Office of Travel Services

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENTS FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES

A. THE TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION AND REIMBURSEMENT FORM
  1. Within and Outside the State: In-state and out-of-state expense claims should be itemized on the back of MSU Form A-03, and totals for each category carried forward to the face of the form to determine the total amount claimed for reimbursement. Required receipts and authorizations should be attached to the form. A list of required receipts for reimbursement is given online. The certification must be signed by the payee (traveler). For assistance with specific questions concerning the travel form, mileage from the standard highway mileage guide, and required receipts, contact Travel Services.

    Submit the original form for reimbursement and make photocopies for all other uses.

  2. Outside the Continental Limits: International travel expense claims should be itemized on the back of MSU Form A-05 and the total for each category placed on the face of MSU Forms A-05 and Forms A-04 to determine the total amount claimed. These forms and required receipts should be attached together with MSU Form A-04 on top.

    Submit the original form for reimbursement and make photocopies for all other uses.

    Currency Exchange: When converting foreign currency to dollars for the purpose of reimbursement, you must attach a note of the official rate of exchange. You can obtain the exchange rate from http://www.oanda.com or http://www.xe.com Any documented official statement of the official rate of exchange will be acceptable. The rate of exchange from and to U.S. dollars can be obtained by calling the State Travel Management Office at 359-2073. The exchange rate will be faxed to you for attachment to the expense voucher for documentation. This will be the rate of exchange for the specific date noted on the faxed information and may vary when the charge is transmitted to the employee's credit card. If there is a difference (loss or gain) between the amount the employee is reimbursed and the amount charged to the credit card, an amended expense voucher may be submitted to correct the reimbursement. A copy of the original reimbursed expense voucher and a copy of the credit card charge must be included.

    Special Note: Credit card usage for purchases in foreign countries offers the most precise exchange rate documentation available, thereby facilitating the reimbursement process.

  3. Traveling with Others. When two or more employees travel together and costs are shared, the individuals who incurred the expenses must file separate forms for the expenses incurred and paid by them (see MSU Form A-03, Section D or MSU Form A-05, Section D). Each form should state with whom the expenses were shared and the other employee's name and MSU id number furnished. If traveling with a non-MSU person, verify by claiming the single-room rate.

  4. Group Travel requires a meal list (names, MSU id numbers, date, and amount of money given to each person, as well as their signature of acceptance) or an original meal receipt.

    If the original travel request did not specify group travel, the payee must obtain a list to attach to the travel form (MSU form A-03 or Form A-04).

B. CERTIFICATION REQUIRED

Each claim for reimbursement of travel expenses is certified by the employee on the front of MSU Form A-03 (Section E) as follows: "Subject to any differences determined by verification, I certify that the above amount claimed by me for the period indicated is true and just in all respects, and that payment for any part thereof has not been received."

C. PENALTY FOR FRAUDULENT CLAIM

(Please read carefully)

The MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, Annotated, Section 25-3-45 provides: "It shall be unlawful for any person to claim, receive, approve, or allow any item of expense for official travel in excess of that authorized by Section 25-3-41. If any person shall knowingly and wilfully violate any of the provisions of said section, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars and, in addition, shall be removed from the office or position which he holds. Such person shall also be civilly liable for the full amount of the expense account illegally received, allowed, or approved by him, and the person receiving same shall be so liable whether the violation be wilful or not."

D. CORRECTION OF ERRORS

Corrections are allowed under the following circumstances:

  • Errors on previously submitted travel forms are corrected by processing a corrected approved travel form.
  • Previously denied expense for reasons other than budget constraints are processed on a reapproved copy of the original travel voucher with the previously denied expense prominently displayed.
  • Errors in mileage calculations exceeding 25 miles/per trip are processed on a reapproved copy of the original travel voucher.
  • Errors made in processing by Travel Services require only a phone call to Travel Services for explanation and correction. The corrections require no further processing of paperwork by the traveler.
E. SIGNATURES REQUIRED

Original signatures are required on the travel forms. Rubber stamp or facsimile signatures are not accepted. Should an official delegate the responsibility for approving such fiscal documents, the Office of Travel Services should be notified in writing and a sample of the delegate's signature provided. Required signatures are as follows:

  • Outside the continental United States: Up to five signatures - the employee requesting travel approval, the Department Head, Dean/Director, Vice President, and the President's original signature.
  • Outside the State of Mississippi: Two signatures - the employee requesting travel approval and the Department Head or next higher administrator.
  • Conventions, associations, or meetings in-state and out-of-state: Two signatures - the employee requesting travel approval and the Department Head or next higher administrator.
  • Discretionary approvals: Two or more signatures - the Department Head or next higher administrator has the discretion to require additional approval signatures. The most common example of this discretionary practice is when a trip is funded by more than one source/budget.
F. SPECIAL NOTES

The Department of Finance and Administration prohibits the contract travel agent from charging to and billing individuals for airline tickets. Since by State Law the University cannot prepay travel expenses. Airline ticket purchases may be arranged by following the EBTA program procedures or by presenting an approved Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Form for a travel advance to Travel Services 13 business days before the beginning date of the trip.

The University will consider exceptions to the use of Travel Leaders on a comparative cost basis for international travel, when package rates are available for conventions or for group/team travel. To request exception, contact Travel Services at 662-325-8817. To obtain expense reimbursement, a waiver must be attached to the travel form (MSU Form A-03 or Form A-04).

Travel Leaders has been directed by the University to provide least-cost routing for air travel. Often penalty fares will be obtained. When plans are unavoidably changed resulting in a penalty charge, the University is authorized to reimburse the traveler for the penalty. A brief statement of explanation for this occurrence must be attached to the travel form (MSU Form A-03 or Form A-04).

G. AUDIT

All travel forms shall be submitted to Travel Services for review of conformity with policy and procedures, inclusive of proper receipted documentation, mathematical verification, and reimbursement.

H. TRAVELER REIMBURSEMENTS BY DIRECT DEPOSIT

Office of Travel Services. Travel reimbursement vouchers will be processed continuously and any applicable reimbursement to the traveler will be made by direct deposit and forwarded to the travelers' banking account.

I. LIMITS ON EXPENSES

The heads of departments and/or budget managers can, at their discretion, set expense limits on individual trips according to funding availability or measured benefit to the University.

J. SUBMISSION OF EXPENSE VOUCHERS

For proper reporting purposes, submission of expense vouchers must be made within the fiscal year in which the expense was incurred. The ending travel date is the factor that determines the fiscal year. Expense vouchers with outstanding advances must be submitted ten (10) business days after the end of the month in which the domestic travel was completed. Exception: International Travel or immediately upon cancellation of trip.

Contact Information

640 McArthur Hall
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Phone: 662-325-8817
Fax: 662-325-0840