Paperwork, paper pushing policies push people past pressure points

So I am going to make this simple here.  Paperwork at UC Davis is driving me batty these days.  One thing in particular does not make much sense to me. When I or anyone who works in my lab go on trips associated with work, we have to collect all the receipts for the trip and then these need to be submitted in an intemized way for reimbursement.  With a lot of people going on a lot of trips, this amounts to a lot of work for us, for my administrative assistant, for the UC Davis Genome Center administration, and for the UC administration.  At other places I have worked, and in other situations, people can get reimbursed using a per diem calculation.  Such calculations save an absurd amount of work for people even if they come with some “risks” such as people getting reimbursed for more than they actually spent.  Personally, I would take a 50% per diem to save everyone the trouble associated with all the reciepts and submitting them and checking them and such.

So – the reason I am writing is to ask – what happens at other institutions?  Does everyone have to submit all the receipts?  Or does anyone out there do per diems?

Embedding some responses on Google Plus:

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

2 thoughts on “Paperwork, paper pushing policies push people past pressure points”

  1. We are allowed to claim up to a limit (not sure, but several £100) without receipts. We can also have a University credit card, which is pretty simple for trips, but only for staff. Personally I only claim the big ticket items and pay for incidentals and meals out of my pocket – I was going to eat anyway!
    I think the credit card is the way to go, it leaves an audit trail and cuts down on wasted admin time.


  2. Just got this from a colleague at UC Davis:

    Hi Jonathan, I don't know how to reply to your blog so a quick message here about paperwork. We run a lot of meetings from my group so staff process a lot of UCD travel reimbursements. UCD only requires receipts for meals costing > $75. And you can request per diem for travel outside the lower 48 states. I agree that per diem everywhere would be better, but if you're being asked for receipts for every sandwich, that's more than is required. More info here .


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