Business Travel
Business Travel
Effective as of: 06.01.2021
American University of Armenia

Policy for Publication

Policy Number: HUMR20210019


AUA’s business travel policy applies to all travel, domestic and foreign, undertaken by employees on behalf of AUA.

  1. International business trips initiated by the university

For the business travels initiated by the University and approved by the respective Responsible Executive (president, provost or vice presidents), the business trip payments are regulated according to the RA Government decision for compensation related to business trip expenses. The employee whose business trip is initiated by AUA could be reimbursed for per diem, accommodation, transportation, visa, and other expenses directly related to business trip.

All travel reservations should be made as far in advance as possible to take the advantage of booking an air ticket and accommodation at the lowest available price.

The person appointed for the travel outside RA needs to submit a business trip request form through the 1C system, get approval and then make travel arrangements. The business trips should be approved by the respective Responsible Executive and based on it, the HR department will prepare a corresponding order including the necessary details (business trip time period and payment amounts) for each employee. All the payment amounts mentioned in the order are paid to the employee at least 1 (one) day prior to the travel.

Per diem

Per diem allowances are claimed without submitting receipts. In countries abroad the amount of per diem to be paid should not exceed the rates established by the RA Government scale for each country.

Air travel

Air ticket reservation should be made in a centralized manner by the AUA Services Office. Air travel should normally be booked for economy class and at the lowest available price. If more expensive options are to be selected, the traveling person must discuss the matter with the Administration before booking and the specific reasons for this must be stated in the business trip request form. Other than economy class travel (premium economy, business or first class, etc.) is not allowed unless the difference in price is at the employee’s expense.

Hotel reservation and reimbursement

When booking a hotel, the traveler needs to select a single room economy or standard room. If other options are used, such a departure from the policy must be justified by the traveler before booking and approved by the Administration. Underlying reasons must be stated in the business trip request form. No luxury hotels are allowed except in countries where the security situation requires it (or if a hotel is recommended by the conference/event organizer). The traveler should avoid making non-refundable reservations.

If some of the costs associated with per diem, air travel and accommodation are covered by the hosting organization, AUA will cover only the remaining part.

Insurance

As a part of AUA health insurance package, all employees can get business travel insurance through the AUA health insurance provider. All the requests should be submitted at least 5 (five) working days prior to the departure.

External/Grants financing

The person appointed for the travel outside RA needs to check any specific requirements that external financiers may impose on how funds are to be used. These requirements may be applied if permitted by relevant framework agreements.

 

Reporting requirements

The person appointed for the travel outside RA has to submit the copy of the airplane ticket (if the ticket is purchased by the traveler) and boarding passes, and receipts related to accommodation, visa, as well as relevant transportation, communication costs.

The employee has to submit a detailed report on the expenses to the AUA Financial Services department in 3 (three) working days after returning back from travel as required by the RA law, return the excess money, or request for reimbursement for additional expenses. The appropriate receipts (including credit card statements) in the format acceptable for tax inspection should be attached to that report.

Taxation

Per diem and accommodation reimbursements exceeding the established by RA Government amounts are subject to income tax.

 

  1. International trips initiated by the employees including trips within projects/grants

 

AUA encourages its employees to pursue continuing education, attend conferences and other training programs that enable the professional development of an employee. Such leave must be pre-approved by the head of the department, dean or director and approved by the respective Responsible Executive and is conditional upon the concrete educational and professional program the employee is attending. The employee will be asked to provide proof of attendance. The necessity of travel must always be evaluated by the supervisor. To the extent possible, travel should be replaced by travel-free alternatives such as online, video or telephone conferences, for both simpler and more complicated meetings.

For the trips initiated by the employees, the traveling employee may receive funds for transportation and accommodation. Travelers are expected to use standard accommodation whenever possible. The requested amount for travel should include the expenses for transportation and accommodation for each person. 

Based on the availability of funds, AUA will also support and co-finance the professional development trips initiated by the employees.

For all other arrangements (accommodation, transportation, etc.), the provisions mentioned above should apply.

 

Per diem for trips within projects/grants

Per diem for trips initiated within externally funded projects/grants will be paid in accordance with the rates as budgeted in the project/grant.

 

  1. Local trips in Armenia and Artsakh

The person appointed for the travel within RA and Artsakh should submit a business trip request form through the 1C system at least 3 (three) working days prior to the departure and get approval. The traveler should then obtain a Business Trip Form from the HR department signed and sealed by the respective Responsible Executive 1 (one) day before the travel takes place. The form should also be signed and sealed at the destination place of the travel upon arrival and upon departure. After returning back, the form should again be signed and sealed by the respective Responsible Executive.

 

The employee has to submit a Business Trip Form and a detailed report on the expenses to the AUA Financial Services department in 3 (three) working days after being back from travel, return the excess money, or request for reimbursement for additional expenses. The appropriate receipts in the format acceptable for tax inspection should be attached to that report.

 

Per diem

The per diem rates are regulated by the RA Government decision.

The business travels not exceeding 30km from the main place and returning back the same day are not subject to per diem compensation and only transportation expenses will be reimbursed.  The business travels exceeding 30km and including returning on the same day are subject to per diem and transportation reimbursement․

Hotel reservation and reimbursement

The hotel reservations are made through the AUA Service Office. The Office will either book an accommodation or share with the traveler a list of recommended hotels that provide the most advantageous rates, if applicable. The itemized hotel bill (invoice) must always be included on the expense report for reimbursement. The traveler should avoid making non-refundable reservations. Advance payment by cash or by credit card should not be made for booking the hotel and no reimbursement will be processed via cash.

 

  1. Local and international travels by AUA students and service contractors

Before local and international travel, an agreement needs to be signed between AUA and the traveler to fix all the terms and conditions. All incurred expenses are subject to Income tax.

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