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Cash Advances in Travel Status

About this Policy

Cash Advances in Travel Status

Policy Number: 22604

Effective Date:
Dec 12, 2017

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
UM System Controller's Office

Responsible Administrator:
UM System Controller

Policy Contact:

Accounts Payable Shared Services


  • Finance

Request additional information



This policy outlines cash advances utilized by employees and non-employees to conduct University business while in Travel Status.

Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for cash advances for University business needs while in Travel Status in compliance with applicable University policies and IRS regulations.

Policy Statement

Employees traveling on University business may be authorized to obtain a cash advance for minor travel expenses.  Every reasonable effort should be made to identify an alternative to the use of a cash advance and limit the amount of the cash advance requested.  Alternatives available include direct billing and invoiced payment. There must be a reasonable timing relationship between when the advance is given to the employee, when the travel occurs, and when it is substantiated.  There must also be a relationship between the size of the advance and the estimated expenses to be incurred.  

Cash advances for travel are generally made to University employees only; advances for University students are permissible, if the student is currently enrolled and the travel is for University business and will be reimbursed from University funds.

Cash advances for the support of travel of other individuals, who are neither University employees nor University students, must be approved by the dean, director, or department chairman whose department is responsible for accounting for the advance request and repayment.

Repayment of Cash Advances
All cash advances must be reconciled, accounted for as an expense incurred during travel, and/or returned (unused funds), within 21 calendar days following completion of the trip.  Failure to repay a cash advance within this period may result in a taxable payment outside of the University’s accountable plan; and one of the following, including loss of this courtesy may apply:

  • the amount being deducted from payroll earnings for employees;
  • an assessment to the student's account and/or a charge to the student organization's University account code for students;
  • or the amount being turned over to collections agency for non-employees and non-students.


Travel Status - time frame required for temporary travel away from employee or non-employee’s regular place of business for substantially longer than an ordinary day’s work. 


Cash Advance Recipient:

  • Request cash advance for University business in advance of travel or need.
  • Repay cash advance or apply to Expense Report within 21 days following completion of the trip.


  • Approve cash advances for employees and non-employees, when necessary and reasonable to conduct University business.
  • Assist cash advance recipients with repayment and return of unused cash advance funds.

Accounts Payable Shared Services:

  • Approve cash advances for employees and non-employees, when necessary and reasonable to conduct University business.
  • Monitor and reconcile outstanding cash advances.

Additional Details



Related Information

IRS Publication 463 -


Formerly Business Policy Manual 506 – Cash Advances (revised 9/20/16)


Cash Advance for Travel

Reviewed 2017-12-06