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POLICY

Expense Reimbursement

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Purpose of the Policy

New York University employees incur various types of expenses as they perform tasks and duties that support the operations of the institution and further its missions. This policy is to ensure that employees who incur valid business expenses are reimbursed in a fair and equitable manner; that business expenses are reported, recorded, and reimbursed in a consistent manner throughout the University; and that the University complies with all applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations.

Procedures for Implementation

University Policies on Business Expenses and Procurement 

It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the expense reimbursement process, from the individual initiating a transaction to the individual approving or processing requests for reimbursement, to know and understand all applicable policies. See “Related Documents” for a list of relevant University policies and other documents.

The Business Expenses Policy of the University, in particular, should be consulted for guidance on which expenses are legitimate or valid and thus may be incurred using University funds. Individuals who use personal funds for expenses for which they will seek reimbursement from the University are advised to refer to the policy before they incur any expenses to avoid incurring costs that may not be reimbursed. Individuals who approve or process requests for reimbursement are required to know and understand the policy, to ensure that University funds are used appropriately and to facilitate compliance with applicable University and government requirements.

The University’s Procurement Policies and Procedures Manual should also be consulted for guidance on how certain types of purchases may be made.

Individuals who request, approve or process reimbursements are advised to check applicable policies issued by their school, department, or unit, as they might be more restrictive than the University policy.

General Procedures
Employees who incur expenses in the conduct of University business may request reimbursement through any of the following three methods (all are subject to exactly the same rules):

  1. Reimbursement through the online AP Workflow tool (nyu.edu/apworkflow).
    Reimbursement of business expenses may be requested through Accounts Payable by submitting a fully completed, adequately documented, and appropriately approved Expense Reimbursement Request in AP Workflow. AP Workflow is the University’s automated tool for creating reimbursement requests and obtaining the required approvals. AP Workflow is accessible through the Work tab of NYUHome. Visit the Employee Reimbursement & Advances page of NYU FinanceLink for more information.
  2. Reimbursement through the departmental imprest petty cash fund for student expenses.A petty cash fund may be used to reimburse student expenses, not to exceed $150, that are valid and for which appropriate documentation is supplied. If a valid receipt in not available and the expense is less than $25, an explanation of the expense must be included on EXP2000P when receipts are submitted for replenishment of a petty cash fund. See the Petty Cash Funds Policy for more information.
  3. Reimbursement through paper forms.
    A school or department may request an exemption from using AP Workflow from the University Controller. If such an exemption is approved, the school or department is required to use the Expense Reimbursement Form provided by Accounts Payable.

Documentation Requirements
In order to be considered an accountable plan by the IRS, expenses incurred by employees or independent contractors must have a business connection, the individual must adequately account to the University for these expenses within a reasonable time (60 days) and the individual must return an excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable time (60 days). If all three conditions are met, the reimbursement can be excluded from the individual’s taxable income.

POLICY CONTINUES...Click here to download the entire PDF of policy  

Notes
  1. Dates of official enactment and amendments: 07/15/04
  2. History: Revised: September, 2014
  3. Cross References: blank

About This Policy

Effective Date: September 15, 2014
Issuing Authority: University Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Officer: University Controller
Office Name: Office of the Controller

New York University employees incur various types of expenses as they perform tasks and duties that support the operations of the institution and further its missions. This policy is to ensure that employees who incur valid business expenses are reimbursed in a fair and equitable manner; that business expenses are reported, recorded, and reimbursed in a consistent manner throughout the University; and that the University complies with all applicable federal, state, and local rules and regulations.

This policy applies to any member of the University Community who initiates, processes, approves, or records financial transactions that involve University funds. This policy does not apply to NYU Langone Medical Center (or its component parts: NYU Hospitals Center, its affiliates, and New York University School of Medicine), NYU Shanghai or NYU Abu Dhabi.

These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:

Accountable Plan Rules

In order to be considered an accountable plan by the IRS, expenses incurred by employees or independent contractors must have a business connection, the individual must adequately account to the University for these expenses within a reasonable time (60 days) and the individual must return an excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable time (60 days). If all three conditions are met the reimbursement can be excluded from the individual’s taxable income.

Approver

The individual granted the authority to review and approve (or reject) transactions that require the use of University funds. The signature of the “Approver” on the reimbursement or payment request form or A/P Workflow electronic submission signifies that the “Approver” has verified the request for compliance with applicable University policies.

Business Expenses

Charges for goods and services that foster or support the missions of the University.

Documentation, or Substantiation

Documents that describe and support a business expense or transaction, such as original receipts or other original vendor-generated documents that show type of expense, amount of expense, and date the expense was incurred.  

Discretionary Funds

Unrestricted funds allocated by the University to a school, department, or unit that may be used for expenses that further support their various missions in accordance with the Business Expenses Policy of the University.

Gross Income     

Refers to items of value received by an employee from the University, including compensation as well as those reimbursements employees receive for business expenses they incur that do not meet the “accountable plan” criteria.

Initiator

An individual who generates a business transaction. The initiator should be in compliance with all University policies when executing a transaction.

NYU

The University and all University Affiliates, and includes the schools, colleges, institutes, and other administrative units of the University, all University Affiliates, and the Global Network University sites, as such terms are defined in the Policy on Policies.

Reasonable

Not extreme or excessive. A cost may be considered reasonable if the nature of the goods and services reflects prudent action.

Reviewer

An individual who verifies information and ensures that a transaction complies with the policies and procedures of the University, along with other relevant external guidelines and restrictions.

Stewardship

The careful and responsible management and protection of the University’s resources, which includes ensuring that resources are used appropriately or used according to applicable policies of the University.

Transaction

A commitment by the University involving the exchange of money or property, an obligation to perform services requiring payment or use of University resources, or the assumption of a liability (e.g., indebtedness) or potential liability, currently or in the future (e.g., NYU agreeing to indemnify another party).

University Community

All NYU faculty, including visiting faculty; researchers, including persons participating in research at or under the auspices of NYU; employees; professional staff, including medical, dental, and nursing staff; volunteers; fellows, trainees, and post-doctoral appointees; students; consultants, vendors, and contractors.

University Funds

All funds received from internal

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