UAF Finance & Accounting: Travel Office
It is the responsibility of the traveler to adhere to and follow University Regulation relating to travel. For any questions regarding the travel regulation please contact the travel office.
Please note that UA Travel Regulation R05.02.060 has been updated effective May 1st 2013. For travel commencing prior to May 1st use the Previous Travel Regulation.
For travel commencing on or after May 1st 2013 use: R05.02.060
Summary of travel regulation changes from UA Controller, Myron Dosch
Travel Authorization (TA)
The TA is the official approval form for documentation of all estimated costs associated with a specific trip to meet federal income tax, and internal reporting requirements, encumbrance of funds, expected travel dates and approval of related advances. The TA must be completed if travel includes any of the following: airfare, lodging, transportation rental costs, or meals and incidental per diem.
A TA must be completed, approved and dated by the appropriate individuals before any financial commitment of university resources is made and before travel begins, regardless of the method of payment (corporate travel card or personal funds) or the source of reimbursement (departmental funds, grants, or third party reimbursements). Failure to do so may be cause for disallowance; written justification and corrective action by the traveler and the traveler’s department head is required. Completing a Travel Authorization Form does not enroll an individual in any University of Alaska insurance coverage.
Per-diem is the daily rate of payment to a traveler in lieu of reimbursement for actual costs of subsistence expenses including lodging and/or meals, tips and other incidental expenses incurred while traveling. Per-diem is based on place of destination, regardless of start of transit time, and is based on a 24-hour day clock regardless of time zones. Payments are not to exceed two halves per day.
The University of Alaska reimburses for the actual cost of lodging up to 150% of the standard lodging rate . A business justification is required i f lodging exceeds 150% of the standard lodging rate. NANA Management has given the University a discount code to use for select Mariott hotels in the Fairbanks and Anchortage area. Discount can be used for business or personal stays. Please see the flyer from NANA for more information.
The Alaska meals and incidentals rate shall be $60.00 for Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and their surrounding communities. This rate is set by the President. Alaska locations specifically identified in the federal per diem tables, other than Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau and their surrounding communities, may use the maximum allowable per diem rate for that location.
For the day travel begins or ends: The traveler shall be allowed one-half (1/2) of the basic meal and incidental expense (M&IE) allowance for each half-day period during which the traveler was on travel status. The half-day periods are as follows:
Midnight to Noon
Noon to Midnight
Commercial air carriers shall be utilized for long distance individual travel, unless there is a compelling reason for use of another mode of travel, such as medical necessity, less costly charter flights, or inadequate time schedules.
The use of chartered aircraft may be authorized when no scheduled transportation is available to meet the travel requirements and the aircraft chartered has a valid Air Taxi Certificate and the required insurance. The use of a charter must go through the Procurement Office.
The university will only reimburse for coach class tickets. Any additional cost for business or first class airline tickets must be paid by the traveler.
Federally funded travel must comply with 49 U.S.C. 40118, commonly referred to as the “Fly America Act”, to use U.S. flag air carrier service for all air travel. The requirements are further described in 41 CFR301-10.131 – 10.143. Use of a foreign air-carrier for federally funded travel requires specific documentation and approval by the Travel Administrator. The university supports the Fly America Act by requiring all travelers using federal funding to be on an American air carrier into and out of the United States regardless of cost and/or travel times. In cases where there are no direct flights by an American carrier, travelers must fly to a gateway city for connecting flights to their final destination. The university supports the use of American carriers on all legs of the trip where American carriers are available. Amendments to, or agreements with, the “Fly America Act”, such as the “Open Skies Agreements”, will be followed.
Personal Travel Combined with Business Travel
When personal travel via airlines is being mixed with business travel, a cost comparison itinerary showing the most direct routes and/or efficient modes must be attached to the expense report . Failure to secure a cost comparison prior to travel, may result in reimbursements being disallowed. Personal days must be identified on the Travel Authorization form, and properly reported as leave, if appropriate.
Payment arrangements for the personal portion of the expenses should be made directly with the travel agency, airline or other vendor. Costs applicable to the personal portion of travel should not be processed through the university's accounting records or by using a university payment means, such as a corporate charge card. University personnel should not be making personal, i.e. non-business, travel arrangements on behalf of a traveler.
A standard sized car (mid-size) is to be rented or the business justification for a larger class vehicle must be attached to the expense report.
The cost of vehicle insurance will not be paid or reimbursed to university employees for automobile rentals in the United States as the university self-insures this risk. However, an exception is made for insurance purchased for rental vans or other unusually high value vehicles. Vehicle insurance should always be purchased for rentals by university employees in foreign countries, except for Canada, who accepts the university’s self-insurance. (Note: In the case of university-owned vehicles in a foreign country, the purchase of local admitted insurance is always required.)
Reimbursement for vehicle transportation expense shall be limited to the lower of commercial airfare or the standard vehicle mileage rate allowable for IRS purposes. When mileage rates are claimed, they cover all the traveler transportation costs. Fuel costs are not to be claimed in addition to the standard mileage rate.
Travel Expense Report (TER)
The TER is the official document used by the traveler and the department to approve actual travel costs and travel dates associated with an authorized trip and should be filed with the travel office within 15 days of completion of a trip.
A TER is required for all travel conducted under a Travel Authorization Form, including travel for which all expenses are paid directly by the university.
Travel expenses shall be reimbursed only upon completion of a Travel Expense Report that is approved by the individual requesting reimbursement and the supervisor or supervisor’s designee, or otherwise approved by the Travel Administrator.
Foreign receipts must be itemized by type of expense in English. Currency exchange rates must be provided for transactions not converted to or reported in U.S. dollars by the vendor, charge card company, or bank. Currency exchange rates must be attached to the expense report when submitted.
Travel Expense Report
OANDA Currency Converter
Account codes in the 2000 range are the major account classification for travel expenditures. Entries for budget, payroll or accounting purposes may not be made to this code. This group includes transportation, lodging, meals and other incidental travel expenses incurred by an individual on official travel status while away from a permanently assigned duty station.
Other expenses incurred while in travel status such as supplies, registration, printing, etc. must be allocated to the appropriate account code.
When assigning an account code one must take into account: where the traveler is going to and coming from, the type of funding being used, and the program code associated with the Org. For any questions please contact the Travel Office.
Links for the Travel Coordinator
Travel & Expense Management (TEM)
TEM is a web-based system for Travel Authorization and Travel Expense Report entry and approvals. TEM helps install appropriate policies, encumber travel funds, authorize expenditures, process reimbursements, and manage approvals. For information regarding TEM please go to http://www.alaska.edu/travel/.