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Conference Hotel Lodging Reservation (060619A)

When attending a conference which is offering a reduced hotel rate, best practice is to secure the room at the time you register for the conference. This is because conference hotels provide designated booking channels of which all conference attendees are required to follow in order to secure the conference rate. Typically, it is the conference registration website and/or an 800# the conference provides to all attendees. Conference rates are associated to a block of rooms held for the conference. Once that block of rooms is gone, then the normal hotel rate is all that can be obtained.

There are two options for booking conference lodging:

  • The traveler can reserve the room with a personal credit card and obtain the conference hotel rate upon completing the conference registration (if allowed at that time).  The traveler will have to personally pay for the room when they check out.
    • Employees may want to consider obtaining a Travel Card through the State of Texas Card Program.  Charges to this personal credit card are limited to travel expenses and are reimbursed when the travel expense report is submitted.  For more information on this program, please see State Travel Charge Card.
  • The traveler (or Travel Assistant) can get a quote for the room, have the vendor complete the PaymentWorks set up if not already a Texas State vendor, then obtain the estimate folio cost from the hotel and create an e-NPO document to receive a check to present at check-in.   The risk with this process is:
    • Other conference attendees and hotel guests may make reservations and the hotel may fill up. Once there is no more capacity, the traveler will have to find a different hotel, which adds inconvenience to the traveler and the vendor e-NPO payment process above will have to start over.

It’s clear that the first option is best, however, the traveler may do what they feel is best for their circumstances.

For those of you using Concur to book hotel rooms, please know that the conference rates are not accessible in the Concur booking tool. Booking rooms at a specific conference rate should not be attempted through Concur, but via one of the two options above.  However, if the conference rate is no longer offered, you may still use Concur to reserve the hotel room at the price they have listed and directly bill it to the university.

How to Purchase Foreign Travel Insurance for Personal Trips (060419A)

As an employee of Texas State University, certain aspects of the ISOS services as well as travel insurance are available if you are traveling internationally on a leisure vacation (non-business travel) and want to receive travel information regarding your destination(s).  For the steps to obtain a quote and/or purchase this coverage, please visit the Travel Assistance & Foreign Travel Insurance page and view How to Purchase Foreign Travel Insurance for Personal Trips.

Foreign Travel Webpage Update (053119A)

The section pertaining to Travel Assistance and Foreign Travel Insurance information on the Foreign Travel webpage has been updated to clarify some differences between the MyTrips online profile and the Assistance App features for travelers within International SOS.  Please review this information and advise other travelers in your area to do the same.

The MyTrips user guide has also been updated, so if you or someone else in your area is planning to use this, the guide would be the starting place to ensure you understand the various data points within MyTrips. 

Revised International Travel Release Form T-4 (053019A)

Effective immediately, all Texas State current employees and students must complete and sign the revised T-4 Release of Liability, Indemnification, and Assumption of Risk Agreement when traveling on university-sanctioned foreign trips.  The form was modified for recent TSUS Rules and Regulations changes, which address when travel is allowed depending on the Travel Advisory Warning Level as listed on the U.S. State Department website. 

The TSUS Rules and Regulations clarified when international travel is allowed as follows:

  • Students may not travel to a country or area with a Level 3 Travel Advisory or higher.
  • Neither employees nor students may travel to a country or area with a Level 4 Travel Advisory.
  • Employee travel to a Level 3 country requires the Release of Liability, Indemnification, and Assumption of Risk Agreement to be initialed and signed by the traveler.

All international business travelers must complete the T-4 form and attach it to the Travel Request or Funds Commitment before final travel approval is given for any international trip.

The first section of the form captures basic travel information pertaining to the business traveler and any guests or minors traveling with that person.  The next section has the agreement terms, of which each traveler must initial as well as sign the form. Do note that the agreement portion of the T-4 form is only applicable if the travel warning advisory is a Level 3 at any time before or during travel. The employee traveler must choose whether to go or stay in that country.

No changes were made to the following T-4- forms for guests or minors:

  • 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, T-4G, or T-4M Forms must be completed by the traveler, guest, guardian, or Travel Assistant and attached to the Travel Request or Funds Commitment.

ISOS MyTrips Login and Password Requirements (052019A)

Every traveler must set up their own profile in ISOS if they have not already done so.  Travel Assistants cannot create a profile for another person. Instructions on this process are available in the MyTrips User Guide.

Passwords for MyTrips must meet minimum complexity requirements. Your new password must be:

  • at least 10 characters long
  • not contain your user name or full name
  • not have been used as one of your previous 12 passwords
  • contain a combination of the following character types:
    → upper case characters i.e. A,B, …, Z
    → lowercase characters i.e. a, b, …, z
    → numerals i.e. 0, 1, …, 9
    → special characters i.e. !,@,#,$,%,*,(,),_,+,^,&,},{,:,;,?,.,]

As an example, Welcome@2019 meets all the requirements.  

The travel itinerary should be forwarded (not as an attachment, but the actual airline confirmation email) to ISOS to be loaded into your MyTrips profile. The email address to which an itinerary should be forwarded is as follows: 

Trip itinerary details may be manually added to your MyTrips profile, but it is time consuming if you already have the airline itinerary email.

As ISOS is the university’s duty of care provider, it is extremely important to forward your itineraries to them, allowing for reporting on impacted travelers when a situation occurs.

Airbnb Reservations Reinstated (051019B)

Airbnb has been removed from the State of Texas Comptroller’s banned list of businesses and, therefore, travelers may again book lodging through this company.  Thank you for your patience.

If you have any questions, please contact the Travel Office at travel@txstate.edu or 5-2775.

15-Passenger Vans (051019A)

Per UPPS 05.05.04, 15-passenger vans may not be used for transporting passengers or for towing.  The rental agencies have been notified and instructed to remove this option from the Texas State business travel vehicle options.  If you have any pending reservations for 15-passenger vans, please cancel them immediately and re-book with an allowed van size (i.e. 10-12-passenger van).  

Do note that the UPPS is under revision and this restriction may be removed and other requirements added.  When finalized, another communication will be posted.

Enterprise and National Portal Update (042519A)

Enterprise and National have made an enhancement to the on-line portal for vehicle rentals. The Department Name is now a required field when creating a reservation through the on-line portal. This enhancement will be a time saver for the traveler when picking up the rental vehicle as they will no longer be asked for this information. The Department Name will be listed on all Enterprise invoices and will help the Travel Office identify the correct department if needed.

NOTE: This change is effective as of today and any travelers picking up a vehicle on a previous reservation will still be asked for their department name.

 

Travel Return on Advance (ROA) Form (042219A)

When returning unused travel advance funds, use the Travel ROA Deposit Form. Only the 10-digit trip number may be entered in the Assignment field on the deposit form.

  • Funds Commitment trip numbers start with 2014.
  • TRAVELTracks trip numbers start with 7300.

The Travel ROA form is located at Travel Forms. The form includes further instructions to assist you.

Enterprise and National Portal Update (041819B)

Enterprise and National have made some enhancements to the on-line portal for vehicle rentals.  The changes are:

  • Confirmation emails are now sent to the person creating the booking (Travel Assistant) and the traveler. This should assist the Travel Assistant when the traveler has questions or needs to make any changes on the reservation.
    • On this Enterprise screen, click on the box indicated.

  • On the National screen, you should see the note at the top and will need to click on that to indicate you are reserving for another traveler.

  • On this screen, enter your information in the Travel Administrator Details.  The Travel Assistant and the traveler should then receive the email confirmation when the reservation process is complete.

 

ISOS Travel Itinerary Update (041819A)

If a traveler makes a reservation outside of ASCOT or CTP, there are new email addresses to which the itinerary should be forwarded to ISOS. The Travel Assistant can also send an itinerary to ISOS for another person. In order to forward an itinerary, the traveler must have a profile established in ISOS, which identifies the university with which they are associated.

If the traveler does not have a profile in ISOS, that person must set up their own profile.  Travel Assistants cannot create a profile for another person. Instructions for this process are found in the My Trips User Guide.

The forwarding email address depends on who is forwarding the itinerary confirmation, as follows:

  • Travelers can forward their itinerary confirmation to:   
  • Travel Assistants can forward a traveler’s itinerary confirmation to:
  • On the To… line enter the traveler’s email address used for MyTrips. This is to identify the profile to which the itinerary information should be attached.
  • On the CC… line enter TSUSTravel-TO@itinerary.internationalsos.com

It is extremely important to have traveler itineraries at ISOS as it is the university’s Duty of Care provider and allows for reporting on impacted travelers when a situation occurs.

Employee List Clean Up Guide (041719A)

In order to clean up your employee list in TRAVELTracks you must ensure that all of the completed trips have been processed. Completed trips either have an expense report processed or you informed the Travel Office to cancel the Travel Request. This includes zero dollar trips Once all the trips for the employee have been completed, then you should delete that employee from your list if you will not be processing travel for them in the future. Please follow these instructions to cleanup your employee list.

You will first need to add the Personnel Assignment column to your Employee List view in TRAVELTracks so you can see the status of the employee's Personnel Assignment number. Next log in to the SAP Portal, select the Employee Self-Service tab, TRAVELTracks, then My Employees.

Select the Open Setting Dialog icon     at the top right of the Employee List screen.

A Settings table will appear. On the Column Selection tab go to the Hidden Column table, scroll down and select the Personnel Assignment cell.

On the Column Selection tab go to the Hidden Column table scroll down and select the Personnel Assignment cell.

  • Select the Add button
  • Select the Apply and then OK buttons
  • Your Employee List will now show on your PC screen

The Personnel Assignment will be listed as (Active) (Inactive) or (Withdrawn) on your Employee List.

  • Select the employee or employees who you will no longer be creating travel for and then click on the Remove Employee(s). This will remove the (Inactive)  and (Withdrawn) employees from your Employee List.
  • If an employee's Personnel Assignment is listed as (Inactive) but will become (Active) later, the employee does not need to be removed.

Prepaid Lodging and Travel Expense Reports (041019A)

When prepaid lodging is requested before the trip begins, a payment is issued to the hotel.  These payments are issued via the e-NPO or PO process, with e-NPO being the preferred method as a PO is not required for brief lodging stays. An approved 10-digit trip number is required before requesting prepayment to the hotel. 

When processing the trip expense report, the Travel Office needs to validate the folio information back to the prepayment and ensure that the charges are for allowable travel expenses. The following process is, therefore, effective immediately:

  • At checkout, the traveler must request a final copy of the hotel folio with itemized charges. The traveler must review the folio for accuracy.
  • If the hotel stay is in the State of Texas, no State Occupancy Tax should be charged.  Be sure the hotel has been provided a Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate at the time of check-in so state tax is not included on the final folio.
  • The folio must be attached to the traveler’s reimbursement (TRAVELTracks Expense Report for employees and e-NPO for non-employees) before it is submitted.  The e-NPO or PO number must be written on the final folio.  This will allow future questions on the expense report and prepayment to be synced together. 

NOTE: If the expense report does not have the required information described above, then the traveler’s reimbursement will be delayed.

Airbnb and Cancellation Fees Expense Report Process (040519A)

Any reservations with Airbnb with an arrival date on or before Friday April 12, 2019, can be used and the lodging at this vendor will be allowed on the travel expense report. 

Any reservations with Airbnb with an arrival date after April 12, 2019, must be canceled and rebooked with an alternative company that offers home or room rentals or through a hotel. Please ensure there is available departmental budget to cover any lodging cost increase regardless of the company used.

On the expense report, enter the lodging cost actually incurred (invoice total) as normal in TRAVELTracks or the Funds Commitment e-NPO reimbursement.  If the traveler incurred any Airbnb fees for canceling a reservation with a check-in date on or before April 12, 2019, the University will absorb cancelation fees through a separate account.  The following is the funding information (note there is not a cost center associated with this account) to be used on the expense report for any fees which meet the above timeframes:

                Internal Order = 9000002374

                Fund = 2000011019

Cancellation fee process:

  • Funds Commitment reimbursements: The cancellation fee needs to be a separate line on the e-NPO. Please use the appropriate lodging GL (based on destination) for any Airbnb cancellation fees:
    • In State: 710600
    • Out of State: 711600
    • Foreign: 712100
  • TRAVELTracks Expense Reports: The cancellation fee needs to be a separate line on the Expense Report. Please use the LODGING REDUCTION expense line without the negative to include the cancellation fee for Airbnb.
    • Click on the Change Cost Assignment in the Receipts entry field to update the Cost Assignment to the funding provided.
    • Once you change the Cost Assignment for the Airbnb cancellation fee and inputting all other receipts, save and send the Expense Report for approvals. The Expense Report will route to the Account Manager of this account for approval before Travel Office approval.

 

Travel e-NPO Process Update (012419A)

Effective immediately, the e-NPO entry for invoice date and invoice number have changed. The following details the data and format that should be entered when creating a travel e-NPO reimbursement request:   

  • Invoice Date: Enter the last day of travel MM/DD/YYYY.           
                           e.g. 11/30/2018
  • Invoice Received Date: Enter the date the e-NPO is being created and submitted as MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Goods Received Date: Enter the date the e-NPO is being created and submitted as MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Invoice Number: Enter the first day of travel as MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Amount: Enter the total amount of reimbursement.
  • Text Information: Enter the FC number, dates of travel, and the destination.                                               
                                  e.g. 2014554471 1/12-4/22/16 VARIOUS, TX                                                                                                                       *NOTE: For Guests, enter where they came from. If coming from New York state to San Marcos, TX, enter NY/SM, TX.          
                                  e.g. 2014554471 1/12-4/22/16 NY/SM,TX                             

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 guest of the university. 

If you need assistance on this change or have other travel e-NPO questions, please review the e-NPO Procedures or contact the Travel Office at travel@txstate.edu or 5-2775.

Traveler Certification Statement Update (012319A)

Effective immediately, the Traveler Certification Statement will require the destinations and expense type with total amount for each expense.  The Certification Statement is a required attachment on e-NPO travel reimbursement requests.  This process is used to submit travel expense reports which are not processed through TRAVELTracks.

The following is the revised Traveler Certification Statement template:

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:

Destination:

Expenses:     $0.00 MEALS

                     $0.00 LODGING

                     $0.00 REGISTRATION

                     $0.00 TAXI, UBER, SHUTTLE

                     $0.00 (break out by expense type)

Revised Form T-10 Available (011119A)

Texas State University Travel Authorization (Form T-10) has been revised. The form must be attached to each Travel Funds Commitment.  When completing the Form T-10, you must complete all the information on the form. The form now includes a section to break out the estimated expenses by category.  It also totals the amounts in each category and populates the Total Trip Cost amount.  This information is useful for the approvers reviewing the trip details.

The estimated company billed expenses are also captured on the form. You will need to list the total in that section or enter $.01 if there are none. That total will be the encumbrance amount for the trip.

Standard Mileage Rates for 2019 Up from Rates for 2018 (011019A)

Texas State’s maximum mileage reimbursement rate for travel occurring on or after January 1, 2019, is 58.0 cents per mile. This is a 3.5 cent increase per mile from the previous rate of 54.5 cents per mile, which remains effective for travel dates on or before December 31, 2018. The rates are in accordance with rates adopted by the Internal Revenue Service and the State of Texas Comptroller’s Office.

The following have been updated to reflect this rate change:

T-1 – Transportation Cost Equivalency Form

T-3 – Daily Mileage Worksheet

Map Quest Chart

For additional information regarding mileage or other travel news, refer to the Travel Office website. For any questions, please contact travel@txstate.edu or call (512) 245-2775.

Update to Embassy Suites Reservations (110818A)

You can reserve a room online at www.sanmarcos.embassysuites.com. Select “Check Room & Rates” at the top of the page. You will need to enter the Corporate Account number found on the Company Billed Hotels webpage to receive the university rate unless any restrictions apply as stated below.

The $129 room rate is not available on weekends during Football Season or during Special Events. Football Season is Friday or Saturday nights during that period. Special Events can be any time during the year for events such as large convention groups or university graduations. When making reservations at these special times or on sold out dates, you may get a message that says your rate is not available.

If you have a problem getting the $129 room rate or making a reservation, email Deborah Lombardo at deborah.lombardo@atriumhospitality.com (preferred contact method) for assistance on the reservation.

Conference Registration & Agenda Requirements RSS (101218A)

Effective immediately, any faculty, staff and student conference travel reimbursements must have a final conference agenda attached to their Expense Report whether processed via TRAVELTracks or e-NPO. The conference agenda and registration must include a breakdown of the items included in the cost.  NOTE:  If the agenda is quite long then you only need to attach the first page with the conference title and the pages from the agenda that reference the meals and whether they are included or not.  If you do want to scan the entire agenda (some are more then 25, 75 100 pages!), then you must indicate on the first page of the agenda which pages have the meal information.  If not identified, then the expense report will be rejected for you to provide the page numbers. The Travel Office cannot filter through such long agendas for the needed meal information.

If any meals are provided as part of the conference registration cost, then daily meal per diem may need to be adjusted for the provided meal amount. If the per diem is not adjusted for any meal included with the conference, then in effect the expense is doubled for the meal and that is not allowed. The same is true for business meals without making a per diem adjustment. The following guidance should be used to determine if full or adjusted meal per diem is appropriate.

Full meal per diem may be reimbursed if:

  • No meals are provided at the conference.

  • No business meal was purchased, whether paid for by the traveler or another individual.

  • Add on meals are purchased by the traveler after the registration/conference cost was paid, but the traveler does not seek reimbursement for those purchased meals.

Meal per diem must be reduced if one of the following occurs:

  • A meal was included as part of the registration/conference cost (i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner, banquet).

  • Some listings on the registration/conference agenda may not be clear enough to know if it constitutes as a meal. Examples of these include: reception, social or networking event, or other breakout sessions. The traveler must specify if a meal was provided and if so, adjust the daily per diem for that meal.

  • Add on meals that could be purchased if desired in addition to the registration/conference cost which were included in the final registration total.

Refer to the M&IE breakdown on the GSA link for amount of reduction per meal.

Example:

Per diem amount for full travel day is $55 and lunch was provided.

Meals will be reduced by $14

NOTE: if the event occurs on a travel day, meal per diem will be reduced by 75% ($10.50 instead of $14)

This will help with the timely processing of your reimbursement and to reduce further clarification correspondence.

Non-Reimbursable Travel Expenses and Airfare Classes (091918A)

There are certain optional airfare travel expenses, which are not reimbursable. These include but are not limited to:

  • Early Bird access fees

  • Preferred Seating

  • TSA Pre-Check fee, a travel subscription service for lowest fare notifications and similar types of air travel expenses not required for coach fare travel.

  • Upgraded Fare Prices (see exceptions below)

  • Any other optional fees, services and upgrades.

A traveler can pay for these types of expenses personally or seek exception approval for the expense from their Cabinet Officer.

Clarification has been received on reservations for an airfare class other than coach. No upgraded fare classes other than coach may be used for employees, prospective employees or prospective students. Those travelers may only reserve tickets using the coach fare, unless no coach fares are available on the flight and the airline is allowing the upgrade with no additional costs from the coach fare price.

An upgraded fare class is allowable for VIP guests of the University such as high-profile visitors, dignitaries, distinguished lecturers, etc. The department will have to obtain approval for this upgrade from their Cabinet Officer and that approval must be attached to the Travel Funds Commitment Trip Number (starts with 2014 for non-employees). The University’s travel management company will contact the Travel Office for confirmation and approval that the upgraded fare can be reserved for the traveler. Do note that the department requesting the upgraded fare must have the funds available to pay for the additional fare costs.

If an employee traveler has a medical note from a physician pertaining to a reason a different fare class is needed, then that must include an end date for the condition (if appropriate) and the traveler’s Cabinet Officer must approve the increased fare requirement. That approval must be attached to each Travel Request (trip number starts with 7300) so the Travel Office can confirm/approve the airfare with the University’s travel management company.

If a non-employee traveler has an executed contract which includes a travel fare class other than coach, then the contract terms will be followed and allowed for reimbursement. Departments are encouraged to make every effort to include the travel costs in the contractor's fee and then the contractor can make their own travel arrangements. There is no travel approval or expense reimbursement needed from Texas State when that process is followed.

Approval for Travel Reservations Through A TMC (082718A)

Effective immediately, the Travel Office approval is no longer required on airfare or lodging reservations made through one of the University’s Travel Management Companies (TMC). These are either Ascot Travel (airfare only) or Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) (airfare and lodging for those participating in the CTP Pilot Program). Once the trip has been fully approved, the traveler or their Travel Assistant can make the reservations through the TMC. The person booking the airfare or lodging will be required to use an approved travel trip number with the TMC. The reservation process for rental vehicles remains the same as those reservations currently allow the bookings without the Travel Office approval.

Per University Travel Procedures:

  • Travel Requests and Funds Commitments must be fully approved before airfare/hotel/rental vehicles can be booked.

  • Only valid and correct trip numbers should be used when making reservations.

  • Travel Requests and Funds Commitments should have sufficient funds encumbered to cover the costs.

  • Reservation dates must match the approved Travel Request or Funds Commitment.

  • Destinations must match the approved Travel Request or Funds Commitment.

  • Travelers are not allowed to book any airfare other than coach. Please refer to RSS 072618A .

This approval elimination will make the booking process consistent whether for airfare, lodging or rental vehicles. It should also eliminate campus and agency follow ups on the status for final confirmation and the delays in booking airfare and hotel lodging reservations. This should save the campus staff time and reduce the risk of price increases with the airlines as well as hotel capacity issues.

Airfare Basic Economy Fare Restriction (082318A)

Effective immediately, the Basic Economy fare will be blocked as an option at Ascot Travel and Corporate Travel Planner (for those departments in the CTP Pilot Program). The rationale for this relates to the restrictions on the fares that the airlines have imposed is not offset by the reduced fare cost (generally $25 - $40 dollars or the approximate cost for checking a bag). Those include:

  • No seat assignment until at the gate or during check in.

  • No access to overhead bins.

  • Only one bag is allowed, and it must fit under the seat.

  • The fares are non-refundable and non-changeable.

  • No upgrades are allowed.

  • If the flight is missed, a new ticket must be purchased.

Please be aware of this restriction when booking airfare through the travel agencies and continue to use the authorized coach fare option.

Travel Training (081418A)

Until further notice, the following is the Travel Training option for TRAVELTracks and the Travel Policies and Procedures training courses which were previously offered through Professional Development.

TRAVELTracks

  • Classroom training has been discontinued.
  • You may review the TRAVELTracks procedures at TRAVELTracks Training Class (scroll to the bottom of the webpage).

If you want to become a Travel Assistant:

Travel Policies and Procedures

  • Classroom training has been discontinued.

  • The Professional Development course for Travel Policies and Procedures may be offered this fall. Until then, review the link for this information.

Travel PO Closure Process (073018A)

It is requested that when sending an invoice to the Travel Office for payment you indicate if the invoice is the “Final Invoice”. This informs the Travel Office to close the PO when processing the payment. If this is not done and the invoice is for the item described on the PO and the invoice amount will consume most of the funds on the PO, then the Travel Office will apply the invoice to the PO and close out the PO. This will release the remaining funds back to the account’s budget. The process will eliminate the need to manually review these open encumbrances just to determine the PO should be closed.

Discontinued Relationship with National Travel Systems (070318A)

The university will be moving to a single Travel Management Company (TMC) in the Fall of 2018. Due to the low volume of direct bill airfare purchases with National Travel Systems, this agency decided not to participate in the RFP process to be selected as the TMC. Therefore, effective immediately, airfare purchases through the National Travel online link on the Company Billed Airfare website have been suspended. You may continue to purchase direct bill airfare through Ascot Travel or CTP (if your department is in the test pilot).

Protecting Sensitive Information on Expense Reimbursements (061418A)

The Accounts Payable and Travel office requires receipts to reimburse qualified business expenses. Expenses can relate to routine department operations or travel for the university.  Before attaching a credit/debit card receipt, a bank or credit card statement, or a cancelled check to the reimbursement document, please keep in mind the information below to protect your personal information.

  • Credit or Debit Card Receipts - The full number should not be visible. Block out (can use a black marker or something similar to cover the data) everything except the last four digits.
  • Bank or Credit Card Statements - Only the customer’s name and transaction for reimbursement should be visible. The account number, address, and all other transaction information should be blocked out. This option is only needed to support the expense if the receipt cannot be found and attached to the reimbursement request or travel expense report.
  • Cancelled Checks - The employee’s name should be visible, but the employee’s address, bank routing number, and account number should be blocked out. This option is only needed to support the expense if the receipt cannot be found and attached to the reimbursement request or travel expense report.

Protecting Travel Credit Card Information (060818A)

Some payment controls that affect Travel Credit Cardholders have recently been modified. Because of security advances in chip card technology, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover have all announced that they no longer require signatures for in-person card purchases. With one less control in place, card abuse may increase, such as stolen cards used for fraudulent purchases.

To enhance card fraud prevention in your department, you can:

  • Let cardholders know about this new development in card payments, positioning them to be more cautious whenever they pull out their credit card. If their card does go missing, the Travel Office should be notified immediately.
  • Since it may be easier for an unauthorized person to get away with using your travel card, the cardholder should scrutinize card statements and pay attention to inconsistencies and unauthorized charges.

International SOS TravelTracker Updates (050818A)

On May 8, 2018 International SOS (ISOS) TravelTracker will release updates with valuable enhancements.

  1. Enhancements to MyTrips to ensure GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance.
  • MyTrips users must now review the ISOS privacy policy before proceeding to register for MyTrips and entering their trip details into the system.
  • This will ensure that travelers understand who will have access to their information and how it will be used.
  1. New password reset process.
  • The password reset process for TravelTracker and MyTrips has changed to improve the user experience.
  • If the user forgets their password and cannot remember their challenge questions, they will be notified that their account has been locked. An email will be sent to their organization’s administrators and copy the locked user.
  • The new functionality allows designated administrators to unlock user accounts, reset passwords and activate/deactivate users.
  1. New password expiration email service.
  • TravelTracker users will receive an email from ISOS 5 days before their password will expire and will continue to receive them until they change their password, or it expires.

Moving Allowance on the PCR (050318A)

The PCR process was modified to include a new payment type listed as Special Payment/Moving Allowance. If you are processing a moving allowance payment request, the AP-16 form must be attached to the PCR. The document will automatically route for approvals and processing. The HR Master Data Center (for staff) or Faculty and Academic Resources (for faculty) will process the moving allowance PCR for inclusion in the next available payroll processing cycle. The appropriate payroll taxes will be deducted automatically.

The AP-16 Authorization for Employee Moving Allowance form has been revised for this policy change. Remember, this form name will be changing to Authorization for Employee Moving Allowance and a notification will be published with the new link to the form.

Research Travel Advance Change (050218A)

UPPS 05.06.04 – Section 1.04

The AVP for Research and Sponsored Programs will no longer review and approve these Travel Requests. Please review the policy at the link above and specifically Section 01.04 c. for the exact wording changes.

The Account Manager(s) or the Supervisor of the Account Manager(s) if the traveler is the Account Manager have the responsibility for approving the Research Travel Type requests and the need for the advance. Approval will be obtained through the SAP workflow.

Remember: Sections 1.08 and1.09 discuss past due travel advances and the potential as reportable earnings.  Section 03.08 also discusses the impact on employee earnings if the travel advance is not cleared by 60 days (added to earnings no later than 120 days after the travel end date).

Revised Moving Allowance FSS/PPS 03.19 (042418C)

FSS/PPS 03.19 has been revised for the new IRS regulations under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December 2017. The new requirements eliminate the reimbursement of allowed moving expenses. A payment to an employee for moving is now treated as W-2 taxable earnings. The University refers to this type of payment as a moving allowance. Moving allowances are no longer paid through Accounts Payable. Under this change, the employee does not need to provide any receipts to substantiate their moving allowance.

The PCR process is currently under development to provide a new payment type (Special Payment/Moving Allowance). Once that has been placed into production (target date within the month), the AP-16 form must be attached to the PCR and that document will automatically route for approvals and processing. The HR Master Data Center (for staff) or Faculty and Academic Resources (for faculty) will process the moving allowance on the employee’s next paycheck. The appropriate payroll taxes will be deducted automatically.

The AP-16 Authorization for Employee Moving Allowance form has been revised for this policy change.

Revised AP-3 Wire Transfer Request Form (042418B)

Due to an overwhelming increase in wire fraud, the banking networks have modified the information required on foreign wire transfers. Accounts Payable has updated the AP-3 Wire Transfer Request form used for these changes. The information sent to Texas State must come from the e-mail address on the vendor record in SAP. If the vendor needs to update their information, please have them contact Vendor Requests at vendorrequests@txstate.edu or (512) 245-2521.

It is important to remember that the vendor is responsible for contacting their bank to see what information is required for a wire to be processed to their account. Any missing or illegible information will cause delays in payment. Texas State cannot recall wires once they have been processed, so adherence to these requirements is critical.

The updated form and instructions are located on the Accounts Payable Forms webpage under Wire Payments.

If you have any questions, please contact Accounts Payable at 5-2777.

For travel-related wire payment questions, please contact the Travel Office at 5-2775.

Foreign Vendor Payments (042418A)

The three methods of payment for foreign vendors are check, p-card, and wire.

The check is preferred and most cost-efficient method of payment to a foreign vendor. The vendor will need to send an e-mail to Accounts Payable (or to the department and that should be emailed to payables@txstate.edu) stating that their bank will cash a check from a US bank. The vendor email must be sent from the e-mail address on the vendor record in SAP. The vendor will need to absorb any fees they may incur from their bank. Due to the mail issues in Mexico, checks cannot be mailed that country.

If paying by P-Card, the department will need to contact Purchasing for temporary changes to the P-Card to allow the transaction to be processed. Purchasing will also need to refer to the Payroll and Tax Office if there are any tax concerns.

If paying by wire, please be aware that additional time and documentation is required due to increased fraud controls that the banking networks have implemented. The department will need to have the vendor fill out the most current version of AP-3 Wire Transfer Request form if the wire information is not provided on the invoice.

The Office of Payroll and Tax must review all payments for tax implications before payment can be processed. This review will determine if tax is applicable and the rate to be applied. Contact that department via email at payroll@txstate.edu.

Payment to a foreign bank cannot be processed via direct deposit (ACH).

The REAL ID Act (041718A)

The REAL ID Act establishes minimum-security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. Secure driver's licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework.

DHS is committed to enforcing the REAL ID Act in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule and regulatory timeframes and is not inclined to grant additional extensions to any states that are not both committed to achieving full compliance and making substantial and documented progress in satisfying any unmet requirements.

University travelers should ensure the identification they intend to use to board an aircraft is compliant so they avoid issues while traveling.  A valid passport can be used as a valid identification method if it is unknown if a driver’s license is compliant.  Remember it is critical that the name given when booking an airline ticket matches exactly to the name on the identification document used for boarding. 

Check out the following links for more information on the REAL ID Act. 

https://www.dhs.gov/real-id   Real ID Act website and listing of compliant and states with an extension. 

https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-frequently-asked-questions   FAQs

e-NPO Payments to Foreign Vendors (031318A)

In order to timely process a foreign vendor payment paid by e-NPO, you will need to email the Office of Payroll and Tax Compliance at payroll@txstate.edu as soon as you begin the process. The Office of Payroll and Tax Compliance must review all foreign vendor payments to determine if there are taxes that need to be withheld from the payment and if the department intends to gross up the payment and absorb the additional expense. Depending on the tax consequences, the e-NPO may require changes or additional information. By contacting the Office of Payroll and Tax Compliance first, you will help reduce the time involved to pay the vendor.

Departments should not enter into a contract with a foreign vendor before the vendor has been verified for allowable business transactions with the university and the vendor record has been set up in SAP.

New TSUS Address Updated on MapQuest Mileage Chart (022818A)

The Texas State University System (TSUS) office has moved to a new location at 601 Colorado Street in Austin, Texas. This address change is reflected in the mileage calculations on the 2018 MapQuest Mileage Chart, represented in MQ#29 through MQ#32. To view the revised mileage chart, click the link above or visit the Mileage page on the Travel website under the Procedures tab.

Embassy Suites Hotel Reservation Hotline (012618A)

The San Marcos Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center continues to accept reservations through their call center hotline. Remember, 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 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. 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 and contact Deborah Lombardo via email at Debora.Lombardo@JQH.com to make the reservation.

Embassy Suites is working on getting the in-house reservation position filled so you can call that person directly to place a direct bill reservation. In the meantime, email Ms. Lombardo at to place the in-house reservation.

AP-3 Wire Transfer Request Form Update (101217D)

Due to the sensitive nature of the AP-3 Wire Transfer Request form, the form must be completed entirely only by the vendor. The vendor's name and address must match exactly with the information in SAP (no abbreviations, acronyms, etc.). When sending the AP-3 to Accounts Payable at payables@txstate.edu include the email from the vendor for verification that the email request is from the email address on the vendor record.

Informing Accounts Payable & Travel of Budget Corrections (101217C)

The Accounts Payable and Travel staff may not be able to process a payment request due to a budget error. The person processing the payment request will email the originator to resolve the issue. When the requested update is complete, the originator must email the response to the requestor (AP or Travel staff person). This is very important so payments are not delayed any longer than necessary.

e-NPO Correction Email Notifications (101217B)

The originator of an e-NPO may receive an email correction notification or rejection notification during the AP or Travel review of the payment request. It is imperative for you to respond to the notification upon receipt. Refer to the bottom of the email received for the time allowed to respond as there are different timeframes as explained below.

An e-NPO email correction notification is sent to the originator if additional information is needed (e.g. valid business purpose, attach correct documentation, or for a Travel e-NPO the Traveler Certification Statement may be needed) but it is not necessary to restart the workflow. The originator has seven (7) days from the day the email is sent to respond to a correction.

If not complete in the allowed time the document will be rejected, returned to the workflow for approval and an email rejection notification will be sent to the originator. The originator has 14 days from the date of the rejection notification email to respond. If not complete in the allowed time the document will be deleted. The originator must then create a new e-NPO.

Effects of Equifax Data Breach on Travel Cards (101217A)

Citibank (Citi) is working to address the recent cyber-security incident at Equifax which may have affected the Citi travel cards. Since the report of the data breach, Citi has not reported any cases of fraud or attempted fraud. If you have a Citi travel card as part of Texas State’s Citi travel card program, ensure that your contact information with Citi is current. This information includes a current telephone number and email address should Citi need to reach you (the cardholder). You are responsible for reviewing the billing statement and account activity regularly. Immediately report any activity that you do not recognize, and respond to any alerts Citi sends about potentially fraudulent activity.

Enterprise Program Summary and Reservation Scrolling Issues (092917A)

Two updates have been added to the Enterprise vehicle rental portion of the Rental Cars page on the travel website. Select the link Rental Cars to view the updates. A Texas State NetID and password are required to access the information in this link.

  1. Enterprise Benefits & Program Summary - gives comprehensive information about the benefits of using Enterprise and charges that may be incurred.
  2. Enterprise Reservation – Unable to Scroll - for staff who have been unable to scroll when reserving an Enterprise vehicle on the SAP Portal, first try using the down arrow key on your keyboard in place of scrolling. If the down arrow key does not work, use the instructions at this link to modify your internet options.

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 (081017A)

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 i