Policy Statement

The Travel and Expense Policy ensures accurate, fair, and cost effective use of company funds. All full- time and part-time employees, as well as individuals contracted by Cerna Solutions, LLC (Cerna) must comply with this policy and are responsible for ensuring all travel expenditures claimed are for authorized business travel only.

Customers will reimburse costs associated with each applicable customer engagement, except with respect to an employee’s hourly rate with respect to travel time, to the same extent Cerna is obligated to reimburse the applicable employee hereunder.

Policy Overview

The purpose of this policy is to make all employees and individuals contracted by Cerna aware of their responsibility relative to submitting and approving business-related travel expenses. Cerna understands that minimizing business expense costs to its customers is a high priority.

The following information in this Policy Overview is provided for employee reference and is utilized by our customers in estimating and minimizing consulting engagement costs. Please use these guidelines as a basis for making business related expense estimates:

§ Cerna invoices the Customers for the actual, travel related, and necessary business expenses incurred

§ Cerna will make every reasonable attempt to fill the engagement’s skill requirements using a local resource whenever possible

§ Typical categories of travel expenses invoiced to Customer include items such as airfare, hotel, ground transportation, meals, laundry expenses for engagements over seven consecutive days, and any other miscellaneous travel related items in support of providing engagement services

§ Consulting fees and expenses are invoiced separately

§ All travel and related expenses will be billed weekly for each customer, or as otherwise specified and agreed in writing between Cerna and the applicable Customer

§ The expenses billed will contain an itemization of the expenses and copies of receipts supporting each travel related expense invoiced

Please note: Timely receipt of required billing documents will ensure booking of travel at the lowest rates possible. In addition, timely employee expense reports will also aid Cerna in timely customer billing and reporting.

Responsibility and Enforcement

All employees and contractors are responsible for complying with this policy. Managers are responsible for accurately reviewing expense reports for compliance. Cerna will reimburse employees for all reasonable and necessary expenses while traveling on authorized company business or entertaining business clients. Cerna assumes no obligation to reimburse employees for expenses that are not in compliance with this policy.

Expense reports with all itemized receipts are due on a weekly basis and should be submitted timely after the expenses are incurred.

Expense reports and receipts must be submitted timely in Expensify, in order to prevent delayed reimbursements. It is the employee’s responsibility to pay any late fees, interest, penalties, and outstanding balance that may be incurred due to untimely submissions.

In the event of expense non-compliance or non-sufficient backup information or receipts, the manager will contact the employee either by phone or email to clarify the nature of claimed expenses.

Any employee who is found to be in violation of the Travel and Expense Policy may be subject to delay or withholding of reimbursement and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination.

The Policy


Cerna would like to provide all of its travelers with a reasonable level of service, comfort, and security at the most competitive cost. Booking of travel for personal or on behalf of anyone other than the employee or contractor is strictly prohibited.

All travelers are required to maintain an up-to-date travel record.

  • The traveler is responsible for reporting/updating all personal travel information changes including credit card numbers, address, phone numbers, emergency contact, and seat preferences.

  • Travelers must recognize that the supplier, i.e., (air carrier, hotel property, car rental agency, etc.) is ultimately responsible for the final assignment.

  • Travel expenses will not be reimbursed unless pre-authorized in writing by your Reporting Manager and/or the applicable Customer.

Employees are required to choose the most cost-effective travel booking option. It is the employee's responsibility to cancel all reservations within a timely fashion as to avoid penalties. Penalty charges for non-cancellation are the sole responsibility of the employee, unless the late cancellation occurred due to action or inaction by the customer, in which case, such cost shall be the responsibility of the customer.

Emergency/En-route Reservation Changes

All en-route changes during business hours of operation must be made by:

  • Contacting the airline’s travel services department

  • In all other cases, the traveler must access the 24-hour emergency travel phone number listed on the travel itinerary to arrange the necessary changes.

Passports and Travel Documents

Passport and other travel document costs (visas, other entry costs) are reimbursable if required for business travel purposes and approved by the Reporting Manager.

  • Management must be notified 30 days in advance for VISA processing.

  • For international travel, a 6-month valid passport is required.


Economy/Coach class tickets on commercial airlines will be purchased at all times for domestic and international travel. Reservations should be made at least 7-10 business days in advance whenever possible. Customers should notify Cerna of required or requested travel at least 2 weeks in advance whenever possible.

If itinerary changes result in a partial airfare refund, Cerna will pass the savings on to the Customer.

With the approval of the President and/or the Director of Operations and/or Director of Technology, business class tickets can be purchased on international flights only if the following criteria applies:

  • Duration of flight is greater than 8 hours

  • Airfare is not greater than $3,000 USD roundtrip


Any airfare selected by the employee that is not the lowest cost at time of booking is subject to manager approval. All airfare over $1,000 will have approval by an executive team member. All international air travel, regardless of employee position, must be reviewed by an executive team member prior to booking.

Lowest Airfare Definition

Travelers are required to book the lowest logical airfare that is determined using the following search criteria:

  • Routing requires no more than one additional interim stop each way

  • Employees who finish at the customer site early are not permitted to change flights for the sole purpose of returning home earlier

  • One-stop & single connection flights are considered the same as non-stops for itinerary purposes, fare calculations, and lowest fare identification. Travelers may elect to fly a non- stop flight (over a lower-priced, connecting flight) provided that the additional cost is less than $50.00 USD equivalent per direction of travel or the connecting flight would have added more than a 2-hour extension of travel time eachway. If a traveler requires a non-stop flight and the cost difference is greater than $100 USD equivalent, manager approval is required.

In determining the lowest airfare, alternatives considered will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Preferred Carrier

  • Specially negotiated fares

  • Non-refundable fares

  • Penalty fares

  • Connecting and one-stop flights

  • Alternate airports

  • Advance purchase fares

  • Group/meeting/training zone fees

  • Lower cost non-preferred carriers

Upgrades for Air Travel

Upgrades at the expense of the company are NOT permitted. Upgrades are allowed at the traveler’s personal expense and CANNOT be charged to a company card. In the event an employee upgrades his/her travel arrangements, the employee is required to provide a screenshot of the coach rate which includes the date and time, within one hour of booking, as evidence of the applicable reimbursable fare to be reimbursed by Customer and/or Cerna respectively. Employees are not permitted to book air travel at a higher fare in order to use Frequent Flyer program privileges if a lower non-restrictive fare is available.

Change Fees

Change fees are permitted if the flight change resulted from the customer meeting or work day extending past the scheduled end time, or at the request of the Reporting Manager. Costs associated with flight changes will not be reimbursed if the change was a result of the employee's own preference or schedule conflicts, delays in transportation to the airport from weather, traffic, etc., or for the purpose of returning home early due to work day/week completion ending less than 4 hours from departure time. Change fees will only be permitted for the purpose of returning home early if the work day/week ends greater than 4 hours from departure time. **Change fee purpose must be documented on the expense report within the line item notation **

Overnight Delays

Should an airline delay or cancellation necessitate an unscheduled overnight stay:

  • The traveler must first attempt to secure complimentary lodging from the airline.

  • If unsuccessful, the traveler must book alternate means at the most reasonable price available.

Airline Credits

All unused tickets are the property of Cerna, unless otherwise provided by the travel site or airline. Any unused tickets must be used on your next business travel itinerary if the carrier travels to your destination. Do not allow your available credits to expire.

Payment of Airfare

  • Cerna employees are required to use either the Cerna Company Card or personal funds that will be reimbursed subject to the terms herein for all airfare bookings effective February 15, 2016.

Additional Exclusions

  • Employees will not be reimbursed for lost baggage and are required to file a lost baggage claim with the airline.

  • Employees will not be reimbursed for exceeding baggage weight or oversized equipment necessary for business.

  • Programs such as frequent flyer, airline lounges and clubs, or airport hospitality are solely the employee’s responsibility.


Once you book your travel, you must print a copy of your itinerary as well as your invoice, and save an electronic copy of both. The invoice must be submitted with your weekly expenses for reimbursement of your travel costs.


Hotel reservations must be made at the most reasonable price available. Third party travel sites such as Hotwire, Priceline, Expedia, etc. provide auction hotel sales, may provide cheaper options. However, the employee is required to consider that these sites provide booking options that are nonrefundable and cannot be cancelled.

In the event you are offered a prepaid hotel room, the employee must choose a non-prepaid room, if the prepaid room is non-refundable. Any hotel charges incurred by the employee for trips that were cancelled but not refunded will not be reimbursed. Cerna will reimburse for moderately priced, single occupancy hotels based on actual and reasonable expenses consistent with this policy including allowance for room and sales taxes based on market value. Travelers may accept room upgrades to suites or executive floor rooms only if the upgrade is at no additional charge.

Moderately priced hotels include, but are not limited to: Holiday Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn, Country Inn & Suites and some Sheraton and Hilton hotel chains. When traveling on a project, please check with your project manager prior to making travel reservations to inquire if the customer has a negotiated rate in the area. You may then book and then call the hotel to adjust your reservations to the customer’s rate (Please check the hotel’s policy as you may be required to call first).

Whenever available, standard single rooms will be selected. Guarantees for late arrivals are reimbursable, if a charge is applied.

Hotel Cancelation Procedures

In the event of travel changes, travelers are responsible for canceling their hotel accommodations. Travelers will not be reimbursed for “no show” or cancellation charges, unless the charges are due to action or inaction of the customer.


Hotel folios must be submitted for every hotel expense claim. Only room and tax should be applied towards the hotel expense code. Any other charges showing on the hotel folio that are reimbursable must be entered separately towards the appropriate expense code. Personal charges should be requested on a separate hotel folio.

Hotel folios must be paid for and claimed by the employee whose name is on the hotel folio, unless Cerna travel prepaid for the hotel. Cerna cannot reimburse for hotel charges if the employee claiming the reimbursement is not the guest name on the hotel folio.

The number of guests should not exceed one unless the room was shared with another Cerna employee. If the hotel folio states more than one guest, notation with guest names must be documented on the expense report line item. Cerna will reimburse for employee portions only.

Additional Exclusions

Cerna will not reimburse for the following items:

  • Mini bar charges

  • Internet fees not included with the hotel package (if other internet access is available)

  • Spa, gym or pool fees

  • Personal calls

  • Frequent guest programs

  • Laundry (except in stays over 7 consecutive days)

  • Concierge services

  • Fax, printing, copying, or package delivery services for personal use

  • Property damage

  • Maid tips


United States:

Rental cars should only be reserved when absolutely necessary. When use of a rental car is necessary, standard or intermediate class cars should be booked. Rental cars should only be booked at a lower cost than other means of transportation (rail/train, taxi, or personal car use over 400 miles).


All reservations including car rental, if necessary, should be made at the same time. If the employee has a company card, all bookings should be made using this card to ensure proper reporting and tracking.


Employees are covered by company insurance for rental cars used for business purposes. Rental cars for personal use are not covered.

Any employee who chooses to obtain the rental agency collision or liability insurance directly with the supplier will not be reimbursed for those fees.

If an employee is involved in an accident, the employee should:

  • Contact the rental agency

  • Contact local authorities

  • Forward all documentation to their supervising manager for record and follow up with agency on proper processing.

Additional Exclusions

Cerna will not reimburse for the following items:

  • Gas from rental car facility. All rental cars must be refueled prior to vehicle return

  • Prepayment of fuel option

  • Upgrades for rental car if the upgrade was an additional cost

  • Insurance for rental car (outside of what’s included in daily rental car rate)

  • Non-cancellation fees or charges

Employees will be reimbursed for toll services linked to rental cars. Please note that not all rental car facilities place a charge for the tolls as soon as you return the vehicle. It can take several weeks to obtain this automatically if it is not requested sooner. It is the employee's responsibility to ensure a proper itemized receipt is obtained within a reasonable time.


Zipcar provides a convenient and cost effective means of transportation for inner city locations as an alternative to taxi, train service, and personal car use. Cerna employees can use the Zipcar app to locate nearby cars, as well as drop off locations near their destination. All rates include insurance, gas and tolls.


Employees can use personal vehicle, shuttle bus to and from the airport of origin, or other forms of transportation only when the total parking and mileage expense would be greater. Costs incurred for these means of travel should not be excessive.


Mileage shall be reimbursed at the then-applicable IRS rate.

Reimbursement will be available for the following:

  • Travel to and from an employee’s home and airport in conjunction with a business trip

  • Travel to and from an employee’s home and customersite, if traveling from the employee’s home is closer than traveling from the employee’s usual office space.

  • Employees will not be reimbursed for the following:

  • Insurance or repairs made to any personal car, even if these costs are a result of business travel

  • Mileage between the employee’s home and ANY Cerna office or Customer site which may be reasonably construed as the employee’s usual office space

  • Fuel for personal car use, as well as wear-and-tear, as this is included in the cost of operating a vehicle for the mileage reimbursement

  • Traffic violations

  • Rental car club memberships and transaction fees

Each employee submitting mileage MUST provide a description on the expense report noting the Purpose of Trip and Location in order for reimbursement. Cerna will not reimburse more than 400 miles total roundtrip for personal car use. If the trip is going to be more than 400 miles roundtrip a rental car should be used based on the policies outlined in this document or a request for an exception in writing (email) can be made to the Reporting Manager for approval.

It is the employee's sole responsibility to maintain accurate mileage logs and adhere to the mileage reimbursement policy. Providing false or fraudulent claims for mileage reimbursement could result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination.


United States

Local travel is considered any travel within 75 miles roundtrip from the employee's house to the customer site. With the exception of mileage and parking, any expenses incurred during local travel are not reimbursable. This includes, but is not limited to meals, taxi, rail/train, and tolls.


Cerna will reimburse meals:

  • Up to a rate of $55 per day on travel days (Sundays)

  • Up to a rate of $66 per day where overnight travel with onsite consulting services are incurred or out of town travels with onsite consulting services are incurred.

The allowance limit is not to exceed daily. These are not per diem rates. If you do not use your meal allowance for that day, you will lose the allowance. Itemized receipts must be provided for all meal claims.

Meals should be entered separately by each meal receipt, for each day on the expense report. Tips for meals should be limited to between 15% -18% and will be included in your meal allowance. All meal receipts MUST be in full detail. Restaurant tear-off receipts, credit card portions, or summary receipts (see below) will not be reimbursed.

All employees including sales, consultants, and managers must submit itemized receipts. Summarized credit card receipts will not be accepted.

Company of itemized receipt:

Meal reimbursements will be given for single meal receipts only. Cerna will not reimburse for a meal if the receipt has:

  • Multiple meals on one receipt (unless dining with a customer or colleague for a legitimate business purpose)

  • Family meals

  • Boxed Candies

  • Theatre food

  • More than two (2) alcoholic beverages per person in attendance at the dinner, unless approved by management.

If employees choose to purchase one of the exclusions above, a separate receipt must be obtained for the employee's sole reimbursable meal.


Group meals are taken where Regional or Practice managers have arranged to take their teams out for a meal to either discuss company business, team building events, or successful completion of a strategic engagement. The Managing Executive PRIOR to the meal must approve all group meals. Any group meals submitted without prior approval will be rejected.

In requesting reimbursement for any group meal, Cerna requires Managers to follow the listed guidelines:

  • Group meals are ONLY to be expensed by Management

  • Group meals must be prior approved by an executive team member

  • Group meals are limited to $55 per person of attendance

  • Group meals must be notated on expense report to include location, attendee names and reason for meal

  • Incomplete information will cause a delay and rejection of expense report.

Cerna is liable for company related and sponsored functions. Good judgment for alcohol purchases and consumption is expected at any company event.


Business meals are taken with current customers or prospective customers. This will include Sales, Pre-Sales, Regional/Practice Managers and Regional Directors.

All business meals must be approved by an Executive Team Member PRIOR to the meal. Any business meals submitted without prior approval will be rejected.

All meal expenses must reflect good judgment, serve a legitimate business purpose, and should be paid for by the senior most employee present.

In requesting reimbursement for any business meal, Cerna requires Sales and Managers to adhere to IRS regulations by providing the following:

  • Attendees present

  • Location and date

  • Business purpose

  • Business meal must serve a legitimate business purpose or connection

  • Business meal expense must be supported by adequate documentation and details of the expenditure should be supplied on the expense line item

Meals must be at reasonable priced establishments. Cerna will not reimburse for Adult Entertainment, Casinos, etc.

Incomplete information will cause a delay and rejection of expense report.

Cerna is liable for company related and sponsored functions. Good judgment for alcohol purchases and consumption is expected at any company event.

Any business meal expense that falls outside of these policies must be approved and provided in writing to the Director of Operations.


Entertainment expenses include events other than business meals where business discussions take place immediately before, during or after an event. Qualifying employees that may submit for reimbursement of such expenses are limited to the Sales and Marketing Department. Employee must review the customer's policy first on the acceptance of gifts and entertainment as many customers have restrictions.

Reimbursement requirements include:

  • Pre-approval by Reporting Manager

  • Name and title of ALL participants

  • Name and location of establishment

  • Business Purpose or Topics discussed

  • Receipt from the event listing the amount and date

Cerna is liable for company related and sponsored functions. Good judgment for alcohol purchases and consumption is expected at any company event.

Any exception to these polices, must be approved and provided in writing to the Executive Manager, PRIOR to the submission of the expense.


Cerna’s return home policy is every weekend on multiple week engagements. Cerna Regional and Project Managers will work with our customers to derive the best solution. Whenever possible, arrangements for such travel will be made at the beginning of the engagement, and for long engagements, fourteen (14) days in advance of departure, to secure advance-booking discount rates, if available. Any other arrangements are by mutual consent.


Hotel phone use should be avoided unless in the event of an emergency. Approved managers and sales representatives may be issued a Cerna corporate phone.


Software related supplies that pertain to your laptop or working environment are required to be requested through the Cerna management.

Management must approve all office supply orders. If you require assistance ordering supplies, or with an order approval, please inform Operations Manager.

Approved employees who work from home are allowed the following for reimbursement:

  • Manila folders

  • Paper clips

  • Rubber bands

  • Printer paper (recycled)

  • Notepads

  • Post-It stamps

  • Stapler

  • Printer Ink

Any item not on the following list must be prior approved by the employee's Reporting Manager.


Cerna may assign company issued equipment to employees during their employment with Cerna. It is the employee's responsibility to ensure equipment is safe, secure, and free of any potential harm. If equipment becomes damaged, lost, or stolen, Cerna will replace the equipment at no cost to the employee. This is limited to one replacement every two-year period, including employee requested upgrades. If the employee has more than one incident of damaged, lost or stolen equipment within a two-year period, Cerna will replace the equipment at a cost to the employee. Depending on the equipment, the employee will either pay the replacement cost or remaining value of the damaged, lost, or stolen equipment.

Employees who are given a corporate issued cell phone are given an initial phone at no cost. If the employee wishes to upgrade, whether it’s eligible or an early upgrade, Cerna will cover $100 towards the upgrade. Remaining cost of the upgrade will be deducted from the employee’s next payroll. Should the upgraded phone become damaged, lost or stolen, Cerna will pay for the replacement of a standard issued phone. Enhancements or upgraded phone option replacements are at a cost to the employee and will be deducted from the employee’s next payroll.

Upon termination of employment, employee must return all Cerna issued equipment to avoid payment delays or legal action. Equipment may include: laptop, cell phone, external hard drive, docking station, desktop and printer, etc. Any final expense reimbursements will be held until all equipment is received back and in working condition.


Employees must notify management at least 90 days prior to departure date to ensure proper obtainment of any VISAs or documentation required for international travel. Both your Reporting Manager and Executives must approve any international travel that is overseas with an estimated cost greater than


Immunization costs are reimbursable if required for business travel and prior approval is received by your Reporting Manager.

When traveling to another country and cash is the preference, it is recommended to purchase cash at the employee's local currency or bank prior to traveling internationally. Foreign ATM fees are not reimbursable in excess of $20.00 USD equivalent.


Expense reports for international travel can be submitted by entering expenses based off their credit card statement that automatically converts the foreign charge to local currency (i.e. a US consultant traveling to Canada can enter expenses in USD based off the credit card statement that automatically converted CAD charges to USD), or by submitting original receipts, with the foreign currency, and including a conversion for each line item.


While traveling:

  • The employee must ensure that company assets are safeguarded at all times i.e. implement password protection in cell phones.

  • It is recommended that Cerna company logos not be prominently displayed in order to avoid unwanted attention.

  • Your laptop, wallet, cell phone and other high-tech gadgets are all targets. Be on the lookout for distraction, thefts, and do not leave your valuables unattended during the course of your travel including at airport security checkpoints.

  • Carry emergency telephone numbers. An up-to-date list of emergency contacts should be kept with you at all times.

  • Leave the airport as soon as possible after deplaning. Disturbances are more likely to occur in public airport lobbies.

  • Carry several days’ supply of any medications on your person even on day trips.

  • The rest can be kept in your luggage. Keep a note in your wallet listing your medications, their dosages, your physician’s name and phone number, and your blood type. If you are on a medication that requires an injection through a hypodermic needle, such as insulin, you will be required to present documentation from a physician.


It is recommended that employee purchase an international roaming plan for all cell phones or data packages to avoid excess roaming charges. Cerna will not reimburse for roaming charges if international plan was not obtained prior to requested travel.

International data added to Cerna issued phones is to be used for business trips only. Usage during personal trips is strictly prohibited unless it is necessary for business operation and agreed by management. Cerna will not reimburse any roaming charges if international roaming usage is not informed and approved prior to requested travel, or the charges are in violation of this policy.


All Countries


  • Parking fees for personal and rental car when on company business

  • Taxi (tip not to exceed 18%)

  • Rail/train (economy class only)

  • E-Fax (prior approval required)

  • Laundry (if staying at customer site 7 consecutive days)

  • Postage or freight for business related mail or delivery

  • Luggage or briefcases


  • Fuel for personal car

  • Upgrades for air, car, rail, etc. which incur additional costs

  • Clothing

  • Credit card fees (including finance or late charges)

  • Membership rewards annual fees

  • Health club fees

  • Expenses while on personal vacation days

  • Loss/theft of personal property

  • Personal insurance premiums

  • Child/pet care

  • Tobacco purchases

  • Tips for hotel shuttles or parking attendants

  • Limo service

  • In airport pickup service

  • Personal calls

  • Traffic violations

  • Cell phone upgrades and/or overages

Any expense not listed in the policy must be reviewed by the Reporting Manager prior to occurring. All exceptions to this policy must be approved by a Reporting Manager or Executive of Cerna in ADVANCE of expense taking place.


Expense reports must be submitted no later than 14 days after the date of expense, whenever possible and practicable. The date of expense is the date the item or service was received, not necessarily the date of invoice or charge. This timeline is a benefit both to the employee and to Cerna. It will assist the company’s financial department to track, manage and report company expenditures.

All expense reports are to be submitted through Expensify at least four (4) days prior to the payday following the pay period in which the expenses were incurred. Project or department managers must approve expenses in advance and review expense reports as they’re submitted. Expense reports submitted within the proper time frames with accuracy and proper approval, as stated in this policy, will be processed for the following paycheck’s disbursement.

Expense reports are not considered submitted unless the expense administrators have approved reports and expense receipts. If employee report or receipts are rejected, they are responsible to correct the issue and re-submit. The report must also be reapproved by the project manager.

Non-submitted, incomplete, incorrect or unapproved expenses will be subject to rejection, delay, non- payment and/or $25 late fee for each week late up to the 28-day deadline.

Delay or non-reimbursement can occur if:

  • The employee is either missing or not current on any timesheet(s), and the expense report reaches the 28-day deadline.

  • If a request for payment from a customer or vendor is denied due to late submission or an unqualified expense

  • Non-submission or repetitive late submission of expense reports

  • Reports submitted after the 28-day deadline


Receipts are mandatory for expense reimbursement. All receipts must be legible and each expense report must accompany receipts. A detailed explanation of the expense is required.

Items such as hotel bills that include room service, internet, laundry, etc. MUST be separated on your expense report by ‘expense type.’

All expense receipts MUST include, but are not limited to:

  • Copy of itinerary that includes dates, time of departure, and amount charged

  • Hotel receipt or folio not including internet summary receipts or reservation receipts

  • Car rental receipts must include the original bill with details on daily rate and total charges

U. EMPLOYEE AGREEMENT TO FOLLOW SPECIFIED CUSTOMER POLICIES Employees are required to following customer policies if they have their own travel and expense policy that Cerna has contractually agreed to abide by. It is the employee’s obligation to check what the applicable policy is for each customer engagement and take all reasonable steps to educate him/herself

regarding the specific terms of the applicable customer-specific travel and expense policy for each customer with which he/she is engaged or performs work.

Travel and Expense Policy