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Look for Receipts (For AOs)

DoD personnel do not travel for a living – they travel to accomplish a mission – and are not always experts on travel.

You, noble AO, should view this as job security.  You are among the elite individuals who have been called to find and eradicate errors on travel documents!

According to audits conducted by the fine folks at the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS), travelers make all kinds of mistakes.  But – far and away – the #1 traveler mistake on DTS vouchers is… (drum roll please) … failure to include the necessary receipts with a voucher.  Therefore, you should consider receipts as one of your top concerns whenever a voucher comes to you for approval.

Here’s a quick review of receipts, so you know what to be looking for…

 -  Receipts must be provided for any lodging expense (regardless of cost) and any expense of $75.00 or more.  If required receipts are missing, return the voucher to the traveler.

Note: If your organization has additional receipt requirements, check for those as well.

 -  Receipts must be legible.  If you can’t read them, return the voucher to the traveler.

 -  Receipts must be itemized and show payment.  A credit card statement doesn’t cut it; neither does a reservation made in DTS.  And, while we’re on the topic of reservations, a reservation summary document is not a receipt.  A receipt must show payment.  If an attachment doesn’t pass muster – you guessed it – return the voucher to the traveler.

 -  Receipts must match the claim on the voucher.  According to DFAS audits, a lot of DoD travelers attach receipts that don’t match the claims on their vouchers.  Red flags should wave in your head if the traveler claimed $385.99 for lodging, but attached a receipt showing they only paid $185.99.  Your course of action?  Wait for it … return the voucher to the traveler.

By the way – if you return a voucher to a traveler – make sure you tell the traveler what they did wrong.  Otherwise, they’re likely to repeat the mistake over and again.

We have confidence in you – so go forth and do great things!  And to help you out, we’ve included all of these receipt requirements in the AO Checklist, which you should use every time a travel document comes to you for approval.

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