Reimbursement of Business Expenses- Procedure

The accounting review process ensures that the expense is properly documented on an Employee Expense Report, with all receipts attached, and properly approved. 

  • Expense or travel must be approved in advance by the immediate supervisor in accordance with University guidelines. 
  • Expenses are paid by the employee then reimbursed through the payroll process using an Employee Expense Report and a Check Request Form.  A Check Request Form is required for all reimbursements.  It must be approved by the proper signature authority for each department that is being charged.  These forms may be accessed
  • Attach all original receipts as verification of payment.  Foreign currency receipts must be converted to US dollars.  Receipts must show the date, item purchased, and amount.  This information must match exactly to the data being reported on the Employee Expense Report.  Itemized hotel statements are required showing that the balance has been paid in full.  A written explanation must be provided if an original receipt is not available. 
  • The business purpose for each expense must be noted on the Employee Expense Report.
  • Mileage expense should be recorded on the Employee Expense Report in the Recap of Expenses Without Receipts box indicating the date of the travel, the to and from destination, and the number of miles traveled.  An online map printout to verify mileage and FasTrak toll bridge crossings is required.
  • A travel advance is available (Policy FI-005).  When submitting expenses after receiving a travel advance, follow the Reimbursement of Business Expenses policy.  The Employee Expense Report provides a box for the advance amount.   
  • SMU has a preferred travel vendor for airfare, hotel, and car rentals to assist employees in making travel accommodations.  The airfare payment is a direct bill to SMU.  Airfare booked via the preferred travel vendor will not be paid directly by the employee, and should not be claimed on the Employee Expense Report.
  • A completed Employee Expense Report must be signed by the employee and approved (signature and date) by his/her immediate supervisor.  If the immediate supervisor is not available, approval may be obtained by another supervisor of the same level or higher in the department.
  • The employee should keep a copy of the entire expense reimbursement package (check request, expense report, and receipts) and submit the originals to the SMU Accounting Manager for validation and processing for payment.
  • Properly approved and properly documented reimbursement packages received by the SMU Accounting Manager no later than the close of business on the Friday before the payroll period end date will be paid the following payday.
  • It is important to remember that a valid business expense should be customary, used to accomplish the job, and reasonable for the situation.  Following is a list of common reimbursable expenses and guidelines.  Unique situations will be reviewed and reimbursed based on the facts and circumstances and applicable IRS regulations.


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