Now that some of us Feds can travel again, it’s time for a tip for those of us who use Defense Travel System (DTS). I like to call it
The DTS 99 Cent Travel Hack.
When I set up my itinerary and get to the ‘Non Mileage Expenses’ window, I list all the incidental fees and taxes I anticipate paying (like hotel taxes, tolls, parking, gas for the rental car, etc.) and follow them up with the last two digits listed as “$xx.99”. Our comptroller noticed this and asked me, “Why do you do this, GubMints”? (Yes, that’s my real name).
First, here’s what it looks like when you establish your itinerary like I do:
To answer the Comptroller’s question, the answer is when it comes time to return home from TDY and fill out your travel claim, the checklist of expenses is now filled out for you. The expenses ending in “$xx.99” are placeholders to cue you that the actual value of your receipts for this line item has not been entered yet.
It also helps because sometimes even when you think you have entered an expense, the system hiccups and has not accepted what you just typed in as the value. Ending all you place holders with “$xx.99” alerts you to whether or not you have entered the receipt value, and if DTS has registered it yet.
I’ve noticed that it is VERY rare that an actual expense from TDY ends with 99 cents. This hack has worked well for me in reducing travel claim expense errors- I hope the tip works as well for you!
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