Travel Advance


Definition of a travel advance

A travel advance is used to provide an employee with funds to pay for estimated future travel expenses that the traveler has not yet paid. Funds will be direct deposited into the employee’s bank account before the travel occurs. 

Procedures to receive a travel advance

To obtain a travel advance, the employee must complete the Travel Advance Form and submit it at least seven business days prior to travel. This form should be completed as follows:

  • The employee should read over the policies listed on the form to ensure the travel conforms to the requirements and required deadlines.
  • The employee must print their name and provide their signature to acknowledge the requirements.
  • The relevant information must be completed including the SU ID number, the destination, the purpose and the dates of travel.
  • The employee must complete an estimated break down of expenses and a budget number.
  • The final step before submitting it to the Controller’s Office is to have an authorized person approve the travel advance. The approver must appear on the Expenditure Authorization list for the budget being charged. Both the printed name and signature must appear on the requisition form.

The travel advance form should be submitted to the Controller’s Office and incomplete requests will be held until Accounts Payable receives the proper information or sent back to the person responsible.  After the travel advance has arrived to Accounts Payable, it will receive a final review and be processed. 

The minimum amount for an advance is $200. Travel advances are only issued to active University employees with no outstanding travel advances. Travel advances cannot be direct deposited any earlier than five business days prior to travel.

Procedures to reconcile a travel advance

Within 10 business days following the last day of travel, advances must be reconciled to actual expenses incurred on the trip.  To begin the reconciliation, the Travel Expense Report (TER) must be completed and travel expenses must adhere to University Policy. On the bottom of the TER, the employee must document the total amount of the travel advance in the advance field. The difference between the actual expenses paid and the advance will dictate whether money is owed to the University or the University owes money to the employee.

If money is owed to the University, the employee should provide cash or a check directly to an employee in the Controller’s Office. The Controller’s Office will count the money in front of the employee and provide a receipt.  The employee should not send the money through the mail or drop it off in the basket at the front desk of the Controller’s Office. The Controller’s Office is not responsible for money lost in the mail or money dropped off in the front basket.

Any advance that is not properly reconciled to the actual expenditures on a timely basis will be included as income in the recipient’s annual W-2 form. These funds would then be subject to income tax withholding, Social Security, Medicare and federal unemployment taxes.

Advances for student activities

There are situations where students may also receive an advance relating to student activities such as clubs and related travel.  These student advances follow the same procedures and requirements discussed above for travel advances; however, they have the following differences:

  • The dollar range of the student advance will be issued between $200 and $500.
  • The student advance must be approved by an authorized person from Student Activities.
  • Student advances may only be issued to active students and will not be issued to a student who has an outstanding advance.
  • The student advance may only be issued from club funds (fund 82 and fund 84).