Travel Policies

Palmer College of Chiropractic
Effective: October 3, 2007

The College will reimburse individuals for business-related travel and entertainment expenses as defined in these principles. This section covers the following three areas related to expense reimbursement:

  • Reimbursable Travel Expenses

  • Reimbursable Business Entertainment

The travel principles applies to the following individuals traveling and entertaining on behalf of the College and who are seeking reimbursement for those expenses from the College, regardless of the funding source:

  • all employees of the College

  • Students attending the College whose travel and entertainment expenses are being reimbursed by the College.

  • non-employees who have been invited to the College or have been authorized to travel and/or entertain on behalf of the College.

The College assumes no obligation to reimburse employees, students and non-employees for expenses that are not in compliance with this policy.

Departments may, at their discretion, impose greater control than required by this policy but never less.

All Palmer employees must have authorization prior to travel; an individual must first submit a Travel Request Form to the appropriate department head and/or supervisor for approval. All expenditures connected with a trip must be projected on the Travel Request Form. Prior approval must be obtained in order for the travel expense to be reimbursed.

  • Palmer College of Chiropractic will reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary expenditures incurred while on Palmer business. All expenditures must reflect the most efficient use of Palmer resources.

  • It is the responsibility of Palmer College of Chiropractic to ensure that all travel and entertainment expenditures meet the IRS definition of an "accountable plan." Under the accountable plan an employee can be reimbursed for expenses provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  • advances and reimbursements must be made for business expenses only and must be reasonably related to the expenses the employer is expected to incur,

  • travelers must provide a statement substantiating the amount, time, use and business purpose of expenses within a reasonable time after the expenses have been incurred,

  • original receipts must be attached to the statement, and

  • employees must return any advance amounts in excess of substantiated expenses within ten days after completion of the trip.

Travel advances and reimbursements that are properly substantiated, documented and reported on an approved Travel and Entertainment Reimbursement form, will not be reported by the College to the Internal Revenue Service as income to the traveler.

Responsibility of the Traveler

Faculty, staff and students should sign their own names to certify to the best of their knowledge that the information contained on the Travel and Entertainment Report form is accurate and that all claimed expenses are allowable and were incurred in the conduct of official College business.

The College will not reimburse travel and entertainment expenses that have been or will be reimbursed from any outside source.

Responsibility of the Authorized Signer

The authorized signer must verify that expenses and expense reports meet the following criteria:

  • the travel and entertainment expense was incurred while conducting College business,

  • the expenses were necessary and consistent with College policies,

  • the information contained on the expense report and in the attached documentation is accurate,

  • the expense meets any and all sponsor guidelines, if applicable, and

  • the expenditure is charged to the proper account(s).

The authorized signer:

  • should have authorization over the account being charged,

  • cannot be the individual seeking reimbursement,

  • if possible, should be the spender's direct supervisor,

  • in general, should not be asked to approve the travel or entertainment expenses for an individual to whom they report, and

  • can only approve those expense reports within their Transaction Authorization Card (TAC) limit.

Reimbursable Travel Expenses:

• Each employee upon returning from Palmer travel must complete a Travel Expense Report. The travel expense report must include all expenditures.

• Non-employee travel – Palmer follows IRS guidelines which states, “Travel expenses are not allowed for a spouse, dependent or other individual who accompanies the taxpayer on a business trip unless such person is an employee of the person paying or reimbursing the expenses, the travel serves a bona fide business purpose and the expenses are otherwise deductible.” If a spouse accompanies an employee on a Palmer trip that serves a business purpose, the expenses are considered compensation to the employee. The Chief Financial Officer must approve all such travel that serves a Palmer business purpose.

1. Transportation

  1. Air Travel:
    The least expensive available ticket classification is the normal accommodation, and the cost of that least expensive classification will be the maximum reimbursement. Palmer will not reimburse travelers for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles. The College will reimburse individuals for change or cancellation penalties imposed by the airlines provided the change or cancellation was caused by unavoidable circumstances. Individuals must submit supporting documentation with their expense report showing the amount of penalty.

    Palmer College of Chiropractic College will not reimburse employees for airline upgrades. Airline upgrades are a personal expense.

    Memberships in airline clubs are restricted to certain levels of employees and must be approved in advance by the CFO.
    Service fees charged by travel agencies and travel web sites are reimbursable.

  2. Auto Travel: Personal Vehicle
    It is anticipated that certain jobs may require travel off campus as part of those job responsibilities. In those cases, all expenses related to that travel within a ten mile radius of campus will not be reimbursed. It is also understood that employees might serve as volunteers for college approved activities. No reimbursement will be given for use of personal vehicle of volunteers.

    For employees of the Florida campus choosing not to fly out of Daytona Beach or employees of the West campus choosing not to fly out of San Jose, Palmer College of Chiropractic will reimburse 25.00 per round trip in lieu of mileage to the Orlando Airport for the Florida campus and 25.00 per round trip for travel out of the San Francisco Airport for the West campus. Palmer College of Chiropractic will not reimburse travel to the Moline Airport for Davenport campus employees.

    For those job responsibilities that do not require travel off campus, it is strongly discouraged that employees’ personal vehicles be used for normal everyday college business operations, such as running errands. College departments should strive to conduct business with vendors and suppliers who will deliver their products. In those cases where it is absolutely necessary that a personal vehicle must be used the College will reimburse the individual at the approved IRS mileage rate. All such travel must be pre-approved in writing by the employee’s supervisor. The College will only reimburse trips that exceed ten miles one way from campus. In all cases, the employee assumes all risks associated with driving their personal vehicles. The College assumes no responsibility in cases of accidents or violations.

    For trips under 3 hours driving time, travel by auto is preferred. For trips beyond 3 hours driving time, auto travel is permitted if destination isn’t easily accessible by air travel.

    Personal auto travel must be authorized by the supervisor if used as a substitute for air travel.

    Reimbursement will be calculated as actual miles traveled during a trip multiplied by the IRS allowable rate.

    The maximum reimbursement will be equal to the cost of the least expensive available round trip airfare to the authorized destination.

    Additional reimbursement will be made for turnpike tolls, bridge tolls and reasonable parking fees.
    The College will not reimburse employees for parking tickets, fines for moving violations or vehicle towing charges.
    No reimbursement will be made for vehicle repair costs regardless of whether it results from the traveler's act or acts of others.

    Expenses associated with normal commuting between an employee's home and regular place of business are not reimbursable.

  3. Bus or Rail Travel
    Bus or Rail Travel must be authorized by the supervisor as a substitute for air travel.

    Unreserved, coach and business classes of service on Amtrak and other rail carriers are reimbursable.

    Reimbursement will be for the actual fare with a maximum reimbursement equal to the cost of the least expensive available round trip airfare to the authorized destination.

  4. Taxicabs, Airport Transportation and Hotel Courtesy Vans
    Should be used as needed and all reasonable expenses incurred will be reimbursed.

  5. Rental Cars
    Full size rental cars are generally justified when other transportation in the designated city is not available, or when significant timesaving is evident. Justification must be supplied for upgrades and prior approval must be secured in advance for the rental fee to be reimbursable.

    Palmer carries car insurance for rental cars. No extra car insurance bought at the time of rental will be reimbursed; it will be at your own expense if purchased. The college has provided the insurance card on it is labeled Iowa Financial Liability Coverage Card.

    Employees renting a car for Palmer business are expected to be a responsible driver and must have a valid drivers license and car insurance of their own.

    Preferred Rental Car Companies
    Preferred rental car companies should be used, whenever possible.
    The College has negotiated rates with the following:
    Hertz ID# 332781 1-800-654-3131

2. Lodging at Hotels

Lodging at hotels or motels in business class accommodations, but not luxury class, is considered reasonable and reimbursable for business travel. However, extra nights of lodging made necessary due to discounted airfare rates will be considered for reimbursement as long as it is not over the air savings. Extra nights of lodging not necessary to the business purpose of the trip will not be considered for reimbursement.

The College will not reimburse a traveler for the following expenses:

  • in room video rentals

  • in room alcoholic beverages

  • health club charges

  • alcoholic beverages not purchased in conjunction with necessary business entertainment

  • laundry and dry cleaning charges (unless traveling from more than five days)

  • costs incurred for failure to cancel hotel reservations

If a traveler elects to stay at a private residence, the traveler will be reimbursed for a small gift or meal extended (in lieu of lodging) as a gesture of appreciation to friends and relatives for their hospitality.

Preferred Hotels:
Preferred hotels should be used, whenever possible.
The College has negotiated local rates with the following:
Davenport Campus, West Campus, Florida Campus

10% discount on best available rate
111 East 2nd Street
Davenport, Iowa

Hotel Blackhawk  119.00
200 E 3rd Street
Davenport, Iowa

La Quinta Inn 59.00
3330 E Kimberly Road
Davenport, Iowa

Home Ridge  69.00
909 Middle Road
Bettendorf, Iowa  52722
Free Hot Breakfast

Comfort Inn  80.99
8300 Northwest Blvd

Hilton Garden Inn
10% discount on best available rate
30 Ranch Drive
Milpitas, CA

Hilton Garden Inn  89.00
189 Midway Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL
Includes hot buffet breakfast

Hilton Daytona Beach 89.00
189 Midway Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL
Includes hot buffet breakfast

Hilton Daytona Beach  89.00
Ocean Walk Village
100 N Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach
Corp ID - 2638201

La Quinta Inn & Suites
Weekday  69.00
Weekend  79.00
1791 Dunlawton
Port Orange, FL  32129

Nautilus Inn  89.00
1515 S Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL  32118
Continental Breakfast and Cocktail Hour included

Holiday Inn Rock Island  69.00
226 17th Street
Rock Island, IL  61201
Standard Room (1 King or 2 Double Beds)

3. Meals

Meals (Excluding Faculty Traveling at a Per Diem Rate)

All reasonable expenses incurred for meals while on an overnight or out of town trip will be reimbursable. This will be for the actual cost of meals for the employee. Reimbursement of the cost of a meal for another person will depend on relevance with respect to the purpose of the trip.

Expenses for meals incurred by not using available airline transportation or by spending more days at the destination than necessary for the purpose of the trip will not be considered for reimbursement.

When an employee travels to and from an approved destination in one day, during normal working hours, lunch is the only meal eligible for reimbursement.

A cash advance will be provided before the trip is taken if financial hardship deems it necessary.

Meals (Faculty on Per Diem Rate)
A per diem is a payment to a person to cover meals and incidentals while traveling for business purposes. Per Diem amounts are determined by the federal government and are specific to major cities. Domestic per diems are set by the government once a year. Foreign per diems can change on a monthly basis due to currency fluctuations. When seeking reimbursement, make sure you request foreign per diems for the months traveled.

Per Diem is paid per day, depending upon the size of the city, and must be approved prior to travel.
Per Diem information can be obtained by:

  • accessing the governments web site at

  • Per Deim is paid when the Travel Expense Report is submitted to Purchasing. Per Deim can be paid before the trip is taken if financial hardship deems it necessary.

    Reimbursement on a per diem basis for meals is permitted. Meal receipts are not required when using a per diem rate, but travelers must be able to demonstrate that the trip or stay did occur.

4. Miscellaneous

No personal calls will be reimbursed. Employees approved for travel will receive a pre-paid phone card. To receive the phone card(s), contact the purchasing department prior to the trip. Long distance telephone calls during such travel are to be charged to the provided phone card. Employees are to use the watts line for calls made to Palmer while traveling out of town. Employees may retain any unused phone card for personal use.

Tips, tolls, parking charges and other miscellaneous reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the purpose of the trip are reimbursable.

Secretarial services, office machine rentals, audiovisual rentals, xerographic expense, shipping charges and other similar expenses are normally allowable.

Movies, traffic tickets and parking tickets are personal in nature and not reimbursable.


Pursuant to EO 13043 (April 16, 1997), Increasing the Use of Seat Belts in the United States, NIH encourages grantees to adopt and enforce on-the-job seat belt policies and programs for their employees when operating vehicles, whether organizationally owned or rented or personally owned. Palmer College addresses this regulation through internal travel authorization forms and process.



Executive Order 13513 (E.O. 13513) requires each Federal agency to encourage contractors, subcontractors, and grant and cooperative agreement recipients and subrecipients to adopt and enforce policies that ban text messaging while driving companyowned or -rented vehicles or Government Owned Vehicles, or while driving Personally Owned Vehicles when on official Government business or when performing any work for or on behalf of the Government. Palmer College addresses this regulation through internal travel authorization forms and process.

To further the requirement of encouraging such policies, the NIH encourages grantees to consider new rules and programs, reevaluate existing programs to prohibit text messaging while driving, and conduct education, awareness, and other outreach for employees about the risks associated with texting while driving. These initiatives should encourage voluntary compliance with the grantee agency's text messaging policy while off duty.  For the purposes of this policy and pursuant to E.O. 13513, the following definitions apply:

"Texting" or "Text Messaging" means reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic device, including for the purpose of SMS texting, emailing, instant messaging, obtaining navigational information, or engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or electronic data communication.

"Driving" means operating a motor vehicle on an active roadway with the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic light or stop sign, or otherwise. It does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when one has pulled over to the side of, or off, an active roadway and has halted in a location where one can safely remain stationary.

Reimbursable Business Entertainment Expenses:

Business Meal Expenses

A business meal occurs when a College employee entertains business associates, professional colleagues, students and others over a meal while on travel during which a business discussion takes place.

Palmer will not reimburse for meals between professional colleagues, students and others during the course of a normal workday for convenience even if business is being discussed.

Documentation required includes the date of the business meal or function, location, persons entertained, affiliation, business purpose and amount.

When entertaining in conjunction with College travel, the actual cost of meals should be reflected on the expense report instead of the per diem rate.

Entertainments expenses must be described approved and conform to IRS guidelines to be eligible for reimbursement.

Unusual expenses which are not specifically covered in this policy must be explained (including supporting documentation) when submitted.

Nonreimbursable Expenses:

  1. Personal purchases

  2. Alcoholic beverages within reason

  3. Airline Upgrades

  4. Lost of stolen property

  5. Parking or traffic fines

  6. Kennel/boarding fees for pets

  7. Travel insurance

  8. Personal auto repairs or accident deductible

  9. Personal postage

  10. Sightseeing trips, personal entertainment

  11. Barber/beauty parlor services

  12. Laundry/dry cleaning (except five-day or longer trips)

  13. Excessive room service charges

  14. House sitters

  15. Babysitters

  16. Massages

  17. Gym fees

  18. Video/HBO charges

  19. This list in not all inclusive

Note: Occasions or situations might allow for reimbursement of some of the above, but would require approval of the CFO.


  1. All Palmer employees must submit a Travel Request Form prior to travel. A cash advance will only be given if financial hardship is deems it necessary. Employees approved for travel will receive a pre-paid phone card to be used on out of town travel. Long distance telephone calls during such travel are to be charged to the provided phone card. Employees are to use the watts line for calls made to Palmer while traveling out of town.

    No personal calls will be reimbursed. Employees may retain any unused phone card for personal use.

  2. Direct Bill:

Travel services, which can be billed directly to Palmer, should be requested on separate Requisition Forms, listing each vendor and amount.

Travel Expense Report

A Travel Expense Report must be submitted to the appropriate department head and/or supervisor for approval and, in turn forwarded to the Purchasing Department within in 10 days of the completed trip. Any balance due Palmer must be submitted with the Travel Expense Report. Any balance due the employee will be reimbursed after the approved Travel Expense Report is received and processed by the Purchasing Department.

The Travel Expense report provides most of what is required for proof of business expenses for IRS purposes. Those IRS guidelines are as follows:

Travel and Transportation Expenses: The employee must prove all of the following elements by providing documentary evidence, such as receipts or bills marked paid, for;

  1. The amount of each separate expenditure for traveling away from home, such as transportation and lodging.

  2. The dates of the departure and return home for each trip and the number of days spent on business away from home.

  3. The destination or locality of the travel.

  4. The business reason for the travel or the nature of the business benefit derived or expected to be derived as result of the travel.

Entertainment Expenses: For entertainment expenses, all these elements must be proved.

  1. The amount of each separate expenditure.

  2. The date the entertainment took place.

  3. The name (if any), address, or location and the type of entertainment, such as dinner, drinks or theater, if that information isn’t clear from the location.

  4. The reason for entertaining, or the nature of the business benefit derived or expected to be derived, and the nature of any business discussion or activity that took place.

  5. The occupation or other information about the person or persons entertained, including name, title or other designation, sufficient to establish his business relationship to the employee.

Per Diem: Per diem is reflected as a flat amount per day per meal where applicable. If meals are paid for by using the employees Palmer Elan card, these charges need to be reversed on the expense report. Reflect these expenditures as a negative in the pre-paid expense section of the travel expense report.

General Process


  1. The Travel Expense Report is available by accessing Click on business affairs under the departmental pages, forms, and then expense report.

  2. All highlighted areas of the Travel Expense Report must be completed in full. The expense report is an accumulation of all expenses associated with a particular trip. It is for the purpose of assigning a total cost to the function served by the travel. Include all expenses, whether prepaid (with a Purchase Requisition), charged to a Palmer credit card, Personal credit card or paid by cash. The sum of the column Totals by Date must equal the sum of the row Totals.

  3. To reconcile the travel expenditures, this may result in a balance due Palmer or a balance due the employee, the total amount of all expenditures of the trip should be recorded in the total row. In the event that an advance check is issued, record the amount of the check in the cash advance box. List all prepaid expenses and expenses paid by Palmer credit card in the boxes at the bottom of report. Please list each vendor (i.e., hotel name), check if prepaid or Elan (Palmer credit card) and give a brief description (i.e., four nights lodging) and the amount paid. The total of these prepaid expenses will show in the prepaid/charged box. From the total expenses subtract cash advance, personal items, and prepaid expenses. If the total is a negative number, enter the figure on the balance due Palmer line; if the total is a positive number enter it on the balance due employee line.

IMPORTANT: All entries for air travel, lodging, car rental, meals, taxi, limo, bus, parking, tolls, telephone, entertainment, or miscellaneous must be supported by invoices and /or receipts. These receipts must be attached to the Purchasing Department copy of the Travel Expense Report. All the Elan credit card original receipts must be attached to the credit card statement that is forwarded to Purchasing.

The employee and the appropriate supervisor or department head must sign the Travel Expense Report.