407-08 Travel Advances

Fiscal Operations Manual
Section 400: Expenditures
Effective: 01/01/2003
Revised: 2/15/2013

When traveling on official university business, OSU employees (faculty and classified staff employed at least 0.5 FTE), Graduate assistants appointed at .49 FTE, students and official volunteers may be eligible for limited travel advances. The minimum $250 advance from the appropriate Business Center may be used for items that cannot be pre-paid or paid through other means such as a direct bill or by a Corporate Travel Card.

To be eligible for an advance, a traveler and/or their trip must meet the following criteria:

  • out-of-state or international travel is longer than five days, or
  • trip is longer than 15 days and the use of the Corporate Travel Card is not a viable alternative to an advance, or
  • traveler is not eligible for the Corporate Travel Card, and
  • any previous advances have been settled in full.

A cancelled Corporate Travel Card may be insufficient justification for obtaining a travel advance.  The Business Center has authority to grant exceptions to the above criteria on a case-by-case basis.

An advance may be given to a traveler (if otherwise ineligible) if a department head guarantees its repayment in writing against a specified general fund index.

Travelers who are not eligible for a travel advance may be given a travel departmental advance.  A travel departmental advance is issued in the name of an OSU employee on behalf of the traveler.  This employee is typically the traveler’s supervisor and must meet certain criteria.  This employee takes full responsibility to see that the advance is repaid. 

To submit an advance request, complete the appropriate OSCAR task for the Travel Advance or Travel Departmental Advance and submit it to the Business Center.  The completed OSCAR request form must be submitted to the Business Center at least five working days prior to the date the advance is needed. If a new employee is eligible for a Corporate Travel Card, application forms must be turned in with the request for an advance. 

The responsible employee for the advance is required to sign a statement acknowledging the receipt of the advance by either direct deposit or check and agreeing to the terms under which the advance is given. The employee’s photo ID is required when picking up the check from the Business Center. Checks will not be released more than seven days before the departure date.

The settlement due date is clearly written on the Travel or Travel Departmental Advance form by the Business Center and a copy of the form is given to the employee.  No other notice will be given.  Advances should be settled in full within 45 days of the completion of the trip.  A copy of the Travel or Travel Departmental Advance form must be submitted to the Business Center with the OSU Travel Reimbursement Request (TRES).  The traveler is reimbursed for the expenses less any amount advanced.  If the total of the Travel Reimbursement Request is less than the amount advanced, the responsible party will be notified of the exact difference.  This amount is due in full at that time. 

Settlements are audited and input into Banner by the Business Center.  Any past due balance will be turned over to Payroll and taxed as an additional income to the employee responsible for the advance. This may affect the person’s ability to receive future advances. 

If the trip is cancelled, any advance given is due and must be returned immediately.

Failure to comply with settlement procedures may result in disciplinary action against the employee.