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December 10, 2001

Finance introduces new web services

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld


Online travel reimbursement is the latest service from the Finance Division found at

Designed to make expense reporting eaiser, the site consists of existing travel expense forms. The major difference is faculty and staff can submit their reports and track the status of their reimbursement—from initial request to the final payment of the reimbursement—all online, said David Thurston, assistant vice president for Finance and Bursar.

“Because the person with the most knowledge is putting the data in, there’s a higher degree of accuracy,” Thurston said.

Once Accounts Payable receives the original receipts with department approval, payment is made.

Developed internally, the site debuted earlier this year and was tested in various departments across campus. It only recently was ready for Universitywide use, and so far, so good, Thurston said. In February it drew 42 users, and in August a reported 540 people used the site.

The site is just one service offered by the Finance Division that aims to decrease the amount of time a faculty and staff are “out-of-pocket” while conducting University business.

Other services found at include:

ResAssist: Online travel booking by World Travel BTI, with the benefit of charging University-related airfare to a specific department account.

GE Capital MasterCard for business travel: Use of this card provides insurance to the cardholder of up to $500,000 for accidental death and dismemberment. The cardholder is responsible for payment to GE Capital and requesting reimbursement after travel is completed.

GE Capital purchasing card: This card is available for non-travel-related expenses under $1,500. Purchases made by this card are posted directly to your department designated FAS account.

Online expense reimbursement: Same process as online travel reimbursements only for expenses incurred locally by faculty and staff, though use of a GE purchasing card is encouraged.

Thurston said the department is working on other web-based programs that will reduce paper and wait time with the reporting of expenses. Several other programs for University faculty and staff allow them to follow the status of their payments online are already available. Web Report Viewer allows faculty and staff access to the University’s general ledger reports and accounts reports and WEBFocus runs FAS queries online. All of these sites are secure and have the highest level of encryption available, Thurston added.

While paper has been reduced, don’t look for it to be wholly eliminated. People like to have the option of having paper documentation in their hands, Thurston said. The web programs allow them to have both an online and paper record of all business conducted.

“We’re constantly looking for eaiser ways for faculty and staff to do business on a campus as decentralized as Emory,” Thurston said. “That’s what this is all about. We try to keep it as simple as possible.”

For more information about the Finance Division’s web-based services, visit its website or call 404-727-6090


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