MI Time and Expense Frequently Asked Questions

 

System Information:

Q 1.     Why was the Time and Expense System implemented?

Q 2.     How do I log in to the system?

Q 3.     What are the optimal computer display settings for the system?

Q 4.     Where can I find additional training materials?

Creating and submitting expense reports:

Q 1.     Where can I find statewide policies regarding employee expense reimbursements?

Q 2.     How do I route my receipts and other supporting documentation?

Q 3.     What happens when I click apply?

Q 4.     What is the difference between apply and save?

Q 5.     What is the difference between save and submit?

Q 6.     The system is requiring me to enter comments on an expense item, why?

Q 7.     How often do I have to submit my reimbursement requests?

Q 8.     How can I enter items that occur several times in one trip more efficiently?

Q 9.     How do I enter recurring items?

Q 10.       How can I review the status of an expense report?

Q 11.       I have multiple concurrent positions, is there anything special I have to do when creating my expense reports?

Q 12.       I accidentally selected reject rather than approve in reviewing an expense report, how do I exit out of the comments box in order to return to the expense report to approve it?

Q 13.       I accidentally selected approve with comments rather than approve in reviewing an expense report, how do I exit out of the comments box in order to return to the expense report to approve it without comments?

Q 14.       How can I determine what expense reports have not been submitted yet (for example, at fiscal year end)?

Q 15.       I selected an expense line item but I don’t want to change it and I am not done entering expense details, how do I unselect the expense line item I have selected so I don't make a change to that line item?

Q 16.       What is the difference between Print Summary and Print Detail on my expense report?

Modifying and adjusting expense reports:

Q 1.     What happens when a previously processed expense report is adjusted?

Q 2.     How do I delete an expense report that has already been submitted?

Q 3.     I’d like to start over on my expense reimbursement request.  How can I delete the entire request?

Q 4.     How long do I have to modify an expense reimbursement request (at what point can I no longer modify saved/submitted/approved requests)?

Q 5.     I found a receipt for a reimbursable expense related to a prior expense report that has already been processed, how can I get it reimbursed?

Data elements and codes in the Time and Expense System:

Q 1.     Where can I find a list of expense types?

Q 2.     What are the available expense types?

Q 3.     What does the round trip indicator do/mean?

Q 4.     What does the common miles indicator do/mean?

Q 5.     Is the common miles indicator affected by vicinity miles?

Q 6.     What do the various action codes/status codes mean?

Q 7.     I don’t see the specific coding block elements that I need in the drop-down lists, does that mean I can’t use them?

Expense reimbursements – timing, payment methods, taxation:

Q 1.     When can I expect to receive my expense reimbursement?

Q 2.     Why haven’t I received my expense reimbursement yet?

Q 3.     Why did a transaction from the Time and Expense System decrease my gross and net pay?

Q 4.     Will my reimbursement be mailed as a separate check?

Q 5.     Will my expense reimbursement appear on my earnings statement?

Q 6.     I’ve submitted receipts for my meals, why are they taxable?

Q 7.     How do I know if my expenses are taxable?

Q 8.     What taxes are withheld from taxable reimbursements?

Q 9.     How are taxes on taxable reimbursements calculated?

Q 10.       Will taxable reimbursements be included on my W-2?

Advances:

Q 1.     Why can’t I enter an advance request?

Q 2.     How do I save a modified advance?

Q 3.     When can I enter a manual deposit against an outstanding Advance?

Q 4.     What does the advance outstanding amount represent?

Q 5.     Why is the advance outstanding amount in the line items different from the amount on the summary?

Other:

Q 1.     I’ve reviewed the training materials, FAQ’s, and helpful tips and still can’t find the answer to my question – who can I contact for assistance?

 


MI Time and Expense Frequently Asked Questions

 

System Information:

 

Q 1.                      Why was the Time and Expense System implemented?

Answer:

The Time and Expense System was implemented as part of on-going efforts to standardize and streamline administrative processes of the State including employee expense reimbursements.  The new system provides employees greater access to their information and reduces administrative efforts by enabling self service functionality, provides for greater protection of employee’s personal information by eliminating the need to store the information on multiple systems, and simplifies the tax withholding and reporting functions associated with taxable reimbursements.

 

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Q 2.                      How do I log in to the system?

Answer: 

The MI Time and Expense System is accessed from within MI HR Self Service (www.michigan.gov/selfserv) and can be bookmarked as a separate link in your favorites.  Employees will be prompted for a user id and password to log in to Mi Time and Expense.  The same user id and password used for self service is used to log in to MI Time and Expense.

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Q 3.                      What are the optimal computer display settings for the system?

Answer:

It is recommended that you set computer monitor at the second lowest resolution (1024 by 768 pixels) or higher.  The system will function at lower resolutions however additional “scrolling” will be needed to navigate across the full screen.

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Q 4.                      Where can I find additional training materials?

Answer:

Training materials are available from the Help function within the Time and Expense System and can also be accessed through the internet by selecting this Training Link. Numerous informational documents are also available by selecting Helpful Tips from the help function within the Time and Expense System and can be accessed through the internet by selecting this Helpful Tips link.

 

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Creating and submitting expense reports:

 

Q 1.                      Where can I find statewide policies regarding employee expense reimbursements?

Answer:

Statewide policies addressing the Time and Expense System are contained within the Financial Management Guide, Part IV, Chapter 6.  This chapter contains information on processing expense reimbursements and advances, taxation of expense reimbursements, documentation and audit requirements, and adjustments to expense reimbursements.

 

The Standardized Travel Regulations are located on the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget’s website.  The Standardized Travel Regulations define reimbursable expenses, reimbursement rates, and other rules associated with State Employee travel.

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Q 2.                      How do I route my receipts and other supporting documentation?

Answer:     

Agency specific policies should be followed.  In general, employees can print the summary tab of the expense reimbursement and attach that to the related documentation as a cover sheet.

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Q 3.                      What happens when I click apply?

Answer:

Apply creates a line item for the expense details you have entered in the expense details section and retains the first two rows of data for entry of the next expense item.  If a user does not want to retain the defaulted values, they can either type new values in the fields or click “Add” to create a new, blank expense details record.

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Q 4.                      What is the difference between apply and save?

 

Answer:     

Apply creates a line item for the expense details you have entered in the expense details section.  Save updates the system with the current version of the expense report without routing the expense report for approval.

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Q 5.                      What is the difference between save and submit?

Answer:

Save updates the system with the current version of the expense report.  Submit routes the current version for approval based upon agency approval paths.

 

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Q 6.                      The system is requiring me to enter comments on an expense item, why?

Answer:

Comments may be required for a number of reasons.  Vicinity miles and certain expense types require comments and comments are required if the reimbursement amount requested for an item exceeds the State rate for that item. 

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Q 7.                      How often do I have to submit my reimbursement requests?

Answer:

Reimbursement requests must be submitted timely and in accordance with agency specific policies and procedures.  Generally, to avoid additional tax consequences, reimbursement requests should be submitted within 60 days of the date the expense was incurred

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Q 8.                      How can I enter items that occur several times in one trip more efficiently?

Answer:

The most efficient way to enter an item that occurs several times in one trip is to select all applicable dates from the calendar icon when entering the first occurrence.  When you complete entry of the applicable details and click apply, individual items will be created in the expense summary section for each applicable date.  The individual items can then be selected for editing as necessary.

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Q 9.                      How do I enter recurring items?

 

Answer:

Recurring items are entered by selecting all applicable dates from the calendar icon when entering the first occurrence.  When you complete entry of the applicable details and click apply, individual items will be created in the expense summary section for each applicable date.  The individual items can then be selected for editing as necessary.

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Q 10.                  How can I review the status of an expense report?

Answer:

You can review the status of expense reports by selecting the report then selecting the History Tab.  A history of all of the actions taken on that report is displayed.  For additional information regarding status codes and what they mean, please refer to the MI Time and Expense Action Codes document found in the helpful tips documentation.

 

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Q 11.                  I have multiple concurrent positions, is there anything special I have to do when creating my expense reports?

Answer:     

Yes.  When an employee with multiple concurrent positions creates an expense report, they are prompted to select an appointment record when saving the expense report.  Select the position that the expense report is applicable to in order to ensure proper distribution of the associated costs and routing of the expense report to the appropriate supervisor for approval.

 

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Q 12.                  I accidentally selected reject rather than approve in reviewing an expense report, how do I exit out of the comments box in order to return to the expense report to approve it?

Answer:

To exit out of the comments box from rejection without entering comments and rejecting the report, simply press the escape (Esc) key on your keyboard.

 

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Q 13.                  I accidentally selected approve with comments rather than approve in reviewing an expense report, how do I exit out of the comments box in order to return to the expense report to approve it without comments?

Answer:

To exit out of the comments box from approve with comments without entering comments and rejecting the report, simply press the escape (Esc) key on your keyboard.

 

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Q 14.                  How can I determine what expense reports have not been submitted yet (for example, at fiscal year end)?

 

Answer:

The routine traveler report will provide a listing of employees that are flagged on their travel profile as routing travelers who have not submitted an expense report for the specified timeframe.  The report will also identify when they last processed and expense report.  If the report does not contain any results, it means there are no routine travelers who have not submitted and expense report for the specified timeframe.

 

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Q 15.                  I selected an expense line item but I don’t want to change it and I am not done entering expense details, how do I unselect the expense line item I have selected so I don't make a change to that line item?

Answer:

Clicking apply without changing any data elements on the current detail record will generate a new detail record with the first two rows of data defaulted, clicking add will generate a new blank detail record.  If you determine that you do not need to enter any additional details, simply save the expense report and review the remaining tabs for accuracy.

 

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Q 16.                  What is the difference between Print Summary and Print Detail on my expense report?

Answer:

Print summary provides a printable view of the summary tab of an expense report.  Print Detail provides a printable view of the complete details of the expense report.

 

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Modifying and adjusting expense reports:

 

Q 1.                      What happens when a previously processed expense report is adjusted?

Answer:     

When a previously processed expense report is adjusted, the changes are processed through the next payroll cycle resulting in increases or decreases to the employee’s expense reimbursements as applicable.

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Q 2.                      How do I delete an expense report that has already been submitted?

Answer:

An expense report that is in submitted status or beyond submitted status cannot be deleted; rather, it must be rejected by the next level approver.

 

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Q 3.                      I’d like to start over on my expense reimbursement request.  How can I delete the entire request?

Answer:

If the expense report has not been submitted, it can be deleted from the Expense List page (select Employee, Expenses) by clicking on the delete function to the right of the expense report.  If the expense report has been submitted, it must be rejected by the approver (it cannot be deleted once submitted).

 

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Q 4.                      How long do I have to modify an expense reimbursement request (at what point can I no longer modify saved/submitted/approved requests)?

 

Answer:     

Users with access to modify an expense report can modify the report (by clicking the modify button) until the next action (approval) has been taken on the report.  If the report is in APRW status, it can only be modified by the current or next level approver or rejected back to the employee for modification and re-submission.

 

Users without access to modify an expense report (security not granted by the agency) should consult with the next level approver regarding the need to modify the report.

 

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Q 5.                      I found a receipt for a reimbursable expense related to a prior expense report that has already been processed, how can I get it reimbursed?

Answer:

Consult with your agency’s policies and procedures to determine if you can still get reimbursed for the additional item(s) (if you are within allowable timeframes for reimbursement).  If so, select the applicable expense report within the Time and Expense System and modify the processed expense report.  The additional amount will process through the next payroll cycle after the modified expense report is fully approved.  Employees without access to the modify function should consult with their agency to determine what steps need to be taken.

 

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Data elements and codes in the Time and Expense System:

 

Q 1.                      Where can I find a list of expense types?

Answer:

A list of expense types can be found within the Helpful Tips section of the MI Time and Expense documentation.

 

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Q 2.                      What are the available expense types?

Answer:

A list of expense types can be found within the Helpful Tips section of the MI Time and Expense documentation.

 

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Q 3.                      What does the round trip indicator do/mean?

Answer:

When the round trip indicator is selected for mileage entries, the number of miles determined based on the common miles table is doubled.  If the common miles have been overridden by direct entry in the miles field, the round trip indicator does not double the number of miles entered.

 

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Q 4.                      What does the common miles indicator do/mean?

Answer:

The common miles indicator alerts the user to whether common (point to point) miles were used based upon the from and to locations (common miles indicator = “Yes”) or whether the user entered a specific number of miles for a trip (common miles indicator = “No”).

 

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Q 5.                      Is the common miles indicator affected by vicinity miles?

Answer:

No, the common miles indicator (Yes or No) is not affected by entry of vicinity miles.  The common miles indicator will only change between Yes and No based on entry of mileage in the miles field (overriding the common miles determined based upon the from and to locations).

 

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Q 6.                      What do the various action codes/status codes mean?

Answer:

The action codes represent the various actions taken on an advance or expense report by users and batch processing.  The status of the reports is updated based upon the actions that have been taken.  For additional details, refer to the Helpful Tips  document titled “Action Codes”.

 

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Q 7.                      I don’t see the specific coding block elements that I need in the drop-down lists; does that mean I can’t use them?

Answer:

Agencies are able to control what coding block elements appear in the drop-down lists through agency controlled DCDS configuration.  Coding block elements that do not appear in the drop-down list can be entered by users by typing in the appropriate values.

 

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Expense reimbursements – timing, payment methods, taxation:

 

Q 1.                      When can I expect to receive my expense reimbursement?

Answer:

Once approved, expense reimbursements are processed through the State’s payroll system as increases to the amount of the next bi-weekly payroll payment.  Advance liquidations and reductions in previously processed expense reimbursements process through the State’s payroll system as decreases to the amount of the next bi-weekly payroll payment. 

 

Please refer to the Helpful Tips document titled “Time and Expense Processing Timeframes Chart” for specifics regarding the timing as it relates to the State’s pay dates.

 

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Q 2.                      Why haven’t I received my expense reimbursement yet?

Answer:

Expense reimbursements and adjustments must be fully approved (according to the agency’s approval path) before they are processed through the system.  The status of the expense reimbursement or adjustment can be reviewed on the History tab of the reimbursement request.  Once approved, expense reimbursements and adjustments are processed in the next payroll cycle and result in increases or decreases to the next bi-weekly payroll payment.  Please refer to the Helpful Tips document titled “Time and Expense Processing Timeframes Chart” for specifics.

 

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Q 3.                      Why did a transaction from the Time and Expense System decrease my gross and net pay?

Answer:

Expense reimbursement adjustments decreasing a previously reimbursed expense will decrease the employee’s gross and net pay for the pay date the adjustment processes.  Liquidations of outstanding advance amounts in excess of current reimbursed expenses will also result in a decrease to the employee’s gross and net pay for the pay date the transaction is processed.

 

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Q 4.                      Will my reimbursement be mailed as a separate check?

Answer:

No.  Expense reimbursements are processed through the State’s payroll system and result in adjustments to employee’s gross and net pay and, when applicable, taxable income and withholdings. 

 

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Q 5.                      Will my expense reimbursement appear on my earnings statement?

Answer:

Yes.  Expense reimbursements appear as separate amounts in the Earnings section of the corresponding Statement of Earnings and Deductions.  Expense reimbursement amounts are summarized by the following categories on the Statement of Earnings and Deductions:  Miles, Lodging, Meals, Travel Advances, and Other.  These categories are further detailed on the Statement of Earnings and Deductions based upon tax treatment (taxable or non-taxable) and for in state vs. out of state travel.

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Q 6.                      I’ve submitted receipts for my meals, why are they taxable?

Answer:

IRS regulations are used to determine the appropriate tax treatment for employee expense reimbursements.  Under IRS regulations, reimbursements for meals when there is no overnight stay associated with a trip are generally taxable.  Please refer to the Helpful Tips document titled “Taxation of Expense Reimbursements” for specifics.

 

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Q 7.                      How do I know if my expenses are taxable?

Answer:

IRS regulations are used to determine the appropriate tax treatment for employee expense reimbursements.  Please refer to the Helpful Tips document titled “Taxation of Expense Reimbursements” for specifics.

 

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Q 8.                      What taxes are withheld from taxable reimbursements?

Answer:

Taxes are withheld from taxable reimbursements based upon the employee’s tax setup in the State’s payroll system.  Generally, federal, state, and city income taxes are withheld as well as social security and Medicare taxes.  City taxes are only withheld if the employee is subject to city tax withholdings based upon their work and/or residence addresses.  Some employees are exempt from social security and/or Medicare taxes.  Social security and/or Medicare taxes are not withheld for these employees.

 

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Q 9.                      How are taxes on taxable reimbursements calculated?

Answer:

Taxable reimbursements are combined with taxable payroll information in the payroll calculation process and taxes are calculated based upon the employees wage bracket and W-4 information (marital status and exemptions) as it exists in the State’s payroll system.  W-4 information can be viewed and updated by employees in MI HR Self Service.

 

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Q 10.                  Will taxable reimbursements be included on my W-2?

Answer:

Yes.  Taxable reimbursements and the related withholdings are included on W-2’s.

 

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Advances:

 

Q 1.                      Why can’t I enter an advance request?

Answer:

Not all agencies allow travel advances.  Agencies control access to the advance request functionality through setup in the Time and Expense System. 

 

If you are unable to enter an advance request, review your agency’s policies and procedures to determine if advances are allowed within your department.  If they are, but you are unable to enter a request, contact your agency finance office to determine if there is an issue with your setup in the Time and Expense System or another reason why you are unable to enter an advance request.

 

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Q 2.                      How do I save a modified advance?

Answer:

Users with appropriate access can modify advances after they have been submitted and prior to approval.  Because the advance is already in a submitted status at the point of modification, the changes must be submitted again in order to save them to the database.  Upon submission, the user will be prompted for a comment to explain the modification.  Enter an appropriate description in the comment field then press “ok.”

 

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Q 3.                      When can I enter a manual deposit against an outstanding Advance?

Answer:

In order to ensure the integrity of the advances outstanding data, an advance must be processed (status on the history tab = “PROC”) before a manual deposit can be entered to liquidate the advance.

 

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Q 4.                      What does the advance outstanding amount represent?

Answer:

The advance outstanding amount represents the total of all advances that have been fully approved net of all liquidations that are on expense or advance requests that have been fully approved. 

 

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Q 5.                      Why is the advance outstanding amount in the line items different from the amount on the summary?

Answer:

The Total Outstanding Advances amount on the Liquidations tab does not update for any liquidations entered on an expense report until that expense report is fully approved.  This is also true for the Advance Outstanding amount on the Expense tab and the Current Outstanding Advance amount on the Summary tab.

 

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Other:

Q 1.                      I’ve reviewed the training materials, FAQ’s, and helpful tips and still can’t find the answer to my question – who can I contact for assistance?

Answer:

For questions regarding your agency’s policies and procedures, contact the appropriate person within your department.  For questions regarding the Time and Expense System that aren’t addressed by the Training materials, FAQ’s, and Helpful Tips please contact the OFM Help Desk for assistance between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at (517) 373-6222 or (800) 856-6246.

 

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