Generally, an employee traveling on official VSU duties as a consequence of their employment must:
- Submit an approved Travel Authorization (T-Auth) in advance of the travel (unless traveling on a Standing Authorization to travel within the State of Georgia - remember that a Standing Authorization is only intended for travel within the State of Georgia). The Budget Approver(s) will forward to firstname.lastname@example.org upon approval. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that the T-Auth is approved prior to travel, therefore it is suggested to prepare the T-Auth at least 14 days prior to departure for approval by the Budget Approver.
- Next determine the mode of travel via car or flight. For travel by car go to the car rental comparison tool. For travel via flight include documentation justifying the lowest cost with the travel authorization form.
- Mileage Reimbursement (Car Rental Cost Comparison Tool) is based on the most cost advantageous method of travel being used by employees traveling on official state business. The traveler should compare the cost of travel in their personal vehicle, a University fleet vehicle and a commercially rented vehicle using the statewide contract with Enterprise Car Rental or The Hertz Corporation. Advantageous use may be determined by energy conservation, total cost to the State (including cost of overtime, lost work time and actual transportation costs), total distance traveled, number of points visited and number of travelers. Documentation of the determination of “advantageous use” must be submitted with each travel expense statement. Mileage reimbursement for travel in a personal vehicle will be based on the tier rates below.
Tier 1 Rate - When it is determined that a personal motor vehicle is the most advantageous form of travel, the employee will be reimbursed for business miles traveled as follows:
Automobile: $0.575 per mile
Motorcycle: $0.545 per mile
Aircraft: $1.29 per mile
Tier 2 Rate - If an agency owned vehicle is available and its use is determined to be most advantageous to the state, OR if it is determined that a rental vehicle is the recommended method of travel, but a personal motor vehicle is used, the employee will be reimbursed for business miles traveled at the rate of $0.23 per mile.
Normal commuting miles must be deducted when calculating business miles if the employee departs from his/her residence or returns to his/her residence. If travel occurs on a weekend or holiday, mileage is calculated from the point of departure with no reduction for normal commuting miles.
Employees must report odometer readings on travel expense form.
- Car Rental should be utilized if it’s the most advantageous form of travel based on the Car Cost Comparison tool coupled with energy conservation, total cost to the State (including cost of overtime, lost work time and actual transportation costs), total distance traveled, number of points visited and number of travelers. Documentation of the determination of “advantageous use” must be submitted with each travel expense statement.
Click here for information regarding the In-State Commercial Car Rental contract. The local Valdosta Enterprise office is located at 803 N Ashley St 229-241-8560.
Click here for information regarding the Out-of-State Commercial Car Rental contract with National Car Rental.
Airline Reimbursement - Employees should utilize commercial air transportation when it is more cost effective and efficient to travel by air than by vehicle. Employee should obtain the lowest available airfare and include documentation justifying the lowest cost with the travel authorization form. Only coach travel fares will be paid or reimbursed.
Tickets Purchased by Employee – can be reimbursed prior to travel. For reimbursements, submit a T-Auth (with the airline costs only), copy of ticket or proof of purchase/receipt, and a travel expense statement.
Airfare Paid via the Direct Bill Process:
Employee must submit a T-Auth prior to contacting the travel agency.
Determine the best airfare rate available.
Instruct the Travel agency to contact the Accounts Payable Office at 229-333-5708 before issuing the ticket to get approval.
After returning from a trip, fill out the PeopleSoft Expenses Module online expense statement. The Expense statements will be routed via workflow for Department Budget Manager approval. When the Expense statement is approved, the amount of the travel will be posted as an expense.
Submit original receipts and cost comparisons to the Travel Department and keep copies for departmental files.
If a conference was attended, include a copy of the conference agenda. If per diem is being claimed for any meal provided by conference, include a receipt for the meal along with an explanation of why it is being claimed.
Itemize every expense by date including but not limited to hotel, lunch, breakfast, dinner, etc.
Employees should not pay for another employee's travel expenses. The employee will be reimbursed for their expenses only. Auditing regulations require each employee to submit an Expense statement attesting to the charges incurred.
In order to ensure prompt reimbursement and clarity of accounting and audit trails, all Expense statements should be submitted for reimbursement within sixty (60) days of the completion of travel.
Expense statements received after 60 days of the completion of travel may be paid with Cabinet Level approval, but in the knowledge that said payment will affect the Strategic Initiative Process
- Common Errors on Expense statements to Avoid:
- Travel Authorization must have been approved prior to completing the online expense report or the expense statement will be denied and send back to you.
- If you were issued a Cash Advance, make sure to link the Cash Advance to the expense statement. House Bill 1113 requires us to report names of employees who received cash advances that have been outstanding for more than 30 days.
- Itemize all expenses by type (hotel, lunch, breakfast, dinner) and by date. For example, if the hotel bill was $500 for 5 nights, the bill should be itemized by day to show $100 per day.
- An original receipt must be submitted for all expenses with the exception of mileage and per diem. If you were unable to obtain a receipt make sure to document the reason. Then obtain the budget managers approval and submit all documentation.
- Do not claim Tier 1 reimbursements if you did not complete the car cost comparison. The expense statement will be sent back to you to claim the Tier 2 reimbursement rate.
Expense Reports are usually processed within 5 working days of the Travel Department receiving both an approved Expense report and original receipts. For more specific information on reimbursing employees for business travel, visit the Statewide Travel Regulations WebPages. Appendix B of these regulations refers specifically to high cost areas and federal per diem rates.
Following is a list of travel statements and forms that you might need: