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“One Card” On-Line Travel Reimbursement System

Implementation Plans

  • The University has offered a very successful purchasing card program (P-Card) for several years but, to date, that program has generally not allowed users to charge travel expenses. This limitation is largely due to internal concerns regarding the need for adequate technology tools, process flow, approvals levels, and documentary support that will satisfy IRS regulations, grant compliance needs, and appropriate internal controls.
  • In recent years, several banks have developed one-card solutions and related on-line reimbursement processing that could allow the university to appropriately track, document, approve and process expense reimbursements. While such programs have existed in the for-profit sector for many years, it has come to our attention that other colleges and universities have successfully established such programs as well. Our goal is provide a convenient, efficient, paperless program at Lehigh that meets all criteria for internal control and external regulatory compliance.
  • Such a system will:
    • Allow travelers to charge travel expenses with a card that is widely accepted.
    • Reduce or eliminate the need for faculty and staff to expend personal funds when travelling.
    • Allow faculty and staff to document business expenses and the related accounting to Banner Finance through an online tool that is accessible anywhere in the world.
    • Include an on-line approval process for all expenses submitted through this system
    • Allow for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses that could not be charged to the credit card.
    • Provide a means for submission and retention of related receipts.
    • Reimburse faculty and staff for all approved out-of-pocket expenses via direct deposit to their bank account.
    • Allow colleges and other organizational units to run more extensive reports to summarize travel and other expense activities within their areas.
  • Wells Fargo was selected as the vendor of choice via an RPF process that included representatives from across the University. The contract with Wells Fargo was signed on October 22nd.
  • An implementation team has been established to design and establish the one card system at Lehigh. This implementation team will rely extensively on support and feedback from a larger advisory committee that includes representatives from each major organizational unit at the University. Feedback will also be solicited from faculty committees and other working groups across campus. Within the team, focus areas have been established for:
    • Contractual transition / Bank setup
    • Structure / setup of internal card administration
    • Systems coordination with Banner and related financial oversight
    • Training and Communication
    • System / Procedural / Documentation Testing and Troubleshooting
    • Benchmark other Institutions
    • Approval Structure
  • In addition to group presentations, one-on-one meetings have been established with each advisory committee member to determine the optimal approach for implementing the program and its related approval structure within their organizational unit. Consideration will be given to time/workload demands, coordination with existing processes, and the most effective means for communication and training.
  • Communication and training are critical aspects of a successful program. Several training options will be available and will be structured to accommodate a variety of work schedules and training preferences. Classroom training as well as on-line tutorials will be made available.
  • Pilot groups will be established prior to the campus-wide implementation. It is our plan to complete the implementation process sometime in the first half of calendar year 2011.
Implementation Team Members:
Jane Altemose - Purchasing Kathy Miller – Controller’s Office
Brenda Bachman - Purchasing Stacy Shiffert - Athletics
Robin Bodnar – Provost’s Office Leslie Snow – Controller’s Office
Dave Hammer – Finance & AdministrationKurt Weber - LTS
Pat Mann –Provost’s Office
Advisory Team Members to Date (still recruiting members):
Cyndy Brinker, Zoellner Arts Center
Mary Lynn Breiner, College of Business and Economics
Heidi Casciano, Advancement Office
Philip Clauser, College of Arts and Sciences
Bob Eichenlaub, Internal Audit
Sue Gaugler, Communications and Public Affairs
Stacey Lange, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
Robert Messner, College of Education
Kathleen Nasti, Office of VP and Assoc. Provost for Research and Graduate Studies
Debra Nyby, International Affairs
Dot Ouellette, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
Linda Parks, Human Resources Office
Brian Regan, Admissions
Ann Schadler, Student Affairs
Pam Steigerwalt, LTS
Ruth Tallman, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Last Updated: 10/26/2010