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Travel Approver Training. The Ohio State University Revised January 2007. The “What” of Travel Approval. Business travel requires approval at two points in the process: Order (request) Reimbursement Approvers must have the willingness and authority to say “no”

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Travel Approver Training

The Ohio State University

Revised January 2007


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The “What” of Travel Approval

  • Business travel requires approval at two points in the process:

    • Order (request)

    • Reimbursement

  • Approvers must have the willingness and authority to say “no”

  • Any changes to the travel order or reimbursement are initiated by the corresponding approver, and communicated to the Travel Office



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Approving the Travel Order

  • What are you looking for?

    • Documented business purpose

    • Estimated expenses are reasonable and necessary

    • Reasonable / allowable prepayments through the Travel Office

      • Prepaid Transportation (airfare, rail, Motor Pool)

      • Prepaid Registration Fees

      • Travel Cash Advances

    • Travel Cards and Purchasing Card may be used – not included in Travel Office Prepayment


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Approving the Travel Order

  • Prepaid Transportation

    • Must use a designated agency for airfare and rail

      • Lowest available airfare to reasonably meet business travel requirements

      • Rail and/or automobile expensescannot exceed the cost of the least expensive airfare

      • Business class may be purchased for international flights (flight time exceeds 5 consecutive hours)

      • Sorry, no first-class

    • 30-day advance booking generally avoids premium airfare pricing


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Approving the Travel Order

  • Prepaid Registration Fees

    • Conference fees, business-related banquets or meals

    • No entertainment activities


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Approving the Travel Order

  • Travel Cash Advances

    • Authorized for situations causing undue financial hardship

      • OSU Students traveling on behalf of University

      • OSU Faculty / Staff leading a group of OSU Students

      • OSU Faculty, Staff, or Students traveling internationally in excess of one calendar month

    • System enforces maximum allowable advance



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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • What are you looking for?

    • Compliance with Travel policies

    • Compliance with Travel policies

    • Compliance with Travel policies

      • Necessary documentation is attached

      • Expenditures are reasonable and necessary

      • Expenses are consistent with business purpose

      • Traveler has disclosed Third-Party or OSURF payments


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Travelers should incur the lowest reasonable travel expenses and exercise care to avoid impropriety or appearance of impropriety

  • If circumstance is not specifically covered in Travel Policy, the most conservative course of action should be adopted

  • Frequent flyer miles are acceptable if used for business travel

  • Other travel-related incentives are prohibited


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Approvers need an understanding of Travel Policies

  • Expenses should be reasonable in light of less expensive alternatives

  • Highlight the policies for the most common expenditures


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Airfare and Rail

    • Lowest available airfare to reasonably meet business travel requirements

    • Rail and/or automobile expenses cannot exceed the cost of the least expensive airfare

    • Business class may be purchased for international flights (flight time exceeds 5 consecutive hours)

    • Sorry, no first-class

  • Documentation must show method of payment and indicate that payment was made


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Rental Car

    • Documentation required if the University’s contract with National or AVIS is not used

    • Only CDW and LDW insurance reimbursed for rentals from non-contracted agencies

    • Rental car expenses cannot be greater than the least expensive airfare

  • Personal Vehicle (Mileage Reimbursement)

    • System calculates reimbursement amount based on applicable Federal rate

    • Personal car expenses cannot be greater than the least expensive airfare


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Registration Fees

    • Payment documentation must be present

    • Ancillary expenses (e.g. spouse programs, entertainment) cannot be reimbursed


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Hotel

    • Reasonable, single occupancy or standard business / conference room rates and associated taxes

    • Receipts must contain method of payment and indicate that payment was made


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • Per Diem

    • Calculated automatically by the Travel System

    • Federal per diem rates are applied; receipts not required

    • Meals otherwise provided (e.g. conference, airline, business meals, hotel) must be deducted from per diem

  • Actual Meal Cost in lieu of Per Diem

    • Itemized receipts are required

    • Reimbursement amount must not exceed federal per diem rate

  • Business Meals are not reimbursed via Travel System

    • Must be reimbursed via the Payment Request Online System (PROS)


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Approving the Travel Reimbursement

  • “Other” Incidentals

    • Travel Policy lists reimbursable incidental business expenses and required documentation

  • Non-Reimbursable Expenses

    • Travel Policy lists expenses that the University will not reimburse – includes but not limited to…

      • Airline club memberships, upgrades, house-sitting, commuting between home and campus, evening or formal wear expenses, costs incurred by Traveler’s failure to cancel reservations in a timely manner, Travel accident insurance premiums































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