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Internal Control Practices: Travel

Read about best practices for travel-related spending.

Follow UC San Diego travel policy requirements

UC San Diego travel policy, as published in Blink, is decisive. It has been adapted to UC San Diego's organization, delegation of authority, terminology, chart of accounts, and processing applications. Travel expenses must serve a business purpose, with no personal benefit to the traveler.

Separation of duties

Your department is required to have different people involved in handling travel expenses.

  • Have different people:
    • Initiate travel preauthorization and prepare the expense claim
    • Approve travel preauthorization and the expense claim
    • Review and reconcile financial records

Note: Travelers cannot approve their own expense claims, or the expense claim of a direct or indirect supervisor.

  • Potential consequences if duties are not separated:
    • Erroneous or fraudulent charges approved for payment
    • Unauthorized or fraudulent reimbursements processed
    • Unauthorized or excessive costs incurred
    • Personal or non-business related costs are reimbursed

Accountability, authorization, and approval

You maintain accountability when you properly authorize, review, and approve expenses that make the best use of public funds and comply with university travel policy.

  • Requirements:
    • Ensure that the proper approval authority is in place.
    • Complete and file approval authorization forms (see instructions).
    • Preauthorize travel (see instructions).
    • Evaluate expenses to ensure they are the most economical for the travel situation.
    • Verify that expenses are appropriate to the fund source charged.
    • Ensure that approvers do not approve their own costs or costs for those they supervise.
    • For any request to approve an exception to travel policy, include a detailed explanation of why it is necessary.
  • Potential consequences if accountability does not exist:
    • Damaged public image if costs are inappropriate
    • Unauthorized, unnecessary, or fraudulent payments
    • Loss of funding
    • Improper charges to designated fund source resulting in unauthorized use of funds
    • Excessive costs incurred

Security

Following best practices optimizes security for travelers and sensitive information.

  • Best practices:
    • Secure your UCSD Travel Card and any unused tickets in a safe place.
    • Restrict access to sensitive traveler information to the appropriate staff.
    • Use Connexxus to book travel (air, hotel and car rental). Car rental booked through Connexxus includes coverage (CDW and liability insurance).
    • Note: Additional practices apply to the UCSD Travel Event Planner System (EPS) program. For details, contact UCSD Travel.
  • Potential consequences if your assets have not been secured:
    • Unauthorized use of the UCSD Travel Card (personal liability) or EPS program (department liability)
    • Unauthorized use of sensitive traveler information

Review and reconciliation

Timely reconciliation activities ensure that travel costs are accurate and appropriate. Perform monthly ledger reviews to confirm payment of approved charges.

  • Best practices:
    • Review costs to ensure that they are properly classified and recorded.
    • Review fund restrictions to assure that expenses are allowable and appropriate.
    • Periodically review and update signature authorizations.
  • Potential consequences if review and reconciliation is not performed:
    • Improper charges made to your department budgets
    • Disallowances resulting from costs charged to incorrect accounts/funds
    • Payments made for items or services not provided
    • Misstated financial records