Getting Reimbursed

Deadlines for reimbursement

Expense reimbursements must be submitted within 90 days of:

  • The end of the trip (for travel-related expense reimbursements)
  • The date of the purchase (for non-travel-related expense reimbursements)
  • The end date of the course (for tuition or job training expense reimbursements)

Expense reimbursements sent back to the traveler for correction must be resubmitted within 90 days of being sent back.

Travelers may seek reimbursement for airfare, registration fees, lodging, and vehicle rental reservation guarantees at the time payment is made. All other travel expenses are reimbursable after the trip is complete.

Back to top

How to get reimbursed

Employees get reimbursed by submitting an expense reimbursement through e-Reimbursement.  Once submitted, expense reimbursements are reviewed by at least two levels of approval. Once an expense reimbursement has been fully approved, the reimbursement amount is directly deposited into the employee’s bank account within 5 business days.

Access e-Reimbursement   How to create, modify, and resubmit an expense reimbursement

Back to top

What can be reimbursed

All reimbursable expenses must comply with UW–Madison travel policies and procedures.


Meals are reimbursed on a per-diem basis, not for actual costs.

Meals Policy


Accommodations for required overnight business-travel stays.

Lodging Policy


Moving expenses as permitted by the appropriate approving authority.

Relocation Policy

International Travel

Including visa/passport fees, vaccinations/inoculations, currency exchange fees, and foreign transaction fees.

International Travel Policy

Receipt requirements

All required supporting documentation must be attached electronically to the expense reimbursement.  Electronic receipts must be clear and legible. Efforts must be made to redact any sensitive information from receipts in order to comply with HIPAA and campus privacy policy.

Receipts are always required for:

  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Vehicle Rentals
  • Gasoline for vehicle rentals
  • Long-distance train or bus fares
  • Hosted meals/events
  • Required inoculations/vaccines for international travel
  • Currency processing/foreign transaction fees
  • Internet for business use — while in travel status
  • International calling/data plans for business use
  • All non-travel purchases
  • Expenses paid on the Purchasing Card — retain these receipts with Purchasing Card supporting documentation

Receipts are required when the expense exceeds $25 for:

  • Local transportation (taxi, limo, bus, rail, etc.)
  • Tolls
  • Parking

Receipts are required when the expense exceeds $30 for:

  • Baggage and seat fees

Receipts are never required for individual meals which are reimbursed as a meal per diem.

Back to top

Other supporting documentation

In addition to receipts, it may be necessary to keep other documentation to support a reimbursement claim such as an airfare cost comparison or conference brochure/agenda. The expense report and its attached documentation must provide enough information for an approver, auditor, or post-payment auditor to review the validity of the expenses without any follow-up.

Back to top

Non-travel reimbursements

If other payment options are not available, it may be appropriate for an employee to be reimbursed for non-travel-related out-of-pocket expenses. A receipt is always required for non-travel reimbursements.

Back to top

Expense reimbursement roles and responsibilities

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Travelers/Claimants/Employees seeking reimbursement

Employees are responsible for submitting their own expense reimbursements in a timely fashion and following UW travel policies. An employee may assign an Alternate to create and modify an expense reimbursement on their behalf, but the employee is ultimately responsible for submitting their own expense reimbursements.


Alternates are responsible for creating and submitting Expense Reimbursements on behalf of others. Employees who seek reimbursement can assign an Alternate to create and modify expense reimbursements for them, but the Employee must submit their own. Expense reimbursements for Non-Employees or recently-terminated Employees are created and submitted by Alternates.

Procedure – How to Assign an Alternate

Working as an alternate

Non-employees seeking reimbursement

Reimbursement payments for Non-Employees are processed through e-Reimbursement by an Alternate. Do not confuse this with payments for services, which must be processed on a Payment to Individual Report (PIR).

Reimbursing Non-Employees

Approvers and auditors

Approvers: Upon submission, expense reimbursements are first reviewed by an approver (also referred to as Required Departmental Approver). Approvers are responsible for reviewing supporting documentation, expense reimbursements for policy compliance, and funding being charged.

Auditors: Expense reimbursements are reviewed by an auditor after the approver. Auditors are responsible for reviewing expense reimbursements for policy compliance and properly routing expense reports which require special approvals.

Both auditors and approvers should be familiar with the review and approval procedure for expense reports:

Procedure 3024.9 – Expense Report Review and Approval Procedure

Division coordinators

Division Coordinators are responsible for maintaining their division’s e-Reimbursement approval assignments, relaying updates and other communications to their divisions, and serving as a policy reference for travelers, alternates, approvers, and auditors in their respective division.

Find your Division Coordinator

Using the My Corporate Card

In addition to being reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, employees can use e-Reimbursement to pay their My Corporate Card balance.

My Corporate Card information How to work with My Corporate Card and My Wallet in e-Reimbursement

Back to top

Expense reimbursement training

There are two types of expense reimbursement training–see descriptions below:


Learn how to create an expense report, assign an alternate, and review pending/completed expense reports. Recommended for frequent travelers and alternates.

Note: Travel policy is not included in this training. The new Canvas Travel Policy Training is a recommended prerequisite for this course.


Learn how to approve/deny/send back expense reports and how to use SFS queries and resources. Required for all e-Reimbursement approvers and auditors.

Note: Travel policy is not included in this training. but the new Canvas Travel Policy Training is a requirement for all new approvers and auditors as of September 2023.

Important: In order to be set up as an expense reimbursement approver or auditor, individuals must have completed both the Expense Reimbursement approver/auditor procedure course as well as the Canvas Travel Policy Training.

Register for Expense Reimbursement Training 

Back to top


Travelers and departmental staff should contact their Divisional Business Office for policy or procedural questions.

Divisional Business Offices may email with questions.

Back to top