ArtsPool Staff Expense Reimbursement Policy

ArtsPool Staff Expense Reimbursement Policy

Purpose

This Staff Expense Reimbursement Policy (the “Policy”) defines policies and procedures for reimbursing pre-approved business-related expenses such as transportation, event attendance, and food for the purposes of conducting business for ArtsPool (the “Organization”). These expenses must be reasonable and necessary, as well as job-related, and must be approved by the appropriate staff member, as outlined in the policy below. As a member cooperative serving nonprofit organizations, stewardship of our resources is essential. The purpose of this Policy is to:

  • provide guidance on appropriate travel procedures to the Organization’s staff;
  • describe the types of expenditures that are and are not reimbursable by the Organization: including a new pool of funds intended to benefit relationships with our members;
  • inform staff of their responsibilities to control and report travel and other expenses;
  • outline the process for requesting purchases and reimbursements; and
  • align our reimbursement practices with ArtsPool’s value of Equity by making visible how decisions are made about our shared expenses

While this Policy is intended to be comprehensive, it is impossible to anticipate every situation encountered. It is expected that staff members will make best efforts to keep costs down, and that when the Policy may not be explicit, to exercise good judgment.

Types of expenses

Member relationship expenses

Every member service team now has a budget of $100 available for miscellaneous “member relationship expenses.” The member service team can use this money for whatever expenses they think will help to build a positive working relationship with the member. Examples of how this fund can be used include, but are not limited to:

  • Treating a member to a meal
  • Sending a gift of nominal value to a member (flowers to a member staffer who is recovering in the hospital, wedding card, etc.)
  • Purchasing tickets to a member event (best efforts should be made to invite the full service team and responsibility for this is held by the liaison)

The fund will be managed by the member liaison, and every member of the service team can access the funds by making a request to the liaison. Once the liaison has signed off, the staff member can submit a reimbursement request.

ArtsPool staff expenses

ArtsPool will also reimburse staff members for the following expenses:

  • Up to $30/year for “events,” which can include tickets to a member event, a professional development opportunity, or coffee for staff meetings that need to take place outside of the office (such as ally meetings)
  • Up to $50/trip for travel to occasional/non-regular meetings at member offices (such as retros or site visits). ArtsPool staff are generally expected to use the least expensive available option for travel, such as using public transportation or sharing cabs when possible. This can also include miles traveled in a personal vehicle, reimbursed at the federal mileage rate (58 cents per mile in 2019).

Each staff member manages their own Staff Expense fund, so no prior approval is required before submitting a reimbursement request.

Shared office expenses

The ArtsPool budget includes many other shared office expenses such as supplies, equipment and technology. All staff members are welcome to view the Expense Detail Tab of the ArtsPool Budget to see how much has been set aside for each type of expense. Those line items are managed by the relevant operations team in conjunction with the ArtsPool Finance Team. Because these types of items are shared by the whole staff, requests for purchases must be approved in advance by the relevant operations team, listed below:

  • Technology Team: software & IT expenses, electronic equipment
  • ArtsPool Operations Team: supplies (for requests that total over $100 Ops will request approval from ArtsPool Finance), equipment requests
  • ArtsPool Finance Team: furnishings, repairs & maintenance, other. (ArtsPool Finance will approve the expense and then hand off to the Operations Team to execute as needed.)

In most cases, when the operations team approves an expense, they will arrange to make the purchase directly so an expense reimbursement will not be necessary. If a special circumstance arises, and the operations team approves the expense to be paid via reimbursement, the staff member may make the purchase and submit a reimbursement request.

Control of expenses

It is essential that continuing, consistent control be exercised over all expenses. Control of expenses is the responsibility of each applicable person incurring the expense and each person who authorizes and approves expenditures.

Approval of expenses submitted for reimbursement is more than a formality. Persons who authorize and approve expenditures are expected to verify the following:

  • The purchase is appropriate, business-related and the cost is reasonable. The business nature of the expense must be noted on accompanying receipts.
  • All expenses are consistent with this Policy. The ArtsPool Expense Approver must approve exceptions, with explanations provided as support.

To help control costs, all applicable persons are expected to:

  • exercise good judgment with respect to their expenses;
  • spend the Organization’s funds carefully and judiciously;
  • check for accuracy of the bills and other documents;
  • report all expenses promptly (within 30 days) and accurately, with the appropriate documentation and coding; and
  • claim reimbursement for necessary and reasonable expenses only. Travelers are expected to neither lose nor gain financially.

Violations to this Policy, misappropriation of funds, or altering or providing false receipts will be immediately reported to the Operations Team and will be cause for disciplinary action.

Expense reimbursement processing

Documentation

All expenses submitted for reimbursement must include supporting documentation. Expenses without supporting documentation will not be reimbursed by the Organization.

Submission process

To request a reimbursement, prior to making the purchase, create a task in the ArtsPool app, and  include a note about what the expense is and which budget the expense should be reimbursed from (Member Relationship, ArtsPool Staff or Shared Expenses). If it’s a Member Relationship expense, add the Liaison and add the Pre-payment Approval Require" workflow. Assign the pre-approval step to the Liaison. The Liaison should note their approval in the task by completing this step. If it’s a general expense, assign the pre-approval step to the ArtsPool Expense Approver to complete. Once approved,  make the purchase and attach a receipt to the task. Then, re-assign the task to the Workforce Administration Lead who will process the reimbursement.

All expenses should be submitted as soon as possible but within 30 days of occurrence of expense.

Approval and reimbursement

An applicable person may not approve his or her own expense reimbursement. Staff Expenses must be approved by the ArtsPool Expense Approver and Member Expenses must be approved by the Member Liaison. If the Member Liaison is the one making the request, the expense must be approved by the ArtsPool Expense Approver. If the ArtsPool Expense Approver is the one making the request, or if the ArtsPool Expense Approver is unavailable to approve the request, the expense must be approved by the ArtsPool Finance Team Lead. The current Expense Approver can be found in the ArtsPool Teams document.

After approved expenses are received and reviewed by the appropriate person as outlined above they will be sent to the ArtsPool Workforce Lead for processing. The ArtsPool Workforce Lead has been directed to reject any request for expense reimbursement that:

  1. does not have all required documentation
  2. is not properly approved by the appropriate staff member or team as outlined above 
  3. does not comply with this Policy.

The financial management team will process requests for reimbursement and make payments to an applicable person in a timely manner. Payments will be disbursed via direct deposit on the same date(s) as regular pay (for reimbursements to applicable persons who are Organization employees) or issued as a check and mailed out (for reimbursements to all other applicable persons including board members, independent contractors, etc). In the event that the person approving the expense and applicable staff member disagree on repayment of an expense, the matter will be turned over to the Operations Team for a final determination.


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