The following policies and procedures were compiled from the Mississippi Department of Finance Travel manual and rules and regulations set forth by Mississippi University for Women. The following procedures should be understood before planning any official travel for Mississippi University for Women. If you have questions, please call University Accounting (x 7145, x 7120) before making any travel arrangements.

Virtual Travel

We are requesting the Department’s Budget Manager AND their Supervising Cabinet Member sign off on the final approval, before submitting the form to University Accounting for payment.

The conference attendee is required to submit proof-of-attendance, as well as their receipt of payment for the registration fee.  Proof-of-attendance can be: a completion certificate (preferably with the attendee’s name listed),  a screen shot of the live conference, or an email thanking the attendee for their participation.   (The proof-of-attendance needs to be something given out during or after the conference to show it was actually attended.) 

The Virtual Conference Authorization form is located on the webpage of University Accounting | Faculty Staff link | at the bottom of the page.  We have provided a fillable form for your convenience.

Cash advances are not available for virtual conferences.  All reimbursements, once approved, will be processed after the conference has concluded and supporting documentation is provided.

Authorization of Travel

Please fill out Section X. Worksheet for Estimated Costs on page 2 of the Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Form.

Cash Advance for Travel Purposes

A cash advance can be received when traveling in-state, out-of-state, or internationally.


  • Cash advances will not be issued earlier than 20 days before the travel start date.
  • Cash advance requests must be received in University Accounting no later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday for a check to be cut Thursday of the same week (pending Budget Manager’s electronic Banner approval.)
  • A cash advance request should be submitted separately from any other reimbursement request for the same trip. (For example, flight or hotel reimbursement.)

In order to receive a cash advance, the MUW employee should fill out Section I (page 1 of Travel Authorization) and Section X (page 2 of Travel Authorization) of the Travel Authorization and Reimbursement form and have it approved by the Budget Manager or Budget Manager’s Supervisor. If the cash advance is for group travel, a list of students going on the trip will also need to be included.

The Cash Advance request should have the appropriate organization number listed (6 digit number).

Send a copy of the Travel Authorization Form (both pages) to University Accounting. For a cash advance, there is no need for a Purchase Order or a Direct Pay form.

If you spend more than the cash advance and will be reimbursed for those expenses, you will receive your reimbursement through Accounts Payable.

IMPORTANT: The traveler is liable for all funds given to him/her. If the advance is not settled within ten working days after the end of the month in which travel was completed, it may be deducted from employee’s paycheck.

Only TWO travel advances shall be outstanding at one time.

Prior-to-Trip Expense

The Prior-to-Trip Expense (PTE) allows travelers to be reimbursed for lodging or public carrier ticket purchases that are required to be paid prior to traveling. The PTE is necessary for payments that are required to be made in advance. The PTE should only be incurred if it is in the best interest of the university. PTE can be paid anytime prior to the trip.

Registration fees are NOT considered a PTE expense and will not be reimbursed to the employee until after the travel has taken place.

PTE’s are to be completed using the Travel Authorization Form. The form should be completed in its entirety for the hotel or public carrier expense. The traveler and budget manager must sign the document in order for reimbursement to be made.

Proof of payment for the hotel and or public carrier receipt must be attached. Conference documentation should also be included in with the paperwork. The conference material should include the name of the event, location, and event dates.


Whether by public transportation, privately-owned vehicle, state-owned vehicle, etc., reimbursement will be made for the most direct practical route. The least expensive method of transportation should be used.

Business travel and vacation/personal leave may be combined when all of the following conditions are met:

  • The primary purpose of the trip is official state business;
  • The employee uses approved leave for the personal part of the trip;
  • The university incurs no expenses beyond what it would have incurred had there been no
  • personal travel involved in the trip.

If travel is by other than the most direct route between points where official university business is conducted, the additional costs must be borne by the traveler.

Private Vehicle

Reimbursement for the use of a personal vehicle for official university business is based on actual miles traveled. Section 25-3-41, the Mississippi Code of 1972, mandates that State officers and employees traveling on official State business in their private automobiles be reimbursed at the same rate federal employees are reimbursed for official federal business in private automobiles.

If University business travel is made by a privately owned vehicle, the reimbursement rate is $0.21 per mile. Please note, this rate is subject to change in January or July. The reimbursement rate is provided by Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration

When two or more employees travel in one private vehicle, only one travel expense at the authorized reimbursement rate per mile will be allowed. The person claiming reimbursement shall report the names of other university employee passengers.

Private vehicle mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the lowest cost of round trip airfare. If a cost comparison must be made between driving vs. flying cost, the cost of flying should be multiplied by the number of passengers and compared to the cost of driving.

Mileage should be referenced on Section V (Travel by Private Auto, page 2 of travel form) from city to city. Travel in and around the city of destination, for official university business, should be specified separately within the same section.

Travel by Rental Vehicle

MUW no longer has Fleet vehicles for university travel outside the city of Columbus. In lieu of a fleet or personal vehicle, a rental vehicle is to be used. MUW has a business account with Enterprise. All rental vehicles requests should be made via the Enterprise Link. The link is provided by University Accounting. For those MUW employees who live outside of Mississippi, please contact University Accounting for your Rental Vehicle needs. An economy or mid-sized vehicle is to be reserved.

Rental Vehicle requests should be booked via the Enterprise Link two weeks before the trip is set to begin to ensure a vehicle is available. Vehicles booked later than two weeks will not be reimbursed. Using our Enterprise link, the employee is not required to pay for the rental vehicle. MUW will be billed at a later date and your department will then be charged for the vehicle.

When booking the rental vehicle and or picking up the rental, additional insurance will not be reimbursed. Keep in mind, you are required to pay for gasoline during your trip and filling the tank prior to returning the vehicle. Reimbursement for gasoline should be submitted on your Travel Authorization Form. Gasoline receipts are required for reimbursement.

Renting a vehicle for university travel using your personal credit card is prohibited and will not be reimbursed.

The university will not reimburse for rental cars obtained for personal use, such a sightseeing or optional travel to and from restaurants while on official duties.

An intermediate size vehicle is normally the largest rental that will be allowed.  Naturally, there will be occasions for which a larger vehicle will be required in order to carry out university business.  A waiver request should be obtained before travel and submitted along with the Travel Authorization and Reimbursement form for reimbursement.

All of the above including contract period, policies, rules, regulations and restrictions apply to Out-Of-State Vehicle Rental Services.

Driving vs. Flying

When travel is by private vehicle, the total travel expenses reimbursed, including meals and lodging, shall not exceed the cost of the lowest unrestricted air fare.

A comparison of “total driving” and “total flying” expenses must show that it is less expensive to drive than to fly. If the employee chooses to drive and expenses exceed the cost of the lowest unrestricted air fare, reimbursement will be limited to cost of flying.

To determine reimbursable driving expenses the “total cost of driving” must be compared with the “total cost of flying”.

  1. “Driving total cost” shall include en route meals, en route lodging, and the official rate for mileage reimbursement when a private vehicle is used for university business.
  2. “Flying total cost” shall include the lowest unrestricted air fare, any charges for shipping of equipment and/or supplies required at destination, all required ground transportation at destination (e.g., taxis to/from meeting site.), and mileage to and from airport. Be sure to include State Contract Agency fee (because the amount varies, be sure to ask the agency at time you request quote). If a vehicle is deemed by the agency head to be required at the destination, then the cost of a rental vehicle will also be included in this total cost of comparison.

If a cost comparison must be made between driving vs flying cost, the cost of flying should be multiplied by the number of passengers and compared to the cost of driving.

Cost comparisons must be made before travel begins and the documentation turned in with the travel reimbursement request.

Air Travel

House Bill 1488, effective July 1, 2002, allows city and county officers and employees to utilize the State of Mississippi Travel Agency Services contract. This bill allows state agency employees to make reservations for all travel arrangements, using a state contract travel agency or booking flights over the Internet. A receipt (passenger receipt) and itinerary shall accompany the request for reimbursement.

Payments to state contract travel agencies must always be made by the traveler from his/her personal funds to be reimbursed by the university. Purchase Orders or Direct Pay forms made payable to the state contract agency is not acceptable.

For all flights which are not booked through one of the contract travel agencies, the employee must obtain a cost comparison showing a minimum of two (2) fares. This cost comparison must show the fare and any issuance cost and must show a savings, and should be submitted along with the employees reimbursement request. Cost comparisons must be made before ticket is purchased. The comparisons cannot include a quote from a contract travel agency, if their services are not used.

Travel in first class or business class is not a reimbursable expense.

Frequent Flyer Program Awards

Any bonus or promotional gratuity received as a result of official state travel shall be used to offset or reduce the cost of subsequent official state travel. Under no circumstances can the traveler keep a bonus or other promotional gratuity so earned for his/her own personal use.


Hotel / Motel rates should be reviewed before booking a hotel for your travel needs. The rates can be found at the link below. The rates for hotels listed on the link do not include taxes. Please keep in mind the hotel rate when making a reservation. Exorbitant hotel fees, outside of a conference rate, are subject to review and correction. Hotel fees will be reimbursed at a rate comparable to the rates provided in the link.

U.S. General Service Administration

In-State and Out-of-State Hotel / Motel

The traveler should make reservations for accommodations which are economical and meet the needs of the individual traveler. Always request a government rate when travel is not conference related. The state contract travel agencies will check for the government rate or lowest rate available.

Reimbursement for Hotel / Motel (In-State or Out-of-State)

In order to be reimbursed you must have an itemized copy of the hotel bill.

Express checkout receipts which are not itemized are not acceptable. The single room rate should be clearly stated on the bill or on the conference literature. Otherwise, the traveler should have the single room rate written across the face of the receipt and signed by the hotel clerk/personnel.

Parking and telephone charges on the hotel bill, for business purposes only, should be listed on the voucher as “Other Authorized Expenses.”

Conference Hotel

A copy of the conference literature showing the conference hotel and rate must be attached to the expense voucher in order to be reimbursed.

When hotel rooms are blocked for a conference, seminar, etc., and a special discounted hotel rate provided, the employee should go through the conference housing bureau or directly to the hotel to obtain lodging. The state contract travel agency will not make reservations for conference hotels. A copy of the conference literature showing the conference hotel and rate or the registration form which often includes the housing reservation must be attached to the travel voucher in order to be reimbursed. A memo from the employee is acceptable if there are no rates listed on the brochure.

A waiver request form ( is required for any lodging reimbursement greater than the conference rate and should be attached to the Travel Voucher for reimbursement.

Lodging shared with another MUW employee

Separate invoices should be requested when registering when both employees pay a portion. If one employee pays the hotel expense, both employees should note the sharing of the room on their individual reimbursement request (each employee should list the name of the other employee sharing the room).

Lodging with someone not a state employee

If a family member or other non-state employee travels with the employee, the University will only reimburse the employee the single room rate. The single room rate should be written across the face of the receipt and signed by the hotel clerk. Express check-out receipts which do not provide an itemized hotel bill are not acceptable.

Registration Fees

A receipt for registration fee must be submitted with the voucher for reimbursement. Meals required in the registration fee that would cause the employee to exceed the maximum daily allowance should be included in the registration expense.

If an employee would rather have the registration fee paid directly to the conference/seminar vendor, a Direct Pay form can be used. Make sure to attach a copy of the approved Travel Authorization to the Direct Pay form.

Phone Charges

Business related phone charges should be claimed as “Other Authorized Expenses.” Calls home are considered personal expenses and are not reimbursable. Any other personal call will not be reimbursed.

Taxi Fares

Taxi Fares should be claimed as “Other Authorized Expenses.” Fares for taxis in excess of $10.00 require a receipt. The State does NOT reimburse taxi fares for optional travel to/from restaurants.

Baggage Handling

Reasonable charges will be allowed without receipt. Reasonable is usually defined as $1 per bag for each level of handling. These should be claimed as “Other Authorized Expenses.”

Hotel/Airport Parking

For charges in excess of $10.00, receipts must be attached to the expense voucher. These charges should be claimed as “Other Authorized Expenses.”

Group Travel

Group travel involves any university employee traveling with other non-employees (students) where the university is paying for travel expenses. In this case, itemized and original receipts must be submitted for ALL expenses, including meals. A list of all students must be submitted with the voucher for reimbursement.

International Travel

International Travel must be approved by the President of the University, Provost, and the department Budget Manager at least six (6) weeks before the first date of travel. A copy of the approval must be attached to the voucher for reimbursement. If actual expenses exceed the estimated expenses shown on the approval, the original form should be resubmitted showing the excess charges and again be approved by the Budget Manager and the President of the University. If you wish to receive a cash advance, you must also attach a copy of the approval.

International travel is travel outside the continental limits of the United States. This means that travel to Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and even Hawaii would require approval. Travel to Alaska no longer requires such approval.

When converting foreign currency to dollars for the purpose of reimbursement, you must attach proof of the official rate of exchange. Any documented official statement of the official rate of exchange will be acceptable. It is recommended to obtain the official rate of exchange upon arrival at the destination so that the rate is applicable to the dates of travel documented.

  • For individual, international travel:  Expenses incurred for meals during international travel are reimbursed on actual expenditures and DO NOT require receipts by the Bureau of Financial Control. The maximum meal reimbursement rate for international travel is $50.00 per day, per person.
  • Receipts required if 1 or more students attend.


A copy of the conference literature or the registration form must be attached to the Travel Voucher in order to be reimbursed.

If attending a meeting and there is not any literature, you must attach a copy of the agenda, meeting information or email related to your attendance of the event.

Meal Allowances

Travelers can be reimbursed for meals when traveling for business purposes that include overnight stay. Reimbursement shall be for ACTUAL cost of meals, not to exceed the daily maximums for the specific location of assignment. For the maximum daily meal allowance refer to the Maximum State Reimbursement Rates. If you cannot find the city you are looking for, locate the county and use the amount listed. If neither the city nor county is listed, the Maximum State Reimbursement Rate is $59.00/day. Verify the meal reimbursement rate at :

The reimbursement rate is not meant to be a guaranteed daily per diem. It is intended to be the maximum rate at which meals shall be reimbursed.

Actual meal costs should be listed per day, per meal.

Meals shall not be claimed as a separate item of expense on the travel voucher when included in the conference registration fee. Fees charged for attending the official meetings of a convention or seminar where the meeting includes a meal which causes the employee to exceed the daily maximum meal allowance will be reimbursed if supported by a receipt from convention officials.

Meal tips should be included in the actual meal expense unless the inclusion of the tips would cause the meals to exceed the maximum daily allowance. Total meal tips should not exceed 20%.

The first and last days of travel are to be reimbursed up to 75% of the daily rate.

Meals that do not involve overnight travel will not be reimbursed.
Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.



A Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Form (Travel Voucher) must be completed when a cash advance was received or personal funds were used for which the traveler will be reimbursed. Please make sure to do the following to ensure that the voucher is correct:

  • Employee ID number, name of traveler, and address where reimbursement should be mailed must be clearly written in designated areas. If the reimbursement check is to be picked up from University Accounting, a note should be firmly attached to the front of the voucher stating so.
  • Employees should not claim expenses for other employees.
  • Purpose of travel should include a detailed purpose for the trip. Reference to organizations must show full name. No abbreviations or acronyms will be accepted.
  • Destination should include both city and state. Please do not include more than one trip on a single travel voucher.
  • The designated area for dates of travel on the front of the voucher must be completed by ALL travelers.
  • If a cash advance was received, the total advance amount should be written in the designated area.
  • Purchase Orders should not be used for Travel related payments.
  • Any amount paid by a Direct Pay (i.e. Registration fee) to a vendor and not to the traveler is not considered a cash advance. Please do not claim these expenses on the travel voucher because it is not an expense you incurred.
  • After the traveler signs and dates the voucher, the proper Budget Manager/direct supervisor must approve the voucher for payment. The Budget Manager/direct supervisor must give the organization number which should be charged along with the amount approved for payment. The Budget Manager/direct supervisor should not sign any voucher before it has been checked for mistakes.
  • The back of the voucher must be completed by the traveler. Any amount claimed without proper detailed information on the back of the voucher will result in the return of the voucher to the traveler. This will delay receipt of reimbursement.
  • Vouchers received by University Accounting by noon Tuesday will be processed for payment for the following Friday. However, if the voucher has not been completed correctly, it will be returned to the traveler, which may cause a delay in the receipt of reimbursement.
  • Please staple all ORIGINAL receipts and waivers to the voucher. The traveler should keep a copy of the voucher and receipts and waivers for his/her records. University Accounting is not responsible for any documentation lost in the mail or by other departments.
  • All vouchers should be completed in ink.
  • All of the above procedures must be followed in order to receive reimbursement.

Note: University Accounting will correct mathematical errors and incorrect allowable rates for meals and mileage. All other changes will be sent back to the traveler for correction. In the case of University Accounting making corrections, a copy of the corrected travel voucher will be sent to the traveler.

Contract Travel Agencies

Follow this link for State of Mississippi Contract Travel Agencies: 

Visiting Candidate Travel Reimbursement

Reimbursement will be via a Direct Pay completed and approved by the department head/budget manager.

Departments must obtain prior approval by Academic Affairs of the guest(s) travel expenses for budgeting purposes (x 7140).


Candidate Reimbursement – Transportation

Whether by public or private transportation, reimbursement will be made for the most direct, practical and cost effective route. The least expensive method of transportation will be reimbursed.


To and From MUW will be reimbursed at the current mileage rate provided by the state department of Finance and Administration. This rate is subject to change every January or July. As of January, 2024, the rate per mile is $0.67. Mileage should be verified using Google Maps. The mileage verification should be attached to the direct pay for reimbursement.

Rental Vehicle

Reimbursement will be up to the cost of an mid-size sedan such as a Toyota Camry. MUW will not reimburse a rental car expense for personal use (sightseeing, shopping, or travel to restaurants). Fuel will be reimbursed for the mileage that is between GTR airport, the hotel, and to MUW. Other fuel costs are not reimbursable. Vehicle Rental receipt and gasoline receipts are required for reimbursement.


Two (2) flight comparison quotes are required. The flight purchased should be the least expensive route. Reimbursement will be based on the lowest fare (even if the lowest fare isn’t booked). First Class tickets and additional flight insurance will not be reimbursed.

A cost comparison is required to show the most economical method of transportation to MUW and back. Whether that’s by personal vehicle or public carrier.

MUW will not reimburse guests of the visiting candidate. Reimbursement will be for the candidate’s approved expenses only.

Candidate Reimbursement – Lodging and Meals

Hotel/Housing – MUW offers housing at the Puckett House. Reservations can be made through Resources Management (x 7126). Booking website: Puckett House. Please contact Academic Affairs for booking a reservation at a hotel in Columbus (x 7140).

Meal Reimbursement – Reimbursement will be the actual cost of meals for the candidate only. Accompanying guests’ meals will not be reimbursed. All receipts are required for reimbursement. Alcoholic beverages are not a reimbursable expense.


To access the forms referred to in the above policies and procedures, click on the links below.

Travel Authorization Form

Waiver Request Form 

Rental Vehicle Request Form