Faculty Handbook: Business Affairs Regulations
Prior to traveling, a Travel Requisition (TREQ) should be entered in BASIS and approved by required cost center managers, with the Travel Office being the final approver. Upon final approval this TREQ becomes the Travel Authorization (TA).
Employees who travel on university business and at university expense may apply for a travel advance. Travel advances must be requested by the department supporting the travel when the TREQ is submitted. If the advance was not requested on the TREQ, an update to the TA may be processed to also request the travel advance. Travel advances are generally limited to 50 percent of the allowable expenses, excluding airfare and registration which may be purchased with a U of A Purchase Order or a University Administrative or Traveler Travel Card. Travel advances for lodging should be limited to those employees who do not have access to the Traveler T-card, or if the hotel will not accept an ADMN TCard for payment.
Travel advances will be made available 7 days prior to the day of departure (as indicated on the TA) for regular travel, 14 days prior for foreign travel, and 21 days prior for group travel to foreign destinations. Travel advances will be made by ACH (direct deposit), or mailed to the address on the TA if time permits; otherwise, the advance must be picked up by the traveler at the Treasurer’s Office. Upon issue of the first travel advance to an individual, a one-time promissory note must be signed prior to receiving the advance check (ACH is not available for the first check).
All advances are to be settled within 30 days of return from the trip, consistent with Governor’s Policy Directive No. 6. An advance is settled when the Travel Claim is processed with any amounts still owed repaid to the Treasurer's Office. Amounts left unpaid will be collected by payroll deduction from the employee's pay. If an employee has two payroll deduction collections in one calendar year, the employee's advance privileges will be revoked for the next 12 months.
Airfare Advance Purchase Requirement
Airfare should be purchased at least 14 days in advance of the trip. Any reimbursement submitted that does not meet this criterion will require additional justification as to the reason and necessity for the purchase less than 14 days in advance. Employees who purchase airfare or registration themselves (i.e. not with a U of A Purchase Order, Administrative T-Card, or Traveler TCard) will not be reimbursed until after return from the trip.
Employees who travel a minimum of three times per year with annual travel expenses exceeding $2,000 will be eligible for a Traveler T-Card; if the employee and their department elect. The employee will have the option of charging airfare, registration, hotel, car rental, meals, and other travel related expenses to their T-Card. The T-Card is not allowed to be used for local official functions (within their official station).
Charges incurred against a traveler’s T-Card are offset by the filing of the cardholder's Travel Claim. The Travel Claim for a trip must be filed within fifteen (15) days of the employee’s return. Any amount still owed by the cardholder will be billed to the cardholder by the Treasurer's Office. If charges are not reconciled in a timely manner, a payroll deduction will be processed for repayment.
The State of Arkansas allows for an employee to be reimbursed for actual meal expenses incurred during travel (including 15% gratuity), but not to exceed the maximum allowance which is set by the Federal per diem limits.
When a personal vehicle is used for university business, the employee will be reimbursed official mileage currently at the rate of $0.42 per mile. State regulations require use of the most economical means of travel (airfare, rental car, university vehicle, or personal vehicle). If a rental car is chosen as the means of travel, the State mandated Enterprise/National or Hertz contract must be used. The only exception made is in the event that one of the State contract dealers is unavailable at the destination or the type/size vehicle needed is unavailable from Enterprise/National or Hertz.
Notes: First class airline tickets are not allowed. Business class airline tickets are allowed only in the event of foreign travel, and with prior approval of the Travel Office. The cost of preferred seating should not be selected by travelers unless no other seating is available, and must be justified in writing with the reimbursement request. Reimbursement of bag fees is limited to one bag per trip unless documentation is made regarding the necessity of additional bags.
Travelers are required to retain receipts as follows: detailed airfare itinerary, registration receipt, itemized hotel receipt, itemized car rental receipt, taxi/shuttle receipt exceeding $25.00 (tips may be reimbursed, BUT the cost of the tip must be part of the meal expenses, with the total cost of meals and incidentals not to exceed the federal per diem rate), parking, gas receipts (if purchased for rental car), and for any miscellaneous items purchased (copies, materials, etc.). A Travel Claim for reimbursement of expenses should be filed within fifteen (15) days of return from the trip.