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Travel Office Announcements

Employee and/or Student Travel New Funds Commitment Approval Email Notification (081617A)

Effective immediately, the Travel Office will send the creator of a Travel Funds Commitment (FC) which contains one or more employee and/or student travelers an email to notify the creator that the FC had been approved. This new email notification is meant to mirror the system generated email notification sent to the traveler and creator (Travel Assistant if applicable) of a TRAVELTracks Travel Request upon approval by the Travel Office. The new FC approval email notification also contains important information that the creator must forward to each employee and/or student that the FC pertains to and include travel@txstate.edu. The Travel Office will attach the email received by the employee and/or student travelers to the FC to validate that the travelers have received the data. If you subsequently add travelers to this FC, then you must send those additional travelers and travel@txstate.edu this same email.

Here is a sample of the email notification:

Your Travel Funds Commitment has been approved. Please remember that as part of the university's travel process, your expense report (including reconciliation of the travel advance if applicable) is due 30 days after the trip end date. Please ensure every effort is made to adhere to this timeframe to avoid escalation to your account manager/supervisor for the past due expense report.

Please click Traveler Pre-Trip Recommendations and read the narrative and then click the appropriate link for domestic or foreign travel to access important information for travel assistance and requirements. You are responsible for reviewing the various links related to assistance and foreign insurance prior to your trip and for ensuring your MyTrips Profile in ISOS is complete regardless of your destination. When traveling abroad you should have the Pocket Reference Card with you at all times. If you would like a business card with this information, please contact the Travel Office at travel@txstate.edu to have one sent to you. You are also welcome to stop by the Travel Office at JCK 564 for one if that is more convenient. For domestic travel emergencies, you will call 911 or your medical insurer and not ISOS.

If you obtained travel arrangements outside of Ascot Travel or Corporate Travel Planners (CTP), you will need to forward your itinerary to your ISOS MyTrips Profile. Instructions to forward your itinerary can be obtained from the link above.

Trip Number                20145xxxxx

Created By                 NetID

Travel Advance Policy UPPS No. 05.06.04 (0810417A)

On June 22, 2017, UPPS No. 05.06.04 was approved and is now available to review on the travel website with link Travel Advance Policy.  There have been travel advance changes, so please review the information.  Listed are highlights for your consideration.

  • The minimum travel advance amount of $200 can be requested for domestic travel when travel includes a student group (of at least one student) and planned reimbursable expenses are $200 or more. 
  • The minimum travel advance amount will remain unchanged for a foreign travel advance of $500 when the travel will occur in a foreign country and planned reimbursable expenses are $500 or more. 
  • All expense reports including the required documentation, are to be submitted to the Travel Office within 30 days of the trip end date.
  • The Travel Office will provide the Payroll and Tax Compliance Office with the employee’s information and any unsubstantiated travel advance amount 60 days after the travel end date. (Section 1.09)
  • Unsubstantiated amounts will be added to the employee's W-2 as taxable earnings no later than 120 days past the trip end date.  Payroll adjustments will not be reversed once posted. (Section 3.08)

 

TRAVELTracks Travel Request Approval Notification Email Has Changed (080817A)

Currently when the Travel Office approves a Travel Request, the Traveler and Travel Assistant (creator - if applicable) receive an approval notification email. This modified email contains updated information and links the traveler should use to prepare for the trip which includes all travel as either in-state, out-of-state or foreign. It is the responsibility of each Traveler to follow any pre-trip recommendations, adhere to travel procedures and become knowledgeable regarding any travel assistance programs offered by the University.

 

Close Travel Encumbrances (062817A)

The end of the University’s fiscal year is August 31.  You should review your open travel encumbrances quarterly and at least monthly during the last quarter to release funds back to your account(s). 

Review the open travel encumbrances and close any travel encumbrances that are no longer needed. If the trip is complete and all the expenses have been paid or the trip was not taken then you will close out the encumbrance. This will release any remaining funds back to their funding source.

This is an important step in the year end process and can have some substantial benefits for your available budget if funds are released.

The SAP GUI Transaction Code to run this report is ZOPEN_ENCUMBRANCE. This will generate a report displaying all open encumbrances if the specific travel general ledger number range is not entered.

Review detailed instructions at this link Close Travel Encumbrance Instructions to specify just the travel general ledger accounts and complete your review of these open encumbrances. 

 

 

Revised International Travel Release Form T-4 (052317A)

Effective immediately all Texas State current students, employees and guests of employees must complete one of the following forms for University sanctioned foreign trips. 

  • The T-4 Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk for Foreign Travel Form must be completed for current students and employees.
  • The T-4G Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk for Foreign Travel Form must be completed for employee’s dependents, family members or guests traveling on the same itinerary.
  • The T-4M Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk for Foreign Travel for Minors Form must be completed for students, dependents, family members or guests if they are under 18 years of age.

The T-4 and/or the T-4G or T-4M Form(s) must be completed in its entirety by the traveler, guest, guardian or Travel Assistant.  Note that the traveler listed on the form must sign the form (or a guardian if the traveler is under 18 years of age) and the form(s) must be attached to the Travel Requests or Travel Funds Commitments involving foreign travel. 

Please visit the Forms page on our Travel website to access the revised form.

 

International SOS Program (022117A)

Texas State University has secured International SOS (ISOS) for traveler assistance while traveling abroad.  The program offers many benefits including:

  • 27 assistance centers worldwide with 24/7 coverage.

  • Access to 5,200 medical professionals who can assess medical needs and have a thorough knowledge of the local environment and healthcare system.

  • 79,000 accredited providers in their network for healthcare, aviation and security assistance and logistics.

  • Pre-Trip Advisory sent to any international traveler with information about the country where they will be traveling.

The above benefits are for international travel only and the program also provides the following benefits:

  • Data feeds from the University travel agencies to capture traveler itineraries into the ISOS system.

  • If a trip has already been book through an agency or was booked and paid for personally, the itinerary can be forwarded to ISOS once the traveler has created a profile in ISOS.

  • Ability for Texas State to quickly identify travelers who may be at risk should a situation arise (e.g. disease outbreak, infrastructure failure, weather, protests, etc.).This reporting includes international as well as domestic travelers.

  • Any traveler will receive alerts from ISOS as situations develop. ISOS will also send requests for status if the Traveler is in an affected area (international or domestic). This includes emails, text and phone calls.

  • Remember, international travelers call the ISOS contact centers in a situation but domestic travelers would call 911 for assistance.

There are other benefits and the Travel Office will be conducting training with ISOS hopefully within the next two weeks.  In the interim, please see the Travel Office  webpage for information on ISOS.  This information should be on the web February 22, 2017.

If you have a traveler that already has a trip itinerary (international or domestic), please have them create their profile and forward their trip itinerary ASAP. This will help the University understand if any travelers are at risk and need assistance should a situation rise. 

T-11 Forms Updated for Funds Commitment Advance Recon Use (013017A)

Travel e-NPOs are now used to process Travel Expense Reports for Travel Funds Commitments (FC) and “forgotten” expenses on the TRAVELTracks Expense Report.  This has eliminated the need for the T-11 and T-11M forms with the exception of two scenarios:

  • Travel FC involving a cash advance.

    • Advance is allowed when:

      • Travel involves a student group.

      • Travel includes foreign destination.

      • Multiple advances are required (TRAVELTracks cannot process more than one advance).

      • Student Group or foreign travel involves grant participant

    • Request the FC advance using the T-5 form. You must include the FC number on the form.

  • Travel FC for grant participant expenses.  TRAVELTracks does capture these expenses in the proper GL codes. 

When the trip is complete, the T-11 and T-11M Travel Funds Commitment Advance Recon Forms will reconcile the Travel Advance(s) with the reimbursable expenses and the initial FC. The revised forms are similar to prior T-11/T-11M format, but have been simplified for your use.

The new forms are located at:  Travel Forms.

 

Rental Car Early Pick Up Fee (012717A)

The Rental Car Early Pick Up Fee is allowed for reimbursement as a travel expense.  The rental branches may charge the renter this fee rather than the full daily rental rate if the traveler needs to pick up the vehicle one day before the trip start date.  The rationale for the reimbursement is the fee is less than a full day’s rental cost. 

Note, some branches may waive the fee for State renters.   It is up to each branch how they want to handle it, so you may want to ask for the waiver. 

TRAVELTracks Trip Clean-Up (011817A)

The Travel Office would like to remind all Travel Assistants and Employees (who process their own travel) to clean-up existing TRAVELTracks trips. Please view the detailed instructions by selecting this Travel Website link TRAVELTrack Trip Clean-Up.

The goal of this clean-up project is to close trips that are still open in the System.

These open trips will require one of the following actions:

  • Create and submit an Expense Report.

  • Submit an Expense Report that has already been created.

  • Cancel or delete the trip.

    • The trip never occurred,

    • The employee has terminated,

    • The employee has a new personnel number from the one used on the Travel Request. 

Also, remember that a Zero-Dollar Travel Request requires an expense report to close the trip. 

Many Travel Assistants have open trips in their listing, but because the default on TRAVELTracks only displays the last twelve months, these trips don’t display. The link above has the instructions on how to change that default for each employee in your listing so you can review and take the appropriate action.  Once you have cleared the trips, you should change the default back to the last twelve months as per the instructions. 

Please begin this review and take the necessary steps to close out any open trips ASAP.  The goal would be to have this completed campus-wide by the end of February. 

2017 Standard Mileage Rates (010317B)

Texas State’s maximum mileage reimbursement rate for travel occurring on or after January 01, 2017 is 53.5 cents per mile.  This is a .5 cent decrease per mile from 54 cents per mile, which remains effective for travel dates January 01 - December 31, 2016.  The new rate is in accordance with the recently adopted 2017 Standard Mileage Rates by the Internal Revenue Service.

 

Traveler Certification statement on the Procedures Tab (010317A)

The Traveler Certification Statement and instructions are available at  Traveler Certification Statement  in the Procedures tab on the Travel Office home page.  This information should be used as reference item when completing a Travel e-NPO.  The statement must be attached when a reimbursement to the traveler is requested.

 

Traveler e-NPO Attachments and Reject Process (121916A)

Please ensure that all required attachments are included on any Travel e-NPO document or the Travel Office will reject the document for correction effective January 2, 2017. These requirements and e-NPO message reminders have been in place since May 2016.  Your cooperation will ensure traveler reimbursements are not delayed. 

When reimbursing travel expenses using the e-NPO process the traveler must certify the validity of the expenses, and that the traveler has not been reimbursed by any other means.  A warning is triggered once a Travel General Ledger expense account number has been entered in the “Account to be charged information” section. The following reminder will appear requesting that the user attach the Traveler Certification Statement.

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Select the green check mark located in the "Information" box.   Once the certification statement has been attached to the e-NPO, the document will route through the workflow for the required approvals.  If the Traveler Certification Statement is required but has not been attached to the document as instructed, the e-NPO will be rejected by the Travel Office during their audit.    

Summary of e-NPO Traveler Certification Statement:

  • When reimbursing travel expenses using the e-NPO process, the traveler must certify the validity of the expenses and that they have not been reimbursed by any other means.

  • The Electronic Traveler’s Signature is obtained when the employee selects the “Save and Send for Approval” option on their Travel Tracks Expense Report so the e-NPO Traveler Certification Statement is meant replace the Electronic Traveler’s Signature on the e-NPO Travel Expense Report.

  • The following is the Traveler’s Certification Statement which must be attached to the e-NPO.

    This email will serve as my signature and validation of the expenses on this e-NPO. I certify that the expenses are correct and have not been reimbursed to me by any other method.          

    The summary of the travel expenses is as follows:

    Traveler Name:

    Trip Number:

    Dates of Travel:

    Amount of Reimbursement:

  • The Travel Assistant may prepare this statement and email to the traveler who can respond “Agree.” 

  • The email approval is acceptable as the consent from the traveler and must be attached to the e-NPO once the document has been created.

 

Other Tips for Timely Processing of Travel e-NPOs (121919B)

The following message is displayed on the e-NPO screen. 

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  • Attach all itemized receipt(s) and other documentation for employee reimbursements.

    • Credit card receipts that do not provide an itemized breakdown are not acceptable. 

    • Documentation must include a detailed invoice, sales ticket, receipt, or comparable confirmation from the vendor that the expense was incurred.  (FSS/PPS No. 03.05.01 Sec. 03.03)

  • Include the Approved 10-digit Trip No. beginning with 7300 for TRAVELTracks and 201455 for Funds Commitments.
  • For employee or student lodging payments, attach the hotel confirmation or folio that specifies the person(s) staying, trip date(s), and room and tax amount.  Texas State University is tax exempt from the State of Texas Occupancy Tax.  When paying a hotel within the State of Texas, the vendor must provide a breakdown of any taxes charged (e.g. Entertainment, County, City, etc.).  Validate there are no State of Texas Occupancy Taxes included. If the tax is included, provide the Texas State Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption form to the hotel, obtain a revised confirmation or folio and then submit the e-NPO.  Non-employees who personally pay for lodging can be reimbursed for this tax.  However, if the department is booking the room, they should provide the exemption form to the hotel since the University is making payment directly. 
  • For lodging payments, attach a copy of the gsa.gov Per Diem Table applicable to the over-night lodging destination.
  • For individual meal per diem payments receipts are not required. However, attach a copy of the gsa.gov per diem table applicable to the over-night lodging destination.
  • Attach a completed AP-3 Wire Transfer Request Form for travel reimbursements to a foreign vendor. Checks can be mailed to Canada, but payments to vendors in other countries require wire transfer payments.

    • The vendor address on the wire transfer form must match the address in SAP or any attached invoices.

       

San Marcos Embassy Suites Reservations (111616A)

The San Marcos Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center now accepts reservation through a call center hotline. This is a national reservation call center and you will NOT want to book lodging using this service. The hotline staff is not aware of the hotel’s direct bill relationship with Texas State University and will not accept Purchase Orders.

 

You will need to make an in-house reservation directly with the Embassy Suites staff in San Marcos.  Bridget Gaughan is assigned to handle these reservations.  She can be reached directly at 512-805-5345. Her hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM.  If you need to make a reservation outside of these hours, you may leave her a voicemail or email your reservation request to bridget.gaughan@hilton.com.  She will make the reservation and provide a confirmation. 

 

Also, you can call the Embassy Suites Front Desk staff at 512-392-6450 (press 0 to get to the front desk and not 1 for reservations) to make the reservation, but keep in mind that if they are busy and cannot assist you, your call will be routed to the reservation call center hotline.  At that point, you should disconnect the call and contact Bridget to book the reservation. 

 

T-1 Transportation Cost Equivalency Form (110316A)

The T-1 Form on the Travel Forms web page has been updated and is now available for use when considering the most cost-effective means of transportation if you are deciding between airfare and driving when traveling out of the state of Texas. This form is only needed if air travel is not chosen as the transportation method for out-of-state travel.   The T-1 Form provides a complete cost comparison between flying to an out-of-state destination versus driving a personal vehicle or renting a vehicle.  From this it can be determined if flying or driving a vehicle will be the most economical mode of transportation. Complete the T-1 Form and attach it to the Travel Request or Travel Funds Commitment to support the method chosen for transportation costs. 

 

 

 

NEW TRAVELTRACKS TRAVEL ASSISTANT INSTRUCTIONS (093016A)

The Travel Office has updated the TRAVELTracks Travel Assistant Instructions.  The document contains: Resource links; a Summary; a Glossary; and instructions on Employee List Set-up, Maintenance and Tools.  These comprehensive instructions along with other training resources are located on the Texas State Travel Office web page.  Please select this link to access the TRAVELTracks Travel Assistant Instructions.

Rental Vehicle Summary (092216A)

Please review following rental vehicle summary. The summary will assist in compliance with the University’s policies and procedures of direct bill (Company Paid Car) or rental vehicle reimbursement.

  • For more Rental Vehicle policies and information go to the Travel website and select the Procedures tab and then Rental Cars. A Texas State NetID and password are required to access this page.
  1. Includes instructions on how to reserve a rental vehicle with Avis and Enterprise.
  2. Includes the link to reserve a rental vehicle with Avis (use the SAP Portal to reserve a rental vehicle with Enterprise).
  • Company Paid Car is a rental vehicle invoice sent to the University upon vehicle drop off at one of the State of Texas contracted rental vehicle agencies which are currently Avis and Enterprise (includes National).
  • When using a Company Paid Car the Travel Office must have a properly approved Travel Request or Travel Funds Commitment for funding before the vehicle can be reserved. Entry of the approved trip number is required when reserving a vehicle.
  1. Travel Request is for current employees including student workers.
  2. Travel Funds Commitment is for current students, grant participants, prospective employees, prospective student athletes, consultants, contractors, guest speakers, or visiting guests.
  • Avis and Enterprise rental vehicle agencies should be used for all traveler types.  Even if you are personally paying for the rental vehicle, use the Avis or Enterprise account number to reap the benefits of the program. The benefits of using the contracted rental vehicle agencies are:
  1. State of Texas Motor Vehicle Tax (if applicable) will not be added to the direct bill invoice.
  2. Rental rate includes Loss/Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance covering damage to the rental vehicle.
  3. Rental rate includes Liability (LI) insurance which covers persons and property outside the vehicle.
  • A non-contract rental vehicle agency may be used when there is an exception and Avis or Enterprise cannot be used. The reason must be explained and may require Account Manager approval. When this occurs:
  1. State of Texas Motor Vehicle Tax (if applicable) will be charged and reimbursed.
  2. Loss/Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance covering damage to the rental vehicle must be purchased and will be reimbursed.
  3. Liability (LI) insurance which covers persons and property outside the vehicle must be purchased and will be reimbursed.
  • When using a contracted (Avis and Enterprise preferred) or non-contracted rental vehicle agency Loss/Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance, Liability (LI) insurance, and GPS Navigation option are the ONLY insurances and options that may be direct billed or reimbursed.
  1. When an exception occurs and a non-contracted rental agency is used, make sure the traveler understands what insurance and options will NOT be reimbursed.
  2. The contracted rental car vendor should block the selection of other insurance and options when reserving or picking-up the vehicle. The selection of the additional insurances and options is prohibited and should NOT be added to the direct bill invoice.
  • When renting a vehicle in a foreign country Loss/Damage Waiver (LDW) insurance and Liability (LI) insurance must be purchased and may be direct billed or reimbursed. The foreign county’s rental agency may have a different name for the Loss/Damage Waiver (LDW) and Liability (LI) insurance.
  • Additional Rental Vehicle Insurance and Options NOT Reimbursable without Exception Approval by a Cabinet Officer:
  1. Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) – Insurance covering persons inside the vehicle who should be protected by their personal worker’s compensation, health and/or vehicle insurance.
  2. Personal Effects Protection (PEP) – Insurance covering property inside the vehicle.
  3. Additional Liability Insurance (ALI) – Extra insurance covering persons and property outside the vehicle which is protected by LI insurance.
  4. Extended Roadside Assistance (ROA) – Extra assistance to travelers when a situation is their own fault (e.g. locked the keys in the car). Basic roadside assistance is included in the rental rate (e.g. vehicle disabled).
  5. Fuel Plans/Service (FSO) – Prepaid option provided at the time of pick-up so the vehicle will be refueled at drop-off no matter how much gas is in the vehicle. The traveler should make every effort to refuel before vehicle drop-off but if not able, the cost of the actual fuel will be charged on the direct bill invoice at a better rate than the prepaid fuel plan.
  6. Other Options - Additional Driver, Satellite Radio or Child Safety Seats.
  • When booking a reservation with Avis or Enterprise that has both business and personal days, the coverage is different between business (state contract terms) and personal days. Choose either method:
  1. You will need to book two reservation contracts (best method).
  1. Must purchase the insurance for the personal day’s contract if coverage is needed.
  2. May want to determine if your personal auto insurance policy offers coverage.
  3. Work with the branch location at pick up to determine most convenient method for switching from one contract to the other. 
  4. Some branches may have a method to stop and start a contract over the phone without returning the car to the branch, but there is no guarantee of this.

OR, you can book under the state contract and pay personally.

  1. State of Texas Motor Vehicle Tax on business days will not be reimbursed.
  2. If there is an accident claim on a personal day, the employee is liable. State contract insurance coverage is not valid on personal days. 

Remember, check your personal auto insurance policy for possible coverage on rental vehicle claims.

Travel “Package Reservation Cost” (090616A)

Travelers may book a trip through an on-line travel site such as Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline to get a “package reservation” deal for airfare and hotel. Usually the traveler does not receive a breakdown of the costs for the airfare or the hotel, but only the total cost for the entire travel “package”.

This means that the receipt for the travel package cost is not split by expense category (airfare and lodging). When the expense report is processed the package receipt attached must contain: the cost per traveler, the total travel package cost paid and the method of payment. ONLY the cost for the traveler conducting approved University business will be reimbursed.

When the airfare and lodging costs are NOT separated, use the following method to determine the price per traveler and how to report the reimbursable expense.

  1. The travel package receipt already lists the price per traveler. Use that for the business travel expense amount.
  2. The travel package receipt lists the number of travelers but not the price per traveler then the cost per traveler must be determined by dividing the number of travelers into the total package price paid.
  3. If the travel package receipt doesn’t state the number of travelers, the business traveler must write the number of the travelers included in the package on the receipt.  The cost per traveler must be determined by dividing the number of travelers into the total package price paid.
  4. If you process a TRAVELTracks Expense Report, the GL account numbers automatically populate when the “Airfare” expense type is selected.
  5. If you process an e-NPO Travel Expense Report, use the following “Airfare” GL account numbers for the correct trip schema (In-State, Out-of-State, or Foreign). 
    • In-State use GL 710100 or 710101 (Grant Participant).
    • Out-of-State use GL 711100 or 711101 (Grant Participant).
    • Foreign Travel use GL 712100 or 712101 (Grant Participant).

When the airfare and lodging costs are separated, use the following method to determine the price per traveler and how to report the reimbursable expense.

  1. If you process a TRAVELTracks Expense Report, the GL account numbers automatically populate when the “Airfare” and “Lodging” expense types are selected. For TRAVELTracks Expense Report Instructions to correctly report lodging, view this link

http://www.txstate.edu/gao/ap/travel/travel-tracks-project/training.html.

  1. If you process an e-NPO Travel Expense Report, use the following “Airfare”, “Lodging”, and “Excess Lodging (if applicable)” GL account numbers for the correct trip schema (In-State, Out-of-State, or Foreign).  (NOTE: Consultants use GL 725100 for both airfare and lodging.)

AIRFARE:

  • In-State use GL 710100 or 710101 (Grant Participant).
  • Out-Of-State use GL 711100 or 711101 (Grant Participant).
  • Foreign Travel use GL 712100 or 712101 (Grant Participant).

LODGING:

  • In-State use GL 710600 or 710101 (Grant Participant).
  • Excess Lodging In-State use GL 710900 for current employees and students ONLY.
  • Out-Of-State use GL 711600 or 711101 (Grant Participant).
  • Excess Lodging Out-Of-State use GL 711900 for current employees and students ONLY.
  • Foreign Travel use GL 712100 or 712101 (Grant Participant).    

Conference PO General Ledger Numbers (090216A)

Effective immediately for any new POs created for conferences, expenses must be encumbered in separate General Ledger (GL) accounts rather than all in GL 721300. The reason for this is to comply with IRS reporting of rental payments and university travel reporting. 

The GL accounts that must be used to capture expenses are as follows:

  • Conference Expenses
    • Rental of Space - GL  747000 or 746200
    • Rental of Furnishings and Equipment - GL 740600
      • Audio Visual Equipment, laptops, podium, dry erase boards, etc.
    • Lodging to the correct travel GL’s based on whether the location is in-state or out-of-state
      • Can combine room rate and tax to the same GL 
      • Different GL’s used for Staff, Participants and third-party (presenter) lodging
      • Excess Lodging must be broken out (not typical for conferences)
      • See the Travel GL’s at Travel GL Matrix
    • Other conference charges – GL 721300
      • Meals and Catering, copies, other miscellaneous expenses

If you have any questions, please contact the Procurement & Strategic Sourcing Office at 245-2521.

 

San Marcos Hampton Inn & Suites Hotel Reservations (072816A)

The Travel Office received this update from the San Marcos Hampton Inn and Suites regarding how to manage their new phone system for making hotel reservations.  Please follow the steps listed if you are making a reservation at this hotel. 

We appreciate your business and I wanted to alert you to a small change. We have a new Auto Attendant at the property, when the phone answers it prompts you to Dial 1 for Reservations… DO NOT USE THIS.  Please dial zero or wait and be connected to the Front Desk.   This reservation line is designed for regular travelers and not corporate customers such as yourselves.  This reservation line has no way of setting up direct billing, no way of setting up Tax Exemption, and no way of squeezing a guest in at the last minute.

If you could alert everyone that makes reservations to always speak with the Front Desk the reservation process should run smoothly.

As always thank you for your loyalty and trust.

Richard Weik

General Manager

Hampton Inn & Suites

San Marcos, Texas

 

Hotel Invoices and the e-NPO Process (072616A)

A hotel invoice may be referred to as a folio. With that in mind, please adhere to the following process for hotel reservations and subsequent payment.     

Hotel rooms for lodging with direct bill vendors do not require a PO unless the rooms are associated with a conference and the total is $5,000 or more. 

When you are booking a room for lodging at a hotel for a traveler and no PO is required, ask the vendor to send the invoice directly to you for payment. Provide the hotel with your full name and telephone number, department name, traveler name and dates for the reservation.  Also provide your department’s mailing address, fax number or email address depending on how the hotel says they can send you the invoice for payment.   

When you receive the hotel invoice once the traveler has checked out, process as an e-NPO payable to the lodging vendor. Do not hold onto the invoice and wait for the hotel to contact the Travel Office about a past due payment related to the reservation.

This process should eliminate the time needed to create a PO and unnecessary follow up by the hotel for payment. 

Travel Receipts (062116A)

Keeping track of your travel expense receipts for reimbursement while you are traveling may not always be so simple.   The Travel Office is excited to let you know that they will accept pictures of allowable receipts that are needed to complete your expense report for authorized business travel expenses.  While traveling use your SMART phone to take a picture of your receipt as you incur the expense and email it to your Travel Assistant or yourself.   After the trip is complete, save the documents and attach them to your expense report for reimbursement.  This should make keeping track of your receipts easier and completing your expense report quicker.  For your protection, please do not photograph or transmit receipts that contain personal information such as full credit/debit card numbers, expiration dates or social security numbers.

Associated Fees for Traveler Name Changes or Corrections (061516A)

For Texas State employees, the Travel Office ensures the name on a direct billed airfare booking matches the employee’s name per the SAP Human Resources (HR) record.  When a traveler’s name on their government issued identification document(s) (e.g. driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, etc.) does not match their name in the HR record, the traveler’s airline ticket may be issued in the incorrect name.  If a ticket is issued in the incorrect name due to the misinformation in the HR record, the department will be required to pay a name change fee to correct the ticket.

A similar situation may occur when the traveler name on a Funds Commitment does not match the name on their government issued identification document(s).

For more information, please visit the Travel Office website at http://www.txstate.edu/gao/ap/travel/.

e-NPO Payment Processing Time-Frame (051216A)

When requesting an e-NPO payment from the Accounts Payable or Travel departments allow 5–10 business days for payment processing.  If a Rush Payment is required, send an email to payables@txstate.edu or travel@txstate.edu with the document number and RUSH PAYMENT in the subject line.  Include the date the payment is needed in the body of the email.

For timely payment processing ensure the following requirements have been meet.

  • The business purpose should be descriptive enough to clearly answer any questions regarding the purpose of the business expense, and the benefit to Texas State. (e.g. “60 Clear Sterile Vials for Aquifer test samples”, NOT “Supplies for Research” or “Research”).
  • Attach the invoice for payments to vendors.
  • Attach all itemized receipt(s) and other documentation for employee reimbursements.
  • Credit card receipts that do not provide an itemized breakdown are not acceptable. 
  • Documentation must include a detailed invoice, sales ticket, receipt, or comparable confirmation from the vendor that the expense was incurred.  (FSS/PPS No. 03.05.01 Sec. 03.03)
  • For Travel Payments, you must include the Approved 10-digit Trip No. beginning with 73000 for Travel Tracks and 201455 for Funds Commitments.
  • For employee or student lodging payments, attach the hotel confirmation or folio that specifies the person(s) staying, trip date(s), and room and tax amount.  Texas State University is tax exempt from the State of Texas Occupancy Tax.  When paying a hotel within the state of Texas, the vendor must provide a breakdown of any taxes charged (e.g. Entertainment, County, City, etc.).  Validate there are no State of Texas Occupancy Taxes included. If the tax is included, provide the Texas State Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption form to the hotel, obtain a revised confirmation or folio and then submit the e-NPO.  Non-employees who personally pay for lodging can be reimbursed for this tax.  However, if the department is booking the room, they should provide the exemption form to the hotel since the university is making payment directly. 
  • For lodging payments, attach a copy of the gsa.gov per diem table applicable to the over-night lodging destination.
  • Obtain and attach a traveler certification. See RSS Announcement 111915B at Travel Announcements for specific certification requirements.

 

One-Way Vehicle Reservations (050616A)

One-Way rentals ARE available to reserve online from Enterprise and National. (Enterprise and National are one company referred to as “Enterprise” with two brand names).

For ALL One-Way rentals with Enterprise, due to the special pricing for Texas State University, book an on-line reservation as round trip and DO NOT indicate that the rental will be returned at a different location.  Inform the agent at the rental branch upon obtaining the vehicle that the vehicle will not be returned to the original location, and that it will only be needed for a one-way rental.

One-Way Rentals within Texas:

  • When renting a one-way vehicle within Texas and returning to any Texas rental location, the contracted rates will apply.
  • No per mileage or drop fee will be charged at either National or Enterprise.

One-Way Rentals outside of Texas:

  • National Brand Rental Rate will be $84.00/day for Compact
  • Full Size; Premium and above will be the Daily Rate plus $0.40/mile.
  • Enterprise Brand Rental Rate will be the Daily Rate plus $0.40/mile.

 

 

Travel Expense Reimbursement using the e-NPO Process (041916A)

The Travel Office has some exciting news!  Effective immediately, you may use the e-NPO process to submit travel expense reports which are not processed through TRAVELTracks. This change replaces the T-11 or T-11M Paper Expense Reports for travel reimbursements. Now the entire travel process for both TRAVELTracks and Funds Commitments can be done electronically within SAP.  This should save the traveler and travel assistant time and aid in expense tracking.  The goal is to eliminate the paper process and the Travel Office appreciates your support in making this a reality.   If you need assistance on this change, please don’t hesitate to contact the Travel Office at travel@txstate.edu or Ext 5-2775.  For specific e-NPO “how to” questions, follow this link to the e-NPO Procedures or contact Tracy Clark at t_c117 or Ext. 5-1479.

Remember, all travel must be pre-approved and expense reports are due 30 days after the trip end date. These requirements have not changed for any travel sponsored by Texas State University, whether for an employee, student or third party. 

The following quick reference guide has been created to assist you.

Summary of the Travel Tracks process:

  • Travel Tracks may only be used for Texas State Employees.
  • Each trip is given a 10-digit trip number that begins with a 73. This is the same trip number for both the Travel Request and the Expense Report.
  • Traveler submits an Expense Report for expense reimbursement and company paid expenses upon completion of the trip. The Expense Report automatically populates the correct Travel General Ledger numbers. 
  • Travel Tracks allows one expense report per travel request so once the expense report is processed the trip is closed and any unused encumbrance is released.
  • If at a later date “missed” expenses related to the trip are identified for reimbursement, submit an e-NPO. These would be expenses not already included on the TRAVELTracks expense report.
  • Traveler or Travel Assistant submits an e-NPO Travel Expense Report for expense reimbursement.
  • The Trip Number must be included on the e-NPO and the Traveler’s Certification Statement must be attached. Reference the trip number in this certification.
  • Documentation must be attached for each reimbursement expense.  
  • e-NPO checks for available budget and routes for approval. 

Summary of Travel Funds Commitment process:

  • The Travel Funds Commitment is used by Employees (Blanket Travel) and non-employees (Students, Grant Participants, Prospective Employees, Prospective Student Athletes, Contractors, Consultants, Guest Speakers, and Visiting Guests).
  • Each Funds Commitment is given a 10-digit trip number that starts with 2014.
  • Only include Company Paid Expenses (airfare, lodging and/or rental vehicle).
  • When the company paid expenses are posted by the Travel Office, they consume the encumbered funds and do not need to be processed through an expense report.
  • Traveler (Travel Assistant must submit for non-employees) submits an e-NPO Travel Expense Report for expense reimbursement. Find the correct Travel General Ledger numbers at this link Travel GL Numbers.
  • The Trip Number must be included on the e-NPO and the Traveler’s Certification Statement must be attached. Reference the trip number in this certification.
  • Documentation must be attached for all reimbursement expenses.
  • Multiple e-NPO Travel Expense Reports may be processed for each trip, but you will probably only do one when the traveler provides the receipts for reimbursement. 
  • e-NPO process checks for available budget and routes for approval.  The reimbursable expenses (non-company paid) do not need to be encumbered on the Travel Funds Commitment.

Summary of Blanket Travel Funds Commitment process:

  • Blanket Travel involves frequent and routine (planned and recurring) round trips to similar destinations and/or similar purposes during an extended period of time.
  • The Funds Commitment time period may not cross fiscal years. You may list multiple travelers and should encumber $0.01 for travel pre-approval workflow purposes only.
  • All expenses will be encumbered via the e-NPO request.
  • Traveler (Travel Assistant must submit for non-employees) submits an e-NPO Travel Expense Report for expense reimbursement. Find the correct Travel General Ledger numbers at this link Travel GL Numbers.
  • The Trip Number must be included on the e-NPO and the Traveler’s Certification Statement must be attached. Reference the trip number in this certification.
  • Multiple e-NPO Travel Expense Reports may be processed for each funds commitment since recurring travel is planned.
  • e-NPO checks for available budget and routes for approval.  The reimbursable expenses (non-company paid) do not need to be encumbered on the Travel Funds Commitment.

Summary of Grant Participant Travel process:

  • Grant Participant travel is always done using the Travel Funds Commitment process.
  • The same processes defined above can be used for participant reimbursements. Find the correct Grant Participant Travel General Ledger numbers at this link Travel GL Numbers.

Summary of e-NPO Traveler Certification Statement:

  • When reimbursing travel expenses using the e-NPO process, the traveler must certify the validity of the expenses and that they have not been reimbursed by any other means.
  • The Electronic Traveler’s Signature is obtained when the employee selects the “Save and Send for Approval” option on their Travel Tracks Expense Report so the e-NPO Traveler Certification Statement is meant replace the Electronic Traveler’s Signature on the e-NPO Travel Expense Report.
  • The following statement must be attached to the e-NPO.

This email will serve as my signature and validation of the expenses on this e-NPO. I certify that the expenses are correct and have not been reimbursed to me by any other method.          

The summary of the travel expenses is as follows:

Traveler Name:

Trip Number:

Dates of Travel:

Amount of Reimbursement:

  • The Travel Assistant may prepare this statement and email to the traveler who can respond “Agree.” 
  • The email approval is acceptable as the consent from the traveler and must be attached to the e-NPO once the document has been created.

 

Updated Travel GL Matrix (111715A)

The Travel GL Matrix has been updated for a change in how Grant Participants expenses are reported. If you are reporting travel for a Participant, you no longer will break out Excess Lodging from the other lodging costs (e.g. GSA rate and taxes). 

The change is as follows:

  • All expenses for Grant Participants will be recorded to the following GL accounts:
    • In-State Travel          710101
    • Out-of-State Travel   711101
    • Foreign                     712101

The Travel GL Matrix is located at Travel GL Matrix

The Commonly Used Grant GL Matrix has also been updated along with the T-11 and T-11M Forms.

The Grant Commonly Used Grant GL Matrix is located at:  Grants Commonly Used GL Matrix .

Toll Road Estimator (111215C)

Effective immediately the following process may be used for including toll road charges on the initial travel expense report when traveling in a personal vehicle in the State of Texas. This process does not relate to rental vehicles from Enterprise or Avis as those charges are billed directly to the University and include any toll charges incurred while driving the rental. If another vehicle rental company is used, you will have to wait for the actual toll road invoice to file for reimbursement (can be submitted using an e-NPO so as not to delay the expense report reimbursement for the other travel charges the traveler incurred). This is because there is no MapQuest required for rental vehicles with unlimited mileage. 

When traveling in Texas using a personal vehicle you can use the toll road estimator as support for expense reimbursements for toll charges incurred.  Using the toll estimator means you will not have to wait for the actual toll statement to submit the travel expense report – or process an e-NPO later if your expense report was already filed by the time you receive the invoice for the toll charges. 

Tolls are based on how far you drive and what kind of vehicle you are driving. Drivers pay a toll each time they pass through a toll plaza. The cost depends on where you get on or get off the road. Drivers also pay a toll on certain entrance and exit ramps. Drivers without a TX Tag pay 33 percent more on Loop 1, SH 45 N, SH 130, and SH 45 SE.

If you choose to use the toll estimator rather than waiting for the actual invoice, you must submit the MapQuest route that includes tolls and a copy of the toll estimator calculation screen. These will serve as adequate supporting documentation for reimbursement. 

Select one of the following links for the State of Texas toll calculator:

https://www.txtag.org/en/about/tollroad_locations.shtml. This link gives information for all tolls areas in Texas.

https://www.txtag.org/en/tollCalc/site.html. This link displays an interactive toll calculation method in Austin.

Multi-Stop Travel Request (092515A)

When a trip requires the traveler to spend the night in multiple locations that are in state, out of state and/or foreign, a single Travel Request may be completed.  For example, a traveler is going on a trip with overnight stops in Dallas, Atlanta and then London, England.  A single travel request with London, England reported as the first trip destination will ensure the proper level of approval is obtained which in this case is Foreign Approval (Cabinet Officer).  Use the “Additional Destinations” field on the Travel Request to enter the trip destinations in the date order of the actual travel plans so the meal and lodging per diems are properly calculated (e.g. enter the first day of the trip to start in Dallas, then Atlanta, and finally London, England).

This clarification should make the Travel Request and Travel Expense Report processes easier for the campus staff and travelers.  The trip expenses will all be recorded to the General Ledger expense accounts related to the trip schema of the first destination that required the highest approval (in this case Foreign Travel) so keep that in mind when looking at expenses on your Budget to Actual Report.

If a department would like to track expenses for each part of the trip, then it would be necessary to complete separate Travel Requests for each of the schemas being either in-state, out-of -state or foreign travel. If separate Travel Requests are created then the coordinating trip numbers should be referenced in the “Comment Section” of each Travel Request. This will notify the approvers and the Travel Office about the multiple trips and destinations scenario. In the above example that would mean three Travel Requests (all routing for the required approvals) and three Expense Reports when the trip ends.  The Travel Office will accept these but again, does not require three.  That requirement would be a departmental directive.

State of Texas (SOT) Rental Vehicle Insurance Information (072415A)

Please use this link to view all the SOT general rental car contract and rental car insurance information:

http://comptroller.texas.gov/procurement/prog/stmp/stmp-rental-car-contract/general-rental-car-contact-information/#insurance

When renting a vehicle from all domestic Enterprise locations as well as most Avis locations under the State of Texas contract, the daily rate includes both LDW and Liability coverage. Not all Avis locations honor the SOT contract in whole; some do not include these coverages in the daily rate.

SOT Contract LDW insurance (Loss/Damage Waiver or comprehensive), which covers all damage to the rental vehicle if it was rented under the state contract; and

SOT Contract Liability insurance, which covers persons and property outside the rental vehicle. The amount of this extended liability insurance is $100,000 bodily injury per person, $300,000 bodily injury per occurrence; and $50,000 property damage per occurrence, for a total of $350,000 per accident.

Proof of insurance is located in the glove compartment or on the windshield of all contract rental cars. In the event you need to provide proof of insurance, inform the individual asking that you are renting under a corporate rate which includes the insurance and show the above "proof of insurance" document.

Liability insurance supplement, Personal Accident insurance, Safe Trip insurance, or Personal Effects insurance are not reimbursable. Please refer to your personal vehicle insurance to verify if these types of insurance coverage are provided when renting a vehicle.

 

If you rent a vehicle from a non-contract rental car vendor, insurance may or may not be included in the base rental rate. Inquire at the time of rental if the contract insurance coverage is included. If it is not, you must purchase the LWD and Liability insurance. If you need to use a non-contract rental car vendor under an allowable exception, LDW and Liability insurance charges will be reimbursed by the university.

 

Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption (060515A)

REMEMBER:  For Texas hotels, the traveler (employee) is required to show their Texas State ID and present a completed Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate to the hotel upon check in.   If the traveler is a non-employee, the Travel Assistant must email or fax the completed exemption certificate to the hotel.  The traveler must verify the state occupancy tax was not charged on the final hotel statement at check out.  If the state occupancy tax is charged, the traveler must ask the hotel to remove it immediately and obtain a revised hotel statement before they leave the hotel. 

Select the following link for the certificate:    Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate . Only complete the Guest Name, Hotel Name, sign and date for the hotel to comply with the exemption.  Travel Assistants may sign the certificate for Non-Texas State employees.

If booking through Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) please be sure you present the Tax Exemption Certificate at check in. CTP will not send the exemption certificate nor will the hotel automatically remove the State Tax when a hotel is booked using CTP.

Travel Tracks Expense Report List of ‘Expense Types’ Modification (011415A)

The Travel Tracks Expense Report list of ‘Expense Types’ on the ‘Enter Receipts’ page has been modified to assist in creating an expense report.

The Expense Types are still in alphabetical order but the names have been changed so they are grouped in like categories; such as company paid, grant participant, incidental, and public transportation expenses. Changing the Expense Type names makes it easier to find the expenses you would like your receipts to be applied to.

Four new Athletics Company Paid Expense Types have been added which are for the Athletics Department use ONLY.