Travel Reimbursement System – How to Approve Travel Reports

Travel Reimbursement System – How to Approve Travel Reports


Welcome to this video on how to approve a
travel expense report in the Travel Reimbursement System. As an approver, you play an important role. By cross checking travel reports, you help
to reduce errors, mitigate the risk of fraud, and ensure that the university is acting as
a responsible steward over public resources. You may be new to this role so make sure to
take your time to learn about the travel policies and reimbursement process, and, if necessary,
seek the guidance of the Accounts Payable department. We will provide you with contact information
later on in this video. OK. Let’s get started. First, you will need to bring up the Travel
Reimbursement System. Do this by pointing your browser to https://reimburse.berkeley.edu. Make sure you include an “s” after http. Then, click the Go button and authenticate
using your CalNet ID. If you were delegated the responsibility to
approve travel reports, look for an approver section on your home page. If you do not see it (and you think you should),
you will need to request that the role be added to your profile. Ask your department head to email [email protected]
with the authorization, being sure to include your name, employee ID number and org nodes
for which you have authority. Assuming everything is correct, click the
link labeled View Approver Queue. This takes you to a page listing all reports
submitted under the org nodes you have access to approve. If the report is directly entered by the
traveler, it will be routed for approval to the org node associated with the traveler’s
home department. Be aware that reports are not routed based
on the funding source that is paying for the expenses. At the time the traveler prepared the travel
report, they were asked to select a preferred approver. Often a traveler picks their manager or the
person who they think is most familiar with their trip. Note that the travel reimbursement request
should not be approved by a person who reports directly or indirectly to the traveler. Although
an Approver can authorize any report in the queue, it is common practice for an Approver
to yield to the Preferred Approver. However, if the Preferred Approver is not
available, any approver for that org node can take action so that payment is issued
promptly. To make it easier to find the reports where
you are the Preferred Approver, consider clicking on the column header ‘Preferred Approver’. This sorts the queue according to this column. For those of you with large approval queue’s,
you may find the search fields at the top useful. Here you can pull a specific report by its
Report ID number, or all the reports with the same payee name, or fund or department
ID. There is a lot of helpful information on this
page to assist approvers with their review. First, be on the lookout for a “Yes” in
the Special Circumstances column. This indicates that the traveler has identified
an expense that may have strayed outside the UC Travel Regulations (known as policy G-28). Approvers should look especially closely at
these reports and understand the reasons behind the special circumstances. If you are unsure if the special circumstances
are allowed under UC Policy, feel free to email Accounts Payable at [email protected]
to double check. Now let’s bring up detailed information
about one of these reports. Do this by clicking the Travel Report ID number. Review the report to ensure the trip is business-related
and the expenses are customary and reasonable. If you have questions, try the “Help for this
page” link. This launches a pop-up panel with tips specific
to the current step and may even answer some of your travel policy questions. Again, don’t be shy about asking the Berkeley
Accounts Payable team for guidance. As you look over the report, make sure to
match the actual scanned receipts with the recorded amounts. You can view the actual receipts using the
View Receipts/Documents button. Keep in mind that the traveler is required
to submit receipts for airfare, rental car, lodging, conference fees and any single expense
of $75 or more for domestic travel. For international travel, the requirements
differ slightly. You can find a clear explanation of receipt
requirements in the page’s help link or on the Documentation and Receipts page of
the travel website. You can navigate to this page by going to
travel.berkeley.edu/documentation. If any of the required receipts are missing,
do not approve the report. If you do not find the information on this
page sufficient to determine if approval is warranted, we recommend that you view the
full travel report. The View Report button allows you to view
or even print a copy of the full travel report, which provides a complete breakdown of the
travel expenses. Notice how the Report History records the
activity of the travel report as it moves through the reimbursement cycle. When you are ready to authorize the reimbursement,
simply click the Approve for Payment button. This brings up an approval confirmation pop-up
box in which acknowledge your responsibilities as an approver. Click the OK button to remove the report from
the approval queue and send it to Accounts Payable for payment. Now let’s go back into the Approver Queue
and explore some of the other options you have as an approver. Suppose there is a mistake on the report and
you need to reject it. To do this, go to the notes section and provide
an explanation of what is missing or needs correction. Then, save your note and click the Reject
button. This removes the report from the approver
queue and sends an email to the traveler or preparer alerting them that action is needed. You may have noticed the button – “Save Note
& Email Approver.” This is used by org nodes that use a two step
approval method. For example, one person might be asked to
check the report for travel policy compliance while another person ensures that the funding
source is correct. Here’s how this would work. One of the two approvers pulls up a travel
report and inspects it based on their designated area of concern. If the report is OK, then it is sent to a
second approver for review. This is done by entering the first approver’s
findings in the note section, picking out the name of the second approver in the Approver
to Contact drop-down menu and clicking the Save Note and Email Approver button. This sends an email to the second approver
asking them to review this report. If all is well, then the second approver documents
their findings, saves their note, and clicks the Approve for Payment button. Please note that while either org node approver
can reject the report at any time, only the final approver should authorize the report
for payment. Also, be aware that the traveler can view
the notes on their Tracking Report page so they can follow along with where reimbursement
request is in the process. This concludes this video. If you have questions or need assistance,
please see more information about the reimbursement process on our website at travel.berkeley.edu. You may also email the accounts payable office
at [email protected] Thank you for taking the time to watch this
video.

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