70.07 - Payments for Travel Lodging Related Direct Billings

Last updated August 24, 2005

A. General Policy. The University of Idaho adheres to the Idaho State Board of Examiners Policy No. 442-50 (State Travel Policy and Procedures, Section 10), which allows direct billing for employees travel lodging expenses. This policy allows lodging costs to be direct billed to the department only upon the prior approval of the Department Head or V.P. Direct billing accounts are established to charge back directly to the university for employee official business-related travel lodging expenses. Direct billing for employee travel related car rental agreements and/or restaurant charges is not allowed. Payments and reimbursements for travel lodging related direct billings remain subject to all other applicable University travel rules.

A-1. Recommended Minimal Use of Direct Billings. Use of direct lodging billing for employee travel purposes should be held to a minimum. The preferred method of handling employee lodging expenses is for the employees traveling on official university business to personally pay expenses as incurred. Then, the employee should submit UI Travel Expense Claims in a timely manner after travel is completed.

B. Procedure. Lodging charges billed directly to the University, in lieu of being paid by the employee while on travel status, are handled in the same manner as UI employee travel advances.

B-1. Employee Authorization. In accordance with APM 70.06, the traveling employee must fill out a Travel Authorization and Encumbrance form [See APM 70.05(B)] authorizing the University to charge the employee’s personal account, prior to setting up a direct billing travel lodging account.

B-2. Lodging Vendor Accounts. After obtaining a completed employee Travel Authorization and Encumbrance form, the department must then set up a lodging vendor account by contacting the vendor and providing full billing information. The required billing information includes the college or division, department name, if appropriate, budget number, contact person, and phone and/or email contact. Required billing information must then be provided to accounts payable.

B-3. Payments for Direct Billings. Lodging charges billed directly to the University (in lieu of being paid by the employee on travel status), will be charged to the employee’s personal account prior to the invoice payment to the vendor.

B-4. Payment of Employee Account. The direct billing is removed from the employee’s personal account when UI Travel Management Services receives a properly submitted Travel Expense Claim [See APM 70.05 (D)] that properly identifies all incurred expenses, official business purpose of travel, and authorized signatures. If the Travel Expense Claim is not properly submitted or the employee does not repay a balance due after sufficient notice, the invoiced direct billing amount will be recovered by payroll deduction.

B-5. Timely Claims and Reimbursement. The employee must account for and return excess reimbursement or allowances of travel expenses within a reasonable period of time.

B-6. Reconciliation. Departments that utilize direct billing for employees’ travel lodging expenses must reconcile the billings with employee Travel Expense Claims. Unauthorized employee reimbursements shall be collected back from the traveling employee (e.g., unallowable restaurant or lounge charges, room movie charges, telephone charges, etc.).

B-7. Misuse. Improper use of direct billing or establishing unauthorized UI accounts may constitute misappropriation of UI funds.

C. Information. Please address any questions or concerns regarding payments for travel related direct billings to Accounts Payable at (208) 885-5379.