accommodations is allowed if there is no extra charge to Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. VI. Business related checked bag fees will be reimbursed.
RENTAL VEHICLES Only compact or midsize cars are to be rented and should be requested at the time the airline reservation is made. For groups of more than two people, a full-size or larger car is allowed. At the time of car rental, the car should be inspected, and any damage found should be noted on the contract before the vehicle is accepted. Members must make every reasonable effort to return the rental vehicle intact, on-time and fill the gas tank before returning the rental vehicle to avoid excess surcharges. In most cases, members should not accept the Fuel Service Option offered by the rental car agency. This option allows you to prepay for a full tank of gas at the prevailing service station price, but it is not economical unless the traveler is planning to return the car with an empty gas tank.
Should a car accident occur when using a rental car while on Fraternity business, members should immediately contact the car Rental Company and local authorities, as required, and must report the accident immediately. Members are responsible for cancelling rental cars and obtaining documentation, such as the cancellation number, in case of billing disputes.
MEALS AND ENTERTAINMENT Meal expenses incurred for out-of-town travel are reimbursable up to an average of $66.00 per day spent out of town. All meal expenses are to be listed on the expense report and must be supported by the original receipt. Tips should not exceed 20% of the cost of the meal and will not be reimbursed in excess of 20%. Two (maximum) alcoholic drinks per day will be reimbursed within the established per diem.
Additionally, Fraternity business-related meals and entertainment must be properly documented, showing dates, place or establishment name, people present, business purpose and dollar amount. The business purpose must be specific and in detail. Fraternity business-related entertainment expenses are not generally reimbursed and should be rare. Business entertainment expenses must be pre-approved with appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris) to be considered for reimbursement.
HOTELS AND LODGING Daily hotel room rates must be under $150. Exceptions must be pre-approved by the appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris) in high-cost areas. If you guaranteed your room, it is your responsibility to cancel the reservation if your travel plans change and obtain documentation, such as the cancellation number, in case of billing disputes. Non-canceled guarantee hotel or motel charges are not reimbursable. Additionally, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. may, but assumes no obligation to, reimburse travelers for expenses that are not cancelled in accordance with the hotel’s policy.
FRATERNITY CREDIT/DEBIT CARD GUIDELINES All fraternity business-related expenses should be incurred on the member’s personal credit or debit card. Exceptions for business expenses being incurred on the member’s personal credit or debit card will pertain to the Grand Executive Council and National Board of Directors whose expenses will occur on the company credit card. In addition, Regional Officers expenses may be directly charged to the Regional credit or debit card. To obtain a Fraternity credit/debit card, members must obtain approval from International Grand Polaris and International Grand Treasurer. Iota Phi Theta will pay all fraternity credit/debit card charges; however, the applicable member will be solely responsible for all charges on the credit/debit card which are not incurred in accordance with this Policy and are not otherwise approved by the appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris).
Fraternity credit/debit cards should NOT be used for personal expenses. In the event that a personal expense is incurred, the expense should be identified as a personal expense on the member’s expense report/reimbursement form and it will not be reimbursed. Lost or stolen fraternity credit/debit cards must be reported immediately to the Card Company and the International Grand Treasurer.
Upon removal, resignation, or completion of term in office, all fraternity credit/debit cardholders must promptly reconcile and pay any remaining balances, cut the fraternity credit/debit card in half and send it to the International Grand Treasurer.
MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES Other Reimbursable Miscellaneous Items:
- Dues and memberships to professional or fraternal related societies must have a direct benefit and require approval from the appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris).
- Magazines, periodicals, and newspapers must be used for a specific business purpose. All subscriptions must be mailed to Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Headquarters (not home).
- Fraternity-related conferences must be approved prior to conference registration.
- Charges for business related photocopies and faxes.
NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES Specific expenses considered to be personal in nature (and therefore non-reimbursable) include, but are not limited to:
- Traffic and parking fines
- In-room hotel movies and games
- Upgrades outside of Policy
- Personal mail or packages
- Membership fees or dues for airline, car rental or hotel clubs
- Sports and health club fees
- Annual fees for credit cards and travel-related club memberships
- Barber, manicurist, shoeshine, masseur, spa, facials
- Frequency programs for hotel, airlines, or rental cars
EXPENSE REPORTING Within 30 days of the completion of a Fraternity business-related trip, the traveler must submit a Travel Expense Report/Reimbursement Form related to the trip that has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris). Expense reports submitted later than 60 days after completion of a business trip may not be reimbursed. Listed below are areas that are to be included and completed legibly and correctly on the expense report:
- Date expense report is completed
- Dates expenses were incurred
- Fraternity Business-related meals. Expenses must be supported by receipts and a full explanation as to the nature of the charge, such as business reason for its occurrence, with whom you ate, type of business relationship, etc.
- Hotel – attach detailed billing receipt
- Airfare- attach flight receipt
- Gas, Taxi, Parking- All parking, toll, taxi, trains need a receipt or an explanation and should be listed under appropriate day
- Auto rental – attach a rental agreement
Standard mileage rate – detailed mileage, (e.g., origin, destination, number of miles traveled) must be listed under the mileage section on the expense report/reimbursement form, as well as under the appropriate day under personal car mileage. The standard mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses is 57.5 cents per mile for all miles of business use (business standard mileage rate).
- The member must sign the expense report.
- The appropriate approval level (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris) must approve and sign the expense report/reimbursement form.
RIGHT TO DENY REIMBURSEMENT Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. reserves the right to deny reimbursement to a member for expenses incurred on behalf of Iota where it has been deemed those expenditures to be excessive, personal in nature, inappropriate, illegal, or fraudulent.
- The member is responsible for incurring only those expenses that are reasonable and necessary to conduct Iota business.
- It is the responsibility of the traveler and the approver to adhere to the rules stated in this Policy.
- It is the responsibility of the individual to provide ample description of the nature of the expense, (e.g., meals and entertainment), including location where expense occurred and indication of the business purpose and dates.
- Expense reports/reimbursement forms should be submitted within 30 days after completion of a business trip. Failure to file timely expense reports/reimbursement forms results in a late reimbursement check and potential misstatement of Fraternity expenses.
- Expense reports/reimbursement forms that include expenses that are not supported with a receipt will be returned for documentation or further explanation.
- Expense reports/reimbursement forms which are not properly prepared or documented will be returned to the member.
APPROPRIATE APPROVAL LEVEL (Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, Chairman of the Board of Directors, or International Grand Polaris) RESPONSIBILITIES Review the expense report/reimbursement form to verify that the expenses are accurate, reasonable, permissible, and necessary in the conduct of authorized business. Review the expense report/reimbursement to verify that travel and entertainment expense policies and procedures have been followed.