Travel Reimbursement for Business Travel Suspended by the COVID-19 Situation

Employees whose business travel were suspended due to the COVID-19 situation can submit a Travel Reimbursement in FTS for non-refundable expenses paid for out of pocket. Please use the Travel Reimbursement that is associated to your Travel Authorization. Enter the expenses in the One Time Charges and not in the Daily Charges section. In the Funding Source/Chartfields section, include COVID-19 class code 4716 with the required chartfields (Account-Fund-DeptID).

For expenses incurred by the department (typically on a GoCard), review your GoCard statements for costs incurred in previous months and enter an Expense Transfer Journal in FTS to add class code 4716 to the transaction. While an extra step, it will best ensure departments receive reimbursement for costs associated with cancelled trips.

Please refer to our travel announcement for guidelines related to submitting a Travel Reimbursement. If you have any questions, contact Finance Support at financeconnect@sjsu.edu or 4-1558.

Figure 1: An example of how to enter claims in the One Time Charges. Click on image to enlarge.

Procurement to Payment Services

Dear Campus Community,

In response to the heightened restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, the Procurement to Payment Services team would like to ensure you we remain available to you to fulfil your needs.

Procurement

Should you need to purchase supplies, please continue to enter requisitions. This is especially recommended for items that require shipment to individual homes and will need to be tagged as University property.

If you need to purchase an item immediately, please work with your department ProCard holders to facilitate purchases. Please be advised that orders initiated in the Campus Marketplace cannot be redirected to your home.

ProCard holders should follow normal ProCard protocols for the purposes reconciliation. For items purchased in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please make sure you are using the class code below in your reconciliations.

  • Class Code: 4716 Coronavirus COVID-19 Incident

Payments

At this juncture, check runs will be done once a week, on Thursdays. Please continue to submit invoices for payment to ensure continuous payment to our suppliers. Many of them will be facing financial challenges during this time.

Should you have any questions, please contact Finance Support at financeconnect@sjsu.edu and they will direct your request accordingly.

Guidance re: COVID-19 Travel Suspension

The President’s Office made an announcement on March 8th, 2020 regarding SJSU Travel:

Effective immediately, San Jose State University and its auxiliary organizations have suspended all international and non-essential domestic travel from now through the end of the spring semester (May 31, 2020). This includes suspension of travel approved prior to March 8, 2020. 

In light of this announcement, we would like to clarify what this means for our campus community.

Individuals with previously approved travel authorizations will be notified via email that their authorization to travel has been revoked.

Essential Travel. In the rare instance travel could be deemed essential, please submit a written justification to your supervisor. Supervisors should carefully review these requests with a focus on employee and community safety. The goal of this travel restriction is to minimize spread of the virus. Travel deemed essential by an employee’s supervisor will be forwarded to the appropriate Dean or Associate Vice President for review.  Vice Presidents (or their designee) maintain final approval for essential travel. Essential travel is not authorized until VP approval is obtained.

Future travel, including summer and fall 2020, will be determined as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Reimbursement of Employee-Incurred Expenses

  • The travel reimbursement process via FTS will be used to claim costs incurred for cancelled travel.
  • Travelers should make every effort to claim a refund. Many airlines, hotels and car rental companies are refunding or crediting individuals who personally prepaid these transactions.
  • Travelers should collect and maintain documentation about the refund/credit request and outcome.
  • Refund requests that were denied by the travel partner are eligible for reimbursement. These reimbursement requests will require supporting documentation showing the request for refund was denied. Please submit a travel reimbursement claim via FTS.
  • Refunds granted in the form of a voucher for later use will be treated as a travel advance. The traveler may immediately submit a travel reimbursement claim for the expense. If the travel advance (airline voucher, etc.) is not applied to university-related business travel before it expires, it will be reported as income subject to payroll tax withholding per IRS regulations.

For Expenses Incurred by the Department (typically on a GoCard)

  • Travelers/departments should make every effort to claim a refund. Many airlines, hotels and car rental companies are refunding or crediting individuals who personally prepaid these transactions.
  • GoCard holders should collect and maintain documentation about the refund/credit request and outcome.
  • During the GoCard reconciliation process, please attach any supporting documentation and code all COVID-19 related travel expenses with class code 4716. This will facilitate later reimbursement by the university. Credits on GoCards statements from travel partners should be coded the same way.
  • Refunds granted in the form of a voucher for later use should be tracked by the department and used at the earliest opportunity.

Departments should review prior GoCard statements for costs incurred in previous months and enter an expenditure transfer to add class code 4716 to the transaction. While an extra step, it will best ensure departments receive reimbursement for costs associated with cancelled trips.

Travel Funded by External Sponsoring Agencies

In addition to guidelines stated in the SJSU Research Foundation Travel Policy, sponsoring agencies also have their own travel guidelines. Travel funded by external sponsors must be related to project activity and must be allowable, allowable, and reasonable.

In the event that travel plans must be cancelled, requests for reimbursement of travel-related expenses such as airfare, hotel, registration, and cancellation fees will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Requests must be approved by the SJSU Research Foundation, and in some cases would also require sponsor approval. Please contact your assigned Sponsored Programs manager for assistance or with any questions regarding travel reimbursement requests.

Please reach out to FinanceConnect at 4-1558 or financeconnect@sjsu.edu if you have any questions about this process.