Check/Cash Advance Policy
This procedure pertains to all advances made by check or cash for the purpose of travel. The procedure establishes maximum advance amounts and requires timely accounting by employees, subject to payroll withholding if necessary for collection.
- In general, employees traveling on official University-related business may receive a cash advance to cover reasonable business expenses to be incurred in the course of their travel that exceeds 10 days. Advances will not normally be granted for airline tickets, lodging, or conferences fees – items that should be secured through standard acquisition procedures (e.g., purchase orders, check requests, University designated travel agency, University travel credit cards.) If an employee does not have a University travel card, securing hotel reservations may be done through the Purchasing Department or with a personal credit card and then payment for the hotel stay can be made by University check or reimbursed to the employee after travel has occurred subject to the Bradley University Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy and Procedures.
For employees without a university credit card, advances are to be used for travel expenses that cannot be readily or most economically processed through normal purchasing/accounts payable procedures. Examples of these types of expenses include transportation from an airport to a conference, parking, or some meals. Special arrangements which follow the intent of these procedures may be required for athletic team travel, foreign travel, group activities or non-travel advances.
- Request for Advance – Advances must be based on a reasonable estimate of the anticipated expenses, and must be drawn within a reasonable period of time before the expenses are likely to be incurred. Requests for advances must be approved by the responsible dean/department head using standard institutional forms. Cash advances available through the Cashiers Window are limited to $1000 and must be claimed by the employee (i.e., student workers cannot be sent to collect a cash advance for the traveling employee). Check advances, limited to $2500 per trip, are to be processed through the Accounts Payable Department of the Controller’s Office and are subject to the normal Accounts Payable cut-off rules (i.e., must be submitted by the Monday prior to the following week’s normal check run on Tuesday). Cash advances are not generally released earlier than two business days prior to the date needed (e.g., travel departure date). Advances are not intended to pay pre-departure expenses and will not be available for that purpose.
- Cash Advances for Foreign Travel – Persons traveling overseas are required to obtain a University travel credit card to use for business expenses and are subject to the policy and procedures of the University’s Foreign Travel Policy.
- Clearing the Advance – The employee must provide the University with detailed expense records substantiating the amount used of the advance. Dates, places, amounts, original itemized receipts, names of persons accompanying the employee, and business purpose must be documented. Proper signature approval is required. For specific substantiation requirements, please refer to the Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy and Procedures. This documentation plus all unspent or unsubstantiated advances must be returned to the Controller’s Office within 30 business days after completion of the trip or business event. Employees failing to return unused cash advances and /or proper substantiation within 30 business days will be subject to either payroll deduction or taxation of the amount unreturned/unsubstantiated after adequate reminders have been given to the employee. Employees with overdue outstanding advances are not eligible to receive additional advances for any other business purposes. The individual authorizing the clearance of the cash advance will be held accountable for any issues presented during audit.
- Advances to non-employees -Advances of University funds will not be made to persons who are not currently affiliated with the University. Students and consultants are not considered affiliated with the University. Alternatively, an employee may choose to sign for an advance on behalf of a student or non-employee; however, the employee in so doing is fully responsible for the full amount of the advance and subject to the substantiation and collection procedures discussed in D above. In addition, cash advances cannot be used to pay for any services performed by individuals whether they are University employees or not. Payments to individuals must follow the standard University procedures.