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Travel Event Planner (TEP) Card Overview

Learn about UC San Diego's Travel Event Planner (TEP) card program.

UC San Diego's TEP card is a Visa card issued by U.S. Bank to employees who coordinate non-employee group travel, conferences, or activities for UC San Diego. With a TEP card, you have a single method of payment for vendors and your department can better control event expenses.

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Getting started

TEP cards are issued on an individual basis at the UC San Diego Travel Card Program Administrator's discretion.

To request a TEP card, Department Business Officers (DBOs) must send an email to travelcard@ucsd.edu with the following information:

  • Event's description
  • Event's business purpose
  • Participant's relationship to  UC San Diego (employee/ non-employee, etc.)
  • Expected expenses
  • Event budget and requested monthly spending limits

If your request fits the TEP card guidelines, you'll receive an application from the Travel Card Team. Submit your completed application with supporting email documentation and allow up to 2 weeks for delivery of your TEP card.

Restrictions

  • Vendor contracts and insurance requirements apply and must follow UC policy, including review by the appropriate Procurement and Contracts specialist, when necessary.
  • UC San Diego employee travel cannot be charged to the TEP card.
  • Certain purchases, including personal services, are restricted.
  • For more information see Travel Card (TEP) Use and Benefits.

Roles and responsibilities

  • UC San Diego is responsible for making prompt payments to U.S. Bank.
  • Department Business Officers (DBOs) are responsible for managing proper use of the TEP card, charges to UC San Diego funds, and liabilities.
  • Cardholders are responsible for ensuring proper use of the card.

For specific details, see TEP Card Roles.

Reconciling transactions

Take the following actions to reconcile TEP card transactions:

  1. Review transactions.
    • Each TEP card is assigned a default index and account.
    • DBOs or transaction reviewers can change an account code and index, or split transaction amounts between other indexes and accounts before the transaction posts. See ECManager: Reviewing TEP Card Expenses.
    Note: If a surcharge appears on a Travel Event Planner card that has a contract/grant as the default, research the contract/grant to ensure the surcharge is accounted for appropriately.
  2. Dispute any inaccurate charges.
    • For charge disputes, contact the merchant directly. If unable to resolve the error, file a formal dispute online with U.S. Bank within 60 days of the disputed item's transaction date for any of the following reasons:
      • Unauthorized charge appears on a statement
      • A merchant will not credit duplicate or incorrect charges
      • Billed for services never received

      Note: You must register your card for online services before filing an online dispute.U.S. Bank will then take these actions on your behalf:
      • Work with the vendor to determine if the charge is valid
      • Contact you if further information is required
      • Make adjustments to your account, when necessary

      Disputed amounts post to your department's index until research is completed. If the dispute is valid, your account is adjusted accordingly.
  3. Use the Attachment Tool in ECManager to attach multiple receipts and documents to both pending and posted TEP (Travel Event Planner) Card transactions. In the case of an audit of any kind, transactions missing the required documentation would be considered out of compliance.
  4. Complete the TEP Reconciliation Form (TEP-RF) (Excel).
  5. Record retention.
    • Once you have attached legible receipts and the completed and approved TEP-RFs, you do not need to retain paper copies, as the attachment remains with the transaction. The EC Manager
      database is maintained by ACT and documentation will not be purged.
  6. View posted transactions.
    • TEP Card transactions post to the operating ledger 10 days after they're received from the bank. View a list of posted transactions by accessing the operating ledger in FinancialLink.

Post audit

The Travel Card Team reviews both randomly selected and specific transactions to ensure that:

  • Cardholders and departments comply with TEP Card policies
  • Purchases are properly authorized as official University business

The review process identifies transactions that might be considered high risk, as well as trends and usage to manage associated risks for TEP card activity.

If you are a TEP Card Department Business Officer or cardholder, you may receive an email asking you to provide documentation or receipts and the business purpose for selected transactions. Upon receipt:

  • Ensure all receipts, including backup documentation and the TEP-RF have been attached to the selected transactions.
  • Reply to the email acknowledging all required documentation has been attached to the selected transaction within ten working days. If a response is not received within 10 business days, the cardholder's privileges may be suspended.

Note: In the case of an audit of any kind, transactions missing the required documentation would be considered out of compliance.

Queries

You can research the following using FinancialLink Queries:

  • Travel Event Planner Cardholder
  • Travel Event Planner Transaction

Use the Attachment Tool in EC Manager to identify TEP transactions that are missing the required documentation.

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Notice: UC San Diego policy for travel, and for meetings, entertainment and hosted events, 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. The source for UC San Diego travel policy is UC Travel Policy and Regulations (PDF). The source for meetings, entertainment and hosted events is UC Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions (PDF).