Finance & Administration (F&A) is responsible for the administration of all travel reconciliation within Central University Advancement. F&A applies regulations and approval requirements in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined by the University of Washington on the Travel Office’s web-site at: http://www.washington.edu/admin/travel/.All travel expenses are reimbursed by using the e-Travel system through an Expense Report (ER). For instructions to creating an ER please review the “ER example” document.
Types of travel – “ in travel status” versus “local travel”
An employee can be in travel status or be in local travel status. Eligible expenses for reimbursement depend on the travel status of the employee
In Travel Status
To be considered in travel status, you must meet all three criterion:
- Be traveling on the behalf of the University/State,
- Be three hours beyond your normal work hours, and
- Be more than 50 miles one way (most direct route) from either your official station or your official residence, exclusive of commuting between your official station and official residence.
If the above guidelines do not apply, you can still be considered in travel status with prior approval from your manager. When the traveler is in travel status, it is presumed that he/she will receive a per diem (food and lodging), and all associated reimbursements (other than donor hosting) should be made using the e-Travel system.
Most travel expenses incurred by University Advancement employees are considered local travel. Local travel means that the employee is travelling on behalf of the University but is not considered to be in travel status. The key differences are that lodging expenses will not be reimbursed and per diem meal rates are not applied. Because meal expenses associated with local travel are not considered “travel expenses”, they are not processed through e-Travel. In order to have meals reimbursed, the University Advancement Request for Payment or Reimbursement Form (pdf) must be submitted along with applicable itemized receipts/perjury statements to F&A.
The e-Travel system
Each unit within UA should decide who will be responsible for arranging travel and preparing an ER in the e-Travel system. The traveler could be the preparer or a primary person could be designated to serve that function in each unit. The preparer is responsible for gathering all necessary documentation and inputting the information in to an ER. There are a few red flags that will cause a delay in reimbursement: personal travel time, mileage exceeding 600 miles, ticket change fee, and excessive lodging expenses.
After the ER is submitted, the preparer will need to send the printed ER (in landscape view) and the corresponding original receipts of $75 or more to the F&A travel administrator at, Mail Box: 359504 or Fax: 206-685-8911.
The $75 “no receipt” waiver does not apply to the following expenses:
- Car rental
- Train/rail itinerary
These items always need original itemized receipts. Once F&A completes the compliance approval, the information packet will be forwarded to the Travel Office.
*Warning- the e-Travel system generates several notifications and “action required” emails for travelers, preparers, and approvers. One suggestion to manage the volume of emails is to change the email settings to summary in order to receive one condensed email per day about an ER. To view more ideas about managing the emails, please refer to the following information: http://f2.washington.edu/fm/travel/email#preference
Travel Reimbursement Payment
UW employees enrolled in Payroll direct deposit will have their travel reimbursement automatically direct deposited to the same bank account within two business days from final approval of the ER (the Traveler is the last to approve). UW employees not on direct deposit will receive a check through campus mail. UW employees enrolled in Payroll direct deposit, but would like to receive a check instead must select “no” for direct deposit in the Check Delivery Information section for each ER or edit their Travel Profile to always default to an actual check.
How To Arrange Travel
Prior to Travel
Always ensure compliance with the State and University travel and transportation regulations. The Travel Office maintains a detailed website which outlines all key policies. This website can be referred to for questions concerning personal travel, transportation options, event registration, lodging, meal per diem rates, and other miscellaneous expenses.
- Save all non-food receipts of $75 or more
- Travelers are only eligible for meal reimbursements based on the Per Diem rate for the city
- When meals are included in the conference, per diem meal rates are not be reimbursed.
- When meals are associated with donor stewardship and would be greater than the per diem rate, the per diem for that particular meal is forgone and the entire donor meal will be reimbursed an Accounts Payable check request (it is not reimbursed through e-Travel)
- Return as promptly as possible to either the official station or official residence when the state business is completed.
- UW Travelers may combine air travel for official University business with personal time (please see the personal travel section of the Travel’s Offices website – Personal Travel)
- Exercise good judgment when incurring expenses.
- The preparer should submit the ER in a timely manner with appropriate receipts and related documents (itinerary or conference program and registration form) as required.
- For scanning purposes, receipts must be taped on all 4 corners to one side of a blank 8.5 x 11 white paper. DO NOT cover pertinent information on the receipt with tape. Do not use a highlighter.
- Submit the landscape view printed ER with appropriate receipts and related documents to F&A for review.
- F&A will serve as the compliance approver and will submit all documents to the Travel Office. Supervisors will serve as budget approver and then the traveler is the final approver.
- For additional assistance with preparing an ER, please refer to the e-Travel website (e-Travel system).
Paying for Travel
Paying for in travel status expenses on a personal credit card should be avoided. Using a personal card can create a potential hardship on the employee while he/she is awaiting reimbursement and it may be difficult to distinguish between personal expenses versus business expenses. Expenses should instead be paid via the UW Travel Card or the Central Travel Account (CTA). The UW Travel Card utilizes a reimbursement method, and the CTA uses a direct-charge method. For a brief outline of payment methods please review the payment matrix spreadsheet.
Further explanation of each method follows:
UW Travel Card
UW employees may (with supervisor authorization) apply for an individual travel charge card. The holder of the card is responsible to pay for any charges incurred on this account, and for subsequently submitting receipts via an ER in a timely manner.
The UW Travel card can be used to charge all university business-related travel expenses such as:
- Car rental
- All meal charges
Employees should apply for travel cards directly to the UW Travel Office. The application form is available at: Travel Card form.
Central Travel Account (CTA)
The Central Travel Account allows only Central UA departments to charge airline and rail/bus tickets and five or more lodging expenses. If a unit’s travel arranger would like to utilize the CTA for the first time, please contact the F&A travel administrator.
F&A is responsible for reconciling all charges posted to the CTA, therefore a signed Central Travel Account Authorization[x5] form along with documentation (i.e. airline reservation, hotel folio) must be submitted to F&A within 5 days of travel.
Allowable And Non-Allowable Expenses
Ordinary travel expenses such as parking, mileage, airfare, lodging, taxi fares, meals, rental cars, conference registrations, etc. are reimbursed upon submittal of receipts. Other miscellaneous expenses will be reimbursed on a case by case analysis or with prior approval. Normal work location parking and parking violation or traffic violation tickets will never be reimbursed for any reason. Any late fees associated with the individual travel card are also not reimbursable.
For a detailed description of reimbursable expenses versus non-reimbursable expenses, please refer to the UW Travel Office’s website at: Travel Office.
© 2012 University of Washington University Advancement