Expense Guidelines

Purpose

To establish internal procedures that promote and sustain fiscal management, accountability, risk mitigation, long-term sustainability, and social responsibility as a publicly funded not-for-profit corporation. The procedures are designed to define and guide in the authorization and reimbursement of expenses within the organization, to maintain transparent and equitable financial records in accordance with regulatory requirements.

Policy statement

  1. The members of the organization shall incorporate fiscal responsibility as a guiding principle when incurring reimbursable expenses for operational activities.

  2. Authorization for expense claims shall only be given for expenses:

    1. incurred in the performance of organizational business (including travel, accommodations, meals, other related business operations);

    2. within the scope of designated budgets for expenditures;

    3. for claims compliant with OSTA-AECO policies and procedures;

    4. that include all appropriate documentation, including original or digital copies of itemized receipts (or invoices if itemized receipts are not available);

    5. submitted within 60 days after the expense was incurred.

  3. Claims for reimbursement involving more than one person within the organization should be incurred and submitted by the most senior person in the group.

  4. The claimant is ultimately responsible for providing complete, accurate, and appropriate information to substantiate the claim for reimbursement. The organization reserves the right to refuse, in whole or in part, reimbursement of expenses which do not adhere to the guidelines as outlined in organizational policy.

  5. In the event a situation arises where managerial discretion needs to be exercised in the authorization of expenses, approving authorities should consider whether their decision is able to stand up to scrutiny by auditors and the public, can be properly explained and documented, and is fair, equitable, reasonable, and appropriate. It is the responsibility of the claimant and the approving authorities to determine appropriate arrangements that would meet the test of being fair and equitable. The approving authorities shall be the Treasurer of the Board and the Chief Financial Officer, in consultation with the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer.

  6. All expense records will be maintained by the Chief Financial Officer for verification and audit purposes. Claimants and approvers must be aware that expense claims may be accessed by a third-party auditor.

  1. Claimants will be reimbursed for direct and economical methods of travel as determined on a case-by-case basis.

  2. Because significant savings can be realized by making reservations in advance, all members should strive to plan their travel at least 14 days prior to departure, if applicable.

Transportation expenses

  1. Air Travel – Travelers are expected to book economy air fare when making air travel reservations.

  2. Rail Travel – Travelers are expected to book economy rail fare when making travel reservations for commutes under three hours in length. Travelers may book business rail fare when making travel reservations for commutes of a minimum of three hours in length.

  3. Bus Travel – Travelers are expected to book economy bus fare when making travel reservations.

  4. Personal Vehicle – Travelers are expected to use personally owned vehicles for short journeys where this constitutes the most economical and effective means of transportation from a cost-time analysis. If a personal vehicle is unavailable, reasonable regional transit systems may be utilized.

Meal expenses

  1. Reimbursement for meal expenses shall be grouped in a per diem (meals and incidentals) of $100 per day inclusive of taxes and gratuities.

  2. When more than one meal is claimed for any day, the claimant may allocate the combined maximum rate between the meals at their own discretion.

  3. A gratuity rate of no more than 20% per meal shall be reimbursed.

  4. All meals must be consumed to be claimed.

  5. Alcohol cannot be claimed and will not be reimbursed as part of any personal meal expense.

Accommodation expenses

  1. The standard option for overnight accommodations is a single room with a private bath in a business class hotel.

Responsibilities

Directors

  • Shall follow and maintain the procedures outlined throughout all steps of the expense process.

  • Shall ensure appropriate accountability measures and risk mitigation strategies are in place for expense reimbursements at all levels of the organization.

Executive Council

Chief Financial Officer

  • Shall be responsible for establishing, administering, and publicizing this policy and its associated procedures and guidelines to ensure their consistency with other organizational policies, as well as external regulatory requirements

Members

  • Shall follow the procedures outlined throughout all steps of the expense process.