Financial Services Manual (FIN)

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Effective: 6/21/1983

Revised: 7/1/2009

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FIN 505–01: Out-of-State Travel Authorization

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To allow university employees to travel out of state on official university business. Also, on an as-needed basis, to allow students to travel when specifically approved by the college or department

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Internal Revenue Service regulations
Arizona Revised Statutes § 38–626

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Travel Authorization

An employee must obtain prior approval for out-of-state travel from the appropriate authorizing travel official (ATO)—the president, provost/vice provost/vice president, or a designee. ATO approval is required to comply with state law and insurance requirements. The president has delegated ATO authority to other administrators; however, the person signing as ATO must occupy a higher-level position than the traveler or be a business manager reporting to a higher-level position. The ATO signs a Travel Authorization/Claim form (TA) completed by the traveler. An estimate of all allowable expenses for out-of-state travel must be included on the Travel Authorization. Individual estimated travel expenses of $5,000 or more require the approval of a dean or vice president or a business manager reporting to a dean or vice president, in addition to ATO approval (see FIN 505–01A for a flowchart outlining the travel authorization process).

Note: Names of ATOs are available on the Financial Services Travel Page or from Travel Reimbursements.

If a travel advance or encumbrance is requested, the traveler must fax or mail a copy of the form to Travel Reimbursements. The traveler’s department must have a copy of the completed, signed form on file before the traveler departs on the trip.

Travel authorizations requesting a travel advance are automatically encumbered for the total cost estimate amount. In order to encumber funds when a travel advance is not requested, submit the travel authorization form and fill in the “Area/Org/Sub” and “AMT or %” fields and the cost estimate section.

Changes to Travel Authorizations

Changes to an approved TA must be reflected on Travel Reimbursements’ final claim form and the department’s copy. Actions required for various changes are shown in the table below.D

Actions Required for Changes to Travel Authorizations
Change to TA Action
in funding sources Obtain ATO approval.
estimated expenses exceeding the authorized amount Obtain ATO approval.
in travel advances Forward to Travel Reimbursements.
in direct-billed airfare Furnish the internal purchase order and TA number to the contracted travel agency.
in the name(s) of the traveler(s) Complete a new TA, obtain ATO approval, and process.
in travel dates or itinerary Correct department copy and notify Travel Reimbursements.
in mode of transportation with cost not exceeding original approved amount Note the transportation change (mode and amount) on the claim for reimbursement.

Cancellations of Travel

When a trip is canceled, the traveler must notify Travel Reimbursements if the trip was encumbered or monies advanced and return the travel advance.

Conferences and Meetings

Generally, departments should limit attendance to one individual at an out-of-state conference or meeting. However, the president or an ATO may authorize additional travelers if:

  1. the meeting or conference holds concurrent sessions covering several disciplines
  2. the individuals asking to attend the meeting or conference will be presenting technical or scholarly papers
  3. the travel involves a sponsored project and the project allows for travel by more than one individual out-of-state


  4. travel by more than one traveler is in the best interest of the university.

According to Board of Regents’ policy, attendance by more than two persons from a single department or academic or administrative unit must be justified in writing, kept in the originating unit’s file, and attached to the TA when submitted to Travel Reimbursements.

Special Situations

Travel Expenses Paid by Outside Source or Where There is No Reimbursement

In most situations, ASU employees in travel status on official ASU business are covered by workers’ compensation. ASU employees sometimes travel on official ASU business but are reimbursed from another organization for their travel expenses or, in some cases, no reimbursement is made. In these situations it is recommended, though not required, that a traveler file an approved zero dollar TA with his or her department, which indicates that the TA is for approval to travel and insurance purposes only. The date, destination, purpose of the trip, and any source of funding should be noted on the TA.

In case of an accident, the filing of the TA does not guarantee acceptance by workers’ compensation of official ASU travel status; however, it does provide additional pre-accident documentation of the reason and intent of the trip.

Reimbursement by a Third Party

A traveler who receives reimbursement from a third party for travel expenses claimed on the travel reimbursement must return those funds to ASU. The returned funds shall be deposited to the agency/org and object/sub object code where the travel reimbursement was processed. This includes any travel pre-payments made by ASU.

Travel Originating Outside the State of Arizona

Employees assigned to a workstation outside of the State of Arizona are considered to be traveling in out-of-state status when traveling outside the state in which they are stationed. The traveler must complete a Travel Authorization/Claim form prior to departure.

Long-Term Travel Allowance

Employees who are temporarily required to reside away from their primary place of residence for 30 days or more may claim to the maximum amounts for lodging and per diem subsistence established by the appropriate provost/vice provost/vice president. These amounts are established on a case-by-case basis depending upon the location of the temporary post of duty.


Rental Vehicles

Requests for a rental vehicle must be specifically noted and justified on the car rental section of the Travel Authorization/Claim form. The use of rental vehicles may be authorized only when it is to the advantage of the university and not for the personal convenience of the traveler. Additionally, the traveler renting the vehicle must attend defensive driver training before renting the vehicle. The defensive driver training is valid for three years. See EHS 119, “Motor Fleet Safety,” for additional information.

Certifications and Requirements for Travel Authorizations

Certifications and requirements that pertain to every travel authorization are:

  1. The ATOs should only approve out-of-state travel for people under their supervision or, if the ATO is a business manager, under the supervision of the person to whom the ATO reports.
  2. The Auditor General’s Office requires that the travel authorization state the public purpose being served. In order to justify public purpose, indicate the specific reason for the trip/meeting, name of the hosting organization, and the benefits to ASU.
  3. Upon receipt of a travel advance, the traveler promises to repay ASU in full and/or submit acceptable travel claims by the due date. Should it be necessary to pursue collection of this travel advance, the traveler authorizes ASU to deduct the amount of the advance through payroll deduction.
  4. The traveler’s signature on the claim section certifies that:
    1. the items of expense were incurred for authorized official state business
    2. the expenses are correct and the charges proper
    3. the traveler has attended defensive driver training within the past three years before renting the vehicle


    4. the private vehicle, if used, is covered by liability insurance.

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Out-of-State Travel Authorization

Listed below are specific steps required for out-of-state travel authorization (see FIN 505–01A for a flowchart of the out-of-state travel process).D

Before the trip:
  1. Complete the authorization (left) side of the Travel Authorization/Claim form. Instructions for completing the form are provided following this procedure.
Authorizing travel official
  1. Sign the authorization (left) side of the Travel Authorization/Claim form documenting approval for the trip.
  1. File the Travel Authorization/Claim form to document proper authorization for the trip.
If a travel advance or funding encumbrance is not required:
  1. Do not send the Travel Authorization Claim form to Travel Reimbursements.
If a travel advance or funding encumbrance is needed:
  1. Fax or mail a copy of the Travel Authorization/Claim form to Travel Reimbursements (see FIN 508, “Travel Advances,” for more information on travel advances).
Travel Reimbursements
  1. Process the travel advance and/or funding encumbrance.
If the airline ticket is being direct billed by one of ASU’s contracted travel agencies:
  1. Forward a copy of the Travel Authorization/Claim form to the selected ASU contracted travel agency (see FIN 512, “Transportation,” for more information on the process of direct billing airline tickets).
  2. Retain original and a copy for the traveler of the Travel Authorization/Claim form and complete the claim side of the form after the trip (see FIN 505–02, “Out-of-State Travel Reimbursement”).


Instructions for Completing the Travel Authorization Side of the Travel Authorization/Claim Form

Name of Traveler

Print or type the traveler’s name.

ASU ID Number

List the traveler’s ASU ID number.


Indicate the traveler’s department.


Indicate the traveler’s title.

Trip Dates

List the beginning and ending dates of the trip.


Indicate where the traveler is going.


Indicate if more than one person will be attending an out-of-state conference/meeting and justify in the Purpose/Justification section if more than one person is attending.


Explain the purpose of the trip, including the public purpose served.


List agency/org to be charged.

$ Amount or %

List dollar amount or percent if charging to more than one agency/org.

Direct Bill Airfare?

If airfare is going to be direct billed, before the ticketing can be completed, the purchase order and TA numbers must be furnished to the contracted travel agency.

Cost Estimate

Estimate the anticipated expenses for airfare, lodging, etc. See FIN 509, 512, and 514 for allowable reimbursement amounts.

Travel Advance?

If yes, fax or mail a copy to Travel Reimbursements after estimating the amount required.

Direct Inquiries to

List the person who will be able to answer questions regarding this TA.

Traveler’s Signature

The traveler’s signature indicates that the traveler agrees with the conditions specified on the Instruction Page of the form.

ATO Signature

This signature is required and will be verified by Travel Reimbursements.

Optional Signatures

Optional approvals are at the discretion of individual departments.

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For additional university travel information, see:

  1. FIN 504, “In-State Travel”
  2. FIN 505-02, “Out-of-State Travel Reimbursement”
  3. FIN 508, “Travel Advances”
  4. FIN 509, “Meals and Lodging”
  5. FIN 512, “Transportation”


  6. FIN 514, “Registration Fees and Other Travel Expenses.”

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FIN 505–01A, ASU Travel Authorization/Reimbursement Process

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