CellStream Travel and Expense Policy

CellStream Travel and Expense Policy

The following is the CellStream, Inc Travel and Expense policies and guidelines to be used by all employees and contractors.  These policies and guidelines are a more explanatory definition of how we handle T&E.

Every agreement has a passage such as:

  •    Expenses.  During the term of this Agreement, the Contractor shall bill and the Company shall reimburse [him or her] for all reasonable and approved out-of-pocket expenses which are incurred in connection with the performance of the duties hereunder.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, expenses for the time spend by Consultant in traveling to and from Company facilities shall not be reimbursable.

Most everyone understands this paragraph, however, for clarification please adhere to the following:

  • CellStream pays for business and travel expenses incurred in connection with company business that are appropriately documented.  You must submit a receipt for all reimbursable expenses along with the CellStream Expense Report.
  • CellStream has a long history of controlling expenses – being frugal, and we expect the same frugal approach to expenses by our employees and contractors.
    • Almost all travel (Air, Rental Car, Hotel) can be booked today online, and we encourage everyone to manage their own travel plans.
    • We highly recommend using KAYAK.COM to search and keep track of your travel itinerary [these services are free], and sharing your trip with the appropriate CellStream manager
    • Telephone charges are almost non-existant anymore.  Internet charges are similar.  Always use free services whenever possible.  For example an American traveling to India can Skype back to the US for $0.
  • Air Travel
    • The class of air travel chosen is expected to be the lowest-priced coach airfare ticket available using a commercial discount or coach class or standard accommodations.
    • When flying on American Airlines, please use the Business Extra #826886 when making your reservation
    • Travelers may personally retain frequent flyer plan rewards or other bonuses that may accrue from business travel. However, in no case may the traveler choose a reservation at a higher cost in order to accumulate additional plan rewards. The company will not purchase frequent flyer miles from travelers or reimburse them for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles. Any membership fees to join frequent flyer clubs are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed by the company.
    • Dues for memberships in airline clubs are personal expenses and are not reimbursable.
    • Airplane/Airport Internet charges are not reimburseable unless they are company/project related.  Please note these on your expense report.
    • Charges by airlines for checked baggage when traveling on company business are a reimbursable business expense.
      Excess baggage expenses are reimbursable in any of the following circumstances:

      • Traveler is transporting company materials;
      • Traveler is on an extended period of travel;
      • Company has approved of the charge.
    • Airport or other business parking will be reimbursed, but travelers are urged to use long-term, lower-cost parking lots when available. If public transportation or a cab taken to and from the airport or other business location would result in a lower cost (due to the high cost of parking in most cities and airports), the traveler is encouraged to take advantage of these savings.
    • Additional costs incurred for early departure or late return are not reimbursable unless the savings in airfare is equal to or greater than the total costs for lodging, meals, etc. incurred during the additional days of travel. It is appropriate to consider other relevant costs and factors against the savings in airfare, including the inherent cost of being out of the office for a longer period of time. Early departure and late return costs must be approved by the company
    • Lost Luggage/Items: The company does not maintain any lost luggage/items insurance coverage for any loss of personal belongings of its employees/contractors while on company business travel. You are encouraged to make your own arrangements for this type of insurance coverage either through your personal homeowners/renters insurance company. The company will not reimburse this insurance cost.
  • Automobile Travel
    • When the use of a personal automobile is necessary for company business, reimbursement for its use will be made at the mileage rate published by the IRS.  The mileage reimbursement rate covers reimbursement for use of the vehicle as well as any repairs, gas charges, and the owner's personal automobile insurance coverage, which provides the coverage in case of an accident.
    • Tolls and parking fees are reimbursable.
    • The company will not reimburse employees for parking tickets, fines for moving violations, vehicle towing charges, or auto repairs and maintenance.
    • You must report mileage on the CellStream Expense report form
  • Rental Cars
    • Economy vehicles are the recommended vehicle size for rental purposes.
    • Being frugal here is once again paramount.  Shop the rental car companies, for the best rate, not your preferred supplier.  Avoid overpaying fuel by NOT pre-purchasing fuel and always returning rental cars full to avoid the ridiculously high fuel surcharges.
    • Always ask yourself – do I need a rental car?  For example, when traveling to San Jose, a rental car has cost upwards of $80/day and even higher when there are conventions in town.  It is less than half that price to take taxis instead – a roundtrip to the airport from Cisco costs around $50.  A day pass on the metro from the hotel to the Cisco campus was $10.  
    • In addition to the payment for the cost of the rental car, the only other permissible expense for rental cars in most cases is the cost to purchase any gasoline.
    • The insurance coverage's below should not be purchased by those traveling in the United States, any territory or possession of the United States, Puerto Rico or Canada. The employee/contractor must provide insurance coverage through their own insurance program.  Costs for the following coverage's will not be reimbursed:
      a. Loss Damage Waiver/Collision Damage Waiver;
      b. Liability insurance supplement/Additional Liability insurance;
      c. Personal accident insurance.
  • Lodging
    • The company will directly pay or reimburse a traveler for lodging expenses for the single occupancy cost of a standard room incurred during university-related travel.
    • Travelers must retain an itemized hotel bill for reimbursement of their lodging expenses.
    • Frugality wins again here.  Shop all hotel brands for the best prices.  The company does not support and will not reimburse higher rates to meet employee/contractor preferred/frequent guest chains.
    • Do not stay at motel style hotels that open directly to the outside for safety.  Always fully lock and deadbolt your hotel door.  We recommend traveling with a door stop and using it when the door is locked and closed.
    • The company will not pay for free accommodations awarded in connection with hotel frequent guest programs or any complimentary room accommodations provided by a hotel or other third party.
    • If CellStream has contracted a specific hotel/rate for a project, you must use that hotel and rate.
  • CellStream generally does not reimburse cancellation fees.  Please insure you understand cancellation/pre-payment policies for all hotels, cars and flights.  If our clients cause the problem, they will likely reimburse us and you will be advised.
  • CellStream does not reimburse change fees not associated with a change caused by CellStream or the client changing plans.
  • The basic premise governing reimbursement of business and travel expenses is that an individual should neither gain nor lose funds in the course of conducting company business.
  • All expenses must have a valid business purpose. The company will not reimburse or pay for expenses that are inherently personal in nature. Below are some examples of personal expenses:
    • Personal grooming services, such as barbers, hairdressers, toiletries, and shoe shines;
    • Child care costs, babysitting, and house-sitting costs;
    • Pet care, including fees for boarding pets and other animal care;
    • Any personal clothing and accessories;
    • Prescriptions, over-the-counter medication, and other medical expenses;
    • Personal reading material, such as non-scholarly magazines, books and newspapers;
    • Personal recreation or entertainment such as greens fees, sightseeing fares, theater tickets, entry fees, lift tickets, etc.; 
    • Credit card delinquency fees and finance charges;
    • Dues in private clubs;
    • Gym and recreational fees, including massages, manicures/pedicures and saunas;
    • Amenities such as movies, in-room bars, saunas, massages, etc.;
    • Personal insurance costs such as life insurance, business travel accident insurance, personal automobile insurance and baggage insurance; 
    • Lost baggage;
    • Loss or theft of travel advance money, airline tickets, personal funds and other personal property; and Parking tickets or traffic violation  
  • CellStream will not pay for or reimburse business or travel expenses that have been or will be reimbursed from any outside sources (other than expenses for which the company will be reimbursed under agreements such as grants or sponsored project agreements).
  • Meals
    • All meals are reimbursed for actual reasonable expenses, not a per diem.  Our experience is that most per diems are higher than what is actually necessary.  With breakfast served free at most hotels, and lunch/dinner being reasonable meals, we can easily save on expenses passing these savings on to our clients.
    • There should be no reimbursement request when meals are paid at the event being attended.  If a meal is offered, and the employee/contractor chooses to buy a meal, it will not be reimbursed.
    • There is no reimbursement for Alcohol or Tobacco expenses
  • CellStream will not provide travel advances, pay directly or make reimbursements for the travel expenses of companions/spouses or non-employees who accompany the contractor or other employees on company business. 
  • Payment
    • Employees and contractors must submit expenses within 1 business day of the ending of a business trip.
    • CellStream will reimburse travel expenses as soon as those expenses have been paid by our clients.  Contact your manager to provide status if needed.
    • CellStream will pay all non-client billable expenses within 30 days of submittal and approval of the CellStream Expense Report

 

If you have any question about the policy and guidelines above, contact your manager at CellStream.  

 

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