1. Home
  2. Budget and Planning
  3. Travel and Expense
  4. How to Create a Travel Authorization

How to Create a Travel Authorization

Before creating a travel authorization:

  • Review the Travel Procedure Summary.
  • Scan all related paperwork (a completed Brooklyn College Authorization to Travel Form, trip itineraries, conference registrations, airline and/or hotel reservations, etc.), as they will need to be uploaded into CUNYfirst.
  • Retain all original paperwork, as it will need to be submitted to the Office of Accounts Payable.
  • Out-of-town travel or use of a CUNY Travel Card requires an approved Travel Authorization in CUNYfirst prior to the first travel date.
  • Self-approval of a Travel Authorization is not permitted. Travel Authorizations must be approved by the supervisor of the traveler as well as the department approver(s). The department approver(s) ensure department budget is encumbered (set aside) for the anticipated travel.
  • Separate Travel Authorizations are required when a trip is being paid for by more than one institution.
  1. Log in to CUNYfirst and navigate to Financials Supply Chain > Employee Self-Service > Travel and Expense Center > Travel Authorization > Create.
  2. If submitting a Travel Authorization as a proxy, select the Employee ID of the traveling faculty or staff member using the search tool. Otherwise, proceed to Step 5.
  3. Select Business Unit: Tax Levy (BKL01), Non-Tax (BKL55), or Early Childhood (BKL04)
  4. In the General Information section, values must be entered in the following fields: Description, Comment, Business Purpose, Default Location, Date From, and Date To.
    1. Description: Enter a brief description of no more than 30 characters to identify the trip.
    2. Comment: Enter the purpose of the trip.
    3. Business Purpose: Select the business purpose of the trip from the dropdown list.
    4. Default Location: Enter the destination state and city for the trip. The Default Location begins with a two-digit code for the state.
    5. Date From: Enter the departure date in mm/dd/yyyy format. All Travel Authorizations must be future-dated.
    6. Date To: Enter the return date in mm/dd/yyyy format.
  5. Click the Accounting Defaults link to view the chartfield string to be applied to each expense line of the Travel Authorization. In the Accounting Defaults section, the GL Unit and Department chartfields may be modified as necessary. Separate expense lines are needed when travel expenses are split among departments. Click “OK” to return to the previous screen.
  6. For each expense line, complete the Expense Type, Date, Amount, Payment Type, and Billing Type fields. Each meal must be entered on a separate expense line.
    1. Expense Type: Select the expense type from the dropdown list. If the employee is a member of PSC, only PSC Expense Types may be selected.
    2. Date: Enter date the expense is expected to be incurred in mm/dd/yyyy format.
    3. Amount: Enter the total expected expenditure without a dollar sign.
    4. Payment Type and Billing Type: Select the same value for each dropdown list. Select “TCard” when expenses will be charged to a CUNY issued Travel Card, “Empl Paid” when the employee will use their own funds for an expense and be reimbursed following travel, or “Non-reimbursable” when the expense is the responsibility of the employee.
  7. Click the Detail link located to the right of the expense line to display the Authorization Detail page for the Expense Type. The fields that must be completed will vary depending on the expense type selected.
  8. To modify the accounting values for an individual expense line, click the Accounting Details link. In the Accounting Defaults section the GL Unit and Department chartfields may be modified as necessary. Click “OK” to return to the previous screen.
  9. Click “Add a Row” to enter additional expense lines as necessary. Additionally, expense lines can be created by copying from existing expense lines. Select the checkboxes next to the expense lines to be copied and click the “Copy Selected” button. On the Copy Selected Expenses page, select either “Copy to One Date” or “Copy to a Range of Dates” and enter the date or dates the expenses are expected to be incurred by clicking on the calendar icon. Click “OK” to return to the Travel Authorization Entry page. Be sure to utilize the “Check for Errors” button before copying expense lines, as expense lines that have errors or have not been checked for errors will trigger a warning message.
  10. In this step, any related paperwork (completed Authorization to Travel Form, trip itineraries, conference registrations, airline and/or hotel reservations) will be attached.
    1. Click the “Attachments” link in the General Information section near the top of the page. Click the “Add Attachment” button, select “Choose File” from the pop-up menu, and then find the files that were scanned and saved earlier. Select the file and then click “Upload.” When the upload is complete click the yellow “OK” button.
  11. To validate the data, click the “Check for Errors” button. If there are errors, the “Missing or Invalid Information” icon will be displayed on each line that contains an error. Click the “Missing or Invalid Information” icon to view the associated expense line. The Expense Detail page will be displayed along with an explanation of the errors for each expense line. Correct each error as indicated. When the “Check for Errors,” “Save for Later,” or “Submit” buttons are clicked, CUNYfirst identifies any missing required fields and checks chartfield strings to ensure that the chartfield combination is valid.
  12. This completes the Travel Authorization entry process. Click “Submit” to begin the approval process, or click “Save for Later” to save the Travel Authorization and come back to it later. In either case, all expense lines will be checked for errors. The Travel Authorization cannot be saved or submitted until all errors have been corrected. Once the Travel Authorization has been saved, the browser window may be closed.

Related Articles