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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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Budget Office

Travel

Overview

The opportunity to travel is critical to the professional development of both faculty and staff. The Budget Office is responsible for providing oversight to ensure that all applicable regulations and rules are followed and to provide assistance when requested. The University has a 28 page manual that details all of the requirements.

Click here to review the travel manual.

There are three avenues open to those who travel on approved business at the expense of the College:

  1. The traveler may make his or her own arrangements.
  2. The traveler may ask for assistance from the department or project whose budget is charged.
  3. The traveler may request assistance from the budget office.

Generally, the decision about how to proceed is left to the traveler. Those who make their own arrangements will retain a higher degree of control over the details of the trip than those who rely on assistance. Regardless of the option that is selected, however, the rules that control public travel remain the same. These rules will impact the traveler as the trip is planned, during the trip and after the trip.

Planning Your Trip

All travel must be approved by the appropriate supervisor before any arrangements are made.

    1. Gather estimated expenses.
    2. Complete and submit a TAR to the Budget Office travel inbox.
    3. Print and keep a file of all confirmations.

Note:  Public travel is tightly controlled. There are limits imposed on the cost of travel, hotel accommodations, meal per diem and all other allowable expenses.   The travel manual provides current information on these regulations. It is critical that all reservations comply with the prescribed standards.

During the Trip

    1. Bring the file of all confirmations with you on the trip.
    2. Maintain a file of original receipts for everything for which reimbursement is expected.  If you are unable to provide receipts, you should not expect to be reimbursed.  Receipts for meals are not required since a per diem rate is applicable.
    3. Be sure to keep the conference agenda or schedule of activities for the purpose of the trip. If meals were provided as a part of the program, you will not receive per diem for them.
    4. Even though you may have confirmed reservations that are billed directly elsewhere, there are no guarantees that cover the uncertainties of the road. Mix ups occur and may not be resolvable by long distance. You should always be prepared to pay for your own expenses.
    5. Again, get and keep receipts for everything.

After the Trip

    1. Complete and submit a Travel Reimbursement Request, receipts, and conference agenda to the Budget Office Travel inbox within three days of return. As time passes, receipts tend to be lost. The best practice is to complete this form as soon as possible upon returning to your home base. As noted above, the Budget Office is a resource that can help, but this is a time critical event. A Budget Office Travel Assistant will use the reimbursement documents to create a Reimbursement Voucher and send it to you for signatures.
    2. Print and return the Reimbursement Voucher to the Budget Office Travel inbox with your signature as well as your Supervisor’s signature.  The Supervisor’s signature must be an original.
    3. Public travel is a highly visible process. Expect that your voucher will be examined very carefully, and that questionable expenses will be disallowed. At this point, Finance & Accounting controls the process. The Budget Office is prepared to assist you with disputes, but has very little influence over the outcome.
    4. Reimbursement will be made by direct deposit to your bank account. At this time, you will not receive any remittance advice, nor will you be advised about any claims that were disallowed. You are expected to monitor your account and to recognize (and if necessary, reconcile) deposits that are made by the University.

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