To obtain reimbursement for out-of-pocket travel expenses (those expenses not charged to a University credit card or directly billed to the University) complete the Travel Expense Report Form (pdf).

Travel expenses under a grant or other outside funding are to be forwarded to the Finance office for the appropriate approvals as well as the department approver(s) overseeing the grants administration.

1. Timeliness

All travel expense reimbursements should be requested within 14 days from the last day of the trip. Failure to adhere to this timeline could result in denial of the reimbursement request or taxation of the payment. The University will not reimburse individuals for any interest charges from their personal credit card resulting from failure to submit expense reports in a timely basis.

2. Supporting Documentation

The IRS requires that detailed documentation accompany all reimbursement requests for travel and entertainment expenses. Bucknell requires receipts for airline tickets, lodging, rental vehicles, hostess gifts, conference registration fees, and meals and miscellaneous expenses greater than $25.

Regardless of the amount, the business purpose of the expense must be provided for each transaction. The business purpose can be written on the Travel Expense Form or the individual receipt. Sufficient evidence of business purpose should include:

  • List of attendees (self if alone)
  • Description of business purpose, topics discussed
  • Description of meal (i.e., lunch, dinner)
  • Description of entertainment (i.e., theatre)
  • Conference itinerary where applicable.

A valid receipt is one that indicates the following:

  • Vendor
  • Date
  • Location
  • Amount and tender of payment
  • Description of materials, service, meal, entertainment etc.

Credit card summary slips and statements are not valid receipts. If a vendor is unable to provide a valid original receipt or efforts to obtain a duplicate of a lost receipt have been exhausted, the individual will complete the Missing Receipt Form for transactions greater than $25 and attach it to the Travel Expense Report.

An image of the original receipt received via fax, scanner or Smartphone is acceptable.

Receipts for online purchases must show itemized charges and proof of payment.

Electronic receipts are acceptable providing they contain the same detail as the original paper receipt.

Please convert expenditures in a foreign currency to US dollars as supported by a receipt. (See for a conversion rate tool.)

3. Authorization

BTP requires approval of a supervisor, or official designee of the supervisor, for travel and business expenses, including signed approval of Travel Expense Reports and University Credit Card reconciliations. For travel charged to another department within the University, the sponsoring department provides signed approval for the expenses.

Travel Expense Reports should not be approved by a colleague who reports directly or indirectly to the individual. Individuals cannot approve their own travel expenses, or those of a spouse or equivalent, child, or parent.