Travel Policy Update

March 2008
Office of the Comptroller
 Goals of revised policy
 Internal and external requirements and
 Highlight specific policy revisions
 Communication vehicles and target
effective date
Office of the Comptroller
Goals of revised policy
 Ensure that Penn’s resources are spent prudently
 Ensure that IRS Accountable Plan and Sponsored
Program requirements are met
 Clearly define roles and responsibilities for the
travelers, approvers and central processing
 Ensure T&E reimbursement requests are properly
documented, reviewed and approved prior to
submission for processing
 Foster the use of recommended payment
mechanisms and reduce unnecessary advance
Office of the Comptroller
External Requirements
 IRS compliance requirements – “accountable
 Internal control requirements as an outgrowth
of Sarbanes/Oxley and SAS 112
 Federal Travel Regulations and Sponsored
Research requirements
 Trustee interest in ensuring we have adopted
strong controls for sound business practice
Office of the Comptroller
OACP Recommendations
 To improve policy compliance:
– Clarify roles and responsibilities
– Eliminate inconsistencies and clarify expectations
– Create training classes and improve procedural
– Improve advance reconciliation process
– Define “acceptable” timeline for expense report
– Introduce “Best Practices” for travelers and business
Office of the Comptroller
Policy Review Process
 Gathered input from the following
OACP – Audit and Transaction Review
Tax Office / Research Services
Peer institutions
Travel Services Advisory Committee
Office of the Comptroller
Policy “Look-and-Feel” Updated
 Format changed to mirror other financial policies
 Procedures moved to procedure manual
 Each policy section now contains:
 Purpose / Scope
 Responsibilities (traveler, TAC holder and higher level
 Policy
 Links to forms and procedures
 Policies re-ordered and re-numbered
Office of the Comptroller
T&E Reimbursement - Key Policy Changes
 Policy #2351 – General
 Restates roles and responsibilities
 Expands “one-up” approval requirements implemented previously for University executives to all levels
with the introduction of a new role – Higher Level
– Schools and Centers responsible for creating their own
 Policy compliance rests with every school and center
– Travel Administrator responsible for the communication of
policy and procedures, training opportunities and
answering questions
– Central processing organization responsible for processing
T&E forms in a timely manner
Office of the Comptroller
T&E Reimbursement - Key Policy Changes
 Policy #2352 – Payment Methods
 Defines preferred payment methods as:
– AMEX Airline Billing Account for airline tickets, and/or
– AMEX Corporate Credit card
 Travelers and entertainers are expected to personally
incur T&E expenses
 Use of preferred payment options and timely T&E
reimbursement requests reduce carrying out-of-pocket
expenditures for extended periods of time
 Use of preferred payment increases the University’s
ability to leverage travel spend
Office of the Comptroller
T&E Reimbursement - Key Policy Changes
 Policy #2353 – Advances
 Advances are funds (cash or check) advanced to an
individual prior to a trip or event
– Prepaid expenses (airline, conference fees, etc.) will no
longer be handled as advances
 Recommends the limited use of advances for T&E
– New Advance Justification (C-7A) Form to support all
advance requests
 Defines the requirement to account for advances with
ten (10) days of the trip or event
– Unreconciled advances after 120 days become taxable
Office of the Comptroller
T&E Reimbursement - Key Policy Changes
 Policy #2354 – Reimbursement Process
 Defines the general expectation for documentation,
review and approval
 Defines timely submission as within 10 days of the
ending date of the trip or event
 Defines 182 day (six month) cut-off for expense
 Introduction of Reimbursement Justification (C-5) form
for any out-of-policy requests
Office of the Comptroller
Best Practices and Training
 Best Practices
 Best Practices being developed for Penn travelers,
Schools, Centers and all University Divisions
 “Know Before You Go” pamphlet being
developed for travelers
 Training and Procedure Manual
 Working with financial training to create new training
 New Procedural Manual to accompany policies
 Expanded policies and procedure information to be
available on the web
Office of the Comptroller
Timeline for Updated Policies
 Presentations to Senior roundtable, Business Advisory Board
and Senior BA meeting have already been done
 Announcement of policy changes in the current issue of
The Bottom Line
 Additional announcements in The Almanac and the Daily
Pennsylvanian forthcoming
 Effective and complete communication always requires
the help of School/Center business administrators to trickle
down the messages to faculty and staff
 Effective date for new policies and procedures –
**July 1, 2008**
Office of the Comptroller
Organizational Changes
 In order to improve operational efficiency and
enhance value-added services, the following
changes will be made:
 Effective May 1, 2008, the functions of T&E
reimbursement and advance processing will become
the responsibility of the Payroll Office
 Effective July 1, 2008, the following functions will
become the responsibility of Purchasing Services:
 Travel card administration
 Travel service management
 Travel procurement/supplier management
 Travel policy and training
Office of the Comptroller