Managing and Reporting Expenses

Business Travel Accounts have been set up to fulfill the payment of all airline (excluding baggage fees), car rentalrail, and hotel (including parking, internet, and meals charged to the room) expenses booked with Direct Travel or Concur Solutions.  The traveler is expected to pay out of pocket for any remaining travel expenses and receive reimbursement for those expenses. Examples of out-of-pocket expenses include meals not charged to the traveler's room and incidentals.


Travel expenses are incurred while traveling away from home on official Institute business and include transportation, lodging, meals, and other miscellaneous expenditures. These expenditures must be reasonable, necessary in the conduct of Institute business, and directly attributable to it. Travel in this category will most likely occur over a period of more than one day; however, day trips to NYC, Washington DC, Hartford, or Massachusetts would be an example of a one-day trip that would fall into this category.

Travel and Entertainment Policy

Policy Exceptions

  • Exceptions, deviations or reimbursements for expenses by travelers that are not in compliance with this policy require prior written approval.
  • If an exception is warranted, it must be justified by the Institute and documented on a case-by-case basis. Documentation with the appropriate approval signature(s) must accompany the expense report in all exception cases.
    • Required Approvals
      • Approval for administrative staff must be provided by each respective division’s Vice President/CIO/Provost and approved  by the Controller’s Office.
      • In the case of faculty, approval must be provided by the respective Dean and approved by the Controller’s Office.
      • In the case of Deans, approval must be provided by the Provost and approved by the President and Controller’s Office.
      • For Cabinet Members, approval must be provided by the President, after having been reviewed and approved by the Controller’s Office.

In-town expenses are expenditures incurred by the traveler in his/her home city (for example, Troy, Lake George, or Hartford) for business meals, entertainment, in-town transportation, and other items necessary for conducting business.

All group travel and arrangements must be booked through Direct Travel's Group services. Group expenses are for ten or more Institute travelers and/or students and may include, but are not limited to, transportation, lodging, hotel meals, equipment rental, meeting rooms, group entertainment and group services. Student travel requires pre-approval by an authorized Institute employee.

Visitor travel is any travel by a non-Rensselaer employee or student incurred to benefit Rensselaer and represents an appropriate institutional expense.


Only travel expenses $50 or greater require a receipt, regardless of payment method. All non-travel expenses require a receipt regardless of amount.

The following is a list of expenditures that require detailed receipts, if the amount is $50 or greater. Depending on the method of payment and the vendor's electronic capabilities, an e-receipt with the required information may automatically be fed into the traveler's expense report via the system. If the e-receipt is not present, it is the responsibility of the traveler to attach the required receipt.

The detailed receipt must show the amount charged, class traveled, date(s) and destination.

The detailed receipt must show dates and all charges at the time of checkout. If a meal (including room service) is included on the lodging receipt, the detailed meal receipt is required if the meal was greater than $50.

The detailed receipt must show pick-up and drop-off dates, the type of car, a detail listing of charges and final cost.

Search for receipts from reservations made with Enterprise.

Detailed receipts are required if the expenses are greater than $50. Alcohol must be itemized and reported in the expense report under the “ALCOHOL” expense type, as federal regulations require separately accounting for alcohol. Refer to Section 8.0 of this policy for additional information regarding travel charged to Sponsored Research.

Where appropriate, detailed receipts are required.


The Institute will reimburse travelers for all reasonable and necessary expenses while traveling on authorized Rensselaer business that are in compliance with the guidelines of the Travel and Entertainment Policy. If the traveler receives reimbursement from another agency for expenses settled by Rensselaer, the traveler is expected to reimburse the Institute in a timely manner.

Beginning January 1, 2023, the business standard mileage rate for transportation expenses paid or incurred is 65.5 cents per mile.

Reimbursement requests must be processed through Concur Solutions and approved by the appropriate financial manager, supervisor, and, in most cases, Procurement Services. To request a personal reimbursement, complete and submit the Personal Reimbursement form located on the Oscar homepage. All requests need to be approved prior to making the purchase.

Non-Travel Purchases Policy

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