3025.1 How to Obtain and Reconcile a Cash Advance (Traveler Procedures)

Procedure # 3025.1; Rev.: 1 (Effective October 10, 2018)
Related Policy: UW-3025 Cash Advance Policy
Functional Owner: Accounting Services, Business Services
Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager – Allie Demet, expensereimbursement@bussvc.wisc.edu, (608) 263-3525


  1. Procedure statement
  2. Who is affected by this procedure
  3. Procedure
  4. Contact roles and responsibilities
  5. Definitions
  6. Related references
  7. Revisions

I. Procedure statement

Cash Advance requests are submitted through the Shared Financial System (SFS). Employees must first be approved by their Dean’s/Divisional Business Office and their profiles must be activated by Business Services before requesting cash advances. This process should be initiated at least 7 – 10 business days prior to the travel start date. ACH deposit for approved cash advances may take up to 5 business days. Employees must fully reconcile cash advances within 30 days of the end of the trip.

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II. Who is affected by this procedure

Faculty and staff seeking cash advances for travel expenses and their alternates.

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III. Procedure

  1. Pre-Approval: Submit a Cash Advance Activation Request Form to Business Services. These forms must be routed through the Dean’s/Divisional Business Office. Once the form has been submitted and the traveler’s profile has been activated, the traveler can request a cash advance.
  2. Cash advance request:
    1. Sign into the Shared Financial System (SFS), click the Expenses WorkCenter tile.
    2. Select Create/Modify Cash Advance from the cash advance submenu.
    3. Click Add. If you are an alternate requesting a cash advance for a different traveler, enter their employee ID before clicking Add. If you receive an error message, ensure your travel profile has been properly activated (see above).
    4. Enter header information, justification, and add any attachments to the cash advance.
    5. In the descriptions area, enter expense descriptions or select from pre-existing expense types. The amount of expense line detail required will vary by department and division.
    6. Click “Save For Later” to save the cash advance. Note you must click “Save for Later” in order to check the box next to the attestation statement and submit the report.
    7. Check the box next to the attestation statement.
    8. Click “Submit” to submit the cash advance.
  3. Reconciliation: Cash advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.
    1. Submit an expense report: Account for the use of advanced funds by submitting an expense report. On the Review and Submit page, there will be a menu showing your available Cash Advances. Apply either the full amount of the expense reimbursement or the full amount of the cash advance, whichever is lower. You will receive a notification if an amount is due back to the University.
    2. Refund Excess Advanced Funds: Any advanced funds not utilized must be promptly refunded to the University. Travelers must submit a check to their departmental or divisional business office for deposit. Once the check has been deposited, the Divisional auditor must reconcile the remainder of the cash advance in the Shared Financial System (SFS) to ensure the cash advance is reconciled in full.

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IV. Contact roles and responsibilities

  • Travelers – Travelers are responsible for reconciling Cash Advances within 30 days of the end of the trip. Travelers must not seek excessive cash advances and must refund any excess advancements promptly. Advanced funds must be used prudently and in accordance with UW travel and purchasing policies. Travelers are responsible for submitting cash advance requests in a timely enough fashion to allow for approvals and payment.

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V. Definitions

  • Cash Advance –a request for monetary advancement prior to a trip
  • Expense Reimbursement – An expense report contains a categorized and itemized list of expenses that were made on behalf of University of Wisconsin–Madison. This report helps the employer or finance team determine what money was spent, what was purchased, and how much of the expenditure is approved for reimbursement.

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VI. Related references

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VII. Revisions

Procedure Number 3025.1
Date Approved October 1, 2018
Revision Dates Jan. 19, 2021 – Updated Procedure Number to 3025.1 from 321.1

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