Faculty-led accounting procedures

​This page will cover accounting for all program expenditures as related to the following areas of importance:

It is important to communicate with Study Abroad about specific accounting and expenditure guidelines set forth by Study Abroad. Be sure to have a full understanding of both Study Abroad and Travel/Payroll Services accounting requirements.

CMU Business Card

If you do not already have a CMU Business Card (credit card), Study Abroad will approve your application for a card to be used to pay for program expenses, including your airfare. All faculty leaders are encouraged to apply as early as possible to ensure that the card is issued and you are able to attend the training session prior to departure. It is ideal to plan to apply for the card and register for a training session by December.

For faculty leaders who already have a CMU Business Card for department charges, you may apply for a second card specifically for the faculty-led program expenses.

CMU Business Card application instructions can be requested through Marci Mayhew (mayhe1ma@cmich.edu), Study Abroad executive administrative assistant.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you track and maintain the receipts for all purchases made on the card.

Prepayment of program costs

Whenever possible and appropriate, Study Abroad will make arrangements to prepay program-related costs if a check or wire transfer is required. You are asked to provide invoices for these program costs as early as possible. Study Abroad, upon receipt of appropriate invoices or statements, will order the payment.

You may make these payments yourself and then request reimbursement by completing a travel reimbursement form and attaching appropriate receipts or you may use a CMU Business Card if you are a cardholder or have access to a department business card. All charges on the business card must fall within the business card policy of allowable expenses.

Cash advances

When program costs cannot be pre-paid prior to departure, a cash advance may be requested. Study Abroad must approve the cash advance, then forward the request to Payroll/Travel. Once the cash advance is approved, the money will be directly deposited to the bank account you have set up for travel/reimbursements. Please be aware that you must attend the faculty orientation organized by Study Abroad in order for the cash advance to be released.

You will be personally responsible to account for the money spent by submitting a detailed expense ledger with a Travel Reimbursement Form containing your original signature within 5 weeks of your return to Michigan. Invoices or receipts must be submitted for expenses. Whenever an invoice or receipt cannot be obtained (i.e. taxi or public transportation in a foreign country), a log of the expenses incurred must be submitted. The cash advance must be accounted for in writing. Any expenditure not adequately documented may be charged to you as income. Therefore, it is very important to submit your expenditures and receipts on time.


You may make a group airline reservation with a travel agency; students will be expected to pay for their airfare directly to the travel agency. Alternatively, you can let students know the date they need to arrive in the host country, and they can make their own reservations. Often students don’t return home at the end of the program and choose to travel before returning home. By allowing them to make their own airline reservations, they also can make arrangements for the additional travel.

Your airfare must be charged to your Study Abroad sponsored CMU Business Card. This will make it possible for you not to pay out of pocket for the expense and instead it will be charged to CMU. You must give a copy of the airfare receipt to Study Abroad. Upon completion of travel, the passenger receipt must be submitted with the Travel Reimbursement Form when program expenses are reconciled.

The faculty leader must pay airfare expenses for a spouse or dependents traveling with the faculty leader directly to the travel agent.

Bank accounts

You may choose to open a bank account in the foreign country but must do so under your own name. This means that it will not be considered a CMU account, and you will be personally responsible for the account. The name “Central Michigan University” may not appear on the account without the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Budget accounting

Within five weeks of the end of the program, faculty leaders must submit a detailed accounting of the program expenses. The Travel Expense Reimbursement Form (available online on the Controller’s web page) must be completed and all receipts and accounting information must be attached and submitted to the Study Abroad. Study Abroad will sign the form and forward all information to the Payroll Office for processing. If money is due to the university, payment must be made at the time of submission of the Travel Expense Reimbursement Form. If money is due to the faculty leader, Payroll will process a reimbursement.