Controller's Office introduces direct enter for entertainment reimbursements

April 22, 2019

(the following was a CalMessage from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost on April 17, 2019)

Colleagues,

The Controller’s Office is introducing a new entertainment reimbursement process that eliminates duplicate data entry by Berkeley Regional Services (Formerly Campus Shared Services), shortens processing time to payment from weeks to days, and puts more control of the process in the hands of employees who pay out-of-pocket for entertainment related expenses. Faculty and staff are now able to request entertainment reimbursements by directly entering their expenses into the Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Reimbursement System. This eliminates the need to fill out multiple forms to request reimbursement. Additionally, photos of receipts can be uploaded directly to the electronic report and certifications and approvals can now be completed electronically.

The Accounts Payable team partnered with early adopters to pilot the new Direct Enter process and user feedback has been positive. We’re rolling out the system to campus departments through the Divisional Finance Leaders (DFLs) and we’ve asked them to ensure that all of the departments within their organization are ready to use the new process by Monday, July 1, 2019.

To get started, you or your preparer simply log into the reimbursement system and begin creating your entertainment reports there. Staff from the Accounts Payable office are available to visit your staff meetings, conduct a demonstration of the updated system, and answer questions about the new process. If you would like to request a demonstration, or if you have questions about using the Direct Enter process, contact entertainment@berkeley.edu.

To learn more about the Direct Enter process, visit the Direct Enter page on the Accounts Payable – Entertainment website, where you will find information about how to get started, as well as training material and videos that will walk you through how to directly enter your entertainment expenses into the reimbursement system.

Berkeley Regional Services will continue to be available to assist with processing complex reimbursements and, if necessary, with reimbursements for students.

The ability to directly enter entertainment reimbursements simplifies the payment processing experience and provides faster reimbursements to you while making the university more efficient. We welcome your feedback via email to entertainment@berkeley.edu so we can continue to improve the effectiveness of the new T&E reimbursement system.

Finally, we also wanted to take a moment to communicate a change in processing of exceptional entertainment. In an effort to ensure the most cost effective use of public funds, the Chancellor and EVCP now require pre-approval of exceptional entertainment that is more than 50% above the standard limits. The request for payment/reimbursement of such expenses must include a compelling written justification as to why the higher costs were unavoidable and necessary to achieve a valid University business need. Please work through your cognizant Dean, Director, Vice Chancellor or Vice Provost office, to request pre-approvals.

 

Sincerely,

A. Paul Alivisatos Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Rosemarie Rae Vice Chancellor, Finance

Marc Fisher Vice Chancellor, Administration