Resources: Avoiding Holds on Reimbursement Requests

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Avoiding Holds on Reimbursement Requests
Reason Request Goes on Hold How to Avoid a Hold
Proof of payment is not included in backup documents Must provide copy of credit card statement or bank statement showing the charge if the air ticket, itinerary or other receipt does not include proof of payment.
Incomplete explanation of business purpose Must explain who, what, where, when, why, and how expenses relate to University business. See Guidelines for Writing a Clear Business Purpose.
Expenses submitted more than 60 days after travel or purchase Explain reason for delay. Payment subject to tax reporting under IRS rules
Wrong iOU module or wrong payment system used to request payment

Ensure that the proper module of iOU is used – see Resources: Transactions Processed in iOU.

Some payments are handled through Accounts Payable (payment against invoices with an approved Purchase Order).

Some payments to individuals are processed via Payroll – see Buy / Pay Guide.

Proof of Travel not included in backup documentation Ensure that travel reimbursement requests include more than the air ticket; especially when clearing an advance. You also need to include the hotel bill, meal receipts or reference to another transaction with balance of expenses for the same trip.
Additional required backup documentation not included Ensure that all receipts, documentation for non-resident aliens, certification letter for student travel, agenda for sponsored conference travel are included as required.
Agenda missing for sponsored travel Ensure that a conference agenda is included with backup when travel is associated with a sponsored project.
Documentation required for non-resident aliens or foreign visitors is not included Copies of LA-6, I-94, passport, visa, form 8233 (for honoraria payment when home country of visitor has a tax treaty with the U.S. — Social Security Number or ITIN required to claim treaty).
Certification letter not included with reimbursement requests for student and post doc travel Request must include a letter stating that travel is integral to degree work or that student is representing Stanford University (see Admin Guide 5.4.2: Section 11).
Request for reimbursement of alcohol purchases not clearly identified as chargeable to appropriate account type Expenses for alcohol must be clearly identified and charged to unallowable expenditure type, 52310 (including appropriate portion of tax and tip).
W-9 and Social Security Number not included when required Include form W-9 or Social Security Number when requesting tax reportable payments to vendors or individuals (usually honoraria payments).
Beneficiary names not included when required If a gift is purchased, you must include name(s) of the person(s) receiving the gift when requesting reimbursement. If traveler is being reimbursed for travel expenses for others, include their names in Beneficiary field.
Advance request doesn't include complete information Backup documentation should include proof of payment for airfare, itemization and justification of any other anticipated expenses required prior to travel.
Backup documents not legible Make sure information on documents is neither too light nor too dark. Do not use highlighter.
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Tips for Ensuring Prompt Processing

  • If faxing additional backup because transaction is on Hold, send email to the Financial Support Center alerting them to the incoming fax.
  • Clear advances in the Reimbursement Module being careful to enter correct Payee name so it will match to the original advance.
  • If you lump some expenses together under Miscellaneous, be sure they can be identified by the processor: use a spreadsheet as backup or mark receipts or include some type of identifying information in remarks.
  • Include non-resident alien documentation when paying expenses on behalf of a visitor, such as a direct payment to the hotel in Other Checks.
  • When reimbursing business meals, be sure to include the reason for meeting, the names of the attendees, and their relationship to University business.
  • If faxing additional backup for your iOU transaction, be sure to use the same bar code so it will attach electronically to the original transaction.
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