Travel is a major expenditure of our internship program and is an area that the School must continue to review. The following outlines the Travel Expense Policy for the School for Social Work. Note that the School sets policies and allowances and we do not have the same standards as the College.
The Internal Revenue Service imposes the following requirements on reimbursement of business expenses:
- There must be a business reason for the expenses.
- The individual must substantiate the expenses.
Responsibilities of Travelers: School funds must be spent prudently. Travel and entertainment expenses will be paid or reimbursed if they are necessary, reasonable, appropriately documented, and properly authorized.
Responsibilities of the School: The responsibility for review and approval of all School’s business, travel and entertainment expenses rests with the Dean, who is fiscally responsible for the accounts to which the expenses will be charged. The Office of Practicum Learning is delegated to review, process and approve payment reimbursements for all expenditures.
Expense Reimbursement Process
Requests for payments and reimbursements must be completed in Workday. Expenses must be submitted within 30 days of completion of the trip, but not to exceed 150 days. The School will not reimburse any expenses incurred more than 150 days before the date the request is submitted. All expenses must be documented.
Please see the detailed information and step-by-step instructions on the Workday expense reimbursement process.
The School will need to enforce air travel policies in line with some of the changes being imposed by the industry. They are as follows:
- Baggage Fees : the School will only reimburse for 1 piece of baggage checked. The School will not reimburse for overweight baggage.
- Preferred Seating : the School will not reimburse for preferred seating requests (i.e., aisle seat, wing area, etc.)
- Change in ticket : airlines are now charging for a change in ticket and charging a fee to do the recalculation of a new ticket –sometimes up to or over $200. The School will not reimburse for ticket changes or recalculations of tickets, so please be sure of your travel plans.
All efforts should be made to obtain the lowest economy/basic fare. Second tier coach fare is acceptable if needed to reserve a seat assignment. The school recommends purchasing 60 days in advance of travel and requires that bookings be made no later than 30 days in advance of travel. All last minute travel needs must be approved by the Senior Director of Practicum Learning or the Director of M.S.W. Practicum Learning. For electronic tickets, please submit the electronic confirmation/receipt that shows your travel plus the amount charged to a major credit card. Itineraries without credit card information included are not acceptable. The School wishes you to use the best venue of travel booking that will offer the best cost. If your scheduled travel should be interrupted due to a cancellation by the Carrier and overnight lodging is necessary and not covered by the Carrier, the school will reimburse hotels up to $200/night (room rate and taxes). In major U.S. cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the School will reimburse up to $250-300/night (room rate and taxes).
Ubers, Lyfts, Taxis and Shuttles:
Due to increasing costs, car services such as Uber or Lyft should only be used for small trips only, under 20 miles. The one exception allowed is using a taxi, Uber, or Lyft when traveling roundtrip from Smith campus to Bradley International Airport. If utilizing private transportation (car service, airport shuttle, etc.) the School will reimburse the lowest cost fare available. For example, if an airport shuttle service has available a shared van and the traveler elects a private car or exclusive-use van, the traveler will only be reimbursed the cost of the shared van rate.
Travelers should use taxis or public transportation in metropolitan areas to realize greater savings and convenience (e.g. New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, etc.).
The School recommends purchasing 60 days in advance of travel, and requires that bookings be made no later than 30 days in advance of travel. All last minute travel needs must be approved by the Senior Director of Practicum Learning or the Director of M.S.W. Practicum Learning.
The following should be considered before renting a car:
- Availability of hotel shuttles and taxi cabs
- Airport transports (included at some hotels)
- Proximity of hotel to destination
- Length of stay, and no cost upgrades
While traveling for advising, the School will reimburse for economy or compact car rentals only. If you rent a vehicle while working on behalf of the School, the School recommends that you take out the
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance for the car in case of an accident. The School will reimburse you for this daily coverage. It is important to inspect any rental vehicle before you take it and document any damages, dents, scratches, etc. on the rental form. You will not be reimbursed for a car rental when attending yearly meetings on the Smith Campus.
If a personal vehicle is used, the traveler is eligible for mileage reimbursement, which recognizes the cost of gas, oil, normal wear and tear, and insurance. The School reimburses at the rate set by the College, which is usually equal to the standard I.R.S. approved mileage rate. It is currently at 65.5 cents per mile (as of 1/1/23).
If you have the Fast Lane mechanism in your vehicle and do not get receipts for these, please note the cost of the turnpike travel and document it as “Fast Lane” on the travel log submitted.
When traveling within the Northampton area or to any of the other four institutions within the Five College Consortium, you will not be reimbursed for travel.
When you drive your own vehicle on School business, your own insurance policy serves as a “primary” policy for third party liability and physical damage to your vehicle. If your vehicle is damaged as a result of an accident, whether it is your fault or not, your comprehensive/collision coverage of your policy would cover this. The School will not pay for any physical damage to your vehicle – you use it at your own risk.
The School will only reimburse for single room rates. Many hotels offer conference, corporate or educational rates which should be utilized whenever possible. The School will reimburse, in most U.S. cities, for hotels up to $200/night (room rate and taxes). In major U.S. cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the School will reimburse up to $250-300/night (room rate and taxes). Some SSW events will have further restricted lodging reimbursement rates depending on the event.
Meals and Entertainment:
Reimbursement of meals and entertainment for business purposes will be on the basis of actual and reasonable costs up to a maximum of $65 per day. Costs must be itemized and actual receipts scanned and attached through Workday for any expense exceeding $25. Travelers should retain all receipts, including expenses under $25, for accurate accounting of expenses. Tips associated with meals are claimed as part of the total meal expense. When dining with others, each person should pay for their own expenses. If circumstances do not permit this, to ensure that costs are properly accounted for, the person paying the entire meal expenditure must report each attendee's name, the business purpose, and matter discussed.
On FFA meeting days where there are meals being provided, we request a maximum reimbursement of $40 for additional meals (and you should only reimburse for meals not provided).
|Do book your flights ideally 60 days in advance but 30 days in advance is REQUIRED.||Don’t book your flight 1 week before the Smith meeting or agency visit.|
Do take cabs and Ubers for short trips if public transportation is not available.
Do look into taking airport shuttle services like the Valley Transporter from Bradley.
|Don’t use Uber or Lyft for anything over 20 miles (exception being RT Bradley to Smith College for FFA meetings).|
|Do consider flying into Bradley or renting a car or take a Peter Pan Bus to get to Smith from Logan International.||Don’t use Uber or Lyft for anything over 20 miles.|
|Do submit your expense report shortly after the meeting or visit. Workday makes it easy to do this electronically from your computer, or on-the-go from your phone!||Don’t combine expense reports from, for example, a summer meeting and your fall visits. It is harder on you as it requires more documentation in Workday when you combine many things in one report.|