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Policies for Employees

Use of Institutional Name or Logo

The institution does not permit the use of its name in any announcement, advertisement, publication, or report if such use in any way implies institutional endorsement of any product or service.  Any firm or its advertising agency requesting the use of pictures or facilities of the institution for sale or advertising purposes, or requesting the use of any copy relating to such pictures or facilities, should be referred to the vice president for finance or the director of marketing and public relations.  

The Office of Communications and Marketing is responsible for determining whether the institution's name may be used in conjunction with the particular project or service.  In certain cases, the Office of Communications and Marketing may refer requests for such use to the president, vice presidents, or others, as appropriate.


Accreditation and Institutional Publications

The institution is reviewed on a regular basis by several accrediting agencies.  All these agencies take great care to respect the confidentiality of information supplied to them during reviews.  In return, they expect the institutions they accredit to use discretion in their use of reports of the accrediting teams.  Some agencies prohibit any quotations whatsoever from such documents.

To avoid any possible infringement of standards and regulations of accreditors, institutional publications will not quote the reports prepared by these agencies unless the agencies grant specific written permission.  The institution's accredited status will be referred to only in those terms prescribed by said agencies

Any questions under this policy should be referred to the vice president for academic affairs.


Budget Preparation Process and Responsibilities

Each year the institution's annual operating budget for the coming fiscal year is prepared under the direction of the Cabinet.  This budget is ultimately reviewed by the Board of Trustees and must be approved before implementation.  The Board reviews a preliminary budget in May and approves the final budget in October.  The college's fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.

Preparation of the budget document and any subsequent revision is the treasurer's responsibility.


Coffee Service

Coffee and snacks from Common Grounds are available on a cash-and-carry basis.

All college events on campus must be catered by Sodexho Dining Services.  All events with food must have an associated budget and identifiable amount in the department's budget.  Catering is expensive and should be used appropriately.


Entertainment

General

There are occasions in which official entertaining is in the best interest of the institution.  It is essential that such entertaining stay in line with the institutional image.

Meetings

When a meeting is hosted or sponsored by the institution, the latter may defray the costs of meals and light refreshments.

Prospective Employees

When the institution entertains a prospective employee, costs of meals and other necessary expenses are met by the institution.  Spouses of staff members may be included, particularly if the spouse of the prospective staff member is being entertained.  Moderation is expected and moderately priced restaurants are to be used.  Alcohol is not reimbursable.

Intra-institutional entertainment is not reimbursable unless approved by an appropriate vice president and charged to a specific budget approved for such expenditure.

Exceptions to the above may be granted.  Permission should be requested in advance from the vice president for academic affairs or the treasurer.


Use of Personal Vehicles

Mileage for the use of personally owned vehicles is allowed at $.42 per mile.  A "Travel Expense Voucher" should be submitted for reimbursement at this rate.  All items on the report must be filled out.  The college has liability insurance to cover the use of your own vehicle.


Notary Public Services

Three licensed notaries are available for assistance during regular business hours.  Inquire at the Business Office counter or with the secretary to the treasurer.


Computer/Office Machine Maintenance

As a general rule, computers are not put under a service agreement.  High volume printers generally are.

Contracts are generally renewable each November/December, although equipment may be added or deleted at any time throughout the year.

A charge is made to departmental budgets once a year for total maintenance contract costs for that department.

It is important that departments notify the secretary to the treasurer of changes in office equipment (for example, typewriters, dictation equipment, or others); including buying, selling, or moving equipment to another office, whether or not equipment is covered by a maintenance agreement.

Supplies and unused office machines should be returned to the Business Office for redistribution.


Use of Institutional Vehicles

Employees may schedule the use of institutional vehicles for authorized and approved institutional business by calling the Business Office.  Drivers must be registered with the college's insurance company.  All drivers must have their current and valid driver's license on file with the Business Office.  Drivers will have their motor vehicle driving records checked by the college's insurer. 

  1. The college's insurer may prohibit drivers with more than one violation on their record from driving or may be required to take defensive driving courses. All coaches, admissions and advancement personnel and certain faculty may be required to drive. Loss of driving privileges may be a reason for termination or require consideration on behalf of the employer for loss of this privilege. All drivers will be required to attend a driver training course prior to use of the college vehicles.
  2. Students are allowed to drive college vehicles provided they follow the driver certification process. This includes an annual school bus driver's physical, signatures of the organization sponsor, approval of the Student Leadership Office, van driver training, and a motor vehicle report check of driver's license information.
  3. Drivers should contact the Business Office to determine whether other staff or faculty could share transportation to a common destination. This should be done when scheduling the trip, and again prior to obtaining the vehicle.

The person scheduling the vehicle is responsible for pick-up and return of the vehicle in good condition.  Maintenance problems are to be reported immediately to the Business Office.  Vehicles should be returned with no less than half a tank of gasoline.  Vehicles must be returned at the agreed time.  Because of heavy scheduling of college vehicles, please respect this request.

If negligent driving results in an accident, the driver may be required to share costs in repair of the vehicle.

Due to insurance requirements, use of vehicles is restricted to approved activities and institutional business.  The school bus driver's physical will be charged to the department that requests the driver.  Additionally, students must observe all the above elements pertaining to college employees.

Departments will be charged the following rates per mile for the use of these vehicles:

  • Cars/Mini Vans $.29 cents per mile
  • Full-size Vans $.39 cents per mile

Charges will be made to departmental accounts by journal entry, initiated by the Business Office with the appropriate account number for resulting charges.

Persons paying institutional expenses out-of-pocket (such as paying for gasoline with cash rather than a credit card) should notify Business Office staff when the vehicle is returned in order to obtain a refund.  Receipts are required.

A mileage report must be obtained from the Business Office at the start of a trip and the beginning mileage recorded.  At the conclusion of the trip, the completed form should be returned to the Business Office.


Purchasing Procedures

All orders should be initiated on a purchase order form.  Some vendors require a purchase order before an item is shipped to the institution.

Purchase order forms are available from the Business Office.

Departments operating within authorized budget levels may order or charge purchases to the institution through the PO process.  Bills or statements that do not identify the department to be charged can cause confusion when received by the Business Office, may delay payment to the vendor, and often lose eligible discounts.  Thus, the name of the person doing the ordering or department to charge should be stated to the vendor and marked on the invoice or statement.  Invoices are to be sent directly to the Business Office.  Purchase order forms provide space for both the account number and name of a department.

A copy of the completed form, signed by the department head or appropriate college office, should be sent to the Business Office for approval of the treasurer before being forwarded to the vendor.


Minority and Women-Owned Business Policy

Doane College recognizes the value of diversity in our community and is, therefore, committed to actively developing supplier diversity by supporting Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE). Doane College is committed to providing opportunities to certified Minority & Women-owned vendors for procurement of goods and services.


Fixed Asset Policy

The purpose of the inventory system is to gather information for the preparation of financial statements and to provide control and accountability of fixed assets owned by the college.

 

Fixed Asset

Definitions:

1. Accountable Item - An accountable item is a fixed asset purchase which has a unit value of less than $1,000 and is of such a nature (desirable and portable) as to be placed in the inventory system for management of fixed assets.

2. Capitalized Item - A capitalized item is a fixed asset purchase costing $1,000 or more.

3. Fixed Asset - A fixed asset is a piece of equipment that may be obtained by the college through purchase, donation, loan, capital lease, or self-construction

 

Identifying Inventory Items at the Time of Requisition

Complete inventory information on the Purchase Order or credit card receipt.

  1. Accountable Items: Note whether or not the item is accountable.
  2. Grant Number: Indicate grant number, if applicable.
  3. Department/Room: Indicate department and/or room number in which item will be located.

 

Modifying Information on the Fixed Asset Inventory System (Transfer, Loan, Surplus, etc.)

Contact the Accounting Assistant in the Business Office about any changes in the status of fixed assets - where located, missing assets, destroyed assets, etc.

 

Physical Inventory

The fixed asset inventory will be verified periodically. A schedule listing the due dates of the physical inventory updates will be sent to programs/departments. A memo and an inventory list will be sent to each program/department approximately one month before the update is due.

When the physical count is completed, the program/department supervisor is to indicate any corrections, sign and date the inventory list, and return it to the Business Office.

Missing items are to be reported and submitted with the verified physical inventory. An explanation must accompany the report.

After corrections are made, an updated list will be sent to the program/department.

 

Technology Assets under $1,000

Purpose: To document the process and guidelines for identifying technology assets as defined below.

Definition

Technology assets under $1,000 are those fixed assets defined as follows:

  • assets with a unit cost (including ancillary costs) of more than $100 but less than $1,000;
  • the college considers the asset particularly vulnerable to loss, i.e., easily taken by one person acting alone, or an asset with a history of being stolen;
  • the asset would have a significant value or use outside the program, i.e., could easily be resold;
  • the loss of the asset will impact the department/division's ability to provide educational or college support services.

Processes

Doane College will tag and maintain an automated inventory system for all fixed assets and technology assets, which will be physically counted or verified at least once every two years. The inventory system will monitor these items by including all the information elements necessary for tracking, including date, vendor name, purchase amount, general ledger number, serial number, tag ID number, location, and other information as deemed necessary.

Expenditures for technology equipment under $1,000 will be coded to the object classification -66400.  Expenditures for all fixed assets over $1,000 will be coded to object classification beginning with -760xx.


Disposition

Disposition of fixed assets will be approved by the Department Director or Vice President of Finance.


Procedures

Requesting Department

The department requesting the purchase of fixed assets will be responsible for correctly completing the purchase order.

Accounts Payable

The A/P Department will be responsible for identifying all assets that meet the criteria for fixed assets and noting on the Purchase Order that Accounting is to record the asset in the Fixed Asset System.

Accounting

Accounting will be responsible for reconciling the fixed asset account periodically. The reconciliation will include the following: insuring all purchase prices on the corresponding invoices agree to the final payment made by Accounts Payable and verifying that the -760xx object accounts agree with the inventory listing.

Accounting will record all deposition into the system and maintain the corresponding documentation.

Accounting will be responsible for tracking and maintaining the supply of inventory tags as accountable documents and assigning them to the Technology as needed.


Memberships

Memberships in professional organizations and associations are approved by the appropriate dean, director or vice president and must be directly beneficial to the institution or germane to the performance of an individual's job.  Multiple memberships (more than one per department) should be avoided.  Memberships are to be in the name of the institution rather than that of an employee.


Service Department Billing

Costs for using copy machines, postage, media services, college vehicles, central services, and items from the bookstore and service bureau are charged automatically to department accounts each month.

Questions or problems regarding the account number to which a service department charge is made should be directed to the Business Office.  Questions concerning amount of charges or supporting detail or the service itself should be directed to the department providing the service (such as service bureau, bookstore, and others).

It is important that departments anticipate charges that are made for the final months of the fiscal year (May and June) to be sure that sufficient funds are available to cover them.

Service departments are responsible for maintenance of data supporting their charges.

An informative copy of detailed charges may be sent to the receiving department by the service department.


Mail Service

Bulk Mailings

A bulk mailing must include at least 200 pieces of identical mail.  To use the institution bulk permit, mailing must be associated with the institution in some manner and it must be imprinted with the institution's insignia.

Special preparation according to zip code is necessary for bulk mailings.  Mail room personnel are trained to do necessary zip coding, bundling, and metering.  All envelopes to be sealed should have flaps up.  An accurate count should be given to the mail room supervisor of the pieces in each mailing going out.  Local mail should be separated from other mail.  The bulk rate does not apply to mail sent to Canada, Mexico, or any other foreign countries.  When computer-generated labels are used, they should be ordered in zip code sequence.  When planning ahead for printed material to be sent by bulk rate, offices or departments should request that the bulk permit number also be imprinted.

Delivery time for bulk mailings is from three to six weeks (it is possible that bulk mailings to nearby areas may be delivered in less time).  Department staff should keep this in mind, allowing adequate time for all preparation.

Offices are billed monthly for use of the institution's bulk permit.

Business Reply Mail

All departments are charged for any ‘Address Service Requested' envelopes returned.  Billing is done on a monthly basis through the interdepartmental billing system.


Authorizations

In line with the authorization practices, the president, and in his absence the vice president for finance is delegated responsibility by the board of trustees to authorize practices and procedures and to issue policy changes that are referenced in this section.


Petty Cash Fund

Often it is necessary to make small purchases on behalf of the institution when it would be inefficient to prepare a purchase order.  To meet this need, a petty cash fund may be established by the department requesting it through the chief financial office.

Departments authorized for petty cash funds are: 

  • Business Office
  • Library
  • Bookstore
  • Service Bureau
  • Doane Lincoln Administration
  • Residence Hall Staff

The fund may be for no more than $50 Petty cash funds are subject to audit in the total amount of $50, which must be on hand in the form of either cash or receipts.  The custodian of the fund is responsible for the fund and its safekeeping.  Receipts or statements must be obtained that substantiate use of the cash.

Petty cash funds are only for the purpose of infrequent purchases.  A separate purchase should not exceed $20 for reimbursement from petty cash.

If frequent orders purchased are made for the same materials through the same vendor, the blanket purchase order procedure should be followed.

Use of petty cash funds is not to be confused with the process of reimbursement for cash.

When additional funds are required, department staff must bring their receipts to the Business Office with an authorization to charge the amount of receipts to the appropriate budget category.  The departments are then given cash for the amount of the authorization (which should reinstate the department's petty cash amount to the authorized level).

Petty cash funds must be closed out at the end of each fiscal year or reconciled as requested by the Business Office staff.


Advances

Travel Advances

Institutional personnel may obtain advances from the Business Office for college-related travel.  Form completion and repayment procedures are presented in the travel section.

Salary Advances

The college recognizes that emergency needs do arise.  Allowances for emergency advances against wage (not to exceed $500, for basic needs such as housing, food, clothing and medical care) can be arranged by contacting the Payroll Office.  The College may charge an interest rate on advances that are paid back over time. 

All advances must receive the approval of the vice president for finance.  Repayments are to be made through salary deduction and advances must be repaid within ninety (90) days.  A total of two salary advances may be made in a twelve month period.

Job related reasons could include situations such as: an automobile that needs repair when it is the sole means of transportation to and from work, a staff person's tools must be replaced, etc.


Travel Policy

General

It is the policy of the college that all reasonable expenses for job related travel shall be reimbursed in accordance with the guidelines set forth below.  It is recognized that exceptions are necessary from time to time and these should be cleared, in advance if possible, with the vice president for finance or his or her authorized representative.;

 

Transportation

Airplane

Air coach should be used in the interest of economy whenever available.  If such accommodations are not available or would be inconvenient to use, other class travel is allowable if a proper explanation is provided on the travel expense voucher.  Ticket stubs should be attached to the request for reimbursement.  Whenever possible tickets should be purchased well in advance to take advantage of the maximum discount available.  Tickets should be purchased with a purchase order when possible.  Travel by private aircraft is not allowed.  The college does not insure employees unless they are traveling by commercial carrier.  Frequent flyer mileage paid for by college funds is the property of the college and should be used for future college travel when possible.

 

Automobile

Travel by private auto is reimbursable at $.32 per mile, provided such total reimbursement does not exceed equivalent air coach fare or other reasonable available transportation.  Necessary extra costs for food and lodging while en route are not reimbursable if the traveler is reimbursed on a mileage basis in preference to air travel or other public transportation.  The Business Office maintains several vehicles which may be checked out for college related business.  Employees, who are being compensated for additional services to the college, and service distinct from their major assignments, may not be compensated for travel related expenses.  Examples would be faculty or staff who has elected to teach additional courses for additional compensation at other than the main campus they are assigned to.  Use of a college vehicle for the above example would be billed to the employee.

 

Rental Automobiles

Rental autos may be used when such travel is more advantageous to the institution than the use of taxis or other means of transportation.  Advance reservations for compact automobiles should be requested.  (When a rental reservation for a compact vehicle has been made and none is available, rental agencies usually provide a standard vehicle at a compact rate.)

 

Taxi and Limousine Service

Fares including reasonable tips are allowable if no other reasonable public transportation is available.


Subsistence Expenses

Meals

Actual expense for meals and tips is reimbursable. Meal expense should be claimed only when there is an actual meal expense (e.g. not when the meal is on an airplane, not at a meeting where the registration fee includes a meal or meals, etc.).

Please observe the following:

  1. Alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable
  2. Tips should not be for more than 15%
  3. Receipts are expected
  4. Moderate expenditures for meals are expected. No per-diem is suggested; however locale and availability of restaurants should guide choice. The college expects you to eat as you would at home. Please be reasonable in your selections
  5. Meal expenses are subject to review and allowances may be made for excessive charges

 

Hotel

Actual reasonable hotel expense when supported by vouchers is reimbursable.  (No maximum is established since it is recognized that reasonable expense differs according to size of the town and area of the country.)  As a general rule select the mid-priced accommodation if you have a choice.

 

Other Necessary Miscellaneous Expenses

Reimbursement is provided if properly explained and if supported by receipts for expenses.

 

Conference Fees

Fees should be paid in advance by purchase order or check.

 

Advances

A cash advance equal to estimated out-of-pocket costs may be requested two weeks in advance of travel.  At the conclusion of the trip, all expenses must be itemized with the cash advance indicated as an offset to the total expense.  An itemized accounting for the advance must be made to the Business Office within 7 days after you return.  Employees who do not file timely expense reports may not be eligible for further advances.

Travel/Entertainment Expense Voucher

An itemized accounting for travel expenses should include all receipts and should be forwarded to the Business Office within a week after the conclusion of travel.  Expense vouchers must have department head signatures if required.

 

Authorized Signatures

The following items must have approved signatures to be processed:

  • Budget Change Orders (VPAA, Treasurer)
  • Check Requests (Treasurer)
  • Time Sheets (Department head or supervisor)
  • Invoice Approvals (Treasurer)
  • Petty Cash Requests (Treasurer)
  • Physical Plant Work Orders (Director Physical Plant, Treasurer)
  • Purchase Orders (Department head or VPAA, Treasurer)
  • Requisitions for Supplies (Department head or VPAA, Treasurer)

Grants

Must have the signature or review of the treasurer before the grant is submitted.


Contracts

Must have the signature or review of the treasurer before executed.  The following individuals are the only authorized individuals to contractually obligate the college:

  • President
  • Vice President for Financial Affairs

Check Cashing

The Business Office has funds available to cash checks for faculty, staff, and students of the institution. 

The following guidelines apply:

  • Checks cannot exceed $30
  • Identification may be required.  Employee's or student's ID or a driver's license usually is sufficient
  • There will be a $10 charge for any check returned by the bank for any reason

Equipment Budget

Equipment items costing less than $1,000 are exempt from this procedure.

Equipment costing $1,000 or more may be ordered only from an equipment budget with sufficient funds.

The ordering department should request a transfer of funds establishing such a budget if none exists when specific items of equipment are required.  It is important that justification for the budgetary provision for equipment be included with the transfer request.

The Business Office may not issue an equipment purchase order until after the requisition has been approved by the appropriate department head or supervisor.  The Business Office may attempt to comparison shop on equipment for additional savings.

Duplicated equipment may not be ordered.  If the college has equipment available for sharing the equipment requested may not be ordered.

All equipment must be ordered by departments 90 days prior to the close of the fiscal year.


Check Requests

Please use the appropriate form designed for your department's use in requesting issuance of checks.  Check requests must be received in the Business Office with all the appropriate signatures for the check to be processed.  Checks are processed every Tuesday.  Check requests must be received by noon on Monday to be processed on Tuesday.  Checks will be available for pick up after 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Check request forms may be submitted for the following:

  • Travel Advances
  • Direct Payments for Travel and Entertainment Expenses
  • Subscriptions
  • Pre-repayments
  • Reimbursements

Checks for honoraria must be submitted with a properly completed W-9.  All payments in excess of $600 to individuals, who will likely have several payments from Doane in a given year, will be processed as a payroll request and will only be available at the end of the payroll period.  Doane will withhold all appropriate state and federal taxes for any individual who cannot supply a tax identification number or is not incorporated as a 'C' corporation.


Budget Changes

Budgets are established for departments at the start of each fiscal year.  In certain circumstances, the budget for a particular category may be modified.  Such circumstances include, but are not limited to, preventing over expenditures, meeting unusual events, and others.

All budget changes must be approved by the relevant budget office and then submitted to the controller.  Please note that the dean of faculty is the budget officer for all faculty salary wage budgets.

Budget changes should be submitted prior to the event necessitating the change.  Revised budgets are reflected on WebAdvisor.


Sales Tax

Doane College is exempt from most state sales taxes.  Most items purchased by purchase order will be exempted.  The Business Office maintains a state sales tax exemption form and generally includes our exemption number on all purchases. For more information on tax exemption forms, visit the Tax Exempt page.

Nebraska Sales Tax Exemption Number:  05-0340278

As a general rule, we pay all federal excise taxes except when we have an opportunity to save on gasoline taxes by use of brand (company) credit cards.  Federal and state taxes can amount to 6% and generally can be saved when you use AMOCO, Phillips, MOBIL or the like.  Sales tax is automatically charged to VISA and generally cannot be removed.

All purchases by the college for resale to students, faculty or the public are subject to sales tax.  Any department contemplating sales of any nature must check with the Business Office for proper accounting procedure.  Faculty, staff or students making any sales without withholding for sales tax will be held personally responsible for sales tax due. 

Examples of items held for resale that are subject to sales tax include:

  • Books
  • Manuscripts
  • Clothing
  • Trinkets
  • Certain Food
  • Tickets to Events
  • Raffles

Cash Reimbursement

In some cases, it is easier to request a cash reimbursement than to wait for a check.  Cash reimbursement may be used when small amounts (usually less than $50, but on occasion up to $300) must be paid to reimburse someone for something he or she has purchased that should be paid for by the institution.  Cash reimbursements on larger amounts are subject to cash availability and the discretion of the Business Office.

In no case should the cash reimbursement process be used for payment of wages or reimbursement for services rendered to the institution.


Manually Produced Checks

A manually produced check is one that is prepared manually by the accounts payable coordinator in the Business Office for non-routine payments.  Such a check requires special handling and substantially increases the workload of the office.

Manually produced checks are available for special circumstances involving emergencies, advance payment requirements of a vendor, and others.  The accounts payable coordinator may be required to obtain the approval of the treasurer prior to preparing the check.