Travel and Expense Reimbursement Policy

1.     INTRODUCTION 

This policy provides guidance for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by officers and employees of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda in the performance of their responsibilities. 

2.     GENERAL GUIDANCE 

2.1     The Salvation Army will reimburse expenses that are legitimate, reasonable, and appropriate for the activity undertaken through TEM its electronic Travel and Expenses Management system. Officers and employees incurring business-related expenses on behalf of The Salvation Army should bear in mind the following principles:

  • Stewardship – The resources entrusted to The Salvation Army do not belong to us. We are stewards or trustees of those resources. Ultimately, we recognize that all of the resources placed at our disposal belong to God, and we are accountable to him for how we use them. 
  • Accountability – We have a responsibility to our stakeholders, including donors and funding agencies that provide the resources, and to those who depend on our programs and services, to use them appropriately, including ensuring that minimal resources are consumed on overhead and administration, and maximum resources are consumed in programs and services that serve our community. 
  • Moderation – The Salvation Army believes in being frugal with our expenses. What we do and how we live should reflect the principle of moderation, ensuring that we are neither lavish nor cheap, but obtaining good value for money. 
  • Integrity – We are who we say we are. Nowhere is this principle more important than in the way we conduct ourselves with respect to our expenses. 

2.2     Expenses must have been incurred by the claimant; no person may request reimbursement for expenses that have been paid by another individual. 

2.3     Individuals should neither gain nor lose personally as a result of incurring expenses on behalf of The Salvation Army. 

2.4     Scanned copies of receipts from suppliers must support all expense reimbursements, except when allowances are paid on a per diem basis. When expenses are charged to a credit card, both the scanned credit card slip and the detailed receipt listing the items purchased must be submitted. For audit purposes all original receipts are to be retained for a period of 12 months after a claim has been submitted. Code only items on a receipt must be explained in writing for the benefit of the approver. 

Where original receipts are not available a detailed written explanation is to be provided.  The explanation will be required before payment can be issued.  Within a fiscal year detailed receipts can only be missing on no more than three occasions, beyond that expenditures will be considered a personal expense. All receipts are to be legible for easy understanding. 

2.5     All expense claims including corporate credit card claims should be submitted for reimbursement on a timely basis. Expense claims submitted more than six months after the expenses have been incurred are not eligible for reimbursement. 

2.6     Officers and employees who incur business expenditures on a frequent basis will be provided with a corporate credit card (Refer to TFM 0805  for detailed guidelines ). When a corporate credit card has been provided, no expenses may be reimbursed that have been charged to a personal credit card, other than in exceptional circumstances This ensures that the Army realizes the maximum benefit available from corporate credit facilities, and allows for ease of analysis and reporting of business expenditures. Corporate credit cards can only be used by those to whom the card has been issued. 

2.7    Individuals who have not been provided with a corporate card may obtain reimbursement for business-related expenditures occasionally charged to a personal credit card. 

2.8     Under no circumstances may any officer or employee use a personal credit card on a frequent basis to incur business expenditures that should more properly be charged to a corporate credit card or invoiced to The Salvation Army. 

2.9     In particular, officers and employees should avoid charging business expenditures to a personal credit card in order to benefit from reward programs. 

2.10     Officers and employees who travel on Salvation Army business may earn rewards offered by the carrier (e.g. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program) as a means of compensating them for the personal time and inconvenience associated with travel. Officers and employees who redeem rewards for personal purposes are required to report the fair market value of the reward for income tax purposes. 

2.11     Any expense not expressly provided for in an official policy of the Canada & Bermuda Territory is not appropriate for reimbursement from Salvation Army funds. The Secretary for Business Administration and Territorial Financial Secretary are available for consultation with DHQ for interpretation purposes. 

3.     ACCOMMODATIONS 

3.1     For 2017/2018 reimbursement for accommodations at a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast facility while travelling on official business may be made up to the a maximum of $157.50 per night plus applicable taxes. Charges should be for accommodations and private bath in a business class facility. If one’s spouse is accompanying an individual on business travel at personal expense, any additional room charges for the second person are a personal expense. 

3.2     In choosing accommodations, judgment should be used when exceeding the cost of the maximum accommodation rate will still result in savings due to the ability to avoid the expense of a rental car, to reduce or eliminate cab fare, or because breakfast is included in the nightly rate. Such rationale should be documented on reimbursement claims. 

3.3.     If an officer or employee stays with family or friends instead of incurring accommodations expenses, reimbursement may be made for a token gift to the host of up to $55 per stay of up to three days, and $110 per stay of more than three days. 

3.4     In certain circumstances, it may not be possible to secure accommodations within the maximum rate allowed, even after consideration of other issues, as explained in 3.2 above. In such circumstances, the immediate supervisor should pre-approve the request and the refund claim should include a statement explaining why the rate was exceeded. The approving officer will determine the reasonability of such claims. 

4.     AUTOMOBILE EXPENSES 

4.1     Officers and employees using vehicles leased by The Salvation Army (or owned by the Army, for officers and employees in Bermuda): 

a)     Reimbursement will be made for the following costs which are charged to the leasing program maintenance card (or to the corporate credit card for officers and employees in Bermuda): 

  • Gasoline while on duty and within 50 kilometres from home while off duty. Gasoline used for trips of more than 50 kilometres while off duty and all gasoline while on vacation is a personal responsibility. No reimbursement shall be made for premium gasoline under any circumstances. 
  • Basic car washes, up to a maximum of once every two weeks. Depending on weather and geography, less frequent washing may be reasonable at times. Efforts should be made whenever possible to minimize costs. No reimbursement shall be made for detailing services except for those vehicles approved for Program use that, due to soiling, may require upholstery cleaning from time to time.  Detailing of that nature will not include external car washing. 
  • Oil changes, lubrication, and other routine maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer. 
  • Winter tires are available as per OP 0401, drivers living in provinces with winter tire laws need to be governed accordingly. 
  • Windshield washer fluid. 
  • Major repairs and maintenance as authorized in advance in accordance with the maintenance instructions provided to each driver. 

b)     The following expenses may be reimbursed upon presentation of valid receipts or charged to the corporate credit card, but cannot be charged to the Element Card. 

  • Reasonable expenses incurred for rubberized floor mats for winter driving.   

c)     The following expenses are not reimbursable: 

  • Automobile detailing services. 
  • Air fresheners. 
  • Automobile accessories such as coolers, electrical voltage adapters, center consoles and other storage units, etc. 
  • Automobile cleaning products, such as car wash soap, brushes, buckets, etc. 
  • Windshield tinting. 

d)    The Element Card must only be used for relevant automobile expenses.  Under extenuating circumstances, a corporate or personal credit card may be used, provided that a reasonable explanation accompanies the request the reimbursement. 

4.2     Officers who receive a monthly allowance for a personally owned vehicle 

a) Reimbursement will be made for the following expenses upon presentation of valid receipts: 

Gasoline (in accordance with the same terms set out above for leased vehicles). 
Routine oil changes and lubrication, such as the greasing of the steering system, suspension system, drive train.   
Windshield washer fluid. 
Insurance premiums (in accordance with Operating Policy 401 Section 4.5 and 5.3) 

b) No other costs related to a personally owned vehicle are reimbursable. 

4.3     Officers and employees who use a personally owned vehicle for occasional business use and do not receive a monthly allowance 
Reimbursement will be made for business travel authorized in advance by the supervisor and paid at a rate of $0.46 per kilometre. 

4.4     All officers and employees 

No reimbursement can be made for traffic or parking fines and offences, regardless of the circumstances. In every case, the driver is personally responsible for all fines incurred whether driving a Salvation Army vehicle or not, and whether on business or not. 

5.     CASH ADVANCES 

Cash advances are normally not provided to individuals to meet out of pocket expenses. In all cases, individuals who are travelling should use their corporate credit card or if a corporate card is not available, use a personal card and claim reimbursement upon their return. If there are exceptional circumstances warranting a cash advance, such as a trip to a country where use of a credit card is not possible, a full accounting should be provided to the supervisor immediately upon return. 

6.     ENTERTAINMENT 

Personal leisure and entertainment expenses including, but not limited to, movies, exercise facilities, sporting events and activities, theatre productions, tourist attractions, sightseeing trips are not reimbursable from Salvation Army funds under any circumstances, whether incurred on travel or at home, for personal enjoyment or while entertaining guests. 

7.     GIFTS TO OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES 

7.1     Gifts purchased for a farewell or retirement event, in accordance with Operating Policy 4904, are reimbursable. 

7.2     Gifts purchased to acknowledge employee service milestones, in accordance with Section 17.05 of the Employee Relations Policies and Procedures Manual, are reimbursable. 

    Employee 10 year service        $100
    Employee 15 year service        $125
    Employee 20 year service        $150
    Employee 25 year service        $200
    Employee 30 year service        $250
    Employee 35 year service        $300

7.3     A gift of a token amount (under $50.00) may be used to acknowledge other significant milestones (e.g. conferring of a degree or professional designation, etc.). 

7.4     Except as expressly provided for under the terms of Salvation Army policy, no other gifts may be reimbursed. 

7.5     The practice of giving gift cards is prohibited.  See OP 4008 on the use of gift cards. 

8.     GRATUITIES 

Reimbursement may be claimed for gratuities paid in the course of incurring business expenditures, as follows: 

  • Baggage handling porters or valets – $2.00 per occurrence. 
  • Taxicab drivers – up to 18% of the fare. 
  • Housekeeping staff in hotels/motels – $5.00 for the first day, and $2.00 for each additional day. 
  • Restaurant wait staff – up to 18% of the cost, excluding taxes, unless a higher amount is automatically added to the bill by the restaurant. 
  • Calculation of gratuities should be exclusive of taxes.

9.     HOME OFFICE 

9.1     When The Salvation Army requests that an officer or employee establish an office in his/her home as their primary place of work, the following costs are reimbursable based on the presentation of valid receipts for reasonable expenditures: 

Telecommunications – internet, telephone. 
Office furnishings – desk, chair, lamp, bookcase, credenza 
Office equipment – printer, scanner, fax, computer and accessories 

9.2     For employee,where costs of telecommunications are shared for both business and personal use, they shall be prorated accordingly for reimbursement. In the absence of evidence to the contrary it shall be assumed that personal use is 50% and business use is 50%. 
          
For officers, a home internet allowance is provided (effective September 1, 2015) at a rate of $37.50 per married officer (including those married to a non-officer) and $75.00 for single officers. 

9.3     In cases in which officers and employees periodically work in a home office, even though it is not the primary place of business, the Army will generally not cover all costs of maintaining a home office, such as internet, telephone, equipment and furnishings, but may make certain equipment, such as a small printer or a laptop computer, available for this purpose and may reimburse the officer or employee for the cost of supplies consumed (e.g. paper, printer ink, etc.). If a landline is used for business calls reimbursement can be received with the submission of a detailed request and receipts. The supervising officer/employee will make the determination as to which costs may reasonably be refunded in these circumstances. 

10.     INSURANCE

10.1     Flight cancellation insurance may be reimbursed for all business related travel. 

10.2     Travel medical insurance may be reimbursed for all business related travel outside the country, including Canadian personnel visiting Bermuda on business, and personnel in Bermuda visiting Canada on business, as well as destinations outside the Canada and Bermuda territory. 

11.     LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING 

Normally, costs of laundry and dry cleaning are a personal expense; however, when a business trip is planned for more than seven days or lasts longer than planned if less than seven days, reasonable costs of laundry services and dry cleaning may be reimbursed. 

12.     LUGGAGE 

The Salvation Army does not cover the costs of luggage, except for reasonable costs incurred to purchase a carrying bag or briefcase for a Salvation Army owned laptop computer. Where individuals are required to travel with supplies of paper, handouts, etc. for meetings or presentations, a separate carrying bag or briefcase may be reimbursed for this purpose. 

13.     MEALS 

13.1     General 

a)     No alcoholic beverages may be reimbursed under any circumstances. 

b )     All claims for reimbursement should include documentation explaining the reason for the meal expense. 

c )     The Salvation Army does not generally reimburse individuals for beverages and/or snacks except to the extent to which they have been consumed in place of breakfast, lunch or dinner, and subject to the meal and daily limits set out below. Expenses incurred to purchase coffee and other beverages are generally a personal responsibility. Reasonable costs incurred for coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages and snacks may, however, be claimed for meetings involving staff and guests. 

13.2     Travelling on official business 

Meals will be reimbursed based on the presentation of original receipts up to the following maximum amounts (excluding taxes and gratuities) effective April 1, 2017.

Breakfast $14.25 plus taxes and maximum 18% gratuity
Lunch $18.75  plus taxes and maximum 18 % gratuity 
Dinner $31.25 plus taxes and maximum 18% gratuity 

Maximum rates per individual meal may be exceeded provided the total cost for the day does not exceed $64.25 plus taxes and maximum 18% gratuity. 
The 18% gratuity may be exceeded where the restaurant automatically adds a gratuity to the bill. Calculation of gratuities should be exclusive of taxes. 
The maximum daily rate for meals may only be exceeded in exceptional circumstances, with an explanation provided on the claim for reimbursement. The approving officer will determine whether such claims are reasonable under the circumstances. 

13.3     Entertaining guests for meals 

When it is necessary to incur a meal expense with a guest, meals will be reimbursed based on the presentation of original receipts up to the maximum amounts outlined in section 13.2 above. 

13.4     Entertaining other officers or employees for meals 

Normally the cost of entertaining other officers or employees for meals is not reimbursable, except in unusual circumstances. Such circumstances would include time limitations (extended work day or need for a meeting when only the lunch hour is available), the nature and sensitivity of matters to be discussed, employee promotion or job performance, etc. A full explanation of the business purpose and names of all guests must be provided on the expense claim. Claims will not be processed without complete detailed back up. 

13.5     Counseling or pastoral care where identification of guest is not appropriate 

Officers or employees in positions in which they must meet with someone for the purpose of counseling may forego the need to identify the other person, provided they have been identified to the person authorizing the expense refund, and he/she adds a note to the claim indicating that the identity of the guest has been revealed to them, and they deem it appropriate that his/her identity not be revealed on the receipt. 

13.6     Meals during attendance at special events 

When attending special events at which attendance is mandatory, meals may be reimbursed by claiming either the published allowance rate for an internal event, or if no published rate has been established, by claiming meals with official receipts up to the current maximum amounts outlined in section 13.2 above. 

Meal costs where meals have been included in another reimbursable item (e.g. conference fees, transportation, accommodation) are not reimbursable. 

13.7     Entertaining guests for meals at home 

Effective April 1, 2017 when it is necessary to entertain a guest at one’s home, a claim for reimbursement of meal expenses may as follows: breakfast – $6.55; lunch – $7.05; dinner $7.60 (see Operating Policy 4907  ) 

13.8    Staff who are required to work for a period of 2 hours or more outside of their regular working hours  (when no meal is provided) may claim for a meal as per Section # 13.2

14.     PASSPORTS AND VISAS 

The Salvation Army will not reimburse any individual for the cost of a passport or other travel documentation routinely required to travel outside the country, unless such costs are incurred solely for business reasons. The Salvation Army will not reimburse the cost of the NEXUS border clearing program. 

The Salvation Army will reimburse the cost of a visa or other specific documentation that is required to enter another country specifically for Salvation Army business. 

15.     QUARTERS EXPENSES 

15.1 The following expenses are reimbursable for officers’ quarters provided by The Salvation Army: 

Major furnishings and supplies, in accordance with Operating Policy 4301. 
Weeding and/or fertilizing contracts, landscaping and specified gardening equipment, in accordance with Operating Policy 4917. 

16.     TELEPHONE

16.1     Officers and employees may be reimbursed for reasonable and occasional long distance telephone costs incurred in the performance of their position responsibilities. 

16.2     Individuals who are required to make long distance calls from their home or other location outside their normal place of business will normally be provided with a cellular telephone equipped with a long distance plan to minimize such expenses. If a landline is used for business calls reimbursement can be received with the submission of a detailed request and receipts. 

16.3     Officers and employees who travel on Salvation Army business may be reimbursed for the costs of calling home during their absence. Except in extenuating circumstances, such calls should be confined to evening and weekend hours when rates are less expensive, and limited to calls of a maximum of 20 minutes per 24 hour period. 

16.4     While use of a business cell phone for personal use is permitted, any charges for personal use including long-distance calls, roaming charges, and text messages, other than as noted in 16.3 above, are to be considered a personal expense. When presenting the cell phone invoice for payment, claimants must show evidence of review and provide a signed statement that there are no personal charges or alternatively show evidence that personal charges have been refunded. 

17.     TRAVEL

17.1     Officers and employees who travel for business purposes must always consider the costs of travel and avoid them when business can be conducted as effectively by teleconference or videoconference, with due regard to the importance of face to face dialogue in some circumstances (e.g. the regular visits of DHQ staff to ministry units). When travel is required, the most economical means must be taken, with due consideration to the time involved. 

17.2     Travel arrangements should be made at least 14 days in advance, unless travel is being made on an emergency basis. 

17.3     In all cases, travel must be approved in advance by the individual’s department head, for individuals at THQ, or divisional commander for individuals at DHQ, divisional secretary for business administration or area commander for individuals at ministry units, cabinet secretary for department heads at THQ, and chief secretary for cabinet secretaries and divisional commanders 

17.4     If an individual is travelling on Salvation Army business and wishes to add on vacation time in the destination, travel costs may be fully reimbursed provided no additional costs have been incurred for the personal portion of the trip. 

17.5     All additional rental car, accommodations and meals charges related to the vacation time are a personal expense. Where charges cover both the period of business and vacation time, they should be prorated for the purposes of determining the personal portion. 

17.6    Options for travel are as follows: 

a)     Air travel in economy class at the least expensive rate obtainable (inclusive of required checked baggage fees).   Fees for advance seat selection and meal voucher may be claimed for all flights of two hours or greater in duration. When return travel dates or times may be subject to change, individuals should consider the cost of fare changes in determining which fare class to book. 

b )     Rail travel at the least expensive rate obtainable. Additional cost of Via1 or other business class may be claimed when trip exceeds four hours if total cost is still less than flying, including meals, transportation to airport, parking, etc. 

c )     Officers who drive a leased vehicle provided by The Salvation Army or receive monthly allowances for a personal vehicle are expected to drive whenever possible, provided there are significant savings in gasoline, meal and accommodation costs that more than justify the time required to be away from the appointment. 

d )     Individuals who have a personal vehicle for which no allowances are provided by The Salvation Army may claim refund of business kilometres at the standard rate of $0.46 per kilometre, in accordance with Operating Policy 0401, provided that the total expected cost of the trip is less than that which would be incurred in renting a car. Gasoline costs may not be claimed. 

e )     The cost of rental cars may be reimbursed when no less expensive form of transportation is available. Reimbursement will be made for a compact car for one traveller, a midsize car for two to three travellers, and a large car or minivan for more than three travellers. All individuals renting cars should obtain collision coverage. The corporate credit card provides limited insurance coverage for rental cars (See TFM Section 0805  ). All individuals renting cars must obtain full insurance coverage from the car rental company which includes $2,000,000 third party liability, accident benefits, collision and comprehensive coverage.