Frequently Asked Questions - Business Office

(Please refer to the screenshot below that correspond to the following list numbers)

  1. Total Direct Expense > Budget Balance: This value reflects your balance after Encumbrances, so it includes all PO's and commitments and more accurately reflects the actual budget left to spend on the award. Please refer to this column to your SPFRs to see what each balance award is.
  2. Please refer to any category where the "encumbrance" column is populated. This reflects a commitment (usually a Purchase Order or salary) for that category
  3. Total Direct Expense > Balance Before Commitment: This value reflects your balance before any Encumbrances such as Purchase Orders
  4. Current F&A Base and Rate: The percentage of Indirect Cost Funds taken out of the Total DIrect Cost
  5. Total Expense > Budget Balance Available: Any transactions that occurred in the given month being reported on will be reflected in this column. If there is any spending that occurred on your grant in the given month, a PDF of the detailed spending by category will be attached for your review.

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Travel ‐ Reimbursable Expenses

  • Baggage handling
  • Storage expenses
  • Business office expenses
  • Business‐related calls and faxes
  • Up to 3 personal calls per day of reasonable duration
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Gratuities to porters, bellhops and other service personnel
  • Internet access
  • Laundry or cleaning expenses on trips lasting over 5 days
  • ATM fees and traveler check fees
  • Ground transportation
  • Parking and tolls
  • Travel change/cancellation fees (if required for business needs)

Travel ‐ Non‐Reimbursable Expenses

  • Airline club membership dues or one‐day admission fees
  • Air‐phone usage
  • Baby‐sitting
  • Barbers & hairdressers
  • Clothing (purchase or rental)
  • Toiletry items
  • More than 3 personal calls each day, unless emergency circumstances are documented
  • Expenses related to vacation taken before, during, or after a business trip.
  • Frequent flyer miles
  • Helicopter services for local travel/entertainment
  • Snacks
  • Loss or theft of cash advance
  • Loss of airline tickets
  • Loss or theft of personal fund
  • Lost baggage
  • Luggage and briefcases
  • Personal reading materials
  • Medical expenses while traveling
  • Mini‐bar alcoholic expenses
  • Movies
  • Personal entertainment
  • Pet care
  • Recreational expenses
  • Saunas, massages
  • Shoe Shines
  • Souvenirs, or personal purchases
  • Travel Insurance 

Employee Entertainment Expenses:

Reimbursable Business Occasions

  • Dissertation defense
  • Promotion
  • Welcoming a new hire to the University
  • Leaving the University
  • Years of Service/Retirement
  • Graduation of an employee/student
  • Awarding of tenure
  • Publication
  • Event or performance opening
  • Sabbatical
  • Recognition of achievement, departmental goal, honor, or thank you

Other Reimbursable Employee Entertainment

  • Departmental celebration of a holiday
  • Collective celebrations of birthdays
  • Congratulations on business related individual achievement

Non‐Reimbursable Employee Entertainment

  • Showers for birth or adoption of baby
  • Engagements, weddings, anniversaries,
  • Individual birthday celebrations
  • Congratulations on personal related individual achievement



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For general questions about ISERP programs, services, and events.