travel  business expenses: supplemental approval

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2. Issues related to Exceptions. An abundance of exception memos submitted to AP with Travel

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1. 1 ACCOUNTS PAYABLE GENERAL POLICIES and PROCEDURES

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3. 3 Supplemental Approver – Launching February 1, 2007 The Travel & Business expenses policies apply to employees, students and non-employees in all Schools and Departments around the University, and should be complied with. However, from time to time, certain business needs and special situations (i.e. nature of business, location of purchase) may necessitate departure from the guidelines provided by policy. What’s New: Certain common exceptions to policy no longer require an exception request to AP for approval. AP will rely on approval from the “Supplemental Approver” in the department.

4. 4 Supplemental Approver How does this work? Individuals submitting a reimbursement request must still request approval of the exception and should document circumstances surrounding the exception to policy. Supplemental Approver would evaluate the situation & either approve or deny. AP will rely on this approval when reviewing the voucher.

5. 5 Who are Supplemental Approvers Supplemental Approvers may be a: Dean VP Associate Dean Senior Financial Officer A Supplemental Approver is someone who is responsible for the administrative and financial leadership of their academic or administrative unit can determine the appropriateness of expenses and exceptions in compliance with policy. This will vary by School or Department, depending the size and organizational structure.

6. 6 Designating A Supplemental Approver Accounts Payable is working with Schools/Departments to identify the Supplemental Approvers and set them up in the DAF file (which AP/CAR will read from). Any future needs for addition, modification, or deletion of this access should be indicated by the DAF/FFE Administrator on the DAF form (or module once available).

7. 7 Role & Responsibility of a Supplemental Approver When approving transactions, Individuals with Supplemental Approval authority are in all cases responsible to verify: the business need for the exception the propriety of the exception in compliance with the Supplemental Approver and Travel & Business expense policies. Individuals with Supplemental Approval authority are in all instances ultimately responsible for the approval decision.

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9. 9 Circumstances that require Supplemental Approval Transportation/Travel: First or business class travel by air (flights in excess of 5 hours or medical need). First or business class travel by rail/bus (not including Amtrak’s Acela train). Lodging exceeding the thresholds ($350 per night domestic and $400 (US dollars) per night international) by no more than 50%. ($525 domestic, $600 international) Appreciation given for lodging in a private residence. Short-term rental accomodations. Reimbursed travel extended beyond the minimum days required for business purposes. Required travel by an employee’s spouse, significant other and/or dependent (Note: May be taxable)

10. 10 Circumstances that require Supplemental Approval Meals: Meals exceeding the per meal thresholds ($25 breakfast, $35 lunch, $50 dinner) by no more than 50%. ($37.50 B, $52.50 L, $75 D) Meals (fundraising, recruitment, speaking engagements) involving external parties exceeding the per person threshold of $100 (excluding tips and taxes) by no more than 50%. ($150 per person) Use of per diems on non-grant accounts. (Only in instances of international travel to destinations where local custom or culture makes it difficult to obtain receipts). Meals that require attendance by an employee’s spouse, significant other, and/or dependent. Expenses for meals or entertainment conducted in private homes.

11. 11 Circumstances that require Supplemental Approval Entertainment: Expenses for meals or entertainment conducted in private homes. Entertainment expenses to be reimbursed in excess of $1,000. Rental of clothing for an event. Entertainment expenses for employee events in excess of $500.

12. 12 Circumstances that require Supplemental Approval Gifts: A business performance or “de minimus” gift to an employee exceeding the threshold of $100 by no more than 50%. ($150) Note: Item is taxable A years of service/retirement gift to an employee exceeding the threshold of $400 by no more than 50%. ($600) Note: Item is taxable A gift to a non-employee exceeding the threshold of $600 by no more than 50%. ($900) Note: Item is taxable

13. 13 Circumstances that require Supplemental Approval Other: Purchases of emergency supplies, books, equipment in excess of $500. Issuance of a second travel advance before the first one has been reconciled. Reimbursements submitted more than 120 days after the date of the expense or after the end of the fiscal year (whichever is sooner). Please note that supporting documentation must include legitimate circumstances contributing to late submission in order to evaluate whether this is a taxable event. Missing receipt for expenses of $75 or more ($25 for meals), all lodging. Please note that supporting documentation must include missing receipt documentation to comply with IRS standards for reimbursement.

14. 14 Supplemental Approval Reminder As a reminder: All individuals requesting reimbursement should be in compliance with the University’s Travel & Business expense policies, effective October 1, 2006. Items eligible for Supplemental Approval are still exceptions; however, they are being approved by a departmental officer closer to the situation, rather than AP. Supplemental Approval in no way raises the thresholds of what is allowable or changes the segregation.

15. 15 Exception Requests to AP All policy exceptions not listed as eligible for Supplemental Approval, or any requests for exception of amounts that exceed the thresholds allowable for Supplemental Approval, still require a formal written exception request approved by a Senior Departmental Officer for documentation and evaluation of approval by AP. For example: Meals in excess of 50% of policy guideline. Helicopter service

16. 16 Role & Responsibilities of AP Monitors Supplemental Approval authority by reviewing a weekly listing of employees newly created with this authority, to ensure appropriate delegation of this authority in compliance with policy. Monitors and reviews the types and frequency of the supplemental approvals on Expense reports: Appropriateness Possible taxation issue. Circumstances that appear problematic for a non-profit organization.

17. 17 Processing a voucher requiring Supplemental Approval Role & Responsibilities of Processors of Travel & Business Expense transactions Reviews voucher to identify common policy departures that require Supplemental Approval Identifies this in AP/CAR for review by the Supplemental Approval Resources List maintained in AP/CAR List on AP website Policy documents Training manual

18. 18 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR Upon selecting “Designate Approver”, a pop up box will appear asking whether the voucher requires Supplemental Approval.

19. 19 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR If the voucher does require Supplemental Approval, answer “Yes” and the next screen will require you to identify the exception(s) eligible for Supplemental Approval in accordance with the policy.

20. 20 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR To select one or more reasons, double click on the small box on the left hand side, which will then place a check mark in the box (later will change to an asterisk as you select more than one). Once you have selected all reasons, click “Close”.

21. 21 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR: Selecting an Electronic SA Select the individual who is the appropriate Supplemental Approver from your department. Click “Continue” to assign the DAF approver of the voucher.

22. 22 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR Select the individual who is the appropriate DAF Approver from your department. Depending on the departmental structure, the DAF approver may be the same individual selected for Supplemental Approval or may be different. Click “Continue”.

23. 23 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR: Selecting a Manual SA Please note only certain persons may approve vouchers manually, so only select manual where the person has obtained approval from Accounts Payable. Select the individual and click the box “Manual Approver”. Click “Continue”.

24. 24 Processing the voucher in AP/CAR: Selecting a Manual SA If you select the individual as a manual approval, a “manual approval report screen” will display. You can print this report to obtain the signature of the manual Supplemental Approver, and click “close” to continue. A similar form is also available on the Accounts Payable website, to accommodate the differing internal review processes within University departments.

25. 25 Approving a voucher requiring Electronic Supplemental Approval Upon logging in to AP/CAR, the main screen will display. Any vouchers that require supplemental approval will appear in the queue “Supplemental Approval: WAITING”. Click in the box that contains the number of vouchers in the queue and the listing of vouchers will be displayed at the bottom of the screen. Highlight the voucher that you want to review and select “Approve Invoice”.

26. 26 Upon opening the voucher, the list that contains the Supplemental Approval reasons will appear. Review the Travel & Business Expense Report and supporting documentation to determine whether you approve or deny these expenses. Approving a voucher requiring Electronic Supplemental Approver

27. 27 Approving a voucher requiring Electronic Supplemental Approver Once you close the screen, if you approve of the designated exceptions, select “Approve”. This indicates your approval of these exceptions and electronically routes the voucher to the DAF for the overall approval.

28. 28 Rejecting a voucher requiring Supplemental Approval If you do not approve of the designated exceptions or if there is an error with the voucher, you can select “Reject” which will route the voucher back to the processor for correction and resubmission, where necessary.

29. 29 Rejecting a voucher requiring Supplemental Approval A screen will be displayed where a descriptive reason for why the voucher is being rejected should be entered.

30. 30 Rejecting a voucher requiring Supplemental Approval The processor of the voucher will see this appear in their queue “Supplemental Approval: REJECTED”. Once the corrections have been made or additional information provided, the processor should respond to the rejection which will route the voucher back to the Supplemental Approver. Upon re-submission, this voucher will re-appear in the queue “Supplemental Approval : WAITING”.

31. 31 Additional notes if approving a voucher as both the Supplemental Approver and DAF If you were selected as both the Supplemental Approver and the DAF approver, a pop up box will appear upon closing the Supplemental Approval reasons box that indicates this. By selecting “Approve”, you are not only authorizing the Supplemental Approval exceptions but signing off as the DAF for the voucher.

32. 32 Additional notes if approving a voucher as both the Supplemental Approver and DAF When rejecting a voucher back to the processor, please ensure that you note whether it is a Supplemental Approval issue, other issues with the DAF review of the voucher, or both. The dialog box indicates “Supplemental/DAF Approval Rejection Reason”. However, note that due to AP/CAR system limitations, this is only listed as “Supplemental Approval Rejection Reason” in the voucher history.

33. 33 Manual Supplemental Approval Review the Travel & Business Expense Report and supporting documentation for the requested exceptions. If the exceptions meet your approval, please sign the Supplemental Approval report and forward to the DAF for final overall approval. If the exceptions do not meet your approval, you would not approve and ask for revisions or deny.

34. 34 DAF Approving an Invoice Requiring Supplemental Approval The history item “Supplemental approver assigned” indicates the individual selected as the supplemental approver. Highlight this history item and click the “review” button on the right to display this information.

35. 35 DAF Approving an Invoice Requiring Supplemental Approval The DAF receives the voucher once the Supplemental approver has granted approval. The line item “Supplemental approval electronically granted” (or manually granted) will be listed in the voucher history. When highlighting this history item, click the “review” button on the right. This will display the reasons why the supplemental approver approved the voucher.

36. 36 DAF Approving an Invoice Requiring Supplemental Approval If the DAF reviews the voucher and identifies that Supplemental Approval was not appropriately selected (either was not identified at all, or a reason is missing or incorrectly included), you would reject the voucher back to the processor to correct.

37. 37 Note to the processor when editing a rejected voucher for Supplemental Approval Select “SA Reasons” in the voucher to select or modify the reasons. You must then select “Designate Approver” to select or re-select the Supplemental Approver and DAF, to ensure the voucher is routed appropriately

38. 38 Audit & Review Approving an Invoice Requiring Supplemental Approval If upon audit of the voucher, our Audit & Review specialists identify that Supplemental Approval was not appropriately selected (i.e. either was not identified at all, a reason is missing, or one is incorrectly included), they will put the voucher on hold to coordinate with the department. Obtain the approval from the appropriate Supplemental Approver and image this as part of the voucher. A further enhancement will be made to AP/CAR to allow the Audit & Review specialist to edit and select the supplemental approval reasons so this is tagged and included in any reporting.

39. 39 Monitoring Tools for Supplemental Approvers Reports that AP will use to monitor will be available in the Data Warehouse. Supplemental Approvers can run these reports for their department to review the: Types of exceptions that are being approved Frequency Supplemental Approvers Payees

40. 40 QUESTIONS? Thank you for joining us today! Our website, for reference: http://www.finance.columbia.edu/procurement/ap/

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