A traveler on official business must exercise the same care incurring expenses and accomplishing an assignment that a prudent person would exercise if traveling on personal business. Excess cost, circuitous routes, delays, or luxury accommodations unnecessary or unjustified in the performance of a task will not be reimbursed by the University and will become the personal responsibility of the traveler.
A Travel Authorization must be created and approved in PeopleSoft prior to travel dates. It is recommended that the TA is created and submitted at least two weeks prior to any travel. For conference travel requiring a registration paid directly from USC Beaufort to the organization, a TA must be created and submitted at least three weeks in advance.
Reimbursement for overnight accommodations will NOT be made within 50 miles of the traveler’s official headquarters and/or place of residence. Lodging expenses for faculty and staff cannot be paid in advance and will be reimbursed upon presentation of an itemized receipt after the trip has been completed. The traveler is responsible for making hotel arrangements and securing their room with a credit card. Reimbursement for hotel stay exceeding $300.00/night will not be made. Many hotels provide a discounted rate for state government travel. Present your faculty or staff ID to the hotel to receive the discount.
- Less than 20 miles round trip Travel less than 20 miles round trip will not be reimbursed by the University.
- Greater than 20 miles, but less than 500 miles round trip
Use of a rental vehicle The University has a contract with Enterprise which allows employees to rent a vehicle, while Enterprise will bill the University directly for the charges. The traveler must contact Enterprise at (843) 208 -2333 and provide a valid TA number to reserve a vehicle. Confirmation emails must be forwarded to Katie Deal, Accounts Payable. The traveler must save all fuel receipts and request reimbursement upon completion of the trip.
Use of a University vehicle
The University has a limited number of vehicles available for use. An individual wishing to make a reservation should contact Facilities at (843) 208-8145. Columbia’s Office of Vehicle Management must first approve anyone wishing to drive a University vehicle. To be eligible, an official copy of your current driving record must be submitted at least two weeks prior to use of the state vehicle.
Use of a personal vehicle For use of a personal vehicle, the traveler may either be reimbursed for fuel costs, or on a mileage-based rate, at the discretion of the department. The maximum mileage reimbursed by USC Beaufort is listed below:
- Travel between USC Beaufort Campuses - .2525 per mile when working on both campuses in one day
- Travel to the Columbia campus - .2525 per mile
- Other travel under 500 mi - .5050 per mile
- Greater than 500 miles round trip For travel exceeding 500 miles round trip, the traveler should carefully weigh the cost and time benefit of airfare versus vehicle. If an airline is to be used, the individual may contact the local travel agency Island Travel at (843) 525-0777 and provide a valid TA number to reserve tickets. To make travel arrangements utilizing one of Columbia's travel agencies, please refer to their list found here.
State law provides that faculty and staff while traveling on the business of the University shall be allowed reimbursement for subsistence expenses incurred and paid. However, reimbursements for meals during in-state and out-of-state travel that is completed in one day will not be made. Meals will be reimbursed on time of departure and time of return up to a maximum allowance as follows:
|Departure Time||Return Time||State of SC||Out of State|
|Before 6:30 AM||After 11:00 AM||$6.00||$7.00|
|Before 11:00 AM||After 1:30 PM||$7.00||$9.00|
|Before 5:15 PM||After 8:30 PM||$12.00||$16.00|
Registration costs associated with conference attendance may be paid directly to the organization through a Payment Request in PeopleSoft. A W9 Form must be on file for the organization and an invoice referencing the TA number should be submitted to your department or Accounts Payble for payment. If the traveler is able to pay for registration out of pocket, the individual must submit a receipt for reimbursement upon completion of the trip.
Other Approved Expenses
Other expenses may be reimbursed, such as taxi/limousine service and airport parking fees. Receipts for these charges must be attached with the Expense Report. These reimbursements are in addition to daily meals and lodging or subsistence amounts. However, conference fees that include meals should have the meal allowance reduced by an appropriate amount.
Please note, the following expenses are non-reimbursable: supplies, service fee for using non-approved Travel Agency, copying charges, membership dues.
Expense Reports are created in PeopleSoft and should be created and submitted within ten (10) business days following the trip and no later than thirty (30) business days. Travelers will be required to attach the Travel and Expense Authorized/Ad Hoc Signature Form to employee travel reports when including Ad Hoc approvals only. Transportation, lodging, registration, conference itinerary and parking receipts must accompany the completed form.