Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
Category Finance
Type Procedure
Approved by Chief Financial Officer
Date Procedure Took Effect 16 April 2002
Last approved revision 25 February 2022
Sponsor Financial Controller
Responsible officer Team Leader, Accounts Payable


These procedures relate to the application and reconciliation of staff advances.


University appointed Mandatory Travel Agent


1. Advance conditions and criteria

  1. An advance (minimum $200) can be provided for staff traveling on University business, either in New Zealand or overseas.
  2. Advances can be paid no earlier than one week before travel.
  3. Application for an advance can be made by completing an Advance Claim Form and, where applicable, a conference travel approval form should be attached. The claim will be processed through the Accounts Payable Office.
    1. Advance Claim Form (PDF)
  4. After processing the application, the Accounts Payable team will send an email to cashiers, to process the payment to the employee.
    1. Advances are not to be used for personal or unauthorised expenditure.
    2. Overseas currency must not be purchased by individuals through travel agents or banks and billed to the University.
    3. All air travel, both domestic and international, must be booked through an MTA as per the Travel Planning Procedure.
    4. If frequent travel is undertaken by a staff member on university business, we recommend that a University of Otago Purchasing Card is applied for and used as an alternative to the advance system.

2. Types of Advances

There two types of advance:

  1. Direct Credit of advance to staff member's personal bank account (using details held by payroll)
  2. University Purchasing Card

3. Claiming an Advance

Advances are claimed through the Accounts Payable Office on an Advance Claim Form advising:

  1. Details of travel e.g. conference details, destination, start and end date of travel or, alternatively, attach an approved Conference Leave Travel form
  2. Date the advance is required (paid no earlier than one week before travel)
  3. Your title, full name, department and employee number
  4. The advance claim form must be signed by the claimant and authorised in terms of the Financial Delegations Policy.

4. Advance obligations

Your obligations will be advised by memo, from the Accounts Payable Office, at the time of the advance and an Advance Reconciliation Form will also be supplied.

5. When you return from travel

  1. Within ten days of returning from travel, please return the completed Advance Reconciliation Form with supporting documentation ( GST receipts) to Accounts Payable for checking and approval
  2. The Accounts Payable team will then create an employee reimbursement to record the expenditure within Finance One.
  3. Any funds not spent must be paid into the University's bank account as soon as possible. The University's bank account can be found online:
  4. Any amount in excess of the advance will be paid in the next scheduled employee reimbursement run.
  5. If any part of an advance is used to purchase foreign currency, all original documents must be retained and attached to the advance reconciliation form, to verify exchange rates and commission charges.
  6. The reconciliation should be signed by the claimant and authorised in terms of the Financial Delegations Policy.


  1. Unspent funds are not to be passed to other departmental staff members for travel use.
  2. Only certain currencies are negotiable in New Zealand and it is the staff member's responsibility to convert any foreign currency before or after returning.
  3. No foreign coins are accepted for banking in New Zealand.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

For further information, contact:

Accounts Payable
Tel +64 3 479 8730

Back to top