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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

15.1.1 Open a Travel Advance

Policy Statement

Travel advances may only be issued to employees (including student employees) for domestic travel of 7 or more consecutive days, or international travel, when detailed information on how the advance will be spent is provided. Advances are provided only for expenses that cannot be charged on a University Travel Card (T-Card) and may only be used for travel expenses.

Only one travel advance can be given at a time to the same employee. All employee groups are eligible to be custodians except undergraduate students, unpaid graduate students, hourly graduate students, extra help, and academic hourly. The custodian is personally responsible for safeguarding the advance and cannot allow the funds to be improperly used. The custodian is liable for loss or improper use of the advance. Advance lost due to circumstances beyond the control of the custodian must be repaid from the unit's budget or other available operating funds. In the event an advance is stolen, contact your university police or local law enforcement immediately.

Travel advances are only issued seven days prior to travel. Advances will not be issued to an employee who has not fully accounted for an earlier advance, except when the individual must leave for another trip within the seven days following their return from the earlier travel.

Travel advances cannot be replenished and must be closed. Travel advances must be accounted for, and/or repaid promptly upon completion of the travel, preferably within 15 days. Travel advances not completed within 60 days of travel may be reported as taxable income in accordance with IRS regulations. Advances not closed within 90 days may be deducted from the employee's wages.



Allow 72 hours for processing this request.

To open a travel advance:

  1. Estimate how much money will be needed for the travel. The detailed breakdown will be required as backup documentation for the advance request.
    Miscellaneous or contingency categories will not be included as part of the advance.
  2. Log in to TEM (Travel and Expense Management System). In the Create New area, select the Expense Report icon. Consult the job aid for System Navigation if you need help identifying the icon.
  3. In the Document Header screen, begin your Report Title with “ADV” so University Payables (UPAY) can expedite processing. Select “Advances” from the drop-down list in the Purpose field.
    Advances normally issue via ACH (direct deposit) to the custodian’s bank account.

    If a specific business need requires the advance to be issued via check, select from which University Bursar office you want to pick up the check using the drop-down list in the Special Handling Field of the Document header screen. The specific business need must be documented in the expense report notes. If specific denominations are needed, please specify that information in the expense report notes.

    Payments issued via check may require an additional 3 business days to process.
  4. Proceed through the screens. For step-by-step instructions, and required documentation, consult the Open and Close a Travel Advance job aid.
  5. UPAY reviews the request and processes for payment. Payees will be notified at their university email address when the payment is deposited to their payroll bank account.

Related Policies and Procedures

14.4 Manage Foreign Bank Accounts
15.1.2 Close a Travel Advance
19 Contracts

Additional Resources

TEM Resource Page
Business Travel
Job aid for System Navigation
Job aid for Open and Close a Travel Advance
University Payables Training Materials
Clery Act Reporting Requirements
   University of Illinois at Chicago: Clery Compliance
   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Clery Act (Policy Number : FO-21)
   University of Illinois at Springfield: UIS Police - Jeanne Clery Act

Last Updated: May 31, 2019 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: September 2012

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