Guidance for Utilizing Your AFDF Funding

All Affiliated Faculty Professional Development Fund (AFDF) awards must be used between July 1 and June 30 each award cycle. AFDF’s are funded from the College's annual operating budget, and thus cannot be extended. The purpose of this message is to provide you with key dates and reminders for spending your funds, as well as guidance and how-to’s for common transactions.

Key Point of Contact for AFDF Expenses

  • rosita_huang [at] (Rosita Huang)title="Contact Rosita Huang"
  • eric_asetta [at] (Eric Asetta)title="Contact Eric"

Key Dates

  • May 1: Last day to create requisitions for goods and services.
  • May 28: Last day to submit expense reports for reimbursement and supplier invoice requests.
  • June 30: Last day to use funds to make purchases in the Workday Marketplace, and for any wages and fringe benefits to be incurred.
  • July 8: Complete review and approval of FY PCard activity in Workday. 

Timely Submission of Receipts and Invoices (The "Thirty Day" Rule)

Emerson accounting policy requires that invoices for services rendered, or reimbursements for business expenses, must be submitted via Workday no later than thirty (30) days after the date of service or purchase

Allowability, Reasonableness, and Allocability of Costs

As an institution of higher education, Emerson College follows the four cost principles outlined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s Code of Federal Regulations. The principles require that, for an expense to be charged to a College account, the cost must be allowable, reasonable, necessary to the stated purpose of the purchase, and allocable to the specific College account being used.  

  • Allowable: The expense is allowed under the College’s purchasing and accounting rules.
  • Reasonable: The amount is reasonable for the goods or services acquired.
  • Necessary: The purchase is necessary for the conduct of College-related business or research.
  • Allocable: The expense is charged to the correct account. 

Prohibition on the Use of Personal Funds for Certain Expenses

Do not purchase gift cards, or pay consultants, student employees, visiting artists, or honoraria out of pocket. The College will not reimburse you for these expenses. Refer to the guidance on this page for instructions on how to pay for these costs.

Prohibition on the Use of Per Diem Rates for Reimbursement of Lodging

Per Emerson’s Travel and Business policy, government-set per diem rates may only be claimed as reimbursement for meals and incidentals. Reimbursement of per diem lodging rates is not permitted; you must submit your actual hotel/lodging receipts for reimbursement. 

Workday Accounting Codes

The accounting worktags for the AFDF are as follows: 

Worktag Type Default Worktag
Cost Center 830230 Office of Research and Creative Scholarship
Program PG400 Academic Support
Fund FD001 Operations
Project AA00007 PTFF Faculty Grant

When creating an expense report in Workday, you can search for "PTFF" in the Project or Grant field. Select the PTFF worktag and the other fields (cost center, etc.) will automatically populate.

Policies that Inform the Use of AFDF Funds

The Affiliated Faculty Professional Development Grant is governed by the College's guidelines on Faculty Travel and Research Spending, and the College’s Travel and Business Policy. Recipients should read through these policies prior to incurring any expenditures. 

Allowable Expenditures Under the AFDF Award

  • Travel and expenses leading to scholarly, peer-reviewed publications
  • Travel and expenses leading to the production of creative and artistic works such as media productions, creative writing, performances, screenplays, exhibitions, audio and music productions, etc.
  • Travel and expenses related to refereed conference presentations of scholarly or creative activities
  • Travel and expenses related to presentations to industry-related conferences and conventions
  • Expenses for attending seminars and conferences related to new course development
  • Expenses for attending faculty development seminars and conferences to improve teaching skills

Unallowable Expenditures Under the AFDF Award

  • Activities that are already defined as part of affiliated faculty members’ expected duties and responsibilities
  • Activities for which the affiliated faculty member is already receiving compensation, course release, or some other form of College support
  • Additional salary or compensation for Emerson faculty and staff
  • Retroactive expenses and activities

Guidance and Key Points for Common Expenditures


  • COVID-19: Faculty members who plan on traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic must be authorized to do so from their Department Chair prior to purchasing anything related to travel.
  • Reservations: Most travel and business expenses may be paid using the College Purchasing Card. This is the preferred method. Department admins have access to these cards, as does ORCS. To the greatest extent possible, do not use your personal funds or credit card to make reservations for College travel.
  • Airfare: Airline tickets may be purchased in advance through the College’s travel vendor, SAP Concur. For more information, please contact ORCS. If requesting reimbursement for airfare, reimbursement can only be processed once your travel has been completed. Your paid receipt and boarding passes must be uploaded with your Expense Report.
  • Car Rental: Car rentals may be reserved through SAP Concur. Please contact ORCS for assistance. 
  • Conference Fees: Faculty need to upload the paid receipt and one page conference dates and details. These expenses should be submitted for reimbursement after the faculty has attended the conference.
  • Reimbursements: For reimbursement of expenses such as airfare, ground transportation, mileage, per diem, etc., the College guidelines apply. You must submit an Expense Report with all receipts, proof of payment, boarding passes, etc. via Workday within 30 days of completing your trip. Reimbursements can only be initiated after you have completed your trip. 
  • Per Diem (Meals and Incidentals): Per diem rates are set by the General Services Administration and are the maximum allowances for meals and incidental expenses. Per diem includes meals and incidentals (e.g. tips, gratuities, taxi to/from meal) for the city visited. Food charges on a hotel room bill will not be reimbursed if the per diem method is used. Under the per diem method, receipts are not required. You are required to show proof of city visited (e.g. boarding pass, hotel receipt etc.).
  • Lodging: Travelers will be reimbursed for lodging accommodations that are necessary and reasonable. Per College policy, travelers may not use the per diem method for reimbursement of lodging costs.
Expense Procurement Methods Notes
  1. Reserve via SAP Concur;
  2. Corporate p-card;
  3. Reimbursement via Expense Report
  1. Transportation costs purchased with personal credit cards will not be reimbursed until the trip has been completed. Paid receipt and boarding passes must be included with your Expense Report.
  2. First class travel is not allowable nor is business class generally allowable unless there is a rare exception.
Car Rental
  1. Reserve via SAP Concur;
  2. Corporate p-card;
  3. Reimbursement via Expense Report
Emerson College's preferred car rental vendors are Enterprise and National.
Personal Auto Expenses (for College business) Reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle for College business, using the IRS standard mileage rate.
  1. Corporate p-card;
  2. Reimbursement via Expense Report;
  3. Reimbursement via Expense Report (see notes)
Travelers will be reimbursed for lodging accommodations that are necessary and reasonable. The College will reimburse the cost of a single room unless a larger room is shared with another College employee or conference attendee. Expanded accommodations for family members and/or guests are the responsibility of the traveler and will not be reimbursed.
Per Diem

Reimbursement via Expense Report (see notes)

While traveling away from the campus, you may be reimbursed for per diem costs, which are dependent upon the city of travel. The figures for individual cities can be found at under “Most requested links'' on the homepage.
You will receive 75% of the total per diem rate on the first and last day of travel and full amount all days in between.
Conference Fees
  1. Corporate p-card;
  2. Reimbursement via Expense Report
Faculty need to upload the paid receipt and one page conference dates and details. These expenses should be submitted for reimbursement after the faculty has attended the conference.

Research Expenses, Supplies, and Equipment

  • To the greatest extent possible, faculty should purchase supplies, materials, etc. for their AFDF projects using the Marketplace in Workday. Marketplace vendors include Amazon, B&H Photo, Apple, and others. ORCS is happy to assist with these purchases. 
  • Research supplies can also be reimbursed via Expense Report, subject to cost allowability. 
  • See matrix below for purchasing guidance on specific types of supplies and equipment.
Expense Procurement Methods Notes
Materials and Supplies
  1. Request ORCS purchase of supplies from Workday Marketplace;
  2. Reimbursement via Expense Report (subject to cost allowability)
The WD Marketplace has supplier catalogs for the following vendors:
  • Adorama
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • B&H Photo
  • Dell
  • Connection
  • Grainger
  • WB Mason
Contact ORCS for assistance with WD Marketplace purchases.
Computer Hardware Requisition/P.O. in Workday (required) Contact ORCS for assistance
Computer Software (Media, Licenses, Support, Agreements) Requisition/P.O. in Workday (required) Contact ORCS for assistance
Equiment over $5,000 Requisition/P.O. in Workday (required) Contact ORCS for assistance

Artist Fees and Expenses, Honoraria for Non-Emersonians

  • Artist Fees and Expenses, Honoraria: Do not pay artist fees, expenses, or honoraria directly; you cannot be reimbursed for these expenditures. Contact ORCS before engaging an individual's services.
  • Contracting Requirements: The College requires that consultants sign an Acknowledgement of Payment form, and will be paid following the submission of invoices for services rendered. ORCS has approved invoicing templates on file.
  • New Supplier Requests: Artists and honoraria recipients who have not previously done business with the College must be entered into Workday as a new Supplier. Please contact ORCS for assistance with this. A completed and signed W9 is also required for individuals who have not previously done business with the College. 
  • Purchase Orders (Artists only): For artist fees and expenses totaling more than $600, Emerson College must first issue a Purchase Order to the artist as part of its procurement process. Please contact ORCS for assistance with this.
  • Reimbursement of Artist/Non-Emersonian Expenses: Requests for reimbursement of a non-Emerson employee for allowable expenses must be submitted via Workday as an “Expense Report for Non-Workers.” The report must be accompanied by all necessary documentation, including receipts and boarding passes. Contact ORCS for further assistance.
  • Honorarium: An honorarium is a token payment made to bestow recognition to an individual for services they perform, for which payment is not required. Generally, honoraria are paid to persons of scholarly or professional standing in conjunction with an academic, research, or creative activity at Emerson. Emerson faculty and staff are ineligible to receive honoraria. An honorarium of up to $600 may be paid to an eligible individual using AFDF funds.
  • Invoices: In order for Emerson to process payment, an artist must generate an invoice and indicate the fee amount, the date the work and/or performance, where the work was provided, and the nature of the work.
  • Emerson Templates and Forms for Consultants and Vendors: The following templates should be utilized when engaging outside contractors using College funds. Please contact ORCS should you have any questions.
Expense Procurement Methods Notes
Artist Fees (up to $600) Acknowledgement of Payment Form, W9, and invoice Do not pay artists out of pocket. The College cannot reimburse you for consultant costs paid from personal funds
Artist Fees (over $600)
  1. Acknowledgement of Payment Form, W9, and invoice;
  2. Requisition/P.O. in Workday required
Contact ORCS for assistance
Artist Expenses Reimbursement via "Expense Report for Non-Worker" in WD Backup documentation required. Contact ORCS for assistance
Honorarium (up to $600) Signed Honorarium Agreement and W9 Do not pay honorarium recipients out of pocket. Must create "New Supplier Request" and payment request in WD. Contact ORCS for assistance

Student Assistants

  • Prohibition on Reimbursement: Under no circumstances should you pay a student directly for labor and submit for reimbursement. Engagement of student workers must be initiated through ORCS and Student Employment.
  • Recently Graduated Students: Recently graduated students should also not be engaged as consultants; in most cases, state employment laws require that we hire them as temporary employees. Contact ORCS with any questions. 
  • For step-by-step guidance on a creating a student job requisition in Workday using your AFDF funds, contact eric_asetta [at] (subject: Hiring%20Students%20with%20AFDF%20Funds) (ORCS)title="Email Eric Asetta"