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Significant Improvements to the Expense Reimbursement Process
November 21, 2006, Volume 53, No. 13

Next month the University plans to introduce two significant enhancements to the reimbursement process:

• Reimbursements for travel and other reimbursable expenses will be deposited directly to the bank accounts of faculty, staff, and student workers who have signed up for Direct Deposit of their paychecks.

• Faculty, staff, and student workers will be able to  log in to a new, secure “My Reimbursements” website by mid-December to see if a reimbursement request has been processed and a check issued or funds deposited into their bank account.

These enhancements are being implemented as part of a University-wide “procurement to payment” initiative whose purpose is to streamline processes and reduce costs related to all aspects of procuring and paying for goods and services at Penn.

Direct Deposit of Reimbursements

Direct Deposit is the process whereby paper reimbursement checks are eliminated and reimbursements are sent directly into designated bank accounts electronically. This process reduces the need to send out checks through intramural or U.S. mail and speeds the process from reimbursement generation to funds available.  All people who have Direct Deposit for paychecks will have reimbursements deposited directly as well. No advices will be sent out for Direct Deposit reimbursements.

Direct Deposit will speed up reimbursements by eliminating both the time required for a reimbursement check to arrive in a departmental office and be distributed to the payee, and the time required for the payee to deposit the check and have it clear.  It will also reduce the volume and expense of stop payments and reissued checks resulting from checks being lost in the mail or being sent to an incorrect or old address.

These benefits will be available only to those who have signed up for Direct Deposit. We strongly encourage anyone not using Direct Deposit to sign up immediately. A form, together with instructions, is available in the Payroll section of the Financial Forms web page at www.finance.upenn.edu/comptroller/forms/ or by calling (215) 898-7256. 

“My Reimbursements” Website

 “My Reimbursements,” a new section of U@Penn, will allow individuals to track their own reimbursements online at their convenience, without having to depend on their business administrator or administrative assistant. 

Individuals receiving a payment or deposit with multiple transactions will be able to click on the Reference number and get a breakdown of each entry. “My Reimbursements” access will be limited to the payee, who will log in using his or her PennKey and password. Business officers will continue to use the BEN Financials system to see if a reimbursement has been processed. 

—Thomas Slavinski, Associate Comptroller

Almanac - November 21, 2006, Volume 53, No. 13