Policies - AM-005
The statewide policies contained in this section are the result of our review of applicable State Statutes, Attorney General's opinions, federal rules and regulations, and common business and accounting practices of the State. These policies supersede all past policy statements issued by the Department of Administrative Services, State Accounting Division. Some of these policies are a clarification of general State Statutes affecting all agencies. A listing of general Statutes which are the most widely used in the State Accounting System follows. These Statutes should be read in their entirety.
- 81-1174 through 81-1182.01
Agencies are encouraged to review their specific agency Statutes in addition to general Statutes and develop in-house policies in those areas not covered by the general statewide policies in this section to ensure good internal control and compliance with law.
These statewide policies are the only policies in force other than procedural policies included in this manual. These policies will be used (along with state and federal laws, rules and regulations) in determining the propriety of accounting transactions. As laws, business and accounting practices, federal rules and regulations, etc. are developed and/or changed; these policies will be reviewed and altered, if necessary. Claims which violate these policies will be returned to the agency unprocessed.
These policy statements have been divided into two sections: 1) General Policies which pertain to general accounting related transactions of the State of Nebraska and 2) Travel Expense Policies which specifically apply to the reimbursement of employees for expenses incurred by them on behalf of the State.
Travel Expense Policies are intended to be a clarification of State Statutes, Attorney General's opinions and Internal Revenue Service rulings concerning reimbursement for expenses incurred by employees on behalf of a state agency.
Section 81-1174 through 81-1182, R.R.S., 1943 and the Internal Revenue Code should be consulted before authorizing travel by State employees so that reimbursement for travel expenses are within the guidelines prescribed in State and federal law. In cases of conflict, the Internal Revenue Code or State Statutes will prevail over the policies stated here.
1. State Agency Sponsored Conferences (03/2021)
State Agency Sponsored Conferences - Agencies, boards, and commissions may sponsor conferences and incur conference expenses for anyone who is NOT a teammate of the state, if sufficient money is collected from such person, or other non-State sources, to cover their portion of the expenses incurred for the conference.
All transactions relating to the conference should identify the conference name, purpose, and date. Records should be maintained in EnterpriseOne to identify that the revenues related to the conference were sufficient to recover prorated conference cost for anyone who is NOT a teammate of the state. Revenues and expenditures should be recorded in the same fund and program. Revenues should be coded to "Sale of Services." Expenditures should be coded using "item" orientation. For example, handouts or pamphlets should be coded to Publications and Printing expense.
State teammate expenses may be paid according to Travel Expense Policies Section.
No adjustment will be made to an agency's appropriation (without the approval of DAS Budget), nor will netting of receipts against disbursements be allowed when sponsoring a conference. Any disbursement must be included in the agency's budget. (§81-1182)
2. Entertainment Expenses (03/2021)
Entertainment Expenses - these expenses are not allowed to be reimbursed absent specific statutory authority.
3. Job-applicant Expenses (01/2021)
Job-applicant Expenses - The State Personnel Rules and Regulations permit an agency to pay the expenses for up to three applicants (§81-1311(10)) per position/opening for travel, meals and lodging incurred to travel to and from the prospective job/interview site. Agencies should follow policies established for employee travel when determining the amounts to be reimbursed and require the same documentation.
Items to consider are:
- Meals are reimbursable, if the applicant is on overnight travel. For guidance on calculating meal reimbursement, refer to Travel Policy #6 – Meals.
- Agencies should either arrange or grant prior approval of lodging to ensure the most cost effective lodging with consideration given to the proximity to the interview site.
- Agencies should either arrange or grant prior approval of airline reservations or other transportation in order to obtain the most efficient and cost effective travel.
All expenses should be coded to Job Applicant Expense, 522600, regardless of whether payment is to the applicant or a vendor that provided the services on behalf of the applicant. All transactions should include the applicant's name and the position for which application is being made.
NOTE: The University of Nebraska and the State Colleges have specific statutory authorization to pay expenses for the recruitment of academic, administrative, professional, and managerial personnel.
4. Prepayments (03/2021)
Prepayments - Occasionally, there are situations that arise where prepayment is necessitated due to federal requirements, State Statutes, contracts or, normal business practices. Though prepayments are not illegal, per se, they are in conflict with the normal claims process since the State will give an asset in anticipation of goods or services being rendered at a later date. (There is not an enforceable claim against the State until goods or services are received.) Since the potential for loss to the State is greater under prepayment situations, extreme care should be exercised and a conscious effort should be undertaken to minimize prepayments. State Accounting reserves the right to review all prepayment requests. Three prepayment requests are reviewed:
- Conference Registration - State policy permits the prepayment of training session and conference registration fees by the agency on behalf of State employees.
- Federal Government and Affiliates - The Superintendent of Documents and the Postmaster require prepayment for publications and postage, respectively. In these situations, warrants will be drawn for payment in advance. All other transactions with the federal government should be reviewed to determine if prepayment is mandatory and can be made.
- Routinely Recurring Expenses - Normal business practice necessitates the prepayment of expenses such as magazine subscriptions, local telephone service, rent expense, etc.
5. Purchase Limitations (05/2023)
Purchase Limitations - Agencies shall complete a detailed requisition for all articles or property to be purchased or leased which exceed the purchasing limitation as established by the Materiel Administrator and, in addition, shall have the purchase approved by DAS Materiel. The Materiel Administrator has established $5,000 as the minimum for capitalization of articles or property. Agencies have the option to capitalize items under $5,000 on inventories if desired. Refer to the Materiel Division Annual Fixed Asset/Annual Inventory Letter for more details.
NOTE: The University of Nebraska is not subject to the purchasing controls of DAS Materiel.
6. Authorized Agent (05/2023)
Authorized Agent - The person(s) authorized at each agency, the State Accounting Administrator, or their designee that have the authority to determine user access to EnterpriseOne (Payroll & Financial Center) functional responsibilities, subject to Business Process Owner approval. Authorized Agent responsibility is granted by the agency head or their designee. State Accounting Administrator determinations will be shared with the affected agency in advance of any change.
7. Prior Period Adjustment (02/2023)
Prior Period Adjustment - Adjustments to prior fiscal year periods are limited to corrections of errors. Normally, only material adjustments should be accounted for as prior period adjustments unless there is a legal or budgetary requirement to make a nonmaterial adjustment.
An error results from mathematical mistakes, mistakes in the application of accounting principles, or oversight or misuse of facts that existed at the time the accounting transaction occurred.
The proper treatment for correcting errors detected in a following fiscal year is as follows:
- Material Adjustments:
- If the net revenue or expenditure, which was erroneously recorded in a prior accounting period, is material, contact State Accounting for the proper steps to correct fund equity.
- Nonmaterial or Legally Mandated Adjustments:
- To correct an expenditure or revenue account in the period the error is detected, use one of the following Miscellaneous Adjustment accounts:
- Account #865100 for corrections in federal funds 40000's
- Account #865100 or 486500 for corrections in all other funds
- The Miscellaneous Adjustments accounts are included in the Chart of Accounts as revenue accounts.
Contact State Accounting for assistance in determining materiality levels and other prior period adjustment questions.
8. Third Party Reimbursements (02/2023)
Third Party Reimbursements - For funds received as repayments of amounts previously disbursed. Record the reimbursement using:
- The account to which original expenditure was posted, if the expenditure was
- Recorded in the current fiscal year, and
- An appropriated or legally authorized expense of the agency's program, and
- The reimbursement was nonroutine and not a result of normal agency operations.
- Miscellaneous Adjustments account if the expenditure was
- Recorded in a prior fiscal year, and
- An appropriated or legally authorized expense of the agency's program, and
- The reimbursement was nonroutine and not a result of normal agency operations.
- Miscellaneous Adjustments account, if the expenditure was not an appropriated or legally authorized expenditure of the agency's program, regardless of fiscal year.
- Account 865100 for corrections in federal funds 40000’s
- Account 865100 or 486500 for corrections in all other funds
- Appropriate revenue account if the expenditure and reimbursement is a recurring item that has been included in the budget as both an expenditure and revenue, regardless of fiscal year.
Contact State Accounting for assistance in determining materiality levels and other prior period adjustment questions.
9. Refunds (02/2023)
Refunds - an amount paid back to the State or a credit allowed because of an over collection or because of the return of an item to a vendor. Record the transaction using:
- Original expenditure account, if the refund is received in the same fiscal year as the original payment.
- Miscellaneous Adjustments account if the original expenditure was
- Recorded in a prior fiscal year, and
- Not an erroneous transaction, and
- The refund or credit resulted from an overpayment other than an item described under current liability below;
- Use Account 865100 for federal funds 40000’s. For all other funds use 865100 or 486500.
- A current liability account if the original expenditure was
- Recorded in a prior fiscal year, and
- A refund or credit resulting from a faulty or defective item that will be repurchased. NOTE: The balance in the liability account will be offset against the repurchase price when the item is repurchased. If the repurchase price is different from the refund, the difference will be
- Transferred to a miscellaneous revenue account if the repurchase price is less than the refund, or
- Charged to an appropriate expenditure account if the repurchase price is more than the refund. Contact State Accounting for assistance in determining materiality levels and other prior period adjustment questions.
Contact State Accounting for assistance in determining materiality levels and other prior period adjustment questions.
10. Moving Expenses (07/2022)
Moving Expenses - Employees who are relocated to another geographical location for the benefit of the employing agency shall be reimbursed for ordinary, necessary and reasonable moving expenses. Whether or not relocation is for the benefit of the employing agency shall be determined on an individual basis by the agency head. Promotions may be considered as a benefit to the employing agency.
The employee's new job location must be 50 miles farther from the employee's old residence than the old residence was from the old job location. If deemed necessary, the agency head may make a request to the Director of Administrative Services for a waiver of this requirement.
Employees relocating to another geographical area at their own request or for their personal benefit should not be reimbursed for expenses incurred.
Payment of moving expenses shall be made only with the prior written approval of the agency head. The written agreement shall include a listing of the items that will be reimbursed and an estimate of the costs. The total amount reimbursed should be reasonable, within budget constraints, and non-discriminatory by person or position. Detailed receipts are required in order to be reimbursed. Effective January 1, 2018 all reimbursed moving expenses (including any payment to a vendor) are fully taxable to the employee. Therefore, the agreement should also indicate the employee is fully responsible for income tax consequences.
- New Employee - The state may reimburse a new employee, excluding temporary employees, for moving expenses provided the employee agrees in writing to remain in the employment of the State for a period of one year from date of employment.
- Expenses Incurred - In order to be reimbursed for any expenses under this policy, the expenses must be incurred no later than one year from the date the employee officially reports to the new duty station.
- Resignation - If an employee, whose moving expenses have been paid, resigns within 1 year of the official report date, the agency head may require the employee to reimburse the agency for a portion of the moving expenses, based on the length of time the employee worked for the agency.
- Administration - The agreement signed by both the agency and the employee shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file and a copy retained in the employee’s payroll file.
- Reimbursement of moving expenses can be made directly to the employee or a vendor.
- Agencies should reimburse the employee using an employee Expense Reimbursement Document and code the expenses to object code 516100 [employee relocation].
- Payment made directly to a vendor should be coded to object code 522500 [employee moving expense]
- Agency Payroll staff should be notified to do a one-time override using DBA code 5800 to record the expenses as taxable. Use of this DBA code does not create additional pay for the employee, but correctly records these amounts as other taxable earnings.
- Ordinary, Necessary and Reasonable Moving Expenses – The following are examples of expenses that may be reimbursed:
- Transportation of Household Goods:
- The employee must obtain firm detailed bids from a minimum of two (2) commercial carriers. Acceptance of a bid will be at the agency head's discretion.
- Actual costs may be aid for a self-move at the agency head's discretion including rental of personal property (van, trailers, two-wheel carts, etc.)
- Travel to the New Location. Transportation costs (by the most direct route) and reasonable lodging (excluding meals) as approved by the agency head shall be reimbursed for the employee and all family members living with the employee at the time of the move. The transportation reimbursement for use of a privately owned vehicle (POV) may be made at the IRS standard mileage allowance of $.22 per mile effective July 1, 2022 ($.18 prior to July 1, 2022), plus parking fees and tolls.
- Costs of shipping a POV to the new location.
- Costs of storing household goods for up to 30 consecutive days once they are moved from the former home and before they are delivered to the new home.
- Temporary Lodging for employee and family members. Reasonable expenses of occupying temporary lodging (excluding meals) at the new job location may be reimbursed for up to 30 consecutive calendar days or until permanent lodging is established, whichever is earlier. Under special circumstances, the 30 consecutive calendar days may be waived. Agencies should submit a written request to the State Accounting Administrator justifying the reason for the waiver.
No reimbursement shall be made for home improvements, points, loan fees, interest, liens and all taxes.
11. Encumbrances (11/2022)
Encumbrances - Financial obligations which are chargeable to a specific biennium's appropriation and for which a part of the appropriation is reserved. State Accounting policies on encumbrances are based upon Statutes 81-138.01 through 81-138.04.
- Valid encumbrances include:
- A purchase order is issued, but the goods and accompanying invoice were not received and paid during the same biennium;
- Goods or services were received, but an invoice has not been received and paid;
- Goods or services and an invoice was received, but payment could not be made during the same biennium;
- Salaries earned and payable to employees, but have not been paid (this can occur at mid-biennium and at the end of a biennium); and
- A written agreement for a grant or award to distribute aid was signed but was not paid during the same biennium.
- Contracts, other than a purchase order, for goods or services to be provided in a subsequent biennium do not represent valid encumbrances of current biennium appropriations and will require specific re-appropriation by the Legislature. Only that portion of a contract which meets the criteria established in subdivision (2) of section 81.138.01 may be encumbered.
- Encumbrances for claims, whether settled in court or out of court, for carryover purposes will be valid if a court decision or a signed out of court settlement has been made by June 30 of any biennium. If the court decision is appealed, the encumbrance will still be valid as long as payment is made in the next biennium.
- Agencies with bi-weekly payroll should encumber the portion of the July payroll related to June working dates. This encumbrance should include salaries as well as the state contributions for FICA and retirement. Health and Life & Accident insurance should not be encumbered since these amounts are considered July expenses. Department of Administrative Services - State Accounting will calculate this encumbrance annually unless the agency informs State Accounting it will calculate its own encumbrance.
- An encumbrance established in one biennium may only be carried over into the subsequent biennium. Any encumbrance shall be paid during the first biennium following the biennium in which such encumbrance is established.
12. Withholding on Nonresident Personal Services (11/2022)
Withholding on Nonresident Personal Services - State Statutes Section 77-2753 requires that payments to nonresident individuals for personal services be subject to Nebraska income tax withholding even though the individuals are not State employees. Personal services include, but are not limited to, payments made to nonresident: consultant, public speakers, entertainers, individual athletes, jockeys, performers, etc., payments for personal services made to a partnership or corporation which is controlled by individual(s) performing the service will also require withholding, since the payment is deemed to be made directly to the individual(s) involved. Control is defined as having greater than 80% ownership of the partnership or corporation by the individuals performing the service within the State. Tax Guide.
Withholding is required whenever a payment or payments to the same individual, partnership or corporation is in excess of $600. If total payments are less than $28,000, withholding is 4.00% of the payment. If total payments are $28,000 or more, withholding is 6.00% of the payment.
- Enter the gross amount currently due to the payee as a debit using the appropriate agency business unit and expenditure object.
- Enter the income tax withholding amount as a credit using the following account number - 76550.2114xx, where xx represents the remitting agency number.
Reference Payroll & Financial Center Training Guides – Accounts Payable Procedures for the proper procedures in payment of these individual(s).
Nebraska Withholding Certificate for Nonresident Individuals (Nebraska Department of Revenue Form W-4NA) will need to be completed by the payee if:
- A portion of the fee is for expenses directly attributable to the service being performed in Nebraska, or
- The payment is to a nonresident partnership or corporation that is controlled by the person(s) performing the service in the State.
Penalties may be imposed on any payor who uses the withholding information on Form W-4NA if they know it to be false or who maintains records that show the withholding to be false. The penalty may equal the total tax evaded and an additional amount up to $1,000. The general rule is that any penalties that the government levies must be assumed by the State agency initially responsible for obtaining the correct Form W-4NA.
Form 1099-MISC's will be prepared by State Accounting. The original Form W-4NA should be on file at the agency.
13. Uncollectable Amounts (03/2022)
Uncollectable Amounts - State Statute Section 81-8,297 requires that all requests for waiver or cancellation of charges on behalf of State agencies, boards or commissions be submitted to the Department of Administrative Services - Risk Management Division.
14. Nebraska Sales Tax Exemption (05/2021)
Nebraska Sales Tax Exemption - Sales to the State of Nebraska and its agencies are exempt from Nebraska sales tax. A Nebraska Exempt Sale Certificate, Form 13, with section B completed must be given to the seller at the time of the purchase and must be retained with the seller's records for audit purposes. Since the exemption category is "1", section B does not contain an identification number. Agencies may wish to check the Blanket certificate type which continues in force until revoked in writing by the Agency. The "Authorized Signature of Purchaser" on the Certificate is the agency's authorized representative.
NOTE: If vendor needs further clarification, please have them refer to the Instructions on the back of Form 13.
15. Volunteer/Provider Expenses (05/2023)
Volunteer/Provider Expenses - §81-1182.01 allows Agencies, Boards and Commissions to pay for the reasonable and necessary expenses to recruit, train, use and recognize volunteers providing services to the State under a State recognized program. Approval for a Volunteer Program is given for one year from the date of the approval letter and must be renewed annually.
Volunteers shall mean those persons providing services to the State who are not being compensated for their time. In addition to volunteers, certain "providers" of service to the State are also eligible for expenses. Providers eligible are those individuals/organizations providing services associated with a state aid program in which the provider receives nominal compensation for their services. Foster care parents are an example of an eligible provider.
Volunteers are not eligible for the meal per diem reimbursement. Volunteers may be reimbursed for actual meal expenses incurred, and they must provide detailed receipts.
Examples of allowable expenses are:
- Travel expenses incurred when performing services for the State. Such travel shall have the prior approval of the agency and be reimbursed under the same policies as established for State employees, excluding meal per diem.
- Food and non-alcoholic beverages provided at training and recognition events
- Providing tokens of appreciation such as certificates, plaques, pins, flowers or similar items of nominal value.
Expenses should be coded to either of the following two object codes: 523000 or 574700. Refer to the Chart of Accounts for which one to use.
When paying expenses for an approved volunteer program, the agency shall include with the disbursement document the name of the program, name(s) of the volunteer(s)/provider(s) for which the expenses were incurred, and a description of the activity. It is the intent of this policy that the value of service provided by the volunteers/providers to the State shall exceed the expenses incurred. Agencies using federal funds to pay for expenses under this policy should review the grant award and federal cost guidelines.
To establish a recognized volunteer/provider program, the agency shall complete the form ""Request to Approve or Renew a Volunteer Program".
Upon receipt of the completed form, State Accounting will review the request and make recommendations to the Administrative Services Director. The agency will receive a letter indicating if the program has been approved or denied.
Any requested exception to this policy shall be made in writing to the Director of Administrative Services.
16. Pre-audit (05/2023)
Pre-audit - §81-1111 allows the DAS Director to authorize agencies to perform their own pre-audits, subject to monitoring by State Accounting. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be initiated between State Accounting and each agency to fulfill this statutory obligation, including the conditions to pre-audit sensitive object code expense items and those payments that exceed $1,500. The State Accounting Administrator has the authority to waive pre-auditing vouchers totaling less than $1,500 with the following exceptions, §81-1111(3)(b):
- Employee-related expenses such as:
- Employee expense vouchers
- Direct-bill lodging and airfare
- Moving expenses
- Tuition assistance
- Employee recognition programs
- Expenses pertaining to conferences including:
- Encumbrance liquidations between bienniums
- Other audit-sensitive areas determined by State Accounting
Voucher samples with supporting documentation may be requested by State Accounting for post-audit review to ensure adequate internal controls exist and proper accounting policies are being followed. The Agency Internal Control Coordinator will be notified, summarizing the results of each post-audit review, and a response may be requested. The State Accounting Administrator my change or revoke an agencies pre-audit authorization for abusing object codes or State Accounting policy.
17. Lease/Purchase Agreements (06/2021)
Lease/Purchase Agreements - Section 81-1107 requires the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to review and approve all financing agreements of the state. DAS has set a policy that if the amount to be financed is greater than $50,000 and payment is over a term that exceeds one year, State Accounting must review the financing terms.
State Accounting has developed a Master Lease Purchase Program (MLPP) to provide a method of financing certain essential equipment purchases. This program is available to all state agencies and may be utilized to lease/purchase data processing, telecommunications, laboratory, motor vehicles and other essential equipment. The MLPP utilizes the state's tax-exempt status to provide a low-cost alternative to vendor financing. Refer to Contact List link on the State Accounting website or contact State Accounting for more detailed information on the Master Lease program.
19. Temporary Work Site Expenses (05/2023)
Temporary Work Site Expenses - Employees temporarily assigned to work away from their primary work site may be reimbursed commuting or travel expenses. In no case shall the length of time of the temporary work site exceed or be expected to exceed one year. Periods greater than one year are not considered temporary in nature and expenses will not be reimbursed. The agency must determine that the employee has not made a permanent move and is truly in a temporary work location. If the employee is expected to work at a single location for more than one year, the assignment will be treated as indefinite and related expenses will not be reimbursed, regardless of the actual time spent at the temporary work site.
If the temporary assignment requires the employee to be away from home over night, expenses for meals, lodging and transportation will be reimbursed in accordance with the Travel Expense Policies.
If the temporary assignment does not require the employee to be away from home over night, expenses for meals, lodging, and transportation will not be reimbursed except for those meals which fall under Travel Policy 6. Meals - One-Day Travel. The employee may be reimbursed for mileage to and from the temporary work site. Mileage will be reimbursed at the rate specified in the Travel Policies - Personal Automobiles or, at the agency's discretion, an automobile may be provided from the Department of Administrative Services - Transportation Services Bureau.
20. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (07/2022)
Electronic Funds Transfer - All vendors receiving payments of $25,000 or more and vendors receiving multiple payments a year are required to sign up for direct deposit (ACH payments) to be paid electronically. It is essential that agencies use the correct address book number when making payments. It is also essential that all agencies include sufficient information in the remark field to allow the vendor to post the payment. Only the invoice number, amount field, and the remarks field will be transmitted with the payment to the bank and then to the vendor. The State of Nebraska ACH Enrollment Form is available from State Accounting. Agencies may contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request exceptions to this policy. Exceptions being granted are for payments going to entities that maintain bank accounts outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States and Federal Government payments. Other exception requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
21. Bank Accounts (05/2021)
Bank Accounts - No agency shall establish a bank account for any purpose without the prior approval of the State Treasurer and the State Accounting Administrator.
22. State Employee Expenses While Not In Travel Status (01/2021)
State Employee Expenses While Not In Travel Status - These payments are only allowable under State Statute 81-1174 for attendance at official functions, conferences or hearings, not to include normal day-to-day operations of the department, agency, commission, council, committee, or board. These reimbursements shall be accounted for by using object code 571600, and reviewed for each employee based on IRS guidance. State Accounting Travel Policy #6 Meals contains instructions for this review.
If meals are included in the payments by the agency, a list of State employees attending the conference, official function or hearing must be attached to the payment document. The agency must identify for each employee their headquarter city. The disbursement document description must state whether this is an official function, conference or hearing and the disbursement document shall be signed or approved online by the agency director. If the agency director preauthorized (signed) the meal, the original preauthorization may be submitted in place of their signature, and the payment may be approved by an individual other than the director. The director's approval or preauthorization is only required for meals for employees who are not in travel status. Other employee expense reimbursements may be handled through the normal process.
It is the policy of State Accounting to allow agency directors to determine the definition of conferences, official functions and hearings, unless otherwise defined by Statute.
23. Agency Head/Agency Director (03/2022)
Agency Head/Agency Director - The Agency Head or Agency Director is the individual responsible for the management of the Agency. For accounting purposes, the Agency Head may designate an individual to act on his or her behalf during the Agency Head's absence and all approvals of the designee are considered to be the approval of the Agency Head.
If the Agency Head wishes to delegate, on a permanent basis, responsibility for any accounting policy that requires the Agency Head approval, the Agency Head shall notify the Accounting Administrator of such delegation in writing and include the name(s) of the designee(s).
24. Petty Cash (11/2022)
Petty Cash - State Statutory 81-104.01 allows the executive head of any agency to make application to the Department of Administrative Services and the Auditor of Public Accounts to establish and maintain a petty cash fund. Apart from a few statutory exceptions, these petty cash funds cannot be less than $25 or more than $300 at a specified location in this state. Petty cash funds can be established by agencies which need to make change; when receipting cash; or when it is more economical to make payments for minor items. Petty cash funds should NOT be placed in checking accounts without specific approval from State Accounting and the State Treasurer..
To request a petty cash fund be established or to request a change to your current authorization, complete the Petty Cash Fund Application. The petty cash address book record will be updated by State Accounting.
25. Warrant Cancellations (07/2021)
Warrant Cancellations - The warrant cancellation process shall be initiated by the issuing agency. Agency staff is responsible to obtain the warrant and complete the Accounts Payable Warrant Cancellation Form. The completed form and warrant should be sent to State Accounting for processing.
If a warrant is not available, the agency shall complete the Warrant Cancellation Certification and submit both forms to State Accounting. Reasonable efforts to obtain the warrant should be made before submitting a Warrant Cancellation Certification.
26. Replacement Warrants or Stop Payments (07/2021)
Replacement Warrants or Stop Payments - Agencies shall complete the Request for Stop Pay/Replacement Warrant Form or a Request for Payroll Emergency Stop Pay/Replacement Warrant form when a replacement warrant is needed. Agencies must state a definitive reason for requesting a replacement warrant (examples: went through washer, destroyed, etc.) or the request will be returned to the agency. Warrants will not be reissued for ten days after State Accounting has been notified of a lost warrant according to Statute, allowing the recipient time to receive or find a warrant. Damaged warrants will be replaced upon receipt by State Accounting. See Procedures for Requesting a Replacement Warrant.
27. Certification of Payroll (04/2020)
Certification of Payroll - Agencies shall certify each payroll to State Accounting. The Agency Director (or designee) shall provide State Accounting with the name(s) of employees who have authority to certify the agency payrolls on an annual basis. The certification form shall be completed for each pay period and forwarded by an authorized person via email using the email link provided on the bottom of the form. The email address is email@example.com with subject line of Payroll Certification.
The person certifying the payroll must review their Agency payroll to ensure:
- Payroll messages have been reviewed and all changes made;
- Employees listed are employees of the agency;
- The total number of hours and gross pay for the Agency is reasonable;
- Journal entry is in balance.
Reports that may assist you with this review are the Payroll Register (R073012), the Payroll Journal Proof/Edit Report (R05229) and the Payroll Exception Report (R053191). Review the Payroll Certification Mini Manual for recommendations on procedures for certifying the payroll.
Each agency should document their procedures for certifying payroll. This documentation is subject to review and approval by State Accounting.
28. Capital Outlay (05/2023)
Equipment - The DAS Materiel Administrator has established an equipment capitalization threshold of $5,000. Agencies have the option to capitalize items under $5,000 if they so desire, as stated in the Asset Management Memo. View the Asset Management Manual for more information.
To determine if an item should be a capital outlay, the item should have an expected useful life of two or more years and the total costs for the item should be $5,000 or greater. Capitalized equipment must be coded to object codes 581800 - 586900. Costs incurred in preparing the item for service and freight should be included in the amount capitalized. Fixed assets should be recorded to the appropriate object code and item code to ensure appropriate depreciation lives are utilized. Object Code Depreciation Table
Each agency should run the Unposted Fixed Asset Report, at least monthly, to review costs to be applied to specific tag numbers. When it has been determined that a cost on the report is accurate, the agency should post the cost to the tag number. Costs on the report that are not appropriate to be capitalized should be passed on. (Processing a fixed asset)
When an event occurs where additional costs would normally be added to an existing fixed asset placed in service, these new costs should be capitalized only when the useful life of the existing asset has been extended. Never add additional costs to an existing asset number in EnterpriseOne; instead, a new tag number should be used to create a child-parent relationship between the new costs and the existing fixed asset. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR DEPRECIATION PURPOSES. If the new costs are related to maintenance or do not increase the life of the existing asset, the costs should be expensed to the appropriate expense object code.
Land, Improvements to Land, Water Rights, Infrastructure, Buildings, and Building Improvements:
The appropriate object codes 580300 – 581500 must be used to capitalize land, improvements to land, water rights, infrastructure, buildings, and improvements to buildings.
Water Rights are capitalized at fair market value, at the time of acquisition, when the value is $100,000 or greater. Contact State Accounting to determine the useful life of the rights.
Building Additions Additions are capitalized when the project adds square footage to an existing building and the accumulated costs are $100,000 or greater. For large projects with multiple progress payments, the payments should be coded to 587500 – Construction-In-Progress (see Construction-In-Progress below.
Building improvements are capitalized when the project enhances the functionally of the building either by effectiveness or efficiency, or extends the life of the building and the accumulated costs are $100,000 or greater. These improvements do not add square footage to the existing building. For large projects with multiple progress payments, the payments should be coded to 587500 – Construction-In-Progress (see Construction-In-Progress below).
For building additions and building improvements under $100,000, costs should generally be expensed to the appropriate expense object code. If an agency is unsure if their project should be capitalized, they should contact State Accounting for guidance.
Infrastructure assets are long-lived capital assets that normally are stationary in nature and can be preserved for a significantly greater number of years than most capital assets. Examples include roads, bridges, tunnels, drainage systems, water and sewer systems, dams, and lighting systems.
Additions or improvements that increase the capacity or efficiency of infrastructure assets should be capitalized. Infrastructures is coded to object account 580900 in E1.
An alternative “modified approach” is used to account for approximately 10,000 miles of existing highways and bridges maintained by the State. Questions regarding accounting for highways and bridges under the modified approach should be discussed with State Accounting.
Construction In Progress: (use when there are multiple progress payments)
progress payments, the payments should be coded to 587500 – Construction-In-Progress.
- When a new construction project is complete and all costs have been accumulated, the agency should complete the Building Inventory Form and send it to DAS Building Division. Building Division staff will create an asset tag number and enter the asset into EnterpriseOne using Item Code 12. The agency will create a Journal Entry to attach the costs to the new tag number by debiting 581200 and crediting 587500 and entering the tag number in the appropriate column on the Journal Entry.
- When a building addition or building improvement project is complete and all costs have been accumulated, the agency should complete the Building Inventory Form and send it to DAS Building Division. DAS Building Division will establish a child-parent relationship with the original asset tag number for the building and notify the agency of the new tag number. The agency will create a Journal Entry to attach the costs to the new tag number by debiting 581500 and crediting 587500 and entering the tag number in the appropriate column on the Journal Entry.
Donated Fixed Assets:
Donated fixed assets should be entered into EnterpriseOne at acquisition value at the time of acquisition. Acquisition value is the price that would be paid to acquire an asset with equivalent service potential in an orderly market transaction at the acquisition date.
Combined donation of land with building(s):
- Acquisition value should be split between land and building(s) based on an acceptable method (i.e. appraisal, estimated fair market value, etc.)
Computer Software Capitalization:
Computer software that is internally developed, or commercially available software that is modified using more than minimal incremental effort before being put into operation, shall be capitalized as a separate asset if the cost is $100,000 or more and has a life greater than one year. During the application development stage (as defined below) the costs should be accumulated in object account 587550 – IT Projects in Progress. Once the project is complete the costs are moved to 583720 or 583770 – COTS Development or Customized Development.
Note: Operating software - such as Microsoft Windows that is purchased with a computer package will be capitalized as part of the initial cost of the computer.
- Application software Costs to Capitalize:
- Application software acquisition and/or development costs
- Costs directly related to software development, includes:
- Material costs
- Developer salary & benefit costs
- Outside Consultant Costs (including tie and related expenses)
- Project Team testing
- Data conversion software
- Manager salary & benefit costs for project oversight if directly related to software development.
- Application Software Costs not to Capitalize:
- Discovery Costs - those costs incurred before the project scope is broadly defined and before management approval
- Costs to develop and offer end user training of new or upgraded software
- Costs to implement, after development is complete
- All other testing - not done by the project team
- Staff training
- Costs incurred after implementation has begun (defined as the point at which the software is in use, in a production environment, by the users for whom the software was designed). For example, maintenance agreements may not be capitalized.
- Phases of an Application Software Project
- Phases: General treatment of costs:
- Preliminary Project Stage - Expensed
- “Preliminary Project Stage” means the earliest stage of a software development or selection project, during which the alternatives are being evaluated but no decision has been made as to which strategy or vendor to use. Typical activities during this phase include assembling the evaluation team, evaluating proposals from vendors and the final selection of alternatives.
- Application Development Stage - Capitalized
- “Application Development Stage” means the stage of a software development or selection project during which the design, coding, installation and testing of new software occurs. The stage begins once management has authorized and committed to funding the project, and it is considered probable that the project will be completed and put to its intended use. The application development stage concludes when the software is complete and ready for use.
- Post Implementation/Operation Stage - Expensed
- “Post-Implementation/Operation Stage” means the stage that begins once the software is put into use. It includes training and subsequent maintenance of the software.
- Preliminary Project Stage - Expensed
- Phases: General treatment of costs:
29. Wage Attachments (04/2022)
Wage Attachments - Agencies shall immediately forward to State Accounting the original copies of any paperwork received requiring a wage attachment for any employee. These documents would include Summons & Order of Garnishment, continuing liens, extension notices, Order for Withholding on Debt Owed for Defaulted Student Loans, Order to withhold income for Child Support (both Mandatory Court Orders & Voluntary Orders from the employee), Garnishment Orders from the Social Security Administration, US Department of the Treasury, Bankruptcy Orders to employer, and State and Federal Tax Levies. These documents require a timed response and if not processed by State Accounting in a timely manner, the agency may be placed in a financial risk or responsibility position.
30. Payroll Adjustments to Leave Balances (12/2019)
Payroll Adjustments to Leave Balances - Agencies are responsible for updating their employee payroll records. When an agency determines an adjustment needs to be made to an employee's leave history record, the correction should be made in the EnterpriseOne (Payroll and Financial Center) payroll system. (Leave Adjustments)
An audit trail should be documented indicating why the change was made and showing the status before and after the change. It is recommended that this documentation be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
Adjustments to current year leave payments should be made with an adjustment to the appropriate pay type on the user’s time card.
Adjustments for current year accruals should be made using One Time Overrides and the pay types identified below. These pay types should ONLY be used when the adjustment is for a change to an employee’s hours and there is no financial impact. Please note that a double entry is required as stated in the leave adjustment instructions.
- Sick leave Adjustments - agencies should use pay type 892 when making adjustments to prior year (beginning balances) for sick leave. This pay type should also be used to reduce a retiree's sick leave balance to zero (after the proper sick leave balance for a retiree has been paid out).
- Vacation leave adjustments - agencies should use pay type 894 when making adjustments to prior year (beginning balances) for vacation leave.
- Compensated time adjustment - agencies should use pay type 895 when making adjustments to prior year (beginning balances) for compensated time.
Additional Information: Agency & State Accounting
31. Termination Payoff for Employees Working on Federal Grants (11/2022)
Termination Payoff for Employees Working on Federal Grants - To ensure agencies are in compliance with 2 CFR Part 200, agencies shall code sick leave payoffs or vacation leave payoffs for employees who are working on a Federal grant, either part-time or full-time, to an account number under their agency's general administrative activity. Agencies should use the correct pay Type for coding leave payouts found in Lesson 2, Pay Type Descriptions..
32. Terminated Employee Payroll and Financial Center ID's (07/2022)
Terminated Employee Payroll and Financial Center ID's - Each agency shall have a documented procedure to disable the Payroll and Financial Center (PFC/E1) ID of an employee who has terminated employment with the agency. Some employees may have access to more than one User ID. It is the responsibility of the agency's authorized agent to ensure the termination of the User ID from the computer system within five working days from the termination date. If the employee is terminated in Workday (EWC), that User ID will be automatically terminated in PFC/E1, otherwise follow the work instructions found at:Request Termination of Existing User ID.
When a terminated User ID is in batch management, the authorized agent is responsible for verifying that all batches created with the User ID have been approved and posted. Then enter a Batch Management Request in PFC/E1 for the termination of the User ID using the instructions located at: Batch Management. This request should be completed within two weeks of the user’s termination date
33. Processing Payments to Employees of Other Agencies (11/2022)
Processing Payments to Employees of Other Agencies - When one agency needs to reimburse travel or other miscellaneous expenses to a current employee of another agency:(das.nebraska.gov/accounting/employee-expence)
- The agency needing to pay the employee will process a journal entry to record their expense. The debit side of the entry should be to the appropriate account number (business unit.object code) for the expense. The credit side of the entry should be to a balance sheet business unit (equal to a fund number of the employee’s home agency) with an object code of 132200 (Due from Government). The appropriate balance sheet business unit/fund will need to be obtained through contact with the accounting department of the employee’s home agency.
- The employee’s home agency will then be responsible for processing a disbursement document for the employee (using Search Type E), by debiting (charging) the same balance sheet business unit and object code 132200 as was previously credited by the paying agency. The invoice number field of the disbursement document should be used as a means to cross-reference the payment to the JE number.
The journal entry and the disbursement document are independent transactions. The JE should be processed and then the home agency should be notified to make the disbursement.
This policy does not apply to situations where an agency is paying another agency’s employee for true contractual services. In this situation, that relationship needs to be clearly communicated to the State Accounting-Address Book section so that a separate vendor/payable Address Book record can be created.
Agencies should not use the IBT process as a substitute for this procedure.
34. Unused Leave Recorded in EnterpriseOne (PFC) (12/2019)
Unused Leave Recorded in Payroll and Financial Center - EnterpriseOne (Payroll and Financial Center) should be used to record all earned, unused, sick, vacation, and compensatory leave.
If an agency does not input leave data into EnterpriseOne, it will not be recognized by the State as a liability. Therefore, when any employee leaves State government, NO payment will be allowed for any claimed unused vacation, sick, or compensatory time until proper accounting for such leave or time is provided and entered into EnterpriseOne.
35. Deposit Processing (04/2022)
Deposit Processing - All State agencies depositing State funds directly into a State Treasury bank account are required to remit a State Treasurer Payroll and Financial Center Deposit Document and required documentation (deposit ticket or bank receipt) to the State Treasurer’s Office. These documents should generally be submitted within two business days after the funds have been deposited in the State Treasury bank account. Emailed copies may be submitted to the State Treasurer with the original copies kept on file at the agency location. The timing of deposits is covered by State Statute 84-710.
36. Collection of Sales Tax (01/2018)
Collection of Sales Tax - Agencies should review the Department of Revenue Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1-006 and Regulation 1-080 to determine if they are required to collect sales tax when items are sold to a purchaser for "use or consumption and not for resale". Before an agency can collect sales tax, they must receive a Sales & Use Tax Identification Number by filing application Form 20 with the Department of Revenue (see Tax Regulation 1-004).
When revenues for sales of items are deposited by an agency, the sales tax portion of the deposit should be placed into a liability account, using AgencyFund.215100. Payment of the sales tax should be made to the Department of Revenue through EnterpriseOne (Payroll and Financial Center) using the journal entry process on either a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis as per State Statute 77-2708(1)(b)(i). The agency will debit the Agency Fund.215100 and credit 10000.2159xx with xx being the two digit agency number. Agencies have the option of filing Form 10 through the mail or as an attachment to the journal entry. Please follow one of these options as described on the Department of Revenue's website.
37. Pre-Audit Certification (05/2023)
Pre-Audit Certification - All employees who conduct pre-audits must be knowledgeable of State Statutes, Department of Administrative Services Policies, and Agency policies to ensure transactions comply with such laws and policies. (Reference: Memorandum of Understanding)
Agencies authorized to perform pre-audits must have pre-audit staff trained and certified by State Accounting. Pre-Audit Certification is subject to suspension or revocation by State Accounting.
Further information on the certification process can be found at Pre-Audit Certification Procedure.
38. Employee Awards (03/2022)
Employee Award - Awards may be given to State Employees based on a Recognition Program implemented with the approval of the Director of Personnel, AS State Personnel Division. The following defines the federal tax reporting requirements of such awards.
There are two classes of awards - tangible and non-tangible.
- Non-tangible awards (include such things as cash, cash equivalents, gift certificates or cards, stocks, bonds or other forms of securities, vacations, meals, tickets to theatre or sporting events) are subject to taxation without limit in the amount of the award. These awards must be included on the employee’s payroll and wage history for tax and W-2 purposes. Utilizing EnterpriseOne – use One Time Override DBA Code 5600 instructing the system to include the cash value of the awards in taxable income, subject also to social security and Medicare taxation.
- Tangible awards are considered to be those items of personal property (including such items as watches, clocks, coffee cups, etc.) given to an employee as an award for length of service or safety achievement, awarded as part of a meaningful presentation and awarded under circumstances that do not indicate that the payment is disguised compensation. Such low value tangible awards are excludable from federal income, social security, or Medicare taxation.
39. Internal Control Plan (05/2023)
Internal Control Plan - Agency management (Boards, Commissions, Directors) bears full responsibility for establishing and maintaining a proper system of internal control within the agency. State Statute 81-1111(4) places accountability with State Accounting to systematically conduct reviews of internal controls and accounting methods for all agencies. For State Accounting to effectively evaluate these controls and accounting methods, agencies shall have a documented internal control plan which addresses the five components of an internal control structure: Control Environment, Risk Assessment, Control Activities, Information and Communication, and Monitoring.
Each Agency Head and each fiscal officer shall certify that the agency has in place a proper system of internal controls. Updates should be made when there are any changes within the agency (system upgrade/change, process improvement, hierarchy/divisional changes, etc.).
Agencies shall assign a qualified employee to be responsible for ensuring the internal control plan is implemented correctly and updated as necessary, training agency staff, monitoring the plan, and reporting to the Internal Control Team within State Accounting.
More information can be found on the Internal Control page on the State Accounting website.
40. Payments for State Employee Wages & Expense Reimbursements (07/2021)
Payments for State Employee Wages - In accordance with §81-1117.05, payments for wages and expense reimbursements for all state employees will be by electronic funds transfer (EFT/Direct Deposit). Such EFT payments may be made to any financial institution of the employee's choosing or to a state authorized debit card. State employees include all officers or employees of the state or any state agency and pursuant to §81-1178 shall include duly appointed committee, board and commission members.
42. Charitable Contributions to Governmental Units (06/2021)
Charitable Contributions to Governmental Units - Governmental units, such as States and their political subdivisions, are not generally subject to federal income tax. Political subdivisions of a State are entities with one or more of the sovereign powers of the State such as the power to tax. Typically, they include schools, counties or municipalities and their agencies or departments. Contributions to governmental units are tax-deductible under Internal Revenue Code when they are made for a public purpose. Either object code 484100, Operating Donations & Contributions; or 484200, Capital Donations & Contributions should be used to record donations received.
43. Recording Utility Expenses (06/2021)
Recording Utility Expenses -
- Utility Expenses shall be recorded by using the following object code/unit of measure combinations. The Object Code, Unit of Measure (UM), and Number of Units must be entered on each voucher.
- The Facility Code of the Facility for which the utility expense applies must be entered on the voucher. Unit, UM, and Facility are adjacent to each other on the voucher screen. The facility Code mustbe selected from the search type of "F" from the Address Book contained in E1. Determine the appropriate facility address book number and use it consistently for utility invoices for each facility. The vouchers must be entered into E1 as a Voucher Without Purchase Order (unless the Purchase Card is utilized). Training Guides are available to guide you through the entry for these utility bills.
- Utility Expenses paid by Purchase Card shall be recorded using the following object code/unit of measure combinations. The Object Code, Unit of Measure (UM), and Number of Units must be entered on each journal entry and the Facility code of the Facility must be entered in the Address Book field. Training Guides are available to guide you through the entry for these utility bills.
Utility Expense Table
|Object Code||Description||Unit of Measurement (UM)||Description|
|523201||Natural Gas||TR||Therm - (100 Cubic Feet)|
|523202||Electricity||KH||KWH - Kilowatt-Hours|
|523203||Water||CF||CCF - Hundred Cubic Feet|
|523204||Sewer||CF||CCF - Hundred Cubic Feet|
|523205||Chilled Water||TH||Ton - Hours|
|523208||Steam||MB||MMBTU - Million BTU|
|523219||Other Utility||No common measure|
1. Air Travel (01/2023)
Air Travel - Air travel shall only be authorized when it is more economical than surface transportation. Reimbursement for commercial air travel will be limited to "coach" fare, if such seating is available at the time of ticket purchase. If an agency chooses to calculate productive time saved, the employee's actual salary shall be used. For board members, or others who do not receive a salary, the State average annual salary, as published in the Personnel Almanac, shall be used. Whenever reimbursement of air travel is made separate from the employee expense reimbursement document, a cross reference shall be made from the employee expense reimbursement document to the air travel reimbursement document.
Travel by privately-owned airplane or personally-rented airplane, shall have the prior approval of the agency director. Such approval shall be provided with the payment documents.
- Privately-owned - An employee will be reimbursed at the prevailing standard rate as established by the Internal Revenue Service through its Revenue Procedures. As of January 1, 2023, the rate is $1.74 per air mile ($1.515 prior to 2023). DAS will not differentiate between "travel at the convenience of the agency or employee". This mileage rate is effective for all employees not covered under a collective bargaining agreement, or in which the bargaining agreement does not specify a mileage rate.
- Personally-rented - Employees shall be reimbursed for the actual expense of personally renting an airplane unless the expense is paid directly by the agency involved.
- Charter flight - Agencies should contact the Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics to make arrangements for charter flights.
2. Commuting (01/2018)
Commuting - The IRS defines commuting as the use of a vehicle for travel in any of the following situations. From the employee's:
- Regular place of employment to the employee's residence.
- Residence to regular place of employment.
- Commuting expenses are defined by the Internal Revenue Service as those expenses incurred in traveling from one's regular place of employment to one's residence, no matter how often this occurs during a day. These are considered personal expenses and are, therefore, unallowable expenses when using a non-state vehicle.
- Expenses incurred in traveling from one's residence to a temporary work location are not considered commuting expenses and are reimbursable when using a non-state vehicle.
- According to regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service, certain responsibilities are required of employers who have employees that use State vehicles for commuting purposes.
- The regulation provides that a value of $1.50 for one way commute ($3.00 for round trip commute) be added to the employee's income. Social Security taxes must be withheld on this income at least once a year. Federal and State income taxes need not be withheld, although the income will be included on the employee's W-2.
- Each agency is responsible for maintaining the necessary supporting documentation and correctly entering the withholding into EnterpriseOne (Payroll and Financial Center). State Accounting may ask to review such supporting documentation at any time. Use of a State vehicle for commuting is recorded in the payroll system by using Pay Type 530. A "one-way" commute would be entered as .50 hours; a round trip commute would be entered as one hour. Two round trip commutes in one day would be recorded as two hours. Commuting adjustments must be processed during the calendar year payroll and can be entered as they occur or on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. The entry is subject to Social Security and the employee's social security deduction will increase on their payroll when the entry is processed.
- A de minimis exception, (which means we do not have to report usage), is allowed when an employee does not use an employer provided vehicle in a commuting capacity more than once a month.
- The regulations also provide that where more than one employee commutes in the same employer provided vehicle, each employee is subject to the $1.50/$3.00 income value.
IRS regulations provide that an employer may use a cutoff date prior to the calendar year end to ease the processing of current year’s W-2’s. State Accounting has established a November 30th cutoff date which allows sufficient time to collect the necessary data and process the required paperwork in December.
Generally, a state employee whose home is their official office would not incur any commuting income.
3. Conference (Attendance by State Employees) (01/2021)
Conference - Expenses incurred by a State officer, employee, or member of any commission, council, committee or board of the State while attending a non-State agency sponsored conference may be paid. Payment may be made directly to a vendor or as reimbursement to an employee for expenses incurred on behalf of the agency. Original invoices/receipts and a document, or statement, showing the date, purpose and agenda of the conference must be attached to the payment document. Expenses should be coded to the appropriate object code. For example, travel expenses should be coded to the appropriate travel expenditure account and the registration fee to Conference Registration Expense (object code 522200).
The payment of meals and non-alcoholic beverages for State employees attending a non-State agency sponsored conference is allowable if the employee is in travel status or the meal is included in the overall conference pricing.
4. Lodging (01/2021)
Lodging - Employees shall report only actual expenses paid for lodging. Business telephone calls (Travel Expense Policy #10. Long Distance Telephone Calls) and parking charges incurred at the lodging site may be included on the lodging bill. Lodging expenses may either be directly billed to the agency or claimed on an expense reimbursement. If claimed on an expense reimbursement, detailed receipts for lodging are required to be filed with the claim. Lodging may be reimbursed when an employee is "away from home overnight". The Internal Revenue Service states: "You are away from home overnight if your duties require you to be away from the general area of employment for a period substantially longer than an ordinary day's work and, during released time while away, it is reasonable for you to need and to get sleep or rest to meet the demands of your employment or business. The absence must be of such duration that you cannot reasonably leave and return to that location before and after each day's work." Meals should not be charged to a hotel room and will only be reimbursed through the per diem process.
Sales to the State of Nebraska and its agencies are exempt from Nebraska sales, use and lodging tax. Therefore, if in-state lodging expenses are directly billed to the agency, the agency should present a completed copy of Form 13 (Nebraska Resale or Exempt Sale Certificate) to the lodging establishment.
It is State Accounting policy that a person generally be more than 60 miles from his or her workplace in order to be eligible for lodging. We realize there may be reasons to pay for lodging for distances less than 60 miles. Such reasons include, but are not limited to work requirements, medical conditions or weather; in those instances the reason must be clearly stated on the disbursement document.
5. Substantiation of Expenses (01/2021)
Substantiation of Expenses - Under the State’s accountable plan, the Internal Revenue Service requires employees to substantiate the cost for travel, lodging, meals, and other expenses. To be reimbursed, the expense must be a necessary expense, incurred in the line of duty, reason/purpose of the expense must be clearly stated, all start/stop dates and times must be recorded, and the amount of the expense must be substantiated.
Adequate accounting generally requires the use of a documentation record such as an account book, expense diary or log, or similar record near the time of incurrence of the expense. Such log should list the date, amount, place (e.g. city) or description, and purpose for each expense. A combination of receipts and detailed itemization is permitted. Meals and incidental expenses are deemed to be substantiated under per diem allowances, and eliminate the need for substantiating actual costs. To satisfy the requirement of the accountable plan, the employee should complete the Expense Reimbursement Document correctly or utilize a documentation record to transfer cost information to the expense reimbursement form so reimbursement can be made.
A request for reimbursement (on an approved expense reimbursement document) for the incurred expense must be submitted by the employee to the appropriate agency office (business office, accounting office). To document that this requirement is met, the agency office will need to have an effective method of recording when the expense document was received.
Such request must be made not later than sixty days after the final day on which the expenses were incurred for which reimbursement is sought. This means that if travel occurs June 15 - June 18 and again on June 22 - June 25, the request for reimbursement may include both trips, but the request for reimbursement for the first travel period must be submitted no later than 60 days after June 18.
If an employee typically requests reimbursement for non-travel expenses and accumulates the receipts for which reimbursement is sought, each expense will have its own 60 day limit for reimbursement. (Travel is defined as being away from headquarter city longer than one day).
When a receipt does not provide the essential character of the expense, such as rate or period of use, the agency may require a copy of the rental contract or other billing as supporting documentation to substantiate the expense. For instance, vehicle rental receipts with only an amount would require additional documentation. Screen prints or other support of online purchases should be provided, if possible, to document purchases being made via the internet.
6. Meals (11/2023)
Meal expenses incurred during travel shall be reimbursed (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) on a per diem basis pursuant to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-1174, based on the destination of the travel. The State per diem rates shall be 70% of the relevant federal rates (General Services Administration for travel within the contiguous United States)1. Travel start and stop times must be included (IRS requirements). Meals will be reimbursed for full day regardless of start and stop time. The Expense Reimbursement Document (ERD) will calculate the full reimbursement for each day based on the following:
- The Per Diem Rate shall be based on the original Destination City. (GSA Per Diem Rates )
- The first and last day of travel will be prorated at 75% of the State Per Diem Rate.
- Any meal that is provided shall be deducted from the daily Per Diem Rate. Examples include:
- Meals included in Conference fee
- Meals provided by Hotel
- Meals purchased by 3rd Party
- Meals expense charged directly to and paid for by the State of Nebraska
Meal expenses for overnight travel must be coded to Object Code 571800 – Meals Travel Status.
Reimbursement to one employee for two or more employee’s expenses will not be allowed for meals. (Travel Expense Policy #9. Reimbursement to One Employee for Two or More Employee’s Expenses)
1Exclusions or variants apply to the Legislative Council, Supreme Court, and State Patrol, see § 81-1174.
At the agency head's discretion, one-day travel meal expenses (breakfast and dinner only) may be reimbursed using State per diem rates when it is deemed necessary for the working conditions of the employee. Travel start and stop times must be included.
- Breakfast - When an employee leaves for one-day travel at or before 0630 or 1 1/2 hours before the employee's shift begins, whichever is earlier, breakfast rate may be reimbursed.
- Lunch - Noon meals for one-day travel are not reimbursable.
- Dinner - When an employee returns from one-day travel at or after 1900 or 2 hours after the employee's shift ends, whichever is later, the evening meal rate may be reimbursed.
- NOTE: The time limitations set forth do not include the time taken for the meal. Incidental per diem expenses should not be reimbursed unless the employee is approved for one-day travel meal expenses.
The IRS has taken the position that reimbursement for meal expenses incurred on one-day travel is taxable income to the employee unless such reimbursements are deemed "occasional". In order to monitor this provision, all such reimbursements for one-day travel shall be coded to account 571600 (Meals – Taxable). Meals in the city or town in which the residence or primary work location of such employee is located for official functions, conferences or hearings shall also be coded to 571600. When total one-day travel meal reimbursements are $200 or more for an employee in any one year (December 1 through November 30), the entire amount of such reimbursements will be considered taxable income. If reimbursements for an employee are $200 or more for any one year, the agency will enter a payroll one-time override using DBA 1005 for the total amount coded to object code 571600. This should be processed during the calendar year payroll. The reimbursements will be added to the employee's gross wages and payroll taxes will be withheld accordingly.
Reimbursement to one employee for two or more employee's expenses will not be allowed for meals because of this provision. (Travel Expense Policy #9. Reimbursement to One Employee for Two or More Employee's Expenses)
7. Personal Automobiles (01/2023)
Personal Automobiles - An employee will be reimbursed for use of a personal vehicle while on State business (this does not include commuting miles) at the prevailing standard rate as established by the Internal Revenue Service through its Revenue Procedures. As of January 1, 2023, the rate is $.655 per mile ($.625 prior to January 1, 2023). These rates apply to electric and hybrid-electric automobiles, as well as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. This mileage rate is effective for all employees not covered under a collective bargaining agreement, or in which the bargaining agreement does not specify a mileage rate. All contract employees currently use the IRS rate. However, agencies may, at their determination, require employees to utilize state-owned vehicles (as opposed to personal vehicles) if the use of the state-owned vehicle would be more economical from both an auto rental rate and the time involved in renting the state-owned vehicle. If after such agency determination, an employee still wants to drive their personal vehicle, the agency is not required to reimburse the employee any more than it would have cost the agency to rent the state-owned vehicle.
Motorcycles - An employee will be reimbursed for the use of a motorcycle while on State business (this does not include commuting miles) at the prevailing standard rate. Effective January 1, 2023, the rate is $.635 per mile ($.565 prior to 2023).
Rental Cars - Insurance - An employee should decline rental agency insurance coverages. Please refer to your agency's annual letter from Risk Management. There is a section on rental cars. Under Section III B, it states that you should NOT accept the coverages because the car rental is covered by the State's insurance.
8. Receipts (01/2021)
Receipts - Detailed receipts are required as support for all expenditures except per diem meals and immaterial items identified by the Director of Administrative Services. Common expenses requiring detailed receipts include, but are not limited to, lodging, car rental, commercial travel, and registration fees.
Detailed receipt is defined as a receipt that identifies the date, time, city, state, itemization of item(s) claimed, and the cost.
Immaterial items are anything less than $10.00; however, you are required to substantiate immaterial items in a log, as described under Travel Expense Policy # 5. Substantiation of Expense.
In the absence of detailed receipts supporting an employee's claim, State Accounting requires a signed written explanation including one of the following:
- Copy of a cancelled check with purchase details;
- Charge card slip with purchase details; or
- Subsequently acquired receipt with purchase details.
If one of the above options cannot be provided, or where a receipt was not provided, the employee must create and provide a signed affidavit. This policy is for the convenience of the agency and the employee. The absence of documentation may necessitate the discontinuation of this process and the subsequent inability to reimburse employees when detailed receipts are not available.
9. Reimbursement to One Employee for Two or More Employee's Expenses (01/2021)
Reimbursement to one Employee for Two or More Employee's Expenses - One employee may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred on behalf of another State employee, such as when two employees sharing a motel room are billed jointly and one employee pays the bill. The employee to be reimbursed must provide the same detailed information that would have been required of each State employee had they been billed individually. In all cases when one employee is requesting reimbursement for expenses of more than one State employee, detailed receipt policies must be adhered to, employees' names listed and documents cross-referenced, when applicable. If two employees are billed jointly, but each pays half and each requests reimbursement separately, the documents must be cross-referenced, since one employee usually may not have a detailed receipt. An employee may not be reimbursed for another employee’s meal per diem.
10. Long Distance Telephone Calls (05/2023)
Long Distance Telephone Calls - Charges for long distance telephone calls are an allowable state expenditure if:
- They are related to State business or
- The employee is in a travel status on State business and the calls are in accordance with an approved agency policy.
The Agency policy shall describe the circumstances in which long distance calls will be reimbursed, to include:
- the reason(s) for which calls will be reimbursed,
- the number of calls an employee will be allowed within a certain time period,
- the duration of allowable calls or cost per call,
- the relationship to the employee of the person being called.
11. Employee Signatures (11/2022)
The employee claiming reimbursement of expenses must provide an original signature on the expense document or submit the document through their Nebraska government assigned e-mail account. Examples include: @nebraska.gov, @leg.ne.gov, @wcc.ne.gov, @nebraska.edu, @nogcc.ne.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, and e-mail accounts through the state colleges. Employees without an assigned account may use an email account agreed upon between the employee and agency. Supporting documentation must be maintained by the agency for those documents submitted via email.