Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 95: Travel

Travel Advance

BPPM 95.05

For more information contact:
   Travel Services

Form:  Guarantee for Advance of Funds to Nonemployee Student


WSU may provide a travel advance to a traveler to help defray some reimbursable travel expenses which may be incurred while on official business.

In accordance with state policy, reimbursement for expenses incurred prior to the trip is not allowed, as such payment is considered an advance. Any traveler using personal resources while making travel arrangements must either meet the eligibility requirements for an advance, or wait until after the trip to be reimbursed.

Tips to avoid financial hardship when making travel arrangements:

  • Book directly with supplier for lodging and rental cars to reduce the amount paid prior to the trip. (See also BPPM 95.06 and 95.12.)
  • Use the following University charge card accounts for conference registration and airfare purchases to eliminate the need to use personal resources:
    • For conference registration, use the department purchasing card (see BPPM 70.08 and 95.01).
    • For business airfare, use either the department’s Central Travel Account (CTA) (see BPPM 95.03) or a University travel card account issued to an individual (see BPPM 95.04).

      Note: University travelers are to charge WSU business airfare to the department’s CTA, whenever possible.


In order to be eligible for an advance the traveler must:

  • Be a WSU employee;
  • Be in travel status for no less than 15 days; and
  • Have no outstanding advances in accounting.


A travel advance may not be considered as a loan to an employee. Also, a travel advance must not be:

  • Issued for periods of more than 90 days;
  • Issued more than 30 days prior to the trip start date;
  • Used for expenses related to privately-owned vehicles (see BPPM 95.11); and/or
  • Used for the purchase of commercial airfare (see BPPM 95.03 and 95.04).

Amount of Advance

Best practice is to avoid advancing the traveler more than they will spend. It is recommended that the advance amount be no more than the total per diem allowance for the number of days in travel status.


Travel to Phoenix, AZ from 3/1/18 through 3/17/18

Per diem allowance for Phoenix/Scottsdale example
Figure 1
  • Daily per diem allowance: $174 (lodging) + $59 (meals and incidentals) = $233 
  • Number of days in travel status: 16
  • Total advance: ($233 x 16) = $3,728

Issuing an Advance

Department Responsibilities

The department is responsible for:

  • Determining the allowable amount to advance. (See Amount of Advance.)
  • Contacting Travel Services to request any exceptions to the travel advance policies (see Exceptions in BPPM 95.01).

    Travel Services has the authority to deny any exception requests.

    If the exception is approved, the department must use 17A funds for the advance.

  • Preparing and routing a Spend Authorization in Workday with the Cash Advance box checked. (See the Workday Create Spend Authorization reference guide for instructions.) The department must attach documentation regarding any approved exceptions to the Spend Authorization.
  • Gathering the electronic signatures in Workday of the:
    • Employee;
    • Employee’s manager; and
    • Financial manager who is authorized to approve travel for the applicable worktags (e.g., cost center, project, program, gift, grant).

    Note: Any other required approvals must be obtained outside of Workday, on printed copies of the Spend Authorization, which are then attached to the Spend Authorization in Workday.

  • Submitting the Spend Authorization in Workday to Travel Services at least 10 business days prior to the trip start date to allow for processing time.
Guarantee for Advance of Funds to Nonemployee Student

University policy limits cash or travel advances to faculty and staff employees only. The responsible dean or director may request an exception to the Travel Advance policy in order to advance funds to a nonemployee student.

To ensure payment to the University in the event the recipient defaults in accounting for and/or returning the funds, the dean or director completes and signs a Guarantee for Advance of Funds to Nonemployee Student certification form. The dean or director enters the applicable worktags of the gift account that is to support any outstanding balance of funds.

The dean or director must attach the certification form to the Spend Authorization in Workday.

Revisions:  Jan. 2021 (Rev. 560); July 2019 (Rev. 533); Feb. 2019 (Rev. 526); Oct. 2014 (Rev. 439); Aug. 2011 (Rev. 383, 382); June 2011 (Rev 380); May 2010 (Rev. 359); Feb. 2010 (Rev. 356); Dec. 2004 (Rev. 251); Dec. 2002; Aug. 2000 (Rev. 168); May 2000 (Rev. 162); July 1999 (Rev. 143); Sept. 1998 (Rev. 126); Aug. 1994 (Rev. 95); Jan. 1994 (Rev. 94); Aug. 1993 (Rev. 92); Aug. 1991 (Rev. 87); Dec. 1988 (Rev. 72); Mar. 1988 (Rev. 70); Aug. 1987 (Rev. 68); July 1985 (Rev. 60); Mar. 1983 (Rev. 51).