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

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» 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 invoice transactions to the corresponding trip document item in DTS. Some items that are not reconciled may need to be manually researched and reviewed. Once the CBA Reconciliation module has matched or otherwise resolved all the items on the invoice, the invoice is then acknowledged and certified for payment. The module provides useful tools by maintaining a searchable database of all invoices, tracking the progress of the reconciliation process, and generating efficiency reports.

This tool allows for more streamlined obligations of funds required to pay the CBA invoices and improves the process for the business process owner by providing them the opportunity to review travel orders prior to charges being billed to the CBA. In our current process, a hard copy form is submitted to the transportation office when the CBA is required to be used for transportation. This process will now be electronic, as primary and back-up reviewers will be added to the traveler’s DTS Routing List as an exception only routing when the CBA is selected as the method of payment. When the travel orders are received, these reviewers will review the orders to (1) ensure that a proper line of accounting is being used to pay for the trip, and (2) confirm that it is an authorized use of the CBA. If the traveler has an Individually Billed GTCC Account, referred to as an IBA or GOVCC, and selects CBA as the method of payment, the orders will be returned, and the traveler will need to (1) change the method of payment to their IBA, and (2) request CTO assistance, asking them to update the Passenger Name Record (PNR) to change the method of payment from CBA to IBA. If the reviewer determines that the CBA use is appropriate for the trip, they will stamp the trip reviewed in DTS, and the travel orders will continue on the Routing List to the next reviewer or approver.

The traveler will be contacted about opening an IBA if they will be a frequent traveler. DoD defines a frequent traveler as anyone who travels three or more times in a year, and has mandated the use of individual GTCCs by frequent travelers to pay for travel expenses, to include transportation costs, while on official temporary duty travel.

As described above, the revised process should involve minimal additional workload for travelers and Approving Officials, such as addressing the case when the method of payment needs to be changed to an IBA, but it is anticipated that implementing the module will result in positive process improvements for the agency.

K. Barnoski, 2012. Disclaimer: The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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