A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Updates Regarding Travel and Entertainment, more news from BFS

September 24, 2014

Travel and Entertainment Form Updated

Business and Financial Services understands how frustrating it is when approvals for UC Merced transactions are returned by UCLA. The reasons are often confusing and it slows reimbursements.

The most common transactions returned by UCLA are those covered by BFB-BUS 79, expenditures for business meetings, entertainment and other occasions. These include:

  • Entertainment of the spouse, domestic partner, other partner or family members of the official host or guest;
  • Tickets to a sporting, theatrical or musical event;
  • A cash contribution that includes the cost of a meal or registration fee made to a nonprofit organization in connection with an employee’s attendance at a fund-raising event; and 
  • Employee morale building and employee recognition events

The reason for UCLA’s refusal to process is that these transactions, while allowable under policy, require additional higher-level approval than the normal process.

To make the guidance more accessible and reduce the number of processing submission steps, BFS encourages departments to obtain the necessary higher-level approvals before submitting expenses to UCLA.

To facilitate the process, BFS has updated its forms to include not only processing of exceptions to university policy but also these types of transactions.

We have also added the relevant guidance related to transactions requiring higher level approvals without adding an additional form for departments to navigate. The approval process is similar to both types of transactions. Please see the updated form.

Forms must be submitted to the vice chancellor of Business and Administrative Services for approval. The controller/assistant vice chancellor of BFS may approve these forms in the absence of the division’s vice chancellor. Old forms submitted directly to the vice chancellor or controller/assistant vice chancellor will no longer be processed.

Travel and Entertainment Quick Tips

UC Merced Travel Services has created a short list of commonly needed information concerning travel and entertainment conducted during university business. The intent of the T&E Quick Tips card is to provide faculty and staff members with a quick reference guide on domestic travel and entertainment policies, as well as helpful tips on travel reimbursement. The card will help travelers be timely, complete, frugal and focused during business travel.

Contact Travel Services to request a card or view online. Questions regarding the T&E Quick Tips card should be directed to Travel Services at 209-228-TRIP or travel@ucmerced.edu.

Training and Resources

Time Reporting System Training Sessions

The Time Reporting System (TRS) is a web-based system designed to collect employee work hours, acquire supervisor timesheet approval and feed into the personnel/payroll system electronically. TRS implementation will be effective the Sept. 28 pay period for biweekly employees, and Oct. 1 for monthly employees. TRS trainings are available at:

  • Learning Management System (use the search word “PAY” to locate it);
  • In-person session for employees: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. today (Sept. 26) in KL 201 (register); or
  • In-person session for supervisors: 3 to 4 p.m. today (Sept. 26) in KL 201 (register).

Monthly Procurement Services Meetings

Procurement Services offers purchasing procedure updates and advice, and provides the opportunity to give feedback to the university’s buyers and commodity managers. Join the next meeting from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 1 in KL 232, or via ReadyTalk. Email procurement@ucmerced.edu for more information or to submit agenda requests.

Weekly one-on-one payroll assistance: Every Friday, a payroll expert is stationed in KL 201 until 5 p.m. providing people the opportunity to meet and discuss questions or concerns without making formal appointments. If you have payroll related questions at any time, you can also contact the Payroll Department at ext. 2729 or payroll@ucmerced.edu.