Travel and Reimbursement - FAQs | Ask a Question

FAQ Index

  1. What forms are required when I want to travel on Official University Business?
  2. When is a TA required for University related travel?
  3. When am I considered to be in Travel Status?
  4. How can I avoid having my travel reimbursement added to my taxable wages on my W- 2?
  5. What happens if I submit my TE more than 6 months past the completion of my travel?
  6. Can I claim actual costs for meals instead of using per diem rates?
  7. Can I drive instead of flying?
  8. How do I get access to Frosch? Do I have to call or can I use the website?
  9. When are changes fees paid by Mines?
  10. When can I get reimbursed for out-of-pocket airfare?
  11. What “upgrades” will be reimbursed related to airline expenses?
  12. May I purchase a bundle package from an airline?
  13. When am I eligible for a cash advance for travel?
  14. My cash advance covered all my expenses. May I keep unused amounts?
  15. If I requested a cash advance when will I receive it?
  16. Can I be reimbursed for travel costs incurred prior to the completion of the travel?
  17. What do I do if my destination city is not listed in the per diem rates on the website?
  18. What is the difference between a prepaid expense and an out-of-pocket expense?
  19. If a third party is paying my airfare, can I still upgrade my seating based on our travel policy? Do I need to use the approved travel agent to complete the upgrade?
  20. If my travel dates change between the Pre-Approval and Final Expense Report do I need to complete a new Pre-Approval Report?
  21. What should I include in my Pre-Approval?
  22. My Pre-Approval says “Pending Approval”, who is the report pending with?
  23. How long does my Pre-Approval stay on my dashboard?
  24. How do I know the status of an Expense Report?
  25. My Expense Report says “Pending Approval.” With whom is it Pending Approval?
  26. How can I submit my receipts from my cell phone?
  27. How do I delete an Expense Report?
  28. What does the Status "Exported" mean?
  29. I need to add an expense to an Expense Report that has been returned to me. What should I do?
  30. What can I change after AP has reviewed the expense report?
  31. What are the various accounts I should be using for travel?

What forms are required when I want to travel on Official University Business?

A Travel Authorization Form (when applicable, see details below) and a Travel Expense Form must be turned in when traveling for University business.

When is a TA required for University related travel?

Travel Authorization or a Pre-Approval Report is required for travel that meets any of the following conditions:

  1. All International Travel including Mexico and Canada
  2. If any part of the trip is being funded by a grant-typically any index beginning with a "4---"
  3. The individual is requesting a cash advance (this must be received by the MAPS office no later than 10 business days prior to trip departure.)

When am I considered to be in Travel Status?

An Employee’s job duties require them to be away from their regular work location overnight and/or the travel includes airfare. To be considered in travel status (and therefore entitled to per diem) the destination must be at least 40 miles away from your regular work location.

How can I avoid having my travel reimbursement added to my taxable wages on my W- 2?

An otherwise non-taxable reimbursement will not be added to an employee's W-2 if the TE/VR is properly submitted to the MAPS Office within 60 days of completing the travel and/or expense.

What happens if I submit my Travel Expense (TE) more than 6 months past the completion of my travel?

Per the Mines travel policy, a traveler may not be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket travel related expenses if the TE is submitted more than 6 months past the completion date of travel. The traveler must submit the TE with an explanation as to why the TE was not completed, approved, and submitted in accordance with University policy, and request an exception to the policy.

Exceptions are subject to Controller approval. If the TE is processed, any reimbursement will be added to the employee’s W-2 for tax purposes.

Can I claim actual costs for meals instead of using per diem rates?

No. Per the University Travel Policy and for IRS compliance purposes, the University has elected to use a standard cost method, per diems, as the basis for reimbursing travelers for meals and incidentals rather than the actual cost method. Daily or individual meal per diem amounts are the maximum a traveler may request. A traveler may elect to claim less than the approved daily rates as long as that amount is a variation of a per meal rate.

Can I drive instead of fly?

An individual can elect to drive instead of flying as long as they understand the university will only reimburse their costs up to what a flight would have been. The individual is responsible for supplying a comparable airfare quote.

How do I get access to Frosch? Do I have to call or can I use the website?

Email a request for an account with Frosch to onlinesupport@frosch.com.  They will contact the school verifying your employment status and ability to purchase tickets on the behalf of school business.

When are changes fees paid by Mines?

Airline change fees are reimbursable to the traveler only if travel plans are changed for Official University Business reasons. The business purpose for the change in travel plans shall be included on the Travel Authorization/Expense Report. Any cancellation or change fees are the responsibility of the traveler if the charges are a result of a personal nature.

When can I get reimbursed for out-of-pocket airfare?

If the traveler elects to pay their own airfare, they will not be reimbursed for the cost of the airfare until the travel is completed. If, for whatever reason, the trip is delayed, postponed, or cancelled and airfare credit is received, the traveler will not be reimbursed for the airfare or any associated changes until the airfare credit is used for University Business at a later time.

What “upgrades” will be reimbursed related to airline expenses?

Seat selection charges or early check-in charges less than or equal the current industry average for a round trip are reimbursable. Seat selection does not include upgrading to economy plus.   Expanded leg-room (ex. Economy Plus) is allowable if the flight segment is greater than three hours. Business Class upgrades are allowable on international flight segments that are greater than nine hours non-stop.

May I purchase a bundled package from an airline?

Bundled packages often contain coverage categories that are not reimbursable under Mines travel policy. Bundled packages may not be reimbursed unless the traveler can show that the cost is less than the allowable fees for seat selection and checked baggage fees. Such documentation must be included in the final expense report.

When am I eligible for a cash advance for travel?

Any student, faculty, or staff member may request a cash advance if they will be traveling for University Business. A cash advance can be issued for estimated out-of-pocket expenses incurred while traveling. The amount of the advance cannot exceed the estimated out-of-pocket expenses. The allowed maximum advance is $1500.00 per person. All exceptions must be approved by the Controller.

My cash advance covered all my expenses. May I keep unused amounts?

No, a cash advance is a loan from the University. If a cash advance was more than the actual expenses incurred on the trip, then the unused portion of the advance must be returned to Mines in the form of a credit card payment, cash (exact change), or a check written to Colorado School of Mines. Please return the unused portion of the advance with your completed TE to Mines Administrative Processing Service (MAPS) office located in Guggenheim room 224.

If I requested a cash advance when will I receive it?

Cash advances are issued up to seven days in advance of departure. The traveler will receive a check that can be picked up from the Controller’s Office or via direct deposit if the traveler is set up to receive funds that way. The traveler will get an email when the check is ready for pickup. In order to ensure the Mines Administrative Processing Services Office has sufficient time to issue the check, please submit a TA at least 10 business days prior to your planned departure. Even if we receive your request at least two weeks before travel we cannot not guarantee it will be processed in time for your travel because of the possibility for additional signatures. For Cash Advances the rule of thumb is always the sooner we receive it, the better.

Can I be reimbursed for travel costs incurred prior to the completion of the travel?

No. Per Mines Travel Policy, a traveler will be reimbursed for approved out-of-pocket travel costs when the travel is completed and the traveler has submitted their final expense report. Exceptions may be granted by the Controller.

What do I do if my destination city is not listed in the per diem rates on the website?

For domestic travel:

If the destination city is not listed, look up the county and see if it is listed. If neither the city nor the county is listed, use the “Standard Rate” found in the link below.

https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates

For international travel:

If the destination city is not listed, then it automatically defaults to the “other” amount listed at the end of every country’s per diems.

https://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp

What is the difference between a prepaid expense and an out-of-pocket expense?

Prepaid expenses are those paid directly by Mines. For example, if a traveler books through Frosch, Mines preferred Travel Agency, and the airfare was charged to the Mines’s Ghost Card, then that is prepaid airfare. Likewise, if travel is charged to a Mines One Card, it is considered a prepaid expense.

If the traveler pays for their own travel with the goal of being reimbursed, that is considered an out-of-pocket expense. As a reminder out-of-pocket expenses related to travel will not be reimbursed until the travel is complete.

If a third party is paying my airfare, can I still upgrade my seating based on our travel policy? Do I need to use the approved travel agent to complete the upgrade?

You may upgrade your seating based on University single segment travel time requirements. You do not need to use the University-approved travel agent to upgrade.

If my travel dates change between the Pre-Approval and Final Expense Report do I need to complete a new Pre-Approval Report? 

No, when you connect a Pre-Approval to your final Expense Report only the line items, title, and primary destination are carried over. On the report cover page, please make a note explaining any differences between the Pre-Approval and final report.

What should I include in my Pre-Approval?

The goal of a pre-approval is to get the most accurate proposed travel budget which helps expedite the approval process for the Final Expense Report. Some of the most common expenses to include would be airfare, lodging, ground transportation (mileage, rental car, parking, etc.), per diem, and registration fees.

Keep in mind if your final expense report is $500.00 or more over the pre-approved budget it will need to go through the approval process again.

My Pre-Approval says “Pending Approval;” with whom is the report pending?

For any report you can access the routing steps and see whose approval is still pending by viewing the tracking. This will show the previous, current, and future routing. Go to the “Submitted Last 90 Days” and click on the report in question (it will turn light blue). Click on the “Tracking” tab. A Tracking data box will appear and will show each line item and from whom it is pending approval.

How long does my Pre-Approval stay on my dashboard?

Processed Pre-Approvals will be visible on your home dashboard for 90 days.  All Pre-Approvals will expire within the system in 180 days.

How do I know the status of an Expense Report?

You can check by going to “Expenses - Submitted Last 90 Days.” Here you will see the status of each report.  The different statuses are:  Pending Approval, Approved, Exported, and Paid.

My Expense Report says “Pending Approval;” with whom is it Pending Approval?

For any report, you can access the routing steps and see whose approval is still pending by viewing the tracking. This will show the previous, current, and future routing. Go to the “Submitted Last 90 Days” and click on the report in question (it will turn light blue). Click on the “Tracking” tab. A Tracking data box will appear and will show each line item and from whom it is pending approval.

How can I submit my receipts from my cell phone?

Use your mobile phone to take a photo of the receipt, then attach it to an email (you must use your Mines email address) and send it to receipt@chromefile.com.

How do I delete an Expense Report?

To delete an ENTIRE report there are two options depending on a report’s status.

If the Report has been submitted, but not fully approved/processed you can “Recall” it. A confirmation box will appear warning that the report will be return to draft status; click “Yes.”  Go to your Draft Expense Reports, click on the report once.  The report will be highlighted and at the top of the cover page the “Delete” function will be available. A confirmation box will appear; click “Yes.”

If you have Returned Report you will need to delete each line item and then you will have the option to delete the report in its entirety. To do this, open the Expense Report, and delete the expense items highlighted in yellow. The yellow indicates that these are the expense items that were returned to you. You will have to delete each expense one at a time.

If you had One Card charges on the report, they will return to your E-Wallet.

What does the Status "Exported" mean?

Exported means that the expenses are now reflected in Banner. Chrome River items are exported the following business day after they have been fully processed.

I need to add an expense to an Expense Report that has been returned to me. What should I do?

You cannot add an expense to an Expense Report that has already been submitted. Create a new Expense Report with that expense item and use the Notes section to explain how the new Expense Report relates to the previous report.

What can I change after AP has reviewed the expense report?

No changes can be made but comments and attachments can be added.

What are the various accounts I should be using for travel?

The most common accounts in use for travel expense reporting and reimbursement include:

  • 5502 In-State Travel - includes airfare and associated charges, rental car, lodging, parking, taxi fares, and per diems.
  • 5507 Out-of-State Travel - includes airfare and associated charges, rental car, lodging, parking, ground transportation, and per diems. NOTE: if you are traveling out of state, parking at DIA or taxi to the airport are charged to 5507.
  • 5511 International Travel - includes airfare and associated charges, rental car, lodging, parking, ground transportation, and per diems. NOTE: if you are traveling internationally, parking at DIA or taxi to the airport are charged to 5511.
  • 5501 Mileage - use of a personal vehicle for travel entitles the Mines employee or student to a mileage reimbursement at the current rate. Per IRS rules, this is ONLY for an employee owned vehicle, and cannot be applied to vehicles loaned to the employee by family or friends. Please see the University Travel Policy for more details. Mileage reimbursement is intended to cover fuel, insurance, and wear and tear on the vehicle. You will not be reimbursed for fuel separately.
  • 5470 Fuel - used to pay for fuel for rental vehicles only. There is never a mileage reimbursement on a rental vehicle.