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Reimbursement of Expenses - PROCEDURE UPDATE regarding missing receipts

Published: 3 Sep 2013

The following memo is sent on behalf of Rose Goldstein, Vice-Principal Research and International Relations, and Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance

DATE:                     September 1, 2013
TO:                          McGill Community              
CC:                          Anthony C. Masi, Provost and Acting Principal
RE:                         
Reimbursement of Expenses – PROCEDURE UPDATE regarding missing receipts

Until now, our administrative practice has been to require signed memos in lieu of lost/misplaced receipts supporting certain travel expenses.  This administrative process is time consuming as employees currently spend many collective hours preparing memos and following up for signatures.  Given the current budgetary constraints, we must seek to simplify our processes and reduce unnecessary tasks. 

The current level of signed memos submitted with expense reimbursement claims is excessive and also exposes the university to compliance risk with our granting agencies.  The "signed memos" are not an acceptable substitute for missing original receipts and result in non-compliance with our external partners' policies.  In the past year, many improvements have been communicated to the McGill Community as a result of recommendations received following the Tri-Agency Financial Monitoring Visit in 2010. The elimination of this practice will ensure that we remain compliant with respect to expense reimbursements.

The most efficient approach to expense reimbursement is dependent upon having actual receipts.  Accordingly, effective September 1st 2013 the practice of obtaining a signed memo as a substitute for missing original receipts in expense claims, will no longer be in effect.  These expenses will have to be absorbed by the claimant.  Furthermore, the Canada Revenue Agency considers all amounts paid to individuals without receipts to be income to the individual and, therefore, taxable.  With the current excessive volume, we are no longer under the realm of "reasonable amount" of missing receipts, which in turn substantially increases the risk that Revenue Canada would not accept our past practices.

We count on your responsible stewardship by ensuring that you submit all supporting documentation (original receipts) when making travel expense reimbursements.   To lessen the potential financial burden of missing receipts, we've provided you with possible alternatives to negate the effects such as:

  • Meal per diems in the case of missing meal receipts
  • Other evidence of travel besides the boarding pass, ie travel itinerary, hotel bills, taxi fare
  • Electronic availability of receipts
  • Capturing picture of receipt with iPhone

Please consult the following for further details Reimbursement of Expenses | Financial Services - McGill University

If you need any additional information please contact your local Financial Service Team Manager or Financial Services Help Desk (3463).

Thank you. 

[Message sent out over the FIS listserv on September 3, 2013 on behalf of Rose Goldstein, Vice-Principal Research and International Relations, and Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance]

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