New rules mean important changes to Western's financial policies and procedures

The Government of Ontario has established new Procurement and Expense Directives for open, fair and transparent financial practices at all Broader Public Sector (BPS) organizations, including The University of Western Ontario. Effective January 1, 2012, several new policies and procedures come into effect. Many of Western's policies and procedures already meet the requirements but there are some that will change substantially.  The message from the Government of Ontario is clear, compliance is mandatory. [OVERVIEW]

The policies and procedures that will likely affect you are summarized below:

Reimbursements on Equipment and/or Supplies:

An expense claim should only be used in extenuating circumstances to seek reimbursement  for equipment and/or supplies. Please see Caroline Majeau to create a purchase order or to use the Department VISA purchasing card. The HST cannot be rebated to you unless you use a purchase order or P-card. If you do incur the expense and want reimbursement via expense claim, the following limits have been established:

  • Equipment - the total cost per receipt cannot exceed $2,000

  • Supplies - the limit is $500 per expense

UWO Policy: Procurement of Materials & Serivces [MAPP 2.8]

Travel and Other Expense Reimbursements:

  •  Research Travel - An itinerary or agenda that is used at a conference is required to accompany the travel expense. The Tri-Council uses this document to ensure that the conference is related to the research and that the travel ties to the dates of the conference.
    • The Tri-Council requires that all researchers provide one trip per claim and one claim per trip.
  • Travel per diems are no longer part of Western's policy. Only original, itemized receipts for all travel related expenses, including meals1 will be reimbursable. If the amount on the original sales receipt is different due to a tip that is not included on the receipt, you may wish to include the credit card slip or write the tip amount on the itemized receipt for reimbursement.
    • Guidelines2 for meal expenses related to travel in Canada and the US are as follows and include tax and tips:
      • Breakfast - $15.35
      • Lunch - $14.60
      • Dinner - $40.30
    • For travel outside of North America, the Treasury Board of Canada Meal Allowance guidelines should be used. [LINK],
1If you are seeking reimbursement for more than yourself on a meal receipt, you are required to include the names of all individuals (example lunch meetings with colleagues and/or grad students)
2Please note that these are guidelines only not limits. The Online Travel & Expense System will request an explanation for any amount over the recommended amount and the claim can still be processed, subject to approval by the supervisor.
  • New Mileage Rates - The new mileage reimbursement rate for use of a private vehicle, while on approved University business is according to the National Joint Council Rates. (There may be instances where granting agency guidelines may be more restrictive. When determining which policy/guidelines to use, the more stringent of them will apply).
  • Deadlines:

    • Expense Reports must be completed and submitted to Suzanne Dudzic no later than 60 days after the date of completion of the travel.

    • Original Receipts must be given to Suzanne within 15 days from the final approval of the claim

    • Cash Advances must be cleared by submitting an expense report to Suzanne within 60 days following the completion of the activity

UWO Policy: Travel and Expense Policies [MAPP 2.16]

  • Lost/Unavilable Original Receipts - If receipts have been lost, never received or are in a foreign language, the "Attestation for Expenses Incurred on Behalf of Western" will be required to be completed and signed by the Claimant and the Approver. This form will be attached to the copy of the expense report along with all other receipts and be given to Caroline to send over to Western Financial Services, Travel Desk. [ATTESTATION FORM]
  • Alcohol Policy - Alcohol expenses can only be claimed on internally-funded grants or operating accounts. Alcoholic beverages are considered acceptable expenditures by faculty and staff where the consumption is nominal or moderate. Alcohol expenses are not reimburseable nor allowable if the project or program is externally funded.
  • Professional Expense Reimbursements - Professional expenses are affected to the extend that per diems will no longer be allowed and the mileage rate will change to agree with that of the Treasury Board. Original, itemized receipts are required for meals.

Please contact the Geography's Suzanne Dudzic X85031 or Barbara Thomas X84004 if you have any questions.