Top seven mistakes made on a travel voucher

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  • USAFE News Service
Filing a travel voucher electronically with TM-FAST offers quick payment for temporary duty; however, there are seven common mistakes servicemembers and civilians make that can slow the system down and lead to delays in processing travel voucher payments. And just one simple mistake can lead to a delay the time usually required to process a travel voucher.

Below is a Top-7 list of the most common mistakes made by U.S. Air Forces in Europe members when filing a TDY voucher.

1. No fund cite on the voucher -- Submitting a travel voucher through TM-FAST without adding a fund cite is the number one reason for having a voucher returned to the traveler. A voucher without a fund cite is like a credit card without numbers. If you have a question about what fund cite to use, ask your unit Resource Advisor.

2. Orders haven’t been authenticated (data-linked) prior to submission of travel voucher -- Before a servicemember goes TDY then need valid orders, and those orders must be completed in TM-FAST. The local finance office must see that those orders are valid before they can pay a voucher. The easiest way to check if orders are valid is to look at the Travel Authorization and check the bottom right-hand side of the voucher to make sure it says ‘DATA LINK,’ or when printing orders, block 20 should include a box with the word “FAST” written across. These two items indicate orders have been electronically authenticated.

3. Incorrect itinerary -- When filling out an Itinerary, fill out the dates and locations actually traveled to and reason for being at those locations. Be sure to account for leave dates and locations. If TDY dates were changed, make sure the itinerary is updated so travelers are paid for the correct number of days they are TDY.

4. No bank or government travel card information loaded in the members’ account -- Travelers should check with their organizational FAST administrator to ensure their bank account and government travel card are correctly loaded into the TM-FAST account.

5. Incorrect lodging costs -- Makes sure hotel rates match receipts. Do not include hotel taxes in lodging costs. Those will go under miscellaneous expenses.

6. Incorrect/absent comments -- If discrepancies are on the voucher when compared with orders, comments need to be added for the finance office. For example, if a traveler rented a car or had to extend their TDY, they need to add this to the comments section so that finance is aware of the change.

7. Sending orders to finance when the voucher is paid by someone else -- When travel is funded by someone outside of the organization, the traveler will need to fax/scan the orders to their finance office prior to submitting the travel voucher. Otherwise, the finance office will not be able to process the voucher.

“If I could pass along only one tip to TDY travelers when filing a voucher, it would be to double check their voucher before submitting it to finance,” said Capt. Jason Werner, chief of command pay and entitlements with the USAFE financial management directorate at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. “That second look could prevent the voucher from being rejected or paid incorrectly.”