Recommendations on New Travel Business Model for LBNL
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Recommendations on New Travel Business Model for LBNL January 11, 2007. Project Participants. Outline. Travel Facts The Problem Feedback from Travelers & Divisions Recommendations. LBL Travel Facts (FY06). Business Analysis-The Problem. Lack of leadership; staffing issues

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Outline

  • Travel Facts

  • The Problem

  • Feedback from Travelers & Divisions

  • Recommendations



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Business Analysis-The Problem

  • Lack of leadership; staffing issues

  • Multiple business processes; no institutional consistency

  • Administration of travel is costly

  • Reimbursement can take a long time

    • 100% audit

    • too many errors

    • missing receipts

  • Pre-trip approval process for foreign trips is lengthy

  • Gelco system not intuitive, buggy, broken

  • Divisions, users and the Travel Office unable to easily get the information they need


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Feedback from Travel Surveys

  • 10% of travelers responded; primarily scientists

  • Most travelers want to be able to easily make their own reservations and prepare expense reports

  • Majority want Gelco system replaced

  • Most consider 1-2 weeks a reasonable amount of time to be reimbursed (from the time an expense report is completed)

  • 21% of scientific divisions agree with concept of eliminating formal pre-authorizations of domestic trips

  • A number of divisions wanting formal authorization are in favor of waiving trip expense approval; (UC policy requires post trip approval)

6


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Recommendations

Core Travel Team’s Guiding Principles:

Faster reimbursement

Improve the customer experience

Keep it simple

Minimize cost of processing

Consider what is right for the institution


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Summary of Key Recommendations

  • Develop one consistent institutional process *

    • Divisions are currently handling pre & post-travel processes in many different ways:

      • Some don’t require pre-approval

      • # of approvals vary

      • Use of Gelco varies by division

  • Domestic travel: require pre-approval within divisions; recommend using email

  • Reimburse traveler only after all required receipts have been submitted *

  • Continue current practice of reimbursing for actual cost of meals & incidental expenses (M&IE) up to maximum per diem rates, and clarify policy

  • Default reimbursement (other than airfare) directly to employee’s bank account rather than disbursing checks*

  • Move expense reimbursement of travel to Disbursements *

  • If above recommendations are adopted, replace Gelco with an intuitive, user-friendly interface coupled with PeopleSoft travel module, and also mandate use of system

  • The system should be used by all travelers

    *Represents best practice

    *Represents best practice


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What the Process Will Look Like

-4 steps(status provided at each step)

-One travel document

3

4

2

1

Final

Approval of

Expense Report

(trip approved

by funding

division or

supervisor)

Reimbursement

(Payment issued to

traveler’s bank

account)

Expense

Information

(trip expenses

entered in same document

created in step 1;

traveler certifies

expense report and it

is forwarded to

approver)

  • Trip Info

  • Where

  • When

  • Purpose

  • Project id

  • Cost estimate

Pre-trip

Domestic trip?

Post-trip

  • Obtain pre-approval within division (email recommended)

Foreign trip?

Trip # assigned

(regardless of funding source):

  • Request for approval automatically emailed to traveler’s division director (or designee)

  • Option will be provided to email notification to organization that is funding the trip

  • Trip approved by traveler’s division director (or designee)

    Note: Additional trip info will be captured in Step 1; data will be uploaded to FTMS; all foreign travel requests must be submitted to DOE (via FTMS) and approved before trip occurs

Note:

Conference travel requiring SC approval:New travel system should support process to extent possible

Trip # assigned


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Next Steps

  • Implement elements of business model that are independent of a new system (e.g., training)

  • Develop project plan for implementation of PeopleSoft Travel & Expense module

    • Need scientific representation by ALD



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Recommendations: Process

  • Develop one consistent institutional process*

  • Domestic travel: require pre-approval; recommend using email

  • Eliminate recording of liens before trip occurs*

  • Expense airfare immediately to division project*

  • Require one approval on expense report (must be in Lab’s Signature Authorization System)

    *Represents best practice


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Recommendations: Process (Cont)

  • Provide option for approval to “follow the money”

  • Default reimbursement (other than airfare) directly to employee’s bank account rather than disbursing checks*

  • Continue current practice of reimbursing for actual cost of meals & incidental expenses (M&IE) up to maximum per diem rates and clarify policy

  • Improve reimbursement turnaround time - 2 weeks from the time a traveler certifies expense report. Continue to reduce over time to meet industry standards.

    *Represents best practice


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Recommendations: Controls

  • Provide cash advances via US Bank corporate travel card only

  • Provide training on how to complete an expense report

  • Reimburse traveler only after all required receipts have been submitted*

  • Return incomplete expense reports to traveler’s division*

  • Develop robust reporting*

  • Perform random audit of expense reports (by Acctg)*

  • Complete timely accounting reconciliations*

  • Provide reliable data. Database needs significant clean-up*

  • Improve ongoing communication (Web, updates, announcements) *

    *Represents best practice


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Recommendations: System

  • If all other recommendations are adopted, replace Gelco with an intuitive, user-friendly interface coupled with PeopleSoft travel module, and also mandate use of system

  • The system should be used by all travelers

  • Fully utilize system audits*

  • Enable a traveler to fill out expense report off-line and upload to system at later date

  • Explore scanning technology

  • Provide easy means to status where expense report is in the process

    * Represents best practice


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Recommendations: Organization

  • Provide strong leadership

  • Move expense reimbursement of travel to Disbursements*

  • Fully train staff

    *Represents best practice



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