Travel: Claiming Lodging Expenses


Policy Changes Effective June 1, 2023

The university is dedicated to continuous improvement and has streamlined travel policy towards this goal.  Effective June 1, 2023, Travel Policy FI0705 was overhauled and reduced to 3 pages.  Travel procedures were removed from policy and moved to a separate document, FI0705 General Travel Procedures. It has become increasing difficult to find hotels offering  CONUS or OCONUS rates.  The policy changes are an effort to address this issue, improve efficiency for the departments, and reduce the number of lodging exceptions and additional approvals. 

For non-conference lodging, the university will now reimburse up to 150% of the CONUS/OCONUS per diem rate.  For conference lodging, the university will reimburse at the conference lodging rate.  In the event the employee lodged in a hotel of their choice, the amount of the reimbursement will be limited to the lesser of 150% of the CONUS/OCONUS rate or the rate of the conference hotel.  The absence of the room rate in the conference documentation will limit the reimbursement to 150% of the CONUS/OCONUS rate.

NOTE: While procedure now permits up to 150% of the CONUS or OCONUS per diems, departments may decide how much they will reimburse based on their budget.  In addition, sponsored projects and contracts often limit the amount they will reimburse.

Onboarding Process

When an expense report includes lodging, it is recommended to create the Travel Allowance when entering the header information.  Scroll to the bottom of the header and select “Yes, I require a Travel Allowance”.

Travel Allowance required

NOTE: A Travel Allowance is not required for Lodging Group or Lodging Centrally Held Card expenses and should not be included.

On the Expenses & Adjustments tab, note the new column Use Percent Rule.  It is recommended to always check these boxes. 

Expenses & Adjustments

Checking Use Percent Rule will generate the allowable reimbursement amount at 150% CONUS/OCONUS rate instead of the actual per diem. Normally, the CONUS rate for Seattle is $232. In the example below, because the Use Percent Rule was checked, the system generated the Allowance Limit as $348 ($232 * 1.5).  This is the rate that will be used by the system to compare to the nightly rate on the lodging expense.

Reimbursable Allowance Summary

Conference Lodging 

The new procedures also streamline the way conference lodging is handled.  There is no longer a differentiation between regular and conference lodging.  The field Conference Room Rate has been removed from the Lodging expense for conferences.  When a conference hotel is used, the reimburse will be the conference hotel room rate.  Conference document of the room rate must still be attached.  If the conference does not specify a conference hotel room rate, the reimbursement will be limited to 150% of the CONUS/OCONUS rate. When onboarding lodging for conference travel, select ‘3. No, conference or group room rate’ from the Exception drop-down menu.

New Exception Codes  

Exception codes have been refined down to the critical ones, making alert resolution easier. The options now include:

  1. No exception
  2. No, booked through World Travel
  3. No, conference or group room rate
  4. Yes, exceeds allowable reimbursement rate
  5. Yes, no itemized receipt
  6. Yes, other

NOTE: Use of ‘2. No, booked through World Travel’ requires booking made through World Travel and supporting documentation from them noting rooms at CONUS/OCONUS were not available.

Changes to alert messages 

Some alert messages have been modified to reflect the procedural changes. 

NOTE: After resolving alert messages, always resubmit the expense report.  This will clear up the current alerts and display any new issues detected.

  • For Conference Lodging, select “3. No, conference or group room rate” from the Exceptions drop-down menu.

Cause: The report header trip business purpose is Conference.

Resolution:  Change the Exception field drop-down selection ‘3. No, conference or group room rate.’

  • The lodging room rate exceeds CONUS/OCONUS. Update the Travel Allowance Expenses & Adjustments tab by checking the 'Use Percent Rule’ box and resubmit. If ‘Use Percent Rule’ box is checked select the appropriate exception.

Cause: The itemized lodging amount exceeds the CONUS/OCONUS rate for the location. This may also be due to an incorrect itemization or a reminder to claim as an exception to policy.

Resolution:  Verify that the ‘Use Percent Rule’ box on the Travel Allowance Expenses & Adjustments tab is checked.  Verify the lodging amount is entered correctly and that the itemization contains two separate line items for lodging and lodging taxes for the entire amount.

  • The nightly lodging amount exceeds the Government room rate by more than 150%. "Exception?" must be 'Yes, above government room rate', 'No, booked through World Travel', or 'No, conference or group room rate'.

Cause: The itemized lodging amount exceeds 150% of the CONUS/OCONUS rate for the location.

Resolution: If the itemization is correct and the lodging amount is over 150% of the verified CONUS/OCONUS rate, edit the Details of the lodging expense to select the appropriate exception and enter comments detailing the situation. Any ‘Yes’ exception will route the expense report for additional review by the CBO.

If you have questions or need additional assistance utilizing the University’s travel system, please contact






Article ID: 145970
Fri 6/2/23 4:34 PM
Wed 6/7/23 10:43 AM