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Updates and Changes to the Guide to Financial Management

This page summarizes substantive changes made to financial policy in the Guide to Financial Management since May 1, 2018, and the date the change was effective . The most recent updates/changes are at the top.


November 18, 2020 [Ref. 2020-11]:

Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses – Policies and Guidelines:

The Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses section has been updated to reflect the University’s new Travel and Hospitality Card (T&H Card) provider, Scotiabank Visa. For more information on the T&H Card program, see Travel & Hospitality Card on the Procurement Services website.


June 8, 2020 [Ref. 2020-3]:

Purchasing and Payments to Vendors

The Purchasing and Payments to Vendors section and other applicable pages in the GTFM have been updated as a result of the new University of Toronto Procurement Policy. The Policy increases dollar thresholds for purchases less than $100,000, while incorporating new procurement legislation and regulation arising from trade agreements.

Where applicable, sections of the GTFM now link directly to the Procurement Services website. These include:


February 24, 2020 [Ref. 2020-2]:

Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses – Policies and Guidelines:

The Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses section has been updated with the following substantive changes:

  • Reference to the Travel Centre has been removed throughout the guideline, other than within the section “Direct Billing to Departmental Accounts (Airfare Only )”;
  • Clarify that the onus is on the Travel and Hospitality Card cardholder to ensure that the bank receives payment before late payment penalties are applied;
  • Specifically include seat reservation charges as an allowable expense;
  • Add to the Accommodation section that there are Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) negotiated rates available;
  • Add to the Vehicle rental section that there are CAUBO-negotiated rates available;
  • Remove Insurance section, and move the air travel insurance and vehicle rental insurance information to those specific sections; and
  • Clarify that safety-related expenses for field work is an allowable expense.


February 1, 2020 [Ref. 2020-1]:

Reimbursement Rates

As of February 1, 2020, the meal allowance rates will change to $80 CAD (Breakfast $15; Lunch $20; Dinner $45) for travel in Canada and $100 CAD (Breakfast $20; Lunch $25; Dinner $55) for travel outside of Canada effective for all travel after January 31, 2020. For long-term travel in excess of 30 consecutive days in one location, the meal allowance rates will be reduced to 75% of the applicable per diem rate. The kilometrage rate will increase from $0.54 per kilometer to $0.57 per kilometer for all reimbursements made after January 31, 2020. See the memo issued on January 27, 2020 regarding the changes to the automobile and per diem rates for travel. In addition, refer to the FAST Newsletter article issued January 31, 2020 on how to process reimbursements after January 31, 2020 for travel before February 1, 2020.


March 15, 2019 [Ref. 2019-1]:

Procurement: Policy and Guidelines

The procurement policies and guidelines in the Guide to Financial Management have been updated to better align with external regulatory obligations, including new trade agreement requirements, and with internal guidelines located on the Procurement Services website.


May 1, 2018 [Ref. 2018-1]:

Expense Report/Accountable Advance Settlement form has been updated to incorporate the following:

  • Added a declaration by the authorized approver that they certify that the expenses claimed were reasonable and required for University business and (if applicable) are relevant to the research being funded.
  • Updated the declaration by the claimant to include that they are in compliance with all sponsor terms and conditions (if applicable), and that expenses have not been claimed through other sources.
  • The field “Location and Description” is now “Purpose and relevance to University business” to prompt the claimant / business officer to provide this critical information.
  • Provided links on the form to the Expense Reimbursement Checklist – Template, and to the Guide to Financial Management – Policies and Guidelines for Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses.
  • On the Instructions for Completion, for the field Personnel Number, added “if the claimant is not an employee, state the business purpose (e.g. state the affiliation of the claimant to the PI’s research project).

The Expense Reimbursement Direct Deposit (ERDD) online screens and the formatted/PDF print of claims now incorporate the above changes.


Travel and Other Reimbursable Expenses – Policies and Guidelines:

  • Information with respect to when hand-written signatures or electronic approvals are permitted/required from the person responsible for the funding as been moved from the “Approval Guidelines” page [this page was removed] into the “Signatures (Hand-written) or Electronic Approval” section of the policy.
  • Clarify that non-employee claimants can attach an email approval or signature from digital third-party software if providing the original signature is not possible/feasible into the Signatures (Hand-written) or Electronic Approval section.
  • Clarify that any travel expenses can be reimbursed as soon as the employee pays them (not only conference fees and airfare). See the Personal Credit Card section for updated wording.
  • Add wording to emphasize that it’s the claimant’s responsibility to provide the approver with all necessary documentation enabling the approver to assess an expense reimbursement claim for reasonability, legitimacy and that claims are for actual out-of-pocket expenses. See section on Approvals and Responsibilities.
  • Clarify the receipt requirements for accommodation, and provide a few examples. See the section on Accommodation.