Actual Meal Expense Method

Policy & Guidelines

  • The following rules specific to traveling on sponsored funds must be followed as well as the general guidelines listed below for reimbursable expenses:
    • Individual meal charges over $50 appear to be excessive on a sponsored fund.  If the cost of one meal exceeds $50, the sponsored fund should be charged the $50 and the remaining amount may be reimbursed from other funding source funds, per the department’s policies.  In certain instances, the traveler may provide, and Sponsored Projects Accounting will consider, a written justification as to why the entire amount should be allowed.
    • When including meals for individuals other than the traveler, the names of the individuals as well as the relationship to the grant should be well documented with justification for how the individual relates to the grant and why the meal should be charged to the grant.  In the case that the individual(s) are university employees, please cross-reference to the other employee’s TR number in the shared docs section of the on-line trail doc as well as the hard copy of the Travel Expense statement.
    • Please see Meal FAQ’s for a list of common questions/answers for meal charges on sponsored funds
  • Itemization of actual meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is required when the total for the day is greater than $50.
  • Alcoholic beverages must always be charged to Other Travel (subclass object 36-87) and may never be charged to a sponsored fund.
  • Employees should seek out moderately priced restaurants and dining rooms.
  • If meals are included in the conference registration fee or hotel rates, an additional meal charge will not be reimbursed, unless there is an exception for a dietary, religious reason, etc. If meal reimbursement is requested, the conference agenda should be attached to verify no meals were included in the registration fee.  The AIS document number should be written on the conference agenda submitted.