In case of a disagreement in the interpretation of policies, or in the case of a dispute, the PDF version prevails.
Purpose and Scope
University travel and other allowable business expenses from all sources of funding must follow the Reimbursement of Travel and Other Expenses Policy. This Policy must be made available to all employees, students, and visitors who may be reimbursed for expenses incurred. For the purposes of this Policy, "employee" collectively refers to academics, researchers, and administrative staff.
Refer to the Procedures for details regarding the implementation and interpretation of this Policy.
- Only legitimate monetary expenses related to approved University and/or Granting Agency business shall be reimbursed
- The Claimant (person who has incurred expenses on behalf of the University) and the Fund Financial Manager (employee responsible and accountable for a McGill fund/grant) are accountable to ensure that the expenses are:
- Appropriate for the use of funds
- For University/Granting Agency purposes only
- In accordance with University/Granting Agency policies, regulations and procedures
- Charged to the correct FOAPAL(s) where budget availability exists.
- Personally incurred by the Claimant (i.e. the Claimant does not request reimbursement on behalf of another individual)
- Individuals should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of conducting University business.
- Once reimbursed, these same expenses cannot be used for any other reimbursement against other University funds or for any claim to another organization.
- Any violation of this Policy may result in sanctions, up to and including termination of employment.
- Expense reports which do not conform to the Policy and Procedures will be returned to the Claimant for adjustment and completion.
- Where applicable, Granting Agency guidelines supersede the University Policy.
- Donations are not an eligible expense to be reimbursed.
- Travel advances may be obtained for third party prepayments, out-of-pocket expenses that are required to be paid in advance of the trip, and for expenses to be incurred during the trip as itemized in the Procedures. Employees who do not wish to incur these expenses personally may apply for a University Corporate Card. Visitors may only request third party prepayments.
- Other advances may also be issued for non-travel items.
- All advances are considered accountable and subsequent accounting is required.
- In the event that an amount is to be returned to the University, payment can be submitted via Interac e-Transfer to Traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca or via a personal cheque made payable to McGill University.
- No additional advances or reimbursements of any kind will be made if the settlement of a prior advance is overdue. In addition, non-compliance may result in PCard deactivation and/or freezing of University funds under the responsibility of the Claimant or approver of the advance.
- Advances are considered overdue 30 days after the expected return date indicated on the advance request. To clear or reconcile an advance, an expense report must be submitted.
P3. Expense Reports and Reimbursements
- Reimbursement for University and/or Granting Agency business related expenses must be claimed via an expense report submitted through the University Expense Reimbursement System.
- All expenses related to a single trip must be reported on one comprehensive expense report. The expense report must include all costs paid directly by the University, the Claimant, or any other party.
- Personal expenses incurred on behalf of the Claimant or his/her family, friends, or relatives, may not be reimbursed. Personal expenses include costs which are not a necessary consequence of travel on behalf of the University.
- In the event that reimbursements for expenditures are subsequently received from other organizations, the Claimant must refund the University for the said expenses.
- Expense reports related to travel, trips (including field trips) and conferences must be submitted no later than 30 days following the return date.
- Expense reports not related to travel, trips (including field trips) or conferences that are submitted after 90 days following the oldest receipt date will not be reimbursed. Exceptions will be made during the pandemic.
- In line with Canada Revenue Agency income tax refunds reimbursements (net of accountable advances) or amounts owing to the University less than $2 will not be paid nor requested to be returned by the Claimant.
P4. Approvals and Responsibilities
- All advances and expense reports must be acknowledged/signed by the Claimant and signed/approved by the Fund Financial Manager(s) of each FOAPAL charged even when the resulting charge (expenses less advances) is zero.
- In the case where the Claimant is the Fund Financial Manager, or has a personal relationship with the Fund Financial Manager (i.e. spouse, sibling, children), their immediate supervisor must sign/approve the advance/expense report request.
- The delegation of approval in certain circumstances is permitted. Refer to the Delegation of Signing Authority Regulation.
- For meals and entertainment, should the normal approver be listed in the names of people being entertained, then their direct superior must sign/approve the request.
P5. Subsequent Audit and Adjustment
- Approval and reimbursement of an expense on an expense report does not constitute final acceptance. All expense reports are subject to subsequent review by Financial Services, Internal Audit, Granting Agencies, or at the request of individual Faculties or Departments. The final decision related to any adjustment rests with Financial Services. Amounts refused must be reimbursed personally by Claimants.
Refer to the Procedures for Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses (available in the Travel section of this website).
Publication Date: December 2, 2005
Revision Date: October 15, 2020 - V4.1
Related Memorandums, Announcements, and Revision Notes
October 15, 2020 - Version 4.1: Updated P3.6 to add Exceptions will be made during the pandemic.
September 17, 2020 - Version 4.0: Updated P3.5.: Expense reports related to travel, trips (including field trips) and conferences must be submitted no later than 30 days following the return date. Added P3.6.: Expense reports not related to travel, trips (including field trips) or conferences that are submitted after 90 days following the oldest receipt date will not be reimbursed.
May 21, 2020 - Version 3.4: Updated P2.4. To add Interac e-Transfer as a method of refund payable to McGill University.
April 6, 2020 - Version 3.3: Overview section - Replaced the word Overview with Purpose and Scope;
August 22, 2018 - Version 3.2: Clarified P4.1 to read: All advances and expense reports must be acknowledged/signed by the Claimant and approved/signed by the Fund Financial Manager(s) of each FOAPAL charged even when the resulting charge (expenses less advances) is zero. Exceptions apply to Visitors. Only wet signatures are accepted.
November 07, 2017 - Memorandum from Yves Beauchamp,, VP Administration and Finance and Martha Crago, VP Research and Innovation about the Tri-Agency Summary of Changes - channel news | Memo Tri_Agency Summary of Changes
April 26, 2017 - Version 3.1: Clarified P4.1 to read: All advances and expense reports must be acknowledged by the Claimant and approved by the Fund Financial Manager(s) of each FOAPAL charged even when the resulting charge (expenses less advances) is zero. Exceptions apply to Visitors.
February 21, 2017 - Version 3.0: The Policy has been renamed to Reimbursement of Travel and Other Expenses Policy. Procedures have been removed from the Policy and have been published in the new Travel section of this website. With these revisions, the Policy numbering jumps from version 2.8 to 3.0.
December 5, 2016: Announcement from Julie Ghayad, Director Finance Infrastructure and Transaction Services, Financial Services, about the Vision Travel - FOAPAL Authorization form updated with "Claimant Affiliation" field - channel news
November 30, 2016: Announcement from Elvie Coletta, Director, Research Financial Management Services, Financial Services, about the NEW "Claimant Affiliation" field added to Minerva Advances & Expense Reports forms (effective December 1, 2016) - channel news | Reimbursement of Expenses Requirements Checklist Tri-Agency.pdf
November 18, 2016: Announcement from Elvie Coletta, Director, Research Financial Management Services, Financial Services, about 2016 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide – Summary of Changes – channel news.| 2016 Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide - Summary of Changes
August 1, 2016 - Version 2.8: A detailed restaurant receipt is now mandatory when claiming reimbursement on research grants and contracts. If a detailed receipt is not available, it is no longer acceptable to indicate on the receipt why a detailed receipt was not obtained and to certify that the meal being claimed complies with agency policies. The note in expense type (7) Hotel and the receipt requirements for expense type (8) Meals were updated accordingly (section G4.4.6). Per diem amounts may be claimed when there is no detailed receipt available.
June 14, 2016 – Version 2.7: Clarified that the term students includes postdoctoral fellows (postdocs). The following sections were updated to read students (including postdoctoral fellows): G2.1; G2.2; G3.1.1 a, b, and c; G4.2; G4.3.2.
April 25, 2016 – Version 2.6: Updated the note in Section G4.4.6 Summary by Expense Type - Expense Type (2) Car Rental - added If renting a car in North-America to the second paragraph.
April 04, 2016: Announcement from Julie Ghayad, Director Finance Infrastructure and Transaction Services, Financial Services, about Submitting an Expense Report - "new" Expense Items added – channel news. (Note: This announcement impacts data entry in Minerva. No changes have been made to the policy itself.)
March 16, 2016 – Version 2.5: Replaced the phrase “faculty or staff” and the word “staff” with “academic staff, administrative and support staff”.
February 04, 2016 - Version 2.4: Announcement from Cristiane Tinmouth, Interim Assistant Vice-Principal Financial Services and Controller, about Reimbursement of Expenses Policy Update – P2.1 and G3.1 Eligibility for requesting and receiving Travel Advances – channel news.
June 22, 2015 - Version 2.3: Updated the note in Section G4.4.6 Summary by Expense Type - Expense Type (1) Personal Automobile - added a reference to the Use of Personal Vehicle page on the Travel Services website.
April 27, 2015 announcement from Cristiane Tinmouth, Controller, Financial Services about Reimbursement of Expenses Policy Update - G4.4.6 Expense Type (2) Car Rental - channels news.
March 19, 2015 announcement from Cristiane Tinmouth, Interim Assistant Vice-Principal Financial Services and Controller, about Reimbursement of Expenses - UPDATE - Airfare Receipt Requirements- channels news.
October 30, 2014 announcement from Cristiane Tinmouth, Interim Assistant Vice-Principal Financial Services and Controller, about Reimbursement of Expenses - PROCEDURE UPDATE regarding missing receipts- channels news.
September 3, 2013 Memorandum from Rose Goldstein, Vice-Principal Research and International Relations, and Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance about Reimbursement of Expenses – PROCEDURE UPDATE regarding missing receipts - channels news | PDF version.
May 9, 2013 announcement from Cristiane Tinmouth, Controller, Financial Services about Delegation of Temporary Signing Authority Procedures For All Fund Financial Managers - channels news.
May 31, 2012 Memorandum from Cristiane Tinmouth, Controller, Financial Services about Mileage rate increase - PDF version.