UT Health Science Center: FI0705-H Travel
No./Title: F705 – Travel
Resp. Office: FINANCE
Effective Date: 07/01/2016
Last Review: 04/21/2022
Next Review: 04/20/2024
Contact: Jonathan Lawshe, Director Procurement Services
Policies: FI0705 Travel
University fiscal Policy F10705 University Travel outlines in detail the guidelines and reimbursement rates for expenses incurred by employees while in travel status on official University business and should be utilized as the official reference in all official travel matters. The items noted below outline procedures specific to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center or are of the particular note.
(Policy Item Number 5): The campus/institute business officer (or designee) and the University Treasurer (or designee) must approve any exceptions to this policy with the exception of lodging exceptions. Lodging exceptions require the approval of only the campus/institute business officer. At UTHSC, exceptions to the policy should rarely be submitted and only in extraordinary circumstances.
(Policy Item Number 32-34): Case/Travel advances may be obtained when university travel would impose a financial burden for the employee or student traveling on university business. Advances from university funds constitute a loan to an individual. Cash advances are requested using the Concur Request module. Travelers should allow enough time for the advance to be approved by the department head and advances in excess of $3,000 require additional approval by the campus/Institute business office.
Normally, a cash advance will not be made more than ten days before the travel departure date and will be direct deposited into the employee’s bank account. The amount of the advance will automatically be deducted from the total expenses incurred. If a travel expense report is not submitted within 30 days from the end of the trip, the entire amount of the outstanding balance will be withheld from the employee’s next payroll check or future business reimbursements to the employee. By requesting a travel advance, the employee is authorizing this deduction. Requests for cash advances will only be considered on an exception basis and in cases of extreme hardship.
(Policy Item Number37-39): Departments may use travel cards to purchase airline tickets and car rentals for employees and other travelers authorized to travel at the university’s expense. These expenses must not be paid more than 6 months in advance of the travel. The cardholder is responsible for obtaining acceptable receipts, ensuring that the purchases comply with policy, and processing the transactions in the travel expense systems. Cardholders should never give their travel card to others. If non card holding travelers will incur additional out of pocket expenses on a trip, a travel expense report should be completed by them or on their behalf so that the funds will be paid directly to them. The expense report should note any expenses paid by someone else on their behalf.
(Policy Item Number 27iii): The rental of luxury class, private sedans, or car services, and stretch limousines are prohibited for employees. The rental of full-size vehicles or smaller are permissible on the HSC Campus. The rental of SUVs, minivans, vans, or any class vehicle higher than a full-size automobile must be preapproved by the CBO or his/her delegate through the HSC Accounts Payable Office.
AUTOMOBILE RENTAL AT OFFICIAL STATION
(Policy Item Number 27i): In order to rent a car locally for travel purposes, the motor pool department must first be contacted to see if a UTHSC vehicle is available. If not, a notice from the motor pool must be obtained and submitted with the travel expense report.
DESIGNATED TRAVEL AGENCY
(Policy Item Number 9): UTHSC travelers are encouraged to use the University’s designated travel agency, World Travel Services, Inc. Airline reservations may be made through World Travel and the service fees for both telephone and online reservations are reimbursable. World Travel can also assist travelers in securing CONUS rates for lodging. If the CONUS rate is not available at the destination, a World Travel consultant will document via E-mail that the CONUS rate was not available and that the rate booked was the lowest rate available at the time of the booking. Attach the E-mail to the reimbursement request in addition to the hotel receipt and enter into IRIS under “Lodging Agency” expense type. Concur Solutions is the online self-service booking tool provided by World Travel and is available to all employees.
FLIGHT CLASS REQUIRED
(Policy Item Number 12): In accordance with Tenn Code Ann. § 49-7-130, reimbursement for airfare will be limited to economy fare. Economy refers to any class that is not business or first class. No business or first-class fares will be reimbursed. Since this information must be obtained, travelers are discouraged from using either Travelocity or Expedia since they no longer specify Flight Class or Itineraries.
(Policy Item Numbers 56): Local hotels may be paid on behalf of guest travelers by the University via direct bill. Guest travelers are entered into the IRIS HR system through E- Form, ZPHRRECORD000. The guest traveler is approved by the Payroll office and assigned a personnel number. An approved travel request must be processed for the trip. Local hotel reservations will be made by AP staff and the department will be provided with the confirmation number. Travel expenses for individuals accompanying a guest must be entered in IRIS as the “other” expense type, and requires approval by Department Chair.
Former Employees (Policy Number 61): Anyone who has a personnel number in IRIS but is in a withdrawn status at the time of the travel should be rehired as a guest traveler through IRIS and their travel processed through IRIS. If they are in an active status at the time of the travel, it should be processed through IRIS. Travel for all other employees, including students, in an active status in IRIS, must be processed through TRIP in IRIS. The department with the responsible cost center must enter the travel request/expense report in IRIS. If circumstances are such that this is not feasible, contact the Accounts Payable Office.
(Policy Numbers 52-55): At UTHSC meals are reimbursed at the per diem rate for the location(s) of travel. Departure and return travel days are prorated at 75% of per diem, less any meals provided by a host agency. Receipts are therefore not required. Under no circumstance is the expense type “meals exception” to be used at UTHSC.
(Policy Item Number 35-36): Registration fees may be prepaid by the University and are processed through the Concur Travel Request module. Expense type “Conference/Training Registration Fees” must be selected. The traveler should then select the option “Yes, Centrally Paid” under the field “UT to Prepay Registration fees”. This request must be submitted at least two weeks before the payment deadline to ensure proper approval and processing. If the on-line registration requires a user id and password, the employee must include the appropriate conference log-in information. If the traveler pays the registration out of personal funds, the fee can only be reimbursed after the completion of the trip by attaching the paid receipt tothe expense report.
(Policy Item Number 69-79): An original, itemized receipt must be submitted for lodging, registration fees, airline tickets, airline baggage charges, rental cars, and any other allowable expense of $10 or more. (Receipts for gasoline are required for reimbursement, regardless of the amount). The documentation of airfare must include the name of the passenger, dates of travel, complete trip itinerary, name of the airline, class of service, and a breakdown of taxes and fees. Airfare will be reimbursed at a standard economy/coach fare regardless of the funding source and the documentation must include evidence of payment by the traveler. Lodging receipts must include the name of the individual occupying the room, the daily room charges, applicable taxes, total charges and indication of total payment received (zero balance). Rental car receipts must itemize all charges paid for the determination of reimbursable expenses. All travel claims submitted for the reimbursement 120 days or more after completion of the trip require an explanation and further approval of the Chief Business Officer or their designee. If an employee pays expenses associated with another employee, guests or student, the expenses must be submitted at the same time as their expenses and each expense report should reference the other.
IN-STATE TRAVEL POLICY
(Policy Item Number 89): At UTHSC an approved travel request is not required for employee in- state travel.
(Policy Item Number 91): At UTHSC requests for international travel must be approved by the Chief Business Officer or their designee. Furthermore, the cost of international travel is to be paid on restricted funds whenever possible. Travel may be allowed on limited unrestricted accounts where the source is non-appropriated state funds. For example, unrestricted accounts funded by F&A return would be considered for international travel. Please contact the Office of Finance should you have further questions or need guidance regarding the use on unrestricted accounts for international travel.
Links to University Fiscal Policy FI0705 and other forms referenced in the above Procedure may be found at the UTHSC Accounts Payable Website: http://www.uthsc.edu/finance/acctpayable/index.php