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So You Think You Need to Travel

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  1. So You Think You Need to Travel Business Travel Guidelines

  2. Types of travel • In state • Travel within the State of Texas • Out of State • Travel within the continental United States, Canada and Mexico • Foreign • Travel to Hawaii, or other parts of the world not already covered

  3. Approval for Travel • What type of travel • Forms required • Request for Employee Travel & Leave must be completed and signed prior to travel • Be sure to indicate the purpose of the trip and benefit to TAMUQ • Signatures and Approvals required • Employee, Department Head, Dean/CEO (per TAMU policies)

  4. Arrangements • Airfare • Hotel • Transportation • Rental car • Public transportation • Other incidentals

  5. Paying for the travel costs • Airfare • Recommendation is to go through travel agent • There is no required travel agent that must be used • Use JPMC CBA account for airfare • Mannai Travel will charge to account directly • Copy of itinerary is required in order for TAMUQ to make payment on the account • Make arrangements individually • If you are booking individually, be aware of travel restrictions • You personally are responsible for the arrangements and for payment • Also be aware of travel advisories – new exception allows for you to travel to or thru a travel advisory area as long as approved IN ADVANCE by the University President

  6. Paying for the travel costs (cont’d) • Hotel • Who makes the arrangements • Individual – preferable • Travel agent • If you are staying in College Station, you may be able to have a direct billing via QSO • Must be coordinated with QSO staff • Charge to an individual’s credit card • This may be a State of Texas travel card or the individuals own personal credit card • Employee makes payment on credit card and then is reimbursed via a travel voucher

  7. Paying for travel costs (cont’d) • Rental car • State of Texas contract rates • Avis, Advantage, Enterprise • Be aware that insurance is included in the contract • For reimbursement purposes, you must turn in the original receipt • Make arrangements individually • Can be charged to a State travel card, paid with a personal credit card or charged to a corporate account held by one of the rental companies (i.e. AVIS account)

  8. Paying for travel costs (cont’d) • Meals (individual/personal) • Charged to State travel card, or paid personally • Record individual business meals on the travel reimbursement form • Business meals • Complete the business meal form • Should not be included on the travel reimbursement – are reimbursed with a separate document • We follow IRS rules for meal receipt requirements • See chart at end of presentation for receipt requirements • Other incidentals – i.e. laundry • Charged to hotel room • Charged to a State travel card or paid personally • Are allowed business phone calls and one personal phone call upon arrival at destination • Other – mileage, taxi, car rental, tolls, phone and public transportation are not considered part of incidentals • (incidental expenses have an allowable rate at which they can be reimbursed up to a maximum per Federal guidelines)

  9. Allowable vs Unallowable • Airfare • Business class (International) • If trip at least 20 hours in duration • Economy or Coach (within continental US) • Exceptions • Approved by Dean or CEO prior to travel • Hotel • Room must be in name of traveler • If traveling with spouse, only reimbursed for the cost of room for a single person • Must have original detailed receipt • Will not reimburse for movies, gift shop items, spa, alcohol, etc • These expenses are the responsibility of the individual and must be paid at time of checkout – cannot be put on a State travel card • Will reimburse laundry if travel is more than 4 days • Review your bill for charges before you leave the desk – is easier to correct when you are there, rather than later • Correction of the bill is the responsibility of the traveler • If you change your travel plans – be sure to cancel your hotel room within the guidelines of the hotel

  10. Allowable vs Unallowable (cont’d) • TAMUQ reimburses for the actual cost of hotel, meals and incidentals • We do NOT reimburse at the PER DIEM • At the maximum of Federal or State of Texas travel rates • If requesting more than Federal or State, then must have a valid exception • Just because there is a maximum rate, does not mean you are automatically entitled to that rate – you are to be reimbursed for actual only up to the maximum allowed • If your actual is more than the per diem rate, then claim the per diem, but make a note on your reimbursement

  11. Some Helpful Web Sites • State of Texas Travel Guidelines • This manual is on the TAMU Finance website • https://fmx.cpa.state.tx.us/fm/pubs/travallow/index.php • Texas Building and Procurement Commission for a list of hotels in Texas that honor the State rate (as well as hotels in other States) • http://www.tbpc.state.tx.us/travel/index.html • Also has links for the three rental car agencies

  12. Web Sites (cont’d) • Federal Government Domestic Per Diem Rates (please note that this is the title for this information on the Federal website – we DO NOT reimburse at the Per Diem rate – this is the maximum allowable per Federal regulations) • http://www.gsa.gov • Go to Domestic Per Diem Rates • Be sure you are in the correct fiscal year • Go to the State and City that you are traveling to • If not listed, there is a default amount for each State

  13. Web Sites (cont’d) • Federal Foreign Per Diem Rates (please note that this is the title for this information on the Federal website – we DO NOT reimburse at the Per Diem rate – this is the maximum allowable per Federal regulations) • http://www.gsa.gov • Click on the link for the maximum rates of per diem allowances for travel in foreign areas • US State Department travel warning information • http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html

  14. Reference Travel Chart and Checklist • Travel forms are on the TAMUQ Faculty and Staff website, under Finance Department, Finance Forms, Travel • Please refer to this file for required information per TAMU travel procedures. • S:\Accounting - Finance\Char\Copy of Travel_FAMIS_Inst_CheckList.xls • Also use tools available to assist with helping the traveler keep tabs of travel cost – i.e. excel worksheet, travel envelope, etc • Travel reimbursement requests are turned in to Geeta Megchiani for audit and reimbursement. Need to turn in all required receipts in a timely manner.