|Effective:||05/01/14||Approved By: Sr. Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs and Deputy CFO|
For Assistance Contact: Director, Disbursements & Travel Services
To provide guidance for completing and processing a Travel Authorization. This guideline applies to employees and students who are traveling for UTSA.
For information on travel expense reimbursements, refer to the Travel Reimbursements financial guideline.
Table of Contents
- Completing the TA
- Processing the TA
- International Travel
- Washington DC Travel Considerations
- Corrections, Unauthorized Travel, and Disencumbrances
- Travel to Restricted Regions
The Travel Authorization (TA) is an electronic document used to authorize travel for UTSA employees and students.
The TA must be completed and approved for travel authorization regardless of whether UTSA pays for any portion of the travel expenses.
Non-employees traveling on UTSA business are not required to complete a TA, but must have a written agreement (such as a contract) indicating that UTSA will reimburse or pay the non-employee's travel expenses.
New employees who will travel for any reason using UTSA funds need to take the Travel Authorization Workflow (PS 0307) and Expense Report Workflow (PS 0308) online training courses before traveling. These courses are intended to support the traveler and help ensure compliance with travel and reimbursement requirements.
B. Completing the TA
Employees (including student employees) complete the TA in the PeopleSoft Travel and Expense module (for non-employee students, see Student Travel Policies). The TA must be final approved before the first day of travel; otherwise, the travel is considered unauthorized and will be treated as an exception requiring vice president approval. The following information is needed to complete the TA:
- Traveler's name and Employee ID
- Dates of travel
- Purpose and benefit of the trip to UTSA
- Disposition of duties while traveling
- All estimated travel expenses, regardless of the method of payment. If the expense amount on the TA is sufficient, additional approvals will be required in the Expense Report process. The following expenses should be included as applicable:
- Airfare (for fare class upgrades, see the Fare Class Restrictions section of the Travel Reimbursement financial guideline)
- Car rental
- Incidentals — luggage fees, taxis, etc.
- The SpeedChart (Cost Center or Project ID) to be charged (for more information, refer to the Chart of Accounts financial guideline). When the SpeedChart is used for travel expense coding, that combination of values will automatically populate in PeopleSoft when the transaction processes.
- For travel funded by state or federal funds, lodging rates that exceed the General Services Administration (GSA) rate must be indicated as such, and must be specifically approved before travel begins. In the TA comments section, note that the daily hotel cost exceeds the GSA rate and why that is acceptable (e.g., use of a conference hotel). For more information on state and federal funds, refer to the Chart of Accounts financial guideline.
- Travel paid by a third party (at no cost to UTSA)
- Travel Authorization is required
- Encumbrance must be for $1.00
For detailed instructions, complete the online training course Travel Authorization Workflow (PS 307).
C. Processing the TA
The TA routes electronically in PeopleSoft for the following approvals, with email notifications at each point:
- Traveler's supervisor
- Budgetary approval (cost center approver and/or principal investigator)
- Other approvals as applicable (the Office of Research Finance and Operations in Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise; Real Estate, Construction and Planning; etc.)
NOTE: International travel must be approved by the International Oversight Committee, if applicable (refer to the Travel to Restricted Regions section).
D. International Travel
Travelers are automatically registered with On Call International when their airfare is purchased through the contracted travel agencies (Collegiate Travel Planners or Anthony Travel) for domestic and international travel.
On Call International is a comprehensive, 24/7 medical and security assistance provider. Services are available at no cost to individuals on official university business. The benefits include
- Pre-departure preparation: Access the Plan Information Portal using group ID 100143CPPD21 (policy number G210430). You can sign up for health and security email alerts and review country-specific information
- Medical, travel and security assistance, including insured evacuation services
- International medical expenses coverage
- Coordination of travel arrangements for certain emergency circumstances such as hospitalization abroad
- A travel monitoring app and critical event intelligence alerts
To print an On Call International ID Card or learn more information, visit Travel Links.
E. Washington DC Travel Considerations
UTSA is a Texas state agency. If Washington DC travel includes activities that involve obtaining or spending federal funds or that impact federal policy, the traveler is required to inform the Office of State-Federal Relations (OSFR) using the Report of State Agency Travel to Washington DC. The notification must include information about the timing and purpose of the trip and provide OSFR with a contact name for any additional required information. Attach a copy of the notification to the TA, or to the Expense Report if a TA was not processed timely.
F. Corrections, Unauthorized Travel and Disencumbrances
The creator of a TA cannot make changes after the TA has been approved. If an approved TA needs to be changed or canceled for the following reasons, use the Travel Authorization Form (TAF) and attach it to the Expense Report when settling travel:
- TA was not final approved in PeopleSoft before the first day of travel
- Non-compliant travel is monitored by Disbursements and Travel Services (DTS) and reported to management
- Change in travel dates of seven or more days
- Significant change to the destination/location
- Addition of a missing expense item or change in an amount in order for the TA to cover the anticipated expenses in the Expense Report
If the creator would like to disencumber a portion of the TA due to items already paid through the One Card, the One Card non-purchase order voucher should reference the TA number. DTS will monitor One Card payments for items that should be disencumbered and will also include a comment on the TA showing the original approved expense amount.
G. Travel to Restricted Regions
All UTSA-affiliated international travel to locations on the restricted region list requires review and approval from the International Oversight Committee. Prior to planning travel to a potentially high-risk area, employees and students are required to consult UTSA's International Travel policy on the Global Initiatives site.
|04/27/23||Added requirements for international travel to restricted regions (section G). Updates throughout for clarity and for current department names and processes (including removal of CLIBA and TAC references).|
|11/15/19||Updates to section B; addition of Section G requirement to consult the Policy on Travel to Restricted Regions; updates to Related Forms.|
|03/14/19||Added requirement to attach OSFR notification for Washington DC travel (section E)|