Travel Advance

For program budgets that are managed by the Study Abroad Office, a travel advance will be issued to the faculty director(s) to cover the on-site expenses. Each staff member going abroad on a program is required to obtain his/her own travel advance according to University Accounting policy. By definition any Director, Co-director, or Program Assistant is considered a staff member for the duration of the program. NOTE: Program staff should not have their department request travel authorization for them, rather the Study Abroad Office will authorize the travel and approve the travel advance together.

The amount for an advance is determined by reviewing the program budget during the pre-departure budget meeting with the Study Abroad Office and will include any program and director expenses not covered by an invoice paid prior to the program’s departure.

The travel advance will be available one week prior to departure by direct deposit to the bank account set up with NC State, unless alternative arrangements have been requested. Any alternative arrangements require a request at least 6 weeks in advance.

Many directors deposit the advance into a personal account and use an ATM while overseas. Please note that some banks limit the amount of cash available for withdrawal at one transaction or per day. Vendor invoices are best for all large payments. Review the On-Site Finances section of the Faculty Director Handbook for other methods for managing program funds while overseas.

In order to be eligible for reimbursement by the Study Abroad Office, every expense incurred, either before or during the program, must be properly receipted according to the standards of the University Accounting Office. Any expenses not properly receipted may not be covered and may be charged back to the individual.

Additionally, every expense incurred must be considered an allowable expense in order to be fully reimbursed. Faculty are advised to consult with the Study Abroad Office to determine whether an expense is allowable prior to making any purchases not previously discussed. The Study Abroad Office cannot be held responsible for any incurred expense that is not considered allowable and is not approved prior to purchase.

The travel advance is a personal loan for which recipients are responsible for repayment. Note that State law allows a payroll deduction for the total amount of an advance if receipts are not received within 30 days.  See NC State’s Travel Advance Requirements, for more details on Delinquent Travel Settlements or Return of Travel Advance.

Delinquent travel reimbursement requests or other abuses of the travel advance policy may result in the withdrawal of the travel advance privilege from the employee. The status of travel advances is checked periodically by the University Accounting Office and the Internal Audit Division.

The Study Abroad Office will process receipts as required by University Accounting, ensuring the receipts meet University and Study Abroad Office policies and guidelines on allowable expenses. See the On-Site Finances section of the Faculty Director Handbook for examples of allowable and non-allowable expenses. The Study Abroad Office will notify you if any questions arise upon reviewing your receipts, and will inform faculty directors of the final balance. Faculty directors will be asked to come to the SAO to sign the Travel Authorization and Reimbursement Form and return any funds remaining from the advance, if applicable.

The Study Abroad Office will then submit the program receipts and signed documents to University Accounting for final audit and approval. Accounting will close the travel advance and, if applicable, process a check for any amount reimbursable to the traveler above the amount of the advance.

For more information on NC State policies pertaining to travel advance, see the Controller’s Office travel guidelines.

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