Key Changes when Direct Entering Info into Reimbursement System

Key Changes to the Travel Reporting and Reimbursement Process and System

  • Instead of filling out a CSS Travel Reimbursement Form and then logging into BearBuy to submit a BearBuy form, Travelers will enter their trip information directly into the T&E 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 T&E 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.

What hasn’t changed:

  • Travelers can still request for a Preparer to enter their information. The Traveler will provide receipts and let the Preparer know to complete their travel reimbursement request.

  • If Travelers prefer to gather wet signatures on the Trip Expense Report, they can still do this by printing out the expense report page from the Track/View page and and then sending in the signed report with their receipts.

  • Preparers and Approvers can still go into the system to enter information and approve reimbursement requests.

How the Direct Enter Process is different from the CSS Travel Process

UC Berkeley employee travelers (faculty and staff) can use the new Direct Enter Process and enter their travel information directly in the T&E System. Below is a list of the differences between using the CSS Travel Form and direct entering information into the T&E System, outlined by page.

Applies to all pages

  • At each stage, the Traveler will be able to save the information entered on the page.

  • There are additional instructions for how to enter information on the page and a “Help” button at the top of the page.

Payee Information (now Traveler Info)

  • The traveler will log into to the T&E System with their CalNet ID and passphrase and select “create new report” to begin an expense report and reimbursement request.

  • Their information will be automatically populated into the “Traveler Info” page.

  • The traveler’s  home department will display along with  authorized approvers.

Trip (now Trip Information)

  • A report ID will be created automatically for the particular trip and will show at the top of the page.

  • Travelers will enter the trip details and business purpose

  • Choosing domestic or international will prompt for different information, as will trips with more than one destination.

Private Car, Air, and Other Transportation (now Location Expenses)

  • A dropdown menu of “Transportation Types” allows for easy  entry of flight, vehicle, or ground transportation information.

  • When the airfare type is selected, the system will ask if airfare was paid via Direct Bill and if so, provides a drop down list of available Direct Bill ID numbers for that traveler to select from..

Other Expenses (now Location Expenses)

  • Traveler will enter other expenses into “Miscellaneous Expenses” in the Location Expenses page.

Billing Information (now Special Circumstances)

  • There’s a new page added called “Special Circumstances” where travelers can indicate by checking a box and entering an explanation when they have any special circumstances that apply to their reimbursement request. Explanations of special circumstances are available on the page.

    • For example, if traveler wants to claim a per diem rate, or enter entertainment meal expenses or lodging costs over the federal rate for the location, they would check the first box.

  • Travelers can also indicate that the trip included personal days, airfare change fees, or group travel here.

Daily Expenses (still called Daily Expenses)

  • The traveler can enter their daily expenses on this page, including lodging, meals, and incidentals by day.

    • Policy controls are present in the system, so for example lodging is greyed out and will not be allowed to be entered for the final day of the trip, as travelers cannot claim lodging reimbursements for the day they returned home.

    • The system will automatically calculate the total for the entered costs.

  • If the traveler chose “special circumstances” in the previous page, they will be able to enter entertainment meal costs here.

  • If per diem was indicated in the Special Circumstances page, the Daily Expenses page will show a breakdown of the daily rate, the number of days in the trip, and then the total amount, including when there are partial days and any pro-ration.

Chart of Account (now Totals)

  • The summarized expenses are grouped by the associated general ledger account for each expense type, so no need to look up account codes .

  • The general ledger description field is listed here and called “Short Description for Dept Reporting.”

    • It defaults to the TRV number and the traveler’s last name and is editable.

  • The page summarizes the expenses that have been entered into the previous pages of the expense report under "Expenses by Account Type."

  • Here travelers will choose their account type from a dropdown list.

    • System will only list the Account Types that have reported expense values.

    • When an Account Type is selected, the value will default into the "Enter an Amount" field and the GL Account will automatically populate in the chartstring below.

    • Both the amount and the GL account can be edited.

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

Certification (now Submit)

  • This page will allow the traveler to save their report to submit later or certify their report and submit it for approval.

  • The system will send an email to the preferred approver listed on the report alerting him/her that the report is awaiting attention; other approvers in the home department can also see and act on the report.

  • If an approval is needed outside the system, use the View Report menu to print an Expense Report Form and direct it to an approver for wet signature.

  • Receipts are submitted via email and directly attached to the report electronically as long as the required format is followed.

  • Receipts can be submitted even while the trip is still underway.

If a traveler chooses to use the Direct Enter Process and enter their travel reimbursement request in the T&E System, then submitting a report through BearBuy is no longer necessary.