Expense and Reimbursement Policies

Policy (full version)


Employees at Mount Holyoke College have a responsibility to use resources wisely and carefully in furtherance of the College’s educational mission. The College is also subject to the scrutiny and requirements of outside entities including auditors, the IRS, federal and state government, private foundations and granting agencies. According to IRS regulation, reimbursable travel and entertainment expenditures must be “ordinary, necessary and reasonable,” must be fully documented and must have a legitimate business purpose.

The Expense Reimbursement Guidelines (Guidelines) establish standards and procedures regarding the reimbursement of reasonable business travel and entertainment costs in compliance with College policy and applicable Federal regulations.

The Guidelines are designed to ensure consistency and fair treatment for all members of the Mount Holyoke College community whose approved business travel or approved business entertainment will be reimbursed or paid for by the College. This policy also applies to visitors (e.g. speakers and candidates) whose travel is at the College’s expense.

This policy is intended to:

  • Clarify the responsibility for controlling and reporting travel and entertainment costs
  • Document reimbursable versus non-reimbursable expenditures
  • Identify required documentation

This policy is not intended to cover every situation. Written documentation for exceptions, including signed approval by the applicable senior staff member, must be forwarded to the Comptroller’s Office (Accounts Payable). Certain gifts, grants or individual departments may have stricter policies or procedures than are contained within this policy. Those stricter policies will supersede those contained within these Guidelines. Please see your department supervisor for any additional guidelines or procedures.

Enforcement of the Guidelines ultimately rests with the Comptroller with the oversight of the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Implementation questions should be directed to the Accounting Manager-Disbursements and Grant Accounting.

Travel and Entertainment Policy Statement

This policy statement describes the procedures under which Mount Holyoke College reimburses staff members for expenses incurred for official travel and entertainment.

Faculty travel and entertainment, when associated with recruitment, scholarly and professional conferences, visiting committees, guest lecturers and other activities directly connected to the academic program operate under guidelines similar in spirit, annual updates on procedure issued by the Dean of Faculty. When faculty travel or entertainment on behalf of the College at the request of administrative departments (i.e., Admissions, Development, Alumnae Association), the following guidelines do apply.

  • The College's policy of reimbursement follows the basic principle that individuals should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of official travel and entertainment. Each individual should be reimbursed for all necessary and reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the performance of approved College business.
  • Expenditures should be planned so that costs will not exceed budgetary limitations. Individuals must not make commitments to travel or to incur other expenses without first assuring that the proposed expenses are authorized.
  • Individuals who are authorized to approve requests for reimbursement must review all expense report forms to assure compliance and therefore should also familiarize themselves with these guidelines.

Travelers are advised to check with Accounts Payable for specific reimbursement requirements prior to making and booking travel arrangements. Travelers can also check with Purchasing in order to ensure the use of negotiated contracts for travel related services.