321 Cash Advances

UW-Madison Administrative Policy
Policy # 330

Effective Date: October 5, 2015
Last Updated: July 1, 2019
Last Reviewed: July 1, 2019
Next Review: Jan 1, 2020

Functional Owner: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Executive Sponsor: Controller, Division of Business Services, Dan Langer
Policy Contact: Expense Reimbursement Program Manager, Division of Business Services, Graig Brooks graig.brooks@wisc.edu

Policy Summary

Employees may request a Cash Advance to cover travel-related expenses when other payment methods are not available or practical.  Employees must submit an Expense Reimbursement after travel to account for their expenses.  Any excess Advance must be refunded to the University.  Cash Advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.

Who This Policy Applies To

Faculty and staff seeking Cash Advances for travel expenses; staff approving and auditing Cash Advances


The Cash Advance policy is designed to ensure Cash Advances are disbursed to approved recipients and reconciled in a timely fashion.

Policy Detail

I.Appropriate Use. Travelers may request a Cash Advance only if no other payment options are available or practical.  Employees may not have multiple outstanding Cash Advances at one time.

II. Approvals. In order to obtain a Cash Advance, employees must be approved by the Divisional Business Office and their account activated by Accounting Services.

III Limits. For individual travel, e-Reimbursement Cash Advances may not exceed 80% of the estimated expenses to be paid by the traveler.  Advances for group travel may equal 100% of the estimated expenses.

IV. Reconciliation. Cash Advances must be fully reconciled within 30 days of the end of the trip.

  • Traveler Responsibilities. Travelers must submit an Expense Reimbursement to account for the use of the advanced funds.  If advanced funds exceed actual expenses, the traveler must write a check back to the University for the difference.
  • Auditor Responsibilities. The Auditor who approved the Cash Advance is responsible for reconciling refund checks and ensuring they are deposited properly.


Consequences for Noncompliance

Failure to comply with UW-Madison Expense Reimbursement policy may result in disciplinary steps, up to and including dismissal.

Supporting Tools

e-Reimbursement: https://portal.sfs.wisconsin.edu 


  1. Cash Advance – an Expense Report seeking a monetary advancement prior to a trip.
  2. Expense Reimbursement – an Expense Report seeking reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Expense Reimbursements must be done to account for use of advanced funds.


  1. 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.
  2. Approver – Upon submission, Cash Advance requests are first reviewed by an Approver. Approvers are responsible for reviewing supporting documentation, for reviewing Cash Advances for policy compliance, and for reviewing the funding being charged.
  3. Auditor – All Cash Advances are reviewed by an Auditor after the Approver. Auditors are responsible for reviewing Cash Advances for policy compliance.  Auditors are responsible for reconciling refunded payments related to Cash Advances.


Link to Related Policies


Policy Number: 330
Date Approved: July 1, 2019
Revision Dates: