The Travel Process

The Travel Process is a collaboration between the travelers and their respective departments, the Travel Office, and the Treasurer's Office. Each of these entities has their own requirements and responsibilities. Briefly, we've outlined below what the full Travel Process looks like. 

Pre-Travel Process Flowchart

Post-Travel Process Flowchart

Travel Keywords

  • Spend Authorization (SA): Business process request that occurs before travel which articulates estimated expenses for a specific trip. This is required for international travel, non-employee student travel, when a cash advance is requested, or if your department requires one.
  • Expense Report (ER): Expense Reports are processed for all travel card expenses and also for any personal expenses incurred for which a reimbursement is being requested.
  • Settlement: Joint business process between the Travel and Treasurer's Offices that pays (settles) an Expense Report, cash advance, or payment of monthly travel credit card charges. 

Travel Process

Before Traveling

  • Traveler becomes aware of the need to travel.

  • Traveler notifies department of travel plans and completes any documentation required.

  • Department or individual creates a Spend Authorization (SA).  

Spend Authorization Requirements    

Spend Authorizations are required for International Travel, Group  or Non-employee Student Travel, requesting a cash advance, or if  it is required by the Department/College of your employment.  

  • Official days of travel may not exceed 1 day prior to the event and 1 day after event.  Exception is when traveling internationally, where offical days of travel may not exceed 2 days prior to the event and 2 days after the event.
  • If the traveler is going to multiple cities, choose the city where traveler will spend the most time. You will list other cities visited in the legs of the expense report.
  • This is the time you'd want to request a Cash Advance. Before requesting a cash advance, be sure to review the Travel Advance Policy.
    • Per State of Arkansas Travel Regulations, expense reports for individual trips where a cash advance has been requested are to be received by the Travel Office within fifteen (15)  days after the return of the trip.
    • A cash advance is a loan to the travelers and thus is considered an outstanding invoice until it is reconciled. Cash advances are a privilege and must be utilized appropriately.
  • Spend authorization is submitted and routes through the appropriate approval chain. The Travel Office is the final approver.
    • If a spend authorization is sent back, corrections should be made and the spend authorization should be resubmitted. A notification will appear in the Workday inbox when the spend authorization has been approved by the Travel Office.

Spend Authorization required forms:


After Traveling

Expense Report Requirements 

  • Travelers or their department representatives should create an expense report related to the spend authorization for the trip (if applicable). All required receipts and documentation will need to be uploaded to the appropriate line in the expense report, or if a large expense report, you have the option of loading all receipts at the header.
  • Expense reports should be submitted within fifteen (15) days after the return of the travel end date, unless you have received prior written  approval for an extension  from the Travel Office.  Expense  Reports submitted after sixty (60) days from the trip end date may not be reimbursed. Noted State Exceptions include Group Travel thirty (30) days and Complex Group Travel  sixty (60) days.
    • Expense reports reconciling Credit Card Charges must be submitted by the last working day of the billing cycle in which the expense was incurred.
  • All travelers have the capability to create their own expense reports in Workday.
  • Once all prior routing has occured, the expense report will arrive to the Travel Office/Expense Partner's Workday inbox.
  • The Travel Office will review the expense report.
  • If there is an error with the expense report, it must be addressed before the Travel Office can move forward.
  • If an error is found, the Travel Office sends the expense report back electronically (via Workday) to the individual or department for correction. Note: if an error can be resolved without sending the expense report back, the Travel Office will address the issue.
    • Common errors include: missing receipts, missing justification for flights purchased under fourteen (14) days before travel, failure to provide fully itemized receipts, missing explanation/justifications for uncommon expenses, missing justification for exceeding the GSA hotel allowance, and one employee claiming the expenses of another, etc. 
    • Once the errors are fixed, the expense report can be resubmitted in Workday.
  • If the expense report is payable, the Travel Office/Expense Partner will settle the report.
  • If there are "Personal" expenses on the expense report (items not allowed), an invoice will be created will be due immediately. 

Helpful Documents

Employees may use the following worksheets and submit them to their departmental administrator (with all required documentation), who will enter the spend authorization and/or expense report.