Reimbursement Policies

Below are frequently asked questions about the reimbursable business expense policy (see Business Procedure 4-14*) and the gift card policy. These questions do not pertain to travel-related expenses. Our travel section provides information and forms for travel-related reimbursements.

If your question is not covered here, please contact our office.

Reimbursable Business Expense Policy FAQ

What does the policy cover?

The policy covers meal reimbursement to employees not in travel status and reimbursing guests for meals and related travel.

Why did the policy change?

The policy changed to highlight the differences in reimbursable business expenses and the state travel policy. Major changes include an increase in the allowable amount per meal, a clearer definition of when meals are allowed, and a clearer definition of which fund sources are allowable. State travel regulations did not change.

Please see the Reimbursable Business Expenses Policy (Business Procedure Manual Number: 4-14) for additional guidance. Please note that where differences exist between BPM 4-14 and the FAQ, the FAQ take precedence. Please contact with any questions.  

What form do I use?

A purchase requisition is required for planned events. (Examples include catering, banquets and payments to vendors). A check request may be used to reimburse an employee for payment of a restaurant bill for a small group of people. (Examples include taking a candidate to lunch and taking a guest lecturer to dinner).

What if I pay sales tax?

Northern Illinois University is exempt from sales tax. Sales tax is not paid to vendors and not reimbursed on receipts over $100.

What can I do to expedite my reimbursement?
  • Complete the form electronically.
  • Include original, detailed receipts.
  • Show calculations.
  • Provide the names of participants, their departments, and headquarters (for employees).
  • State clearly the business purpose.
Which bank account will my employee reimbursement/refund be direct deposited to?
All employee reimbursements will be direct deposited into the employee’s account with the amount/percent designated as "full balance" when one account is listed and the "remaining balance" when multiple accounts are listed as designated by the employee in the MyNIU Human Resource System’s Employee Self Service tool.

Gift Card Policy

The university will not reimburse purchases of gift cards except for research participant payments as described below. Payment for services should be made using either the payroll system (employment) or the accounts payable (vendor) system.

Gift cards may be used for payments to research participants of $100 or less. Gift cards for research participants must be requested through the Research Advance process. For more information please review the Payments to Research Participants Policy in its entirety.  

Please contact for more information.

Please note that where differences exist between BPM 4-14 and the FAQ, the FAQ take precedence. Please contact with any questions.

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