Columbia University

Global Travel

Prepare Your TBER

Faculty and Staff

(View general TBER info on the AP website)

Once travel has been completed, there are usually one or more administrative tasks that are required to complete a transaction:

  • Submission of Travel & Business Expense Reimbursement (TBER) form: Reimbursement should be requested within 20 business days of the completion of the trip and no later than 120 days after the date of the completion, or the expenses may be considered taxable income. For additional details regarding the TBER, go to the Travel and Business Expense Information page from Procurement Services.
  • Instructions for the form are available through the Employee Expense Reimbursement page.
  • Reconciliation of a Travel Advance: A travel advance should be reconciled within 20 business days of the completion of the trip and must be submitted no later than 120 days after the date of the completion, or the expenses may be considered taxable income.
  • Detailed information on reconciling a travel advance is also available within the Employee Expense Reimbursement page.
  • Process of Vendor Invoices: Vendor invoices related to travel should be processed within 20 business days of receipt from the vendor.
  • For information on processing payments for invoices, please consult the Foreign Payments Processed by AP page.

(Country codes for Columbia's international sites)

Documenting Per Diem

In cases where per diems are allowable for travel under the terms of a grant, the department or traveler may provide any of the following forms of documentation:

  • a copy of the section of the grant award/budget demonstrating that it allows per diems, or written approval from the granting agency; and
  • written approval from the departments’ Research Administration project officer authorizing the expenditure.

As an attachment, it could be helpful that the traveler prepare a spreadsheet that clearly shows the per diem rates that were used and the calculations that lead to the total amount being claimed.

For additional information, refer to the Travel and Business Expense Information pages from Procurement Services.

Foreign Exchange Rate

The preferred FX rates to use when reconciling travel business expense reports is the ARC average monthly rate for the month in which the expenses were incurred. There is a query in ARC that provides the rates [CU_GL_FX_RATES]. For cross currency, the traveler should use the two monthly average rates for the month that the expenses were incurred and calculate the cross currency rate to record the expenses. Any difference to the original travel advance should be booked to FX g/l.

Alternatively, travelers may use OANDA Currency Converter. The traveler will need to provide the printout of the OANDA rate page as back up for the rates.

If you have any questions, please email us at globalsupport@columbia.edu.