Reimbursement

Reimbursement

What is Reimbursement?

Per Wikipedia, reimbursement is “the act of compensating someone for an out-of-pocket expense by giving them an amount of money equal to what was spent.” The Department of Housing and Residence Life—and subsequently RHA—works on a reimbursement system. That is, when you’ve been given the authority to purchase an item on RHA’s behalf (perhaps by submitting a bill and having that bill passed through Hall Council), you purchase that item with out-of-pocket funding that you personally provide from your own personal funding sources, and then RHA gives you money back equal to the amount of money that you spent. In this way, once the reimbursement process has been completed, you will have purchased an item with no net loss of funds to you.

RHA’s reimbursement system is built on DocuSign, an Institute-approved platform for managing digital paperwork. Reimbursements are issued through the Bursar via Direct Deposit; before proceeding, please follow these directions to set up Direct Deposit on your GT Bursar account if you haven’t already.

Why Use A Reimbursement System?

Reimbursement is a common financial management tactic and system utilized in thousands of public and private company settings across the world. At Georgia Tech, reimbursement is recognized as an appropriate method of procurement and recommended for use by RHA. Reimbursement allows RHA to ensure that our funding is used only for the exact purposes specified in approved bills and in accordance with RHA, department, and Institute policies.

Imagine a situation in which a Bill Author passes a bill to get $100 in funding for pizza. If RHA were to simply give that Bill Author $100, the Bill Author could use that funding for anything—certainly not just pizza, and perhaps items that are prohibited under Institute, state, or federal law. Reimbursement resolves this issue while also minimizing the amount of pre-approval necessary for purchases and without artificially restraining the number and type of vendors that Bill Authors can procure services and items from.

 

Submit a Receipt

Looking to start the RHA reimbursement process and submit your receipts and necessary forms? Visit the link in the table below corresponding to your Hall Council to be routed to DocuSign to begin! Before you submit a receipt, please make sure you’ve reviewed our finance policies and the remainder of the information on this page. For a full list of RHA’s finance policies, please look to RHA’s Policy Book in Title IV: Financial Policies.

 

Docusign Instructions

When you land on the first page titled “PowerForm Signer Information,” please read the instructions and fill out your name and email. Please do not edit any of the other information, as that will result in your reimbursement being delayed or lost. 

Click “Begin Signing” to continue to the Expenditure Authorization Form (EAF), where you will fill out demographic information and information associated with your reimbursement. You will also submit a picture or scan of the corresponding receipt and include any additional required forms. Remember that your receipt must be itemized, and the name of the store and date of purchase must be clearly printed. Then, follow the instructions provided in the help text for each of the fields to accurately fill out the necessary fields on the form. When you have filled out the required information, please hit “Finish.” Your reimbursement information will automatically be passed to your Hall Council Finance Coordinator, and they’ll begin processing your reimbursement!

What Happens Next?

After the first phase of the process is complete and your reimbursement is approved, you will receive a completed email from DocuSign with the finalized EAF. After this, there are a few more steps required to complete the process, but you can continue to sit back and relax! RHA’s Director of Finance will finish up your reimbursement and deliver it to the Department of Housing and Residence Life to process and submit through the Bursar’s Direct Deposit system. 

Timeline

You must submit your receipt within 2 weeks of the bill being passed. Once your EAF is submitted, your Finance Coordinator has 2 days to sign it. After they sign it, the Hall Director receives the EAF, and they have 4 days to sign it. Our Auditor then obtains the EAF and has a week to approve it. Finally, the DOF processes the EAF and sends it to our Accountant in Housing and Residence Life. This entire process can take up to 4 weeks.

 

Tips and Tricks

Track Your Reimbursements

Want to track your reimbursements? You can track the progress of your submitted DocuSign if you initialize your GT DocuSign account! Go to docusign.com, select “Log In,” and sign in with your original GT email address (note that this is the original email based on your GT username that you were provided, not any email aliases you may have created while here at Tech. As an example, George P Burdell might use gburdell1@gatech.edu, not georgepburdell@gatech.edu). You’ll be directed to sign-in using Tech’s single sign-on service, and once you do so, you will have logged into DocuSign and initialized your account. Moving forward, when you complete DocuSigns for RHA reimbursements, be sure to list your original GT email address—which is now connected to your initialized GT DocuSign account—as your email address. After you complete a DocuSign, you’ll see it in your DocuSign account and will be able to track its progress as it goes from Finance Coordinator to Hall Director to Auditor to Director of Finance. Once your DocuSign has all of its required signatures, it will be sent to Housing and Residence Life’s accounting department, which typically processes completed DocuSigns and reimburses students within two weeks. Note that initializing your DocuSign account will not retroactively link any DocuSigns you may have previously signed to your DocuSign account; it will only link DocuSigns that you sign moving forward, after initialization.

Where Is My Money?

Has it been a while since you submitted your reimbursement paperwork and you still have not found your reimbursement in your Bursar account? RHA and the Department of Housing and Residence Life usually processes reimbursements within 4 weeks after receiving your reimbursement information. Please reach out to RHA’s DOF and provide a copy of your EAF and/or receipt, along with the date that you originally submitted your EAF if it has been more than 4 weeks since submitting your EAF. If it has been less than 4 weeks, please be patient—your reimbursement is on its way!

Leaving a Tip?

Planning on leaving a tip? If the tip is printed on the receipt and included in the total, you are good to go—just submit the receipt as usual. Planning on leaving an unrecorded cash tip? Be sure to have RHA’s Tip Verification Form on hand so that the recipient can physically sign to affirm that the tip was given. Mark the appropriate boxes on DocuSign and upload a picture or scan of that form along with your submission.