Friday, August 28, 2009

Travel and Entertainment Reimbursement Policy standard

Over the last couple years there has been no shortage of egregious examples of lavish travel by board members or executives on the organization’s dime. Now, let’s be honest, most nonprofit organizations aren’t going to be sending its board members or staff on wildly expensive junkets. But nonetheless, reimbursement for travel or entertainment is one of the areas where waste, or worse, fraud can occur.

For that reason, we decided to add a new standard speaking to this issue. Like many of the other standards related to policies, we intend to provide a sample policy for organizations to download and pass at the board level. One example that we’re considering is the sample policy found on the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

For the last couple weeks we’ve been holding town hall forums and yesterday we were in Fargo. One piece of feedback we’re hearing is that some standards feel like busy-work and, especially for smaller organization, to pass multiple policies can take a lot of time away from the work of the nonprofit. What is your opinion? Is requiring a travel and reimbursement policy helpful in upholding accountable practices? Or is it just another policy that takes time away from getting the work of the organization done?

The Travel and Entertainment Reimbursement Policy standard is the last standard in the Financial Activity section. Starting next week we begin blogging about the last section, Fundraising.

Next post: Fundraising Disclosure

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