CommunityData:Reimbursements (UW)

From CommunityData

This documents the process for getting reimbursed at UW.

Before you purchase[edit]

There are a range of things to know about what is and isn't reimbursable. In general:

  • Services (like proofreading) is not reimbursement if it's not form a vendor in the UW system
  • Things from the previous financial year (which starts in July) are not reimbursable
  • Receipts older than 90 days are not reimbursable.
  • Alcohol is not reimbursable
  • Airfare on non-US airlines are not reimbursement from federal grants due to the Fly America act, although there are exceptions related to certain "Open Skies" treaties that the US has made
  • Meals over a standard per person rate ($11 for breakfast, $22 for lunch, etc) are not reimbursement
  • Flights that include personal days and/or are not to/from Seattle are complicated and are not reimbursable without special documentation you need to get before you book the flight
  • Package deals for travel are not reimbursable or are complicated
  • Non-itemized receipts and/or receipts that do not have some indication of payment with tax are not reimbursable or are complicated
  • Food without food forms is not reimbursable

There might be ways around these, but you typically need to get permission before you buy the thing.

Food Forms [required if reimbursement is for food; otherwise skip][edit]

If the process involves food, you will need to have a food form signed and on file in the department. A link to the food form is available online here.

When are you done filling it out (you don't need to sign it yet), you need to send it to who will put it in Docusign and send it back to you and others to get signed. When it is fully signed, you can download it from Docusign.

You will also need a list of all attendees which you should send to along with the form. A list of names in a text file is what Mako typically does.

Record in the ledger[edit]

First, make sure you have check out a copy of the ledger_mako repository from the group git server. If this is your first time, you might need to add yourself to the conf/gitolite.conf directory if it is your first time. Details on are the CommunityData:Git page.

Upload receipts and forms[edit]

Upload receipts into the subdirectory called receipts/. Please give each receipt a name with: (1) what it's for, (2) a date, and (3) your name. A good name might be lyft-20230525-mako_ica.pdf (with date in the YYYYMMDD format).

If there is a food form and attendee list, please upload this into the food_forms/ subdirectory, please add those too. Please give it a name that starts with the date in YYYMMDD format like: 20230331-haomin_recruiting_visit-food_form.pdf and 20230331-haomin_recruiting_visit-attendees.txt

If your expense was part of a grant, additionally send copies of your receipts to Betsy and Taylor in CSSS.

Update the ledger[edit]

Open the file expenses.ledger and scroll to the end of the file. For each receipt, add a new section like this:

 2023/3/31 Xian Noodle  ; lunch with lab for haomin's visit
     Reimbursement:Mako                       $133.42
     Lab Budget
     ; Food form: 20230331-haomin_recruiting_visit-food_form.pdf
     ; Attendees: 20230331-haomin_recruiting_visit-attendees.txt
     ; Receipt: xiannoodles-20230331.png

The format is GNU Ledger which is a CLI tool for managing ledgers. It's not important that you master it though, only that you record things correctly. Important details are:

  • The first line should have the date, the name of the places, two spaces, and semi colon, and then the description of what it was for.
  • The second line should have Reimbursement:<Your Name> at least two spaces, and then the total amount.
  • The third line should say "Lab Budget" if it's from the Lab Budget but it might say something else if it's from another budget. Check out the file budgets in the directory which will map from budget numbers to budget names.
  • The final three lines should list the filenames

Feel free to add things like "; Note: WHATEVER" if there are additional notes. If the receipts are related to an event, you should add an "; Event; CHI 2023" style line. There are lots of examples in the ledger file.

git add all of your changes and addition, git commit and write a useful and description log summary (multiple lines are welcome if it's complex) and then git push.

Submit for reimbursement[edit]

Before you start, you'll need two things:

  1. A clear sense of whether this will be charged to a grant or whether it will be charged to the general CDSC-UW budget, or to some other budget.
  2. The budget codes for the expense. This process requires the use of multiple special numbers and tracking codes. If you have access to the ledger_mako git repository, the relevant details are in the file called budget. Ask Mako if you don't have access.

Once you know these these things—and have done everything on this page above—you are ready to request. To do so, go this page:

You will click through to, find, and then fill out the appropriate form for reimbursement and/or travel reimbursement. If you are a UW employee, you might need to click on a link that says "log in with UW NetID" or something similar.

Once you've done, this you'll be brought to a multi-page submission form. On the first page you'll enter information about the reimbursement:

  • Select "Communication" as the department if it is for an expense being reimbursed by the department or out of the general lab budget. Select CSSS as the department if it is being reimbursed from a grant. If you are unsure, check with Mako.
  • Add "makohill" as a "watcher" on the request.
  • In the "Additional comments" section at the end of the file please add text that says: "Please add to this ticket" if the reimbursement is from CDSC lab funds and have it say "Please add at CSSS to this ticket" if it is being reimbursed from a grant.
  • Write a clear description of what the reimbursement is for and why/how it was related to UW business. If it's for food, explain that it is for a meeting with a collaborator in support of research. Feel free to run this text by Mako.
  • If it includes food, you must upload copies of the fully signed food form and the attendees list along with the receipt—all as attachments.

The second page of the form is about getting reimbursed and budget details.

  • You will need to provide the Driver Work Tag (this is a sort of text field) and a Resource or Resource Tag which is a pulldown but can also be turned into "Other." These are required.
  • You will be asked if there is anything else you want to know about these details. If this is from the lab budget, write "This reimbursement is for Benjamin Mako Hill's Community Data Science lab and should be charged to the lab budget (formerly the HLLLAB project code pre-Workday)." You don't need worry about this if it's a grant.

Following Up[edit]

As things are processed, you should update the ledger file with details on the status. At a minimum, you should (a) add the UWConnect ID and the Workday ID (formerly, Ariba ID) once you get them and (b) mark things as reimbursed once they are fully reimbursed. You can do both as a comments with the "; " syntax. There are lots of examples you can cut and paste from.

In terms of (a): You will get the former right when you submit and it will look like "REF0100000". The Workday ID will be created after your reimbursement has been approved and is submitted into Workday so that a check can be cut; Workday IDs look like this: ER-00000####. Mako likes to add dates to keep track of how things are going too.

In terms of (b): Finally, when things are completely done, you should add a '*' right after the date. This marks the transaction as cleared.

A cleared version of the transaction above might look like:

 2023/3/31 * Xian Noodle  ; lunch with lab for haomin's visit
     Reimbursement:Mako                       $133.42
     Lab Budget
     ; Food form: 20230331-haomin_recruiting_visit-food_form-SIGNED.pdf
     ; Attendees: 20230331-haomin_recruiting_visit-attendees.txt
     ; Receipt: xiannoodles-20230331-mako_haomin_visit.png
     ; Sent Food Form: 2023/05/14
     ; UWConnect ID: REF0101824
     ; Workday ID: ER-000001234
     ; Reimbursed: 2023/05/22