The university pays directly or reimburses individuals for expenses that are necessary and appropriate to conduct university business. Expenditures must be consistent with the university’s purchasing policies and guidelines as well as the guiding principles and IRS regulations with regard to Business and Travel Expense policies.
Those who are making purchases on behalf of the university must use the appropriate purchasing and payment method. For example, some business expenses should be paid via a non-PO (purchase order) payment request, which is a direct payment from Stanford to the payee. Other expenses may be procured directly with a university purchasing card (PCard) or personal funds and then reimbursed with appropriate documentation. For purchases in support of university business, such as supplies, books and equipment costing less than $5,000, the university PCard or a purchase through the iProcurement system are the preferred purchasing methods.
The Stanford Travel Card (TCard) is the preferred payment method for travel expenses. Alternatively, personal funds may be used and a request for reimbursement can be submitted after the trip. The same policies and guidelines must be followed.
Roles and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the individual making the purchase or incurring expenses, those who assist others with incurring expenses and those involved in the preparation and approval of reimbursement requests or financial transactions to exercise good stewardship of university funds and to adhere to university policies. The individual incurring the expense and the appropriate administrator must ensure that all costs are in compliance with university travel and business expense policies prior to purchasing. These roles and responsibilities are outlined in Financial Transaction Approval and Reimbursements and Expense Requests.
The university pays reasonable and necessary travel expenses within limits and guidelines when they are incurred in the course of university-related business travel.
In June 2020, the university implemented a new travel policy that states that university funds may only be used to purchase or reimburse new university-sponsored travel expenses when booked through one of the Stanford Travel booking channels: Casto, Egencia, United Corporate Direct, and Anthony Travel (used exclusively by Athletics). This policy applies to Stanford faculty, staff and students booking airfare, hotel, and/or car rentals. Read the complete policy in the Business and Travel Expense policy overview.
Specific reimbursement guidelines are available for the following travel expense categories:
Other Common Reimbursable Expenses
The following are other common reimbursable expenses, and their associated policies and resources.
|Business Meals||The university will pay for business meals, which is defined as a meal at which faculty, staff, students and/or guests are present for the purpose of conducting university business. Specific policy, guidance and limits, is available on the Business Meal Policy page.|
|Clothing||Reimbursement is allowed for clothing that is required for an employee to conduct specific university business, such as commencement regalia; if the employee is required to wear the clothing as a condition of employment; and if the clothes are not suitable for any other use and not appropriate for everyday wear.|
|Conference and Training Fees||
|Cell Phones and Internet Service||The use of mobile equipment (e.g., cell phones, PDAs, PCs and similar devices) by Stanford employees in the course of their work is common. Stanford may provide cell phones, related devices and/or data or internet services to employees in order to improve communication, productivity and work efficiency; facilitate telecommuting and working between multiple campus locations; and to otherwise enhance the contributions of employees. Administrative Guide Policy 8.1.3 outlines the policy and process for these expenses in further detail and UIT maintains the process for selecting approved mobile equipment. Employees must obtain approval from their school or unit before purchase.|
|Dues and Subscription||The university will pay for memberships to professional organizations and publications related to university business. The business purpose must include the length and duration of the membership.|
|International/Foreign Travel Expenses||Stanford will pay actual costs for Stanford travelers to acquire passports, visas, tourist cards, necessary photographs, birth certificates, required inoculations, immunizations, health cards and fees for the conversion of funds to foreign currencies. For more details, refer to Topic Overview: International Travel for more information.|
|Moving/House Hunting Expenses||As outlined in university policy, some expenses are subject to tax reporting and will be submitted to Payroll.|
A list of common non-reimbursable expenses is outlined on the Business and Travel Expense Policies fundamentals page. If a purchase or expense is identified as non-compliant, Stanford may consider the acquisition effort null and void and decline to pay or reimburse the expense.