University Travel Reimbursement FAQs

March 13, 2020

What can I do about travel-related expenses incurred for a conference or other event that has been canceled?
You should request refunds for all expenses paid. Contact conference/event organizers for registration and deposit refunds. Contact hotels for deposit refunds. Contact the airline for airfare credit or refund.

I could not get a refund. Can I be reimbursed for conference and travel expenses for canceled events?
The University’s expense reimbursement policy covers reimbursement of trips and events that are canceled as long as appropriate receipts are submitted. Reasonable efforts should be made to request refunds prior to submitting expense reimbursement requests, particularly when the conference/event has already been canceled or likely will be canceled. Check with your department to determine if your reimbursement is subject to more strict guidelines. Specific guidance relating to charging sponsored awards is available from Sponsored Programs and Sponsored Accounting. Given the importance of tracking these costs, MyCode 609722 should be used in the chartstring when completing the appropriate reimbursement forms.

What should I do if the conference or other event has not yet been canceled?
If you/your department decide you will not attend the conference/event, then you should request refunds for any expenses already paid.

What are the fees associated with canceling a flight?
Typically, there are no fees for cancelling a flight. The fees are incurred when rebooking the flight. Many tickets are non-refundable. However, the flight can be canceled and usually the ticket is available for use one year from the date of issue. In addition, there are airline-imposed change fees for rebooking non-refundable, canceled tickets. Some airlines have been offering special accommodations for coronavirus-related cancellations, and travelers should specifically inquire. All rules associated with cancellation and fees can vary by airline and ticket class. Details should be confirmed with the particular airline.

When should I cancel my flight?
You can cancel up until the day of travel as long as you have not checked in. We recommend checking the airlines’ websites for cancellation policies as they do vary.

What should be done with a refund for canceled travel plans?
If the expense was paid for by the University or reimbursed to you by the University, then the funds should be deposited back to where the expense was charged. If the money was deposited into your account or is in the form of a check with your name, you will need to write a check payable to the University and give it to your department for deposit to the University.

What if I had personal travel plans that were canceled or disrupted due to this situation?
The University cannot reimburse you for expenses associated with personal trip cancellations or disruptions. Out of an abundance of caution, to protect your health and minimize further health risks, we ask that everyone exercise prudent judgment when making travel plans and stay abreast of current travel guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University before departure so that you can prepare and take proper precautions.

I have additional questions. Whom can I contact?
For business travel expense reimbursement questions, contact Disbursements Processing at 315.443.2484 or

As a reminder, all of this information, as well as the latest coronavirus-related updates, can be found at


The Comptroller’s Office reports to the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for the development of financial accounting and related policies to control and safeguard University assets.

The Comptroller’s Office supports the University’s mission by providing effective accounting systems and processes to monitor and assess the financial position and internal controls of the University and its related affiliates. The office provides support to campus through accurate and timely financial information, facilitates policy formulation to enhance financial integrity, and develops strategies for implementing the University’s initiatives ensuring quality and cost effectiveness.

Jean Gallipeau serves as the University’s Comptroller and oversees a wide range of departments within finance including Accounts Payable, Construction Accounting, Financial Reporting, Financial Systems Management, General Accounting, Purchasing, Payroll, Restricted Gift Accounting, Sponsored Accounting, and Tax Reporting.

Latest News

Important update made by the IRS for the 2020 version of Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate

Due to the federal tax law changes that took place in 2018, the IRS has updated the 2020 version of Form W-4.  Form W-4 is completed by each employee of the university to determine how much federal income tax is to be withheld from each paycheck.

The IRS is not requiring that all employees complete the updated form.  It is to be used by employees hired after 2019 and can be used by employees that want to make a withholding change after 2019.

The IRS recommends that employees consider completing a new form each year or when their personal or financial situation changes.  To assist employees with making adjustments to their withholding, the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS website is available.  The IRS has also published Frequently Asked Questions that may be helpful when completing the updated form.

Form W-4 may be completed online by logging into MySlice or in person at the Payroll Service Center in the Skytop Office Building on south campus.

Offices Returned to Skytop Office Building: The renovations to the Skytop Office Building have concluded. The Offices of the Comptroller, Purchasing, Financial Systems Management, General Accounting, Restricted Accounting, and Financial Reporting & Analysis have returned back to Skytop Office Building, Suite 140.

The Offices of Disbursements Processing and F&A Reporting and Analysis have returned to Skytop Office Building, Suite 120.  In addition, Payroll has been relocated to Skytop Office Building, Suite 120. Office employees will still be reachable through their usual phone numbers.

Refinements were made to the Summer Option Payroll program during the fall of 2018.

What are the changes?

  •  The reporting of taxes for your summer option have moved to the time period when you receive the funds. Historically, these were withheld and submitted during the semester.
  • Take home pay remains similar under both methods but your taxable income for calendar year 2018 will appear lower. This is given the fact that your earnings for the summer deferral will occur when you receive them.

What benefits will you see?

  • This change will allow for evenly distributing base salary over 12 months.
  • The first year of the change, calendar year 2018, will result in less taxable income for the participants even though take home pay remained similar.

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Brian Pendergast at 315-443-1426.

Due to upgrades to the PeopleSoft Financial System, effective April 6, 2019, new messages will be displayed when editing or posting a journal entry:

  • Currently, when editing a journal the user receives a message noting the journal id and the user clicks “OK” to proceed.
  • In addition, effective April 6, 2019, a NEW popup will appear asking the user if they would like to wait for the edit process to complete. The user should click  “Yes”, and  the Journal Status and Budget Status will update as usual. Please note that there may be a momentary lapse before you will see the updated status, but it will appear without refreshing the page.
  • Currently, when posting a journal the user receives a message asking if they are sure they want to post the journal and  the user clicks “OK” to proceed.
  • In addition, effective April 6, 2019, a NEW popup will appear asking the user if they would like to wait for the posting process to complete. The user should click  “Yes”, and  the Journal Status will update as usual. Please note that there may be a momentary lapse before you will see the updated status, but it will appear without refreshing the page.

If you have any questions regarding these messages, please contact General Accounting at (315) 443-2522.

  • Decrease in Mileage Reimbursement Rate: The mileage reimbursement rate for use of a personal automobile on University business incurred on or after January 1, 2020, is $0.575 per mile.
  • SAMtool – The Sponsored Award Management tool (SAMtool), is a financial and budget management tool for sponsored projects. It was conceived, designed and built with the active participation of a campus-wide cross-functional team including central office staff, department and college budget staff, and research faculty from multiple academic units.  
  • University Fringe Benefit Rates for Fiscal Year 2021: The University’s fringe benefits expense is distributed to the responsibility centers, Syracuse Abroad administration, facilities, and administration and technology units as a percent of actual payroll expense. Fringe benefit rates were established considering the cost of the benefits available to employees in each classification (i.e., Regular, Graduate Assistant, Summer, Part-Time Faculty Union, Temporary Wages) as a percent of the payroll in the same classification. The University has negotiated new fringe benefit rates with the Federal government for fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021). These rates will be used for charging both sponsored (funds 13 and 91) and non-sponsored restricted (funds 15 and 16) chartstrings. The University has also established the fringe benefit rates to be used for unrestricted chartstrings (funds 11 and 14) under RCM for fiscal year 2021. Read more: FY 2021 University Fringe Benefit Rates (PDF file) and FY20 Fringe Rates (PDF file).
  • University Facilities and Administrative Rates: The University has negotiated with the Federal government to establish Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rates, sometimes referred to as overhead or indirect cost rates. They pertain only to sponsored activity…more information about Facilities and Administrative rates (PDF file).
  • Accounting for Excess Property Sales: Please note that excess property sales may no longer be deposited to an expense account (i.e., accounts beginning with ’56’).
    All excess property sales must be accounted for as revenue for the selling department. Please use one of the following revenue accounts to record the sales income:

    • 480057, Other-Excess Property Income (cash or check sale and the selling department is not an auxiliary department)
    • 470057, Auxiliaries-Excess Property (cash or check sale and the selling department is an auxiliary department)
    • 800057, Internal Income-Excess Property (ID sale, note: buying department should use an appropriate expense account)
  • W-2 Information: The Payroll Office continues to encourage employees to elect Electronic Receipt of their Form W-2. This can be done online via MySlice. If you have questions about your Form W-2, please contact the Payroll Office at x4042.
  • Direct Deposit: We continue to encourage students and employees to elect direct deposit of your student refunds, expense reimbursements, and pay. This can be done via MySlice.