Travel Restrictions Reminder

  • July 1st, 2020
  • in News

As the University plans the return to full operations, we want to remind everyone that all non-essential travel for faculty, staff, and students continues to be prohibited.  A waiver process is, and will remain, in place for travel to be reviewed and approved.  Any traveler who needs approval for domestic or international travel should contact Wade Bond in Risk Management (wbond@fa.ua.edu) and request assistance in starting the approval process.  Frequent local travel that does not require an overnight stay is allowable if the following conditions are met:  (1) This travel is part of the employee’s day to day duties, (2) this travel is essential, (3) the supervisor is in agreement that the travel is essential, AND (4) no overnight stay is required.  Any overnight travel that is submitted to Accounts Payable for processing will be reviewed to ensure that an approved waiver is attached.  If the travel has not been approved, the Expense Report or Concur Invoice will not be processed.

Vendor Registration and PaymentWorks

  • June 3rd, 2020
  • in News

In the April 21 Procurement Services Announcement, we communicated the Payment Works system is now live for vendor onboardings.  Please note that this system has changed the process for vendors to register with UA.  Vendors can no longer use the Accounts Payable Vendor Registration site to “self-register.”  The link included on this site is for UA employees to log in to PaymentWorks and initiate invitations to vendors.  Vendors cannot use the link on the website to “self-register” as they must receive an invitation from a UA employee.  See the below FAQs.

What will change for UA Employees?

All UA employees are “initiators” that will invite vendors to connect with the University through PaymentWorks. As an initiator in PaymentWorks, you can send out requests to prospective vendors so they can complete the registration process. You can do this through invitations that you send using the vendor’s e-mail address. Once you send an invitation, the vendor will have the opportunity to complete a New Vendor Registration form and submit their information. You will no longer send vendors the link to the registration site to register.

What will change for UA’s vendors?

Vendors can no longer locate UA’s vendor registration site to “self-register.” Only vendors that are invited to connect through PaymentWorks will be established as vendors. Vendors will submit and update their business information through PaymentWorks. The system includes additional functionality for vendors to view the status of their payments.

PaymentWorks

  • May 15th, 2020
  • in News

In the April 21 Procurement Services Announcement, we communicated the Payment Works system is now live for vendor onboardings.  Please note that this system has changed the process for vendors to register with UA.  Vendors can no longer use the Accounts Payable Vendor Registration site to “self-register.”  The link included on this site is for UA employees to log in to PaymentWorks and initiate invitations to vendors.  Vendors cannot use the link on the website to “self-register” as they must receive an invitation from a UA employee.  See the below FAQs.

What will change for UA Employees?

All UA employees are “initiators” that will invite vendors to connect with the University through PaymentWorks. As an initiator in PaymentWorks, you can send out requests to prospective vendors so they can complete the registration process. You can do this through invitations that you send using the vendor’s e-mail address. Once you send an invitation, the vendor will have the opportunity to complete a New Vendor Registration form and submit their information. You will no longer send vendors the link to the registration site to register.

What will change for UA’s vendors?

Vendors can no longer locate UA’s vendor registration site to “self-register.” Only vendors that are invited to connect through PaymentWorks will be established as vendors. Vendors will submit and update their business information through PaymentWorks. The system includes additional functionality for vendors to view the status of their payments.

Latest Travel Updates from Christopherson Business Travel

  • May 4th, 2020
  • in News

As the airlines continue to update and change their policies regarding cancellations and changes due to COVID-19, we are providing the below summary that we have received from our travel agent, Christopherson Business Travel.

Delta
Tickets normally expire one year after purchase, but Delta waived change fees to travel through May 31, 2022 for customers who have (1) upcoming travel already booked in April or May 2020, OR (2) existing unused tickets or canceled travel in March, April or May 2020.  New tickets purchased between March 1 and May 31, 2020 can be changed without a change fee for up to a year from the date or purchase.  If you booked a Delta flight through the Concur booking tool, Delta is waiving name change fee (this will not apply to those booked directly with Delta).

United
Travelers now have until April 30th to make changes, or cancel any travel booked through the end of 2020 without fees.  This is in addition to existing waivers already in place which allow customers to change or cancel plans for travel through May 31, 2020.  Unused tickets are now valid for 24 months from the date issued.  This includes all currently valid unused tickets and all new tickets issued on or after April 1, 2020.

American
The waiving of change fees for travelers who have purchased travel through September 30, 2020 has been extended.  Offer is available for any American fares, and customers will have until December 31, 2021, for future travel.  Tickets purchased on or before April 7, 2020, for travel between March 1, 2020, through September 20, 2020, will not incur a change fee prior to travel.  If customers have an unused ticket with an expiration date that is between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020, the value of the unused ticket can be used for travel through December 31, 2021.

Southwest
Customers’ funds that have expired or will expire between March 1 –June 30,2020 will now expire June 30, 2021.  Any travel funds due to a flight cancellation between March 1 –June 30, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021.
Waiving change/cancel fees for customers travel through May 31, 2020.  Unused ticket credit from a previous flight purchase that expire between February 27, 2020, and May 31, 2020, will now expire December 31, 2020.  For unused ticket credits for flight purchases between February 27, 2020, and May 31, 2020, the credit will now have a 24 month expiration period as opposed to the typical 12 months.

PaymentWorks

  • April 24th, 2020
  • in News

Our new supplier information system, PaymentWorks, which automates the vendor onboarding and update process, has now been live since April 20th. Using the system, vendors can submit and update their business information as necessary and also view the status of payments. For more information on the PaymentWorks system, please see the Accounts Payable Vendor Registration Website. This site includes information for vendors and employees as well as videos about the system and a user guide.

Do you have Flight Refund Questions?

  • April 13th, 2020
  • in News

Do you have Flight Refund Questions? 

While you may hear or presume that cancelling your flight due to COVID-19 will result in a refund, please note this is only possible if the ticket was refundable to begin with or if the airline cancelled the flight. Airlines are not offering refunds on non-refundable tickets cancelled by the traveler.  Rather, it is the change fees that are being waived so that travel can be rebooked or the funds reused at a future point. Only the instances outlined above (refundable fare or flight cancelled by airline) are eligible for refund.  If you have cancelled are will be cancelling previously booked travel, please review the below summaries for each airline.

If your travel was booked through Concur or through the University’s travel agent, Christopherson Business Travel, you can reach out to Christopherson to assist with any name changes or rebookings.

Delta Extends Rebook Options

Delta announced that they are extending the ability to rebook travel with them for up to two years. Tickets normally expire one year after purchase, but Delta has waived change fees to travel through May 31, 2022 for customers who have:

  • Upcoming travel already booked in April or May 2020 as of April 3, 2020
  • Existing eCredits or canceled travel in March, April, or May 2020

New tickets purchased between March 1 and May 31, 2020 can be changed without a change fee for up to a year from the date of purchase. More information can be found here.

United Extends Rebook Options

United Airlines announced that electronic travel certificates can be used for up to two years from the date it was issued to book a new flight, as well as up to an additional 11 months to travel. This includes all currently valid and all new electronic travel certificates issued on or after April 1, 2020.

American Airlines Waives Name Change Fees

Effective April 3-May 31, 2020, American Airlines is waiving all name change fees for corporate customers. Christopherson is able to process those complimentary name change waivers for you.

Southwest Extension and Schedule Revisions

Southwest Airlines made changes to the expiration date on traveler funds and to their flight schedule last week. Customers’ funds that have expired or will expire between March 1-May 31, 2020, will now expire June 30, 2021. Any newly created travel fund because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021. All traveler fund extension information can be found on their community page.

COVID-19 Accounts Payable Information and Best Practices

  • March 24th, 2020
  • in News
  • Accounts Payable Policies and Procedures
    • Only essential purchases absolutely required to perform job duties or for public safety are currently allowed until further notice.
    • For essential purchases, the UA Travel and Spending Policies should continue to be followed during this time. See Accounts Payable Policies and References page for a listing of policies.
  • Processing Payments and Setting up Vendors
    • For expenses incurred prior to March 24, Accounts Payable will continue to process Travel, Entertainment, and Reimbursement Expense Reports and Concur Invoices through the Concur system.
    • For expenses incurred on or after March 23rd, Accounts Payable will process items only for essential purchases or public safety.
    • Invoices on purchases orders will continue to be processed for payment as well.
    • The vendor team will be available to set up vendors for payment.

Clarification to Travel Notice sent Monday, March 2nd – Trip Insurance and Refundable Tickets

  • March 3rd, 2020
  • in News

Effective immediately, employees booking travel on behalf of the University will be allowed to purchase refundable tickets, trip insurance or other similar expenses on Chart A because of the uncertainty of the impact of the Coronavirus internationally and in the United States.

For trips that have already been booked, you can research and consider purchasing travel insurance at this time.  Costs associated with cancelled trips due to concern and uncertainty around the coronavirus are allowable.

For any purchases of travel insurance, we strongly recommend that you assess the reasonableness of the cost of the insurance relative to the cost of the ticket.  You should also carefully review the terms and conditions of the insurance to ensure it will cover the expense of the cancellation for epidemic and pandemic disease reasons.  To cover a cancellation due to an epidemic or pandemic, you may have to purchase a “Cancel for Any Reason Policy” which will be more expensive than the standard plan.  Please review all policies carefully prior to purchase.

Please note that these are temporary exceptions to the UA Travel Policy and will be rescinded when appropriate. We will communicate any further adjustments to normal travel policy procedures.

60-Day Rule for Expense Reports

  • February 3rd, 2020
  • in News

To avoid tax consequences on expense reimbursements, University employees should remember the 60-Day Rule:  Expense reports for out-of-pocket expenses must be submitted within 60 days from the date the expense was incurred (in the case of travel, within 60 days from end of trip).

Per federal tax regulations, expenses submitted after 60 days will be reported as taxable income to the employee, and applicable Federal, State, FICA and Medicare taxes will be deducted from a subsequent salary check.  Timely reporting and submission of expense reports is the responsibility of the employee being reimbursed regardless of whether the employee self-submits or has designated a delegate for expense reporting.  When combining smaller instances into one expense report, employees are encouraged to submit at least once a month (for example, mileage logs or multiple small out-of-pocket expenses).

The 60-Day Rule is stated in the UA Spending Policy, the UA Travel Policy, and the UA Tax Office Fringe Benefit Taxation site.

Concur Missing Receipt Affidavit

  • February 3rd, 2020
  • in News

The Concur system allows for a Missing Receipt Affidavit to be completed within the system replacing the formerly used paper form.  Employees should always first contact the vendor to obtain a duplicate copy of the lost or misplaced documentation.  However, if a duplicate copy cannot be obtained, a Missing Receipt Affidavit should be completed within Concur using the instructions in the Missing Receipt Affidavit Guide available on the UA Concur website.  Remember that using the Missing Receipt Affidavit should be a last resort.  If this form must be used, make sure to provide an itemized listing of purchased items in the comments of your report.  Also, please be aware that the use of the Missing Receipt Affidavit is monitored and any perceived abuse of this mechanism will be reviewed.