New Travel Reimbursement Process for VCAF

The travel reimbursement process has been simplified in order to eliminate duplicate work and put more control of the process in the hands of employee travelers. To this end, the reimbursement system, known as the T&E System, at reimburse.berkeley.edu can now be used by UC Berkeley employee travelers to directly enter their expenses. The key changes to the simplified reimbursement process, system, and roles are outlined below, along with training materials.

New Direct Enter Process

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Changes to the Travel Reimbursement Process

The T&E System now facilitates a quick and easy method for you to enter your trip information directly into the system that generates your reimbursement. Review the list of key changes to the process and the job aid that outlines the Differences between Direct Enter Process and CSS Process (PDF).

Travelers

UC Berkeley employee travelers can now enter  trip information directly into the reimbursement system instead of into the two step CSS Travel and BearBuy forms, which are then re-typed by CSS into the travel reimbursement system.

Key differences with the new simplified Direct Enter Reimbursement process

  • Instead of filling out a CSS Travel Reimbursement Form and then logging into Bear Buy to submit a Bear Buy form, Travelers will enter their trip information directly into the reimbursement system.

  • Will no longer need to select different reimbursement request forms based on domestic or international travel because the system is dynamic and once the traveler selects their destination, the applicable fields become visible for entry.  

  • The updated reimbursement system is interactive, information can be submitted in stages and Travelers will get feedback based on the information entered.

    • For example, for travel outside the continental United States, once per diem rates are entered, the system will automatically calculate reimbursement for per diem.

    • If a Traveler enters reimbursement rates over the amount that policy allows, the system will notify the traveler of the overage and only allow reimbursement up to the policy limits.

  • Once a chartstring is entered, it will be saved to a list of previously used chartstrings that can be accessed for future reimbursement requests.

  • Receipts are submitted via email and directly attached to the report electronically, even while the trip is still underway.

  • Electronic signatures for submissions and approvals are captured within the system, though a process for wet signatures is still an option if needed.

  • Travelers are able to track their reimbursement through each step in the process.

  • Review the complete list of key changes to the reimbursement system.

Training materials

Preparers and Approvers

If you're a Preparer for someone else’s expense report or an Approver you will notice a few key differences in the updated TRV system.

Key differences in the updated reimbursement system

  • Includes system checkpoints  to support policy

    • For example: System now prevents claiming meals if there is no overnight stay

  • Maps chartstring expenses to the appropriate general ledger account

    • Travelers can still save their frequently used chartstrings to their profile

  • Updated the format of the help text for each page

    • The link to help text is now located in the upper right hand of the page instead of showing up when the user hovers over a questions mark and includes help text for the entire page, instead of being broken out by question

  • Simplified layout of the pages and buttons to make using the system more intuitive

Training materials

Review the Key changes to the T&E Reimbursement System job aid.

Roles

Traveler

The university traveler is responsible for:

Knowing:

    • UC travel and entertainment spending policies, at least as they relate to the circumstances of their own travel
    • If there are any funding source or departmental restrictions on paying for the activity
    • Every travel expense has an approver separate from the traveler and if the approver disallows an expense, it will not be paid/reimbursed

Doing:

    • Observe normally accepted standards of propriety in the type and manner of expense incurred
    • Purchase travel services through Connexxus whenever reasonable
    • Register for UC travel insurance program if travel is booked outside of Connexxus
    • Report expenses and claim reimbursement in an ethical and responsible manner
    • Submit expense reports timely and respond promptly to requests for details and documentation
    • Return any unused university resources (i.e., unused prepaid airline tickets, excess travel advance funds)
    • Never use university resources to pay for personal expenses

Preparer

Knowing:

    • UC travel and entertainment spending policies

Doing:

    • Coordinating with the Traveler to ensure all expenses are reported and all documentation is provided
    • Entering trip information into the reimbursement system on behalf of the Traveler

Approver

Knowing:

    • UC travel and entertainment spending policies and funding restrictions

Doing:

    • Reviewing expenses for reasonableness, appropriateness, accuracy and policy compliance
    • Approve or deny requests in the system - may message other approvers within the system to get their documented approval on funding source or exceptional items

Contact travel@berkeley.edu with questions.

Training

Training Materials

Training materials for the new reimbursement system are listed below.

In-Person

Staff from the Accounts Payable office are available upon request to demo the new process at staff meetings. Contact travel@berkeley.edu to make arrangements.