FAQ - Accounts Payable

I want to be reimbursed for an approved purchase. What do I need to do?

To be reimbursed, you must fill out an Employee Report of Travel Expenses and Claim for Payment (AC132a) and enclose original itemized receipts, invoices, ticket stubs and other supporting documentation for all actual and necessary business expenses. See instructions for completion and other applicable forms. Forward to your supervisor for approval. If purchase was for an event on campus, attach flyer(s), statement of business purpose, location, date of event and appropriate approvals. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.

I am planning to travel on official business. What is my first step?

Complete a Request for Travel Approval form (Travel Approval) and get it approved by your immediate supervisor. For additional information, please see Bulletin T-01, Travel & Meals Guidance. Exercise due care when planning your trip, as travel expenses are paid for with public funds.

Why do I need a Travel Approval?

A Travel Approval is needed for several reasons:

  • OSC Travel rules require prior approval for all trips.
  • It indicates your intention to travel on SUNY related business.
  • SUNY has decentralized accounts, so it is needed to encumber funds to ensure there is money set aside for your trip expense.

Do I need a Travel Approval for every trip I take?

Yes, you need a Travel Approval for any trip that takes you away from your official work station. Your official work station is your usual work location determined by SUNY. You are in travel status if you are more than 35 miles from home or work and on official SUNY related business.

Why are account numbers needed on the Travel Approval?

Without account numbers, we do not know which account to charge. It is also VERY important if funding is coming from another department. It saves time and avoids a great deal of confusion if the account number is initially listed on the Travel Approval.

What are the Per Diem rates?

They are amounts reimbursed for overnight lodging, meals and mileage and are established by the State of New York and the Federal Government. They help ensure a smooth trip and reimbursement by eliminating the possibility of over spending, which in turn creates a reimbursement less than what you were expecting. We can only reimburse meals and lodging up to the Per Diem rate. When seeking lodging, you should ask for the government rate when making reservations.

Exceptions should be rare and require the Lodging Justification Over Per Diem form signed by your supervisor and attached to the Employee Report of Travel Expenses and Claim for Payment (AC132a). Per Diem rates do change so be sure to confirm the rate before you depart. Per Diem rates are found here: https://www.gsa.gov/node/86696. The meal per diem is apportioned at 20% for breakfast/80% for dinner. Lunch is not reimbursed.

Can I use my own vehicle to travel to the conference, seminar, meeting, etc.?

Yes, in rare instances, you can use your own vehicle but you are strongly encouraged to use a State car to travel on official College business. If you use your own vehicle, you should be aware that your personal automobile liability policy is the first layer of insurance coverage if an accident occurs. In addition, your mileage reimbursement will be at a lesser per diem rate if you use your own vehicle and a State car was available but not requested. Therefore, before using your personal vehicle you should first contact the College’s Transportation Services department to see if a State car is available for use. If a State car is not available, you may use your own car provided you have obtained proper authorization from your Vice President or Division Head.  Please refer to the College’s Procedure No. B-08 “Liability Exposure While Driving on SUNY Business” for additional information on this topic. 

What is the mileage reimbursement rate for using my personal vehicle?

The mileage rate changes annually. To find the most current mileage rates, refer to www.gsa.gov/mileage

Do I have to use a NYS issued Travel Card?

No, you do not have to use a State issued Travel Card (T-Card). If you are not a frequent traveler, you most likely do not need a travel card, you can use your personal credit card and request reimbursement.

However, if you have a State issued Travel or Non Employees Travel (NET) Card, you will have to reconcile your monthly statement before the next monthly billing cycle. Accounts Payable can only pay the monthly Citibank statement in a lump sum payment. If that monthly payment is not made in a timely fashion, the department “holding up” the payment may be charged the entire late fee.

Can I be reimbursed for a Day Trip?

You may receive a per diem reimbursement for breakfast or dinner for day trips based on your departure and return times. You are entitled to reimbursement for breakfast if you must leave at least one hour before your normal work start time or for dinner if you return at least two hours later than your normal work ending time.  If you do not have meal receipts, you will be reimbursed $5.00 for breakfast or $12.00 for dinner. For example, you leave Old Westbury at 7:00 a.m. for Albany. You return to Old Westbury the same day at 7:00 p.m. If your scheduled work hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., then you are entitled to $5.00 for breakfast and $12.00 for dinner. Refer to the NYS Office of the Comptroller’s Travel Manual. For additional information, please see Bulletin T-01, Travel & Meals Guidance.

What do I need to include with my reimbursement request?

  • The Travel Approval (“Request for Travel Approval”);
  • Original receipts for lodging and transportation;
  • Itemized meal receipts (unless you are requesting the meal per diem amount);
  • Detailed schedule or agenda;
  • Copy of credit card log (if State issued credit card was used for any portion of the trip) and copies of those receipts;
  • If mileage is claimed, provide backup verifying distance traveled (including where you left from and destination).
  • Be sure to fill out the Employee Report of Travel Expenses and Claim for Payment (AC132a) completely, including your supervisors approval and Vice President or Division Head signature. Include the travel start date and time, travel end date and time and your normal work hours and the street address of your destination.

All reimbursement requests must be submitted within 30 days of returning from your trip!

When will I receive my travel reimbursement?

All employee reimbursements follow the same path as your paycheck. If your paycheck is direct deposited, your reimbursement will also be direct deposited into your bank account. If you receive an actual paycheck, your reimbursement will be mailed to the address on file with Payroll. Reimbursements are processed daily so if all paperwork is correct, you should see your reimbursement within two weeks of submitting your paperwork.

I am one of the College’s vendors and have not yet received payment. Can you help me find out why?

Yes, we can research the status of your check with the State Comptroller’s Office in Albany, find out if it was cashed and if necessary, obtain a copy. This process takes approximately two weeks. The usual reason for a vendor not receiving payment is that our Accounts Payable Office has yet to receive an invoice approved by an Old Westbury representative.  After a reasonable period of time, you should contact Accounts Payable staff and inquire about your payment.  You may be asked to send a duplicate invoice to expedite the process.

How long does it take for a vendor to be paid?

Typically, vendors can expect payment within two weeks of the invoice being received in Accounts Payable; however, this is contingent upon the invoice and other supporting documentation meeting all requirements to process the payment. If approval signatures or additional information is required, the process could take longer.