Expense and Credit Card Policies

Last updated: Dec 13, 2023

Expense Policy

In accordance with Uniform Guidance under 2 CFR 200 and applicable Federal regulations, this policy governs the reimbursement of travel, entertainment and other business expenses incurred during the conduct of Organization business. It is the Organization’s policy to reimburse employees for ordinary, necessary and reasonable expenses when directly related to the transaction of Organization business.

Directly related expenses are those in which there is the expectation of deriving some current or future benefit for the Organization, the employee is actively engaged in a business meeting or activity necessary to the performance of the employee’s job duties, or, in the case of entertainment, there is a clear business purpose.

Employees are expected to exercise prudent business judgment regarding expenses covered by this Policy.

Reimbursement for expenses that are not in compliance with this Policy requires the prior written approval of the Organization’s President or Secretary-Treasurer.

Organization employees are responsible for complying with this Policy. Employees submitting expenses that are not in compliance with this policy risk delayed, partial or forfeited reimbursement.


The Organization uses an online application to process the tracking, documentation, approval, and reimbursement of eligible expenses. Each expense shall be separately identified.

While copies of receipts are recommended for all expenses on credit cards or submitted for reimbursement, they are required for all expenses greater than $75.00. Requests for exceptions to this policy should document extenuating circumstances and be approved by the President or Secretary-Treasurer.

The Company complies with IRS regulations, which require that all business expenses be substantiated with adequate records. This substantiation must include information relating to:

  1. the amount of the expenditure;

  2. the time and place of the expenditure;

  3. the business purpose of the expenditure; and

  4. the names and the business relationships of individuals other than the employee for whom the expenditures were made.

Requests for reimbursement lacking complete information will be returned to the requesting employee.

Reimbursement requests shall be promptly submitted, and in no event more than sixty (60) days after the expense. Reimbursement requests more than sixty (60) days old may be rejected.


Expense reimbursement forms, together with required documentation, must be submitted to the employee’s immediate supervisor for review and signature approval. The President or Secretary-Treasurer may approve expense reimbursement in the absence of the employee’s supervisor.

Supervisors approving expense reports are responsible for ensuring that the expenses reported are proper and reimbursable under this Policy, the expense report has been filled out accurately and has the required documentation; and the expenses are reasonable and necessary.

Reimbursable Expenses

The following are reimbursable expenses, as long as they are in compliance with the applicable provisions of this Policy, and are for business purposes:

  • Hotel or lodging charges and related tips

  • Airfare, train fare, bus fare, taxicabs, and related tips

  • Meals, including tips between 15 and 20%

  • Business telephone calls

  • Charges for internet connectivity if otherwise unavailable

  • Transportation costs during travel

  • Conference and convention fees

  • Business center costs (i.e., copying, faxing, etc.)

  • Reasonable business entertainment expenses, with prior approval by supervisor

  • Laundry and/or dry-cleaning expenses during trips in excess of five days

  • Other reasonable and necessary business expenses, not specifically excluded by this section

The following expenses are not reimbursable:

  • Airline club dues

  • First class airfare

  • In-flight movies/refreshments

  • Hotel room movies and other forms of personal entertainment

  • Child care costs

  • Barbers/hairstylists

  • Traffic fines

  • Tips in excess of 20% and/or tips in addition to pre-applied gratuity

  • Luggage or briefcases (i.e. purchasing a piece of luggage)

  • Alcohol, unless consumed during legitimate business-related entertainment activities

  • Meals including only company employees, unless traveling on company business or approved in advance by the President or Secretary-Treasurer

  • Parties and gifts for Organization employees

  • Reimbursement for personal miles in excess of the cost of airfare to the same destination

No policy can anticipate every situation that might give rise to legitimate business expenses. Reasonable and necessary expenses, which are not listed above, may be incurred. Each employee and supervisor must use his/her best professional judgment in determining if an unlisted expense is reimbursable under this Policy.

Air Travel

All employees are expected to travel coach class and are encouraged to search for the lowest available restricted but changeable fare, rather than the fully-refundable fare. Personal frequent flyer credits may be used to upgrade travel class; however, no reimbursement will be made for and no contribution recorded on behalf of the employee for the business use of frequent flyer credits.

The cost of cancelling and/or rebooking of flights is not reimbursable, unless it can be shown that it was necessary or required for legitimate business reasons (such as a changed meeting date). Employees must identify and pay for all personal flights, even if such flights are incorporated into a flight schedule that serves business purposes.


Prudent judgment should be used when selecting a hotel or motel. A single room with a private bath in a moderately priced business class hotel or motel is the Organization’s standard.

For all lodging expenditures, hotel receipts must be submitted; credit card charge slips do not represent adequate supporting documentation.

The Organization will not reimburse an employee for separate travel costs associated with his/her spouse or partner. However, the cost of a shared hotel room need not be allocated between an employee and his/her spouse or partner for purposes of this Policy.

Rental Vehicles

It is expected that reservations will be made for a compact vehicle, depending on the type of travel. Occasionally a mid-size vehicle may be appropriate when more than one employee will be using the vehicle. The cost of premium, luxury or four-wheel drive vehicles will be charged to the employee renting the vehicle and reimbursement will be made at the compact or mid-sized rate as appropriate.

Employees are expected to accept “Loss Damage Waiver” coverage so that any damage to the rental car is covered with no deductible. Employees driving rental cars for business purposes will have liability coverage under the Organization’s business liability policy.

Personal Vehicles

Employees who utilize personal vehicles for business purposes are required to have a valid driver’s license and at least the minimum insurance coverage required by law. Mileage will be reimbursed at the currently allowable IRS rate. Miles submitted for reimbursement should be net of any normal commuting miles.

Primary insurance for employees who use their personal vehicles for business purposes shall be through their own personal automobile insurance policy and the employee will be responsible for any damage to the vehicle, as well as for liability.

The expenses related to gasoline consumed by personal vehicles are the responsibility of the employee. The owner/driver of the vehicle is responsible for all parking fines and moving violation tickets.

Policy Exceptions

Generally, any exception to this policy must have the prior written approval of the employee’s supervisor and the President or Secretary-Treasurer. Requests for exception should document extenuating circumstances or proposed overall savings to the Organization.

Credit Card Policy

Code for Science and Society may provide employees and Project Directors with credit cards that can be used for business-related expenses. Employees are defined as a CS&S full or part time staff member enrolled as an employee via TriNet or Remote. Project Directors are those individuals identified as a Project Lead in the project’s fiscal sponsorship agreement, and may be classified as an employee, contractor, or volunteer. Contractors or Volunteers in any role other than a Project Director are not eligible to receive a CS&S credit card.

Having company credit cards helps us track and process our expenses, prevent fraud, and make payments more efficiently. This policy outlines how to use company credit cards properly and know the responsibilities that come with use of a company credit card.

What expenses are allowed on a company credit card?

You can use a company card to pay for work-related expenses only. This includes:

  • Travel and lodging in accordance with the CS&S Travel and Expense Reimbursement policy

  • Office supplies, software and other operational expenses

  • Training and educational material approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, or by the Project Director’s advisory committee

The credit card may not be used for personal expenses. Never withdraw cash using the company credit card. Purchases of large amounts of alcohol, any drugs, weapons, pornography charges for other adult entertainment are not permissible.

Your responsibilities

Those employees and Project Directors that receive a credit card are expected to:

  • Protect it to the best of their ability. Don’t leave it unattended or give it to unauthorized people.

  • Report it stolen or lost by emailing [email protected] as soon as possible. Lock the card via Ramp.

  • Use it only for approved expenses. Follow the instructions in this policy and the card use agreement, and don’t use the card for personal or unauthorized expenses.

  • Retain all receipts and submit receipts as documentation with the date and purpose of the expense via Ramp.

  • If you’re responsible for authorizing and approving credit card invoices, please do so within 30 days of the transaction date to avoid fees or locked cards. Accumulated late fees may be deducted from the cardholder’s salary at the discretion of CS&S

CS&S has the right to review your credit card use, and withdraw it if there’s any inappropriate use.


Director of Human Resources

Thank you for using our resources! We value your feedback to help us improve the quality of our documentation. Please share your thoughts on the resources you have accessed.

Share feedback