Centrally Billed Account

» Posted by on Jan 24, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

A Centrally Billed Account (CBA) is an account that is used by government agencies to purchase air/rail/bus tickets, hotel accommodations, and Travel Management Center/Commercial Travel Office  (TMC/CTO) fees for official government travel.  The agencies establish the accounts using written task orders against the General Services Administration (GSA) master contract and the selected bank card vendor.

Centrally Billed Accounts are reconciled by the agency and paid directly to the charge card vendor via Automated Clearing House/Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH/EFT) following guidelines set forth in the Prompt Pay Act.  The most frequent uses of the CBA are for invitational travelers, new employees that have not been issued an individual government travel charge card, or foreign travel.  Since my agency’s CBA is a non-point of sale card, generally the only charges applied to the card are for transportation, lodging, and TMC/CTO fees.  There are some agencies that use a CBA for rental car expenses.

In some instances, merchants do not supply enough data to the charge  card company, so it is sometimes necessary to contact the merchant that placed the charge on the account in order to identify a charge.  If there is an unauthorized charge on the CBA, the agency has 90 days from the date of the transaction in which to dispute the charge.  However before a dispute is filed, the agency should contact the merchant that applied the charge and request the charge be reversed.  In some cases, the merchant does not have the capability to reverse the charge while other merchants charge a fee for reversing a charge.  The only option at that point is to dispute the charge.

By: Sue Burton

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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