As soon as your Request Form is approved by the University Librarian, you can begin purchasing airline tickets, booking hotel rooms etc. This approval will be conveyed to you via email from the Libraries Finance & Accounting Unit. (However, keep in mind that airfare, registration, and car rental fees can often be billed to the Libraries directly if that's preferable to you.)
2. I am traveling on Libraries business but I will not incur out-of-pocket costs, do I still need to fill out a form?
Once you fill out an expense report in UGA Financials, and your supervisor has logged in and approved it, the reimbursement process will begin. Expenditures can only be reimbursed after they have been spent. For example, lodging costs can only be reimbursed after the hotel stay, but airline tickets and registration fees may be reimbursed before the actual flight or conference since those are paid in advance. Depending on how your travel is funded, you may be reimbursed via direct deposit, or by a paper check. Reimbursement times can vary between a few days and a few weeks depending on funding source and other external factors.
In many situations, faculty will need to personally fund the remaining balance when their travel expenditures exceed their annual funding allotment. However, there is no disadvantage to listing all of your projected expenses on the Request Form, even if the total exceeds your travel fund allotment. It can be helpful for the University Librarian to know the true cost of your travel when considering your travel request.
Depending on the nature of your travel, it is also possible that a case can be made for your remaining balance to be covered by the Libraries under administrative travel. It is up to the traveler to make this case to their supervisor and/or Department Head—if the Department Head agrees, it should be brought to the University Librarian.
A per diem is a maximum daily reimbursement set by the government. Depending on where you are traveling and the time of year, the per diem may vary. Knowing the per diem associated with your travel destination is a helpful way to estimate your costs when filling out the Request Form. When seeking reimbursement after traveling, you can simply request the per diem instead of providing receipts.
When traveling within Georgia, you should use state employee per diem rates. Please note that you can only claim per diem if you're traveling overnight. Employees traveling overnight within the State of Georgia are eligible for ($50) daily per diem amounts to cover the cost of three (3) meals per day, less any provided meals. There is one standard per diem rate for all cities in Georgia. Incidentals are not included in the daily per diem rate.
Use the link to GSA Per Diem Rates on SAO’s Statewide Travel Policy website to access per diem rates for Out of State travel.
Please note that UGA only reimburses meal per diems at a rate of 75% on the first and last day of travel. (If you fly to a conference on Wednesday and return Friday, Thursday would be the only day for which you could claim 100% meal per diem reimbursement.) Here is another breakdown of meal per diems that explicitly states the 75% rate per meal.
There is also a per diem for incidental expenses (IE), but UGA only reimburses incidental expenses when travel is international.