Business Expenses

ISNS employees on approved business travel are eligible to receive accommodation, travel and meal reimbursement for the time spent in travel status. Receipts for such accommodation, travel and meals must be submitted with the expense report for reimbursement. The school will only reimburse the face value of receipts provided with the expense report, subject to the requirements of this policy.

As a school, our goal is to focus our resources on the students and every employee is expected to be financially prudent in using school funds. It is expected that employees will keep expenses to a minimum and fairly assign the costs of business-related activities to the school. Assuming a reasonable level of safety and convenience for the employee, every effort should be made to keep travel expenses to a minimum. All expenses must have a valid business purpose.


Typically, the school will book accommodations for the employee. From time to time, hotels might not accept pre-payment. In such cases, the school will provide the employee with a travel advance to the amount of the hotel’s invoice.


In general, the school will reimburse the employee for reasonable business related transportation expenses. The class of transportation chosen is expected to be the lowest-priced ticket available. This includes coach, standard and economy travel on planes, trains, buses, and other local public transport, as well as taxis when appropriate. The school will not reimburse extravagant travel choices, such as limousines.   Employees may personally retain frequent flyer plan rewards or other bonuses that may accrue from business travel. However, the school will not purchase frequent flyer miles from employees or reimburse them for tickets purchased with frequent flyer miles.


As a general rule, employees are expected to incur no additional costs for meals that are provided as part of a fee for attendance at conferences, workshops, hotel cost, airfare, etc. The school will reimburse the employee for up to 3 meals a day, according to the daily maximum. Alcohol and tobacco are personal choices and will not be reimbursed. To avoid confusion, you must cross off any alcohol or tobacco items on the original receipts before submitting for reimbursement.


ISNS provides medical insurance with global coverage, excluding the United States. Employees must bring their insurance card or guarantee letter with them on their travels, and follow directions given by the insurance company. For travelers to the United States, the school will purchase separate travel medical insurance for the duration of the trip.


Excess baggage fees are only reimbursable if the employee is transporting pre-approved school materials.

Travel Advances

If needed, the school will provide travel advances in appropriate amounts for employees traveling on authorized ISNS business. Requests for travel advances must be submitted at least two weeks to the Operations Director, who may implement additional processes or limit travel advances. Travel advances must not be used to cover personal expenses. The size of the advance must be a reasonable estimate of the amount of cash necessary to conduct school business. The travel advance is the personal obligation of the traveler; the employee is responsible for any lost or stolen travel advances. Employees are responsible for submitting an expense report with required receipts to account for the travel advance and for returning the unused balance for the travel advance. The expense report must be submitted within one week of the employee’s return from travels. The travel advance must be returned immediately when a trip has been cancelled or postponed for more than five working days. Travel advances will not be granted to employees who have an uncleared prior travel advance, unless the Principal or Operations Director certifies that extenuating circumstances warrant the second advance.


Other travel expenses may include fees for visas, if specifically obtained in order to perform work.  Staff should seek the assistance of the HR Department for options available when applying for a visa for work purposes.  The cost of visas needed for work purposes can be reimbursed 100% if approval is given from HR beforehand.

Personal Expenses

ISNS will not reimburse employees for expenses that are inherently personal in nature.  Necessary laundry charges for extended travel (more than two weeks of travel time in total) may be covered.  Examples of personal expenses which are not covered include (but not limited to):

  • personal grooming;
  • child care and pet care costs;
  • personal clothing and accessories;
  • medical expenses;
  • personal entertainment fees;
  • lost baggage;
  • loss or theft of personal property or travel advance money;
  • amenities such as movies, in-room bars and room service;
  • frequent flyer membership fees;
  • incremental travel costs incurred by visiting friends during the trip;
  • expenses for personal gain (e.g. personal consulting, job interviews); etc.

Sales Tax, Tips & Gratuity

The school will reimburse for sales tax, and any other tax as required by law in the travel destination. Tips and gratuity are the personal choice of the employee, and generally will not be reimbursed. The school will only reimburse the face-value of receipts provided, in accordance with this policy.

Documentation and Proof of Payment

For business travel expenses within China, the employee must submit all original official tax receipts (aka fapiao) with the expense report. The school will not reimburse funds that cannot be matched with a fapiao. Bus, train and ferry ticket stubs in China are considered fapiao.

For business travel expenses outside of China, the employee must submit all original receipts with the expense report.

For credit card charges, the credit card receipt or monthly statement alone is insufficient as documentation and cannot replace the official receipts. Credit card statements must be submitted together with the original receipts.

Total Maximum Allowances per Day, for Transportation and Meals:

  • Shenzhen: 200 RMB
  • Mainland China and Taiwan: 250 RMB
  • Hong Kong, Macau, Japan & Korea: 320 RMB
  • Southeast Asia (India, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia): 50 USD
  • Singapore, Australia, New Zealand: 60 USD
  • South America: 60 USD
  • North America: 70 USD
  • Middle East & Africa: 70 USD
  • European Union and United Kingdom: 90 USD

The maximum allowance is calculated on a per day per trip basis. For example, if an employee travels for business to another city in China for 3 days, the maximum allowance for transportation and meals is calculated as follows:

3 days X 250 RMB per day = 750 RMB

The employee would be allowed to be reimbursed up to 750 RMB for the entire trip, and is not restricted to 250 RMB per day.  With reference to the example above, the employee can spend 650 RMB on the first 2 days, and spend 100 RMB on the 3rd day and would still be eligible to be reimbursed for 750 RMB.

For travel that occurs on the first and last days of an event (e.g. from the airport to the hotel or event venue, and hotel or event venue to the airport), the transportation costs which are necessary for getting to and from the hotel or event venue are not included in the daily allowance and can be submitted for reimbursement in addition to other daily expenses.