A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Updates to Travel and T&E Card Program

March 11, 2015

Important Updates Regarding UC Merced’s Travel and Entertainment Card Program

Administration of the Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Card Program and issuance of the cards transferred from UCLA to UC Merced Travel as of Jan. 26. UC Merced Travel Services now handles the review, approval and submission of T&E card applications to U.S. Bank.

The cards issued by U.S. Bank and are charge cards, not credit cards. Although they display a VISA logo, the balance is due in full each month. No balance carryover is allowed. If the balance isn’t paid in full each billing cycle, a late charge is applied and is the responsibility of the cardholder. Therefore, whether you enter your own reimbursement request or have a departmental travel proxy do it, it’s up to the cardholder to follow the process through to ensure card payments are made by the specified due date. Cardholders are ultimately responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of payments.

Meanwhile, the process for requesting a T&E card will not change. Employees are required to complete the online T&E card training on the Learning Management website. Once UC Merced Travel receives notification that an employee has completed the online training, the T&E card application and business justification form will be sent to the employee for completion, which includes obtaining supervisor and department head signatures. It takes approximately 10 to 14 days to receive the card. We recommend that employees request the card one month before the date it will be needed. Requests to expedite the card will be made if needed, but there are no guarantees that U.S. Bank will be able to meet requests that are made less than 14 days before a business trip.

Over the course of the past couple of years, there have been a significant number of personal transactions that employees have charged and continue to charge to T&E cards. The T&E card is for university travel and entertainment expenses only.

To ensure compliance, Vice Chancellor for Business and Administrative Services Michael Reese has directed that if personal expenses are identified on a cardholder account, the cardholder will receive a warning from the Travel Department. The employee will be immediately required to pay the balance and will be placed on a travel card watch list to be audited monthly. If additional personal charges appear on a traveler’s card, that card account will be closed and the employee will no longer have the benefits of using a UC T&E card. If the misuse of the card is excessive or blatantly against policy, the account will be closed immediately.

Additionally, please note that no alcohol can be charged to the T&E card. When traveling with a family member, only expenses related to your business travel can be charged to the T&E card.

If you have specific questions on the use of the T&E card related to travel and/or entertainment, please contact Travel Services at 209-228-8747 (TRIP).

Training and Resources

March 17: Monthly Administrative and Management Services Officers Meeting

This group meets from 10:45 a.m. to noon on the third Tuesday of every month in KL 232. Meetings are open to anyone who wants to hear more about important campus updates, developments and requirements. At the March 17 meeting, representatives from Information Technology will provide a new MSO tools system demonstration and share information about CrashPlan, computer purchase recommendations and features of the IT website.

Travel Policy Training

UC Merced’s Travel Policy Training is available anytime, online at the UC Learning Center. This training is required prior to attending trainings on Connexxus, the university’s travel booking system, and Express, the system used for requesting UC Merced-related travel reimbursements. The training also must be done before applying for a T&E charge card. Contact Travel Services with any questions.

Online Personnel/Payroll System (PPS) Training

The Personnel/Payroll System (PPS) inquiry and overview class is mandatory for managers, supervisors and employees who use the PPS inquiry functions. This introduction covers the overall payroll process and PPS system features such as: Employee Database (EDB), Payroll Audit Record (IPAY), History Database (HDB), Payroll Time Reporting (PTR), Pay Compute and paydays. Training is available online via the Learning Management System (LMS) at the UC Learning Center. Search for “pay” to find payroll classes. For more information, visit the Payroll Training page or contact Payroll Services at payroll@ucmerced.edu.

Payroll Services Fridays

Every Friday, a Payroll expert is stationed in KL 201 until 5 p.m. for the opportunity to meet and discuss your concerns without a formal appointment. You may also contact Payroll Services anytime at 209-228-2729 or payroll@ucmerced.edu.