Travel Process and Guidelines

Travel Procedure Summary

Prior to traveling, complete the Brooklyn College Authorization to Travel Form. Once the total travel award has been determined by the department supervisor, a Travel Authorization must be created and approved in CUNYfirst.

After travel, an Expense Report for Brooklyn College employees must be created and approved in CUNYfirst. Original paperwork must be submitted to the Office of Accounts Payable.

Employees are in travel status only if they are more than 75 miles from both their official station (Brooklyn College) and their home. Use GoogleMapsYahoo! Maps, or MapQuest to compare mileage distances.

State employees who receive their payroll checks via direct deposit will receive the travel reimbursement as a separate deposit transaction into the same account(s). The transaction description on the bank statement will show that the deposit is made by OSC (Office of the State Comptroller). If direct deposit is not set up with the Payroll Office, a check will be mailed to the address on file with the Payroll Office.

Prior to Traveling

Traveler’s Responsibilities

  • Obtain necessary approvals for travel plans, including the most cost-efficient method of travel, which is in the best interest of the state.
  • Complete and submit a Brooklyn College Authorization to Travel Form along with a copy of the CUNYfirst Travel Authorization, documentation of the purpose of travel (e.g., conference agenda, flyer, brochure, program, invitation, or conference registration form) to the Office of Accounts Payable before leaving for a trip. The form must be typewritten and signed in ink by the claimant and his or her supervisor.
  • If the room rate exceeds the per diem lodging rate, prior approval must be obtained from the Office of Accounts Payable. Submit a letter of justification explaining why it was necessary to book the room at a higher rate.
  • Obtain prior approval before renting a car. An explanation of why car rental is necessary and whether it is cost-effective compared to other forms of transportation must be provided.
  • Submit all above-mentioned paperwork to the Office of Accounts Payable before leaving for a trip.

If the Brooklyn College employee is not a state (PayServ) employee (meaning that the employee is paid by Non-Tax Levy, Brooklyn College Foundation, or Research Foundation payroll), contact Accounts Payable prior to traveling to be set up in the State Financial System. 

Supervisor’s Responsibilities

  • Check available budget in CUNYfirst to ensure there are sufficient funds to cover a travel request. E-mail Tax-Levy Budget Reports for budget-related questions.
  • Authorize travel only when necessary.

During Travel

  • Keep all original receipts (except for meals when using per diem meal allowance). Per diem meal rates may be used if they meet the travel status rule and if an itemized hotel bill for claimed dates is submitted.
  • Keep original boarding passes and receipts.
  • Maintain a record of expenses, departure and return times, and mileage. 

After Travel

An Expense Report for Brooklyn College employees must be created and approved in CUNYfirst.

Submit the following to the Office of Accounts Payable within 10 business days of completed travel:

  • A copy of the CUNYfirst Expense Report.
  • Brooklyn College State of New York Travel Voucher typewritten and signed in ink by the claimant and supervisor. 
  • Original itemized receipts/invoices/bills for reimbursable expenses such as hotel, Amtrak, meals, bus, subway, tolls, bridges, tunnels, taxi, parking, and conference registration fee. Itemized receipts for all hotel stays must be provided. If the original receipt is not available, contact the hotel and request a duplicate copy. Tape small receipts to an 8½ x 11-inch piece of paper so that they are not lost.
  • Original boarding passes. If original boarding passes are not available, and the travel destination was outside of the United States, copies of stamped passport pages may be submitted.
  • E-ticket-confirmation e-mail for the airfare with information regarding the flight, ticket prices, taxes, and travel insurance costs. If e-ticket confirmation is not available, the original ticket showing same information may be submitted.
  • If a personal vehicle was used, submit a properly executed Statement of Automobile Travel form and check with the Office of Accounts Payable regarding current mileage rates.
  • Expenses such as telephone calls, Internet connection fees, supplies and materials, and shipping and baggage costs are only reimbursable when they are reasonable, necessary, and business-related. Submit a detailed letter of justification.
  • Proof of payment for all purchases made via credit/debit cards. Include the statement(s) with the traveler’s name, last four digits of the card, and charges shown; all other irrelevant information can be obscured.
  • Expenses such as lunch meals, sales tax, alcoholic beverages, laundry, valet services, entertainment (e.g., theater, museum, in-room movies), room service, and transportation to a location unrelated to the conference or meeting and other personal charges are not reimbursable by the State.
  • Some foreign travel expenses, such as passport fees, visa fees, cost to convert currency, traveler’s checks, laundry charges for extended stay, and departure taxes that are directly related to travel outside of the United States are allowable but must be properly justified. Submit a detailed letter of justification. For foreign travel receipts, write the translation on each receipt and ensure the total amount paid is clear and visible. Tape each receipt to a piece of 8½ x 11-inch paper and number the receipts. Provide a spreadsheet showing the dates, amount paid, conversion rate, and amount to be reimbursed in U.S. dollars.
Receipt #DateForeign CurrencyConversion RateU.S. DollarExpense
17/2/2013¥ 100.162$1.62Train
27/2/2013¥ 120.162$1.94Bus
37/3/2013¥ 200.162$3.24Taxi
Sample for travel to China.

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