Expense Reimbursement Guidelines and Policy

Approved by the Board of Directors June, 2002

This policy supersedes all previous Association policy.


It has been a tradition of the American Meat Science Association that the business of the Association is conducted at its Annual Meeting, the Reciprocal Meat Conference, where members were present at their own expense or at the expense of their employing institution. While it is expected that this tradition will continue, it is recognized that the business of the Association regularly requires expenditure of travel funds by members and staff, which are borne by the Association. To maintain Association practices and an equitable reimbursement policy consistent with the Association’s tradition, the following guidelines are to be applied.

General Policies

AMSA covers the cost of travel and on-site expense for employees, officers, members of the Association, and some others not in the direct employ of the Association, when traveling on official AMSA business, under the conditions outlined below. The Association expects that travelers exercise good judgment in making arrangements that strike a balance between the expenses incurred and the convenience of the person traveling. The guidelines apply to expense charged to all funds administered by the Association, whether these are generated by dues, fees for services and products or grants.

Conditions of Coverage

1)      Staff Members. AMSA covers expenses incurred while on Association business for attendance at meetings, workshops, judging contests and others such events previously authorized by the President or Executive Director in accordance with AMSA’s reimbursement policy.

2)      Association Members. Individuals are reimbursed for all expenses incurred in performing duties as Officers, Board Members, Committee Chairs and other appointed or elected positions, when specific authorization has been given by the President or Executive Director. All expenses, including travel expenses, are reimbursed by the Association for required attendance at Board meetings held at times other than in conjunction with the annual meeting when such expenses are not reimbursed by the member’s employer.


Transportation authorized for AMSA business travel includes automobile, rail, airlines, buses, taxicabs and other usual means of conveyance. All travel is to be by the most economical mode of transportation consistent with reasonable convenience.

1)      Air travel must be booked through the Association’s designated Travel Agent. All travelers will be offered the least expensive direct route to their destination. Connections and one-stop flights may be used if they are not unreasonable in time loss. Airline preference will not be considered to gain frequent mileage. Travelers who want to be selective in their airlines will be responsible for the cost differential. Reasonable allowances will be made to accommodate preferences based on significant airline safety concerns.

2)      Air and rail travel is to be coach or economy class.

3)      Automobile travel. When a traveler drives his or her own car, the allowance is at the federal reimbursement rate per mile, plus the cost of tolls and parking. The reimbursed cost for mileage cannot exceed what would have been the cost for coach or economy airfare for that trip.

4)      Rental car must be approved in advanced by the Treasurer, Executive Director or Program Director.

5)      Taxicabs may be used in cases where less expensive means of public transportation are unavailable or demonstrably less convenient. When transportation to and from airports by public transportation, airport limousine or bus is available and convenient, it should be used in lieu of a taxi.


It is recognized that the cost of meals varies significantly among localities. This expense, including tips, should average no more than $50 per day. No single meal reimbursement request should exceed $35. Exceptions are allowed for meals connected to official meetings or functions. Receipts must be submitted for expenses over $10.00.


Reimbursement of these services is appropriate when necessary for the proper conduct of AMSA business. An allowance of $10.00 per day is made for personal calls.


When an Officer, the Executive Director or the Program Director feel that the circumstances merit, he or she may charge to his or her expense account appropriate expenses for professional hospitality. The names of those entertained, and the date, time and location should be included in the travel expense report.


Appropriate tips are an allowable expense. Both over-tipping and under-tipping are of questionable value, so the following guides to generally accepted practice should be followed:

1)      Waiters – generally 15% of meal cost

2)      Tax Drivers – about 15% of taxi fares

3)      Bellboys – usually $1.00 per bag

4)      Valet Parking – generally $2.00

Travel Advances

Travel advances related to anticipated out-of-pocket expenses are available by making a timely request to the Executive Director.

Travel Expense Report

Each expense report shall be submitted to the Executive Director on approved forms accompanied by original receipts for each expense in excess of $10.00. Payment will not be authorized without the support of these receipts. Expense reports should be submitted within ten (10) working days of the completion of travel.

Reimbursement for expense will be administered by the Executive Director and may be reviewed by the Treasurer.

Annual Meeting Policies

In addition to the General Policies listed above, the following specific policies will apply to the Annual Meeting/Reciprocal Meat Conference.


No member of the Association shall be reimbursed for fees for registration or special events during the Annual Meeting.

Members of the Board of Directors

Accommodations: Members of the AMSA Board of Directors pay for their own accommodations for the Annual Meeting unless such expenses are not reimbursed by their employer. In such cases, accommodation expenses during the extra days required to attend Board meetings are reimbursed upon request.

Travel: Members of the Board pay for their own travel unless such expenses are not reimbursed by their employer.

AMSA Members Speaking on Programs

Association members who are speaking on Annual Meeting programs are not reimbursed for travel, accommodations or incidentals. Honoraria are not provided to Association members.

Non-AMSA Members Speaking on Programs

Honoraria and expense reimbursement for non-AMSA members speaking on Annual Meeting programs will be determined by the RMC Chair subject to the general direction of the President or Executive Director, and within the general guidelines previously stated.

In addition, the following guidelines are applicable to expenses of non-member participants at annual meetings:

1)      These expenses are approved as part of the annual meeting speaker’s budget.

2)      Unless their participation or the logistics of travel require a longer stay approved by the RMC Chair or the Program Director, lodging at the convention hotel for one night only is provided.

3)      Reimbursement is provided for one round-trip coach airfare, and ground transportation to and from the home airport and to and from the airport in the meeting city. Meal and incidental expenses will be reimbursed up to $50 per day when receipts are submitted with the Expense Reimbursement Form.

4)      Honoraria are to be specifically approved by the President or the Executive Director

Expenses for Individuals Receiving Honors and/or Awards

Expenses for a member of AMSA receiving an honor and/or award at the Annual Meeting are not reimbursed by AMSA unless specifically authorized in advance by the Executive Director. Expenses for non-members are reimbursed to the same extent as other non-AMSA participants in the program.

Meat Judging Contest Expenses

All meat judging contest expenses must be approved by the Program Director.

Official Committee

All persons serving on the official committee (including Contest Superintendents) for an AMSA-sponsored meat judging contest may be reimbursed for all expenses [travel, accommodation and other necessary expenses] following AMSA General Policies. Exceptions to AMSA General Policies are allowed when necessary to accommodate government travel policies affecting USDA employees.

Cooler Superintendents and Group Leaders/Tabulators

Persons serving as cooler superintendents, group leaders and tabulators may be reimbursed for expenses following AMSA General Policies and subject to the following restrictions:

1)      Group leader/tabulator travel for a maximum of two vehicles from any single institution will be reimbursed.

2)      Accommodations for a maximum of two nights (double occupancy) for group leaders and three nights for cooler superintendents will be reimbursed.

MIRC, WSC and Other Association-Sponsored Programs

AMSA Members Serving on the Program Planning Committee or as Speakers

Association members who serve on the program planning committee or as speakers at association-sponsored programs or events may be reimbursed for all expenses [registration, travel and other necessary expenses] following AMSA General Policies. These expenses must be included in the budgets for these events.

If Association members serving at these AMSA programs are doing so in conjunction with another professional meeting (e.g. AMI Convention, NMA Annual Meeting/MEAT EXPO, etc), they are reimbursed for the differential between a) attending the other professional meeting and AMSA event and b) attending the professional meeting alone.