Travel and Conference Expense Management

Local Government Management Guide

Standardized Forms

Travel and Conference Expense Management
Local Government Management Guide

A travel reimbursement form should be provided to all employees who are approved to incur travel or conference expenses. This form should be standardized (used by all employees) and easy to follow. Travelers should be made aware of the importance of providing all required information in order to ensure a timely audit and payment of their reimbursement claim. These forms can be designed in either a manual or electronic format. An electronic format may facilitate a timelier filing of these forms.

A travel reimbursement form should request information in the following areas:

  • Purpose and dates(s) of the travel – including evidence of any pre-authorizations or cash advances.
  • Mileage (use of personal vehicle) – should indicate the departure and arrival points for travel, the date and time of departure and arrival for all legs of the trip and mileage between all departure and arrival points.
  • Lodging charges – dates and amounts for hotel charges and method of payment of such charges (paid by the traveler or charged to a local government or school district credit card).
  • Meals – dates and types (breakfast, lunch or dinner) of meals claimed.
  • Other transportation costs – dates and amounts for rental cars, taxi fares, tolls and parking fees.
  • Other actual and necessary expenses – a description and the amount of any other actual expenses necessarily incurred by the traveler in connection with the official travel, for example, conference registration fees, if not prepaid.
  • Net amount – the form should calculate the net amount due to the traveler or the amount due from the traveler when there are excess cash advance proceeds.
  • Certification – there should be a statement to be signed by the traveler stating that he or she attests to the accuracy of the information presented on the form.

Sample travel forms can be viewed at the Office of the New York State Comptroller’s website at From our homepage, click on "State Agencies" then "Get Forms" and scroll down to the "Travel" section. These forms can be used as a guide but should be adapted to meet your travel policy requirements.

Besides the standardized travel form described above, employees should also be provided with tax exemption certificates when they travel. Local government and school district employees are exempt from paying State and local sales or use taxes on hotel occupancy purchased within New York State while on official business. Form ST-129 (Exemption Certificate) should be presented to hotels upon registration. Copies of this form can be obtained at by searching for "ST-129."