Policy Reminders Cheat Sheet

All purchases must have a description and a business purpose listed on the Wells Fargo Purchase Card Statement.

All purchases must have an itemized receipt, screen print,  or order confirmation.

  • If a receipt is not attached, the receipt template form must be filled out and signed by the cardholder before it is sent to the Accounts Payable Office.

Purchases of goods over $1,000 require two signatures on the receipt.

Sales Tax should not be paid in Minnesota, except for prepared meals, lodging, airline tickets, rental cars, and gas.  If making purchases outside of Minnesota, please contact John Arndt at arndt@stolaf.edu or at 507-786-3659 to find out if we have a sales tax exemption in the other state.  Copies of the Minnesota sales tax exempt certificate are available online at: https://wp.stolaf.edu/finance/files/2013/06/ces.pdf


  • Names of all individuals or group names whose meals were purchased, must be listed on the receipt or in the statement description.
  • Business purpose or reason for the meal must be listed on the receipt or in the statement description (e.g. donor visit, recruiting trip, conference travel, away game, etc.).
  • Reimbursement for spousal meals is typically not allowed.  For rare, approved exceptions, this must be noted and the business purpose must be specified on the receipt or in the statement description.
  • Itemized receipt must be included.  If a meal receipt is not itemized, please write if alcohol was present or not.
  • Meals are only reimbursed when –
    • Travel includes an overnight stay or continuous travel status for twelve hours or more
    • Entertainment of non-College employees (must indicate on receipt)
    • Attendance at a conference when a meal is not included
  • Coffee is only reimbursed when –
    • Travel includes an overnight stay or continuous travel status for twelve hours or more
    • Entertainment of non-College employees (must indicate on receipt)
  • Alcohol is only allowed for reimbursement when –
    • Conducting business with current or prospective donors
    • Conducting business with non-College employees (must have supervisor’s approval)
    • Students may not participate in the purchase and/or consumption of alcohol under any circumstance
  • Tipping should not be excessive (not more than 20%)
  • Generally, meal expenditures will be reimbursed up to a limit of $55 a day. Allowable exceptions are –
    • Meals will be reimbursed up to the IRS guidelines for high cost localities (cities) when traveling outside of the area.  There is a link in the Travel and Business Expense Policy for the high cost localities.
    • Meals with current or prospective donors

Gift Cards or Certificates

  • Are not allowed for employees or if related to student work employment services.
  • Prizes or awards to St. Olaf students (e.g. student organization drawing) should not exceed $25, and we encourage Ole$ instead of gift cards for tracking purposes.
  • For non-St. Olaf employees or students, if over $100, they must fill out the Gift Card Form (available on the Business Office web site) due to tax tracking purposes.


  • Mileage is reimbursable at the standard IRS rate (posted on the Finance Office web page).
  • Mileage reimbursement is meant to cover only those miles incurred above and beyond the employee’s normal commute to the College. For example, if the normal commuting round trip is 40 miles, and the employee goes on a business trip leaving directly from home that covers 75 miles, then only the incremental 35 miles are reimbursable.
  • Direct trips between the employee’s residence and the College at any time are considered commuting miles and are not reimbursable.
  • Fuel is only reimbursed for a College owned vehicle, rental car, or if documented that the amount for fuel would be less than the mileage calculation reimbursement.
  • Whenever possible, use cheaper off-site parking, rather than parking at the airport. Consider being dropped off at the airport if the airport runs will cost less than parking.

Technology Purchases

  • All computer, iPad, and other technology requests must be submitted through IT.

Cash Advances and ATM Cash Withdrawals

  • ATM cash withdrawals are treated as cash advances.
  • An Advance Return Form must be completed promptly after event or travel.
  • Itemized receipts must be included.

Please use a department card when making purchases on campus (Bookstore, Bon Appetit, etc.).  This is more efficient than asking to charge an expense to a department.  The St. Olaf VISA Purchase Card should never be used on campus, because of the high fees incurred.

Expenses not covered by the College

  • spouse, dependent, and/or guest travel
  • hotel stays less than 50 miles from the College or the employee’s residence
  • alcohol for any purpose other than specified above
  • personal expenses (including clothing)
  • valet parking
  • dry cleaning/laundry for trips of less than 7 business days and then only reimbursed if expense is incurred while traveling
  • traffic violations
  • airline seat charges (first-class, seat upgrades, etc.) unless pre-approved by the Division Vice-President with notice to the Controller’s Office, prior to making a reservation and/or incurring an expense
  • airline or auto club memberships
  • travel insurance (unless pre-approved for special circumstances)
  • travel agent fees (unless for large group travel)
  • health spa fees
  • sundries/toiletries
  • coffee, water, candy, etc. for normal office use
  • theft or loss of personal belongings or money
  • non-business meals and/or transportation
  • hotel room movies
  • phone expenditures (cell phone allowances must go through the Payroll Office)
  • flowers/gifts for employees (only exception is funerals, hospitalizations, births, which must be coordinated through the Human Resources Office)
  • wedding or baby showers, birthday, or anniversary celebrations

Personal expenditures are not allowed to be charged on your St. Olaf VISA Purchase Card.  Any personal expenditures must be noted on your statement and reimbursement must be turned in with the statement.

To access and read the full text of all Business Office Policies and Procedures, please visit:  https://wp.stolaf.edu/finance/policies/

For Business Office Forms, please visit: https://wp.stolaf.edu/finance/accounting-forms/