Travel advances are payments made before a trip takes place. They can be cash to an employee or non-employee traveler.

Travel advances are granted when the traveler does not qualify for, or does not yet have, a Travel and Entertainment card. Travel advances will be allowed for group travel meal expenses or foreign per diem (lodging and meals and incidental expenses), unless an exception is granted for other expenses. Submit the cash advance request to Accounts Payable between 10 and 30 days before the beginning of the trip.

UC Santa Barbara has programs in place to minimize out-of-pocket expenses for university business travelers:

Departments and travelers are strongly encouraged to use these programs to reduce departmental and administrative costs associated with administering cash advances.


If a cash advance is required, a request is made through the Concur Request. Please follow the instructions in the "How to Request a Cash Advance" Knowledgebase Article.

The traveler must account for the total amount of all expenses and advances by submitting a travel expense report within 21 days of completion of the trip.

  • If the amount advanced is less than the expenses entered on the travel expense report, the traveler will be paid the difference.
  • If the advance exceeds the reimbursable expenses, the traveler must write a check payable to UC Regents for the excess.
  • The traveler must submit a travel expense report even if he or she is not owed any additional reimbursement.

After 60 days have elapsed from the date the travel expense report was due, Business & Financial Services will initiate action to recover the advanced amount. If the employee fails to substantiate expenses and to return any unused cash advance amounts within 120 days after the completion of a trip, the university is obligated under IRS regulations to consider such amounts as income to the employee.

For more on this policy, see UC Business and Finance Bulletin Policy and Regulations Governing Travel G-28.