Posts Tagged "reimbursement"

Federal Travel Regulations and ETS

»Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

In 2002 General Services Administration (GSA) introduced electronic travel systems to create end-to-end travel services for government employees.  The E-Gov Travel Service or ETS was to enable Federal Travelers to create their authorizations, make reservations, and process vouchers within one system.  Among other requirements, the systems had to integrate Government wide travel policies known as the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR).  The FTR administers the laws governing travel allowances and entitlements for federal travelers. The integration of the Federal Travel Regulations into the ETS system was one of the most controversial, yet needed requirements.  Many travelers were either not familiar with the Federal Travel Regulations or chose not to abide by...

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Pro’s and Con’s of the E-GOV Travel Service

»Posted by on Dec 18, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

The mandatory implementation of the E-GOV Travel Service (ETS) took place in my agency last year, so we are still somewhat adjusting to the changes of using the ETS.  I’d briefly like to explain some of the positive and negative aspects of using ETS. From what I’ve heard from other colleagues who have been in Government service for a while, it used to take a long time for travelers to be reimbursed after traveling.  Obtaining written approvals for travel was also a cumbersome process.  So an advantage to the ETS is the ability to reimburse travelers in a quick, efficient manner.  This also helps travelers to pay their travel card bills in a timely manner. Another advantage is the portability of the ETS.  Travel documents can be created and approved from...

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GSA and States Need to Partner in Setting Per-diem Rates

»Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in Hotels, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The 50 states across the United States all adopt some sort of a travel reimbursement program.   A majority of the states adopt the GSA per-diem rate as the benchmark to reimburse travelers.   There are some problems that States with this methodology.   Some properties will only honor the GSA per-diem rates for federal travelers.  The other problem is some properties will not honor per-diem rates at all due to the market being under valued. According to the GSA; getting a per-diem rate adjusted in a market that may be undervalued, can only be requested by a federal travel manager.   This provides a real problem for states that have markets where federal travelers do not travel too.  A prime example is along the Oregon coast.  One city along...

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How To Ensure a Seamless Car Rental When Traveling for Business

»Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Rental Cars, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

There are many options available to employees when purchasing travel.  Most travelers are aware of policies and procedures, however, vendors may not be aware of certain restrictions and will try to upsell or upgrade amenities to our employees.   When this is accepted by the traveler, they run into cost reimbursable issues when filing expense reports. As an example, car rental companies will try to upsell a traveler by offering additional insurances, GPS systems, larger vehicles, sporty or hybrid models.  All of which are not reimbursed by our organization.  Also, a traveler may not realize they are being charged an additional amount for the vehicle being offered if it happens to be a larger vehicle. What we’ve done to alleviate all the backend hassles of...

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E-gov Travel Simplifies Travel Voucher Processing

»Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

Implementation of E-Gov Travel simplifies the voucher processing.  When I began my career in administrative accounting 19 years ago, our agency used the paper-based system for processing travel reimbursements.  A traveler submitted a manually prepared travel voucher with original receipts to his/her approving official.  The voucher and receipts arrived at the administrative office for payment by internal mail or hand delivery.  Prior to issuing a reimbursement to the traveler, the administrative office reviewed the voucher and receipts.  Every detail of the trip was analyzed for compliance to the Federal Travel Regulations and any pertinent accounting regulations to assure the claim for reimbursement was proper and valid for payment.  Upon validation of the...

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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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Electronic Travel System

»Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Within my agency we use the Defense Travel System (DTS) which is the ETS for Department of Defense. On March 28, 2008, the former Under Secretary for Reserve Affairs David Chu made it mandatory that DTS was to be use the Secretary of Defense mandated the use of DTS. This was as a result of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 1997. My agency started using the system in 2007. It was a hard transition not only for me, but the travelers.  I was always use to processing travel the manual way. Therefore, my knowledge of this system was zero.  We hired a contractor for six month to help sat up our organization. A few months thereafter, I attended Defense Travel Administrator Training. As I worked with the program, I became familiar with providing guidance with...

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The Government Hotel Program

»Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Business Practices, Contracting for Travel Services, Hotels, Payment Methods | 0 comments

The government has implemented an excellent hotel program providing great benefits to its agencies while lowering cost to provide the best services to its travelers. Hotels have contracted with the government per diem rates, different types of properties, special amenities and charge cards, special negotiation rates and specialized lodging programs. The travelers have access to great hotels, meeting their needs and beyond. In addition to the great hotel services and amenities the travelers are provided with a convenient payment charge card and/or direct billing to their federal agency. This helps eliminate out of pocket payment.  This is a great advantage as many other public or private companies fail to provide these services to its employees.  For example, I...

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GovTrip/Financial System Interface

»Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Electronic Travel Systems | 0 comments

Most of our customers who are traveling for the first time are likely surprised by the amount of information that must be entered into GovTrip.  There is, however, a method to the madness.  Before leaving on a trip, the traveler must submit an authorization.  This is an estimate of the total costs and expenses of the trip, and also includes an itinerary, as well.  The benefits of doing an authorization in GovTrip first is that since GovTrip takes the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) into account, the document preparer and approving official are alerted to any items or expenses that could potentially be in violation of the FTR.  Once the authorization has gone through the entire routing process and has received final approval, the traveler may then go on their...

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