FINANCIAL PROCEDURES: REIMBURSEMENT
The general principles are that no-one should find themselves out of pocket as a result of carrying out authorised business for the IPA, and nor should anyone be enriched by receiving money that is in excess of the actual amount they have had to spend (taking account of any other funding they may have received from other bodies). Therefore reasonable and authorised expenditure incurred wholly and necessarily on behalf of the IPA will be reimbursed.
1. Requests for reimbursement accompanied by appropriate documentation should be sent to the Finance Director. The Budget Holder is responsible for ensuring that claims for activities of that cost centre fall within the applicable budget.
2. Any member or Budget Holder claiming reimbursement for expenses incurred on behalf of the IPA should use the official claim form which is attached to this document as appendix 1. Committee and Working Group members should send their individual claim forms with supporting documentation to the Budget Holder for approval of the request. The approved claim form should then be forwarded to the Finance Director. Alternatively the claimant can send the claim direct to the Finance Director and the chair can email to the Finance Director their approval of the claim. Budget Holders and members should keep a copy of the claim form for their own records. Broomhills aims to dispatch reimbursements within ten working days of receipt. Claims may be sent by post, email or fax but claimants should note that it can take time for claims to reach the UK by post and for mail then to reach their banks and be processed by them.
3. Evidence (such as receipts) supporting each reimbursement request should be sent with the claim form, or payment will not be made. To protect against mishaps in the mail, Committee members are asked to keep copies of supporting documents. These include airline ticket receipts, hotel statements, taxi receipts and any other receipts or credit card transaction copies.
Allowable reimbursables: Meetings
4. No member of the IPA, including committee chairs, is authorised to make unbudgeted expenditure commitments on behalf of the IPA without prior written approval of the Treasurer.
5. Hotels: The IPA books a block of rooms for Board members for summer and winter administrative meetings. This is done to obtain meeting room space at no or reasonable cost. Therefore hotel reimbursement will be made only for those members staying in the designated hotel. Those members who choose to stay elsewhere will not be reimbursed for lodging. Reservations at the meeting hotel are made by individual members who are notified well in advance of the locale and other related matters.
6. No reimbursement should be claimed for accommodation where a member has stayed free of charge on IPA business.
7. Hotel accommodation will be reimbursed for the night before a meeting and the night after if necessary, any additional nights will not be reimbursed unless previously agreed by the Treasurer.
8. Assuming that a trip involves reimbursable travel expenses, there are two ways open to claim reimbursement for hotel and meal costs. The choice of either one must be made, as a combination of the two is not reimbursable. The choices are as follows:
a) select the per diem for that meeting in that city, available from the Finance Director,
b) send in the receipts for the actual hotel and meal costs.
There is a cap or maximum amount allowable using this method, set in advance and available from the Finance Director.
9. The Per Diem allowable depends on the location and is determined by a world-wide schedule originated by the United States Internal Revenue Service which serves as a guideline for many organisations. A per diem is payable when a day of travel is required to reach the venue of a meeting, and for days when a person is required to be at the venue in order to attend a meeting.
a) Travel in First Class or Business Class will not be reimbursed unless exceptional and prior approval has been given by the Executive Committee; any reimbursement claims which include Business or First Class travel will automatically have the cheapest relevant Economy Class fare substituted.
b) Where possible, air tickets should be booked at least 3 months in advance to secure the cheapest possible fares.
c) For some IPA meetings a travel agent may be designated through whom all tickets to attend that meeting must be purchased; tickets purchased other than through this agent will not be reimbursed without the consent of the Treasurer.
d) Officers and officers-elect: In recognition of the very significant number of journeys that officers and officers-elect must undertake, where a flight is scheduled to last four hours or more the IPA will reimburse the cost of an Economy Class ticket which gives more leg-room – for the avoidance of doubt this will never include Business Class tickets, and any reimbursement claims which include Business or First Class travel will automatically have the cheapest relevant Economy Class fare substituted. Where air miles or similar reward points are awarded through airline loyalty schemes as a result of travel which has been paid for by the IPA, the IPA expects them to be applied to purchasing air fares or seat upgrades (to whatever class of travel the officer or officer-elect chooses) instead of seeking reimbursement from the IPA.
e) Members should book reasonably direct routes and not distort their bookings (eg, by travelling further than is necessary, or via unreasonable hubs in order to earn more reward points); where in the Treasurer’s judgement a route is unreasonable, reimbursement of a more direct route may be substituted if doing so would be cheaper.
11. a) Unless exceptionally agreed in advance by the Executive Committee, no reimbursement for airfares is paid when an IPA Member attends a meeting which is being held in conjunction with an IPA Congress, or any other meeting which an IPA Member would have attended anyway at her/his own expense, or funded by another organisation. However, when a Board meeting or Executive Committee meeting is held in conjunction with a regional or Constituent Organisation meeting, Board and Executive Committee members from that region may claim expenses on a comparable basis with all other Board or Executive Committee members.
b) Officers and officers-elect: In recognition of their inability to participate to any significant degree in congresses, and of the exceptional nature of their roles which require a near full-time commitment to the work of the IPA during congresses, the travel expenses of officers and officers-elect will be reimbursed in the usual way. This only applies to officers-elect at the Congress during which they will formally take office.
12. All taxi and train fare receipts should be attached for reimbursement of the costs.
Allowable reimbursables: Secretarial
13. The IPA does not contract with secretaries external to the Central Office. But in a few cases, approved in advance by the Executive Committee, the B&FC may approve such expenses within certain constraints. These include compensation only for the hours of service itself and not compensation for holidays, vacation periods, sick pay, bonus pay, severance pay, or any other emoluments. Invoices to claim such reimbursement must specify the hours of work, the hourly compensation rate, and the nature of the work delivered.
14. The IPA will repay expenses to officers for secretarial assistance on the following general basis:
a) the President will be allowed a full time secretary; the Vice President and the Treasurer a half time secretary each.
b) the IPA should not directly contract secretaries but request officers to contract them; the IPA will refund the costs. The IPA may indemnify the officers as necessary against any unforeseen circumstances.
c) exceptions to the principles set out in paragraphs (13) and (14) may only be allowed at the discretion of the Treasurer, unless the Treasurer is seeking the exception, in which case it will be referred to the Vice President.
Allowable reimbursables: Conference Calls
15. Various companies are used for conference calls. Participants dial into conference calls using free-phone numbers. Please contact Broomhills for details on how to arrange conference calls. Where possible it is suggested that Skype is used for smaller conference calls. The IPA also now has the option of using video conferencing systems such as GoToMeeting. Please contact Broomhills for details on how to arrange video conference calls
Allowable reimbursables: costs for dependent care or disabilities
16. The IPA will reimburse the reasonable costs of childcare, or care of other dependants (for example, an elderly parent) which are wholly and necessarily incurred while attending committee meetings. The IPA will also reimburse the reasonable costs of providing special transport, equipment or facilities which are required for a committee member with a disability.
Allowable reimbursables: at IPA Congresses
17. a) Officers and officers-elect: In recognition that officers and officers-elect are required to attend many administrative meetings during Congresses and have little or no time to attend the official Congress meetings, the IPA funds the hotel room costs, registration fees and Gala Dinner or other official party tickets of the President, Vice President, Treasurer and any officers-elect throughout the period of the Congress. This only applies to officers-elect at the Congress at which they will take office.
b) All other members of Executive Committee and the Board: Unless exceptionally agreed by the Executive Committee the IPA does not pay for registration fees, transportation to and from or during the Congress or subsistence costs during the days of the Congress itself; and the IPA will never pay for tickets for the Congress farewell party/Gala Dinner.
Allowable reimbursables: Editor of the News Magazine (and e-Newsletter)
18. The News Magazine Editor may be invited to attend the Board meeting at IPA expense only when Board meetings are held in his/her own IPA Region. The Editor may be invited to attend Board meetings not held in his/her own IPA Region but not at IPA expense.
19. Honorary Officers of the Board shall not be entitled to claim any expenses from the IPA for attendance at Board meetings, with the exception of those occasions requiring their presence related to a specific need to report to the Board in person on a specific task assigned in writing by the President or by the Board.
20. Reimbursement claims should be sent within six weeks of the date the expense was incurred. The IPA is required to close all accounts for the calendar year four weeks after the end of the year. All claims for the prior year must be received no later than 31 January. Any claim received after this time will not be honoured as the books of account for that year will be closed.
Paragraph 12 approved by the Executive Council in December 1998
Paragraph 7 added November 2004 Board approval of recommendation from the B&FCttee
Addition to paragraph 10 to allow Board members to be reimbursed airfares when travelling to a Board meeting held in conjunction with a regional or Constituent Organisation meeting held in the same region, Board approval January 2006
Changes to emphasise the precise nature of what is an expense (particularly in General Principles) and to clarify what may or may not be claimed (paras 5 - 15). Approved by the Board in Toronto, July 2012
Renumbering to correct an omission. Changes to para 10 to permit extra leg-room on very long-haul flights for officers and officers-elect, and to tighten use of airmiles or other bonuses, and to para 11 to reimburse officers and officers-elect for their travel to Congresses. Insertion of new para 16 to cover reimbursement of costs for dependents or members with disabilities. Changes to para 17 to permit officers and officers-elect to be reimbursed for more Congress expenses. Approved by the Board in Prague, July 2013