Travel Authorization and Advances

TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION (TA)  

When should a Travel Authorization (TA) be prepared?
Should we prepare a TA for everyone for insurance purposes even when it's not required?
Is a TA required for purchase of airfare through our Travel Agent?
How do we contact Covington Travel?
What approval signatures are required for the TA?
Can one TA be done for multiple travelers?
What should we do if a trip was delayed or changed and the approved TA travel dates do not coincide with the actual travel dates?

TRAVEL ADVANCES

Who May Receive an Advance
Approval and Forms
Non-Employee
Delinquent Advances

Travel Authorization

When should a Travel Authorization (TA) be prepared?

The TA must be prepared for an employee when (1) the travel will require an overnight stay or (2) the costs of a day-trip will be $500 or more.  In addition, any traveler (including non-employees) must have a TA if (1) the expenses will be charged to Grant Funding, (2) Lodging will exceed the College Policy allowance and (3) travel is to an International location.  Note:  the Department should maintain the original TA unless a travel advance is needed.  To obtain a Travel Advance, the original TA must be presented to the Bursar's Office.  The TA should not be forwarded to the Travel Office unless attached to a Travel Expense Reimbursement Voucher (TERV).

Should we prepare a TA for everyone for insurance purposes even when it's not required?

When a TA is not required, we recommend doing a TA for any College business travel so the department has a record that the travel was approved in case something happens to the traveler during the trip.

Is a TA required for purchase of airfare through our Travel Agent?

Yes.  The Travel Agent, Covington Travel, has no authority to purchase airfare or train fare for an individual without an approved TA.  The TA must include the traveler's name, department, business purpose, Banner index code, destination and dates of travel.

How do we contact Covington Travel?

Covington's team of agents may be contacted by phone at (804) 344-3244 or by email via Covington.

What approval signatures are required for the TA?

Each TA requires the signature of the Traveler and an approval signature by a Department Head or Department Designee.  If the travel is to a foreign country, it must also be approved by the Department's Dean.  Finally, if the travel will be charged to Grant funding, it must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Can one TA be done for multiple travelers?

Yes, this is called a Blanket TA.  The proper way to complete a Blanket TA is to put “blanket” in each of the fields that require the traveler’s name and signature, and include a list of travelers who are authorized for the approved travel.

What should we do if a trip was delayed or changed and the approved TA travel dates do not coincide with the actual travel dates?

The Travel Office does not require an original TA.  If the actual travel dates fall outside of the approved TA travel dates, you may either update the TA and attach it to the TERV when submitted, or attach an explanation for the travel falling outside of the TA dates.


Travel Advances

Who may receive an Advance
Staff members traveling on College business may obtain a travel advance if they meet the conditions described below. This travel advance is a College service to employees to cover out-of-pocket travel expenses that are expected to be reimbursed to the employee from College accounts. It is not provided for expenses that can be charged on a College direct billing or paid directly by the departmental credit card.

Approval and Forms
Employees may not approve their own travel advance.  The Travel Authorization form must be approved by the department authorized designee before the travel advance request is delivered to the Accounts Receivable Office.   The Accounts Receivable Office requires the orignal TA for all advances.  All travel advances require the signature of the Accounts Receivable Manager on the Travel Authorization form.  The minimum amount allowed for travel advances is $100.

Travelers must use the Travel Authorization Form to obtain a travel advance.  All original Travel Authorization forms must be submitted to the Accounts Receivable Office at a minimum of 10 days prior to the beginning trip date listed on the Authorization Form in order for funds to be guaranteed.

The travel advance is a direct loan to an individual and must be repaid in full by that individual.  Repayment of the travel advance is not contingent upon the employee receiving full travel expense reimbursement from the College.  Any travel advance that is lost or stolen is the responsibility of the borrower as there is no College liability.

Non-Employees
Students, guests, non-salaried appointees, members of boards and committees, interviewees, or others do NOT normally receive advances even though all or some of their travel expenses may be reimbursed.  Exceptions may be approved by the department designee in instances where the best interests of the College are clearly served by issuing the advance.  These travel advances are the responsibility of the department authorizing the advance.

Delinquent Advances
The travel advance is considered delinquent if it is not repaid within 60 days of the trip completion date.   All delinquent travel advances will be subject to payroll deductions and the individual traveler will be ineligible for future travel advances until the past due travel advance is paid in full. 

Any exceptions must be approved by the Accounts Receivable Manager.

For additional guidance please see our Travel Advance Policy.