Reimbursement Policies

Below are frequently asked questions about the reimbursable business expense policy and the gift card policy. These questions do not pertain to travel-related expenses. Our travel section provides information and forms for travel-related reimbursements.

If your question is not covered here, please contact our office.

Reimbursable Business Expense Policy

What does the policy cover?
The policy covers meal reimbursement to employees not in travel status and reimbursing guests for meals and related travel.

Why did the policy change?
The policy changed to highlight the differences in reimbursable business expenses and the state travel policy. Major changes include an increase in the allowable amount per meal, a clearer definition of when meals are allowed, and a clearer definition of which fund sources are allowable. State travel regulations did not change.

What form do I use?
A purchase requisition is required for planned events. (Examples include catering, banquets and payments to vendors). A check request may be used to reimburse an employee for payment of a restaurant bill for a small group of people. (Examples include taking a candidate to lunch and taking a guest lecturer to dinner).

When is the Travel Voucher form used?
The travel voucher is for employee travel reimbursements only. External parties and students are not reimbursed using the travel voucher form.

How long do I have to submit requests?
Receipts should not be more than 30 days old and fiscal year end deadlines apply.

What documentation do I include to reimburse a candidate?
Include original, detailed receipts and a copy of the letter of invitation. Mileage can be reimbursed at the current state rate and does not require a receipt.

What if I pay sales tax?
Northern Illlinois University is exempt from sales tax. Sales tax is not paid to vendors and not reimbursed on receipts over $100.00.

What if I purchase alcohol?
Alcohol is not allowed with NIU funding. 

What funding source is allowed if a guest is a family member (i.e., spouse, parent, child) or friend?
Institutional funds should be used if a guest is a family member or friend.

What account code is used for meal reimbursement?
Employee meal reimbursements are generally coded 685510.

What if I did not get a detailed receipt?
You can not be reimbursed with university funds without an original, detailed receipt.  Make sure to get a receipt or contact the vendor for a receipt.

Does an affidavit replace a receipt?
No, an affidavit does not replace a receipt. Individuals requesting reimbursement with university funds must get a receipt. 

I have a student who is an employee; are they considered a student or an employee under the policy?
They are considered an employee under this policy.

Can I reimburse using a per diem amount?
No, reimbursement is based on actual expenditures, subject to the maximums. Original, detailed receipts are required.

What can I do to expedite my reimbursement?

  • Complete the form electronically
  • Include original, detailed receipts
  • Show calculations
  • Provide the names of participants, their departments, and headquarters (for employees).
  • State clearly the business purpose

Gift Card Policy

The university will not reimburse purchases of gift cards. Payment for services should be made using either the payroll system (employment) or the accounts payable (vendor) system. Contact us for more information.

Accounts Payable Services

Lowden Hall 208
Phone: 815-753-1514
Fax: 815-753-2007

Controller's Office