Center for Information Technology Services

Travel eForms - Less Paper, Improved Service

The paper-intensive processes for pre-travel authorization and post-travel reimbursement at UM are about to change for the better! Approximately twelve hundred times a month, someone fills out a travel expense reimbursement request form and literally walks it through an approval process. Various paper documents are paper clipped to the form and represent verification for each expense.  This is preceded by an untold number of travel requests which may or may not be approved.

Recognizing the inefficiency of this process CITS has worked closely with Financial Systems and Financial Services to develop electronic Travel Request and Travel Expense forms. Scanned documents will be attached to the “eForms” to reduce paper.  The forms will have built in workflow to allow the approval process to be more efficient and accurate. The status of any request may be tracked.  Approved expense reimbursements will be routed appropriately to either the Payroll or Accounts Payable systems to reimburse faculty, staff, and students as quickly as possible.

A pilot group has been using the eForms this summer.  Fine tuning has followed the pilot, and the travel eForms will be rolled out to the campus on October 24.  Training is underway and will be offered in two formats:  large group instructor-led training and self-paced online training (available 24x7).

The move to electronic Travel Request and Travel Expense forms has been made possible by the University’s purchase of an electronic forms tool that is compatible with eUM systems. This tool allows easy integration of forms with administrative systems.  That means that the Travel Request and Travel Expense forms will be the first in a series of forms that will be digitized for greater convenience, efficiency, and less paper usage. Administration and Finance manages more than 100 forms, and some day they may all be eForms.