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.

Non Employees:

Non-Employees conducting Iowa State University business are eligible for domestic and international travel advances, with approval from the funding department.

What alternatives to travel advances are available?

Frequent travelers are strongly encouraged to apply for a Travel & Hospitality Card (T&H Card) through Procurement Services. There is no fee to the employee and it lessens the need for travel advances and use of personal funds. Contact Lesley Lackore in Procurement Services at 294-4589 or by email for more information.

Also, consider using a personal credit/debit card or personal funds. Expense Reports can be requested to at any time. Reimbursements are processed every day during the business week, which should enable reimbursement before the credit card payment is due.

Registration fees should be prepaid by either a T&H Card or a Purchasing Card.

T&H cards can be used to book expenses for non-employees, such as lodging and airfare to visit Ames (cardholder policy guidelines must be followed).

Lodging can be prepaid by a Supplier Invoice if the hotel sends an invoice to your department, detailing the charges per night for room and various taxes. If the Supplier record has not already been set up, you must ask the hotel for a W-9 form and have your Procurement and Expense Specialist initiate a supplier. This must be done before starting the Supplier Invoice, which must state the traveler's name, arrival date, and departure date in the Invoice Number field.

How can I request a travel advance for an employee?

  1. Approval from the employee's department is required.
  2. The department's branch Procurement and Expense Specialist (PES) must submit a Workday Spend Authorization. Contact to begin the process.
    1. Attach a Cash Advance/Payroll Authorization form if the traveler is an employee.
    2. Other information will be needed, such as date, location, and business purpose of the travel advance.

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 can be made for persons in remote or overseas locations. Contact the Office of Compliance (294-3790) for more information. Requests for travel advances of less than $100.00 should 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 30 days of the completion of the trip. Employee travelers who don't clear the Spend Authorization in Workday after 30 days will have the remaining unreconciled cash balance sent to their UBill.

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 pending reimbursements to the Accounts Receivable Office when they register to alleviate any potential timing problem.

How do I clear a travel advance for an employee?

To clear a travel advance for an employee, the traveler or Procurement and Expense Specialist must enter the gross amount of expenses on the Expense Report and link the Spend Authorization to the Expense Report. Workday will reduce from the total reimbursement until the full cash advance has been reconciled. If expenses total more than the cash advance, the employee will be reimbursed the net total, after the advance is deducted.

If the total expenses do not reconcile the entire cash advance, the remainder will go to the employee’s UBill after 30 days.

This page was last updated on March 14, 2023.