Accounts Payable & Travel Accounting Update & Important Reminders

Sent to AFS-Update mailing list on Oct. 25, 2022

Increase in Meal Rates for Business Travel & Entertainment

The reimbursement rates for meals eaten on business travel and meals served during business meetings or while entertaining have increased. The rates for both types of meal reimbursement are listed below. 

Travel Meals

The University of California’s Meal and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) cap guideline sets the daily maximum you can be reimbursed for meals and tips (incidentals). This is for all business travel of less than 30 days in the continental United States, which includes the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

The maximum M&IE rate for fiscal year 2022-23 is $79.00 and is based on the highest per diem rate available for all UC locations as published by the U.S. General Services Administration for 2022-23. The UC’s travel policy will be updated accordingly. Visit our travel website for more information on M&IE guidelines.

Entertainment/Meeting Meal Rates

The maximum meal rates for entertainment and business meeting meals have been increased in response to soaring food prices. The new rates are as follows:

Meal Type

Maximum Per Person Rate







Light Refreshments


These amounts include the cost of food and beverages, labor, sales tax, service, and delivery charges except for donor and recruitment related events hosted by the President and Chancellors. The cost of room rental, room set-up fees, media rental, and decorations, etc., are not included in the per-person costs. Business and Finance Bulletin BUS-79, Expenditures for Entertainment, Business Meetings, and Other Occasions, will be revised to include this information. The revised meal rates for travel and entertainment are effective for expenses incurred in fiscal year 2022-23. The rates will be reviewed annually. For more information on lodging guidelines, visit our travel website.

Join UCI’s Uber Business Account for Tailored Benefits

As you may know, the UC is partnered with Uber to assist with travel and meal needs, ranging from travel and expense simplifications to tools for our internal and external operations. The UCI Travel Accounting team is excited to announce that we just launched our own Uber for UC Irvine employee account to provide you with UCI-specific Uber benefits! Happy Uber-ing!

This re-introduced partnership with Uber provides UCI employees and departments with dedicated resources, exclusive benefits, and Uber tool access to assist with operations, including:

  • Receipts will be sent to your UCI email for easy work expense identification, saving you time on expensing
  • You’ll be opted into all of our Uber's Premium Business User Benefits
  • A direct channel of communication to our dedicated Uber Team
  • Uber for UC Irvine Employee Guide explaining the account benefits, educating on Uber & how to request departmental tools - visit our Uber for Business Travel website.

Please use the QR code or link above to join the UCI account. Accepting the invite or using join links above will automatically create a UC Irvine Business Profile in your Uber app so you can start using today. Follow the Employee Onboarding Guide for a visual walk-through. 

Note on Paying for Transportation: Please do not purchase Uber rides on behalf of others or use the corporate credit card to pay for ground transportation on behalf of others. UC Policy G-28 Travel Regulations requires travelers to pay for their own ground transportation and then turn in their receipts for reimbursement.

Traveling? Booking Meetings? Get a Corporate Card

Traveling on UC business or booking business meetings or events for UCI? We recommend signing up for a UCI corporate card. The card may be used specifically for:

  • Cardholder’s own UC travel expenses
  • Approved UC business meetings and entertainment expenses
  • Gift or awards purchased on behalf of the University

Keep in mind that the corporate card does not affect your personal credit or your credit score, but just like personal credit cards, timely payments avoid late fees. To keep track of your card usage, cardholders may register to access their account online and access information on your mobile app. Additionally, corporate card business expenses must be reconciled in a Travel Reimbursement eDoc on a monthly, and timely basis. This is to avoid delinquent payments to the bank.

See our website for additional information on the UCI Corporate Card program.

CTS Accounts – Important Reminder

When it comes to paying for airfare for candidate recruitment, a CTS account may be used to pay for the airfare of the candidate only. Even if the required prior approval was obtained from the Provost’s office to reimburse the travel of a spouse or children, the CTS account may NOT be used to pay for the airfare of the spouse or children.

See our website for information about when a CTS account may or may not be used

Travel Reimbursements for Non-Employees and Students: Don’t Forget the Non-Employee Certification Form

Travel reimbursements or CTS card purchases of airfare and lodging for non-employees and students require a Non-Employee Certification form as backup documentation. UC Policy G-28 Travel Regulations states: The traveler must either sign or provide an electronic equivalent on the travel expense claim certifying that the amounts claimed are a true statement of the expenses incurred on official university business and that the original of all required receipts has been submitted, whether scanned or faxed. Internal departmental expense claim forms are not an acceptable alternative for obtaining the traveler’s signature on the travel expense claim (or electronic equivalent) unless approved as an exception to this policy.

Accounts Payable (AP): When to use Reason Code I on a Disbursement Voucher?

DV Reason Code I cover memberships, subscriptions, renewals and dues and may be used for any payment for a renewal or subscription to a newspaper, book or magazine, domain name renewal and website hosting. Best practice for multi-year memberships would be to reimburse in annual installments during the employee’s appointment.

PALCard is the preferred method of payment, however, if paying by a DV directly, please upload a copy of the invoice showing the remit to address and amount. If reimbursing on a DV, please provide a copy of the receipts showing proof of payment and payment method used. If the reimbursement is covered by a union contract, a copy of the union contract must also be uploaded into the Image Scanning Tab.

Visit our website for complete list of Disbursement Voucher Payment Reason Codes.

Accounts Payable (AP): Payments to Research Participants

It is the responsibility of each department to keep track of any anonymous research participants who receive payment of $600 or more in a calendar year. The information required is the full name, address, and tax ID number of the participant. Departments must then provide this information by the end of the calendar year to the Accounts Payable department so a 1099 can be created for tax reporting purposes. 

If the amount paid to a participant during a calendar year is $600 or more, participant anonymity cannot be maintained because the University is required to report such payments to the IRS.  Completing the Acknowledgement of Patient Compensation form ensures that participants are notified of this. 

Please visit the Payments to Research Participants guide for more information.

Accounts Payable (AP): Tips for Setting Up Wire Transfers

Wire transfers are used to transfer funds to banks located in foreign countries. Funds are transferred in the currency that is billed. If no currency is stated on the KFS eDoc or invoice, U.S. dollars will be sent to the foreign bank. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the payee to verify if the receiving bank can receive U.S. dollars. If funds are sent in a foreign currency, Bank of America will provide UCI with the U.S. dollar amount per the conversion rate that is in effect on the day funds are sent. This U.S. dollar amount is then recorded in KFS.

When we send funds to a new payee, Accounts Payable sets up a time with the foreign payee to validate the information that was provided to us. Once the bank information is validated, we will proceed with the wire transfer. Please note that time differences, payee availability and sometimes language barriers can delay payment processing. The initial verification process only occurs with first-time payees.

Please provide your payee with the Wire Transfer Request Form, located on the Accounts Payable website, to ensure all the banking information needed to send the wire transfer is provided.

Accounts Payable (AP): Invoice Payments on Purchase Orders

Below are some useful tips for making sure your invoices get paid as quickly as possible:

  • When sending your invoice to for payment processing, please enter the vendors REMIT (Pay to) Name in the subject line of the email. AP processors divide up vendors alphabetically and including the remit name helps ensure the invoice is received by the correct processor to prevent delay in processing.
  • Purchase Orders (PO) should not be closed until the final product or service is received. Processing is delayed when AP has to contact departments to open POs so an invoice can be processed.
  • It is the responsibility of the department to monitor when a PO expires, so be mindful of the expiration dates on your PO. If AP receives an invoice that references an expired PO, processing will be delayed until a valid PO is provided. Similarly, it’s the responsibility of the department to monitor their POs and ensure there is enough funding available to process an invoice.
Business Hours

Accounts Payable is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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