UAMS ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDE

NUMBER: 8.4.10
DATE:
08/21/99
REVISION:
02/18/2004

SECTION: FINANCE DEPARTMENT
AREA: TRAVEL AND REIMBURSEMENT
SUBJECT: VISA BUSINESS TRAVEL ACCOUNT (BTA)

 

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish a procedure to enable UAMS departments to purchase airline tickets and other approved travel items through various travel agencies and the UAMS Travel website.  UAMS participates in the State of Arkansas sponsored Business Travel Account program.  Using a BTA allows a department to charge expenses for official business travel (airfare, hotel & conference registration fees) and make payment on a monthly statement.

PROCEDURE

How to Establish the Account:

Interested UAMS Departments should complete the Visa BTA Information Form, which can be obtained from the Travel Office in the Finance Department by calling 501- 686-6828.  The form will be sent to you by email.  Once approved, you will not receive a credit card, just an account number.

Some departments and colleges at UAMS have additional policies relating to the establishment of a BTA.

Using the BTA:

The UMB Visa BTA account may be used to:

         Book and pay for airfare

         Reserve and sometimes pay for lodging

         Secure and pay for registration fees when the following rules are followed

AIRFARE:  Upon making flight reservations and using the VISA BTA account to charge airfare, only regular coach airfare can be purchased.  Information that the BTA was used must be entered in the Comments section of the trip details in SAP.  The expense type to be used is CCPO (Common Carrier Paid Out/In State).  This will allow a payment directly to VISA.  Failure to use this correct expense type could result in the traveler being reimbursed for this charge causing the Statement charges to be delinquent.  The VISA Statement should be reviewed immediately upon receipt by the department and sent to the Travel Office for payment.  Each individual charge must reference the personnel number.  Also, attach the airfare itinerary to the Statement.

LODGING:  When using the BTA to reserve lodging for an employee, the comments in the SAP trip details must be noted because there is a possibility that a deposit may be charged to the account.  Some sources of lodging will allow the BTA to cover all nights, where some will only hold the reservation and the traveler must present a personal credit card upon check-in and check-out.  These charges will then be reimbursed to the traveler.  Only the room rate plus room taxes may be charged to a BTA.  Other costs such as meals, phone calls, parking, movies, etc. must be paid by the traveler.  These costs cannot be paid directly to VISA by the Travel Office.  Failure to follow this could result in the account being delinquent.  All charges related to lodging on a BTA statement must reference the personnel number and trip number for the traveler.  Documentation must be attached to the statement to support the charges, such as the Original hotel bill, confirmation charge for a deposit, etc.

REGISTRATION FEES:  The BTA may be used to secure and pay for conference registration fees.  This is for registration fees only; optional or social events may not be paid for without prior approval from the UAMS Travel Office.  Fees that are not allowed will not be paid by the UAMS Travel Office and can result in delinquency of the account.  Upon presenting the BTA statement for payment, each charge must have the trip number noted and documentation to support the charges, such as a copy of the registration for or invoice.

How to Reconcile/Pay the BTA:

It is critically important that the BTA statement be paid on time.  Delinquent accounts will be closed by UMB as directed by the Department of Finance and Administration.  It is difficult for us to get these accounts reopened.

The department will receive a monthly statement from VISA, mailed directly to the departmental contact person, detailing individual tickets purchased by traveler, destination, date, and amount.  The contact person should write the trip number for each traveler on the statement, sign it as authorizing for payment, and forward it to the Travel Office in the Finance Department with necessary documentation, such as airfare and hotel receipts.

UAMS Travel Regulations are still in affect, and individual travel reimbursement requests will be handled through the SAP Travel Module for employees and Procurement for non-employees.  Some departments and colleges at UAMS may have additional policies pertaining to travel by their employees.

Questions concerning any of the above issues should be directed to the UAMS Travel Office at 501-686-6828.