McMaster simplifies expense claims and increases mileage rate

McMaster has updated the travel and expenses Accounts Payable policy and guidelines to simplify the process for claiming expenses related to grants from Tri-Agencies CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. The annual update also increases the mileage rate from 55 cents per kilometre to 58 cents per kilometre for the first 5,000 km driven.

“Each research funding body has principles regarding expenses. We’ve now incorporated the Tri-Council principles into McMaster’s policy so people can be confident that if they’re following the McMaster policy and guidelines, they’re compliant with the Tri-Council guidelines as well,” says Dee Henne, Assistant Vice-President (Administration) & CFO.

Individuals responsible for submitting and processing expenses are encouraged to read the revised McMaster AP01 policy and guidelines in full. Changes have been highlighted for easy reference.

Changes are effective for travel and expenses incurred on or after Monday January 28, 2019.

Highlights of policy changes:

  • Scope addition – In the case where an expense is not specifically covered in the Policy or Guide the following principles apply:
    • The expenditure must:
      • contribute towards the direct cost of the research activity or University business;
      • not normally be provided by the administering institution to their research personnel;
      • be effective and economical;
      • not result in any personal gain.

Highlights of guideline changes:

  • Accommodation addition – Where accommodation is being charged to a Tri-Agency fund and exceeds six (6) consecutive months, subsistence costs (meals and accommodation) incurred beyond six (6) months cannot be reimbursed from agency grant funds.
  • Child care coverage – Eligible child care expenses for nursing mothers and overnight babysitting for single parents while travelling for University business:
    Reasonable Cost:     Actual cost
    Required Support:   Proof of Payment
  • Gift cards addition – Tri-Agency: Gifts, honoraria and incentives can be offered to an individual or group whose involvement with the funded research/activities is voluntary, i.e. not part of a contractual obligation, professional service or a member of the grant team.
  • Alcohol addition – The guidelines now specify that the McMaster rules apply unless alcohol expenses are specifically prohibited by the funding source, such as a Tri-Agency. Those external policies would supersede McMaster’s guidelines.

For more information or assistance, please contact: