Valdosta State University adheres to the State Accounting Office Statewide Accounting Policy and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Travel Business Procedures. Below is a brief summary of the steps needed for travel reimbursement. For more details or items not covered below, please refer to the two policies listed above.
This training is designed for those new to the travel process or those needing a refresher. Information on the travel process, completing the online forms for authority to travel and expenses reimbursement will be covered. Portions of this training will be hands on. If you have upcoming travel or reimbursement for travel that need to be completed, please bring that paperwork with you.
Friday, August 24 from 10 AM-12 PM in the Odum Library New Media Center 1370. Register online www.valdosta.edu/training or email firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Steps for Travel Reimbursement:
1. Travel Authorization
- Complete and submit a Travel Authorization Form unless traveling on a Standing Authorization to Travel.
- The Budget Approver(s) will forward to email@example.com upon approval.
- It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that the Travel Authorization form is approved prior to travel.
2. Select Method of Transportation
- Travel via Car:
- Personal Vehicle – Mileage Reimbursement Only: Mileage Reimbursement rates for travel in a personal vehicle will be based on the tier rates below.
Tier 1 Rate – (currently .58 cents/miles)
Car Cost Comparison indicates that a personal vehicle is the most cost effective method of travel. * Note- Be advised that the link provided in the car cost comparison will result in out-of-pocket payment. See Rental Car procedures below for link to reserve vehicle.
Tier 2 Rate –(currently .17 cents/mile)
Car Cost Comparison is not completed or when the Car Cost Comparison indicates a rental car is the most cost effective method of travel but the personal vehicle is used for travel.
- Normal commuting miles must be deducted when calculating the business miles if the employee departs and/or returns to their residence and travel is not occurring on a weekend or holiday.
- Rental Car:
- VSU will reimburse employees for rental car expense and any gasoline expense associated with the rental car. Travel via rental car does not require a car cost comparison.
- VSU has a direct billing account set up with Enterprise to eliminate employee out of pocket expenses associated with car rentals. Please contact Financial Services-travel to get VSU's corporate ID# for your reservation. Please use the following link to reserve your vehicle: https://www.enterprise.com/en/car-rental/locations/us/ga/valdosta-n-ashley-rd-5546.html
- Do not purchase insurance for state contracts ( Enterprise and Hertz) as it will not be reimbursed and employees are covered as long as the travel is business related. However, if renting a car from a company not on state contract, or travel is international, the employee must ensure to purchase the collision damage waiver for the rental as the State does not provide collision coverage for these vehicles.
- Rental Car:
- Travel via Flight
- Flight Cost Comparison: Employees should obtain the lowest available airfare and include documentation justifying the lowest cost. Visit sites such as: Orbitz, Expedia, Cheap Tickets, or Travelocity, etc and print a copy of your flight search for your flight cost documentation.
- Only coach travel fares will be reimbursed.
- Baggage charges for one bag can be claimed for departure flight and returning flight.
- Airfare expenses can be reimbursed prior to the travel dates.
3. Lodging: Employees should inquire about government rate availability or conference lodging rate and select the most cost efficient option.
- Tax Exemptions: A copy of the State of Georgia Certificate of Exemption of Local Hotel/Motel Excise Tax should be provided to the hotel upon check-in when traveling and lodging in the State of Georgia on official State business. This tax cannot be reimbursed to employees, if charged.
- This does not exempt the employee from State Tax.
- If a hotel refuses to accept the tax exempt form, employees are requested to obtain a written statement from the hotel manager, pay the tax at that time and claim it on the travel expense statement.
- For travel outside of Georgia, travelers will be reimbursed for all taxed charged for lodging.
- Private Residence: State Travel Policy section 3.1 prohibits the use of private residence, therefore online private rental services such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway are not allowed.
- Parking: Travelers should always choose the self-parking option. If valet parking was utilized, travelers can only be reimbursed the self-parking rate, if self-parking is available.
- Miscellaneous Charges: If miscellaneous charges are included on lodging receipt, and the employee is seeking reimbursement, an explanation of the business use for the charges should be included. (EX: Internet usage charges)
4. Meal Reimbursements
- State of Georgia- Meal Per Diems
Non-High Cost Areas
High Cost Areas
High-Cost Areas in Georgia include:
- Metropolitan Atlanta (Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton & Gwinnett Counties)
- Augusta (Richmond County)
- Brunswick (Glynn County)
- Savannah (Chatham County)
- Travel outside of Georgia: Refer to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) website for the current per diem rates
- First & Last Day of Travel: Travelers are eligible for only 75% of the total day's per diem on the first and last day of travel, except for the state of GA which is 100%.
- Non-Overnight Travel: Effective July 1, 2018, the USG does not provide meal per diem during non-overnight travel due to the IRS taxable compensation implications.
- Meals provided by Conference/Meeting: The per diem or meal allowance must be adjusted for any meals provided to the traveler. Conference or meeting agendas should be submitted to verify all meal reimbursements requested. Instructions on how to enter entry when meals are provided on the first and last day of travel.
5. Completing an Expense Report
After returning from a trip, complete and submit the expense report using PeopleSoft Employee Self-Service for Expense Reimbursements. All expenses should be itemized by type of expense and date of expense.
- Print a hardcopy of the expense report, attach all required receipts and documentation, sign it and submit it to the budget manager for approval and signature.
- Expense reports should be submitted for reimbursement within sixty (60) days of the completion of travel or they will be reimbursed via Payroll and subject to tax withholding.
- Expense reports are usually processed within 5 business days of receiving both the approved expense report (online and printed copy) and all required receipts and documentation.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Accounts Payable office at 229-333-5708, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel Helpful Links
Forms and Links Needed for Travel
- Travel Authorization Form
- Prepaid Registration
- Car Cost Comparison Tool
- Georgia Hotel State Tax Exemption Certificate
- PeopleSoft Employee Self-Service for Expense Reimbursements
- Travel Expense Statement Non-Employee
Per Diem Rates