TRAVEL SERVICES Issuing & Clearing an Advance

Issuing an Advance

The department is responsible for:

  • Determining the allowable amount to advance.
  • Contacting the Travel Manager to request any exceptions to the Travel Advance policies (see BPPM 95.05).
    • Central has the authority to deny any exception requests.
    • If the exception is approved, the advance must be issued on 17A funds.
    • Preparing a Spend Authorization form with the Travel Advance section filled out.
  • Gathering the signatures of the:
    • Department head, or their designee(s);
    • Expenditure authority for the budget(s) the advance will be issued from if different than the department head; and
    • Traveler.
  • Routing the form to Travel Services at least 10 business days prior to the trip start date to allow for processing time.

Travel Services is responsible for:

  • Auditing the Spend Authorization for completeness and compliance.
  • Confirming the traveler does not have any outstanding advances.
  • Preparing a payment request to issue the advance to the traveler.
  • Tracking outstanding travel advances and following up to get them cleared.

Clearing an Advance

Travel advances are cleared with the submission of a Expense Report containing the Spend Authorization expenses and, if applicable, the recovery of any portion that was not expensed.

The department is responsible for:

  • Preparing a Expense Report to substantiate the expenses and clear the advance. The Expense Report needs to:
    • Be prepared within 60 days of the trip end date;
    • Link to the Spend Authorization in the appropriate field, which is used in the calculation determining the amount owed to either the claimant or WSU; and
    • Provide the account coding for the actual expenses to post to.
  • Working with the traveler to recover any amount owed to WSU as stated on the finalized Expense Report^.
    • This is to be recovered against the initial advance expense following the Cash Deposit Policy as outlined in BPPM 30.53.

Travel Services is responsible for:

  • Auditing the Expense Report for completeness and compliance.
  • Notifying the department of the final recovery amount if applicable.
  • Clearing the advance reported on the finalized Expense Report by either a Journal Entry or a Payment Request depending on the scenario as described above^.
  • Identifying any taxable amounts and reporting those to Payroll Services.

Tax Implications

WSU follows an accountable plan, as outlined in IRS regulation 463, which means that the following conditions must be met to avoid taxation:

  • The expenses must be substantiated within 60 days of the trip end date^.
  • Any unsubstantiated amount be paid back to WSU within 120 days of the date the advance was paid.

If these conditions are not met, the applicable amount will be reported to Payroll Services who will have the payroll withholding taxes deducted from the employee’s paycheck based on the allowances on their W-4. The taxable amounts will be reported as additional taxable income in box 1 of their W-2^.