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Procedures for Travel and Other Expenses

Policy

Refer to the Travel and Other Expenses Policy.

Procedures

For the purposes of these Procedures, "employee" collectively refers to academics, researchers, and administrative staff.

Prior to booking and paying for travel-related expenses, please refer to Travel Services – Booking and Payment Procedures.

PR1. Travel Advances

There are three types of travel advances, all of which must be accounted for at the time of Expense Report submission. In cases where more than one payment is required in advance of a trip, multiple advance requests (and types) may be requested at different intervals prior to the trip.

PR1.1.
Third Party Prepayments – may be requested by Employees, Students and Visitors

These are payments made directly to third party suppliers in advance of the trip, for example, payments for conference registrations.

Direct payment is strongly recommended, as it may be requested at any time with copy of invoice.

The invoice is submitted with the comprehensive Expense Report following the trip (in order to account for the advance).

For conferences in Montreal where no other expenses will be claimed, payment for conference registration may be made by submitting a third party payment Expense Report instead of an advance.

PR1.2.
Out-of-Pocket in Advance of Trip – may be reimbursed to Employees and Students ONLY

The Claimant is out-of-pocket for expenses they personally paid for in advance of the trip. Examples include conference registration or airline ticket paid by the traveler.

This type of advance maybe requested at any time (and in multiple instances as Claimant prepays), with copy of receipt and proof of payment.

Receipt(s) and proof of payment is submitted with the comprehensive Expense Report following the trip (in order to account for the advance).

PR1.3.
Cash Advances – may be issued to Employees and Students ONLY

This payment to the Claimant is to cover cash needs for anticipated expenses to be incurred during the trip.

Cash advances should be limited to field studies, extended trips, and when trips occur in countries where cash is the only mode of payment.

Cash advances shall not be issued more than 30 days in advance of the trip. Amounts in excess of $5,000 require a breakdown of estimated costs.

PR2. Advances for Airfare/Rail Paid by FOAPAL Authorization Form

FOAPAL Authorization Form [Travel Services website]

PR3. Non-Travel Accountable Advances

Accountable advances may also be issued for non-travel purposes.

PR3.1. Advances for Participant Fee Payments

For research studies – compensation given to participants for undergoing experimental testing. Money is advanced to an employee for distribution to participants.

The Return Date must be a maximum of 6 months from the Start Date.

Amounts in excess of $5,000 require a breakdown of estimated costs.

PR3.2. Advances for Field Trips

For research being done over an extended period of time, off campus or at a remote location.

Amounts in excess of $5,000 require a breakdown of estimated costs.

PR 3.3. Advances for Petty Cash

For minor departmental expenses.

The Return Date must be a maximum of 60 days from the Start Date.

Amounts may not exceed $500.

PR4. Reconciliation of Advances

All advances including travel advances paid to third parties must be cleared by submitting an Expense Report 30 days following the return date of the trip.

Advances not reconciled 30 days following the return date of the trip are considered overdue.

Once an advance is considered overdue, no additional advances may be requested, nor will any expense report be reimbursed to the Claimant until the overdue advance is cleared.

The Fund Financial Manager (FFM) or Principal Investigator (PI) is not impacted by overdue advances of the Claimant. The FFM or PI is still able to obtain his/her personal advances or reimbursements unless an unresolved issue requires escalation.

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.

PR 5. Expense Reports

PR5.1. General

Expense Reports must be submitted using the respective Minerva ‘Advances and Expense Reports Menu’ for the following reasons:

  • To reimburse individuals for incurred travel and other expenses. Expenses paid with gift cards, reward point cards, or merchant cash dollars will not be reimbursed. These expense reports must be submitted within a certain number of business days based on the type of Expense Report. Please refer to the Travel and Other Expenses Policy - section P3.5 and P3.6.
  • To reconcile advances. All advances must be reconciled within 30 days after the expected return date indicated on the advance request. Overdue advances not reconciled by an Expense Report will result in blocking future requests for advances and subsequent reimbursements.
  • To issue payments to third parties:
    • Payments to individuals previously processed via a Payment Request prior to August 1, 2022 (e.g. guest lecturer fees (non-Canadian/non-Travel), participant fees, living allowances, awards/prizes to non-students, and prescribed prizes)
    • Travel-related third parties (e.g. visitors and conferences)
  • Field Trips. Expenses incurred while doing research over an extended period of time, off campus or at a remote location.

Minerva provides the facility to organize and group receipts, calculate currency exchange and sales tax for rebates, as well as assign proper account codes. It also presents Claimants with a checklist to ensure timely approval and processing of payment.

PR5.2. Official Expense Report

Travel Desk (Expense Payment Services) will only process Expense Reports sent via email to traveldeskhelp.acct [at] mcgill.ca in the following format:

  • One email = one Expense Report = one pdf document
  • The one pdf document must include the Expense Report, the supporting receipts/documentation and the acknowledgements/approvals

Once an Expense Report is processed by the Travel Desk (Expense Payment Services), any original paper receipt/supporting documentation that is digitized and submitted with the Expense Report must be destroyed.

The official Expense Report available for internal and external audits is the Expense Report that is submitted, processed and retained by the Travel Desk (Expense Payment Services).

PR5.3. Approval Methods

There are two options in lieu of wet signatures when approving/signing Advance and Expense Reports:

1. Option 1 – Email Approvals & Acknowledgements

  • Email approvals & acknowledgements can be used by Fund Financial Managers/Approvers/Claimants/Requestors.
  • Please note:
    • The email must include the acknowledgement clause found on the last page of the advance/expense report.
    • The notion of Claimant is not applicable for payments to individuals.
  • For email approvals, the following template can be sent to the Approver and the Claimant:

Please approve the following by replying “I Approve” to this email:

Request for Advance/Expense Reimbursement

ADV/EXR#:

Claimant:

Amount:

FOAPAL distribution:

APPROVER: I certify that I have reviewed the attached advance/expense report #00xxxxxx and that all expenses are legitimate, appropriate, reasonable, for University purposes only, are in accordance with University policy, are charged to the correct FOAPAL(s), and where applicable, conform to granting agency regulations and relate to research for which the grant/contract was awarded.

Please approve the following by replying “I approve” to this email:

ADV/EXR#:

Claimant:

Amount:

CLAIMANT: I certify that all expenses submitted in the attached advance/expense report #00xxxxxx are accurately stated, legitimate, appropriate, reasonable, for University purposes, and are in accordance with University Policy. I certify that all expenses previously paid or payable in the future by the University or by any other party have been deducted. I agree to refund to the University any subsequent reimbursement from other organizations for the expenses submitted, or any amount disallowed further to a subsequent review or audit.

2. Option 2 – Approving/Signing using Adobe Fill & Sign

  • Advance and Expense reports can be signed using the Adobe Fill & Sign feature.
  • Please note: Fund Financial Managers/Approvers/Claimants/Requestors must either forward these Adobe signed documents via their McGill email address or must be copied (using their McGill email address) in the email including these Adobe signed documents.
For Adobe Fill & Sign How To’s, please refer to: https://helpx.adobe.com/ca/acrobat/using/fill-and-sign.html
 
PR5.4. Payment Method

All advances and expense reimbursements to Employees and Students will be made through direct deposit in Canadian dollars.    

Students who have not provided their banking information in the Minerva menu for non-payroll deposits will be reimbursed by cheque. 

Claimants are notified of the direct deposit, by e-mail, on the day the Central Travel Desk (Expense Payment Services) processes the advance or Expense Report request. Direct deposits appear in bank accounts within 2 business days of the processing date.

Payments to third parties (i.e. individuals, visitors and conferences) will be issued accordingly:

  • In North America: By cheque in Canadian or U.S. dollars. 
  • Outside of North-America: By wire in any currency accepted by McGill's financial institution(s) - Wire Transfer Request form.

In all cases, the FOAPAL will be charged in equivalent Canadian dollars.

PR5.5. Reimbursements to Visitors

In the case of Visitors to the University who will depart prior to their requests being processed in the system, use the Visitor Claimant Signature form to obtain the Claimant’s signature/approval. 

Along with the sum of receipts, it allows the Visitor to provide an estimate of expenses to be incurred following departure (e.g. taxi to airport).

The form must be signed/approved and attached to the official Expense Report. 

Minor revisions when additional receipts are appended to the claim do not require re-acknowledgment/approval by the Visitor. 

A Visitor’s signature/approval is not required for claims with a zero net payment (i.e. only clearing advances), hence the Visitor Claimant Signature form is not required in these cases.

PR5.6. Reimbursements to Students

Units may choose to process reimbursements to McGill students one of two ways:

  1. Units may assist students in compiling the necessary supporting documentation, and data enter Expense Reports on behalf of students. 
  2. Units may decide that, due to volume, University administrative and support staff will not data enter Expense Reports on behalf of students. These units will direct their students to the Minerva Student menu entitled ‘Expense Reports’ which is limited to submission without FOAPALs. 

The Unit must name Reviewer(s) to review student claims (to ‘submit’ or ‘disapprove’, and to add missing FOAPAL information), and instruct their students which Reviewer to assign their claim to. 

Refer to the Reviewer Authorization form to establish the Primary Reviewer within a Unit who is delegated to oversee the Expense Report review process.

PR5.7. Reimbursements of travel expenses to guest lecturers

Reimbursements to non-employee who is not a resident of Canada (typically travel costs relating to a guest lecture/speaking engagement), must be included on Form T4A-NR (Statement of Fees, Commissions or Other Amounts Paid to Non-Residents for Services Rendered in Canada) under ‘travel expenses.’ 

To ensure the Payroll Office in Human Resources can fulfill the University’s regulatory responsibilities, check the ‘non-resident’ flag when completing an Expense Report for all claims paid to the non-resident or to a third party on behalf of the non-resident.  For further information, see the Guest Lecturer and Speaker Remuneration Policy.

PR6. Receipts/Supporting Documentation

PR6.1.

Receipts/supporting documentation are required for all expenses being claimed except for mileage claims, meal per diems, tolls, public transportation and gratuities if paid in cash.

All receipts must include:

  • Identification of the Supplier
  • Supplier’s GST and QST numbers, where applicable
  • Identification of the buyer
  • Full description of what was purchased
  • How much was paid, along with proof of payment indication.

Original paper receipts/supporting documentation must be digitized according to the Digitization Guidelines.

As per PR5.1., Receipts/supporting documentation must be submitted in pdf as part of the Expense Report.

PR6.2.

Credit card sales slips, credit card statements, canceled cheques, airline itinerary confirmations or fare quotes are not acceptable receipts for travel-related expenses.

PR6.3. Receipts in foreign currency

Foreign currency receipts should be denominated in the original currency, with conversion to Canadian dollars properly indicating the exchange rate used. An appropriate exchange rate may either be derived from the Bank of Canada website (based on the receipt date), or the rate charged on the credit card statement. Provide a copy of the credit card statement if the latter differs greatly from the published rates. If claiming receipts in U.S., British Pounds or Euro currency, the system will default in the exchange rate based on the receipt date entered.

PR6.4. Receipts in Foreign Language

Any receipts in a foreign language must be accompanied by an explanation of the item, in English or French, on the claim or receipt.

PR6.5. Proof of Payment

If needed for proof of payment, the credit card chit or credit card statement may be attached. Black out the primary account number (PAN) except for the last 4 digits.

PR6.6. Supporting Documentation for Third Party Payments to Individuals

Supporting Documentation for payments to guest lecturer fees, participant fees, living allowances, awards/prizes to non-McGill students, and prescribed prizes, must accompany the expense report and must clearly indicate the agreement/details that justify the purpose of the payment to the individual.

PR7. Summary by Travel Expense Type

This reference of allowable expenses should be used in determining the appropriate method of payment, the reasonable costs suggested, and the allowance rates.

Note: Individual units may, at their discretion, apply more rigorous restrictions.  However, Financial Services will verify for these undernoted minimum standards.

Where applicable, Granting Agency guidelines supersede the University Policy and Procedures.

Airfare

  1. The e-ticket or travel management company invoice is required and must include all of the following information:
    • Passenger name
    • Airline and flight #
    • Date of flights
    • Origin and destination
    • Amount and proof of payment
  2. Airline itinerary confirmations or fare quotes are not acceptable.
  3. Boarding passes are no longer required when other evidence exists to prove the trip has occurred (e.g. hotel invoice, taxi chit to/from airport, meal receipts, etc.). 
  4. Seats in a fare class greater than the highest economy are only permitted for flights outside of North America and require prior approval of the Claimant's Dean or Vice-Principal/Provost.
  5. E-tickets and travel management company invoices will normally include the term "Economy" for fare classes equivalent to economy (e.g. Air Canada: "Economy-Standard", "Economy-Flex"). For fare classes equivalent to business, these documents will normally identify the fare class as "Business". In case of uncertainty of class of service, please refer to the airline's website for more details.
  6. Flight cancellation insurance is allowable and must be accompanied by a receipt.  For trips amounting to significant costs, it is advised to buy flight cancellation insurance. 
  7. Baggage fees and seat selection fees are acceptable. 
  8. When a purchased airfare includes costs which are not a necessary consequence of travel on behalf of the University, a quotation for the itinerary purely related to University business (i.e. that excludes avoidable stopovers and trip extensions) must be attached to the advance and/or Expense Report. The quotation for the itinerary purely related to University business must be obtained on the same day and within two (2) hours of the actual airfare ticket that was booked. The quotation must include the travel management company name/website, day, time, and must be for the lowest logical airfare. The Claimant will be reimbursed the lowest airfare.
  9. No reimbursements may be claimed for tickets purchased with frequent flyer points. The Claimant may choose to use air miles with the understanding that they will not be reimbursed the equivalent monetary value.  However, Claimants may claim administrative fees and taxes charged. 
  10. It is the responsibility of the Claimant (overseen by the Fund Financial Manager), to obtain a credit/reimbursement from the airline carrier if a trip is cancelled. 

Rail Fare

  1. Receipt or ticket (i.e. passenger copy of the rail fare ticket clearly indicating receipt/itinerary) is required and must include all of the following information:
    • Traveler’s name
    • Rail carrier and train #
    • Dates of travel
    • Origin and destination
    • Departure and arrival times for each segment of the trip
    • Amount and proof of payment
  2. Any rail fare class for day trip is allowed as long as the cost does not exceed the economy airfare applicable to the given destination. If overnight travel is necessary, sleeper class may be used.
  3. E-Booking confirmations are not acceptable receipts.

Car Rental

  1. Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:
    • Traveler’s name
    • Rental period
    • Pick-up and drop off location(s)
    • Amount and proof of payment (balance must show $0.00)
  2. The cost of the rental should not exceed equivalent rail or economy airfare.
  3. Gas - Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:
    • Date 
    • Location 
    • Name of gas station
    • Breakdown of cost (#liters/gallon and price) 
    • Amount and proof of payment
  4. The cost of standard insurance against liability or personal injury is acceptable. 
    Note:  The University is not responsible for damages incurred during the rental period. The Claimant is responsible for securing adequate 3rd party liability and collision damage waiver insurance upon rental.
  5. If renting a car in North-America, Card Holders are automatically covered for collision damage when using the McGill American Express Corporate Card, and should refuse coverage offered by the rental company. If the McGill AMEX Card is not used, a reasonable amount of insurance expense may be charged to the University.  For more information, consult the Book Vehicle page on the Travel Services website.

Personal Automobile

  1. Kilometer allowance or the actual cost of gas not exceeding equivalent rail or economy airfare may be claimed.  May not claim both mileage and gas.

    Mileage Rate:

    • 57 cents per kilometer, or 91 cents per mile  (Effective June 1, 2012).
    • Must provide the start and destination points and attach a copy of the distance validation by using any of the following suggested sites: MapQuest , Google Maps 
    • If claiming mileage for multiple days - keep a log and record the date, start and destination points for each day. Submit the log with the expense report.

    Gas:

    • Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:
      • Date
      • Location
      • Name of gas station
      • Breakdown of cost (#liters/gallon and price)
      • Amount and proof of payment
  2. The University is not responsible for damages to employees' cars incurred while using the car for University business. The Claimant must therefore ensure that his/her personal automobile insurance is adequate. For more information, consult the Use of Personal Vehicle page on the Travel Services website.

Taxi

  1. Receipt is required.
  2. Local transportation for McGill employees or students must be entered individually with an explanation for each receipt.
  3. Proof of payment is not required.
  4. May claim mileage (e.g. home to airport) if no receipt is available.
  5. Airport bus service should be used to and from airports whenever possible and convenient.

Hotel/Lodging

  1. Receipt/invoice showing zero balance is required and must include all of the following information:
    • Traveler’s name
    • Dates and duration of the stay
    • Amount and proof of payment
    • Room type
    • Occupancy
    Meals and internet may be included and do not need to be reported separately on the Expense Report.
  2. Express checkout invoices/receipts must meet all of the requirements above.
  3. If the invoice/receipt does not show a zero balance or proof of payment, a copy of the credit card slip or statement must also be submitted.  
  4. Meals on hotel receipts:
    • Receipt Requirements for Research Grants (2F and 2M Fund Types) and Contracts:
      • Detailed restaurant receipt must include all of the following information:
        • Name of restaurant
        • Date
        • Items ordered
        • Amount
        • Gratuities
    • Per diem allowances will not apply if meals are included in lodging charges. If claiming per diems, meal charges will need to be deducted when entering this receipt in the Expense Report.
    • If a detailed receipt is not available, per diem amounts may be claimed.
  5. A lodging allowance of $20(CAD) per night may be claimed if accommodations were provided by friends or relatives (private home).
  6. Dry cleaning or movies charged to the hotel room are not eligible expenses. If included in the receipt, these charges will need to be deducted when entering this receipt in the Expense Report.   

Meals & Entertainment

  1. For meals, receipts or per diems are acceptable, however the University encourages actual receipts. 
  2. A combination of per diems and receipts may be claimed as long as each meal is only claimed once.  For example: per diem for breakfast and lunch + meal receipt for supper. 
  3. Meal expenses (receipt/per diem) may not be claimed for conferences held in Montreal.
  4. Receipt Requirements for Research Grants and Contracts (2F and 2M Fund Types):
    • Detailed receipt (including meals charged on a hotel bill) is required and must include all of the following information:
      • Name of restaurant
      • Date
      • Items ordered
      • Amount
      • Gratuities
    • If a detailed receipt is not available, per diems may be claimed.
  5. Receipt Requirements for all other Fund Types:
    • Receipt, detailed receipt, or credit card sales slip is required
  6. Per Diem Allowance (for travel start dates effective May 1, 2020)

    Meal

    Within Canada

    Outside Canada

    Breakfast

    $11 CAD*

    $14 CAD*

    Lunch

    $18 CAD*

    $24 CAD*

    Dinner

    $31 CAD*

    $42 CAD*

    Total Daily Allowance

    $60 CAD*

    $80 CAD*


    Per Diem Allowance (for travel start dates prior May 1, 2020)

    Meal

    Within Canada

    Outside Canada

    Breakfast

    $10 CAD*

    $12 CAD*

    Lunch

    $16 CAD*

    $21 CAD*

    Dinner

    $28 CAD*

    $37 CAD*

    Total Daily Allowance

    $54 CAD*

    $70 CAD*

    *Amounts include gratuities
  7. Requirements for University-Related Entertainment
    • Receipt is required
    • The business purpose of the meeting or occasion (e.g. taking out a guest lecturer for a meal), and the name(s) of the individual(s) or the group is required.
    • The names of the individuals must be listed on the Expense Report.  If more than 10 people have attended, indicate only the name of the group/event.
    • Should the normal approver of the Expense Report be listed, their immediate supervisor must sign/approve the request.
    • It should be noted that the policies of several granting agencies prohibit the claim of alcoholic beverages, while other granting agencies permit higher per diem rates based on geographic area.
    • Refer to the Guidelines for Local Hospitality and Entertainment

Conference & Seminar Registration

  1. Conference receipt/invoice is required and must include all of the following information:
    • Registrant's name
    • Conference name
    • Date(s)
    • Location
    • Amount
    • Zero balance or proof of payment (i.e. copy of credit card slip or credit card statement)
  2. The full name of the conference must be indicated in the Trip Purpose field of the Expense Report. If an acronym is used, elaborate.
  3. Per diem allowance will not apply where meals are included in the conference registration.  Exceptional cases must be documented and a meal receipt provided.
  4. Requirements for Research Grants and Contracts (2F and 2M Fund Types):
    • The conference prospectus/program (official documentation indicating the conference name, dates and information about the event) must be attached to the Expense Report.
    • If claiming trip-related expenses for a conference where conference fees are not being claimed, proof of participation may be required by the Granting Agency.

    Cellular Phone Charges When Traveling on University Business

    1. Personal cell phone charges: Reasonable measures should be taken to reduce or minimize any business-related cell phone roaming charges when traveling. When using a personal cell phone, it is recommended to contact your service provider and add travel roaming packages/bundles for all USA and international destinations. These packages are reimbursable. 
    2. Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:  
      • Name
      • Billing address
      • Details of expenses
      • Amount (proof of payment is not required)
    3. McGill corporate cell phone charges: Corporate cell phones are centrally billed and therefore not a reimbursable expense. All employees that are on the Corporate plan are already setup with the necessary roaming travel bundles. Contact Procurement Services for complete details - Telus Plan Detail website. 

    Internet and Wi-Fi Charges

    1. Receipt is required for the reimbursement of Internet and Wi-Fi charges incurred while traveling on University business.
    2. Home internet charges is not a permissible expense.

    Child Care

    1. Child care expenses while a nursing mother or single parent (defines as a parent having sole custody) is travelling on University business will be reimbursed as follows:
      • The eligible expense for a single parent is limited to overnight child care expenses incurred while the employee is travelling.
      • The eligible expense for a nursing mother who is travelling with a child is limited to the cost of day care of childcare and airfare if applicable. If travelling with a caregiver, travel and accommodation cost can be claimed in lieu of and up to the equivalent of child care costs.
    2. Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:
      • Caregiver’s full name and address;
      • The date(s) being charged, the hourly/daily rate of pay and the total hours of care provided;
      • Caregiver’s signature acknowledging receipt of payment.

    Entry Visa Fee

    1. Entry visa fees which are required for international travel to enable the claimant to conduct University business will be reimbursed.
    2. Receipt is required.

    Vaccinations and Medications

    1. Cost of vaccinations and/or medication required when traveling on University business and not covered by the University’s supplementary health plan will be reimbursed.
    2. Receipt is required.
      • If claiming the difference between the cost and the amount reimbursed by the University’s supplementary health plan, include the claim statement.

    Health Insurance

    1. Out-of-country medical insurance when travelling on University business is an eligible expense if not covered by the University’s supplemental health plan.
    2. Receipt is required.

    PR8. Summary by non-Travel Expenses

    PR8.1 New Computers, Computer Components and Computer Accessories

    As per memo from the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic), purchases of new computers, computer components and computer accessories from research grants (2F and 2M Fund Types), can be reimbursed via an expense report regardless of the dollar value.

    New computers, computer components and computer accessories not purchased from research grants (2F and 2M Fund Types) will not be reimbursed. These purchases must be made via Le James unless their dollar value is less than $250 (refer to the IT Asset Policy).

    PR8.2 Good, Services and Supplies < $2,500

    Purchases of goods, services and supplies < $2,500 can be reimbursed on an expense report. Please note: if these are not delivered/received or are defective, the claimant is responsible for disputing the expense with the supplier prior to requesting reimbursement.

    Examples are:

    • Small purchases a claimant makes for the operational needs of the unit/department when a PCard is not available.
    • For new computers, computer components and computer accessories, please refer to PR8.1
    PR8.3 Goods and Services > $2,500

    Purchases of goods/services having a value over $2,500 will not be reimbursed. These items must be purchased using the Purchase Requisition process (Buying at McGill) .

    For new computers, computer components and computer accessories, please refer to PR8.1

    PR8.4 Payments to Third Party Individuals
    1. Guest Lecturer Fees: refers to payments to individuals for guest lectures and speaking engagements who have not traveled to Canada and are not Canadian residents.
    2. Participant Fees: refers to payments made to participants for the purpose of research studies.
      • Participant fees must not exceed $100/day for each person participating in a research study.
      • Receipts must be obtained from each participant. The receipt must contain the name of the research study, the participant fee's name and signature, and the amount paid. 
      • If the nature of the research is confidential, the expense report must include a memo from the FFM indicating that due to the confidential nature of the research, the names and addresses of recipients will not be disclosed. The receipt must be retained by the Department in the event of an internal or external audit.
      • If the nature of the research is not confidential and the participant fee is paid to a McGill employee/student, the McGill ID must be entered in the "Description" field.
    3. Living Allowances
      • Refers to living expenses paid from a restricted fund to non-McGill students.
      • Living allowances paid to active/registered Undergraduate or Graduate students are considered aid/support and must be processed through BSA (for more information, please refer to https://www.mcgill.ca/studentfunding/).
      • If the living allowance is paid to a McGill employee/Post Doc, the McGill ID must be entered in the "Description" field.
    4. Awards/Prizes to non-McGill Students
      • The Best Practice for awards/prizes paid to non-McGill students is for McGill to pay the institution first and the latter issues the award/prize directly to their student.
      • Please note that all awards/prizes paid to active/registered Undergraduate and Graduate students, must be processed through BSA.
    5. Prescribed Prizes as defined by the Income Tax Regulation - Section 7700, prescribed prizes are recognized by the general public and are awarded for meritorious achievement in the arts, the science or service to the public.

    Reminders regarding Payments to Third Party Individuals:

    • Supporting Documentation for payments to guest lecturer fees, participant fees, living allowances, awards/prizes to non-McGill Students, and prescribed prizes must accompany the expense report and must clearly indicate the agreement/details that justify the purpose of the payment to the individual.
    • The notion of claimant is not applicable
    PR8.5 Gifts, Gift Cards/Certificates
    1. Gifts may take two forms:
      • A tangible token of appreciation.
      • Gift cards & gift certificates - a certificate usually presented as a gift that entitles the recipient to select merchandise of an indicated cash value at a commercial establishment.
    2. Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:
      • Date
      • Items purchased
      • Amount and proof of payment
    3. It is obligatory to provide the name of the recipient(s) along with a McGill ID if the individual is a McGill employee or student. This information must be entered in the Description field.
    4. Gift must be selected as the Expense Type in the Expense Report.
    5. The value of the gift given to the employee will be transmitted to the Payroll Office which may be included in their T4 Statement of Remuneration.
    PR8.6 Publications
    1. Receipt is required and must include all of the following information:
      • Name of supplier
      • Title of each book
      • Date
      • Amount
      • Proof of Payment
    PR8.7 Individual Professional Memberships
    1. Receipt and/or copy of the application form is required and must include all of the following information:
      • Full name of organization or seminar, elaborating acronyms
      • Date
      • Amount
    PR8.8 Parking (Off-Campus)
    1. Receipt is required.
    2. Metered Parking: Receipts not required.
    PR8.9 On-Campus Parking

    Under the regular provisions of the University parking regulations, the owner of a vehicle must pay the appropriate charge for parking privileges. However, in cases where employees are required to regularly use their personal vehicle in the execution of their regular duties, arrangements may be made for parking to be charged to a fund administered by the University.

    Where these arrangements result in the issue of ongoing permits, or of temporary permits extending over 30 days in any 12-month period, prior written approval is required from the Dean or Director of the Unit concerned and the Controller.  A written authorization request must be sent to the Controller’s office clearly stating the business reasons for the use of the employee’s vehicle and the requirement for on-campus parking.  Where the above is used partially for personal purposes, the value of the personal benefit must be reported as a taxable benefit.

    If the issue of a permit relates to periods of less than 30 days in any 12-month period, the charge to a University fund may be authorized by the regular signing authority for that fund. This authorization must specify the name of the person / company to whom the parking privileges were granted, and contain a brief description of the justifying circumstances.

    PR8.10 Relocation Expenses

    For any moving and travel costs relating to relocation, refer to the Relocation Service Guide on the Academic Personnel Office website, and the Relocation Allowance for Senior Administrative Positions.

    PR8.11 Purchase of Alcohol for Campus Events

    Liquor must be served and sold in accordance with the McGill Alcoholic Beverages Policy.  Alcoholic beverages for campus events must be purchased from the Alcohol Permits Administration Office, and therefore may not be claimed on an Expense Report.  For detailed guidelines, refer to Alcohol Permits Administration.

    PR9. American Express Corporate Card

    The Amex Card is available to Academics and Administrative Staff.

    With respect to Administrative Staff, they are considered eligible if they are frequent travelers (i.e. must travel at least once per month for a minimum duration of 7 days) and must also have a Role Profile of Level 3 or above. Administrative Staff applications will require the Faculty Financial Officer/Finance Contact approval.

    All applications will require the approval of the Associate Vice-Principal Financial Services.

    Refer to the American Express (AMEX) Corporate Card Policy for more information.  

    Timely payment of the account to American Express is the responsibility of the individual cardholder. Service charges relating to late payment of credit card charges are the sole responsibility of the academic or administrative staff member and are not reimbursable by the University.


    Publication Date: December 2, 2005
    Revision Date: July 18, 2022 - V5

    Effective Date: August 1, 2022

    Related Memorandums, Announcements, and Revision Notes

    July 18, 2022 - Version 5: Effective August 1, 2022: (NEW Process) Payment Requests to Individuals must be submitted via an EXR - channel news

    April 13, 2022 - Version 4.1: Updated PR7 and PR8 to include what Research Grants means (2F and 2M Fund Types).

    March 9, 2022 - Version 4.0: As per memo from the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) inserted new clause PR8. and updated PR9. and PR10. Updated PR14. American Express Corporate Card.

    February 8, 2022 - Version 3.6: Removed Cloud Services from PR8. and PR9. as per recent memo from Procurement Services.

    January 24, 2022 - Version 3.5: Inserted a new PR5.3 Approval Methods

    September 27, 2021 - Version 3.4: Updated PR8. and PR9. University related computer purchases must be made through the Institutional Sales unit of Le James.

    September 16, 2021 - Version 3.3: Updated PR8. and PR9. Cloud Services will not be reimbursed unless Procurement Services has provided written approval prior to the purchase.

    June 22, 2021 - Version 3.2: Updated PR8. and PR9. to be aligned with 3.8 of the IT Cloud Directive.

    April 15, 2021 - Version 3.1: Added to PR5.2 and PR5.3 the unit name Expense Payment Services.

    September 17, 2020 - Version 3.0: Added PR5.2; Updated PR6. & PR7.: term "original receipt" replaced with "receipt".

    June 29, 2020 - Version 2.2: As per the new implementation of the Tri-Agency Principle Based guide launched on April 1, 2020, an internal review by Research Financial Management Services (Tri-Agency team) in Financial Services and a benchmarking exercise of 12 Canadian Universities, updated PR7 Expense Types: Airfare and added 4 new expense items: Entry Visa Fees, Vaccinations and medications, Health Insurance, Child Care.

    May 21, 2020 - Version 2.1: Updated PR.4. To add Interac e-Transfer as a method of refund payable to McGill University.

    May 01, 2020 - Version 2.0: PR.7. Expense Types - Meals & Entertainment - Updated Per Diem Allowances for travel start dates effective May 01, 2020; Airfare - added point 2: "Copies of invoices are acceptable for airfare purchased through the University contracted travel management company. Invoices from all other travel management companies must be original." Point 4 updated from "...a fare class greater than economy (or lowest logical airfare)..." to "...a fare class greater than the highest economy...". Point 7 - added the sentence "For trips amounting to significant costs, it is advised to buy flight cancellation insurance; Rail Fare - Point 1 - Dates of train(s) replaced with Dates of travel; Communication expenses - replaced by Cellular Phone Charges, and Internet and Wi-FI Charges. Home internet charges is not a permissible expense.

    February 05, 2019 - Version 1.6: PR1.1 Third Party Prepayments - travel agency example removed, so now it reads: "These are payments made directly to third party suppliers in advance of the trip, for example, payments for conference registrations." This change was made following the announcement from Francois Pouliot, Director Procurement Services about the Travel Management program - Changes to Airfare Payment Processes - channel news.

    January 30, 2019 - Version 1.5: PR7 Expense Type - Airfare - added point 4 - channel news.

    November 27, 2018 - Version 1.4: PR5.1 Added expenses paid with gift cards, reward point cards etc.

    October 25, 2018 - Version 1.3: Added a reference to the Travel services website - Booking and Payment Procedures

    October 22, 2018 - Version 1.2: PR3.1, PR5.1 and PR7: Replaced the term "subject fees" with "participant fees"

    April 26, 2017 - Version 1.1: Added the word "exceptionally" to the last sentence in PR5.3 so it now reads: Exceptionally, a Visitor’s signature is not required for claims with a zero net payment (i.e. only clearing advances), hence the Visitor Claimant Signature form is not required in these cases.

    April 18, 2017: Changed the formatting of the webpage only - removed accordions and tabs for ease of searching using Ctrl+F. No changes made to the content.

    February 21, 2017 - Version 1.0: These Procedures were previously published as part of the Reimbursement of Expense Policy. The Policy has been renamed to Reimbursement of Travel and Other Expenses Policy. Procedures have been removed from the Policy and have been published on this page as Version 1.0.

    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 | PDF iconReimbursement 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.| PDF icon2016 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 6, 2013 Memorandum from Rose Goldstein and Michael Di Grappa about Research Administration and Accountability – Tri-Agency Recommendations - NEW DELEGATION MENU - channels news | PDF version.

    May 31, 2012 Memorandum from Cristiane Tinmouth, Controller, Financial Services about Mileage rate increase - PDF version.

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