Reimbursement Basics

LAST UPDATED: July 10, 2014

What You Should Know

A business expenses is defined as a necessary, reasonable, appropriate, and allowable non-compensation expense incurred for a valid business purpose to fulfill the mission of the University. While such allowable expenses may be eligible for reimbursement by University funds, other funding sources may have more restrictions.

For more information see the University’s Business Expense Policy.

Requesting Reimbursement

Requests for reimbursement must include a description of the business purpose.  Original receipts for all expenditures greater than or equal to $50 are required. If sponsor or departmental requirements are more restrictive, the more restrictive receipt requirements will take precedence. The request also must be approved by the head or chair of your department. Department chair or head reimbursement requests must be approved by the appropriate next higher level. If your expenses are related to travel, use a Business Travel Expense Report. If they are for other business-related expenses, use an Employee Voucher or a Student Voucher.

For reimbursement of non-travel related expenses incurred by a consultant or independent contractor, process the reimbursement using a Vendor Voucher. For travel-related reimbursements, use a Business Travel Expense Report.

Reimbursement Deadlines

Reimbursements should be requested within 60 days of incurring the expense or returning from the trip. After 60 days, your reimbursement must be reported by the University to the IRS as taxable income. For more information see the University’s Reimbursement Policy.

If You Received a Cash Advance

When you return from the trip or make the purchase(s) for which you received a cash advance, you must reconcile your actual expenses with the advance. To do this, complete a Business Travel Expense Report or an Employee Voucher (for non-travel expenses).

If your cash advance was greater than your actual expenses, then the unspent funds must be returned to the Financial Service Center.  If the cash advance was less, you will receive reimbursement for the additional expenses.

Even if your cash advance was exactly the same as your actual expenses, you must submit a Business Expense Report to document and properly account for the expenses associated with the trip.

When You Will Receive Reimbursement

Reimbursement requests are normally processed within three to five business days after accounts payable receives your Business Travel Expense Report or Voucher.

  • Direct Deposit   If you are a member of the faculty, staff, or a Princeton student, and if you are enrolled in direct deposit of your paychecks, then your reimbursement will be deposited in the bank account that is on file.
  • Checks   If you do not have direct deposit your check will be mailed to the address indicated on the form.

Further Reading


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