The Bentley Travel Policy establishes the policies governing the reimbursement of travel, entertainment and other expenses incurred during the conduct of Bentley business. It is Bentley's policy to authorize necessary and reasonable expenses when directly related to the transaction of Bentley business.
Prior to securing any reservations for a business travel excursion, a Travel Authorization Form must be signed by the traveler's Cost Center Approver. No employee can authorize or approve business travel for themselves. Travel Authorization Forms for excursions with anticipated costs exceeding $5,000 must be signed by both the Cost Center Approver and the respective Vice President. The Travel Authorization Form should reasonably estimate the total cost of the trip and should include a detailed explanation of the business purpose of the trip. Travel Authorization Forms must be submitted to Financial Operations.
B. Designated Travel Sources
The Bentley Business Travel program provides two sources for securing flights, hotel accommodations and rental cars. If your individual or group travel needs require alternative sources, contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services at extension 3456 in advance of securing a reservation.
Our primary agreement with Egencia Travel provides direct access to exclusive negotiated airfares and web airfares, hotel rates at thousands of hotels, and car rental discounts. While many reservations may be completed on-line with Egencia Travel, agent assistance is also available if needed and a higher fee will be assessed.
Our secondary source for more complex, multiple-stop international itineraries is The Travel Collaborative. Such reservations may be made through one of our assigned agents at higher transaction fees than Egencia Travel.
Egencia Travel and The Travel Collaborative are Bentley's designated sources for travel; alternative agents or internet services must be authorized by Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services in advance of securing travel services.
C. Air Transportation
Travelers should select the least costly air route, considering advance purchase rates and airline discounts. Coach class seating is to be used at all times. In extreme circumstances, the use of another class of travel may be approved with appropriate written justification and authorization by a Vice President prior to ticket purchase.
Airline fees that are in addition to a coach/economy ticket (boarding or seating upgrades, insurance, etc.) will not be paid by Bentley. Exceptions require explanation and additional approval on the travel authorization or expense report.
Alcoholic drinks, headsets and movies on flights will not be paid for by Bentley.
Travelers are expected to use prudent judgement in the selection of hotels, which should be booked in advance using Bentley's designated travel agencies. Lodging is limited to a single-occupancy standard room. The traveler must submit an itemized hotel bill with the Travel Expense Report. Travelers may make hotel reservations directly with a hotel, should this provide a lower cost option or group rate availability that is not offered through Bentley's designated travel sources.
When a traveler lodges with friend(s) or relative(s) while on official Bentley business, the cost of a gift or meal to the host may be reimbursed at a cost not to exceed $75. Only one gift per stay may be provided to a host, and the gift may not be alcohol. The gift or meal should be recorded as a miscellaneous expense, not a business meal or lodging. Gifts or meals in lieu of lodging cannot be charged to a federal grant.
E. Ground Transportation
The use of rental cars may be authorized when other transportation is not available or when their use results in savings of cost or time. Any person driving a Bentley leased or rented car should complete an application to be included on Bentley's insurance. Car rental insurance should thereafter be waived for travel within the United States, as such liability is covered under Bentley's umbrella insurance policy. Bentley will not pay for insurance through car rental companies. Refer to the Risk Management website for automobile policy information and application form.
1. Personal Meals
The Bentley Travel Card or ATM cash via the Travel Card must be used for meals of travelers who are on a business trip. Bentley does not utilize a Per Diem system for personal meals; however, Bentley expects and approves reasonable costs for meals. Receipts for all meals over $25 must be attached to the Travel Expense Report.
2. Business Meals and Entertainment
Business meals should be identified as such on the Travel Expense Report. In accordance with the IRS code, additional information is necessary when identifying business meals and entertainment on a Travel Expense Report.
The IRS requires:
- Names of all guests
- Titles or affiliations of the guests
- The business purpose must be clearly documented
- An original receipt is required.
G. Miscellaneous Expenses
All costs normally associated with registering for conferences will be paid by Bentley with the Bentley Travel Card whenever possible. Other expenditures associated with business travel including business-related telephone calls, internet use, baggage service, tips and gratuities, and other reasonable travel expenses clearly related to the purpose of the travel are valid. Bentley will reimburse travelers for laundry expenses, including dry cleaning, for extended trips of seven (7) or more days.
The following expenses will not be paid by Bentley:
- Spouse, Dependent or Guest Travel
- Airline Club Membership
- Health Spa Fees
- In-room Movies
- Sundries and Toiletries
- Dry Cleaning and Laundry - except for extended trips of seven (7) or more days
- Traffic Violations
- Theft or Loss of Baggage, Personal Belongings or Money
- Costs incurred by the traveler when an itinerary is altered to accommodate personal affairs are not considered valid travel expenses.
Any unusual items, or special circumstances causing a deviation from the policy should be fully explained and properly approved. Approval for the deviations should be obtained in advance of the travel whenever possible.
H. Travel Cards
A Bentley Travel Card must be used whenever possible to pay for business travel expenses. Other expenses should be paid with personal funds, which will be reimbursed upon submittal of the Travel Expense Report.
If you are planning to travel and do not have a Travel Card, contact Purchasing, Administrative and Campus Services at extension 3456.
I. Required Documentation and Submissions
The Travel Expense Report is intended to summarize all expenditures related to a business trip regardless of the mode or timing of payments. If the total amount paid by the traveler exceeds the substantiated expenses, a check for the difference should be included with the Travel Expense Report.
Detailed directions for completing the Travel Expense Report are attached to the form. Additional questions should be forwarded to Financial Operations at extension 2688.
All travel expenses must be reported on the Travel Expense Report. Original receipts are required for all expenses over $25. (Maintaining receipts for less than $25 is also encouraged for ease of expense reporting.) Following are examples of required original receipts:
- Air Passenger Receipt and a copy of itinerary
- Hotel folio plus proof of payment
- Car rental agreement and proof of payment
- Restaurant receipt over $25
- J. Required Approvals and Authorization
The primary responsibility for review and approval of all business travel and entertainment expenses rests with the approver of the Travel Expense Report. The approval indicates that the reviewer examined the Travel Expense Report in detail, verified the appropriateness of the expenditures in accordance with Bentley policy, and is satisfied with the amount reimbursable to the traveler.
Travel expenses are only considered valid when the expenses are properly documented as outlined above and the required approvals have been obtained.
Approved Travel Expense Report must be submitted to Financial Operations within 45 days after completion of the trip. Expenses that are not properly substantiated with an approved Travel Expense Report within 45 days after completion of the trip will be referred to the Department Director, Department Chair, Dean, or Vice President.