Travel Expense


Before you travel

Departments are under increasing pressure to reduce the amount and number of travel (cash) advances authorized. Indeed some departments have stopped authorizing travel advances all together.  It is not feasible for us to do this; however there are steps we are taking to reduce the need for an advance.   The following information provides alternatives to using your personal credit cards and the need for an advance.   The amount of work to process travel claims is also reduced.

Conference Registrations

Conference fees can be booked using the EAS Corporate Card.  Bring your booking info and a speed code to the Office.  Students must have their supervisors’ approval and a speed code towhich the conference fees can be charged.  Travel Advances for conference registrations will only be issued on case-by-case basis.  

Conference registration can also be paid for by personal credit card and recovered using a travel expense claim, once your travel is completed.

Air Travel

TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION PAYMENT (TAP) Form process – There is a new U of A travel service provider – Maritime Travel!  You can access their services to book your travel for a nominal fee, or you can book it yourself at no cost. You can use your travel awards programs to collect travel points (e.g. Air Miles®,  AeroPlan, etc.) in the same way you can with any booking system.  You will have to set up a profile with Maritime.  This quite simply done, and not all of the information that is requested is required; (for example: you do not have to provide your passport number).

Faculty, staff, and students are now expected to use TAP Forms for airline tickets. Travel Advances will no longer be issued for airfare (with the exception being arctic/remote field location travel not serviced by conventional airlines).

Useful TAP links

Steps to Complete a TAP

  1. Use Online Booking or call Maritime Travel at 492-7000 to get a quote for the flight plan.  You will need a $ value and a speed code to complete the TAP Form.
  2. Fill out the TAP Form and Generate the TAP Number and print. Students must have their supervisor sign the form as the Financial Authority. Faculty use the Dept Officers as One-Over-One.
  3. Complete your travel reservation using the TAP Number online (free) or contact Maritime Travel (nominal fee will apply).
  4. Return the original completed and signed form to the EAS Office as soon as possible.  Retain your boarding passes and submit them with your travel claim.

NOTE:  Please follow the 4 steps detailed above.  Disregard the instructions on the actual TAP Form as they can be confusing.  

Hotel Accommodations

The U of A has preferred rates and arrangements with many hotels within Canada that can be reserved with a speed code.  You are encouraged to use the HAP Form for their Canadian destinations wherever possible to avoid out-of- pocket costs.

Steps to Complete a HAP

  1. To see if an eligible hotel exists for your destination, use the “Hotel Accommodation” drop down box and locate the city.  If your destination is not in the drop down box, HAP cannot be used.  A Travel Advance, if needed, can then be applied for.
  2. Contact the hotel to get a quote (including taxes) and availability for the dates of your travel.  Tell them you are booking with a HAP Form, and that you are from the University of Alberta.
  3. Complete your HAP Form.  You will need a speed code to complete the form.  Add any incidentals such as parking, smoking, and guaranteed room using the drop down boxes near the end of the form. Generate the HAP Number.
  4. Complete your booking by providing the HAP Number to the hotel, and obtaining your Confirmation Number.  Hand write that Confirmation Number on the HAP Form. Have your supervisor sign it.
  5. Scan or fax the completed signed form to the hotel to confirm your room (important!).  Bring the original form to the EAS Office.  We can scan or fax for you when you bring the form, if needed.

NOTE:  Please follow the 5 steps detailed above!  Disregard the instructions on the actual HAP Form. 

 

Travel Advances

Travel Advances are now completed online in PeopleSoft.  Instructions are provided here.  Staff and students are also required to complete the EAS department Travel Advance Form.   A hard copy of the online report and the Travel Advance Form (if applicable) must be returned to the EAS Office in order to be processed.

Note that we have made the following changes to our EAS Department Policies regarding Travel Advances as of June 1, 2013:

Per Diems are no longer eligible expenses for Travel Advances.  In cases where remote field work or exceptional conditions exist, per diems will be approved on a case-by-case basis.  Special circumstances should be noted on the printed copy

Airfare is to be handled using our TAP Process

Accommodations where possible, are to be handled using the HAP Process for Canadian destinations.

Course Registrations are to be booked using the EAS department Corporate Card process or by using a personal credit card.

After Feb 1 each year, Travel Advances will not be issued unless the travel and expense claim will be completed before the March 31 Fiscal Year End.

A Final Note on Expense Claims

  • Provide a conference program or itinerary with your claim if you attended a scientific meeting.  Note: If meals are provided in the cost of the registration, you are expected to avail yourself of them - you cannot claim a per diem for that meal.
    Canadian and US per diems are:  Breakfast $10, Lunch $10, and Dinner $25  ($45/day)
    International per diems are: Breakfast $15, lunch $15, Dinner $36  ($66/day)
  • Submit your boarding passes for airline or ground transportation with your expense claim.
  • Ensure that the GST is the exact value on the receipt.  The system does not always calculate correctly - especially for expense types that may typically include tips (cabs, meals).
  • Please attach loose receipts to a page of scrap paper so that they are organized and not lost.  (You may also find that it helps in getting your claim processed sooner.)
  • Combine like expenses into a single line.  Use the last date of the expense as the date on your claim entry. Where possible, and particularly if complex, please attach a spreadsheet or schedule listing each receipt and total dollar value by category.
  • Remember that if you don’t fully submit your claim by clicking “OK”, we cannot track the progress until you do; and it will delay your processing until you discover you haven’t been paid.  This is a common error.
  • Check with us if you haven’t received payment within 2 weeks of submitting your claim.   It likely means there is a problem in the system that requires attention.

For non-travelexpense claims under $50, you are encouraged to consider alternatives such as the EAS Corporate Card before you purchase.

Many fixes to common problems have been made available here (pdf).  Please take an opportunity to review these helpful hints. 

Please contact us at the EAS Office if you are still having difficulties.  We can often quickly resolve perplexing PeopleSoft error messages.  We hope that these resources will make things easier for you.  Feedback is appreciated.