Reconciling travel card charges and out-of-pocket expenses is an integral part of creating and submitting travel expense reports in the Statewide Financial System (SFS). These reports should detail all expenses for the travel event, including expenses that are on the State travel card and an employee’s out-of-pocket expenses. An employee reconciles travel expense charges by creating an expense report, associating the travel card charges and out-of-pocket expenses to the expense report, and submitting the expense report within 30 days of the completion of the travel event. Travel card charges and out-of-pocket expenses are considered fully reconciled when the related expense report has been approved by the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) and any Due to State amount resulting from the creation of an expense report is paid back by the employee.
When employees review and reconcile charges timely, they have the ability to dispute charges when necessary. Additionally, reconciling travel card charges helps safeguard the State against misuse of the travel card. Agencies must develop a process for notifying employees that they have unreconciled travel card charges and must communicate the ramifications if those charges are not reconciled in accordance with the guidance above. Agencies must also develop a process for recovering Due to State amounts not paid back within 30 days of the expense report date in which the Due to State was created.
It is important for Agencies to communicate with employees regarding the importance of reconciling charges. Employees have the responsibility to reconcile all travel expense charges within 30 days of the completion of a travel event.
If, despite notifications by the Agency, an employee has: (i) unreconciled charges for six months or more, (ii) repeated instances of not reconciling travel events, or (iii) displayed patterns of misuse, the Agency should reduce the employee’s travel card spending limit to $2. The Agency should notify the employee prior to reducing the spending limit, as this may severely impact the employee’s ability to travel. The reduction in the employee’s spending limit should remain in place until all the charges are appropriately reconciled.
Improper or unauthorized charges by the employee will result in mandated reimbursement to the Agency by the employee, suspension or loss of privileges related to the card, or disciplinary action.
If the employee’s expense report results in a Due to State amount, please follow the processes outlined in Section 2.B – Expense Report Submission of this Chapter.
If the employee has a Due to State amount in their wallet but travels infrequently, he or she must follow the procedure described in Section 10.B - Refunds Owed to the State by an Employee - Using an Employee Check of this Chapter.
Allowable Circumstances for Delays in Reconciling Travel Card Charges
There are circumstances that may prevent an employee from reconciling travel expense charges within 30 days of a travel event.
Unused Plane/ Train Tickets
- When a trip is changed or cancelled but the traveler has already purchased the plane or train ticket, the traveler has up to one year from the purchase date to use the ticket. In these instances, travelers should not reconcile the charges prior to using the ticket; this complies with the OSC travel manual.
- When an employee disputes a charge with the Credit Card Supplier, the charge is reversed on the employee’s travel card until a determination is made whether to uphold the dispute. Both the disputed charge and the reversal should be reconciled to the expense type “Travel Charge Dispute.” By reconciling both charges together, the original charge and reversal result in cancelling each other out. When an employee uses the appropriate expense type, the employee is indicating that the charge has been disputed, not that the charge was authorized.
- If the dispute is not upheld, an additional charge in the amount of the original charge will appear in the area of the Travel and Expense module called My Wallet. The employee will be responsible for reconciling that charge to the appropriate expense type.
Reconciling Charges Associated with an Individual that has Left the Agency
- Agencies must develop adequate procedures for employees separating from the agency that include ensuring all travel expense charges are reconciled prior to the employee’s departure – especially in cases of retirement or termination. However, there may be unforeseen instances where an Agency is unable to ensure charges are reconciled timely, such as in the case of the death of an employee. In these instances, the Agency should reactivate the employee in the SFS, assign a proxy to the traveler and have the proxy complete the reconciliation process. For more information, refer to Section 11 - Submitting Travel and Expense Reimbursement Request for Inactive Employee of this Chapter.
Reconciling Charges for Employees who are Under Investigation
- Agencies should inform OSC when an employee’s charges are under investigation by emailing [email protected]. Once the investigation is complete, the Agency should reconcile the charges in accordance with the results of the investigation.
Process and Transaction Preparation Specific to the SFS:
The SFS stores all travel card transactions in an area of the Travel and Expense module called My Wallet. Travelers and their proxies are responsible for selecting all transactions that correspond with the travel event and applying the charges to the appropriate expense report. The reconciliation should be completed in accordance with the guidance above. For guidance on creating expense reports using My Wallet, access SFS Coach. For related information, see Chapter XII, Section 6.Q – Paying and Reconciling Travel Card Charges of this Guide.
Guide to Financial Operations