Approve or Retun (Disapprove) a Voucher


The agency's Travel Express administrator sets up the users who will be Approvers, as well as the Approval Levels.

  • Approval levels are organized in a hierarchy, so that a voucher must be approved at the first level before it can be approved at the second level.
  • An Approver can return a voucher to the user/traveler for changes, or to a Fiscal Coder to correct fiscal coding.
  • An Approver is not allowed to approve their own voucher.
  • The administrator may assign PCAs or Indexes to an Approver so they will be authorized to approve vouchers coded only with those specific PCAs or Indexes, or the administrator may assign all PCA/Indexes an Approver so they will be able to approve a voucher coded with any PCA or Index.
  • The final approval should be completed by 6:30 PM MST in order to be uploaded to STARS that day. Transactions are uploaded in a batch type 0 (zero) and will have an effective date of the date they are 'final approved'.

Find a Voucher

1. From the Travel Express main menu, click Approver Menu, and then click Approve/Disapprove a Voucher.

2. If needed, you can search for vouchers by the traveler's name (click Browse next to Traveler), or by Destination, Status, Level (approval level), etc. Select or enter any of these criteria and click Find.

a. If you do not find vouchers that should be available, place your cursor in the Level field and press DEL (delete) or backspace to make sure the field is empty or blank.

b. When searching by approval level (Level), the default view of the queue will include vouchers waiting at your approval level and below. While you can find vouchers above your assigned approval level, you will not be able to select a voucher above your approval level.

Figure 1 - Level field​


Figure 2 - Voucher Approver Queue


Approve a Voucher

1. Click Select next to the appropriate voucher. The default status of vouchers in the Voucher Approver Queue is Pending Approval(s).

2. When the voucher opens, each line item and its fiscal coding will be displayed. If desired, click the plus sign next to any of the summary or detail views to display more information about the travel voucher.

Figure 3 - View details​


3. Note that expenses that are part of the official travel, but not paid directly by the traveler should be entered. These will be seen as a zero amount memo line item (MEM). The approver should still approve these. If all expenses entered as memo items, the voucher will have a zero amount balance. Any memo (MEM) line item will not be uploaded to STARS.

Figure 4 - Zero amount memo line item

4. If needed, click the Attachment tab to view any attached documents (receipts, invoices, etc.).

5. When finished reviewing the voucher, click the Choose One drop down menu and select Route to approver.

​​​Return a Voucher

    • To return a voucher to a fiscal coder or traveler, select Return to Traveler or Return to coder. Enter comments as to why you are returning the voucher.

6. Select the name of the approver from the Select Approver drop down menu, enter any comments if needed, and then click Submit. If the administrator has enabled e-mail notification, an e-mail will be sent to the next approver.

Figure 5 - Route to next approver


7. If you are the final approver, click the Choose One drop down menu, select Route to STARS, enter comments if needed, and then click Submit. (Select this even if the voucher has only a memo line with zero dollars.  A memo (MEM) line item will not be uploaded to STARS, but routing the voucher will finalize the audit trail.)

Figure 6 - Final approval


8. If the administrator has enabled e-mail notification, automatic e-mails will be sent to the creator of the voucher (actual user/traveler or proxy) is approved, disapproved, or routed to back for further action.

Unable or Unauthorized to Approve the Travel Voucher

If you select a voucher that is pending approval and the message, “You are not authorized to access this item” is displayed, it could be:

  • The voucher requires a higher level of approval than what is assigned to the Approver.
  • The voucher was created by the Approver (by default, an approver cannot approve their own travel voucher).
  • The voucher contains transactions coded with PCAs or Indexes that the Approver is not assigned to approve. (E.g., if the voucher transactions are coded with more than one PCA, the Approver must be able to approve all PCAs.)​

You should contact another person who is authorized to approve the voucher or your Travel Express administrator. The agency’s Travel Express administrator sets up each approver for that agency and can update those settings if necessary.