Posts Tagged "CBA"

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Understanding Accounting

»Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Hotels, Industry Postings, Payment Methods | 0 comments

Billing is often the final step of the transactional process wherein vendors have the opportunity to frustrate, or even infuriate, the client. In the case of hotels, a traveler who made a reservation, checked in, stayed at a hotel without issue, and enjoyed a smooth checkout process is not entirely free of potential problems until the bill has been paid. To assist with the reconciliation process for Individually Billed Accounts (IBA), Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA), and Direct Billed Accounts, some elementary materials communicating a base-level expectation of the kind of billing and terms vendors should expect could prove useful. Particularly in heavily franchised industries, the dissemination of rudimentary information explaining proper invoicing could prove...

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Payment Methods

»Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

There are four types of payment methods in the eGov Travel application.  The methods include;  Traveler, Gov-CC, CBA, and Direct.  Expenses that the travelers select have a pre-determined payment method selected in the eGov Travel application, but payment methods for expenses can be customized for each agency.  The standard expense assignment will be covered here. Expenses with payment method of Traveler are to be reimbursed directly to the traveler’s personal bank account.  The eGov Travel application assigns the following expenses to the method of reimbursement of Traveler: meals and incidental reimbursements, taxi expense, privately owned vehicle (POV) expense, and parking and/or toll expense. Expenses with payment method of Gov-CC are to be paid...

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The Travel Card: Official Business or Personal Use

»Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

The DOD Travel Card Program provides federal government travelers a safe method to pay expenses associated with official travel.  In 2008, GSA awarded Citibank the contract for the Smart Pay 2. The Travel Card Program contains both the Individually Billed IBA and Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA). IBA’s are individual accounts managed by each traveler. CBA’s are managed by one person in an organization for several travelers. The program was mandated under the Travel and Transportation Reform of 1988.  This act basically states, “The travel card must be used in conjunction with official travel only”.  In order to receive standard travel card with a credit limit of $7,500 a traveler must have a credit score of 660.  Every traveler with a score below 660...

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Payment of Travel Expenses

»Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

The primary way for paying for Government travel is through the GSA SmartPay 2 program.  GSA’s SmartPay 2 program provides Government agencies with commercial charge card procurement and payment solutions through master contracts established the program in 1998.  GSA issued contracts to four credit card companies to issue cards on behalf of the Government.  To date over 42 million cards have been issued and is the largest program of its kind in the world. SmartPay program cards can be issued to either individuals or agencies.  Individual Billed Accounts or IBA’s are issued to individuals for use during official travel.  These credit cards are issued in the travelers name with the traveler having full responsibility for payment and reconciliation.  A...

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Because We Need Them

»Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

Our government agency processes payments for several customers.  Therefore, it is common for us to receive a telephone call regarding a travel reimbursement.  We can issue reimbursements in four ways: electronic funds transfer (EFT), individually billed accounts (IBA), centrally billed accounts (CBA) and checks.  The flexibility is necessary to accommodate different travel situations. The following three scenarios show three travelers going on the same trip.  All of the travelers need a flight on Tuesday from Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA for a three day conference.  Each traveler will take a taxi to and from the airport and stay in the same Atlanta hotel, but their method of reimbursement will be different. Traveler 1 will start to work at his government...

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Flexibility in Payment Methods — Because We Need Them

»Posted by on Aug 14, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

Our government agency processes payments for several customers.  Therefore, it is common for us to receive a telephone call regarding a travel reimbursement. We can issue reimbursements in four ways: electronic funds transfer (EFT), individually billed accounts (IBA), centrally billed accounts (CBA) and checks.  We also receive funds from travelers when they have been overpaid.  The flexibility is necessary to accommodate different travel situations. The following scenarios show travelers going on the same trip.  All of the travelers need a flight on Tuesday from Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA for a three day conference.  Each traveler will take a taxi to and from the airport, stay in the same Atlanta hotel and eat the same meals, but their method of...

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Payment Systems

»Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

My agency uses both the Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA) and Individually Billed Accounts (IBA) for travel expenses.  Agency travelers are required to use their GSA SmartPay2 program cards (government travel charge cards) issued by US Bank to pay for lodging and rental car expenses.  Previously, travelers also used their IBA to pay for airfare expenses, but all transportation expenses are currently being paid by a CBA, along with the e-travel transaction fees.  After a traveler submits an expense report, our agency financial system issues split disbursements through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).  Charges made to the IBA are paid directly to the bank and out of pocket expenses owed to the employee (miscellaneous expenses, taxi, parking, etc) are made directly...

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Travel Financial Transactions

»Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

How do I travel without a cash advance and without writing a check to pay off my IBA? OK, the question is slightly misleading but it got your attention I hope.  My method doesn’t work 100% of the time, but way more often than not. Here is what I DON’T want to do.  One, I DON’T want to request and then make sure I receive a cash advance prior to leaving on a trip.  (And I certainly don’t want to have to concern myself with returning a cash advance if my trip gets canceled.)  Two, I DON’T want to have to write a check or otherwise make a payment for my personal travel card after the trip is over. Let assume a “normal” trip – airfare, rental car, & hotel. I make my airfare, rental car, & hotel reservations online in our E-Gov Travel...

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Payment Systems

»Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

My agency uses both the Centrally Billed Accounts (CBA) and Individually Billed Accounts (IBA) for travel expenses.  Agency travelers are required to use their GSA SmartPay2 program cards (government travel charge cards) issued by US Bank to pay for lodging and rental car expenses.  Previously, travelers also used their IBA to pay for airfare expenses, but all transportation expenses are currently being paid by a CBA, along with the e-travel transaction fees.  After a traveler submits an expense report, our agency financial system issues split disbursements through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).  Charges made to the IBA are paid directly to the bank and out of pocket expenses owed to the employee (miscellaneous expenses, taxi, parking, etc) are made directly...

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TMCs and the SmartPay Programs

»Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Payment Methods, Travel Management Centers | 0 comments

Since the inception of the federal regulation, public law 105-246 on January 27, 1998 which mandated the use of a government furnished travel charge card, TMC’s and TSS agencies had many benefits from this program.  Most importantly, TMC’s could process payment for travel services and their fees immediately, processing ticketing and reservations for government employees. A TMC receives this payment through either the CBA, centrally billed account, or IBA, individually billed account, and sends payment to ARC.   This eliminates the risk of the TMC/TSS not being paid.  Government travelers are required to reconcile their bills, confirming the services provided, and submit a voucher for payment internally, as they are individually responsible for payment to...

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Centrally Billed Travel Account Reconciliation – What is the Best Practice?

»Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Industry Postings, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The reconciliation process for agency centrally billed accounts (CBA) varies widely across government.  Agencies have developed a best practice for what currently works for them.  Some agencies have an all manual process and use nothing but paper.   Some use electronic reports provided by their Travel Management Center (TMC) and their charge card vendor.  Others make use of a CBA reconciliation module within their eTravel system (ETS).  I don’t believe there is an agency that is totally electronic in the reconciliation and payment process as there is probably a manual interruption somewhere in the process. How many individuals or departments are involved in the reconciliation and payment process?  In some agencies, the reconciliation consists of...

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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...

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Payment Methods

»Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

The United States Government used to buy transportation services with what we call GTR (Government Transportation Request). This method of payment is being phased out and will be replaced with charge cards. In 1998 a law was introduced to mandate the use of charge cards to pay for travel expenses; thus the GSA SmartPay was introduced.   GSA SmartPay: This program provides transportation purchase for over 350 Government agencies and organizations. This method expired in 2008 and was replaced by SmartPay 2.   GSA SmartPay2: With new technology and expanded services, these uniquely numbered for recognition as Government issued charge cards, were issued by 4 contractors: GE Capital Finance, JP Morgan chase, Citibank, US Bank.  Cards issued to agencies or...

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SmartPay®2 Transition and the E-Gov Travel Service

»Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Electronic Travel Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

Over Thanksgiving weekend, 2008, the vast majority of federal civilian agencies executed a “flash cutover” from their existing SmartPay® travel cards to newly-issued SmartPay®2 travel cards.  In order to support this cutover for their 65 agency customers, the E-Gov Travel Service (ETS) contractors had to replace all of the SmartPay® charge card numbers (both Centrally Billed Accounts and Individually Billed Accounts) in approximately 500,000 ETS user profiles with new SmartPay® 2 numbers … all without a significant disruption of service or impact to travelers. The project to accomplish the SmartPay®2 transition for ETS was managed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).  It began years earlier but took on its greatest momentum during the...

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Individually Billed Accounts – Charge Cards

»Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

Credit cards and debit cards have all but become the default method of payment for consumers over the last few decades.  The same is true with government travel.  Instead of issuing cash advances (although this is sometimes still necessary), paying with cash, and having a paper trail to follow, government travelers now have the convenience of paying for travel expenses either with an individually-issued government travel charge card (IBA) or through an agency’s centrally billed account (CBA).  Most government travelers are now issued their own personal government travel charge card, commonly abbreviated as GOVCC or IBA.  Most cards for our customers are issued through Citibank. The individually-issued card is the most convenient option for government...

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E-Tickets

»Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Airlines, Business Practices | 0 comments

The sight of travelers frantically searching for their tickets has become rare at airports in recent years. That’s because more people are relying on electronic tickets, or e-tickets, when they fly. E-ticket is now the main method of issuing tickets for the vast majority of airlines. It’s a secure form of ticketing that makes travel plans less cumbersome and more efficient for the traveler. The travel data is all stored electronically in the Global Distribution System (GDS) or the airlines reservation system. Passengers can, at any time, print their e-ticket receipt from the airlines web site. In addition, a passenger with an e-ticket can check in faster by just producing the e-ticket print out and an appropriate ID. E-tickets issued through the E Gov Travel...

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Using the Centrally Billed Account (CBA) Module in the Defense Travel System (DTS)

»Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in Industry Postings, Payment Methods | 1 comment

Our agency is improving processing of travel by implementing the CBA Reconciliation module in DTS. This module simplifies reconciling the agency’s Centrally Billed Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) Account, or CBA. The transactions placed on the CBA are transportation charges, such as tickets for air or rail travel, or Commercial Travel Office (CTO) service fees, and may include full or partial credits created by refunds or cancellations. To summarize the module’s functionality, DTS processes the payment of invoices received from, the GTCC vendor. When charges are billed against a CBA, the CBA Reconciliation module reconciles the transactions on the card vendor’s invoice with the traveler’s DTS trip document. Reconciliation refers to matching the...

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