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Travel FAQ

May I be reimbursed for expenses before the trip occurs?

Yes, if they have been purchased 30 days or more prior to departure, or the purchasing card expense is available in the traveler's Chrome River e-Wallet account and a receipt for the expense has been uploaded to Chrome River.

What do I do if I lose a receipt?

 Most travel vendors offer electronic receipts that can easily be accessed from their online reservation application. If you have already made a good-will effort to obtain the receipt, you will need to include an Affidavit of Lost Receipt explaining the situation along with a signature by your supervisor. If the expense is a Purchasing Card expense which exists in the Chrome River e-Wallet, it will need to be moved to the cardholder's personal accounts receivable for reimbursement to the university.

Is there a time-frame that travel claims must be submitted?

If an advance is used the claim must be submitted within 15 business days. The U of I suggests within 60 days and not to cross a fiscal year if possible.

If the details of a trip change between the time the original trip authorization is signed and the time it is submitted, are new signatures required?

Employee Travel Report: No, you do not need to get new signatures if the trip details change as long as the reason for the change is well documented in the trip comments.

Who needs to sign the travel claims?

Employee Travel Report: The Chrome River Software automatically forwards the claim to the traveler's supervisor, a fiscal representative and the Accounts Payable Department for review and approval. The traveler may assign a delegate or an approval delegate within the Chrome River program that could initiate or approve the document in the traveler's absence.

How much text/detail is needed in the comment section of a claim?

Include enough that an auditor knows where you’ve been, but depending on the funding of your travel expenses, you may need to include enough details to demonstrate that it is an allowable expense. When in doubt, write a book!

When filling out a travel form, what do I put in the description  or comment fields?

When filling out a  Pre-Approval Travel Authorization it is important to include a description that would easily identify the trip. On the Employee Report form please include any additional information that will verify that the expense meets the State of Idaho and U of I Policies in the description of comment box.

What do I do if I purchased airfare and the trip gets cancelled?

Most air tickets purchased are non-refundable but may be used at a later date, the credits will be included in the traveler's Chrome River e-Wallet. for reporting. Be sure to write an explanation on the claim for any changes and/or credits.that are included on the Employee Travel Report.

Is there anything extra I need to do before traveling internationally?

Before you travel to a foreign country you should always contact International Programs and Risk Management. They will help you determine what is required for the country that you will be visiting. It is important to ensure that you will be covered by insurance, if the airfare you are wanting to purchase complies with the Fly America Act, and what paperwork will be necessary to enter the foreign country.

What documentation is needed when airfare is purchased for multiple destinations that combine personal travel with business travel?

Document a cost comparison of personal vs. business fares as if personal wasn’t added. You cannot use a P-card for this type of ticket, use personal funds and submit receipts and documentation for reimbursement.

What documentation does the traveler need to provide when using airline points to purchase or change a ticket?

Reimbursement will only be for the amount actually paid for a ticket.

If I purchase airfare with a P-card for someone coming for a job interview/campus visit, how do I process that expense?

On a Chrome River Non-Travel Report.

Is lodging the night before a business flight an allowable expense?

It is allowable for a traveler to be reimbursed for lodging the night before a flight as long as the lodging is more than 50 miles from where they work. The traveler cannot claim per diem during this time.

May I use my UI rental car for personal use while in travel status?

The rental charge would need to be prorated to be reimbursed for business travel only and you cannot use a Pcard to pay for the car rental or fuel.

May I keep my UI rental car overnight and park it at my residence?

No, due to risk factors.

What do I do if I drive my personal vehicle but want fuel reimbursement only?

In order to meet the IRS Accountable Plan regulations, the traveler is entitled to mileage only. Fuel is only reimbursed for a Rental Car or New Employee Moving Expenses. The department may limit the amount of the reimbursement to the cost of the fuel if both the traveler and the department agree.

Am I reimbursed for mileage from my home or my workstation?

Mileage is allowed from the official work station only unless the distance between your home and the destination is less.

How do you process a promotional meal paid for while in travel status?

Based on the APM 70.21, the correct method is to reimburse the meal on a claim voucher or non travel purchasing card claim. The payment should include an attached Entertainment Form that was approved by the Dean or department head prior to the event. The form needs to include the purpose of the meal, who will be attending, and if there will be alcohol served at the meal. The meal should not be included on the travel reimbursement or purchasing card travel forms.

What do I do if more than one UI employee was in attendance at a promotional meal?

Other UI employees in travel status should either pay for their own meal, or they cannot claim per diem for the meal, need to note this in comments on the claim. Alcohol is not allowed on the purchasing card.

What gratuities are covered in the per diem?

Per Diem is defined as reimbursement for meals, meal gratuities, and fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, etc. Per diem is not allowed on the purchasing card.

Is tipping a reimbursable expense?

Tipping is included in Per Diem and is only reimbursable on a promotional meal.

If I have already paid for Registration, do I have to wait until I get back from the trip to process a claim?

No, you can submit an Employee Travel Report prior to the trip.

What do I do if my paid conference registration gets cancelled?

You should receive a credit from the conference registration, it’s the department’s responsibility to track any credits. .

May I use my PayPal account to purchase registration?

The University of Idaho does not allow employees to setup a personal PayPal account or use their personal PayPal account when making purchases or collecting revenue on behalf of the university. But, if the vendor you are paying uses PayPal, such as the registration to process the payment, the purchasing card can be used to make the payment.

Will I be reimbursed for lodging if I shared the room with a member of my family?

Yes, but only at the single or conference rate, and you cannot use a P-card to pay for the lodging if the charges include any personal expense.

How do I pay for non-employee lodging?

For visitors or employment candidates, the university recognizes the need to pay for their lodging.  The department may instruct the vendor to submit the invoice directly to the department. However, in order to follow the IRS Accountable Plan for travel expense, the method of payment for the lodging is on a Purchasing Card. The expense will be processed on a Non-Travel Expense Report, following the accountable plan.

What Type of training is necessary for Travel and Expense Processing?

Prior to ordering a purchasing card, the cardholder and record keeper is required to complete the Travel and Purchasing Card Training.


Where Can I find the training?

It is located on the Accounts Payable Purchasing Card web site or through Professional Development Banner classes.

 

What Training does Chrome River provide?

CR provides helpful videos that are included on the software face page.

What type of reimbursements does the "60 Day Rule" apply to?

The 60 day rule applies to travel reimbursements.

How does this rule work?

The travel reimbursements that are to be paid through Accounts Payable via Chrome River must be filed within 60 days of the date that the travel expenses were incurred.

Can a travel request be approved for payment through Accounts Payable via Chrome River if it is submitted after the 60 day period?

No. Travel request after 60 days are considered non-accountable travel.  Based on the IRS regulations, it will need to be submitted on a Claim Voucher form so that employee tax withholding may be correctly reported to Payroll Services. 

Are there any exceptions to the 60-day rule?

If the traveler submitted their receipts to the department within the 60-day time period, but the reimbursement was not processed due to departmental oversight, a memo signed by the Department Chair and College Dean indicating why the oversight occurred and what actions have been taken so that it won't happen again can be included as an attachment on Chrome River as supporting documentation.  With this additional information, the payment can still be made through Accounts Payable and the Chrome River Software.

What additional approvals are needed when processing a travel request after the 60 day time period  through the Claim Voucher Program?

The electronic approvals should include the traveler's supervisor, department head and dean or executive administrator. Attached to the claim voucher the oversight memo that includes the written signature of the Department and College Dean should also be included. Where the payment is processed as a non accountable travel expense - it will also require the electronic review of the Payroll Services Manager prior to being scheduled with the next available bi-weekly payroll.

 

Contact

Physical Address:

Bruce Pitman Center, Room 042

Mailing Address:

875 Perimeter Drive MS 4244
Moscow, ID 83844-4244

Fax: 208-885-5417

Email: lkeeney@uidaho.edu