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Advances for Staff Travel Procedure

Category Finance
Type Procedure
Approved by Chief Financial Officer
Date Procedure Took Effect 16 April 2002
Last Approved Revision 13 September 2012
Sponsor Chief Financial Officer
Responsible Officer Financial Controller
Review Date 13 September 2017


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


  • Accounts Payable Office - Financial Services Division Accounts Payable Office


Advance Conditions and Criteria

An advance (minimum $200) can be provided for staff travelling on University business, either in NZ or overseas.

Advances can be paid up to one week before travel.

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.

Advances are monitored by the Accounts Payable Office and recorded against the employee as a debit under employee reimbursements until the completion of travel (except for cash withdrawals on University Purchasing Cards which are processed by the Accounts Payable Office).

Once the Advance Reconciliation Form and any returned funds are checked and found to be correct, the advance is then posted as a credit under employee reimbursements. Any amount in excess of the advance will be paid in the next scheduled employee reimbursement run.

Advances are not to be used for personal or unauthorised expenditure.

Overseas currency must not to be purchased by individuals through travel agents or banks, and billed to the University.

University policy states that Air Travel is to be billed separately to the University and not paid for by way of an advance. For further information please refer to the Air Travel Procedures.

If travel on University business is undertaken by a staff member, we recommend that a University of Otago Purchasing Card be applied for and used as an alternative to the advance system.

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

Claiming an Advance

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

  • Details of travel e.g. conference details, destination, start and end date of travel or, alternatively, attach an approved Conference Leave Travel form
  • Date the advance is required (paid up to one week before travel)
  • Your title, full name, department and employee number

The advance claim form must be signed by the claimant and authorised in terms of the Financial Delegations Policy.

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.

When you return from travel

The reconciliation form must be accompanied by original receipts and paid invoices for all expenditure and forwarded to the Accounts Payable Office. 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.

The reconciliation, all unspent cash and traveller's cheques must be returned to the Accounts Payable Office within 10 working days after completion of travel.

The reconciliation should be signed by the claimant and authorised in terms of the Delegations Policy.


Unspent funds are not to be passed to other departmental staff members for travel use.

Only certain currencies are negotiable in NZ. For detailed information refer: Negotiable Currencies in NZ. Currencies not listed should be converted to a main currency e.g. USD, before leaving the country of the unlisted currency.

No foreign coins are accepted for banking in NZ.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

For further information, contact the Financial Controller, extn 9247 or email