Travel and Expense FAQ

Employee  -  Supervisor  -  Expense Coordinator


Employee FAQ 

  1. Where do I login to enter expenses?
  2. How do I get a VISION User ID and password?
  3. What do I do if I am having difficulty logging in?
  4. Why won't the system reset my password using the forgotten password help?
  5. Why won't the password I received using the forgotten password help work?
  6.  I can't find the town that I'm trying to search for, what should I do?
  7. What is the Default Location? 
  8. How do I prevent the “Data inconsistent with database” error message when I submit my expense report?
  9. What do I do with my receipts?
  10.  I'm about to submit my expense report but notice that my approver is incorrect. What should I do?
  11. How long will it take for my expense report to be paid?
  12. How will my expenses be paid?
  13. Why do I keep getting a message that I need to use a taxable billing type when trying to submit my expense report?

Supervisor FAQ

  1. I’m going on vacation; how do expense reports get approved in my absence?
  2. Why are there white bubble icons (exception comments) next to some of the expense lines?
  3. I’m being asked to approve an expense report for an employee who I don’t supervise. What do I do?
  4. What does partial approval mean?

Expense Coordinator FAQ

  1. If a supervisor has budget checked and approved an expense report, but I change the Chartfield information, does the expense report need to be re-budget checked?
  2. What is the most important query?
  3. How do I get detail about expense reports?
  4. What’s the query that lists employees’ default chartfields, supervisor, and User ID?
  5. Where can I find more information about the Expense Types?
  6. Employees keep using the incorrect chartfield information, what should I do?
  7. Supervisors are not approving timely which is causing delays, and at month end causing reports to be deleted. Do you have suggestions?
  8. One of our employees also works in another department and incurs expenses for them. How do we handle this?
  9. There is an expense report that need to be approved, but is sitting with a supervisor who is out unexpectedly? What do I do?
  10. Why don’t Expense Coordinators receive an email notification when there is a Cash Advance awaiting their approval?
  11. When will an expense report or cash advance be paid?

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Employee FAQ 

1. Where do I login to enter expenses?

VISION is the system for travel and expense transactions and the VISION Financial Production login link can be found at the Department of Finance & Management webpage:  http://finance.vermont.gov/.  

2. How do I get a VISION User ID and password?

If you are new to VISION, you will need to work with your department Expense Coordinator(s) (Need link to expense coordinator document) to have an account set up. 

3.  What do I do if I am having difficulty logging in?

  1.  Verify you are on the VISION login page located on the Department of Finance and Management webpage.
  2.  Check your User Id.  VISION logins are the first letter of your first name followed by up to the first 7 characters of last name in UPPERCASE. Some users might also have a number at the end.  
  3.  Clear Cache:  press CTRL, SHIFT and DELETE (all at the same time) on the login page and delete browsing history. Then close all browser windows and try again.  
  4.  Contact VISION Support by email:  vision.finhelpdesk@vermont.gov or call 802-828-6700 Option 2.

4. Why won't the system reset my password using the forgotten password help?

Most likely it is because you haven't set up your forgotten password security question yet, which needs to be setup through My System Profile prior to use.  For now, contact VISION Support by email:  vision.finhelpdesk@vermont.gov or call 802-828-6700 Option 2 for a reset.  

5. Why won't the password I received using the forgotten password help work?

The system locks accounts after the 3rd login attempt.  To have your account unlocked, you will need to contact VISION Support by email:  vision.finhelpdesk@vermont.gov or call 802-828-6700 Option 2.

6.  I can't find the town that I'm trying to search for, what should I do?

Location searches in VISION search on a shortened name.  The best way to search for a specific town is to type in the first two or three letters and then click search (the magnifying glass). If this doesn't work, then (1) click on the magnifying glass, (2) click Advanced Search (3) type in the first few letters in the Description field, and (4) click search. The list of locations includes all towns in Vermont, all States in the continental US, Out of Country and Legislature. If the town is not listed, please contact VISION Support by email:  vision.finhelpdesk@vermont.gov or call 802-828-6700 Option 2.

7. What is the Default Location? 

If you enter a default location it will automatically populate the destination location for all your expense lines.  Entering a Default Location is not mandatory but it can be a useful tool to speed expense entry if your destination location is the same for all your expense lines.

8. How do I prevent the “Data inconsistent with database” error message when I submit my expense report?

To avoid this message and to prevent lost work, use the “Save for Later” button when creating an expense report or travel authorization. After every few lines, or when an employee needs to step away for a minute or two, it is best to click save.

9. What do I do with my receipts?

It varies based on your department.  Contact your Expense Coordinator and they can let you know who to send them to.

 10. I'm about to submit my expense report but notice that my approver is incorrect. What should I do?

Contact your Expense Coordinator. Your Expense Coordinator may ask you to save your expense report and submit it after the update has been made. Or your Expense Coordinator will ask you to submit your expense report and then the Expense Coordinator will work with VISION Support to reassign the report to the correct supervisor.

11. How long will it take for my expense report to be paid?

Expense reports need to be approved by both your supervisor and Expense Coordinator before they will be paid.  If the status is anything other than Approved for Payment, Staged, or Paid then the expense report is still in the approval process.  After the expense report is in a Paid status, the funds are generally deposited 24 to 48 hours later. If a report is in a Paid status and you have not received the payment after four days, please contact VISION Support.

12. How will my expenses be paid?

Expense payments are electronically deposited into your default bank account that is set up in VTHR (also known as your Balance or 999 account).  Any changes need to be made in VTHR and then they will be sent to expenses. To see your banking information in VISION Navigate to ESS > Travel and Expenses > Review/Edit Profile and click on the Bank Accounts tab. There is a check mark next to the default bank account and this is the account that the reimbursement will be deposited in. You cannot change your banking information in the expense module. 

13. Why do I keep getting a message that I need to use a taxable billing type when trying to submit my expense report?

If an expense was incurred more than 60 days from the time you are submitting your report, you must use a taxable billing type because the claim will be considered taxable income due to IRS rules.  An Explanation of Late Filing form must be completed and submitted with the expense report.  In very limited circumstances the Commissioner of Finance & Management can approve a 'reasonable exception' according to IRS guidelines.  If you believe your circumstances meet the threshold for a 'reasonable exception', you would need to check the box on the form for requesting a waiver and your expense coordinator would need to submit the form to the Commissioner of Finance & Management. 

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Supervisor FAQ

1.  I’m going on vacation, how do expense reports get approved in my absence?

Before going on vacation, be sure to do two things:

  1. Approve or send back any travel authorizations or expense reports in the worklist.
  2. Assign an alternate supervisor who can approve in your absence. Complete the Alternate User section in Main Menu > My System Profile.

2. Why are there white bubbles (exception comments) next to some of the expense lines?

Exception comments flag lines that might be potential duplicate lines or they can indicate a meal was entered over the maximum amount. Click bubble icon to the left of to view the comments for all lines.  

3. I’m being asked to approve an expense report for an employee who I don’t supervise. What do I do?

Check with your Expense Coordinator.  The employee could be assigned to the wrong supervisor or approvals may have been rerouted or reassigned to you.

4. What does partial approval mean?

Partial Approval is an expense report status that occurs after an expense report has been re-routed to the supervisor’s supervisor, who is labeled “Approver 3” in the Status box, and then approved by the original approver. After an expense report has been re-routed, as a result of the 7-calendar day re-route process, “Approver 3” MUST approve the expense report. Frequently, partial approvals create an unnecessary step and cause a delay that can be prevented by supervisors designating an Alternate Approver. 

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Expense Coordinator FAQ

1. If a supervisor has budget checked and approved an expense report, but I change the Chartfield information, does the expense report need to be re-budget checked?

Yes.

2. What is the most important query?

VT_MER_EXP_RPT_NOT_POSTED. It’s not just for month end! Run this query throughout the month to keep track of expense reports. This one report can be sorted and filtered in a variety of ways to help manage expenses.

3. How do I get detail about expense reports?

Below are a couple of the detail queries available.  For more expense queries, see the Reporting Manual.

VT_EX_SUPERV_APPROVED_STATUS: Line detail for all reports that are ready for Expense Coordinator approval (supervisor approved) for a Business Unit.   

VT_EX_EXP_RPT_DTL. Line detail for expense reports including chartfields, expense types, locations, approver comments, amount of cash advance applied, business purpose, etc. The criteria are BU and Accounting Date range as well as any Chartfield information. Accounting Date is the date the expense report was initially submitted.

4. What’s the query that lists employees’ default chartfields, supervisor, and User ID?

VT_EX_EE_CF_APPRVRS. This query is run by BU and lists employees who have been set up in VISION including their User Id.

5. Where can I find more information about the Expense Types?

A list of available expense types and descriptions is located on our page for Travel and Expense training and support.

6. Employees keep using the incorrect chartfield information, what should I do?

  1. Verify the employee’s default chartfield information is correct by running the VT_EX_EE_CF_APPRVERS query or by looking at the user’s profile. If changes are required, you will need to submit an VISION Expense Access Request Form.
  2. If the user’s default is correct, verify they are not copying from an existing report with incorrect Chartfield information.  Remind users to not to copy if they have had a recent change in Chartfield information.
  3. If the employee needs to enter Chartfield information that is different from their default, they can set defaults for that report by using the Default Accounting for Report link. (See Employee Expense Training Guide for more instructions.)
  4. Lastly, ask yourself “if I were an employee, how would I know what chartfield information to use?” Be sure to provide the necessary information in order for employees to get it right.

7. Supervisors are not approving timely which is causing delays, and at month end causing reports to be deleted. Do you have suggestions?

Ultimately, supervisors timely approving or sending back requests is a performance standard. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Chronic offenders should be brought to the attention of the offender’s supervisor and other appropriate department leadership.
  • Keep a record of month end deletes. Are the same approvers appearing month after month?
  • Do approvers need a reminder? Schedule a reoccurring appointment on his/her calendar.
  • Encourage expense report review right after time is reviewed. Bundle time approval and expense approval together and make it a habit.

8. One of our employees also works in another department and incurs expenses for them. How do we handle this?

These employees MUST submit any expense transaction using their primary job. Employees requiring travel authorization in their non-primary job will be required to complete a paper form. The process for employees requiring reimbursement in their non-primary business unit is the following:

  1. Employee will submit the expense report using chartfields that are valid in the employee’s primary job.
  2. The employee must provide substantiation of approval from the non-primary supervisor.
  3. The primary BU will need to initiate a TSF journal with the non-primary BU for the amount of the reimbursement and provide the non-primary BU a copy of the employee’s expense report and substantiation.

9. There is an expense report that needs to be approved, but is sitting with a supervisor who is out unexpectedly? What do I do?

The VISION Support Team can reassign anything in an approver’s worklist to another approver. All items get reassigned; there is no mechanism to reassign just one. They can also set up an alternate approver for a specific period of time so that any new transactions are sent to the alternate approver.

10. Why don’t Expense Coordinators receive an email notification when there is a Cash Advance awaiting their approval?

An employee can have multiple Expense Coordinators and the system is not designed to send email notifications in this situation. On a regular basis, Expense Coordinators should navigate to see if there is a cash advance that they need to approve: Main Menu > Travel and Expenses > Audit > Pre-Pay Audit > Cash Advance

11. When will an expense report or cash advance be paid?

Expense transactions must be approved for payment by 7:45am in order to be picked up for payment. Check payments will be mailed the same business day. ACH payments will be deposited into the employee’s default bank account listed in VTHR the following business day.  

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