The Travel & Expense Management team hosts quarterly Brown Bag Lunch & Learns to review information and expand training topics related to the travel and expense management programs.
The next Fall session will be Thursday November 1, details below, and attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch while we review topics related to payment processing, expenses, and expense reporting and travel.
- Thursday, November 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the William Pitt Union Ballroom
- Winter - January, TBA
- Spring - April, TBA
The first Fall Lunch & Learn was held on Monday, October 15. Both sessions cover the same content and conclude with a question and answer session.
Have a topic you’d like to see covered in a future training? Submit your request to Emily Duchene, Travel Program Manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW & EXCITING
Over the summer we held three focus groups with Travel Card users to gather feedback to improve our program. The groups requested changes to the approval workflow that would allow Approvers to edit expense allocations without sending reports back to the user. In September we made this change and information about the process can be found in this news update that was sent to all Concur users. We also updated the Approving Expense Reports Quick Start Guide and the Full Users Manual.
REAL ID Enforcement Extension
The Department of Homeland Security has granted an extension to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) for REAL ID enforcement. Existing Pennsylvania driver's licenses and identification cards will be accepted for entry at Federal facilities and airports until October 1, 2020. After this date, Pennsylvania residents will need a REAL ID compliant license, identification card, or a valid passport to go through commercial airport security and access Federal facilities.
Penn DOT will begin to offer REAL ID compliant licenses and identification cards in March 2019. The REAL ID licenses will be an optional upgrade to your license and the upgrade will require a one-time fee of $30, in addition the regular renewal fees. If you upgrade your license prior to your renewal date, the expiration of your REAL ID product will include the time remaining on your non-compliant identification plus the regular renewal period.
If you received your first drivers license after 2003, you may be able to pre-verify your REAL ID documentation online. Pre-verification allows individuals to order their REAL ID online without needing to go to a driver license center. Anyone who received their first PA driver's license or photo ID card before 2003 is not eligible for online per-verification but may bring the required REAL ID documentation to a PennDOT driver license center for in-person pre-verification.
Concur Icon Key
We have heard through customer service inquiries and focus groups that users would like reference information or a resource to better understand the icons used in the Concur System. While much of this information has been available in the Full Travel & Expense User Guide, we wanted to make sure that it was easy for you to find. We have added an icon table to the Concur page of our website. The table on this page includes the most commonly used or needed icons. A more complete list provided by Concur, in the form of a PDF, is also available for download on the same page.
For any questions about the icons in your Expense Reports, please contact PantherExpress Customer Service at 412-624-3578 or by submitting an inquiry.
Coming Soon: The Oaklander Hotel
The Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh will soon gain an exciting new boutique hotel, The Oaklander, located in the heart of campus at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard. The 2019 University of Pittsburgh negotiated Business Rate at The Oaklander has been set at $209.00 per night, plus applicable taxes. Guests will be required to show University identification at check-in to qualify for the Pitt Business Rate. The hotel will also offer a University of Pittsburgh Friends and Family discount at 15% off their best available published rate.
The Oaklander Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, will make its debut in December 2018 and offer an upscale, lifestyle hotel option for incoming guests. The hotel will feature 167 luxe guestrooms, 3,300 square feet of event space and a top floor full-service restaurant and bar called Spirits & Tales. The hotel is currently accepting reservations for 2019 and has begun booking groups and events.
Please remember that all University of Pittsburgh events require an events contract. Details about the events process can be found on the PantherExpress Buy-to-Pay website. PantherExpress Purchasing Services is in the process of finalizing a contract with The Oaklander to establish them as a University Signature Venue. Once complete, they will be added to our Signature Venue list and events contracted at $10,000 or less using their template Master Agreement will be able to be signed at the department level.
To inquire about groups and events, please contact Jackie Gillespie, Director of Sales at The Oaklander, at 412-578-8500 or via email at email@example.com. For additional details, please visit their website at www.theoaklanderhotel.com.
Travel Program Savings
The University of Pittsburgh's average ticket cost continues to be below industry averages.
|The University's average cost of domestic airfare for FY18 was $388, 11% less than the industry average.*||The University's average cost of international airfare for FY18 was $1,326, 51% less than the industry average.*|
While our costs remain below industry averages, there is still room for improvement. One easy way that travelers can reduce costs at the University is by booking travel at least 14 days in advance. Travelers making bookings 14-21 days in advance, rather than 7-13 days in advance, for domestic bookings could have saved the university $46,499 during the fourth quarter of FY18.
When to expense and submit your Expense Report depends on what type of purchases you are making. Travel purchases should be expensed within 30 days of the trip completion. All airfare and conference fees that are pre-purchased in advance should be held to be expensed after the trip is completed. The exception to this rule is for travel that crosses fiscal years where the charges should be incurred on the fiscal year of purchase rather than the fiscal year of the trip.
Business entertainment and allowable non-travel charges should be expensed within 30 days of the purchase.
We ask that all travelers and purchasers do their best to consolidate charges onto a single expense report by business purpose. This includes one report per trip or one report per month for non-travel purchases. Multiple reports for the same trip may be rejected by Payment Processing.
NEW & EXCITING
Our Travel Program Manager is continuously working to secure the best rates and discounts with airlines for University of Pittsburgh travelers. The University has signed an agreement with American Airlines resulting in additional discounts on fares in Concur.
With the addition of American Airlines, the University has now secured discounts with four airlines. The other three include Delta, United, and Southwest. To view discounted fares, please book using the Concur booking tool or call our Anthony Travel dedicated agents.
Wyndham Chain Discounts
In the near future, the University will begin to receive additional discounts at all Wyndham chain hotels, in addition to the local hotels for which we have been receiving discounts. Once the contract is signed and in place, hotel bookings in Concur will reflect a 15% discount at all Wyndham hotels for stays up to five nights. Stays over five nights will be further reduced with discounts between 20% to 35%.
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