This document describes the limited circumstances under which a traveler may obtain travel and entertainment (T&E) related funds to be used in the future (called a T&E Advance) and the related documentation and reconciliation requirements that must be strictly followed. Documentation and reconciliation requirements and related timelines have been designed to meet IRS Accountable Plan rules (see Policy #2352 for more information). While the rules are too voluminous and complex to detail, the IRS requires an employer to establish and consistently administer an "accountable plan”. For International Project/Program Advances over extended periods of time, see Policy #2369.1.
May, 2023Responsible Office
This policy applies to faculty, staff, students and postdocs traveling and entertaining or incurring miscellaneous expenses on behalf of the University and seeking a travel advance for these expenses from the University regardless of the funding source.
Faculty, staff, students and postdocs can request travel advances only for business-related travel when circumstances are such that other payment options (see Policy #2367 for more information) are not feasible. Any advances for non-travel-related or potentially taxable-related activities should be documented and processed through the appropriate payment option, which ensures proper tax reporting.
Faculty, staff, students and postdocs must document in their travel advance request the extenuating circumstances that preclude the use of other payment options and obtain approval at the designated approval level.
As a general rule, recipients of travel advances should document the business use of any advanced funds and return any excess funds received within ten (10) days of the end date of the business activity.
Approvers perform a critical control function for the University. Collectively, approvers ensure that expense reports processed for payment are complete, appropriately funded, compliant with policy and are associated with activities that have a valid and necessary business purpose. Designated approvers should assist individuals, as necessary, with understanding applicable policies and compliance requirements.
Full responsibilities of approvers can be found in Policy #2352.
An advance is the payment of funds to an employee, student or postdoc to be used in the future during authorized travel or entertainment event.
Special circumstances must be documented in writing and approved by the head of the School or Center (or a designated representative).