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See latest COVID-19 impacts related to Purchasing, Payments & Travel

Travel & Expense Management Newsletter: Spring 2020

Expenses Related to COVID-19

In order to track money lost to the University and/or to account for additional charges incurred due to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the University has launched sub code 8119. This sub code can be used in any system to reflect monies lost to the University due to cancelled trips, purchases to assist with work from home, etc. To know when to use this sub code, it’s helpful to ask yourself questions like: Was my trip canceled because of COVID-19? Did I only make this goods purchase because I was quarantined at home due to COVID-19? If you answered yes to those, then, you should use sub code 8119 to help the Chancellor and the SVC/CFO’s office track these losses.

Other examples that you might find helpful:

  • PantherExpress:
    • If you purchased a box of paper to use while you’re home. This is a purchase that you would most likely have made in the office. So, it’s not a COVID-19 expense and should be sub code 60XX on the requisition.
    • If you purchased a laptop to be able to use while working from home. This is a purchase that you would not have made in the office. Thus, it is a COVID-19 expense and should be sub code 8119 on the requisition.
  • Concur and/or Travel Card:
    • If your conference was canceled or you chose to not attend your conference due to COVID-19, you would use the COVID-19 Cancelled Travel expense type in Concur.
    • If you receive a credit for the canceled trip (conference fee, airline fee, hotel deposit), code both the expense initially paid and the credit as COVID-19 Cancelled Travel expense type in Concur. While they may net to zero dollars, we are still able to track the impact of COVID-19.
  • P-Card:
    • If you purchased a webcam so that you might actively participate in meetings while you’re required to work from home, then, this is not a purchase that you would have made if you were in the office. Thus, it’s a COVID-19 purchase. Use sub code 8119 during the reconcilement of the charge.
  • New Accounts:
    • If you have a new account that you need added to be able to use the 8119 sub code, please contact records@cfo.pitt.edu.

For any additional questions on when to use sub code 8119, contact Customer Service.

Travel Guidance During COVID-19

We have compiled the following process and guidance to assist University travelers and travel arrangers:

  • All travel is currently presumed non-essential.
  • No travel should be booked for any future date at this time – there is not a date established as to when this prohibition will end.
  • Any essential travel, must be approved by the traveler’s RC head.
    • Essential travel is defined as travel absolutely necessary to fulfill your core or primary job function and/or provides crucial support to the University. Example: Research or lab work with a deadline.
    • Non-essential travel is any other travel.  Conferences, professional development and speaking engagements are not considered essential nor is anything that can be conducted at a later date.

In the event essential travel would be necessary the traveler’s Responsibility Center head should email their approval to travelandexpensemanagement@cfo.pitt.edu, to expedite the booking process. Arrangements should be made with the University’s contracted travel management supplier Anthony Travel and bookings should be made directly through Anthony Travel or using the Concur online booking tool.

We are all navigating this unique situation together and with everyone’s cooperation we will support the needs of University travelers. If you have questions, contact Customer Service.

Unused Airline Tickets

Due to the restriction of travel by the University many travelers are have received unused ticket credit vouchers for future travel. Each of the various airlines has provided different guidance in regard to their unused tickets and how they are supporting their customers during this time. Any unused tickets that were originally ticketed through Anthony Travel/Concur and are set to expire in the next few months, Anthony Travel is working with the airlines to have those credits extended. Contact Anthony Travel on how to proceed with those credit vouchers.

Any tickets that were canceled due to COVID-19 and credit vouchers have been received you should follow the guidance provided by the airlines. Those reservations booked through Anthony Travel/Concur can be re-booked through Anthony Travel/Concur later when the restrictions are lifted. Any bookings made outside of the University’s program; the individual ticket holder unfortunately will be responsible for handling any issues on their own.

Sales Tax Exemption Reminder

When making purchases, it’s important to remember that the University is classified as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c)(3). Follow these steps to ensure sales tax is not charged:

  • In the state of PA: present this Sales Tax Exemption Certificate at the time of purchase for goods/services purchased in Pennsylvania.
  • Other states: review this list to identify states other than PA that also grant tax exempt status to the University of Pittsburgh for goods and services purchased while in their state.

REALID

Once again, an extension has been given for REALID compliant driver’s licenses effective April 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 closures of local Department of Motor Vehicles’ photo licensing centers the requirement will not take place until October 1, 2021. For more information please visit the Department of Homeland Security.

Upcoming Training

The Travel & Expense Management team hosts a quarterly Lunch & Learn series to review information related to the travel and expense management programs. Information on the next brown bag sessions will be announced once they are scheduled.

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