Travel Information

Am I eligible to receive a travel advance?

Salaried Employees:

Salaried employees are discouraged from using travel advances for domestic travel, although advances are allowed for international travel.

Graduate and Undergraduate Students:

Students may request a travel advance for either domestic or international travel. If the students are not employees of Iowa State University, see "Non-Employees" below.

Non-Employees:

Non-employees may request a travel advance for either domestic or international travel, if there is a business purpose that benefits Iowa State University.


What alternatives to travel advances are available?

Please consider using a personal credit card or personal funds. Employee reimbursements are processed twice per week, which should enable reimbursement before the credit card payment is due.

Frequent travelers should consider applying for a corporate American Express card through Iowa State University. The employee pays no fee for the use of this card. Please contact Cheryl Ervin in Business Services at 294-4862 for more information.

Registration fees can be prepaid by a Purchasing Card.

Lodging can be prepaid by a Disbursement Voucher if the hotel sends an invoice to your department, detailing the charges per night for room and various taxes. If the KFS vendor record has not already been set up, you must ask the hotel for a W-9 form to set up a KFS vendor. This must be done before starting the Disbursement Voucher. When preparing the Disbursement Voucher, be sure to state the traveler's name, arrival date, and departure date in the Check Stub Text.


How can I request a travel advance for an employee?

      1. Submit a Disbursement Voucher, payable to the traveler. Please see the special instructions for paying an employee on a Disbursement Voucher.

      All travel advances for employees must be charged to 207-0021 using object code 0827, regardless of the funding source to be used for travel expenses.

      2. Attach a Cash Advance/Payroll Authorization form if the traveler is an employee. Employee travel advances are charged to the employee's Accounts Receivable account, although they are not due until after the trip. Past-due travel advances are subject to payroll deductions and finance charges.

How can I request a travel advance for a non-employee?

      1. Submit a Simple Disbursement Voucher, payable to the traveler. All non-employee travel advances must be charged to 207-0033 using object code 0827, regardless of the funding source to be used for travel expenses.

      2. Attach a Cash Advance Authorization for Non-Employee form if the traveler is a non-employee. Non-employee travel advances are not charged through Accounts Receivable. As there is no payroll amount available to deduct, the department is assuming the risk of the traveler not submitting expenses.

Is there a limit to the amount that can be issued as an advance?

While there is no specific dollar limit, a travel advance generally should not cover more than one month's lodging and subsistence. Exceptions to the one month rule can be made for persons in remote overseas locations. Contact the Accounting Office (294-5124) for more information. Requests for travel advances of less than $100.00 will not be processed, as the costs of processing do not justify the minimal benefit to the employee.


When is the travel advance due?

Advances to employees should be cleared within 10 days of the completion of the trip, with 30 days allowed for non-employees. Employee travelers will receive a statement from Accounts Receivable, whereas non-employees will not.

Graduate students should be aware that the presence of a past-due travel advance on their Accounts Receivable account will hinder their ability to register for classes. Students should bring copies of their Employee Reimbursements to the Accounts Receivable Office when they register to alleviate any potential timing problems.


How do I clear a travel advance for an employee?

To clear a travel advance for an employee, the traveler must enter the gross amount of expenses on the Employee Reimbursement System in AccessPlus. No special entry is needed to clear the advance. When the reimbursement procedure is run on Wednesday and Friday nights, our system checks the Accounts Receivable balances of all travelers for any outstanding advances. The amount of the advance will be deducted before the net amount is reimbursed. The e-mail sent to the traveler will reflect the net amount of the reimbursement, and mention that an amount has been deducted for the travel advance.

If the expenses submitted are not enough to clear the advance, the traveler should send a personal check to the address listed on the Accounts Receivable statement to pay the difference. Do not deposit a check for this purpose via a KFS Cash Receipt, as this will not be credited to the traveler's Accounts Receivable account. Do not send payment to the Accounting Office, and do not send cash through Campus Mail.


How do I clear a travel advance for a non-employee?

If the non-employee's submitted travel expenses are greater than the travel advance, the department must submit Simple Disbursement Voucher, with images of the receipts and a Non-Employee Travel Worksheet attached. Your department's funds will be charged for the amount of the submitted expenses, using object code 0241, with 207-0033, object code 0827 credited for the amount of the advance. The non-employee will be paid the net amount.

If the non-employee's submitted travel expenses are exactly equal to the travel advance, the department must submit a Distribution of Income document, with images of the receipts and a Non-Employee Travel Worksheet attached. On the From side, use account 207-0033, with object code 0827. On the To side, use your department's account with object code 0241. You must do a Distribution of Income document in this case, because a voucher cannot be for a zero amount.

If the non-employee's submitted travel expenses are less than the travel advance, do a Distribution of Income document (as in the previous paragraph) for the amount of the submitted expenses. For the unpaid balance, the non-employee must write a check to Iowa State University, which you must credit to account 207-0033, object code 0827, through a KFS Cash Receipt.



This page was last updated on January 30, 2015.