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Reimbursement hell - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Reimbursement hell [Dec. 15th, 2010|10:27 am]
Arvind Narayanan
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I thought reimbursements were bad back when I was a grad student. How little I knew!

Apparently a Ph.D is an impressive-sounding degree, and so people actually invite you to their conferences and panels. (Especially panels. Gotta have impressive-sounding people on those.) This typically means that they also cover your costs, rather than your employer. Some of you already know where this is going.

Over the last two weeks I did a bunch of traveling and ended up having to be reimbursed by 4 different parties. Needless to say, they all have different rules for everything from what they'll cover to what font the expense report needs to be typed in. Very different rules. Worse, I hopped from event to event and so my expenses overlap a lot. Oh, and I did some traveling on my own time which complicates the baby-splitting even more. 'Nightmare' would be putting it lightly.

The one thing that makes this bearable is that for the most part the admin people are understanding and competent. If I ran into someone who threw the rulebook at me I'd just give up on getting reimbursed and start traveling by Greyhound.

I imagine many of you reading this are nodding knowingly with a wry smile because you've been through all this many years or decades ago and have by now accumulated enough grey-haired wisdom to fill a book on how to make reimbursements easier. If you could share your pro-tips in the comments that'd be much appreciated.
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Comments:
From: ednortonengineeringsociety.blogspot.com
2010-12-15 07:20 pm (UTC)

Reimbursement rules...

Rule #1 - Whatever format they want the expense reports in, and whatever form they want the receipts turned in, give it to them. At one employer, it was ONE receipt taped to each blank 8.5"x11" page. At my current employer it is print off the expense report, sign it, then SCAN it and send the scan to Accounting. Whatever. Rule #2 - see Rule #1.
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-12-15 10:57 pm (UTC)

Suggestion

Rule #1: Get a competent assistant.

Rule #2: Have you assistant follow their instructions to the letter of the law.

Rule #3: See rules 1 and 2.

--mike
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From: dannyman.toldme.com
2010-12-21 11:49 pm (UTC)
Work in the private sector for a company with deep pockets. :>
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