Advances are cash amounts which may be issued to employees as a way to assist with in-travel or in-field expenses.

Note: The University is currently reviewing state and federal regulations regarding advances. Changes to current processes are very likely. Please visit this page frequently for updated information.


Travel Advances

Rules governing Travel Advances may be found as part of Western Policy POL-U5348.10 (#6), and Washington State Administrative and Acounting Manual section 10.80.60 and 10.80.70.


Travel Advances

  • may only be issued to Western employees;
  • must be requested via the Western Travel Authorization Web Form (TA);
  • may be issued up to 30 days prior to departure;
  • should be caclulated at allowable lodging + meal per diem for the destination, or less;
  • cannot cover a period of more than 90 days;
  • cannot be issued to cover mileage of a privately owned vehicle;
  • cannot be issued for the purchase of airfare;
  • are issued via direct deposit (for those already enrolled) or as a check delivered to the Cashier’s Offce;
  • are issued against Account Code S341;
  • must be reconciled by returned unspent funds and/or a Travel Expense Voucher by the 10th of the month after the trip ended;
  • may accrue interest payable by the recipient if not reconciled by the required date (not currently part of the Western process, but is a likely possibility);


The Process

  1. To request a Travel Advance, complete a Travel Authorization Web Form (TA), including section IV. Use the Travel Services Per Diem page to find the per diem rate for the destination to calculate the allowable amount for the advance.
  2. Once the TA/advance are approved, the money will be issued to the payee on the “Check Needed By Date” (review the locked TA to confirm this date).
    1. If the payee is enrolled in Payroll Direct Deposit, then the advance will be issued to their bank on the “Check Needed By Date” on the locked TA. The money may take up to 48 hours to actually post to the payee’s bank account.
    2. If the payee is not enrolled in Payroll Direct Deposit, the advance will be issued as a check and delivered to the Cashier’s Office (in OM). The payee must pick up the check at the Cashier’s Office and may do so after 3pm on the “Check Needed By Date” or during regular Cashier Office hours anytime after that.
    3. Note: payments are issued on regular check run days (Tuesdays and Fridays).
  3. On the day before the advance is issued, the payee will receive an email notification from the Travel Desk. The email will include a reference to the related TA, the dollar amount requested, and the date the advance must be reconciled by.
  4. Upon the payee’s return, receipts should be collected and expenses should be entered on a Travel Expense Voucher. The budget area of the voucher should include an entry with the budget that paid the advance, and the negative amount of the advance. Example: if Jane Viking was issued a $300 advance, then her voucher should include the line: 1-FSVIK-S341-<$300>
  5. The completed/signed voucher and original receipts should be mailed to the Travel Desk (MS 1420) and be received by the 10th of the month after the travel has been completed.
  6. If the expenses ended up being less than the advance, the payee should write a check to Western for the unspent portion of the advance. The check should be submitted with the voucher and receipts


Group Per Diem
When a WWU employee is leading a group on a trip, and per diem for all the travelers will be advanced to the one employee, these additional parameters apply:

  • The recipient of the advance, the “custodian”, should include a list of the additional travelers in Section II of their Travel Authorization Web Form (TA).
  • The advance amount should be calculated at meal per diem per person (or a standard reduced per diem agreed upon between administration and the travelers prior to the trip).
  • The custodian should complete a Travel Advance Distribution Log. Type in the TA number, custodian name, dollar amount per person, currency type if something other than US Dollars, W#, Name, and status of each person receiving money, then print.
  • When the money is distributed, each person receiving it, should sign by their name on the distribution log.
  • The distribution log should be submitted with the custodian’s Travel Expense Voucher.


Group Per Diem

  • The Travel Desk tracks all travel advance dates. Any payee who does not reconcile their advance by the date required, will receive notification that their paperwork was delinquent. This notification may also be cc’d to the department contact, supervisor, dean or chair. Repeat instances of delinquent paperwork may result in denial of future advance requests.


Field Advances

**Under Construction**

Field Advances could provide a more thorough and consistent way for WWU to issue and track large advance amounts for traveling groups.

They may also provide a way to issue funds for research/study subjects.

Work is being done to research this type of advance as a possibility for WWU. Templates and guidelines have been established and now process is being discussed. Please check back for updates.

Page Updated 12.19.2012