All reimbursements for travel and entertainment expenses are requested and processed through the UCLA Express online expense management system. This article describes three aspects of the system: its interface with the U.S. Bank Travel & Entertainment (T & E) card, entertainment expense processing and manager review and approval functions.
How It Works
Employees who have used corporate credit cards to pay for travel or entertainment expenses submit expense reports online. The UCLA Express system provides dialogue boxes that allow the user to enter itemized expense information, which the system uses to produce an expense report. Users can itemize expenses by categories such as lodging, food, guest expenses, etc., and can attach receipts via fax using bar-coded, printable receipt cover sheets. UCLA Express is tied to Full Accounting Units (FAUs) for cost allocation and interfaces with the UCLA Purchasing and Accounts Payable (PAC) system to provide reimbursements.
Interface With U.S. Bank Travel & Entertainment Card
UCLA Express interfaces with the U.S. Bank Travel & Entertainment card company. Employees who have a U.S. Bank T & E card can view their credit card transactions prior to submission of the expense report. The system also provides printable transaction reports. Payments made through the system apply directly to the U.S. Bank T & E card.
Processing Entertainment Expenses
When creating a report for entertainment expenses, users assign object codes to indicate the type and purpose of the expense within UCLA’s finance system. In general, entertainment expenses must be a necessary and integral part of a business meeting, not merely a convenience. The Express system maps unallowable expenses to appropriate object codes for indirect cost allocation. (Unallowable expenses are generally linked to such items as alcohol or spousal expenses, which are governed by policy restrictions; the designation does not imply that they will not be paid.) Entertainment Policy windows allow the user to justify expenses or provide additional information that may be useful in the approval process. The system also allows entry of guest expenses. Employees may enter expenses for individual guests or fax lists of multiple guests for review.
Manager Review and Approval Functions
UCLA Express includes a Manager Review function for expense report approvals. This utility allows managers to:
- View expense reports
- Accept or reject exceptions (policy violations)
- Send expense reports back to the requestor for additional information
- Reject expense reports
- View attached receipts
Managers can accept or reject policy violations individually and can view additional information provided to help them make a determination. They can also send rejected receipts to the requested to obtain additional information.