posted August 10, 2015

Can I Be Reimbursed for That?

by Eugene Park, CPA, Audit Manager

    The Arizona Office of the Auditor General recently released an updated FAQ section in regards to travel reimbursements amongst others. In reviewing the updates, we’ve highlighted some other specific situations that we have come across over the years:

    Q: I am planning on attending Summer AASBO in Tucson. My place of residence is in Chandler (20 miles from duty post) and my place of work is in Glendale. My District reimburses us for mileage when using my own vehicle. How much mileage should I claim for reimbursement?

    A: It depends, if you leave directly from your residence to Tucson, you should deduct your “normal” commuting miles from the mileage from your residence to Summer AASBO (i.e. deduct 20 miles each way between the distance from your residence to the conference).

    If you go from your residence and drive to your normal duty post inGlendale and then drive to Summer AASBO from your normal duty post, you would claim the distance between your duty post to Summer AASBO and back if you final return destination is your duty post in Glendale. Remember if you drive from Summer AASBO back to your resident you should deduct your “normal” commute miles for the trip back (i.e. no deduction from duty post to Tucson, deduct 20 miles fromTucson back to your residence if that is your final destination).

    Q: Our District does not have a credit card for District travel purposes and we must reimburse our employees for travel costs. Can we advance funds for travel?

    A: Yes, per the ADOA travel policy, you are able to advance funds up to 80% of the expected cost of lodging and meals. The employee should bring back receipts and invoices to substantiate the advanced funds and any additional costs to be reimbursed. Also keep in mind that your District’s policies could be different. Whichever policy is stricter, should be the policy to follow.

    Q: The ADOA travel policy provides per diem amounts however my District’s policies states that receipts are required. Can I just claim the per diem amount since it’s the ADOA’s policy?

    A: Remember that your District’s policy can be more restrictive than ADOA’s travel policy and therefore you would be required to provide receipts as per your District’s policy.

    Q: I am getting reimbursed for airfare, hotel and conference registration fees. Because it was for School District Travel purposes, we have coded the full amount to object code 6580 as per the USFR Chart of Accounts. Is this correct?

    A: No, while coding the hotel and airfare to 6580 is correct, you should code the conference registration fee portion to object code 6300 in accordance with the USFR Chart of Accounts. Please note that the USFR Chart of Accounts explicitly points this out.

    Q: Aren’t costs for students on a field trip “School District Related Travel”, which means I code this to object code 6580?

    A: No, 6580 is for District personnel, federally funded advisory committee members and nonemployees traveling for an official District purpose. Student travel should be coded to object code 6890 in accordance with the USFR Chart of Accounts.

    If you have any additional questions, again the AG’s Office recently updated their travel related FAQs which can be reviewed at the http://www.azauditor.gov/reports-publications/school-districts/faqs/travelor feel free to contact your audit or consulting representative at any time.


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