Travel

Travel Best Practices

General Guidelines for EVCP Control Unit Travel Processing

The campus website for travel provides useful information and resources. Please familiarize yourself with the systemwide UC Policy G-28 (PDF, 477KB). Your understanding of these requirements will help ensure an accurate and speedy payment/reimbursement process.

Travel Planning

Booking through ConnexUC

Business travelers are encouraged to use ConnexUC for booking airfare, lodging, and rental cars. Benefits include:

• Direct Bill - no need to wait until the completion of travel to get reimbursed.

• Flexible rebooking either online or with an agent by phone.

• Credits for a cancelled ticket, even if it was non-refundable.

• Automatic enrollment in UC Business Traveler Insurance at no cost. For SWABIZ bookings -orfor reservations made outside ConnexUC, you must register your trip in UC’s travel registration system, UC Away for any out-of-state travel. The travel registration and insurance page has more information about travel insurance.

• Airlines - fare discounts, preferred boarding/seating, priority standby (depending on airline). Additional perks and benefits are listed on the Why Use ConnexUC page.

• Lodging - complimentary room upgrades, early check-in, late checkout, free WiFi (depending on hotel).


Business and Personal Travel Combined

• If the personal time simply involves arriving earlier and/or staying longer at the destination at which the business travel occurred, then it is still allowable and recommended to use ConnexUC and Direct Bill.

• Any personal legs of travel must be booked using a personal credit card and not Direct Bill.

• When booking flights that include additional locations for personal time, please be sure to document the cost of airfare as if you were just going exclusively to the business location, so that you can substantiate the amount for reimbursement. The documentation must be obtained by a ConnexUC-related travel agency prior to or at the time of booking the trip.

• If you are seeking reimbursement for a ticket purchased using personal reward points, you will be required to provide the receipt from when you bought the original ticket (the flight that earned the points) to show proof of payment.


Payment Method

• Certain methods of payment are not allowed per policy. These include: PayPal or Venmo balances, Apple/Google Pay when no credit card number is listed, gift cards or certificates, vendor credits from a previous purchase, reward points, frequent flier miles, and any other non-cash source. Please see this travel documentation page for more information. 


Flights

• Tickets classified as economy or coach class are allowed, including economy-premium, economy-plus, economy-elite or similar label.

• With additional documentation and approval, the following special circumstances may be considered:

- An itinerary involves overnight travel without an opportunity for normal rest before commencing business - please provide a written statement explaining the circumstances.

- The advantages of business or first class are necessary to reasonably accommodate a disability or medical need - please provide a written statement from a doctor clearly explaining the specific accommodation(s) required that necessitate higher class amenities. Do not include a diagnosis.

• If allowable circumstances do not apply and business or first class airfare is still purchased, the comparable coach/economy fare must be documented at the time of booking for reimbursement of the lower fare.


Lodging

• Standard rates for lodging in the continental US are $275/night, excluding taxes and fees. If the room rate exceeds this amount, please save the following documentation at the time of booking to submit with the expense reimbursement, along with the business reason for the selection.

• If the lodging is at the conference-suggested hotel, save a screen capture of the website or brochure that lists it as such.

• If there are no reasonable options in the area within standard limits, save a screen capture of comparable rates in the area. ConnexUC (Concur) has a good map option that shows rates and listings within a radius of the desired location.

Screen capture of comparable lodging rates in Concur


Ground Transportation

• Pre-planning is encouraged to ensure the most economical and practical mode of transportation given the requirements of the trip.

• For car rentals, travelers are expected to use rental agencies with which the University has systemwide contracts that include insurance coverage. This can be ensured by booking through ConnexUC.

• Save Uber Cash credits for personal use rather than payments for business-related rides. Unless you can show that the Uber Cash was paid for by the traveler, it will not be reimbursable. To turn off Uber Cash, tap your payment method after entering your destination and turn off the Uber Cash toggle.

Submitting Travel Expenses

Examples of Travel Expenses that Require EVCP Office Approval 

Dean’s or Vice Chancellor’s own travel.


Deadline for Submitting Expenses

All expenses must be submitted within 45 days. Any reimbursements submitted after 45 days will be handled as taxable income to the employee being reimbursed.


Submission Process for Travel Reimbursements

Please use the direct entry Travel Reimbursement System for travel reimbursements. For all Dean and VC travel reimbursements, you may hold off on uploading receipts until you receive the fully signed DocuSign envelope back from the EVCP office. This allows you to upload one complete attachment rather than separate receipts and other supporting documents one at a time. 

In addition, please forward the signed TRV report and supporting documents - preferably in a single PDF with receipts in chronological order - to evcp-finance@berkeley.edu. This will facilitate our review as pulling together, multiple, separate compressed supporting files from the TRV system has been problematic (and time consuming). You should expect to have either a completed DocuSign envelope or follow-up questions from the office within 5 business days of the email submission.

Once the fully signed document is returned to you via DocuSign, you may upload it to the reimbursement system and submit it to your department approver. Please note, the Traveler must approve the reimbursement request either directly in the system or by signing the TRV report and having their preparer upload that signed document into the system.


What to Include on the Form

• A clear and succinct business purpose. You should always be able to explain how the University benefited from any expense it paid. A good way to explain the business purpose is to answer who, what, where, when and why. 
• Brief statement of justification for any exceptional or unusual circumstances.
• Brief statement of justification for delayed submissions (later than 45 days past invoice date for vendor payments, or past 45 days of event for reimbursements).
• Chart string information.
• The goal of the report/documentation is to tell a story about what happened. Preparation is key: the more organized and easier to follow, including receipts, the faster the report will be processed.
Screen capture of date and location details on travel report

Supporting Documentation

It is very helpful to attach supporting documentation in the same order as listed on the TRV, preferably in chronological order. Please include the following if applicable:

• The flight itinerary, even if it is direct bill and not part of the reimbursement. This helps to establish travel beginning and end times and provides a more complete picture of the trip.
• Meeting itineraries if traveling to various sites via rideshare. You do not need to include confidential details, such as donor names, but you should give some specifics (you can replace names with Donor 1, Donor 2, etc.).
• Conference website, if applicable.
• Submit itemized receipts for all airfare, car rentals, domestic U.S. lodging, and conference registration regardless of dollar amount, or any other single expense of $75 or more. A valid receipt contains payee's name, amount, date, place, identification of what was purchased, and proof of payment. Combine receipts into a single PDF when possible. If not, name the files so they can be quickly matched to the expense.

• If claiming personal vehicle mileage, it is helpful (but not required) to include a screen capture from a mapping service such as Google Maps that shows the mileage between starting point and destination. It is preferable to enter a city rather than the traveler's precise home address.

• Please redact any personal information such as home address, personal email, full credit card number - anything your traveler wouldn't want others to see.

Screen capture of a rideshare receipt with traveler's home address redacted


Entertainment While Traveling

• Entertainment while traveling should be included as part of the TRV rather than a standalone ENT. This is captured on the Special Circumstances (check the first box) and Daily Expenses tabs. Submit all information as you would for an ENT (itemized receipt, guests/affiliations, business purpose, cost per-person, meal type) as part of the supporting documentation.

Screen Capture of Special Circumstances tab in Travel Reimbursement System with first box checked


Meals & Incidentals Expenses (M&IE), Miscellaneous Expenses

• If a trip is less than 24 hours, meals are not reimbursable, unless there was a need for an overnight stay.

• When traveling within the continental U.S., the daily limit for M&IE is $79. This limit is not a per diem; only actual expenses can be reimbursed.

• On flights, Wi-Fi is considered a Miscellaneous Other Business Expense rather than a transportation expense.


Please contact us with any questions. We are happy to set up some time to chat with you.

evcp-finance@berkeley.edu

Emails coming from this account will show in your inbox as:

Evcp-finance Departmental

EVCP - SPA - Finance Account via DocuSign