Electronic Travel Systems Boost Federal Travel Reporting

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» Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 1 comment

The federal government has a responsibility to manage federal funds efficiently and responsibly.  To meet this obligation federal agencies need to capture their travel activity for reporting and evaluation.  To assist agencies with travel management reporting the E-Gov Travel System (ETS) has the capability of interfacing with a variety of business systems across the government.  ETS provides the federal travel manager with resources for obtaining travel information and financial data that include the travel management centers, travel service providers, and their internal federal financial systems.

The federal travel manager’s initial reporting source is their agency’s internal financial system.  The travel manager can generate reports to monitor their organization’s travel spending.  The electronic tracking is possible through the use of standard data elements.  The federal government indentifies funding sources and expenses through use of a standard coding structure.  These codes are combined to make a line of accounting that identifies the appropriation fund, program office, project, reporting category, and type of expense.

The line of accounting is assigned when the agency prepares and approves the travel authorization in the ETS.  The agency selects the appropriate funding source for the trip, the type of transportation, trip location, lodging, and incidental expense which determine the estimated costs for the trip.  The approved electronic travel authorization interfaces with the agency’s financial system transmitting the selected line of accounting through the electronic file and creating an accounting entry to reserve the budgetary funds establishing the estimated obligation.

When the trip is completed, the traveler updates the estimated expenses to actual cost incurred.  The expense codes and accounting classification are updated.  The approved expense voucher interfaces electronically with the agency’s financial system.  The interface file creates payment entries for the line of accounting identified by the agency on the voucher and removes the previous obligation.

Once the accounting data is communicated and stored in the agency’s financial system, the agency’s program office may generate reports.  The office can electronically track travel funds at any level of the line of accounting from the appropriation fund to individual expenses giving the agency a way to review travel activity for management and financial decisions.  The ETS capability to interface with federal agency’s financial system boosts the reporting ability of the agency by giving the manager timely access to financial data on past, present, and expected travel activity.

By Regina Potter

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

1 Comment

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