Post-Payment Audit of Travel Payments

» Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Business Practices, Payment Methods | 0 comments

Part of our division’s responsibility as the travel financial office is to implement internal audit controls for the E-Gov travel system to insure that travel payments comply with the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) as well as laws and regulations for use of federal funds.  One way we meet this requirement is to perform a random post-payment audit of a sample of all our travel payments.

Although the electronic travel processing edit feature reduces the risk of improper payments, we still have an obligation to ensure that the electronic processing is policy compliant.  We audit the entire process of the identified travel transaction including the arrangements for travel accommodation in the authorization, submission of a proper travel voucher, and the issuance of the payment from the financial accounting system.  We examine the travel system performance, the traveler’s and the agency’s application of the travel system, the interfacing processes, the accounting system entry, and the resulting payment.

The following are some of the items we review in the audit.  We verify that proper authorizations, approvals, and documentation for exceptions to the FTR are provided.  We verify that city pair fares were used when available.   We confirm that the required receipts, such as receipts for ticketed transportation, lodging, and claimed expenses over $75, are attached to the electronic document.  We validate that the system calculated payment totals correctly based on the information entered.  We verify that the expenses claimed by the traveler comply with the FTR and were valid for payment.  We verify that the travel documents contained the proper electronic signatures.  We confirm that the electronic data transferred from the travel system into the financial system correctly, such as the payee’s name, amount of payment, funding sources, and expense categories.  We confirm the account classification is proper for the period of travel.  In the financial system we confirm payment was issued to the correct payee and bank account within the proper time limits.

We communicate any discovered issues to the appropriate contact for resolution.  Required actions could include system modifications, programming issues, additional training, or procedural changes.  Auditing a sample of our travel payments on a monthly basis, allows us to maintain reasonable assurance that travel is performed in accordance with the FTR and the use of federal funds meet the financial accountability regulations.

By Regina Potter

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

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