We wanted to provide clarification on several common travel terms:
Per diem (for meals) = the daily allowance for (meal) expenses. It is used as the amount paid to employees for meals while on official overnight travel in lieu of receipts for meals. (If a department reimburses the exact amount of meals consumed based on receipts, the amount cannot exceed the daily per diem rate.) More information on meal per diem is available on www.gsa.gov.
Travel advance = an amount paid to the traveler prior to departure on official overnight travel for meals, incidentals, lodging, and other allowable expenses per the FMOG: www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/opguidelines/2.9.2.html#allowable
TAR = Travel Advance Request form. This form must have received all necessary approvals and be received in Disbursements & Travel Services no later than ten (10) business days prior to the traveler’s departure. www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/opguidelines/2.9.2.html#compForm
TAC Card = Travel Advance Card. It is one of the options for receiving a travel advance for UTSA employees. www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/opguidelines/2.9.2.html#tacPymnt
Direct deposit travel advance = a “cash advance” paid via direct deposit to the employee. It is one of the options for receiving a travel advance for UTSA employees. www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/opguidelines/2.9.2.html#dirDepPymnt
TRS Form = Travel Reimbursement/Settlement Form. It is completed upon return from travel and is required whether or not a travel advance was issued. www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/opguidelines/0109.html#completingTravelReimbForm
CLIBA Card = Central Liability Individual Billed Account. A credit card to be used only for authorized travel expenses pursuant to a cardholder agreement and application. Allowable expenses are: lodging, transportation (mass transit, vehicle rental & fuel, airfare, parking & tolls), registration fees, other expenses as allowable on the FMOG website: www.utsa.edu/financialaffairs/opguidelines/0109.html#otherExpenses
Per diem can be paid as a travel advance either on a TAC Card or via direct deposit.
Per diem can also be paid upon the traveler’s return (without a travel advance).
“Per diem” is not the same thing as a “travel advance.”