Roles in the Travel Process

When following the process of planning a trip and then paying for it, there are several steps along the way. The current process on campus is:


Decides there’s a need to travel:

  • Usually determines where and when
  • Brings into consideration an approximate cost

Often the travel needs pre-approval:

  • Does the supervisor support the business purpose?
  • Is there funding?
Traveler works with appropriate authority to authorize the trip

Makes the travel plans:

  • Reserves flight, hotel, rental car
  • Figures out logistics of itinerary
  • Takes care of pre-trip details
    • Registered for UC Travel Insurance coverage?
    • Has valid personal credit card or UC Corporate Travel Card?
    • Has sufficient cash? Know how to exchange for foreign currency?
    • Has valid photo ID, passport, visa?
    • Knows options for ground transportation?
    • Has contact information for parties at destination?
Traveler may do this themselves or work with an ‘arranger’ in their department
  • Departs
  • Conducts business away from headquarters
  • Returns
5 Recognizes need to report expenses and get reimbursed for anything that was paid out-of-pocket:
  • Gathers documentation that supports the business purpose and explains any unusual or special circumstances
  • Collects receipts
  • Reviews trip log/diary/calendar to help recall where money was spent

Enters information into a form so that details are recorded and a request for reimbursement can be submitted:

  • Fills out the CSS form or alternative departmental process
    • Accounts for all of the expenses – transportation, lodging, meals, miscellaneous
    • Provides a business purpose for the trip
    • Explains any extraordinary expenses and gives a business-related justification
Traveler may do this themselves or work with a ‘preparer’ in their department
7 Signs the form to certify expenses are accurate Traveler
  • Reviews and approves the expense details
  • Signs the form to indicate approval:
    • Evaluates for policy compliance
    • Agrees that expenses are charged to a valid funding source
    • Follows-up with traveler on any questionable expenses or activities

This action is performed by various roles depending upon who has been delegated the authority based on:

Funding Source

  • Contract/Grant funds
    • Research Administrator
  • Departmental funds
    • Department Head
    • Manager
    • CAO


The approver may not directly or indirectly report to the traveler

9 Processes transaction for final review and payment Accounts Payable
traveler may be faculty, staff, student, or hosted guest who travels on official, university-related business.