14.17 Travel Changes and Cancellations

Last Revised Date
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 5:41 pm

Policy Information

Policy Number: 14.17 Effective Date: 12/12/2012
Responsible Unit: Financial Services - Accounts Payable Last Revised Date: 03/12/2020
Email: fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu Phone: 520-621-9097

Purpose and Summary

To provide the requirements and guidelines for handling changes or cancellation to University business travel plans for employees, students, Designated Campus Colleagues (DCCs) and vendors.

Source

Arizona Revised Statues
State of Arizona Accounting Manual

Scope

This policy applies to all University locations and units, including all University extensions, satellite locations, and off-site campus units, both domestic and international.

Definitions

  1. Travel Authorization: Electronic form utilized for the collection of detailed travel information and serves as the official University record of the business trip regardless of funding source.
  2. Travel Advance: Funds issued to a traveler seven days in advance of the trip to ease the burden of out-of-pocket expenses while conducting University business. The amount is determined based on a budget assessment of the trip. See 14.11 Travel Funding for additional details.
  3. Travel Expense Report: University official expense form for tracking and calculating expenses incurred while conducing official University business. See 14.16 Preparing a Travel Expense Report for additional details.

Policy

General

  1. If the conference/event has been cancelled and a travel advance has been issued, the traveler must repay the advance to the University within 10-business days from the date of cancellation. Travelers are responsible for returning the entire amount of the advance to the University. Failure to submit repayment when a trip is cancelled will result in payroll deductions for the entire amount of the advance.
  2. Cancellation and late fees are discouraged although, reimbursable if fees incurred are the result of extenuating circumstances beyond the traveler’s control due to a serious unpredictable or unavoidable personal reason, which is at the discretion of department leadership. These costs will not be reimbursed when the fee is incurred for personal purposes or are determined to have been avoidable.
  3. Department business offices are responsible for maintaining and tracking all unused airline tickets and maintaining documentation for how they were utilized for future University business travel.
  4. Charges related to transportation expenses that were paid in advance to obtain lower rates and later cancelled due to an employee illness or personal emergency are reimbursable at the department’s discretion.
  5. A cancellation or change fees assessed due to an employee failing to cancel a flight, reservation or transportation arrangements in a timely manner are not reimbursable. The traveler assumes personal responsibility for failing to cancel within the terms of the agreement with the vendor.

Procedures

Travel Advance

  1. If a Travel Advance was issued and the conference/event has been cancelled, notify the Travel team at fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu and provide the following information:
    1. Travel Authorization Number,
    2. Departure date, and
    3. Reason for cancellation,
  2. When notification is received at least (7) days prior to departure, the Travel team will cancel the Travel Advance disbursement in UAccess Financials, and the advance will not be issued to the traveler. If the notification is received after the advance has been issued, the business office should obtain a check from the traveler for the full amount of the Travel Advance and deposit monies into the account from which the funds were drawn, using a Cash Receipt in UAccess Financials. The Travel team can initiate a payroll deduction when notified by the business office indicating that the traveler selects this option.  
  3. In situations where the traveler/business office is cancelling a trip that does not include a Travel Advance there is no requirement to notify the Travel team. However, if the trip was to an international destination the business office should notify UA Global so that they may withdraw the traveler from the International Travel Registry.

Conference Registration

  1. If the conference is cancelled by the event organizer, the registration fee should be refundable. Request a refund from the organizer and deposit monies into the account from which the registration fee was paid. If the conference registration fee is non-refundable due to personal cancellation, reimbursement eligibility is at the discretion of the department leadership and may be reimbursed by submitting a Travel Expense Report with supporting documentation, to include the following; proof of payment and a brief description of the extenuating circumstances. Submit a Disbursement Voucher in UAccess Financials along with the supporting documentation that does not contain security sensitive data or mail to Accounts Payable. Documentation containing security sensitive data may be uploaded to the AP Secure Upload or mailed to Accounts Payable, PO Box 210158, Room 402, Campus.

Transportation

  1. If the airline ticket is refundable, contact the airline to determine the course of action required to receive a refund or credit voucher for the flight.
    1. Credit Vouchers should (if applicable) be transferred to the University’s name and maintained within the business office and utilized for future business trips.
    2. Credit Vouchers issued to the individual traveler should be maintained in the business office and utilized for future travel for the named traveler.
    3. If the traveler received reimbursement from the University for the flight and received a refund from the airline, funds must be returned to the University.
    4. When a refundable airline ticket is purchased with the University PCard the ticket must be transferred into the University’s name and maintained in the business office. An allowable administration fee may be required to transfer the ticket into the University name for future business travel.
  2. If the Airline ticket is non-refundable, contact the airline for possible credit voucher for future University business.
  3. To receive reimbursement for a change fee or cancellation of transportation expense(s), a Travel Expense Report should be initiated and must state the business-related reason for the cancellation and/or change in travel itinerary. Supporting documentation should include proof of payment, the unused airline ticket or notification from the airline and any transportation receipts for expenses incurred. Submit a Disbursement Voucher in UAccess Financials along with supporting documentation that does not contain security sensitive data or mail to Accounts Payable. Documentation containing security sensitive data may be uploaded to the AP Secure Upload or mailed to Accounts Payable PO Box 210158, Room 402 Campus.
  4. If the airline credit voucher is refunded in the traveler’s name and reimbursement has already occurred, the traveler may choose to use the credit voucher for personal travel. The traveler must repay the University for the airline credit voucher. A check from the traveler should be submitted to the business office for the full amount of the credit voucher and deposited into the account from which the funds were drawn using a Cash Receipt in UAccess Financials.

Lodging

  1. When cancelling lodging accommodations, in some cases the lodging venue may charge the first night’s stay, depending on the timing of the cancellation. This expense is reimbursable and supporting documentation should include the lodging invoice and a brief description of what occurred.

Travel Agency

  1. When utilizing a travel agency and cancellations occur, work directly with the travel agency for a refund or credit voucher. If the credit voucher can only be issued to the traveler, the traveler must repay the University for the credit voucher.  A service fee may be incurred and may not be refundable by the travel agent and is considered a business-related expense. If the traveler is unable to repay the University, contact Accounts Payable at 520-621-9097 or accts_pay@fso.arizona.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. A traveler purchased an airline ticket, and has not been reimbursed, but has no future business travel plans. How do we handle this?
    The traveler may use the airline ticket for personal travel as there is no cost to the University. Another option is for the traveler to incur a change fee with the airline to have the ticket transferred to the University for future business travel, be reimbursed for the change fee, and provide the ticket information to the business office.
     
  2. A traveler purchased an airline ticket and has been reimbursed by the University but has no future University business travel plans. How do we handle this?
    Every attempt should be made to transfer the ticket to the University for use on future business travel. If the ticket cannot be transferred to the University, and the traveler will utilize the ticket for personal use, the traveler must repay the University for the expenses incurred.
     
  3. A conference the traveler was scheduled to attend was cancelled and the traveler has decided to utilize the transportation and lodging arrangements for a personal trip. How do we handle this?
    These now become personal expenses, and the traveler must repay the University for all expenses incurred by the University.
     
  4. Business travel to a conference has been cancelled and the lodging venue is charging for first night of stay regardless of timely cancellation provided to hotel. How do we handle this?
    A Travel Expense Report should be submitted on a Disbursement Voucher in UAccess Financials and supporting documentation should include the following; the original receipt indicating the expense incurred by the traveler, proof of payment and a brief description and any correspondence with the lodging establishment along with a brief description for the cancellation.

Related Information

Purchasing Card Policies Manual 6.3
Contracting with Hotels
9.10 Requisitions/Reimbursements
14.12 Accountable Plan
14.16 Preparing a Travel Expense Report
Business Purpose Guide
Purchasing Policies Manual
Risk Management

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions and Related Information are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.