Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need a TA (Travel Authorization)?

Anytime you are traveling non-locally on University related business, even if you are not requesting reimbursement. All travel needing reimbursement, even local travel, requires a Travel Authorization.

For local official business travel that will not result in a reimbursement, divisions and/or departments should implement their own approval requirements that should include, at a minimum, verbal pre-approval of the travel by a traveler’s supervisor. A travel authorization in TEM is not required for this.

Travelers who do not obtain prior approval as required may be responsible for any unauthorized expenses and may jeopardize other support provided by the state for travelers in official travel status.

What is a Blanket TA and how do I get one?

A Blanket TA Form may be used for frequent regular travel, such as travel from Bellingham to Everett for frequent meetings. One-time travel incidents, such as a conference, will require a separate Travel Authorization.

We are required by the state to limit the Blanket TA’s we allow. To that end, we require an exception request webform to be approved before we can approve a blanket TA in TEM. So:

Step 1: Please fill out a TEM Blanket Travel Authorization Exception Request

Step 2: When the Exception request is approved, please Create a new TA (Travel Authorization) in TEM but mirror the dates and information from the webform.

Where can I find travel webforms?

What kind of receipts do I need to keep from my trip?

Original receipts are required for reimbursement of

  • lodging (hotel),
  • rental cars, and
  • fuel (when actual fuel expenses will be reimbursed rather than privately owned vehicle mileage).
  • miscellaneous expenses over $50

Receipts are not required for reimbursement of

  • privately owned vehicle mileage,
  • per diem meals,
  • taxi, or
  • ferry fares.

Contact the Travel Desk if you have a question regarding a type of expense not listed here.

If an original receipt is lost, please complete an Affidavit of Lost Receipt.

What expenses can be reimbursed before travel?

Original receipts are required for reimbursement of

  • Registration expenses
  • Airfare expenses that have been purchased on a WWU Corporate Travel Visa

Contact the Travel Desk if you have a question regarding a type of expense not listed here.

Would you claim per diem for breakfast when your motel provided Continental Breakfast or for meals provided on airlines?

Yes. SAAM 10.40.20 states “Meal payments are not required to be reduced or eliminated due to meals served on airlines. Similarly, meal payments are not required to be reduced for continental breakfasts which may be included in the lodging rate or registration fee of a meeting, conference, convention, or formal training session. Agencies should review IRS tax regulations regarding the taxation of these payments.”

“Continental Breakfast” is defined as: Either (1) a breakfast generally consisting of juice, bread, fruit and a hot beverage (typically coffee or tea), or (2) a light meal defined in agency policy.

What if I don't need reimbursement?

Please add one reimbursable $0 Miscellaneous Expense with funding to prevent TEM errors.

What if my receipt has someone else’s name on it?

Receipts must be in the name of the person seeking reimbursement. If you will be splitting an expense, please try to obtain a receipt for your half of the purchase. If that is not possible, obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt. The memo needs to indicate that you (the payee) covered a specific dollar amount for a specific item/service and that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from WWU for the expense. The memo should be signed by the named person.

What if there are no estimated expenses?

If there is not any estimated expenses, please include a $0 Miscellaneous Expense with funding and note in the description that there are no expected expenses. This prevents TEM errors.

What if I am only needing to be reimbursed for Registration for a Conference?

A TA will be required to travel to a conference. Reimbursements for any travel-related expenses would be done via TEM.

Can I use air miles for my airfare and receive reimbursement?

WWU will reimburse you for actual dollars spent on your airfare. If you use air miles you may not be reimbursed for them.

What if I don't need to be reimbursed after my TA is approved? (Trip canceled, expenses paid directly instead of out-of-pocket, etc.)

Please release your encumbrance in TEM. A note about what happened, receipts for anything paid directly or credits, and any additional information may be attached in Nolijweb under the TA. A TR may be submitted with $0 if a reimbursable expense with an amount was submitted on the TR and you wish to get updated reporting in Millennium for non-reimbursable expenses.

To release an encumbrance in TEM you can click on the “More Actions” button then “Release Budget” from the Authorization Report List:


This will pop up “Are you sure?”
and when you click “Yes” it will give you a JV number.

Occasionally it’s past the accounting period and will give you an error instead. In that case you can file an Encumbrance Liquidation Request eSign form.

What if I purchase supplies for my trip before I leave?

If purchased more than a day in advance, supplies must be reimbursed via a Services/Reimbursement form. Otherwise, they may be added to your Travel Reimbursement (TR.)

What do all of the “Status” titles in TEM mean?

  • In Process: Started but not submitted. May still be deleted. May still be edited.
  • Pending Review: Sent by a delegate to the traveler but not submitted. May not be deleted. May still be edited.
  • Submitted: Submitted by the traveler. You may see who is approving under “Status History” on the “Workflow Approvals” tab. May not be edited at this status.
  • Returned for Correction: The document is with the traveler to make requested changes. Does not affect original submission date for 60 day taxable window.
  • Approved: Good to Go! This document is completely approved. No edits possible.
  • Denied: Document is ended. Comments will be supplied in the email and are available under “Status History” in TEM.
  • Ready to Pay: Will pay out the next check run date, usually Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Paid: Document is ended and paid out.
  • Error: Something went wrong! Contact the Travel Desk.
Page Updated 08.08.2015