Expense Policy

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Menu Expense Policy
Approved by the general membership (19–3) on May 26, 2012

I. General Guidelines

  1. No fund shall be spent or reimbursed unless such expense has been appropriated by the Board of Trustees (the "Board") for the said purpose or has been approved by the Treasurer in the absence of an appropriation.
  2. Whenever applicable, all purchases must be made in the name of Wikimedia Philippines (the "Chapter").
  3. The most economical item or service must always be chosen.
  4. All expenses must be recorded by the Auditor or bookkeeper in a journal and ledger approved by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which must be made available to any member or any agent of the Wikimedia Foundation who requests it. Only when an item has been duly approved shall it then be recorded.
  5. Funds for approved projects or purchases must be immediately made available upon request of the Project Lead or released in its necessity. Such cash advances must follow disbursement procedures and must also be reported if left unused by the requesting officer thirty (30) days from the end of every month. The Treasurer may likewise request its return, if there is no further related need for it.
  6. The Treasurer shall be permitted to maintain a petty cash of no more than ₱5,000.00, which must regularly be reported thirty (30) days from the end of every month.
  7. The Treasurer shall be the primary approving officer of all expenses that require approval through this policy. In the absence or failure of the Treasurer to respond within five (5) working days, the President may approve the expenses.
  8. The organization assumes no obligation for expenses that are not in compliance with this policy. Compliance with this policy shall be primarily determined by the Treasurer, whose decision may be appealed to the Board.
  9. No fund shall be used for celebrations or parties unless approved by the Board.
  10. Honoraria and gifts shall be limited only to guests or resource persons.
  11. Any deliberate misrepresentation, abuse or fraudulent reporting of any expense shall be grounds for expulsion from the organization, not withstanding any legal action that the organization may take to recover any misused, missing or stolen funds.

II. Expenses

A. Travel expenses

General Provisions

  1. Travel expenses shall be limited only to the performance of official duties, participation in organization and Wikimedia sanctioned meetings and conferences, and project related events and activities.
  2. Mass transportation system must be the primary mode of transportation unless prior approval has been obtained.
  3. Travelling parties must take advantage of promotional fares, when available.
  4. Itineraries must be booked no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date of travel. In situations when such period cannot be observed, a prior approval must be secured before proceeding.
  5. The cheapest direct itinerary or the itinerary with the least number of stops, and economy/standard hotel accommodation, must be chosen at all times. Only in cases when such is unavailable within a 48 hour period may upgraded accommodation be chosen. Proof of unavailability must be provided to the Treasurer. Should a travelling party opt to avail of another itinerary or upgraded accommodation, the difference must shouldered by the travelling party, including tax surcharges.
  6. Travelling parties shall be entitled to avail of the airline's standard baggage allowance if this is charged separately.
  7. Travelling parties must obtain travel and personal insurance coverage if travelling internationally.

Air Travel

  1. All itineraries purchased must have a return ticket to and from the same city of arrival and departure, unless the intended return flight fare is significantly cheaper than the return flight to the original city of departure. The earliest possible return flight must be chosen if no flight is available within 24 hours after the conclusion of the event.
  2. Air travel may be availed if the travel time to the destination by land and/or sea is at least eight (8) hours in duration.
  3. The cheapest available direct flight, or the flight with the least number of connections, on standard economy class shall be chosen at all times for air travel.

Land Travel

  1. The cheapest available direct air-conditioned bus must be chosen at all times for land travel. However, should a destination be served by rail, seats inside the air-conditioned economy cabin must be chosen. Proof of such availability may be required by the Treasurer.
  2. In cases where the destination is served by both bus and rail, first preference shall be given to rail travel over bus travel.
  3. Taxicabs may only be availed if travelling with organization equipment, or if approval has been obtained due to unfamiliarity with the destination, unavailability of mass transportation, processing of business transactions or other reasonable circumstances.
  4. Personal vehicles may be used for business-related travel if it is the only primary mode of transportation to be used in the duration of the trip. Valid expenses shall only be the fuel consumed in the trip, toll fees and standard parking fees at the destination or function venue.
  5. Metered parking charges must not exceed 2 hours before and after the duration of the function or event. Valet parking is not permitted unless the fee is the same for regular parking or if valet parking is the only available mode of parking in the venue.

B. Lodging

  1. Lodging shall be covered only if the travelling party does not live in the same locality where the project related activity or function is held.
  2. Lodging expenses are covered only a day before, during and a day after the duration of the project related activity or function.
  3. Separate accommodation may be availed if a member of the travelling party is of the opposite gender.
  4. Local lodging shall be capped at ₱2,000.00 or the standard air-conditioned room rate per night, whichever is cheaper.
  5. International lodging shall be capped at ₱3,000.00 or its equivalent in foreign currency, or the standard air-conditioned room rate per night, whichever is cheaper. This shall only be availed in the event that lodging is not covered or provided by the organizer. Should such accommodation be not available within the permitted rates, approval must be obtained.

C. Staff, consultants and other professional services

  1. Remuneration of any hired staff shall be approved by the Board and must be in compliance with the Labor Code.
  2. Hiring of consultants must be approved by the Board.

D. Dining

Local

  1. Unless prior approval has been obtained, local dining shall have the following caps:
  • Breakfast: ₱100.00
  • Lunch: ₱150.00
  • Dinner: ₱200.00
  • Snacks: ₱100.00 (for the entire day)
  1. Such equivalent amount can be claimed as allowance, when food was not provided in the event or function.

Overseas

See: Rate of Meals and Incidental Expenses during overseas trips

E. Office rental

  1. The rent or lease of the organization's office space must be paid on an annual basis.
  2. New lease contracts or any modification in an existing or renewed contract resulting to an increase in rental cost must be approved by the Board.

F. Communication

  1. The maintenance of the business phone for WMPH shall automatically be allocated for in the annual budget.
  2. Non-essential documents must be couriered through the Philippine postal service. The use of a private courier service may be utilized for important documents requiring rush delivery.
  3. The business phone shall be the primary mode of communication between members and event organizers during or for the execution of sanctioned projects or activities. Use of personal mobile phones are permitted and an allowance of ₱50.00 per day may be availed during the duration of project events.

G. Equipment and Supplies

  1. All equipment purchased must come with at least a one (1) year service and parts warranty. Equipment must be either serviceable domestically or, should service need to be performed overseas, it must come at no additional cost.
  2. Purchase of equipment overseas shall only be permitted if its price overseas, including shipping, taxes and customs duties, is less than the domestic retail price when converted to Philippine pesos.
  3. The useful life and depreciation rates of equipment, furniture and supplies must follow standard rates which may vary from one item to another.

III. Credit Card Usage

  1. Personal credit cards may be used for business-related purchases provided that the cash price is the same as the credit card price. Only locally-issued credit cards may be used for such transactions.
  2. Credit cards must not be used whenever a discounted rate is given to cash purchases.
  3. Installment payment terms may only be availed if the merchant or credit card issuer charges no additional interest, or approval has been obtained.
  4. Whenever possible, all purchases must be made in Philippine pesos to avoid incurring mark-up and assessment fees for foreign currency-denominated transactions charged by credit card issuers.
  5. Cash advances with the use of credit cards are not reimbursable.
  6. The organization shall not be liable for any fraudulent transaction that may arise from the usage of personal credit cards.

IV. Expense reporting

A. General provisions

  1. Expenses must be reported within five (5) days from the end of the month it was incurred.
  2. All expenses, except those separately specified hereafter, must be reported using the expense report form as provided by the Treasurer.
  3. Accomplished expense reports must be submitted to the Treasurer together with the original, copies, images of accompanying receipts, invoices, supporting documentation, properly referencing each item with its purchasing date, particulars, purchase document and amount. Submission shall not be construed as outright approval of the expense.
  4. Submission of reports may either be in person or through other available methods as may be permitted by the Treasurer.
  5. The Treasurer shall be the primary approving officer of all expense reports, except when the Treasurer is the one reporting the expense. In such cases, the President shall be the approving officer.
  6. Ninety (90) days[1] from the end of the fiscal year, the Treasurer must report depreciation expenses, auto-debited loan payments and direct bank charges in the annual financial statement, which must be submitted to the Board, which shall approve it.
  7. All reports, together with their accompanying receipts, invoices, supporting documentation, must be imaged and archived prior to their disposal three (3) years after they have been reported.

B. Receipts

  1. All expenses must come with its corresponding original or electronic official receipts.
  2. In the total absence of official receipts, any sales or commercial invoices or other supporting documentation of the transaction and its corresponding amount must be presented. Supporting documentation must be verifiable with the issuer; hence it must at least contain the transaction date and amount, issuing transacted party's name and its contact information. Generic receipts and credit card charge slips are not considered as proof of purchase or transaction.
  3. Purchases or transactions which are known not to possess any corresponding documentary proof of purchase or transaction must be indicated as petty cash in the expense report.
  4. Payments to individuals who do no issue registered receipts or invoices must be reported using the Payment Voucher Form, duly signed by the payee or by an authorized representative. As far as practicable, the payee must also provide a valid proof of identification.[2]
  5. Tampered receipts shall not be valid unless countersigned by the issuer.
  6. Only official business purchases must be included in receipts, invoices or documentary proofs of purchase.
  7. Lost receipts, invoices or proofs of purchase or transaction may be substituted with photocopies or printed scanned images thereof. In the absence of any of these, an affidavit of loss must be submitted if the amount exceeds ₱100.00, which shall be borne by the liable person.
  8. Online foreign currency-denominated purchases made using a credit card or through other payment processors must be accompanied by a documentary proof of the converted amount in Philippine pesos.
  9. For overseas transactions, the exchange rate on the date of the transaction shall be used as basis for conversion into Philippine pesos. Available exchange rates from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) shall be used for conversion. In the absence of such rates, the Treasurer shall base the rates from other published sources.
  10. The integrity of receipts must be preserved until it is submitted to the Treasurer. As such, thermal receipts must be scanned or photocopied before the print fades. The Treasurer reserves the right to reject unrecognizable or illegible receipts.

C. Validity

  1. The approving officer shall properly examine all items indicated in the report and ensure the validity and accuracy of its corresponding documentary proof. Approval of the reports must be made within fifteen (15) days, otherwise the approving officer must communicate the reason for any delay.
  2. As a general guide, all expenses that are excessive or for personal consumption, unrelated to the performance of any business in behalf of the organization as may be determined by the Treasurer shall not be considered valid. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Portraits and souvenirs
  • Barber/hairstyle fees
  • Luggage and briefcases
  • Car washes, repairs, towing and other types of maintenance
  • Clothing and toiletries
  • Travel, dining guidebooks or catalogs
  • Discount/wholesale membership dues
  • Finance charges
  • Funeral charges
  • Health and beauty spas
  • Dining incidentals like moist towelettes and additional beverages
  • Extra housekeeping expenses while traveling on business
  • Penalties or fees caused by delays except when caused by fortuitous events
  • Laundry & dry cleaning if traveling for less than six (6) consecutive days
  • First aid kits, supplements or medicine of any type (except when required for international travel)
  • Celebrations, events, festivals organised in office, etc
  • Office supplies that are already available
  • Overweight baggage fees (except when it is caused by equipment brought for business purposes)
  • Personal entertainment (newspapers, magazines, movies, etc.)
  • Personal side trips while on official travel
  • Pet care or boarding fees
  • Repair of personal property while traveling on official business
  • Ship-to-shore phone charges
  • Shoe repair
  • Travel expenses of other companions not among the approved travelling parties
  • Traffic violations, parking tickets and related court costs
  • Uniforms
  • Unexplained, excessive, unreasonable, or lavish expenses which are not provided for or outside the scope of functions.

V. Accidents

  1. If accidents occur in the performance of official duty, the organization shall provide coverage of no more than ₱15,000.

VI. Exceptions

  1. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Board of Trustees.



Annotations
  1. 30 days from the end of the month is given for the reporting of expenses to the Treasurer. Then 30 days would be given to the Treasurer to prepare the annual financial report and the other 30 days will be provided for it to be reviewed by the auditor, prior to presentation to the Board.
  2. Valid identification are government-issued identification or school-issued identification for students.