How do I stay on top of all the changes in USF Travel?
What is a TAR and when do I have to submit it?
The TAR, Travel Authorization Report, is the Traveler’s permission to incur expenses and to travel. A TAR must be entered into the FAST Travel Module and must be approved in the FAST workflow by the Fiscal Approver and Supervisor before any expenses are incurred or any travel occurs, consistent with USF policy and State of Florida statues. (With the exception of mileage only travel –refer to travel manual).
How do I access FAST?
You can log into FAST through MyUSF
I need to travel, but reimbursement will be mileage only. What do I need to do?
For mileage only expenses, or mileage with incidentals (i.e. tolls, parking), prior approval is required, but may be documented and stored at the unit level. Individuals should have written approval for this travel, but are not required to submit a TAR in the FAST Travel module. In this case, only the TER must be prepared electronically.
What happens if I don't get my TAR entered into FAST before I must leave on my trip (i.e. emergency travel)?
My travel will last more than 30 days. Do I have to take any special steps?
Emergency travel is defined as travel that must commence with less than 24 hours notice to the traveler. In this case, a memo is required indicating the details of the travel and the circumstances that prohibited adherence to the normal TAR process, including evidence that the situation was out of the traveler's control. This memo must be signed by the employee, the employee's supervisor and the appropriate Vice-President. The notation "Post-Travel Authorization Memo attached" must be entered into the comment field of the Expense Report page in the Travel module.
Please note that you must provide evidence that the request was less than 24 hours before the travel for it to be considered emergency travel. The following circumstances are not grounds for an exception, and will require approval of the USF Expenditure Policy Committee in addition to Vice-President approval:
- Any travel with more than 24 hours notice
- Ignorance of the requirement for prior authorization
- Circumstances of the delay that fall under the control of the traveler or department administrative staff
- Exception requested solely because a traveler is already out of town when an additional destination is added to the itinerary.
- A required Approver fails to approve the Authorization prior to the date of travel.
Repeated instances by an individual or department may be forwarded to the University's Controller's Office or the USF Expenditure Policy Committee for review, and may result in delay or denial of reimbursement.
Travel lasting over 30 days requires approval and signature of the President of the University. Before requesting authorization in the system (TAR), the Traveler should obtain written approval in memo form from the President's Office, clearly indicating dates of travel, destination, business purpose, and benefit to the University. This must be included as part of the receipt package.
I have seen the workflow document from Travel, which highlights roles called Expense Manager, Reviewer and Project Supplemental Approver. Who are they, and what do they do in the travel process?
The Expense Manager is your Account Rep at COPH who will verify that there is funding available for the anticipated trip, and that if the travel is grant related, that the charges are related to the project identified. During the review of the TER, the Reviewer (your Account Rep) will review the submitted expense report to ensure that the identified chartfields are correct and that the travel complies with USF policies and procedures.
For travel funded by grants/contracts, after the PI and HR supervisor review and approve the TAR and TER, the Project Supplemental Approver (the Research Office at COPH) will provide one last review to verify that travel is allowable on the external funding source.
Will I know the status of my TAR and TER?
The traveler will always have the ability to sign in to FAST (or via their delegate if there is one) to track the status of their request.
With the understanding that most individuals don't work in FAST on a regular basis, travel has developed an email notification system. The system is intended to notify the traveler when a travel is submitted on their behalf by a delegate; upon final approval of a TAR or TER; and when the reimbursement has been paid. If there is an assigned delegate for the traveler, they will also be notified at each of the above steps.